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Universities: National or Local?

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Universities

Dr. Kamlesh Misra

Former Vice Chancellor, Ansal University


India is supposed to have had the roots of higher education dating back as early as the 1000 B.C. Though at that time the education provided by the then institutes were the ancient knowledge of the Vedas. The modern education system was actually set up during the colonization of India and The Indian Higher education has gone through many transformations, some for the better while some for the worst. One of the regrettable change over the year has been the alteration of the universities from national to local.

There was a time in India where there were many universities deemed national. Now, this title has been fading away like the passing wind. Only a few of these universities have managed to keep the title that too with great struggle. Despite this many national universities who have a glorious past, unfortunately, are turning in to local universities like a rapid fire. So, what exactly went wrong which led to land these universities with such defective fate?

Education which is vital for the growth of a country and especially in a developing nation like India, it is more important that the education sector flourishes. It is considered that the universities are a micro picture of the society we live in. It is like the mirror image of the changes in our society. So whatever happens on our campuses doesn’t only affect the students, teachers and faculty but also the nation itself. Several reforms that started around the year 1975 have had a calamitous impact on the universities of India.

Around this era, one of the significant thing that happened was the formation of regional parties in India. The political dispute had a major impact on the education sector. The regional parties wanted to win elections and to have an upper hand on the national parties, these regional parties catered the needs of the local community. However, this thinking didn’t unite the nation to work forward for development instead divided it for worse into National and Regional lines. So we moved from national level thinking to regional level thinking. The cherry on the cake was the steps taken by Regional parties to have topped the political stature. To further strengthen the political hold successive regional governments pushed for admissions of local students in universities. Appointment of faculty and staff was based on regional lines. Though, some can say this was a good move and ensure employment of the locals in the long run, this move had a few setbacks hence declining the level of education. This was a very destructive move for Indian universities.

The local and regional interests were taking priority over the national interests. Although the country is divided into 29 states, in reality, it shouldn’t be divided when working for maintaining the standards of the education system at the global level. This division was made for better governance of the country, not for the destruction and loss of advantage that we had previously on the global community.

Our universities and education sector now is the reflection of this poor governance and divided behaviour. The political pressures ensured that local students got priority in admissions, local people got priority in jobs and this completely ruined the diversity within the University System. As most of the students were and the teacher was becoming then the universities started to become the breeding grounds of the political parties instead of the temple of education. This also cuts back the diverse nature that the Indian Universities usually should provide. Unions became powerful that they have support from political parties as well. These are the few ways which led us to this moment, that we have to witness the fall of the mighty National Universities of India into one with just local jurisdiction.

Only if we could travel back in time and maintain the level of education that we had before. It would be good to have these National Universities back.

 Universities

 

These are some key features of the National Universities:

The Faculty in the National University is among the best of the teachers from around the country and from different parts of the country. Hence bringing the culture and linguistic features with them. Almost all states and union territories are represented in the university by faculty members and administrators.

  • These appointments are based on merit and not the preference of being from that region or being a local of that community, hence its open for all and fair for everyone as it gives everyone equal chance of appointment and also increases the level of competition.
  • There is a fair mix of minorities among the faculty and staff and there is a place for people of different faiths. Hence, it is diverse in nature and can be a learning experience for both teachers and students.
  • Likewise the appointment, the admissions are also open to everyone from the country. Students come from all parts of the country and not just a single region.

Despite all the odds, there are few universities like JNU and University of Delhi (DU) that have been holding onto the position of being a National University. We hope that the golden days of the National Universities will be back like the 90’s fashion. And the concept of local university dissolves as quickly as venom does with blood and kills the ill factors destroying the level of education in India.

What do you think about this? Should Regional or Local benefits be given?

Do you want the National Universities of India to make a comeback?

Let us know in the comments.

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    Vinay

    July 24, 2018 at 7:12 am

    National level education /thinking is a prerequisite for national growth. However educational opportunities need to be provided to student close to place/ state of residence to all. This will reduce movement/ costs for poor and needy.

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Higher Education 4.0: Smart Pathways For Smart Future (Part 1)

Dr. Sudhir Gavhane

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Smart Pathways For Future

PART 2 Coming Soon Stay Tunned

The world is entering into the IR 4.0 (Industrial Revolution 4.0) & the higher education sector has to adapt itself to this challenging time through its preparedness to future-ready higher education, which is going to be ‘Higher Education 4.0′.

Changing Times, Changing Needs.

  The higher education sector is going through unprecedented upheavals & transformations, which is technology driven. This sector is in its transition state, wherein HEIs are compelled to convert themselves to proactive partners of knowledge economy & knowledge society through innovation R&D.

The world is entering into the IR 4.0 (Industrial Revolution 4.0) & the higher education sector has to adapt itself to this challenging time through its preparedness to future-ready higher education, which is going to be ‘Higher Education 4.0′. This trend is dismantling existing structures and constructing new once, which demands to engineer the system and human capital and all stakeholders. There are smart pathways & pitfalls for reaching to smart future of higher education, youth and society at large.

(Vidyā (Knowledge) is man’s unique signifier, a secret treasure. It showers providence, fame, and delight. Indeed the guru of gurus, Vidyā (Knowledge) is a friend in foreign and. Vidyā (Knowledge) is God. Not wealth but Vidyā (Knowledge) is worshipped by the kings.

And so, one without Vidyā (Knowledge) is like an animal.

The world is changing fast with at an unimaginable speed, content, and design. The future of humanity and nature too is being re-engineered and re-shaped in most unpredictable manners and methods.

The heart of change at present and future has two threads: one is technology driven and the other one is nature or environment -driven. The heart of change is disruptive, dismantling existing mainstreams and creating new ones. The life of disruptive technologies is too short. The many marriages of innovations and disruptions, divorces and remarriages are posing many challenges and even opportunities. In this most unpredictable times of humanity, how to get ready to face future and its unimaginable challenges and unexpected opportunities knocking at our doorsteps.

 Unpredictable and Challenging Times Ahead 

This Paradigm shift is opening floodgates for innovations and courageous change makers with workable ideas. In this brand new world, Innovative and disruptive Ideas are going to be the real capital. The capital is no more capital. Ideas and knowledge have become a true source of capital. A human brain is fertile land of idea germination and knowledge generation. One monetizing idea can create millions of jobs and billions of dollars.

In this superfast “Age of Ideas”, we have to live and sustain. The higher education sector has to cope up to meet these challenging times and future. We have to revamp and redesign every microelement of our system of higher education. The conventional structures and practices of higher education will not survive in this change-driven environment.

As Prof. Raghunath Mashelkar has rightly said: “Education is Future and Future is education”.

Are we, our universities and our colleges really prepared for that? Have we changed our mindset and outdated systems? Do we have futuristic approaches and policies in place? Are our brains engaged in brainstorming? Are we going to think of ourselves as “always good doers’’? Then you be ready to become a Nokia or Blackberry.

In Indian higher education context, Takshshila or Nalanda universities have been a part of our proud history. Do we have the passion to rewrite new history? Or we want to submerge ourselves in the pages of history by simply ignoring to understand the ground realities and build our future in the true sense? All these are relevant questions which will test our mettle in terms of our sustainability and future readiness.

Many Problems: Many Solutions

  Humanity across the world is facing many problems, most of them are man-made and some of them born out of nature’s fury (for that too we human beings are responsible to greater extent) such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes, volcanos, climate change, and greenhouse effects, deforestation, extreme exploitation of natural resources.

In terms of man-made calamities, we have wars, caste-cultural -religious violent conflicts, acute poverty condition of about 1 billion people, jobless growth, deterioration of human values, encroachments in forests, urbanization and diminishing fertile land.

Severe challenges humanity is going to face in near future for providing Food For All, Water For All, Employment For All, Education For All, Health For All. Eradication of all kinds of discriminations such as lack of social and gender justice, remove divides such as economic, social and digital divide. Therefore, the global community promotes “Inclusive Green Growth”(IGG), growth and prosperity with an inclusive & environment- friendly approach.

Which system will provide solutions to these many problems? In my opinion, only the higher education sector and it’s bright and well -trained brilliant brains are capable of providing solutions.

Is our higher education system is competent and equipped enough to undertake these tasks? Do we have our commitments for these larger missions of our planet? Are we not driven by business and profit goals rather than the global goals of sustainability of humanity and biodiversity, which are ingredients of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations? Does higher education sector possess the vision and mission in this direction?

These are the questions posed by present times before the global higher education community.

Education expert Francisco gives higher education sector a mandate as follows:

“We must think about preparing globally minded, internationally able, and locally engaged citizen. Higher education institutions must become role models as corporate and local citizens” (Marmolejo Francisco: 2018).

This type of mindset and institutional change is required. For that, we must understand and analyze the present status and design future pathways to provide solutions, in words of scientist Prof. Raghunath Mashelkar what we need is “Solution Engineering”. The essence of this discussion is are we nurturing students/youth, who are going become problem-Creators or Solution Providers?

We have to choose the right pathway for the future, otherwise, our future is going to be dark and bleak. Hence, we need to break away from conventional paths and develop new paths soothing to changing times, technologies and societies.

 Here, it is apt to mention views of

Duryck Schreuder, General Editor of Universities For A New World, Faculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Sydney

“Much of the fate of their [developing] societies will be determined by the missions and work of higher education institutions. Universities will be central to the building of “Knowledge Nations“, they will also be critical for the less developed countries in which skills and professionals are still in short supply. Special concern has been a reflection on issues of human empowerment through higher education-involving both generic disciplines and professional and research programmes, as well as equity considerations (access, gender, inclusivity, and lifelong learning)”

Let’s join hands together to solve these many lying problems in the path of the Higher Education System of our country. I will discuss further more about the best possible solution in my opinion and also about what is Higher Education 4.0. in next article.

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Five Major Tips To Become A Better Professor In Business School

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B-School-Professors


Dr. Pankaj Kumar

Ph.D. (Performance Management Systems), MBA (HR/OB)


Nowadays, there is the increasing number of Business Schools are opening in India, where many Professors are employed. Presenting yourself as a better professor is also a difficult task because every professor is capable to do it himself, but in a business school, mainly five tips should be taken so that we can present and impress well. So read on our article for Five Major Tips to become a Better Professor in Business School.

Perfect grip on our subjects

It is necessary for a competent professor to have knowledge of the subject related to teaching such as Human Resource Management, Marketing, Finance, Operation Management, Tourism Management, etc. When the professor enters in the class, then he/she can deal with the answer to the questions asked by the students. A professor’s knowledge of subject matter enables him to plan lessons and evaluate student’s assignments. To create a lesson plan, professors need to simplify their learning process so that they can access the facts and information about a particular lesson in a skilled manner to the students.

Know our teaching methods

The teaching methods used by a professor such as case studies, role-plays, field studies, lecture methods, assignments, simulations, research-based teaching, etc. For example, the case study teaching method is famous in Harvard Business School. As a management Professor, we should be well advised to implement the teaching methods used by us, and with the knowledge of our subject, we can easily explain our point of view to the students and to solve every problem related to the curriculum.

Always relate your knowledge with the current market

A Management Professor should also have knowledge of business in the market and outside the market, as well as what kind of business works? How to keep the products of the company, customers’ needs, and trends, benefits of that company, etc. If a professor is able to teach his students by connecting market knowledge with the planned content, then the student will be able to adjust himself easily after completing his studies in the future.

Read Also: Rs. 93,847.64 Crore Allocated For Education Sector In the Interim Budget

Engage in diverse conversation

As a professor, we should always be active in our field such as attending conferences, workshops, seminars and also organizing such programs in our university/ school and also should continue in research activities like to publish research papers time to time to update in our subjects, after that we should share it with our students.

Knowledge about your Digital Tools

As a professor, a lot of work such as a project, seminar, assignment, etc. are common. The professor should have good knowledge of technology and their instruments. Yes, because today people are living in the 21st century, which is a period of digitalization. In such a way the professor has a smartphone or tablet, and some good applications like Dropbox, Mendeley, Kindle, Google Scholar, etc., it is capable of delivering more knowledge in less time your students with their work. Professors need to have some technologies in hand to be more efficient and relevant.

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Higher Education Sector: New Trends In Teaching Learning Methodologies ( TLM )

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Teaching Learning Methodologies

Sudhir Gavhane

Prof. Dr. Sudhir Gavhane

Director, National Outreach & Network

Former Dean, Liberal Arts, Science & Commerce

MIT-World: Peace University, Pune, India


Read on our article by Professor Dr Sudhir Gavhane elaborating on the new trends in TLM –  Teaching Learning Methodologies and its advancing impact in the higher education sector in general.

The change is the heart of the world and nature. However, the pace of change we are experiencing at present is an unprecedented one. We are now the fastest moving human society, facing its all complexities, with an unpredictable future. We are living in the society of which driving force is technology, thus we are part of technology-driven society. Most importantly digital technologies and their applications are generating “disruptive innovations”, which are change makers in its true sense. Digital innovations are responsible for digital revolutions and these digital revolutions have changed even our global economy into Digital Economy. The disciplines of Humanities (arts, drama, music, literature, paintings, media etc.) are now renamed as the Digital Humanities. Due to this technology-driven changes, education & higher education sector to is changing, not only this it is becoming the originator or source of unpredictable change. This is the unpredictable time aligned with unpredictable opportunities.

In this ever-changing and fastest moving environment conventional path of “Teaching and Learning Methodology (TLM) ” is now an outdated one. There is a disconnect between knowledge acquired and real-life problems. Critical thinking is missing and applying knowledge to solve problems is never thought of. Most of the engineering graduates are in business management and not in core engineering activities. There is no direct connection between what you learn and what you practice. Employability of our graduates is going down. Our human capital is not being considered as the capital but a liability on our society and family.

In the light of this background, globally new kinds of TLMs are designed to re-engineer our human capital to make them useful to society and themselves. They are aimed at filling the gap between theory and praxis. Higher education institutions must change themselves and change their systems from show to substance, then and then only there will be acceptance by society at large.

These new TLMs are as follows:

 Service-Based Learning (SBL):

Every student of every HEI (Higher education Institute) must prove herself or himself as a committed person of society. If you want to create socially and nationally connected and conscious citizen, serving society must be a part of mandatory TLM. There should be credits assigned for this and earning satisfaction and pleasure must be part of the curriculum. Many SBL micro assignments can be worked out which is nothing but “learning by Doing”.

Research-Based Learning (RBL)

Today is the age of knowledge. Knowledge has become the engine of economic growth and prosperity. The generation of knowledge is only possible through Research and Development (R&D). Therefore, it’s an international trend now that even undergraduate students are given assignments to do research. Learning through research is something unique and not practised largely in India. I know that there are examples around the world that, even at the age of 19 undergraduate students have got their own patents. Why can’t we imagine this scenario in India and other developing countries? We need to imbibe research culture among our generation next. Indian higher education institutions must modify their curriculum to incorporate RBL.

Project Based Learning (PBL):

There is always a question, which comes to our mind about our new generation graduates. The said question is about, why our millennial are problem creators, instead of problem solvers? Why are universities and colleges are not able to equip our students with skills and competencies to solve the problems of our present society? Higher education is not for creating problems but to solve these. The Problem Based Learning (PBL). In this system of learning, students on their own identity problems of our society and by applying their mind and knowledge they provide solutions to the problem. This is what meaningful higher education is.! “Learning to Work and Working to Learn” is the mantra. Our colleges and universities must begin with baby steps in this direction.

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