Politics and politicization of education started since independence when the new Government began to formulate education policies.Read more
National Exit Test (NExT) planned by National Medical Commission is going to be a major milestone in the reform of medical education in India.Read more
Funding, Capacity, Governance, and Culture are the key Challenges in Implementing NEP 2020 in Higher Education,Read more
There is a lot of buzz around ChatGPT, a language model software capable of responding to queries with human-like intelligence. However, AI poses the threat of the diminishing use of human cognitive skills. The absence of ample thinking before writing and the sheer utilization of AI tools for generating reports and documents may make one devoid of skill and imagination to create new things. Spoon-feeding by artificially intelligent systems is enfeebling metacognition and promotes a lackadaisical attitude in students in the education process. Analyzing, report writing, etc. is likely to get reshaped with the evolving AI chatbots based on disruptive technology that redefines the ontology and epistemology of teaching, learning, examination, and research. There is a thin line between someone requiring support and someone becoming parasitic to the support. The likelihood of loss of ingenuity, and diminishing cognitive skills need to be investigated thoroughly at every activity level.Read more
In recent years, several changes have taken place in the Indian and global landscape, which students seeking to pursue higher education overseas, as well as in India cannot ignore. Some overseas universities are likely to set up campuses in India. The West is seeking to attract more Indian students as a result of strained ties with China. In the imminent future, there will be many more joint programs between Indian institutions and overseas educational institutions. And most importantly, the focus will now be on technological skills and languages and not degrees. It is important for parents also to bring about a change in mindset.Read more
Why it’s Challenging to implement the comprehensive NEP 2020 (National Education Policy 2020) in Academic Institutions in India?Read more
Statistics show that cyberattacks occur every 39 seconds. The total damage caused by cyber-attacks amounted to $6 trillion in 2022. Growing adaptation to smartphones is heightening security vulnerabilities. Ransomware as a service (RaaS) is evolving as a business model. The formal education system must trigger well-crafted education programmes for rolling out a cyber defence army that understands the creativity behind cyber attacks and can protect society at large. Galloping advances in the cyber world push not just for cyber hygiene to become part of formal education at the school level, but also for the ineluctable rigorous campaigns to update every individual to remain cyber safe.Read more
Limiting the number of students from India or changing rules pertaining to the graduate post-study work visa will make the United Kingdom a less attractive destination for higher education for Indian students. The UK needs to understand that Indian students contribute significantly to the UK economy, not just in the form of tuition fees, but also through their talent and skills.Read more
The UGC, coming up with a regulation to allow foreign universities to set up their off-shore campuses in India, has had academics at sixes and sevens and divided. While one stratum welcomes the move saying it would increase job prospects, foreign collaborations, and the research environment in the country, the other believes it will sound the death knell for the home universities. It is strongly felt that Ivy League universities and colleges are unlikely to apply for setting up their campuses in India. India must desist from the temptation of attracting substandard universities that would dupe Indian people out of their money in the name of dazzling foreign degrees.Read more
Although the new UGC regulations for research appear to change the face of higher education in India and encourage institutions to compete with world-class universities across the globe, their implementation is bound to be shoddy without proper reflection and spade work. A critical rethinking on the part of the policymakers is the need of the day for improving the quality of PhDs in the country. Simple cosmetic changes and juggling around with existing structures cannot bring any positive reform in the quality of higher education, especially research in the country.Read more
Geopolitical issues have affected the people-to-people links and higher education adversely. While the UK, like other developed countries in the West, is keen to attract talented professionals as well as students who could contribute positively towards its economy, it is mooting the idea of restricting the inflow of international students who get admitted into ‘low-quality degrees’, and also bring in their dependents through the student visa route. On the other hand, Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy makes a clear reference to strengthening people-to-people contact with different parts of Asia and seeks to enhance Canada’s international student program with permanent residence and job opportunities for students from the Indo-Pacific.Read more
There are nearly 1.2 lakh single-teacher schools in the country of which an overwhelming 89% are in rural areas. More than 30% of schools had no toilets and over 60% had no playground. The selection of the top positions of the institution has emerged as a great challenge. A research scholar who gets a UGC fellowship does not want to complete his Ph.D. work in time but tries to extend it since after his/her Ph.D. if he/she gets an appointment in a private institution, he /she will get less salary. The conditions of teachers in self-finance institutions are very pathetic. Mushrooming of coaching centres and dummy schools across all cities has misled students into believing that they can perform better in entrance exams if they go for coaching at such centres and by skipping classes in regular schools.Read more
The new trend of popularizing coaching institutions, over-dependence on digital technology, and reduced financial support to institutions of higher learning shall prove to be the death knell of our long cherished formal education. Are we giving free/subsidized education and scholarships to regular students just to enroll in the institution and join coaching classes? The ground reality is that in universities and colleges, we are teaching with the minimum number of teachers without students. The greatest threat to formal education is the recent trend of robbing universities of their academic autonomy. Policymakers have been acting as feudal lords to impose and further their agenda through higher education institutions. One of the turning points for the survival of formal education and universities could be to generate active value-based research.Read more
The HEIs must assess the changing requirements for programmes commensurate to the specially trained manpower requirements. The quick responsiveness of private sector HEIs in offering programmes as per market demand is facilitating good admissions to them. The regulatory framework must enable public universities to exercise their choices of being dynamic in conceiving and offering market-centric demand-driven programmes/courses. Nonetheless, the public sector HEIs must not get rid of their mandate to roll out well-trained and qualified graduates and postgraduates in all disciplines whether popular or not popular.Read more
A struggle for political influence between the Treasury and Opposition benches has evaporated the pious objectives of establishing the institutions of higher education as centres with all qualities and potential, to guide and regulate the lives of individuals and society as well. The seen and unseen irregularities have weakened the entire higher education system from within with no end to the phase in near future. The downward slide of higher education is in progress not for want of pious intentions but a lack of determination at the highest political level to translate the vision into reality.Read more
Recently, on 3rd March 2022, Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that a state cannot legislate the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor contrary to the provisions of the UGC Regulations. Therefore, if any state does not follow the apex court judgment, the appointments shall be unconstitutional. It is very unfortunate when the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor gets challenged after the selection, and the honourable courts turn down the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor on the basis of either not following the rules and regulations of the Act or the selected Vice-Chancellor not possessing the minimum qualifications as per the rules made by the UGC. If a Vice-Chancellor is removed by the Hon’ble High Court, a serious question arises in the mind – who should be held responsible for such a fault?Read more
The new UGC regulations for academic collaboration are said to have three possible formats of collaboration, namely, joint degree, dual degree, and twinning programmes, with a liberal view of UGC to encourage collaborations. The intent of exposing Indian students to the education system abroad sounds reasonable, nevertheless, the affordability of practising such engagements and their relevance to students calls for honest introspection. The private sector HEIs market their programmes by showcasing their foreign collaborations to woo new students during admissions. In most cases, the poor socio-economic conditions of Indian families may not allow their children to take advantage of the foreign collaborations unless they get sponsorships to sustain the expenses.Read more
The Ukrainian Crisis has brought the problems of medical education in India to the fore. While the most urgent challenge has been to evacuate all the Indian students to bring them back safely and also to explore all the possibilities to rehabilitate them within the country. In a short to medium-term framework, India must aim at expanding its intake capacity in medical education by manifold but with due regard to quality as well as affordability. Here are the facts as well as the opinions and views of a cross-section of society for investigating the expansion in medical education.Read more
Against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the Prime Minister of India has revived a concern that needs to be taken seriously and urgently. It is imperative for the higher education policy planners, administrators, and regulators to take proactive measures to ensure quality higher education at an affordable cost within the country across the broad spectrum of higher education, including but not limited to only medical education.Read more
The preparedness of the country’s education system and its stakeholders for resorting to the online mode in an efficacious manner is still reeling under the question mark of feasibility. Reducing the weightage of final examinations or the end-of-course examinations and increasing the weightage of continuous assessment will envisage good quality student assessment. The open-book type unproctored examinations hold the potential to resolve the institutional problems of likely use of unfair practices in online examinations. The teacher engagement, too, increases in, both, the continuous assessment of students and the open-book examination.Read more
While everyone has been recommending, since 2007, for an all-embracing single regulatory body to take care of all higher educational institutions and programmes, none has been able to provide details of deficiencies that have made the existing regulatory bodies dysfunctional. In the meantime, the idea of the single regulator has seen some major dilution. The first anniversary of NEP 2020 was celebrated with gusto, but there is still no sight of the single regulatory authority, even though the Finance Minister announced in the budget speech of 2021-22 that the new regulatory body shall be set up during that financial year itself. It must, therefore, be a real challenge to design a single regulatory body for higher education, which must meet the NKC’s idea of saving higher education from being ‘over-regulated and under governed” or the Kasturirangan Committee’s desire to evolve “light but tight” regulatory framework.Read more
Higher education, for many, is an investment in hope for the future and it is incumbent upon the nation to ensure that it does not get turned into despair. Yet, higher education is generally confined to a minuscule proportion of the students mostly comprising the social and economic elites who have already accumulated enough resources. The mass of the highly educated talent pool that the country has is an invaluable resource that may be garnered as the demographic dividend, making it imperative to gainfully employ them to save ourselves from the onslaught of the demographic disaster.Read more
This is perhaps the right time to look back at The Science of Life, a 1931 publication by the renowned biologists GP Wells, HG Wells, and Julian Huxley and look deep into the body machine and understand how this magnificent intelligent design works with a perfect synergy between rasayan, the chemistry and the jivavigyana, the biology, and allows the microbial kingdom to enjoy its fruits and produce the nutrients and proteins in the functioning of the metabolism. All our technology innovations should, now, be aligned towards our strengthening of the ‘Lifetech’ to make science and technology in the true sense, a valid means for living a life of bliss, happiness, and good healthRead more
People often fail to realize that teachers in higher education require time and space to contemplate, reflect and think on a number of issues relating to their teaching and research. Generation of ideas, formulation of the hypotheses, methodology, and models are not mechanical processes. They need deep thinking and deep work. In the best universities of the world, teachers are supported a great deal through their teaching and research assistants and also some additional staff to help them prepare proposals for research fundings. Sadly, most universities in the country hardly have such a system. At the best, they have only a common room for all teachers hardly suited to do any serious work.Read more
According to an old adage, says that as soon as a student gets into an IIT his soul emigrates to the US; and the moment he graduates, his body too migrates to join the soul. The phenomenon is not confined to the domain of engineering and technology alone. The situation with the Indian scientists and academicians is no different. Many of those who went abroad for higher education and chose to make a career there, were recognized for their accomplishments and rewarded with coveted positions. How come most of the Indian Nobel Prize winners and Fields Medal awardees are those who left the country and were able to make their marks on foreign soil? They might appear a loss to the nation but are a gain to the profession that they wish to pursue and excel!Read more
The blossoming of few private sector HEIs as evident from their good rankings and sizeable share among top ranking institutions establishes that self-financed institutions too can achieve excellence, provided there is a strong will. Flourishing private sector HEIs is a positive sign in overall higher education; nevertheless, the shrinking number of public sector HEIs in the top 100 ranks is concerning because of the inadequacy of quality output from the public sector HEIs established and run by taxpayers money.Read more
Indian higher education is widely recognized and respected across the globe despite none of its higher education institutions being in the top 100 of World University Rankings. The paucity of suitable infrastructure and physical facilities along with the self-imposed rigidity in the processes of teaching, learning, admission, evaluation, etc. is responsible for discouraging the foreign operations by Indian universities. Given the international reputation of Indian higher education and the comparative cost advantage that they enjoy, it should not be difficult for universities and colleges to attract students from developing and less developed countries. This will require certain policy initiatives on the part of the government as well as at the end of individual universities and colleges. Fortunately, NEP 2020 supports and promotes the idea.Read more
For a person in academia as a teacher, a Ph.D. is essential as it expands our knowledge base and keeps the learning loop continue unhindered. Ph. D. is not just a degree. While doing Ph. D. one learns how to address problems, how to behave with colleagues and how to remain calm in odd situations. Making Ph.D. mandatory for the post of Assistant Professor will only reinforce the fact that teaching is not an easy job and only dedicated candidates must enter the field. However, we should first check the mushrooming of fake Ph.D. degrees for quality assurance.Read more
Why do engineering aspirants opt only for Computer Science and Engineering when the future Industry 5.0 shall require engineers and technologists from all disciplines to sustain and upgrade civilization?
The future lies in the application of digital know-how to the existing and upcoming systems from various domains.
The cross-fertilization of a variety of concepts may call for technical professionals possessing a broader range of expertise which is enabled by the new policy framework. This enjoins technical professionals from every engineering discipline with vital competencies, and the same can not be merely taken care of by computer and IT-related professionals alone.
Private Participation in Higher Education is imminent but may not be sufficient to promote Access, Equity, and Quality in Higher Education. It is reassuring that NEP 2020 recognises the public education system as the foundation of a vibrant democratic society, and the way it is run must be transformed and invigorated in order to achieve the highest levels of educational outcomes for the nation”. The policy also argues for “increased access, equity, and inclusion through a range of measures, including greater opportunities for outstanding public education”. It is now time to walk the talk.Read more
Supreme Court has remarked limitations of students from poor sections of society in access to online education and exhorted for corrections. Juxtaposing Indian socio-economic conditions with the education model of the nations having significantly strong IT infrastructure and much better capabilities as compared to India is irrational. The penury coercing the poor to the extent of leaving the mainstream education has not only flouted the constitutional provisions regarding the right to education but also forbidden the talented ones to chip in for the good of humanity and civilization. In a country with around 1.3 billion population of varying economic stature, it is inevitable to holistically assess the feasibility of the so-called new normal of education, i.e., online education and blended mode of education before starting it.Read more
The present system of examination, rather than facilitating learning, acts as a barrier in broad-basing the curricula, introducing modularity, and offering wider choices because they pose a logistical nightmare in terms of examination and evaluation. Studies after studies, in India and abroad, have proved that such an examination system is not capable of assessing the talents, abilities, and potentials of students. As NEP 2020 is being celebrated annually to showcase its speedy implementation, it appears desirable to draw the attention of the academic community to this critical aspect of higher education at this juncture.Read more
The apprehensions to fail in examinations usher students to a distressful state. The education system should strategize to avert the fear psychosis in students in respect to any examination. The examination is not the end of the road. Instead, it is an opportunity of knowing the individual’s capabilities even through failure and move on to the other possible avenues for a successful life. Holistic improvement in the quality of primary education and secondary education holds the key to keep students away from any distress.Read more
Private higher education may have gained traction in the country since the mid-nineties, but it is as old as the history of modern higher education itself. ‘Private tendencies’ have also been penetrating deep into the ‘public higher education’. The situation urgently calls for minimally invasive ways and means of ensuring affordable access to quality higher education for all segments of the societyRead more
Higher education can, indeed, be censured for expanding rather too rapidly, but it was in response to the call of the industry and to alley their apprehension that the country shall not have enough graduates to match their requirements to sustain their growth momentum. If the jobs are still not in the offing for the graduates, it is because enough jobs are not being created to match the growth in higher education.Read more
Quality of higher education in India seems to be inversely proportional to the intensity of regulation. Does empirical data support this proposition?
It is not only the newly-launched NIRF but also the time-tested NAAC grades which amply prove that stringent regulatory regimes have not necessarily promoted excellence in higher education. Relaxing the regulatory environment seems imminent for promoting excellence in higher education.
The increasing costs of education have presented us with a pressing question: Is quality education still a tool to reduce disparity, or has it transformed into a luxury deepening the already-existing divide in our society? Any deprivation emanating from the constantly increasing cost of education at any level in the public sector and private sector institutions may create a deepening divide in terms of knowledge, skills, competence, and capabilities. Large number of students dropping out of the formal education system due to extreme and stingy frugality may turn into imperious problems in sustaining social harmony. NEP 2020 has come as a blessing in disguise with the decree of universalization of education while ensuring access, equity, quality, affordability, and accountability.Read more
On the commemoration of the first anniversary of NEP 2020, it will be prudent on the part of the regulators to revisit the progress made in the on-ground implementation of provisions of NEP 2020 and reschedule the milestones laid in it, else the disorderliness created through it may disarray the existing education system as well. The predominant disruptions caused by the pandemic and the pragmatic view on the desired transformations ought to be taken into consideration before a realizable road map is relaid.Read more
The disasters happening around the world, especially in India, make it imperative to question ourselves on the importance of disaster management for the preparation of future generations of the country in having better and safer livelihoods. So, how can we incorporate disaster management for preparing people in schools?Read more
It has been a year since the NEP 2020 was announced and shall be due for the anniversary celebration on 29th July 2021. All policies must undergo the stages of formulation, notification, anatomization, modification, implementation, and, in between, celebration. It is now high time that the details are worked out and implementation strategies announced.Read more
Accolades to University Grants Commission (UGC) for out of the box thinking in allowing the higher education institutions (HEIs) to teach up to 40% syllabus of each course (other than SWAYAM courses) through online mode and remaining 60% of the syllabus in the offline mode along with their examinations in the respective mode.
Holistic and collective brainstorming across the HEIs is required before exercising the major shift from the conventional face-to-face teaching approach lest blended learning may have limited cosmetic value.
A study on the school dropout of tribal children in Chhatisgarh , exploring social and administrative challenges from the grassroots lens to understand its repercussions on the dropout of scheduled tribe children across government schools in Dharamjaigarh block of Raigarh district in Chhattisgarh.Read more
How did the Students Cope with the Disruptions in Learning and Life Around Them?
It has been more than a year since campuses were compelled by the COVID-19 pandemic to close their doors to their students and resort to remote teaching. Since few universities and even fewer colleges had a Learning Management System (LMS) in vogue, choices of the tool, technology, medium, and platform were largely left to the teachers to manage to the best of their abilities. The result was a wide variety of ways in which the teaching-learning processes were carried on. Students, though more tech-savvy and better equipped to guide the transition, hardly had a say in the matter and they remained largely at the receiving end. Not only did their chosen and settled ways of learning get disrupted, their lives and the lives of people around them too got tossed into the turbulence
The regulators of education for all levels should inevitably ponder upon the concerned stakeholders and palliate the damage incurred to the younger generation of the country which is blessed with a 37-year advantage of demographic dividend. The opportunity loss on account of youth remaining disengaged from their pursuits of getting educated well warrants strategizing for immediate correction.
Let’s deliberate and discuss extensively to create a well-laid framework based on the holistic considerations for negotiating the past, present, and future disruptions in the education system lest it is late again.Read more
Alas, the colonial mindset of subjecting their subjects to the supervision and control of their masters has only deepened, as far as the education, examination, and evaluation systems are concerned. Isn’t it desirable or isn’t it the time to reform these terminal examinations to the teacher-based and school-supervised comprehensive continuous internal assessment – an idea that has been in discussion for decades?
The pandemic situation has been quite frightening this time. This indeed limits the choices to a compromised solution – a truncated examination, sufficiently delayed to allay the imminent threat of the pandemic. Whatever is decided by or for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), most state boards are likely to follow the suit.Read more
The battle against COVID-19 is the battle of the entire human society. We have already wasted enough time understanding the meaning of “disruption in schooling” and how it matters to children and society. Building up resilience to address contextual issues is the need of the hour. Else, the schools may experience the abandoned look of winter just like the garden of “Selfish Giant”, even in the next spring!
The pandemic is a wake-up call for us to plan for better planning for our schools, and the future of our country.Read more
Mathematics Physics Chemistry Biology are as important and necessary as ever says All India Council for Technical Education, New Delhi.Read more
Technological transformation in higher education could enhance the quality, but may not replace the brick and mortar universities.Read more
The regulators are perhaps perturbed at the decline in admissions and to boost the admissions, a radical decision to make engineering open to all irrespective of the prior knowledge of science and mathematics at senior secondary levels has been taken. Engineering without Science and Mathematics will be a disaster for India and is not the way to save technical education nor is good for the future.Read more
Loosing sheen of Gurus is due to instances when teachers have crossed the threshold of decency and mistreated their disciples.Read more
The shortage of institutions and good quality teachers & teaching supporting staff are concerning key enablers of higher education in India.Read more
Outsourcing teachers in higher education may ease out HEIs from administrative hassles of recruiting teachers but is disgraceful.Read more
2020: A year of shambolic education is burdening learners to make up the learning deficiencies, forced upon them due to lockdown, on their own.Read more
The move for imparting engineering education in the regional language needs to be pondered holistically with the sole aim of enhancing the competence and capabilities of engineering graduates and postgraduates.Read more
It is an opportune time to act fast and work out the suitable strategies for opening the education sector completely while adhering to stringent guidelines to prevent the spread of the pandemic.Read more
The otherwise distinct work and life domains now appear to have smudged boundaries. Consequently, digital learning environments have thrown a challenge of work-life balance to the teachers. Teachers, being the sculptors of future generations, should take necessary precautions and strike a healthy work-life balance alongwith inculcating a similar sense in students through their actions.Read more
Apart from exchanging pleasantries on the Teacher’s Day, it is an occasion for introspection into present state of teachers. The teachers possess the crucial responsibilities of nurturing the society. They should be treated well for the betterment of humanity and civilization.Read more
There should be no education up to 5 years. The child must play sports, do yoga and other physical exercises up to this age.Read more
Comparing Teachers of Government and Private Primary Schools is relevant due to their varying performance outcomes. We may have come a long way in terms of accessibility, but there is still much more left to achieve in terms of the quality of education being delivered across schools throughout the country.Read more
The prevailing practice of online teaching for kids due to disruptions caused by COVID, need to be introspected from their perspective. The passive nature of the interaction, which happens in online classes, would hardly make children feel engaged in the learning process.Read more
The changes proposed by the government through NEP are being acclaimed. But the more important question is its implementation. Only time will tell whether we took the right decisions at the right moment.Read more
For efficient good governance of higher education institutes, the selection of candidates to the top positions of the institution is a great challenge.Read more
NEP calls for honest, hardworking, and humane teachers who are respected, retained, and recruited with morality, credibility, and accountability.Read more
How can one accept that the deleted portions have lost vitality for this batch while it was pertinent for the previous batch of students? With reduced syllabus, the learning levels of the students in class IX-XII during COVID will be slightly deficient as compared to others.Read more
It dates back to a century earlier when some examiner commented on the academic performance of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, that the examinee is better than the examiner. A more or less similar situation is evinced again in the results through 100 % marks obtained in the recent results announced by the examining boards at the secondary level. However, the award of cent percent marks is seen for the last few years. It is not to cast aspersions on the individual children scoring cent percent marks, but the scenario of examinees scoring full marks requires introspection. The moot point is “Does cent percent marks evince cent percent learning?”
The marks obtained should always allude to the scope of further improvement by the students.Read more
The outbreak of COVID-19 has brought miseries to humanity across the world. Like every affected country, India also undertook measures to contain the spread of the pandemic. The lockdown was enforced in the country to terminate the chain of contagion, but it had certain consequences. The economic activities became standstill for quite a long period. Among various happenings, the most concerning was the psychological impact and absence of work that drove the majority of the workforce back to their native places. With the increasing unemployment and reduced earnings, ensuring education in the post-pandemic era will be a big challenge.Read more
“Inclusive, good-quality education is a foundation for dynamic and equitable societies.” – Desmond Tutu
Very few higher education institutions (HEIs) of India, like the IITs, IISc and few other good Indian universities, find a place in the world rankings. The education processes got disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic since the last week of March this year. So, it has become important to maintain the standards of excellence in education as we ‘Unlock’ as per the COVID-19 Recovery Plan.
The uncertainty in the decision-making process at the end of the institutions has been due to lockdowns. As a result, academic governance has been unable to comprehend a congenial contingency plan. Owing to it, the higher education regulators of the country have come out with broader outlines to handle this disruption. The disruption embedded with uncertainty raises concerns with the proposed guidelines too.
The class passing out in 2020 has a monumental challenge to rebuild the national and global economies and respond with courage, conviction and firm resolve.Read more
“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” The higher education system of India has major dependence upon the final examinations. This has been there despite the continuous evaluation system being in place for most of the programs. The cumulative performance of students in the prescribed evaluation framework leads to the award of degree with grade/marks/division. Therefore, it is important to introspect the prevailing examination system and envisage reforms to promote deeper learning.Read more
COVID-19 has made it a usual practice to see the statistics about the number of infections, successful treatments, and theRead more
It has been many months since the COVID 19 broke out in November 2019 and has gradually spread in almostRead more