Higher education in India has transformed over time. Till a few years ago, the focus was to create centres of excellence to churn out qualified and technical manpower. IITs and IIMs reflected this trend. Now, the sector is witnessing an influential transformation. The Foreign Educational Institutions Bill has proposed to allow 100 % Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in higher education thereby saving India billions of dollars in foreign exchange outgo. The Ministry of Human Resource Development also plans to set up around 14 Innovation Universities, aiming to promote a “brain gain” policy to attract talent from all over the world.
The recent trend has been for the government to promote the setting up of private universities. Entry of private players will probably pave the way for competitiveness in education delivery, although critiques view it with a skeptical eye. It has lead to wider choices for the students, the flexibility to choose and learn subjects of interest. The sector has started adopting and assimilating best practices, and is not shying away from experimenting with visionary ideas which are specific to the the needs of the learner and the market.
Industry front-runners are now paving the way for innovative and highly competitive, yet rooted and inclusive education models. Pioneers in the field, including Shiv Nadar – Founder and Chairman of HCL Technologies, Azim Premji Chairman of Wipro Technologies, Rajendra Pawar – Co-Founder and Chairman, NIIT Technologies, and other education ventures from Vedanta, Apeejay and Reliance bring with them an enlightened vision on education. The current digitalLEARNING issue brings a detailed coverage of the NIIT University based on the visionary leadership of its founders and seeking to establish an institute par excellence.N Jadhav, Member, Planning Commission, in his interview to digitalLEARNING, provides insights into the future of the education sector. He puts forth strongly that the reforms taking place in the higher education segment is going to place it on a higher pedestal and lead the way for the future. The NUEPA Vice Chancellor, Prof Govinda, elaborates on the role of technology in higher education research in policy and administration, and how NUEPA will be using the same for carrying forward its niche research on policy and practice. digitalLEARNING seeks to highlight new and innovative models in education. The current focus on higher education refl ects our commitment in exploring new ventures, dissemination of best practices, and providing a platform for unique innovations in the fi eld.