Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Deemed universities: let them bloom

From the press reports it appears that the new UPA government has begun the process of revamping the country's education system, as it has decided not to accept any further applications for Deemed-to-be-University status. Union Human Resource Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday told that, the new mechanism would have steps to check capitation fees by professional colleges and setting up of a national council for higher education as a regulatory body.

It is not clear whether this is a temporary or permanent halt. If temporary, it is welcome till the effective system of checks and balances is put in place. However permanent ban will be a negative step on the long run. The deemed universities have certain unique advantages over the conventional state-run universities. There is no limit to reaching the academic heights, if the attitude of management is proper. It can also quickly respond to the requirements of industry and research due to short response time.
The state run universities with large number of affiliated colleges, are beset with bureaucracy, which is a means of rampant political and governmental interference. What happened in these universities in last sixty years is likely to continue, until systemic changes are brought in.

If India is to achieve progress in academics, it will be only through deemed universities, with adequate checks and balances on their functioning.

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