Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Kaushik Basu on higher ed in India

In this ToI op-ed:

There are many things that will need to be done, but here are a few pointed suggestions. First, we have to facilitate the setting up of private universities and collaborative efforts between Indian and foreign universities.

Of course, these universities even the top ones will come mainly to use their franchise and make money. But that is fine. Life is not a zero-sum game; there can be benefits for both sides.

Second, we have to permit top researchers to hold joint appointments, like doing one semester in India and one abroad. Israel has built up a world-class university system despite paying low salaries since many of its professors earn their 'annual income' during the one semester they teach in the US.

Third, we have to reconcile that the system of 'star salaries' whereby a few star professors in every field are allowed to command salaries which are several folds above the average is inevitable. I do not recommend this with glee.