Story of unrealized human resources in India continues


Indian higher education institutions graduate out more than 500.000 science and engineering graduates every year. Such statistics are often viewed as signs of strengths. But it is necessary to draw a line between graduates and those who have complete education and who employable. Executives of leading corporations have said that they need well qualified graduates every time. They had the common view that large number of graduates needs to be (re)trained to make them operational after they are hired. This leads to the conclusion that large number of graduates is just degree holders.

Shortcomings with the Indian higher education

Most of the universities and colleges in India lack proper infrastructure and facilities. The poor quality of teaching and lack of quality faculty further makes the condition worse. All these deficiencies points to the fact that the Indian higher education institutions require a critical evaluation, if India wants to achieve its ambitious goals.

Entrance exams do not test the student’s ability to learn

The entrance tests and the admission procedures adopted in institutions have come under great level of criticisms recently. Such methods are considered as merit based evaluations, but they just evaluate the capability of the candidates to take tests in order to secure admission in the university or college of their choice. They seldom evaluate the ability of the candidates to learn and flourish once they are admitted in the institution.

The US way in Higher education

This approach we follow in India is in contrary to what is followed in the United States. In the US they follow an approach which expects the students to exhibit their skills and aptitude that transforms into success within the university setting. The admission procedure incorporates academic excellence along with other achievements that demonstrates the all rounded personality development. We cannot take it for granted that the approach in the US is perfect. But in the case of higher education, it demands more from the part of the students than just taking exams. At the end of four year graduate program, students are equipped with skills rather than the ability to take exams once in a semester.

Huge investment in Research and Development in the US

The US is rich with entrepreneurial talent and this is evident from the fact that small and medium enterprises contribute to significant portion of the employment. It is widely accepted that the education institutions in the US is an important contributor to the economic development of the country. This is a result of the efforts put in by the government in terms of huge investments in the field of research and development at educational institutions. More over the government has formulated policies that encourages and make it possible to commercialize outcomes of research activities held in educational institutions. The universities and colleges in the US promote a culture rooted to entrepreneurism that motivates and rewards risk taking. The US is a best example for us to follow in terms of how investments in the research and development in educational institutions, development of excellent educational institutions and rewarding risk taking can be incorporated to create a virtuous cycle of economic development and employment generation. There seems to be no reason why India cannot adopt this model in a way that suits the Indian context to drive economic growth.

Research will drive economic growth in India

In India we have witnessed a significant growth in entrepreneurial drive and it has made a significant impact in the Indian economy and suits well for the country. It compliments the view that a growing economy will generate opportunities for all, without considering the social and economic background. For the economy to expand, India should take many bold and strong steps. Among them is the effort needed to create many research institutes in the country that will lead a significant role in enhancing the momentum of economic development for years to come. Setting up great research institutes will require huge investments in the research and training of researchers over the years. It needs an accountable and peer reviewed process for distributing research grants. Permitting foreign universities to set up centers in India will make the field competitive and institutions will compete for research grants which will increase research outputs. A system should be in place which will reward great research activities.

Requires qualified faculty

Nurturing this process requires hiring large number of qualified faculty from around the world. This also requires removing bureaucratic red tapes, providing level playing field and ensuring a competitiveenvironment for education. This will ensure that research will help in achieving the technology driven economic development.

Motivate the students to take up research as a career

Developing excellent research infrastructure will motivate students to undertake research as an attractive and viable career option. In order to drive students back to research to nurture future researchers and a pool of future faculty, we need to assure them that a promising and fulfilling career doesn’t come from software and IT profession, as there are interesting areas to be explored in the fields of engineering and sciences.

Long way ahead

Efforts are being made by both the central and state governments to bring about meaningful and fruitful educational reforms. It is even promising as the private bodies are also putting effort to bring about improvements in the education system. New universities and colleges are being set up in various parts of the country. We have to include participation from the public through meaningful conversations in the matter and take up initiatives that will ensure that the issue gets due attention. The government should consider Public Private Partnership in the education field as private institutions are willing to invest in the field of education. In addition to this the government should consider opening up the educational sector for-profit, provided the profit earned should be limited by the government. With this India will be on its way to optimizing intellectual assets in engineering and science and will be able to create sustainable economic development.



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