Kerala

Praise for higher education plans in Kerala Budget

While praising the State Budget for providing an impetus to the higher education sector, academics wonder if the allocations are adequate. Many have also called for efforts to ensure that the projects are not entangled in bureaucratic hurdles.

P.M. Rajan Gurukkal, Vice Chairman, Kerala State Higher Education Council (KSHEC), applauded the Budget, terming it one that invested in knowledge and human capital for growth in the long run. He said it could be the first time in the country that a Budget recognised new knowledge and the need to democratise its benefits as the key drivers to productivity, growth and equitable social development.

It envisaged various schemes for boosting accumulation of knowledge-based capital by generating non-physical assets like intellectual property, patents, software and expertise in advanced science-tech research.

It also provided for the growth of high-tech industries, innovative start-ups, expansion of the service sector and opening up of avenues of self-employment.

“A sustainable response to the fast developing global knowledge economy with potentially greater demand for innovative expertise and rare workspace skill in science-tech hybrid fields, the Budget is a seamless model worth emulating for the Union government,” he said.

Amruth G. Kumar, Head of the Department of Education, Central University of Kerala, praised the proposal to establish inter-university centres, a first-of-its-kind move in the State.

But, he wondered whether the allocations were sufficient to realise the ambitious project, since they would require several high-end research facilities. While the Budget lays stress on creating a knowledge economy by ensuring availability of digital tools among all sections, the academic called for steps to propagate digital literacy particularly among the backward communities.

‘Ignoring humanities’

He also questioned the propriety behind pinpointing areas of research under the Nava Kerala post-doctoral fellowship scheme in the Budget. “The KSHEC or any other panel of academic experts must ideally be entrusted with the task. Moreover, there is an overt slant towards scientific disciplines, ignoring social science and humanities,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 9:01:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/praise-for-higher-education-plans-in-budget/article33590488.ece

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