South India Surges In Higher Education

The Higher Education scenario in the Southern States of India have scaled new heights. In all   spheres of education, the knowledge par excellence being  imparted, has encompassed not only  generic degrees but also vocational and technical education. Several government    initiatives, public-private partnerships,  and industry-institution collaborations have proved  to be an icing on the cake.  With the escalation in educational achievements, Digital Learning   magazine brings to you such initiatives and achievements, impact and challenges     f  higher education with specific focus on Southern Indian States.

Higher education equips the student with requisite skills for furthering their career growth.    Some of the selected  education best practices in Karnataka,  Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and   amil Nadu have  been highlighted in this report that have the  potential of being replicated all  cross the  country.

Karnataka is widely acknowledged to be the leader in Information Technology (IT). The Millennium Biotech Policy, 2000 introduced by the Karnataka government seeks to lead the  tate into the next revolution in  Biotechnology. Karnataka already has the training and   nowledge base necessary  to drive the revolution. The immediate challenge is to nurture   nnovation, promote  entrepreneurship and facilitate effective technology transfer to the end   sers. Various  policies of the government have sought to  promote the same.  Karnataka has   nparalleled human resources in various areas of technology. The state accounts for about 15% share of higher education in the country. It is also the pioneer in liberalising higher education. Out of the 82 engineering colleges, only 2 are in the government sector.

The Millenn ium Biotech Policy, 2000
Karnataka’s Biotech Policy, inaugurated in 2001, has spured the growth of the biotech  ndustry in the State and encouraged  extensive research and development in the various  pportunities the field offers.  The objectives of the Millennium Biotech Policy include:  To   pread awareness about the investment  opportunities in biotechnology,  genomics,   ioinformatics, biofuels,  contract research, etc., to the entrepreneurial  community.  To  ustain and maintain the present   pre-eminent position of Karnataka and  Bangalore in the  ield of biotechnology.   To outline a set of incentives and concessions for the biotechnology  industry to attract investments to the  State.  To provide specific infrastructure as  well as   nhance human resources for  the development of biotechnology. To encourage the growth of  •
bioinformatics in Karnataka. To provide an appropriate institutional framework to achieve all these objectives.

Premier In stitutions
The premier position of Bangalore in the knowledge segment has been due to its strong   radition in education and in science and technology. Institutions dedicated to,  or with   trengths in, the biological sciences include: the Indian Institute of Science,  National Centre   or Biological Sciences  (TIFR), NIMHANS, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific   esearch, Central Food Technological Research Institute  (Mysore), Kidwai Memorial Institute   f Oncology, Manipal Institute for Neurological  Diseases, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health  Sciences and the University of Agricultural  Sciences. 

In dian In stitute of Science
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was established in the days of the Maharaja of  Mysore in  collaboration with Tatas in 1909.  It has been ranked as the 18th best university in the world.   he institute has a  number of departments in various areas of  biology and  biotechnology: Bio-Chemistry, Micro Biology & Cell Biology, Molecular  Reproduction,   evelopment & Genetics, Molecular Biophysics, and Ecological  Sciences.

Jawahar lal Nehru  Centr e for Advan ced Scient ific Resear ch
The Centre was established in 1989 by the Department of Science and Technology  to  commemorate the birth centenary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The Institute’s main  objective is to promote scientific research at  the highest level in frontier and disciplinary areas of science and engineering.

Nat iona l Centr e for Biological Sciences
The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore is a new center of the  Tata   institute of Fundamental Research,  Mumbai. The mandate of NCBS is basic research in   rontier areas of biology. The  research interests of the faculty are in the following areas:   iochemistry, Biophysics  & Bioinformatics, Genetics & Development,  Cellular Organisation &  ignaling, and  Neurobiology.

Biotechnology Centr e The Centre is the first of its kind in the country in the public sector, aiming at integrating  all  spheres of biotechnology for the cause  of horticulture development. The activities of the   entre include: large scale cloning,  in vitro conservation, crop improvement, quality control   acilities for biofertilizers,  biocontrol agents and biopesticides, residual  analysis of chemical   esticides and fertilizers, soil, water and leaf analysis, training in  mushroom handling &   rocessing and dissemination of information on horticultural  biotechnology.

IBM Centr e of Excellence
The Government of Karnataka signed a IBM India to promote e-learning initiative based on  Open Source Technology. Under the MoU, IBM has developed an e-learning platform for Board  or IT Education Standards (BITES) for higher technical and educational institutions in   arnataka. IBM has also participated, along with BITES and Indian Institute of Information   echnology-Bangalore  (IIITB), in creating IBM Centre of Excellence  devoted to the   evelopment of Open Source Software. This industry-institution  partnership has helped    everage local   alent through educational programmes and has brought existing syllabus,  aculty and students on par with the emerging  technologies in IT.

Kerala’s achievements in social development and quality of life are, no doubt, inspiring and  ncouraging. The state has achieved a human development index  comparable to the developed  countries of the World. The state tops the literacy charts and has made constant   fforts to rapidly advance in the higher education segment during the  last few years. Kerala  as many renowned institutions for  providing higher education and training. Some  f these   nstitutions include – Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, National Institute of   echnology, Trichy, Cochin University of Science and Technology and University of  Kerala. Kera la Educat ion Gr id The Kerala Education Grid is a major project undertaken by the state  overnment to provide quality education to those who are pursuing higher studies. Planned in  hases with participation from premier institutions and universities of Kerala, the Grid will ultimately link all the educational institutions  across the state. The Kerala Education Grid is  n the process of getting deployed in the colleges of Kerala for improving the quality of higher   ducation. It provides affordable and pedagogically effective online assisted learning  nvironment  for the colleges in any subject. The Grid proposes to address the problem of  roviding quality education in colleges  and universities using Technology Enhanced Learning  and Teaching (TELT) by involving the teachers themselves as much as possible. It establishes    network of Education Servers across colleges linked to a few Resource  Centres [EGRC] and a  central Education Grid Operations Centre [EGOC]. The teachers  and the colleges are  supported by the Education Grid project to develop quality  content through its services and  invoke such educational processes that effectively apply TELT methods. In this endeavour, the  project draws from large volumes of content available or getting generated over the  Internet or by the national level projects such as the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning [NPTEL].  E-learn ing Centr e in Kera laApart from the Kerala Education   rid, global computer major Sun Microsystems  has set up a Centre of Excellence in Kerala to   reate a virtual university for linking all the colleges in the state for e-learning. The tie up with Sun has provided advanced information  systems for the current and future needs of the  cademia, government and industry. The Sun facility at the Thiruvananthapurambased  Indian IIITM- K is a part of the ambitious Kerala Education Grid Project. The Centre of  xcellence in Kerala is Sun’s fifth computing laboratory in educational institutions worldwide;  he other four Sun  facilities are in the United Kingdom, HongKong, Singapore and New  ealand. While IIITM-K is the hub of the Education Grid,  Sun’s Advanced Computing Laboratory will  support the academic and research activities through high-end Sun servers,  oftware and  high quality course contents on advanced topics. The broadband fibre optic  etwork being set up by the private telecom players across the state will act as the information  backbone of the Grid. ‘Technical Educat ion’ hub in Malapp uram Recently, a INR 500-crore  Technical Education’ hub has been proposed in Malappuram, Kerala in a bid to make the  State a much sought after destination for higher education and knowledge industries. The  ub,   roposed by Infrastructures Kerala Ltd. (InKEL), is expected to have an International  Institute of Technology, Institute of Management, International School and a world- class  ulti  ervices Park

Andhra Pradesh has been regarded as a hot destination for higher education both for students within the state and outside. The jurisdiction of quality education, available  at every stage spreads over almost every village and town of the state. The quality and up to date education provided by the higher education institutes of Andhra Pradesh encapsulates the overall education policies and scenario, making them transparent to the people inside and outside the arena of the state. Andhra Pra desh Stat e Council of Higher Educat ion (APSCHE ) The Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) came into existence on 20th May, 1988 through an Act of the State Legislature to advise the Government in matters relating to Higher Education in the State and to oversee its development with perspective planning and for matters connected therewith. APSCHE, the first of its kind in the country,
set up as per the recommendations of the National Education Policy 1986, is primarily a coordinating and liaisoning body between the University Grants Commission, the State Government and the Universities. It is the general duty of the Council to coordinate and determine standards in institutions of Higher Education or Research and Scientific and Technical Institutions in accordance with the guidelines issued by the University Grants Commission from time to time. Departm ent of Higher Educat ion The Department of Higher Education deals with matters relating to education at various levels in the State. The main functions of the Department are to: Advise the Government in matters relating to higher education in the State Coordinate and determine standards in institutions of Higher Education or Research and Scientific and Technical Institutions in accordance with the guidelines issued by the University Grants Commission from time to time Prepare consolidated programmes in the sphere of Higher Education in the State in accordance with the guidelines  that may be issued by the University Grants Commission Promote cooperation and coordination of the Educational Institutions among themselves and explore the scope for
interaction with industry Devise steps to improve the standards of examinations conducted by the Universities and suggest necessary reforms, and so on

Traditionally, Tamil Nadu has held a preeminent position in a number of fields of basic sciences, mathematics, literature and economic sciences. The scientific contribution of the academics and researchers from Tamil Nadu has received worldwide appreciation. Considering the scenario of higher education in the State, it can be established that the educational activities have increased manifold over the last few years. Major cities including Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichi and Madurai have established themselves as forerunners in the field of higher education. Here, we find some of India’s best professional
Tamil Nadu has the second largest intake capacity in the country in engineering and
polytechnic education. The intake capacity of engineering colleges has reached the level of 35,230 and that of the polytechnics has reached 47,500
educational institutions including: Indian Institute of Technology-Chennai, Madras Institute  f   echnology, Anna University, Christian Medical College-Vellore, Annamalai  University,   IT-Trichy.  There are certain factors that make Tamil Nadu a preferred destination for higher  education. It has adequate educational institutions, efficient and committed teachers,  strong   ducation policy of the government and infrastructural facilitates for professional  education.   he participation of central and  state-run universities in the educational  movement is worth   oting. The varsities have set guidelines for various purposes including  diverse academic   eaching, admission and  infrastructural development. Nat iona l Programm e on  Technology   n han ced  earn ing 

The National Programme on Technology  Enhanced Learning is an initiative by all
seven Indian Institutes of Technology
(IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore for creating course contents in engineering and science. The video courses in the programme would comprise of  approximately 40 one-hour lectures for each course and the web supplements would  contain   ufficient materials that a teacher can cover in approximately 40 lecture-hours.   The contents  ould be based on the model  curriculum suggested by All India Council for  Technical   ducation (AICTE) and the syllabi    f major affiliating Universities such as Anna  University (Tamil Nadu), Jawaharlal Nehru   Technological University (Andhra Pradesh)  and Visvesvaraya Technological University    (Karnataka). The first phase of the project was      ormally  launched on September 3, 2006.  Policy Note of the Higher Educat ion      Departm ent   ccording to the Policy Note of the HigherEducation Department, the  Government of Tamil Nadu has devoted special attention for strengthening the higher  education   system in the State to respond to the new and emerging demands. Initiatives of the Tamil Nadu Government have been to focus   on consolidating the existing educationalfacilities and infrastructure and to provide balanced attention towards  technological education as well as high quality arts and  science programmes. The graduates   of the technical institutions in Tamil Nadu have shown outstanding performance in the     industry, both in India and abroad.

The policy of the Government is to consolidate this capacity and improve the
quality of the output from these institutions,
rather than increasing the number of new institutions. For this purpose, the Government has initiated programmes for upgradation of the engineering curriculum and syllabi at frequent intervals in order to capture the new developments in the technologies of the market place.
The recent trend of declining quality of arts and science education has been taken into account by the government. Many of the postgraduate programmes in arts and sciences, even in prestigious institutions have failed to attract the brightest students. Recognizing this trend, the Tamil Nadu Government has undertaken special initiatives to maintain its leading role in the field of arts and sciences in the coming years. For this purpose, special attention has been devoted to revamp and restructure the postgraduate arts and science programmes in the colleges and universities of Tamil Nadu. Higher Educat ion for the Un derpr ivileged The Sowbhagya Higher Education programme in Chennai District, Tamil Nadu, supports students from the underprivileged sections who have progressed to higher education such as college or a diploma programme. This initiative was introduced in 2003 by Asha-Silicon Valley’s Support- A-Child programme. In 2003, there were 5 students pursuing college education in
fields such as Information Technology and Commerce. Today, the number has increased several folds.

The IC T Academy
The ICT Academy of Tamil Nadu (ICTACT), with its headquarter in Chennai, is a non-profit
autonomous organisation, registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975.
Tamil Nadu’s ICT Services and Manufacturing commands a share of 11% in total in India, and it aspires to capture 25% claiming the strongest hold in this respective sector. The governing body of ICTACT comprises of utonomous board of directors  with representations from the Government of Tamil Nadu, leading companies in the ICT industry with presence in Tamil Nadu, leading educational Institutions and Industrial bodies such as CII, NASSCOM and Mait. It trains students in significant industry related courses. The novel initiative undertaken by the Tamil Nadu government strives to streamline the education pattern with the needs and challenges of the ICT industry, meeting the international standards. It would assist Tamil Nadu in a big way to claim a stake hold on being the largest ICT Services and ICT Manufacturing provider in India with a share of 25% targeted by 2011. Additionally, it would
also boost the direct and indirect employment in the ICT sector both in Tamil Nadu specifically and in India at large. ICTACT is sure to have an indelible impression revolutionizing the education system. The higher education programme is a collaboration between Asha-Silicon Valley  and Asha-Chennai. Asha-SV provides funding and works with Asha-Chennai to monitor the student’s progress; while Asha- Chennai administers funding and provides ongoing counseling to the students. It can be easily said that higher education scenario in the Southern States of India has moved several folds forward. The sector has seen tremendous changes in the past few years and newer and better educational initiatives would only provide further impetus to the system

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