BANGALORE: Former vice chancellor of University of Agricultural Sciences Prof S Bisalaiah warned of dire consequences, if India’s higher education system did not adapt to changes.
Delivering a lecture on ‘Higher Education at Crossroads- Concerns and Needed Reforms’ organised by Samvaada Trust on Sunday, Prof Bisalaiah stressed the need to review curriculum, teaching- learning, recruitment and reward systems and university-industry linkages, which according to him were the search areas for higher education.
“It is sad that we do not have a vision map for higher education.
We do not know where it is going. It is an island of excellence, but a sea of substandard higher education institutions,” said Prof Bisalaiah, adding that ‘micro success stories were obscuring macro realities.’
The former VC and economist said that India’s higher education system needed introspection. “If IISc does not figure in the list of the world’s top 200 institutions, then where are we heading? We must move from teaching towards learning.
Right now, we are treating students like animals, by dictating terms.This is bad for the country in the long run,” he said. He called for changes in reward systems for faculty members
“Our reward system is based on experience alone and less on quality.
A teacher can become a professor in 15 years, without considering if that person is qualitatively good.”
He said universities here were suffering from intellectual stagnation due to academic inbreeding.
Prof Bisalaiah, while stating that he was against privatisation of education, welcomed foreign universities to start branches in India.
“Why are we not thinking of globalising higher education? Let foreign universities come here.
When we are okay with having imported cars, what is wrong with getting imported education?” he said.