Ambedkar University Delhi Vice-Chancellor Shyam Menon Friday said the frequent “fiats” from the University Grants Commission to celebrate various days was a “mindless attempt to control and standardise”.
Menon said Indian higher education resembled the society. “It is caste ridden. There’s a caste system in higher education; there are hierarchies and types of institutions. Much of this is planned. The diversity and inequity is programmed. It’s stemming from inequity in public finance of higher education institutions.”
WHAT OTHERS SAY
JNU professor Niraja Gopal Jayal also said Indian higher education was increasingly moving towards regulation. They, along with Ashoka University Vice-Chancellor Pratap Bhanu Mehta, DU professor Apoorvanand and general secretary of the Association of Indian Universities Furqan Qamar, were speaking at the launch of the book, Building Universities that Matter, by Pankaj Chandra, V-C of Ahmedabad University and former director of IIM Bangalore, at India International Centre. Jayal said there was “more and more regulation with no explanation on why this will yield better public funded educational institutions”.
India had “not solved the problem of what higher education means in a multi-lingual society”. He said higher education was seen as an “avenue of social mobility”, and the “site of the production of authentic, accessible, sometimes useful knowledge”.
The book, published by Orient Blackswan, is a “detailed analysis of neglected issues of governance in higher education, the processes that weaken governance systems in universities, and how they impact learning on campuses”.