CARVING A NICHE

It is really an irony that many of our professionals including engineers, doctors, management professionals remain unemployed despite a lot of opportunities in the globalized world today. This is a clear indication of the lack of quality education available across the nation that has been resulting in only qualified but not employable category. It needs to be acknowledged today that Indian academic institutions should adopt a more proactive approach to highlight their credentials on the world stage so that they do not lag behind in global rankings. The present scenario indicates that the Indian educational institutions are yet to create a niche at the global level. Various assessments of the situation made from time to time need to be taken quite seriously today by all the stakeholders especially those at the helm of affairs of framing the nation’s education policy. They need to realize that world class education is feasible only with a world-class faculty. While the nation has been showing consistency in economic growth pattern, leading the world in terms of information and technology, modernization, various economic activities and pushing for higher share of industries and services sectors of the economy, there is one area which still needs rigorous reform and that is our education system. Despite making heavy investments, we are yet to establish world class research facilities, recruiting profound academicians in universities, colleges and research institutions to bring the development on this front in conformity with the economic development. Though we have increased role of private sector during the recent years in the development of higher education standards, yet there is a dire need for more such institutions that meet certain global rating standards to come up in those areas in which this sector is lacking. It is a fact that in ancient India, a thriving culture of knowledge generation and propagation existed which was backed by renowned seats of learning like Nalanda, Takhshila, Vikramashila, Valabhi and Odantapuri, which were melting pots for scholastic pursuits of learners from far and wide. There is a need to find out as to why we lost this thriving culture of knowledge generation and propagation. In this context it is worth recalling the famous philosopher and scientist Einstein’s projection of certain fundamentals i.e. Educating the individual as a free individual; To understand and use critical thinking skills; To educate the individual as a part of society as virtually all our knowledge, our clothes, our food are produced by others in our society, as a result of which we have the responsibility to contribute back to society. Therefore through education, knowledge must continually be renewed by ceaseless effort, if it is not to be lost. History bears testimony that nations have since the times past overcome poverty, social ills and economic turmoil to push their productive frontiers, on the foundation of a robust education system. Taking lessons from history, let the concerned stakeholders without any delay frame a result oriented proactive policy and translate the same on ground in true spirit. For this we shall have to overcome the twin challenges of closing the vacancy gap expeditiously and also attracting meritorious people to the teaching profession besides adopting a flexible approach to mitigate shortage of teachers. Last but not the least there is a need to hire adjunct faculty from industry and research institutions to provide for industry orientated higher education pedagogy and invite specialists from abroad to inject new ideas. Only then shall we be able to carve a niche for ourselves in the field of education at the global level.