Sunday, June 12, 2005

Business of education


Today's Economic Times has a whole bunch of articles and reports about education. Here are a few worth checking out:

R. Satyanarayanan presents Six reasons why India will be an education super power.

The school of moneymaking is everyone’s favourite. This article is really about the business of education in medicine and engineering; it actually talks about demand and supply, cost of setting up a college, and the expected rate of return! I am sure it will be of some use to us in our ongoing discussion about real universities. Here are three related stories.

Arnav Pandya has an article about educational loans.

Urmi Goswami talks about out-dated syllabi used in many of our universities, and about how the government comes in the way of institutions' efforts to raise financial resources from their alumni and other donors.

There are also articles about university towns and gender issues.

Finally, check out this profile of Ramesh Venkateswaran, and IIT-IIM product who chose to become a school teacher.

Update (13 June 2005) : Vishnu has already commented about too many links; however, there were a few more that I missed.

Clearly, there is a wealth of information in these articles and reports, and I do realize all this is a bit of an overload. The reason I have put these links together in this post is to have quick access to them later. Indiatimes website sucks!

So, here are the ones that I missed yesterday:

Pothik Ghosh covers many things, including CSIR University, state of research and funding of research in this article.

Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman of Narayana Hrudayalaya in Bangalore, has an article about the resurgence of specialty medicine and surgery in India. He recounts some of the unique capabilities that are being built, which will make India a strong force in this area.

Ishani Duttagupta has a report about how IITs are sprucing up their R&D efforts. Arun Iyer has a report about IISc's various initiatives to stay ahead, including its efforts in the area of industry-academia initiatives.

Finally, we have Arun Nigavekar, Chairman of UGC, giving his views on the state of Indian higher ed.

3 Comments:

  1. Vishnu said...

    Prof. Abi, that was lot of information! And I liked your post on Real Universities.

    The first article says that "...India emerging as the hub for global training and education over the next 10 years." I have serious doubts about that. To be an educational hub, factors other than education need to be taken into account. And there are many deterring ones. Education is vlaued because it is difficult to find a good career without it (though not impossible). Hope we'll have more politicians like Ravindra Reddy! It's nice to have a President with an inclination towards science, but as many people noted, he becomes too scientific at times. To him, Tsunami prevention and AIDS are more of research problems.

    We sure are not doing bad with technological education. However, I fear that other subjects like music, languages and art will suffer because of this.

    On your post on Real Universities (RUs), I agree that IITs are not RUs. However, over my five-year stay at one of the IITs, I felt more emphasis on postgraduate education and research (of course, to the dismay of most of the UGs!), which is definitely a step in the right direction. We do have all these IITs and ISIs and TIFRs and TISS and MRIs and IIMs and all those, and that I believe is a problem. We should have more universities (without affiliate colleges, as you mentioned) that have programmes in most of the disciplines.

  2. Sunil said...

    Abhi.....some very good links.......
    But I agree almost exactly with Vishnu.

    One more reason why I don't think India can become a global educational hub is something I had just posted on, rampant plagarism even at the lowest level.

    And drawing back to your earlier post....we don't really have substantial, comprehensive universities in the country.

  3. Abi said...

    Vishnu, I posted these links here so that I will have easy access to them later. As I said in the update, the Indiatimes website truly sucks! Finding things there is a nightmare ...

    My views on the need for "real universities" remain valid. We should move towards a system in which the cost of higher education is paid for by those who consume it; at the least, those who can afford to pay for it must be made to pay for it. If the government wants to subsidize it for some sections of students, it should do so by directly giving the students that money; in our current system, the money goes to the institutions -- this makes the institutions dependent on government money, which comes with srings attached. One of the silly consequences is that the government does not want to lose control of even those institutions -- such as IITs and IIMs -- that can enjoy an existence independent of government dole. One of Urmi Goswami's articles is precisely about this problem.

    Sunil, I agree that plagiarism is an issue at lower levels; but we also have so many people who do excellent work. Since their proportion in society is small, they can at best be described only as a nucleus. But we must do everything to expand this base of competent and confident people to take us forward. I believe creation of real universities would be a step in that direction.