These days BA, BCom degrees have become useless because graduates are applying for sweeper and peon posts as there is no value added to the degrees. Universities are not upgrading their curriculum and so most degrees are not valuable now. We have to focus on adding value and quality to the degrees and make students more employable and that is what our government is focussing on.
When you look at the topmost universities in the world — Harvard, Cambridge, Stanford... they have become great because they have had the freedom to grow. But our colleges are nowhere because we have never given them the freedom to grow. We are doing it now. All these years, the UGC did not grant proper autonomy but we have decided that only giving complete autonomy will allow them full freedom to innovate and develop and find their place among the top 100 in the world.
That is why some colleges will be chosen to go completely autonomous and independent of the UGC and will not need them except for awarding certificates. We are already getting a lot of applications for autonomy and we’re opening a small window, in the next 8-10 days, to encourage more colleges to have an action plan to become world-class universities in the next 10 years. Colleges that have got more than 3.26 in the NAAC ranking will get complete freedom from government and UGC. It’s a first-time initiative. We will also look to make many more universities, many of which are doing good research work, centres of excellence. Why should it only be restricted to the IITs and such colleges?
(Prakash Javadekar is Union HRD Minister)