Prez says Higher Education in India needs new direction

SHILLONG: – Darn it, professors, pull up your socks, or  get new ones! Present day higher education in India needs an urgent overhaul, it’s not turning out any Nobel prize laureates.

No Indian scholar doing research in an Indian University has bagged a Nobel Prize in the past 80 years, lamented President Pranab Mukherjee while stating that the higher education sector needs an urgent overhaul in the country.

CV Raman won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930 while doing research in the Calcutta University, for his discovery that light travelling through transparent materials deflect some light having different wavelengths. This phenomenon is called the Raman Scattering as a result of ‘Raman Effect’.

After Raman, there have been four Indian scholars – Har Govind Khorana (Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, 1968), Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar, nephew of CV Raman (Physics, 1983), Amartya Sen (Economics, 1998) and Venkatarman Ramakrishnan (Chemistry, 2009). However, all these scholars were doing their research work in foreign Universities when they bagged their Nobel Prizes. Mukherjee drew the attention of scholars, academicians at the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) in this regard, and wondered as to how Indian scholars could do reasonably well when they worked under some foreign universities.

“The delivery of higher education in India cannot be allowed to continue in a routine fashion any longer. There has to be an elevated level of urgency amongst the administrators and academicians to introduce innovative changes in the institutions. Core problems have to be addressed expeditiously,” the President said while addressing the 21st Convocation of the North Eastern Hill University here.

The President said that scholars such as Khorana, Sen and others did complete their higher education in India and thereafter moved abroad, which suggest that facilities available in Indian universities for critical research are not adequate. This needs immediate improvement, he said.

Expressing regret, Mukherjee said that India has a rich history of higher education and it was the seat of learning for about 1,500 years from 300 BC to the end of 1200 AD, when scholars from all around the world came to the universities like Taxila (said to be the world’s first university), Nalanda, Jagaddala, Odantapuri, Varanasi and others. “These universities competed with each other for academic excellence and this attracted Chinese, Greek, Persian scholars and others from around the globe,” he said.

The President said that if the Indian universities were to make it to the top-200 of world universities, then emphasis must be laid on infrastructure development, improvement in research work and syllabus, and better coordination among different departments within the country.

Altogether 8,364 students received their degrees in various branches. The President urged them to contribute towards developing the university and the country with their knowledge and learning.

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Posted by on October 23, 2013. Filed under Meghalaya,NORTH EAST. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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