One-Day Workshop of Private Universities
At the very outset, I would like to welcome Haryana Chief Minister Shri Manohar Lal Ji, Haryana Education Minister Shri Kanwar Pal Ji, Haryana State Higher Education Council Chairman Prof BK Kuthiala ji, Higher Education Department DG Shri Chandrashekhar Khare ji, Vice Chancellors and Registrars of the state’s private sector universities and other officers to this one-day workshop being held at Raj Bhavan.
India’s higher education system, which includes technical education, is among the largest worldwide. The number of colleges and stand-alone institutions has risen equally phenomenally to almost 50,000 in the country and around 25 state universities in Haryana. A predominant share of tertiary education capacity has been built by the private sector, which now plays a major role in Indian higher education. But while the number of universities and colleges has risen explosively, the same cannot be said of the quality of higher education, in either public or private sectors, although there are a few notable exceptions.
The Government of India is sensitive to the need for new policies for the upgradation of quality of education and research in the country’s institutions of higher learning.
Paradoxically, higher education institutions are both under and over-regulated. Nominally, approval for the promotion of private universities has been delegated to state governments which frequently licence new institutions for reasons other than merit. Subsequent monitoring of performance is non-existent, apart from a perfunctory reference to “shall conform to UGC standards” — a mere formality practiced more in the breach than compliance. This has led to a proliferation of fly-by-night institutions without the competence to provide acceptable quality education.
Nor has a credible system of accreditation of tertiary institutions been evolved or sponsored by the government. The attempts of the National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC) over the past years have been perfunctory, sporadic and permeated by lack of expertise.
Therefore, in the overall reckoning, the best and good universities and colleges are ranked and bunched with the poor and worst, with equal treatment for all. The best private universities and colleges need greater autonomy and freedom from interference by government, and the worst need to be put on notice, and if non-compliant, forcibly closed down.
This workshop assumes significance in view of the fact that we all are gifted with a visionary National Education Policy-2020 which has a road map, directions and dynamism to make our education system vibrant, inclusive and responsive right from the primary to tertiary level.
Given the role of education in building a stronger and more resilient nation, all stakeholders should play an honest and responsible role in realizing the goal of Atma Nirbhar Bharat. I strongly feel that under no circumstances the importance of transparency, accountability and professionalism should be compromised while imparting education to our students.
The use of technology like artificial intelligence, things of internet, block chain, digital classrooms, augmented and virtual reality and computers has added a new dimension to the idea of teaching in today’s world. It has opened up newer avenues. At the same time, we have the challenge to deal with the problem of digital divide in an effective manner.
The New National Education Policy-2020 lays a significant amount of emphasis on research and development, for which the Central government under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji has provisioned a huge capital infusion. Private sector institutions should also do their bit in this regard.
We all agree to the fact that education is the first and most painful casualty of poverty. For want of resources many meritorious students from poor sections of society, mostly OBCs, SCs, STs and Minorities are not able to pursue their studies in private sector institutions.
There is no denying the fact that there are provisions for scholarships and free ships but we will concede that a lot still needs to be done for the students from deprived sections of society. I will request and recommend that our private sector universities should ensure not only adequate admission of poor students but their holistic development as well.
Similarly, we have to ensure that there is merit based and transparent recruitment of faculty members and fair share to all as per the Central and State government norms and policies. For this, you need to have a strong internal audit and regulatory mechanism.
I have no doubt about the fact that our universities — both in private and public sectors – are putting in place quality infrastructure in tune with the New Education Policy – 2020 so that our students are well prepared to meet the needs of today and the future as well.
It’s a matter of happiness that today Haryana is emerging as a hub of education thanks to the vision of Chief Minister Shri Manohar Lal ji, who has left nothing unturned to ensure seamless progress of education in the state. The way sports have been aligned to education in Haryana is simply brilliant for which I thank Chief Minister Shri Manohar Lal Ji and Education Minister Shri Kanwar Pal Ji, and other officers.
In conclusion, I hope that deliberations in today’s workshop will go a long way in not only implementing the new Education Policy in a better manner but will also pave the way for adding more value and inclusivity to Haryana’s education system, which is fast emerging as the best one in the country.
Once again I extend my best wishes to all, whose efforts are going to make this workshop meaningfully successful.
Jai Hind! Jai Haryana!