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The Philanthropic Vision of Education

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“In education space, India is replete with disparities. On the one hand we have the 2nd largest higher education system in the world, and on the other we have only 65 percent literacy rate,” says Dr D K Modi, Founder-Chairperson (Chancellor), Dr K N Modi University, Chairman, Dr K N Modi Foundation

Dr D K Modi, Founder-Chairperson (Chancellor), Dr K N Modi University, Chairman, Dr K N Modi FoundationWhat has been the guiding vision of your Group?

Behind the establishment of the Dr K N Modi University, there are the seeds of caring and social service sown by India’s one of the most distinguished industrialists and philanthropists, the late Dr. K N Modi (1922-2005). Dr Kedar Nath Modi Foundation was set up to carry on his work of promoting education and establishing community welfare facilities. Our vision is to become one of India’s respected self-financed education providers, and a leading centre of innovation and learning. We wish to impart quality education across all levels. Our mission is to set up educational institution that provides a healthy environment for both faculty and students.

What is your view of the education system that we have in India?

In education space, India is replete with disparities. On the one hand we have the 2nd largest higher education system in the world, and on the other we have only 65 percent literacy rate (as per Deloitte report 2010). We are not only one of the most populous nations, we are also the home to largest number of illiterate people. There is a huge demand supply gap- not just in terms of number of seats available, but more so in terms of seats available in institutions who offer quality education. We can take the example of IIT-JEE. There 3.95 lakh applicants compete for just 7000 seats. For AIIMS about two lakh students compete for 77 seats. At the National Institute of Technology (NIT), two lakh students compete for 9500 seats.

Do you think Industry Academia Partnership is important to provide employable skills for students?

Industry–academia collaboration is important. In the buoyant Indian economy, where only a fraction of the graduating students are employable, corporations face the challenge of recruiting an industry-ready workforce while continually ensuring supply of talent to meet its scaling operations. In fact, the latest NASSCOM report states, “Only 25 percent of the technical graduates and 10 percent of general graduates in India are fit for employment in multi-national organisations”. Even after recruitment, companies need to spare many months before the new recruit finally starts being productive through on-the-job training. These challenges can be overcome through a focused industry-academia partnership producing employable human capital through ‘tailor-made’ courses. In the current scenario, students too are looking for not just a degree, but a significant way through which they can either get a job or enhance their career.

Tell us about your view on the system of regulation in education that we have in India?

The regulatory system in India is quiet complex. If there is a common regulatory system for higher education, then it will be easier for institutions to operate and grow. But common regulatory system will only be effective only when it is taken forward in a transparent manner. Government of India should take care that the regulatory system is free from political influence, money power, regional, linguistic and communal biases.

Please share your plans for Dr K N Modi University for furthering collaborations with foreign universities?

Dr K N Modi University has signed an MOU with Kent State University. The purpose of this agreement is to develop academic and cultural interchange in areas of education and Research. Dr K N Modi University is also a member of Businet (an International Organization of Higher Educators) and National Entrepreneurship Network. Businet has 93 members across 25 Countries. This network of Educational Institutes interacts amongst themselves in various areas. From the next year we are going to start law and BSc nursing courses. For these courses we will be looking for foreign collaborations.

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