President Pranab Mukherjee has expressed concern over the falling standard of higher education in the country even though he said the proliferation of private sector has led to greater access.
“Some private institutions have ably complimented the efforts of the public sector institutions in meeting the high demand for the tertiary education of our society” Mukherjee said after inaugurating the Shiv Nadar University in Greater Noida.
He added that private institutions account for about 60 per cent of students enrolled in higher education. Stating that there were only 20 universities in 1950, Mukherjee said today there are 712 universities in the country and the number of colleges has increased from 500 to more than 36,000.
“Though (private sector) proliferation has led to greater access, its negative fallout on the standards is alarming. Its declining quality for standard, particularly in the areas of higher learning. If not reversed quickly, we will land ourselves in a scenario of having a large number of people with degrees but not enough manpower with proficiency to meet the emerging requirement of our industrial and other sectors,” Mukherjee said.
He cited the example of ancient Indian universities like Nalanda, Takshashila, Vikramashila and said that in the past, India has led the world in creating standards in the field of higher learning, and institutions in the country should strive for the same again.