[MTC Global] Indian higher education is deficient in pushing the boundaries and ingenuity forward

It's heartening that three Indian universities feature among the top 200 in the latest QS world ranking of universities. QS rankings have a weightage of 50 per cent for reputation among the academics and employers it surveys, and thus has a structural bias against Asian universities and, in particular, against smaller universities that produce few globetrotting academics or technology workers.

However, there is no gainsaying that Indian higher education is deficient, when it comes to pushing the boundaries of human insight and ingenuity forward. India needs to cover a huge ground, starting from primary education, to become a knowledge society by global standards.

Instead of respect for received wisdom, authority and hierarchy, our system of education must promote the spirit of inquiry. Our institutions of higher education must nurture the spirit of enlightened questioning, as well as experimentation.

That entails challenging extant wisdom and tolerance of questioning and criticism. Without that, research cannot flourish. Any ranking of universities would give great weightage to research citations by faculty.

In India, the Indian Institute of Science is an outlier in this regard. The need is to integrate teaching and research across universities. For research-active faculty, functional autonomy and attractive remuneration are essential.

Expanding higher education also calls for enhancing the efficacy of public spending, apart from enhancing public funding and supplementing it with realistic tuition fees in the case of higher education. Liberal scholarships and student loans must complement higher tuition fees, of course. Indian industry must also pitch in, funding research at our institutions of higher learning, to fuel their own ambitions to achieve global levels of excellence.

​Source~ Economic Times Editorial​

Prof. Bholanath Dutta
Founder &  President 
MTC Global: A Global Think Tank in 
Higher Education, ISO 9001: 2008
Partner: UN Global Compact I UN Academic Impact
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