Dr C Raj Kumar,
Vice Chancellor, O P Jindal Global University
Role of the government in higher education is coming down
One of the most fundamental challenges that we face in India is related to the lack of quality in higher education. Quality is the most significant issue in our universities. We need to be worried about the fact that not even a single university from India is one of the top 200 universities of the world.
When Universities from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taipei, and Japan figure in the list of top universities, why are we lagging behind?
There is lack of innovation in our universities. The existing legal and regulatory framework of higher education does not provide opportunities for establishment of this innovation in universities. Even our own limited experience of engaging and interacting with students across the country shows that there are very few people seriously interested in academia.
We also know that the public sector in India is not in a position to fund higher education. If we look at the data of last several decades, it becomes clear that the role of the government and public sector in the higher education space is coming down significantly. The private sector is expected to expand and fill the gap. Unfortunately, the private sector is unable to contribute its mite due to various reasons.
A vast majority of private sector initiatives in the field of higher education turn out to be of mediocre, commercial and profit making nature. The government needs to take a hard look at the higher education sector and enact suitable reform measures.