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Leadership crisis hit India’s higher education sector

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There is a serious gap between the existing pool and the requirement of academic leaders to meet targets of the 12th Plan and India Vision 2020, a report said

New Delhi: Higher education sector in India will continue to reel under crisis of capable leaders till 2020, a global survey conducted by the Education Promotion Society for India (EPSI) said.

EPSI is a representative body of over 500 higher education institutions in India.

Nearly 81 percent of the respondents, who took part in the survey, pointed to a serious gap between the existing pool and the requirement of academic leaders to meet targets of the 12th Five Year Plan and India Vision 2020 for Higher Education sector.

Only 18 percent respondents said there is moderate gap between the expected demand and the available pool, according to an EPSI statement.

The survey received responses from thought leaders, chancellors, vice-chancellors, deans, principals and professors from the US, Britain, Germany, Australia, France, Hungary and Dubai.

The survey was conducted in 22 Indian cities, including Delhi-NCR, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Manipal.

When asked about ‘the critically important traits’ of a transformational leader in Indian Higher Education, 80 percent of the respondents cited innovative approach to development as the most important.

The respondents also felt that high professional integrity, ethical standards, global exposure and ability to change were some of the other requisite qualities of a transformational leader.

Significantly, only 20 percent of the respondents felt that the proposed Bill, ‘The Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Higher Education Institutions Bill 2011’, would curb malpractices, while 80 percent said that this will lead to wrong precedents as the higher education system faces several constraints and challenges.

The survey conducted, jointly with MBAUniverse.com, also examined why Indian higher education institutes are unable to attract overseas Indians with exceptional academic background and proven leadership skills.

“The results of the survey on ‘Leadership Challenges’ in the higher education system are alarming and demand a serious attention by political leadership, policy makers, Chancellors and Vice Chancellors,” ESPI President G Vishwanathan  said.

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