AICTE chief urges focus on higher education enrollment to meet national goals

Higher Education Minister MC Sudhakar said that the government is working towards providing relevant and inclusive education to empower young individuals.
AICTE headquarters
AICTE headquartersPhoto | Express

BENGALURU: Despite a large number of students enrolling for school education, it does not translate into Higher Educational Institutes (HEIs) in the country. This is a worrisome trend, said the Chairman of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), TG Sitharaman at the convocation of Bengaluru City University (BCU) on Saturday.

“We have more than 25 crore students in schools, but unfortunately, when it comes to higher education, why only 28.3 per cent of the students enroll for higher education? Any developed country needs to have more than 85 per cent of its students enrolling themselves to HEIs, and complete their education. This is a challenge, but the government plans to have at least 50 per cent of the Gross Enrollment Ratio in colleges by 2035,” Sitharaman said.

He explained that with only 1,100 universities and 45,000 colleges, the ministry can serve only about 4.3 crore students. “We need to double the educational network and infrastructure in the country in the years to come,” he said and added that digital technologies need to be leveraged.

In the era of technological disruption, there is a need for students to focus on critical thinking and constant upskilling, he explained.

“Artificial Intelligence and Generative AI are transforming various aspects of our lives. This has raised questions about job security, but we must embrace them and adapt, for sustainable growth,” Sitharaman said.

Higher Education Minister MC Sudhakar said that the government is working towards providing relevant and inclusive education to empower young individuals. “The government is also aware of the large number of vacant seats for teaching and non-teaching staff. Action will be taken to recruit experienced staff in the universities,” he said and encouraged students to combine knowledge with their skills for employment.

Karnataka Governor Thawarchand Gehlot who was at the convention, noted that it is a matter of pride that most gold medalists were female students. A total of 6,424 postgraduate students and 29,484 undergraduate students received their degrees – out of which, 56.41% were female students. 44 gold medals and 35 rank-holder certificates were awarded to PG students, and 9 gold medals and 28 rank certificates were awarded to UG students.

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