Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that now the bell rings to sort out institutions which are not up to the mark.
Expressing his regret over deteriorating standard of higher education, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that now the bell rings to sort out institutions which are not up to the mark. He pointed out that several institutions were not kept abreast with the rapid changes that have taken place in the world around us in recent years, still producing graduates in subjects that the job market no longer requires.
Addressing a conference of vice chancellors of central universities being held here at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the PM said that not even a single Indian university figured in the top 200 universities of the world adding that there was need for greater flexibility and improvement in quality at institutions of higher learning.
Asserting that he expected central universities to be quality-leading institutions, the prime minister said: "We envisage a very important role for central universities in setting standards for higher education. We expect them to become role models and contribute to strengthening other institutions of higher learning in their vicinity."
President Pranab Mukherjee has also expressed his regret and said, India is witnessing a decline in standards in the quality of higher education and the trend needs to be reversed. Universities should not only provide knowledge and skills but also inculcate values of humanity and virtue, he added.
The president is a Visitor to the central universities. The last such conference was convened in 2003 by then president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The President pointed out, Even though India has the second largest higher education system, a report by the Planning Commission and industry released last year pointed out that gross enrolment ratio (GER) in India of 16 percent was much below the world average of 27 percent.
Ninety percent of colleges were found average or below average on the basis of their accreditation from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), the report said. He said that besides being a powerful tool for the realization of the nation's technological and economic advancement, higher education had to fulfil the aspirations of the youth, who are restless and looking for directions.