Race for Ranking & Racket of Capitation Fee
Our institution is number one, why have you shown it behind others?’ ‘We have largest number of students… also see our top class infrastructure!’ ‘We are leading institution of the country, why do you rank us at state level?’ ‘…Why have you put us on second/third rank, the particular organisation has ranked us number one this year?’ While studying the institutions for the purpose of ranking this year, we encountered many such questions in various institutions. When our field teams visited the campuses of different Colleges/Universities or institutions during the last 4-5 months, the people belonging to management also tried to allure us through various means. Some went on claiming that they have purchased all the Awards for this year. Some expressed their frustration saying at the survey forms were just a formality, it is a racket.
This all show the state of higher education in India after commercialisation. Many institutions are at the verge of closer, but they manage the award for “fastest growing institution of the state’ to fool the students and their parents. Their objective is only making money. Such private institutions play this game in the name of autonomy. The situation in dental and medical institutions has deteriorated to the extent that only those students who pay donation are granted admissions and others, even if they are more eligible and talented, are denied. Some private institutions, in the name of autonomy, have not only started courses at their whims and fancies, but also have hugely relaxed the admission norms to gather more students. Around 80 per cent private Management and Engineering colleges are facing closer, because the rest 20 per cent are set to swallow them. These small or medium institutions are not in a position to arrange funds to compete with big fishes. Taking advantage of this situation, some big Engineering colleges and Management institutes have been converted into private universities, making admissions more costly.
The higher education in India, especially in the private sector, has reached into the transitional period. After investment of lakhs of crores it is now the game of big players. Big investments, corporate culture, controlling pulse of the market, more courses to trap more students, converting black money into white and extensive publicity are the common features today. But the question is whether the right options are available to students in such glittering atmosphere? This is the big question which nags the mind of not only educationists but also the policy makers. Very few institutions in the country, mostly the government funded, find place in the top 500 best educational institutions of the world. If we talk about private institutions, they are far behind the government institutions when it comes to impart quality education.
We could find hardly two-three dozen institutions all over the country, which can be said competing with the government institutions. But majority of such institutions are run by big corporate houses. They are able to perform well because of the high class faculty they have hired. On the other hand it is difficult to find quality teachers in majority private institutions. They have hired mostly the people who are retired from government services.
We feel the Indian higher education has become a game in which market decides everything and national or social interest has no value. The point which needs to be taken seriously is that if having hospital is compulsory with the private dental and medical colleges, why imparting practical knowledge is not mandatory for private engineering and management institutions. If every educational institution is linked with any of the industry, the quality of both the institution and the passed out students will improve substantially. Similarly, if the humanities courses are linked with the government departments and social organisations, the students will be able to understand the real picture of those fields. It can also prove to be an effective way of implementing government schemes more transparently and perfectly. Even after investing lakhs and crores of rupees, the private institutions have nothing to show in the name of research.
Their faculty members do not have any notable book to their credit. They are not well versed in instrument handling, communication, language, methodology, etc. It lacks the Indian vision, concept, philosophy, culture and requirements. Instead of moulding the technology and science according to the needs of Indian society, we are moulding the society according to the technology and science. It is both painful and anti-social. In this game, the social money is being misused against the society itself.
Contrary to it, when we look at the higher education system in Japan, China, US or European countries, we find, among them, a race for gradual change, continuous research, social vision and originality of work. But our institutions are found nowhere in this race. They mostly run after the more number of students. Their objective is to ensure maximum admissions collecting huge donation so that they can establish more institutions. The Indian higher education institutions are basically trapped in this vicious circle. The energy they waste in designing new courses is not used for establishing industry for them.
The biggest challenge before them is to develop research aptitude and produce anything original. Apart from it they will also have to connect themselves, their students, teachers and workers with the society and the nation. They will also have to ensure that the students work in the fields in which they have availed the degree.
Fact is that the private educational institutions all over the country leg far behind on the front of imparting quality education. Our rating or grading is just part of an encouragement process. Fact is that the names that have emerged in our ranking have just achieved the passing marks. None can be said excellent. They have to work and learn more before wishing to be ranked first or second. They must keep in mind that money is not everything. Nothing can be above the nation and the society. However, it is different that some parents falsely try to satisfy their ego on money power. Nothing more than that.
At last, two Indian institutes among
WORLD’S TOP 200
After a long wait finally two Indian institutes have found place in the top 200 list of world’s best universities. The Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, has taken the top spot among its Indian counterparts, bagging the 147th rank. The only other Indian institute to make it to the top 200 is Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, ranked 179th this year. It has made great progress from last year when it was ranked 235th in the world.
According to the QS World University Rankings 2015, there are 14 Indian institutions in the World University Rankings and half of them are among the global 400. The bad news is that the University of Delhi and the University of Mumbai have lost ground. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the world’s top university, closely followed by Harvard.
The University of Cambridge is tied to Stanford University for the third place. London is the only city in the world with four universities in the top 50, more than Boston and New York (3) Paris, Sydney, Hong Kong and Beijing
(2) with the London School of Economics and Political Science making the top 40 for the first time.
Ben Sowter, QS head of research said, “India has two institutions in the top 200 this year, which has occurred as a result of QS evolving its methodology to be more even-handed across subject areas and it has revealed strength in research in engineering, technology and the natural sciences. If you want to compare India and China, the primary shortfalls are money and consistent policy leadership.” Thirty four countries are represented in the top 200.
The US is the dominant nation, with 49 institutions, ahead of the UK (30), the Netherlands (12), Germany (11), Canada, Australia, and Japan (8), China (7), France, Sweden and Hong Kong (5).
Sowter adds “If, however, India and her universities are serious about competing internationally, then they have to start engaging internationally. How does it make sense for Xi’an Jiaotong University to have higher proportions of international students and faculty than IIT Delhi? The only answer is the quality and quantity of local demand. A typical international student who might want to go to an IIT probably can’t meet the entry standards – and if they can, then they’re going to MIT or Imperial,” Sowter said.
Sopwter also says that “India’s universities have clear strengths in technology and natural sciences, and with the historic emphasis on medical research now neutralized, are reflected in their rightful place in this year’s tables. On a cautionary note, however, it’s important to highlight that the trend in a number of key measures remains downward, so to retain and improve upon this year’s results, the Indian Higher Education establishment must not be complacent, and must continue to drive for greater international recognition.”