Conference on Contours for Higher Education Policy for Bharat
FICCI Federation House, New Delhi
June 8th 2015
The Conference on “Higher Education Policy for Bharat” was organized by Hindu Education Board on 8th June 2015at FICCI Federation House, New Delhi. Dr. S.K. Srivastava, Professor, Department of Applied Sciences & Humanities ofDronacharya Group of Institutions, Greater Noida attended the conference.
The session started with Saraswati Vandana by Shri Suvidit Sharma followed by lightning of lamp by Smt. Smriti Irani, Hon’ble, MHRD Minister, Dr. Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, Dr. Krishna Gopal, General Secretary, RSS, Prof. Nachiketa Tiwari, Hindu Education Board and Shri Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister for Railway.
At the outset Dr. Didar Singh opened the conference by welcoming dignitary on desk and delegates from reputed Institutions and different Ministries. In the opening address, he said that our education system needs to be capable of identifying the talent at the very young age and be able to provide required training to make proper use of that talent for nation building.
Smt. Smriti Irani, Hon’ble MHRD Minisiter, said that country’s inherent strength in education, ancient concepts and values is hailed and applauded abroad but is described as “saffron” back in the country. Wondering if India’s inherent strength should not be valued, Ms. Irani, who is accused of ‘saffronising education’, said even in the field of Mathematics there has been accusation of saffronisation when India’s ancient method of maths is explored the world-over.
Dr. Nachiketa Tiwari, Professor, IIT Kanpur said that the younger generation is capable of contributing towards nation building in one way or the other. Today, after doing gradation or even higher level education, many are not confident or are incompetent to take up responsibility of certain level. This needs to be addressed.
Shri Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister for Railway said that why people need to educated? Is it for making them professionals or capable of doing some kind of job and earn a living? While education is supposed to help the receivers to achieve certain skills and earn living, it should, primarily, make them good human being. Moral degradation, prevailing in the society, is reflecting lack of value orientation in the education system.
Shri Jayant Sinha, Hon’able MoS for Finance, said that India, is not at the lower end of the software and research business, but is now in a leading position of the scientific and financial research revolution. India is therefore, fast moving up the value chain in all aspects of scientific and financial research from software to medical to biomedics. There are already more software experts in Bangalore than in the Silicon Valley.
Dr. G. Vishwanathan, Chancellor, VIT University, said that Education market like any other market in India is not homogeneous. Those at the lower end of the economic spectrum of course need to be supported through scholarships, student grants, loans, education vouchers, etc. On the other hand, there are these large numbers who are migrating abroad each year to countries such as US, UK, Australia, and others. The system needs to be able to serve the entire cross-section of education aspirations.
Prof. Kapil Kapoor Chancellor, M.G. International Hindi University, discussed reshaping our higher education governance model he said that we need educated people who are skilled and who can drive our economy forward. When India can provide skilled people to other communities of the world then we can transfer our country from a developing nation to a developed nation very easily and quickly.
Shri T.V.Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Glolab Education, said that in general, one could argue that due to globalisation and increased economic competition, there is pressure to make more efficient and effective use of resources and capabilities by combining and integrating higher education policies with other policy domains.
Shri Mukul Kanitkar, Jt. Secy. Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal, said that recent calls for reform may provoke a fundamental change in higher education. This change may not occur as a direct response to calls for greater transparency and accountability, but rather because of the opportunity to reflect on the purpose of higher education, the role of colleges and universities in the new millennium, and emerging scientific research on how people learn. These disperate literatures have not been tied together in a way that would examine the impact of fundamental change from the policy level to the institutional level and to everyday lives of college and university administrators, faculty and students. He said that now the time has come to create a second wave of institution building and of excellence in the fields of education, research and capability building.
Prof. P.B. Sharma, Vice Chancellor, Amity University, discussed higher education in developing the knowledge society. He said that the key condition for establishing a knowledge society is to coordinate policies across different areas, at least linking higher education with research, innovation and labour market policies. In all these policy areas, ‘quality’ has been emphasised as an important dimension.
Dr. Manohar Shinde, Chairman, D.C.F. USA discussed the objective of D.C.F Promoting the systematic study of “Dharma’, distinguishing India’s unique civilizational insights in a modern day idiom and enabling its interpretation and application in the world. Ensuring that the systematic study of India and Indic Civilization is freed up from the rubric of “South Asian studies”, and enshrined in indigenous epistemological perspectives. At last he discussed that D.C.F Creating Visiting and Tenured Professorships, Endowed Academic Chairs, Fellowships, Scholarships, Centres and Academic institutions for the Study of Dharma.
Prof. Aniruddha Deshpande, Educationst, said that how, and to what extent various policy areas are linked with respect to ‘quality,’ and that considerable political ambiguity exist as to how different policy areas should and can be combined. Implications of the findings are discussed, not least in relation to assumptions concerning increasing horizontalisation of policymaking.
Prof. M.C. Misra, Director, AIIMS, New Delhi discussed on research development and faculty development that we are all currently in the midst of a high tide of concern and clamor for taking urgent action to improve the standards of the medical education in the country. In this context, there have been some refreshing initiatives in the country through curricular reforms and faculty development programs taken up by the Ministry of Health, the National Accreditation Bodies, and other organizations.
The session came to an end with the valedictory session chaired by Prof. Shri Virender Jaitly, IIT Bombay, he said that Indian higher education unquestionably faces huge challenges. While on one hand there is a need to bring as many young people as possible into the higher education fold, on the other it is required to significantly focus on building quality and global competitiveness. Quality of education has a wide - ranging impact on employability and labour productivity. The event was concluded with the worthwhile suggestions to strengthen the Higher Education policies.