Higher Education Sector Needs Re-engineering

Over the years at this time of the year when in Noida, I get shocked with the news related to the admission menace of the about million or more young boys and girls of the country who out of their aspiration for a secured better professional career seek admission in the institute of their choice after completing their class XII with flying colours with distinctions in many subjects. The policy makers and administrators of the country must answer some .pertinent questions.

Should not a student getting 80% and more marks get admissions in a good college for pursuing the subject of his choice? How can a college decide on 100% as cut off marks?

Why are the students in Delhi with that high a score not getting admission in the colleges? Why are the students from Patna or Kolkata seeking admission in Delhi for even the science, commerce and pure humanity courses?

Why do IITs (15 of them now) only admit the top 10,000 students from an entrance examination in which more around 5, 00,000 students appear? Is there much difference between the intelligence levels of those selected and those falling in between 10,001 and 20, 000? Will the students in the later group if studies engineering in tier 2 colleges be a worse engineer or less successful in career?

Why is the curriculum of the science (math, physics, chemistry) as well as English not the same for CBSE as well as other state boards?

Why shouldn’t IIT-JEE follow the same curriculum of the class XII boards?

Why should after 12 years of schooling, the students can’t master one foreign language, English if the country has decided to have the higher education in that language?

In simple language, after 65 years of independence, the best colleges in the capitals of various states of the country remained the same. Unfortunately, the best colleges have not expanded and added capacity. Because of the political patronage and lack of autonomy, the quality of at least some of those best colleges has deteriorated. Neither the Science College of Patna nor Presidency College of Kolkata is the same as they were in 50s and 60s.

I wish all the educational institutes of excellence-universities, colleges, and professional institutes would have enhanced its capacities by 5% every year along with its infrastructures.

A college like Presidency College or Science College could have by now a separate school for each of the subject it teaches. Imagine of a school of physics teaching the subject from class XI to Master and PhD level.

Imagine of old IITs at Kharagpur, Bombay, Chennai, Kanpur and Delhi with at least fifty schools of different specialized admitting 25,000 students every year.

While the new institutes must get set up but the older must initiate a growth plan of at 2.5% every year with corresponding expansion of all the infrastructure-teachers, hostels, residential facilities and everything else necessary for a knowledge town including incubation centres for start ups.

The capacity expansion must not be thrust upon as it was done by this government to take care of the reservation. I wish reservation could go and the demand for the same must come from the students and other beneficiaries in the institutes rather than parliamentarians.

Mahabharata would have got a twist in the story if Drona would have accepted Karna and Eklavya, and interestingly they would not have sought any reservation for their entrance or promotion.

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