The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has advocated the removal of unnecessary controls on higher education in India to produce better quality human resource. Comment.
The proposal has come from a reputed body representing India’s well established captains of industry that merits cool consideration if not immediate consent. Since education, both secondary and higher falls under the ambit of ‘Concurrent list’ of the Constitution, the control and finances for its spread, promotion and excellence are the concerns of State and Central governments. Competition and competence are the buzz words today and due emphasis is required for the production of quality human resource, both for domestic and global purposes. It is also an admitted fact that no institution can flourish under the weight of rigid rules and unnecessary controls. The earlier they are done away with the better for the healthy growth of all innovative ideas and their prudent implementation.
However, there is always a possibility of higher education sans controls degenerating into commercial enterprise. We should have some regulatory mechanism to keep a watch over the working of colleges and universities, which otherwise enjoy near complete autonomy to give out degrees and run courses that are in tune with the requirements of industry and other sectors. If we are aspiring to be a knowledge society, there is no choice but to make a clear distinction between controlling institutions of higher learning and regulating them as isthe case with financial institutions, insurance sector, shares and mutual funds sectors.
We must follow international patterns to permit private universities and colleges to operate for producing better human resource. Lest the poor are denied the opportunities of requiring higher education the State and Union governments should arrange funds for those who belong to poor families.
All said and done, both policy planners and educationists must sit together and work out a system that enables us to strike a balance between the best in life and the best in our educational institutions of higher education.