Reforming higher education in India

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batori.inInstitutions for higher education in India needs good monitoring mechanisms for quality education

One of the most challenging issues facing Indian universities of higher education is that of quality education. Even not a single university in India figures today in the top 200 in world rankings of universities. The current mode of selection to faculty positions and governance in universities do not inspire confidence about appropriate code of conduct to regulate them. Several issues, especially selection to faculty positions need to be examined in the context of the existing framework for regulating universities. And yet faculties have lost of its honour. India’s biggest social injustice originated here. The most recognized cases of unfair means of selection to higher faculty positions have come from institutes of higher studies. Today, we talk about India as a nation of unsound academics.

Pit falls in selection procedure and less transparency is probably as rampant anywhere else in the country. However central universities, being high profile bears the taint more than others. It may be time to ask will higher education ever restore its glory. Can India ever become the most inspirational nation in education to shine in the world? Can it be a place where merit scores over corruption? Tough to answer this questions. While these cannot be constructed as a verdict on the Indian education system, it does reflect some of its lacunae.

There are persons in the faculty attempting to destabilize academic atmosphere for their selfish interest. These elements are giving primacy to their own benefits rather than the interest of the institution. Considering these issues, it clearly emerges that selection to faculty positions in the country appears to be unfair and based on weak principles. Recently Mr. Jitin Prasada, state minister in Ministry of Human Resource Development while delivering a lecture in a seminar at Aligarh Muslim University under distance education centre said “we are only distributing degrees not imparting quality of education”.  This reveals that serious transparent and candid discussion is needed about how to improve the quality of universities. The issues relating to quality and accountability need to ensured, and universities should assume that role and responsibility. The question of accountability in quality education is relevant for both central as well state universities.

Contrary to this, India, historically, have track records of good governance and excellent faculty who made the nation proud. The academic institutions of higher education in the country are capable of emulating their feats in future. Hence, there is need of holistic approach to strengthen our academics with the focus to under pin the development of higher education by a global ethic that makes sense of our responsibility to quality based knowledge. Imperatively, unjustifiable selection procedure based on weak principles need to change from the existing model to a more progressive approach where excellent aspirants are allowed to enter various faculty positions. There is a need to develop a framework of more autonomous and corrupt free healthy selection regulation for universities in general and governance of universities in particular based on quality objectives. This model of sound based principles could be identified on the basis of rigorous indicator and assessment criteria. The universities for higher studies may be directed to fulfill the mechanism of specific set of transparent goals for healthy educational development. This set of objective require universities to follow through sound rule and regulation imbibed with specific guidelines and policies formulated by bodies like University Grants Commission regulating higher education in India to produce the best results. Quality access to education with a view of achieving excellence can be accomplished through this regulatory mode of governance of education.

No doubt, the focus of university education is research and knowledge creation. But teaching contributes research and research excels to better teaching. Thus, a systematic, coherent and transparent approach is needed to determine the selection of suitable faculty aspirants. The vision for genuine selection, nature and scope of quality based education will also determine the ability of higher educational institutions to full fill their goals of academic excellence and research achievement with a view to empowered a knowledge based nation.

Hence, it is the need of the hour to focus on justifiable fair means of selection procedure to maintain a fineness of education to Indian universities. Broadly, it may be expected to assume greater responsibility in having self regulating mechanisms and internal quality assurance systems. Hence forth, the institutions for higher education stand for all the values that we cherish in India. This is high time for academicians across the nation to think appropriately to build up the country with idealistic perspective to provide opportunities for quality education to young people. If this happens, the standard of education in India will redeem itself and re store its honour.

– Mohd Hanzallah 
(The writer is a final year student at Department of law, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. The views expressed here are his personal. He may be reached at

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