Friday, November 21, 2008

Higher Ed trial balloons

Two such trial balloons have been floated, and both involve statements by Prof. Yash Pal who heads the MHRD's Committee for Rejuvenation of Higher Education.

Balloon 1: Soon, IITs may be turning out doctors too (a ToI report by Hemali Chhapia):

The IITs may be currently stretched to the limit, but the XIth five-year committee for higher education is working with these centres of excellence to expand their charts. The committee, headed by educationist Yash Pal, that is meeting IIT heads on Friday will discuss how the tech schools can change their character and, like American universities, enlarge their menu.

"Currently, the IITs are premier undergraduate engineering schools doing some postgraduation and research work. Now, we want to give them a bigger role," Yash Pal told TOI. The noted scientist said that he had discussed his suggestions with some IIT directors and that a clearer picture would emerge after this week's meeting.

Balloon 2: Panel on varsity functioning may focus on regulation instead (a MInt report by Pallavi Singh):

A panel set up by the government to review the functioning of the two top regulators of the country’s education sector, which have come under widespread criticism for their restrictive policies and sometimes opaque functioning, may actually not look at the details of how these two entities function and instead suggest ways in which universities can regulate themselves, according to its chairman. [...]

Yash Pal said the panel was looking into larger issues of curriculum changes and academic structures at universities than involving itself with the “nitty-gritty of the functioning of the UGC-AICTE”.

“I would like to give the universities a self-regulatory regime. If we can make the universities autonomous and evolve a process of internal management, they will be largely free from any unnecessary regulation. Freedom means that kind of a freedom,” he said.