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E 01 | ISSUE 11
F O R L E A D E R S I N H I G H E R E D U C A T I O N
VOLUME 01 ISSUE 11 150A 9.9 MEDIA PUBLICATION
TICK TOCK2020?India’s race against time— Can we realise a GERof 30% by 2020?
Vice Chancellor, Central
tion CouncilD. PURANDESWARI
Minister of State, H
VIBHA PURI DAS
dian Centre for
Research and Development
for Community Education,
Vice Chancellor, Lovely
Vice Chancellor, Ambedkar
Former Vice Chancellor,
y N.K. SINGH
Member of Rajya Sabha and
on the board of Nalanda
Eyes on the clockOn keeping up and getting ahead in the enrolment race
Former CEO, EdCIL
Vice Chancellor, Sharda
Vice Chancellor, Ambedkar
Senior Vice President, D
tributed Learning, M
ypee Institute of
ta Institute of
Social Sciences, M
Chancellor, Amity U
sity, Uttar Pradesh
Eyes on the clockOn keeping up and getting ahead in the enrolment race
1September 2010 EDU TECH
From The Horse’s Mouth
School’s over. Now, for the bigger step–college. How do we ensure that one in every three Indian youth receives admission into an accessible, affordable and high-quality higher education institution? Welcome to Spotlight! Our maiden annual issue.
Starting this September, every year, EDU will pick one relevant topic that we believe affects the Indian higher education sector, deeply. And, we will ask you—leaders, experts and policy-makers (in short, our readers)—to give your views on how you see the future evolving. For the 2010 edition, we are focusing upon the gross enrolment ratio (GER) goal in the Indian higher education sector. Our HRD minister, Kapil Sibal, wishes to achieve 30 percent GER by 2020. We at EDU see six main drivers behind the goal; determining its success. We took each of the drivers—infrastructure, funding, accessibility, quality, faculty and technology—and asked a cross-section of experts to comment on each. We also decided to give our writers a holiday and asked the experts to write for us directly. Thus, in this issue, from Sam Pitroda to Father Xavier Alphonse and D. Purandeswari to Vibha Puri Das–we have an impressive array of views, directly from the horse’s mouth.
The personal high-point, while putting this issue together, was the chance to interview Sreemati Daggubati Purandeswari, the 51-year-old mother of two, and daughter of late Dr NT Rama Rao, who in her second-consecutive term as an MP is serving as the minister of state for HRD (higher education). I was as struck by her grasp of issues and by her eloquence, as much as I was struck with her courtesy and humility. It’s inspiring to witness politicians of her calibre leading the country. Purandeswari was spot on when she highlighted upon the shortage of faculty as India’s biggest challenge. On a personal note, I agree that this is the biggest challenge before the higher education sector today. We are groping in the dark, but, at least everyone understands the severity of the problem. There is no silver bullet to solve this—we just have to keep at it and try as many different avenues as possible; just as Sreemati Purandeswari asserted.
Enjoy the Spotlight issue, another first in our short history, and let us know what you thought of it!
Dr Pramath Raj [email protected]
“I PERSONALLY AGREE THAT SHORTAGE OF FACULTY IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE”
4 Edu TEch December 2009
14INTRODUCTIONSAM PITRODA D. PURANDESWARI VIBHA PURI DAS
20FACULTYR.P. SINGHSHASHI GULHATI LOKESH MEHRA 26ACCESS FATHER XAVIER ALPHONSESHYAM MENON A.M. THIMMIYA MARC-ALEXIS REMOND
34QUALITYS. PARASURAMANABHIJEET MUKHERJEESAMIK ROY ABHILESH GULERIA
GER AT A GLANCE
60STUDENTSTO A CLASSWILL NEEDTO ESTABLISH
LABS WHICHWILL BE USED
ONLY FOR THREE HOURS
A WEEK (THAT TOO IN ALTERNATESEMESTERS) ON THE OTHER HAND,THIS LAB COULD SERVE 10 SECTIONS EASILY
16 “Strengthening the school system
is the biggest challenge”
D. PURANDESWARIMINISTER OF STATE
HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
Feel the community vibe regarding Kapil Sibal’s dream to reach 30 percent GER by 2020 PAGE 13
2 EDU TECH September2010
42FUNDING DEEPAK PENTAL N.K. SINGH DHIRAJ MATHURRAHUL BEDI50INFRASTRUCTUREVIJAY GUPTASURABHI BANNERJEEASHOK RANCHHODPRATIMA AMONKAR
58TECHNOLOGY ATUL CHAUHANMOHAMMED NASEEM FARUQUI UDAY SALUNKHE VINAY AWASTHI RAMACHANDRAN VISWANATHAN
64LEGACYMAULANA ABUL KALAM AZAD The Emperor Of Learning
MANAGING DIRECTOR: Dr. Pramath Raj SinhaPUBLISHING DIRECTOR: Vikas GuptaGROUP EDITOR: R GiridharCONSULTING EDITOR: Aman SinghASSISTANT EDITOR: Smita PoliteEDITORIAL ADVISOR: Dr RK SuriINTERNATIONAL CONTRIBUTOR: Vinita BelaniASSISTANT FEATURES EDITOR: Rohini BanerjeeSUB-EDITOR: Urvee Modwel
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E 01 | ISSUE 11
F O R L E A D E R S I N H I G H E R E D U C A T I O N
VOLUME 01 ISSUE 11 150A 9.9 MEDIA PUBLICATION
TICK TOCK2020?India’s race against time- Can we realise a GER of 30% by 2020?
Cover Art:DESIGN: ANOOP PCILLUSTRATION: ANOOP PC
Please recycle this magazine and remove inserts before recycling
UPDATES 07 INNOVATION RANKING08 CONVENTION REFORMS09 GUIDELINES RAID
3September2010 EDU TECH
4 EDUTECH September 2010
D - L INK ADVE R TO R IAL
Why IP surveillance?
costly. Monitoring staff often lose focus and miss details after only 20 minutes of screen viewing. The process is boring, especially when personnel must take care of multiple monitors. Tape storage and physical back-up procedures can be costly, as well. Hence, deployment of technology to take preventive measures is essential as it can help provide innovative ways to protect those on campus. With the right systems in place,
The problems that concern education institutes today are quite a few. First,
teachers, students, visitors and parents all have an interest in safety and security measures. All higher education institutes nowadays want to deter ragging, violence, drug peddling and other criminal activities. Secondly, the institutes need to prevent incidents and have enough information to take corrective actions. Institutions also need to capture evidence in order to successfully prosecute criminals and sort out incidents. For this, traditional analogue surveillance not good enough, as in-person camera monitoring and live feeds are time-consuming and
incidents of harassment, threats, actual violence and theft decline significantly. Visible cameras on campus deter criminal activity.
Customer requirementsA little away from the central business district (CBD) area of Mumbai, IIT Powai is a small township in itself. Most facilities are available on campus, including bank, shopping centre, two schools and a well-equipped hospital. All students
and most faculty live on campus --- either at student hostels or IIT staff quarters. The need was to ensure safety of the entire campus, including classrooms, administrative buildings, hostel and staff quarters and surveillance at all the entry and exit gates. Along with this, IIT Powai wanted to cover the entire campus, including the new infrastructure. Since a number of visitors, including VIPs, enter the campus everyday, it wanted
D - L INK ADVE R TO R IAL
sizes, making it more useful for extended recording periods or for use in low bandwidth networks.
The camera has a BNC connector for video transmission to a standard video security monitor or CCTV video server. It also includes digital ports (2 input and 1 output) allowing connectivity to external devices such as IR sensors, switches, and alarm relays.
The cameras lso comes with an RS-485 interface, providing connectivity to an optional pan/tilt enclosure, which effectively adds pan/tilt functionality to the cameras.
The camera support 3GPP Mobile Video Support, the live video feed from the camera can be transferred over a 3G cellular network and displayed on a compatible mobile phone or PDA with a 3G video player. This feature offers users a flexible and convenient way to remotely monitor their home or office in real time, from anywhere within the 3GPP service area. . The cameras also comes with a built-in Samba client for NAS so there is no need for a direct connection to a PC or any other hardware or software to capture and transfer images. Equipped with 802.3af PoE support, the camera can receive both power and data over a single Ethernet cable, enabling one to place this camera in locations without a power outlet.
Simultaneously, D-Link India deployed IP Camera that provide cost-effective solutions for the diversity of application. It has a CS mount lens for cost-effective application. The Vari-focal lens are for easy installation and IR correction.
In the last phase, D-Link India deployed the Camera Outdoor Enclosure. The Camera Outdoor Enclosure for cameras provides a cost-effective solution for
protecting D-Link Cameras from the rigors of outdoor use. The fixed-type enclosures include heavy duty, angle-adjustable mounting bracket that can be used to secure the camera on a vertical or horizontal surface. The enclosures feature IP44 certification for protection against splashing water. This model includes a heater and blower for camera operation in a wider range of temperature-sensitive environments. The built-in power supply simplifies the installation procedure.
Included with the Camera D-Link offers a bundled Management & Camera surveillance software that makes it a comprehensive surveillance system designed to centrally manage multiple IP cameras from a single location offering digital monitoring and recording capabilities of video, audio, and events for various security applications.
This software provides users with a wide array of features for added convenience, including video recording and playback, Video mode, Map mode, Wizard mode, Expert mode, Event Action, and more, offering users powerful surveillance software that’s easy to use.
The convenience of camera management enables one to manage up to 32 network cameras, set e-mail alert notifications, set recording schedules, and trigger motion detection to record directly to the hard drive.
Benefits:IIT is quite satisfied with the IP Surveillance solutions deployed by D-Link India. In a nutshell, the project has come as a boon to the people associated with the institute.
Reasons for winning the dealD-Link India had to compete with several other companies operating in the sector not only to successfully bid for the high-quality project but also had to implement in such a way that IIT Powai could depend on it without compromising cost and efforts. In a nutshell, D-Link India used superior technology than the rest. The selected model is a unique product that fits requirements of such a campus. A centralized management with D-View ensured a complete platform for the solution components, proving that D-Link India has an excellent relationship with an existing customer.
“We floated tender for the project and zeroed in on D-Link India, as they complied all our requirement both in terms of technical specifications and budgets.”
to develop a foolproof system to capture vehicle movements entering the IIT premises. Finally, the institute wanted to upgrade the earlier infrastructure of surveillance, which was also installed by D-Link India.
Solution:After a series of presentation made by D-Link to authorities of IIT Powai and through open bidding process, D-Link India was selected to counter care of the above challenges and make the institute a safe campus. Professor Abhay Karandikar, Head Computer Center, IIT Powai said “We floated tender for the project. We zeroed in on D-Link India, as they complied all our requirement both in terms of technical specifications and budgets.” Initially, D-Link India deployed a versatile IP camera based solution designed for both day and night, as well as indoor and outdoor applications when an outdoor enclosure is added. This fixed Power over Ethernet (PoE) camera, allows two-way audio communication and is perfect for both dayand night time surveillance.
Its 0.3 Lux light sensitivity for low-light monitoring, enabling one to capture video anytime, day or night. Additionally, one can attach a CS mount standard lens such as an auto-iris lens, IR LED lens, or a night vision illuminator, to record video in environments with little or no light.
It supports simultaneous dual-streaming of MPEG-4 and MJPEG to provide both high quality and bandwidth efficient compression formats. MJPEG delivers greater file integrity, making it ideal for detailed monitoring situations. MPEG-4 video has smaller file
—PROFESSOR ABHAY KARANDIKAR, HEAD COMPUTER CENTER, IIT POWAI
6 EDU TECH September 2010
Defending the proposed entry of foreign universities into India, Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal told reporters on the margins of a function that they would help create a talent pool for the country. “We have a
foolproof plan for the entry of foreign universities. Any foreign varsity enter-ing India will have to create a $12-million corpus fund and profits will not be allowed to be expatriated to shareholders,” Sibal said. Allaying concerns over the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill, Sibal said they would have to re-invest 75 percent of profit in the school or university and the rest will become a part of the corpus fund. Though foreign universities will have the right to form their own fee structure and admission rules, they will have to function within the purview of the Indian regulatory system, as envisaged in the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009. “If we realise this vision through universalisation of education, attaining double digit growth and economic prosperity will be possible,” Sibal pointed out.
CAMBRIDGE OVERTAKES HARVARD TO TAKE TOP SPOT University of Cambridge was
voted as the best in research,
selected by over 15,000 aca-
demics around the world by
QS. Though Harvard was the
most popular among the 5,007
employers polled globally, Cam-
bridge edged ahead overall. Har-
vard, which has topped the table
since 2004, drops to second place while
MIT jumps to fifth from ninth, reflecting a
strong performance by technology universi-
ties. There were 22 countries represented in
the Top 100—up from 19 in 2009. Over
15,000 academics were surveyed, including
700 university leaders.
DIPAK C. JAIN NAMED DEAN OF INSEAD INSEAD has appointed Dipak C. Jain, Dean
Emeritus of Kellogg School of Management
at Northwestern University, as its next dean,
succeeding J. Frank Brown, who will step
down in 2011. Jain, an American citizen and
native of Tezpur, Assam, was Kellogg’s Dean
from 2001-2009, and where he is the Sandy
and Morton Goldman Professor in entrepre-
neurial studies and professor of marketing,
a Chair that he has held since 1994. He is a
graduate of Guwahati University, Assam and
received a masters in management science
followed by a PhD in marketing from the
University of Texas, Dallas.
NEW DIRECTOR FOR THE CENTRE FOR DEVELOPMENT STUDIES Pulapre Balakrishnan is presently working
as a professor at CDS and will take over as
its director from December 15, 2010. The
decision was based on the recommendation
of a search committee, constituted by the
governing body, and chaired by N.R. Madha-
va Menon, member of the body. Previously,
Balakrishnan was with Jawaharlal Nehru
University, Thiruvanthapuram, and at Indian
Institute of Management, Kozhikode.
Sibal Defends Over-seas UniversitiesHRD minister talks of ‘foolproof plan’ for foreign players
at a glance07 INNOVATION 07 RANKING 08 CONVENTION
08 REFORMS 09 GUIDELINES 09 RAID & MORE
Kapil Sibal; Sure of entry statutes
7September 2010 EDU TECH
National Innovation Council To Promote ‘Inspired’ TeachersCouncil plans to collaborate with governments to promote independent thought
The National Innovation Council (NIC) will be playing a role in innovation universities, as and
when they are built. “I have been talking to Sibal and we are planning on collaborat-ing on many projects”, said Sam Pitroda, Chairman. Pitroda also said that the NIC is “in the mood” to promote innovation among youngsters. “We do need innova-tion in our universities. We will be identi-fying 20 university clusters where we could seed innovators. We are pretty much on track”, he added. Dr Anil K Gupta, Executive Vice Chair, National Innovation Foundation and Member, NIC, speaking to EDU, says, “Innovative teaching is the key. We don’t need teachers with Phd’s – we need inspired teachers”. Gupta laid out an example of a black box, designed by girls in the Government Residential W o m - an’s Polytechnic, Latur, for
vehicles. After identifying the barriers to innovation, the NIC came up with sugges-tions to kick-start their campaign. Among these was firstly, to learn about innova-tions from all over the world. Second, was the idea put forward by Shekhar Kapur, Film Director and Producer and Member
The first meeting of the National Innovation Council
of the NIC. Kapur advocated the pro-duction of a reality t e l e v i s i o n p r o -gramme, to encour-age people to show-c a s e t h e i r innovations.
Another idea put forward by Anil Gupta was the
stamping of a ques-tion on to every train
ticket. “If we ask the common man for solutions to our prob-lems, and offer him a reward at the end of it, anybody can be an innovator. Anybody can come up with a solution to our prob-lems.” As Pitroda said, “When people think of innovation, they think of Harvard; it is time to change that”.
spot went to MIT, which climbed up from its ninth spot (2009)3rdplace went to Harvard, a repeat
of its 2009 performance1st
University of Melbourne bagged the highest ranking of 36, followed by Australian National University at 43, and University of
Sydney at 71, on the Times Higher Education 2010 University Rankings. This year’s THE rankings come after the agency split
from its former partner—QS. The agency has claimed that it has completely overhauled methodology to deliver “the most
rigorous, transparent and reliable ranking tables ever”. The new methodology has meant considerable ranking slip-
page for some Australian universities.
THE rated Harvard as numero uno—yet again—followed by the Californian Insti-
tute of Technology, which had bagged the tenth spot in 2009 and Massa-
chusetts Institute of Technology, which ranked ninth (2009).
As a result of THE’s split there are now three major ratings vehi-
cles for tertiary institutions—THE, Shanghai Tong
University and QS.
THE Releases Its World University Rankings
8 EDU TECH September 2010
‘No Discrimination’ Cry On Kalam’s Lips At AIMS SummitThe management summit put a spotlight on challenges and opportu-nities in management education
Former President and chief guest at the 22nd Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS) convention shed light on “Paradigm Change in Professional Man-agement Education”. The theme of the convention was “Challenges and Opportu-nities for Management Education”.
Kalam spoke about his vision for India in 2020. The former President revealed that he foresaw a nation “where education with a value system is not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination”. He dis-cussed at length the relationship between economically developing and developed nations and competitiveness through “Law of Development”.
The 22nd Association of Indian Man-agement Schools Management Conven-tion took place from August 26 to 28 at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
On the second day, the convention began with sessions attended by some of
Addressing a recent news meet, HRD minister Kapil Sibal admitted that the Indian Insti-
tute of Technology (IIT) entrance examinations “needed an overhaul” to “discourage
“The present system of coaching must go, as it is detrimental to the quality of intake,”
Sibal said after a meeting of the council of IITs. “The IITs don’t want to do away with the
JEE but they have said that if an alternative is provided they will discuss it with their fac-
ulty,” he added. Foreign students and faculty, medical courses and a new pattern for
entrance examinations are among the reforms planned for the IITs, Sibal conceded.
Foreign students will be admitted only to the postgraduate courses and their strength will be limited to 25 percent of the total students’ population.
As for the faculty, Sibal said that con-sultations will be held with the home ministry to decide the modalities of allowing foreign teachers into the IITs. “As there are security concerns, the mechanism to appoint foreign faculty will be decided in consultation with the home ministry,” he said. The strength of foreign faculty will be capped at 10 percent. In another deci-sion, the minister said that medicine and medical research will be added to the field of the IITs. He added that the decision was taken as the field of med-icine involves a large number of engi-neering techniques.
of management schools in the country at the National Conference of the Heads of Management Education Institutions held at Indian Institute of Management, Ban-galore, in April 1988.
AIMS has grown into a body with a membership of about 400 institutes.
Foreign students, medical courses among the two changes sug-gested for the premier institutions
Reforms Planned For IITs
the top names of the industry which con-tinued till 7pm. The third day saw the clos-ing speeches. Key speakers at the summit were Anjali Raina, Rajeev Dubey, Arun Maira, along with R.C. Bhargava and Rob-ert G. Jelly, among others.
AIMS was formed in 1988 as a network
The former President inaugurates the AIMS summit
9September 2010 EDU TECH
“THE HRD MINISTRY SHOULD PAY MORE ATTENTION to the devel-opment of school educa-tion and skill development
centres—than stressing on higher edu-cation”
— DIGVIJAY SINGHSenior Congress Leader,
“WE DO NEED INNOVA-TION IN OUR UNIVERSI-TIES. We are identifying 20 university clusters where we could seed
innovators”— SAM PITRODA
Chairman, National Innovation Council
“HIGHER EDUCATION MUST LEAD THE MARCH BACK TO THE FUNDA-MENTALS OF HUMAN RELATION-SHIPS, to the old discovery that is ever new, that man does not live by bread alone”
— JOHN A. HANNAHFormer President,
“WE DON’T NEED TEACHERS WITH PHDS; WE NEED INSPIRED TEACH-ERS”
— ANIL GUPTAExecutive Vice-Chair, National Innovation
Advertising Guide-lines For EducationA draft of proposed guidelines has been prepared by the ASCI
Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) will intro-duce a new set of advertising
guidelines for the educational sector. The new advertising content guide-lines will apply to ads of all institu-tions. The council has called its mem-bers, educationists, institutions and the general public to send in sugges-tions and feedback. Under the pro-posed guidelines, educational institu-tions will not be able to promise jobs, admissions and salary increase with-out substantiating claims and assum-ing responsibility in the same adver-tisement. The guidelines discourage institutions from claiming success in placements, student compensations, admission to renowned institutes,
marks and rankings, and topper stu-dent testimonials unless every claim is substantiated with evidence.
Dhananjay Keskar, ASCI’s Chair-man and Director, IBS-Pune, who heads the committee for drafting the guidelines, said, “Unlike other tan-gible products and services, the value of education and training pro-grammes can only be judged by degrees and diplomas, which are advertised in a variety of ways. ASCI realises that a variety of these claims in advertisements need to be regu-lated through a set of guidelines tai-lor-made for the education sector.”
In the past ASCI has put out guidelines for the Automobile and Food and Beverage sectors.
CBI raided the state-run Punjab Engineering College (PEC) and booked 11 students for submitting forged documents under the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) quota. The raid was conducted following complaints of
irregularities, CBI officials said. “During the past few days, we had received complaints regarding students taking admissions in engineering streams at the PEC under NRI quota by procuring forged documents. Therefore, we conduct-ed a surprise raid,” said Mahesh Aggarwal, deputy inspector-general, CBI, Chandigarh. “We have found gross irregularities. We have booked 11 engineer-ing students and an investigation,” he added. CBI sources said that the agency had received complaints about irregularities that had been committed by the college authorities in admissions to NRI seats. “We have seized documents for further scrutiny. We will see whether any PEC official is involved in this racket,” said Aggarwal. The PEC is a leading engineering institution in the region. It is run by the Chandigarh administration.
CBI Raid In Chandigarh CollegeAgency books 11 admission seekers for forged documents under NRI quota
10 EDUTECH September 2010
S HAR P A DVE R TO R IAL
Breathe Fresh Air
decompose and remove 99% of airborne viruses in approxi-mately ten minutes.
Plasma is formed upon the delivery of negative and posi-tive voltages to the discharge electrodes in the Plasma-cluster Ion generator. Plasma contains electrons, that roam free from any bond to atoms and molecules. It exists as a partially ionised gaseous state. Disintegration of water mol-ecules that permeate plasma
One-third of the world's asthma patients are from India. We have-seen 1,646 related to
H1N1, until April 2010., mostly spread by students. The WHO estimates a two-three percent reduction in life-years with every ten percent increase in particu-late air pollutants.
Plasmacluster ions (PCI) have now been accepted as the most effective way to remove airborne microbes and viruses. From the research work of Professor John S. Oxford of the Uni-versity of London, a World Authority on Virology, it was clearly demonstrated that Plasmacluster ions can
lead to the creation of negative ions (oxygen) and positive ions (hydrogen). Plasmacluster Ions are created when water mol-ecules in the room air surround the oxygen ions and hydrogen ions in clusters. Ultra reactive and extremely unstable hydroxyl radicals are created as soon as Plasmacluster Ions come in contact with pathogens. The volatile nature of hydroxyl radi-cals causes them to swiftly bond with hydrogen atoms on the
outer membranes of pathogens. The result is that the pathogen gets disabled & a harmless by-product, water, is formed.
The Sharp solutionSharp PlasmaCluster is effective against Influenza, MRSA, Polio-virus, Coxsackie, Staph, E. Coli, Colon Basillus, Cladosporium, Aspergitlus Cigarette Smoke, Mold Spores & Germs, Pollen, Dust, Pet Odors, Exhaust Fumes and Formaldehyde.
S HAR P ADVE R TO R IAL
Proven effectiveness: 99.8% of allergens in dust
mite droppings are removed (Tested by Japan Synthetic Textile Inspection Institute Foundation)
99.9% pollen allergens are removed (Tested by Hiroshima University Graduate School of Advance Matter)
99.9% of viruses are removed (Tested by Chinese Centre For Disease Control and Prevention (CCDCP) lab oratory for infec-tious diseases and control)
99% bacteria is removed 99.9% mould growth Anti-microbial HEPA filter
catches 99.97% of household dust particles Plusmacluster Ions use three important effects to clean air and make it fresh:1. The suppressive effect of Plasmacluster ions on airborne microbes.• Positive and negative ions discharged from the Plasma-cluster ion generator form OH radicals through a reaction on the surface of the microbes. These OH radicals rob hydrogen atoms (H) from proteins in the cell membrane on the surface of the microbes and decompose the protein.• OH radicals bond with the robbed hydrogen atoms (H) to form water molecules (H2O).
2. The suppressive effect of Plasmacluster ions on airborne viruses.Viruses cannot multiply on their own and propagate by adhering to other cells using spike-like protrusions.
Plasmacluster ions react with the surface of the virus to form OH radicals, which rob hydrogen atoms (H) from the proteins on the spike-like protrusions on the virus surface. This decomposes
those protrusions. The virus can no longer adhere to other cells. As a result, the activity of the virus is suppressed.
3. Decomposition and removal of airborne allergens by Plus-macluster ions.
Allergic symptoms occur when an irritant substance (histamine) released when allergens bind with IgE antibodies on mast cells present in the human body and irritates the mucous membranes of the nose or throat.
Positive and negative ions discharged from the Plasma-cluster ion generators react on the surface of allergens and form OH radicals, and decompose and remove the allergens by robbing hydrogen atoms (H) from the proteins in the allergens.
As a result, the bonding sites of the allergens are cleaved off, leaving the allergens unable to bond with the IgE antibodies on the mast cells.
Sharp's PlasmaCluster Ions have been proven to remove cigarette smoke odour, toilet odour, garbage odour, pet odour and hair, viruses, moulds, pollen, dust and dead ticks.
Sharp’s revolutionary propri-
etary air purification technology crossed 20 million units world-wide by 2009. Sharp has been able to achieve this milestone in nine years after first embedding this technology in air purifiers in September 2000.
Plasmacluster Ion technology has been deployed across prod-uct lines at Sharp to include Air Conditioners and Refrigerators. This technology is currently in wide use in 58 countries around the world.
The effectiveness of Plasma-Cluster Ions has been proven in labs around the world. At Emir-ates Terminal 3 of the Dubai International Airport, people riding the 120 passenger sky-train get completely fresh air thanks to PlasmaCluster Ion generators.
Sharp was recently presented with the Takagi Award in Japan. This award is given for break-throughs in science and technol-ogy. This is the first time the Tak-agi Award has been awarded to a consumer products company.
As green campuses are tak-ing off, such innovative and far-reaching products ensure a healthy environment for students and teachers alike.
Sharp was recently presented with the Takagi award in Japan. This award is given for breakthroughs in science and technology. This is the first time it has been awarded to a consumer products company
How does it work?The ions form Hydroxyl radical (OH) that are highly oxidising only when they adhere to the sur-faces of mold, viruses, bacteria or pollen. They instantly remove the hydrogen from the surface proteins; breaking them down. This neutralises the harmful substances. The Hydroxyl Radi-cals (OH) combine with Hydrogen (H) to form Hydroxyl.
Hydroxyl is considered to be one of the most important atmo-spheric oxidants and has been nicknamed 'Nature's Detergent'.
Why use plasmacluster ions?PlasmaCluster Ions can keep the air around newborn babies, recuperating patients, old people with low immunity, and young students with allergies, healthy and safe. A PCI device is the most effective protection against all the triggers of an asthma attack. Even in apparently clean hostels, people often experience allergy symptoms after waking up. This is called a morning attack. During the course of the night, airborne particles containing allergens settle on surfaces, including the bed and the floor. They lay undis-turbed until you wake up, throw the covers off and walk across the floor. This instantly throws a heavy concentration of dust and other particles into the air, causing young adults to start sniffling and sneezing. PCI breaks down mites, spores, allergens and adhering odours and creates a safe and secure environment.
Hydroxyl has various uses: It removes viruses Destroys Bacteria Neutralises Toxic Pollutants Prevents morning allergies
and asthma Stops growth of mould and fungi Eliminates bad smell
4 Edu TEch December 2009
13September 2010 EDU TECH
TICK TOCK2020?India’s race against time—Can we realise a GER of 30% by 2020?
14 | SPOTLIGHT
20 | FACULTY
26 | ACCESS
34 | QUALITY
42 | FUNDING
50 | INFRASTRUCTURE
58 | TECHNOLOGY
“Student-teacher ratio in India is not really
the big problem”
Any discussion on India’s higher education sector seems incomplete without inputs from Sam Pitroda. He is the true-blue modern day visionary, who knows how to dream big—perhaps even bigger than HRD minister Kapil Sibal. Sibal’s plan to raise India’s Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) to 30 percent from its present day dismal state by 2020, is something that Pitroda would surely approve of. For EDU’s first issue (November 2009), Pitroda had shone light on the now dismantled Knowledge Commission. Even a year ago, it was Pitroda who said that the ‘key issue was of scale’ and that ‘15 to 20 percent of our young adults should be going to college’. Pretty close to what Sibal has been trying to convince India’s educators and edupreneurs. This time, we have let the visionary, who recently became the chairperson of the Innovation Council, sum up the situation for us
SAM PITRODACHAIRPERSON, NATIONAL INNOVATION COUNCIL
The Union government and the country’s poli-cymakers recognise that India’s primary q u e s t i o n s r e v o l v e around three issues;
expansion, excellence and equity.These are the three fundamental chal-
lenges on the path to progress, not just
14 EDU TECH September 2010
in the education sector, but everywhere. As far as the question of education is
concerned, the demand (for education) in India is high, while supply (of a right process) is low. We need expansion, which will involve increasing the num-ber of schools, colleges, universities, institutes and/or its books and teachers.
However, to do all this, we will also require resources, which are lacking in this country. So, how do we, as a nation, address the issue of expansion, keeping in mind this resource limitation?
For one, we could use technology in an innovative fashion, different from what we have done in the past. Thankfully, our politicians are not only committed to the cause of education, but are also open to ideas. A year ago, the now dismantled National Knowledge Commission had emphasised on the need for a ‘national knowledge network’. During that time, the members had spoken of using tech-nology (take for instance the broadband technology) in an innovative fashion. The plan was to roughly connect all 1,500 locations (read institutions) to bridge the formal education gap. The broadband connection was supposed to not only connect institutions, but class-rooms and libraries, encouraging dia-logue and sharing of resources.
This endeavour approximately required $ 2 billion. And, it still astounds my American friends that the panel managed to convince the Indian govern-ment to fund the plan. It was possible because our politicians recognised the need for a robust education system.
We are in the process of building that technology. A lot of it is already opera-tional. Once we are done, the next big question is—how do we use this unique network to transform education?
At the risk of repeating myself, let me point out that, unfortunately for us, when we discuss education we tend to think within a box (that too, within a very small one). We limit our discussion within a classroom, with a teacher writ-ing on the blackboard with chalk. Exami-nations, grades and certificates, none of these should matter any more.
We need to ask ourselves–what is the worth of a bachelor’s degree? What value
does it add to our lives? Who decided that it should take three to four years to get this degree?
I believe that the time is right to question some of these fundamentals. It is disheart-ening to note that most people involved in the process are not ready to face these questions. Perhaps, we need some one from the outside; to challenge all these old ideas and think out-of-the-box to come up with a new model (of education).
Ask yourself; is learning confined only within the walls of a university? Do you really need a degree to get the right job?
It is time to use technology to expedite our education process. It is time to recognise that the traditional role of a teacher is changing. Previously, he or she was used to create and deliver con-tent. Nowadays, face it, they don’t.
Today, this content that we talk of is created by the ‘best of the best’; students and researchers who are a part of Har-vard, MIT and similar stellar institu-tions. A student, if he or she has the access, can log on and find out any piece of information. So, what is the role of a teacher? Is he a mentor, does he teach me more than I can learn from my fel-low student? I believe that we are still so locked up in the ‘old system’ that we may hail a fresh idea, but we prefer to send our children to the same-old, regular schools. Unless there are several people who decide to support the ‘new system’ we will not reach a tipping point–I don’t really know how long it would take us to get there, a decade or maybe less, but we will finally reach it.
As I like to predict, after the financial and real estate crises, the next big crisis to hit the US will involve higher educa-tion. I have often repeated that the dino-saurs (universities) will collapse one day. A university gives me one or two text-books—but, the internet provides me so much more! I don’t need those two text-books. Only when we will learn to learn differently, will we start to realise that perhaps we don’t really need to have ‘so many teachers’.
I believe I offend people when I say that the student-teacher ratio in India is not really the big problem.
What do we really wish to teach our youth? How do we wish to turn our population into a demographic divi-dend? If our future citizens are disci-plined, analytical, creative, ethical, respectful, multidisciplinary and glob-al minds–then the task is done. But, formal education doesn’t necessarily teach us all these. It doesn’t teach us some of the most integral knowledge–say, for instance, statistics. Whether one studies science or humanities, sta-tistics is cardinal knowledge as it enhances a person’s capability to anal-yse data and boosts our capacity to imagine solutions.
I was recently asked if the issue of infrastructure would pose a problem, as far as India’s GER problem was consid-ered. I believe that I was rather curt, and asked a question in return–why do we need more land or building?
As far as funding is concerned– I believe we have enough.
But, I need to know why you require the funding in the first place? Do you want more land? Or, building? If both, then there’s never enough money.
A large sprawling campus was what people could afford in the 1800s. Today, space is a luxury. Today, give me a room as large as my office, a robust IT sup-port and infrastructure, and 10 bright and enthusiastic young people (not over 30 years) and I guarantee that things will happen.
What we lack is creativity and guts. If you have both, then even if you are hated, you know that you are on the right track!
Unfortunately for us, when we
discuss education, we tend to think within a box,
that too, within a very small
one D R
15September 2010 EDU TECH
“Strengthening the school system
is the biggest challenge”
India is a young country with 40 percent of its population below the age of 25 years. It’s crucial thus, that we bring the youth to college and provide some sort of ‘reasonably good’
employment. Higher education in India requires massive expansion in order to attain a gross enrolment ratio (GER) that can catapult our nation to its rightful position. We are first looking at how to achieve a GER of 15 percent by the end of the Eleventh Plan. Cabinet minister Kapil Sibal has set a goal of achieving a target of GER 30 percent by 2020, which is challenging—nevertheless the govern-ment is committed to transforming India into a ‘knowledge society’. We are
D. PURANDESWARI MINISTER OF STATE, HUMAN
For Daggubati Purandeswari, this is her second stint as the minister of state (higher education) in the ministry of human resource development. It is said that she was ‘handpicked’ by Sonia Gandhi to lead the current government’s higher education reforms. She was chosen to ensure a seamless continuity between the old and the new regimes. She exudes charm and charisma. The daughter of legendary actor and former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh NT Rama Rao has her feet firmly on the ground, but dares to dream big
16 EDU TECH September 2010
looking at several methods to ensure that we meet this goal.
The biggest challenge is to strengthen the school system, which will provide us the critical mass for higher education. To strengthen our higher education system we are first looking at how to ensure that school dropout rates go down and the students coming out of higher secondary schools graduate into higher education.
With the passing of the Right To Edu-cation Act (April 2010), we hope, finally, that all children will go to school and continue with their school education.
When it comes to higher education, shortage of faculty is a major concern.
We have 25 to 30 percent vacant posi-tions in higher education institutions. Statutory bodies under MHRD have come up with schemes to improve this situation. UGC has programmes to sup-port research and PhD. AICTE intro-duced an early induction programme where students with a passion to teach could join early, and be supported for research and PhD. We also tried to see if we could relax the National Eligibility Test. However, we realised that if we relax NET, then we would be compro-mising on quality. Thus we decided that those who are already teaching, but have not taken NET, would be allowed to clear the exam over a period of three years.
While we want more people to join the teaching profession, we do not wish to compromise on quality. Attracting qual-ity faculty is difficult. The best brains either leave the country, or get into the IT sector attracted by lucrative pay pack-ages. This attracts young graduates away from teaching. Though the sixth pay commission has improved the situation, we have to come up with other solutions. However, this can pose challenges. When institutions try to get Indian aca-demicians back to the country and offer them a different pay packet, it is usually met with a lot of resistance from the fac-ulty here.
Accessibility and affordability are going to play the biggest roles in helping us achieve this goal. We have to build institutions in areas with the least options. We have identified around 374 Economically Backward Districts with a
literacy rate below the national average of 65% and also a GER below the nation-al average of 12.4%. Institutions in these districts will be built to ensure accessibil-ity for the marginalised sections.
As far as infrastructure is concerned, we realize that we need many more uni-versities. The Yashpal committee and the National Knowledge Commission clearly state this. NKC has pegged the need at 1500 universities and we have around 500 universities right now. At the Centre, we are aware and conscious of the need to expand, but the state governments also have to strengthen themselves. There have been instances when state universities announce new ventures and then realise that they don’t have the infrastructure. This should not happen.
When it comes to expansion the size of the university is of major concern. For instance Delhi University has 800 col-leges affiliated to it. Is that manageable? Can we concentrate on quality? We should perhaps look at solutions like that adopted by Anna University, which is divided into four centres with 150 col-leges each. A healthy ratio is 75 to 100 colleges for each centre.
Also, merely increasing students in higher education is not enough and cre-ating employment opportunities for graduates is equally important. Here vocational education plays a very impor-tant role. Thankfully the stigma attached to it is also fading away and people are realising its role in a nation’s success. Initiatives like IGNOU’s community col-lege system, where you can go for two years of vocation based higher education and later get lateral entry into the univer-sity system, could play a significant role.
I would like to point out that in the
process of achieving this goal, the girl child is important. We cannot progress while leaving behind 48 percent of our population. The girl child is not even sent to school, getting them into higher education is even more difficult. Parents worry about simple aspects such as hos-tel facilities. UGC encourages institu-tions to build hostels for girls on the campus, by providing funds.
The private sector has really supple-mented the government’s efforts and they will continue to play a major role. Private sector’s presence in technical education is about 85 percent. We wel-come and appreciate its efforts. Howev-er, we are concerned about quality.
All our national educational policies and various Supreme Court judgments
have emphasised that education cannot be for profit and that is the only appeal we make to the private sector. Do not look at education as a ‘for profit com-mercial activity’. Look at it as a founda-tion to make our nation strong. Our con-cern remains a f fordabi l i ty and accessibility. The private sector is wel-come to operate within these parameters and if they have any concerns they should come to us and talk. Under the leadership of Mr Sibal, we have consti-tuted several round tables where we have discussed these concerns and we are always open to further discussions.
All through these years the higher education sector has been looking at one kind of thinking and functioning, and they are not used to the kind of reforms that we are talking about. It is not easy to change overnight and there will be many challenges but if the desire to change is there all these challenges can be overcome.
When it comes to higher education, shortage of faculty is a major concern. We have 25 to
30 percent vacant posts in higher education institutions
17September 2010 EDU TECH
“Distance learning is
expected to rise manifold”
As far as educational plans are concerned, let’s take them one at a time; the Eleventh Five Year Plan hopes to hike the gross enrolment ratio (GER) to 15 percent. For the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2017), the objective that has been set is around 20 per-cent. In the ministry, we are also trying to fix a more ‘ambi-tious’ target–GER of 30 percent, by the end of the decade (this
“30” is really quite the ministry’s target). But then, if you don’t aim high enough, there’s no way that you will increase the pace of things.
The first focus of the government of India is “inclusion”. The 374 districts in the country that are considered “educationally backward”—places where there are no degree colleges or institutes of higher learning will get new institutions.
To get to our goal (of setting up institutes where there are none)–the state and central governments will work together. The college or institute will be approved by the Centre and will be set up or run on a “sharing basis” especially as far as the cost is concerned. The governments could rope in private players as well. It could be purely public, or it could be based on the public-private partnership(PPP) model. Then the Centre will be undertaking another scheme–part of the Eleventh Plan—to cover districts that has a GER percentage less than 15 (around 12.4 or less). We hope to take all our plans to stakeholders and see how we can chalk out an incentive model together. We have worked out a draft, but details need to be worked out further.
We plan to dot the landscape with institutions. We also plan on increasing students’ intake by increasing the number of shifts that a college building may be allowed to run.
VIBHA PURI DAS SECRETARY, HIGHER EDUCATION, HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
Vibha Puri Das took over as the secretary in the Department of Higher Education under the Ministry of Human Resource Development in September 2010. A 1976-batch Uttaranchal cadre officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Das, is a postgraduate in political science from the Jawaharlal Nehru University. As a more or less new entrant to the education sector, she is “more than excited” about what lies ahead
18 EDU TECH September 2010
A structure can be used in two shifts—morning and afternoon—thus allowing more students per building. For now the plan has received the AICTE approval. If the shift system stands approved as a policy, then institutions can go ahead and implement it—but, before that, fac-tors such as existing faculty strength and existing infrastructure will have to be considered as well.
A fourth dimension to the GER plan will be technology. The National Mis-sion on Education (through ICT) is try-ing to rope in a majority into quality education. The mission has already approved technology education and science material (helped by the faculty of the IITs).
The faculty-developed quality teach-ing and learning materials have been put up on official websites for everyone for free (like the MIT project). The three components of the mission are:
Content development Connectivity Low-cost computingWe are trying to ensure that not only
are institutes connected, they have quality content and low-cost comput-ers–a holistic approach to computing and access.
The final element in this plan is dis-tance learning (DL). DL is something that is expected to increase manifold in the country—but a strict eye will be kept on the question of quality. The rise in DL doesn’t mean that states or Centre will allow “just any sort” of teaching-learning practice. The ministry believes it will remain extremely particular as to who will provide the oversight and what the distance education council will be doing in terms of ensuring programme quality and seeing that there is a certain rigour to them.
We are trying to reduce our depen-dence on physical teachers. Under the technology mission, we are trying to cre-ate more and more content. The process follows a four-quadrant approach. One can talk to a teacher, consult the net, or a tutorial to solve all manners of students’ issues or problems. That is a way of try-ing to reduce dependence on physical teachers—by creating virtual teachers.
Other ways in which the government is trying to address the lacuna:
Increasing the retirement age in central institutions. We are approaching state governments and explaining to them that an increased age of retirement will be supported by an 80 percent reim-bursement package (thanks to the Sixth Pay Commission).
Attractive remuneration packages for teachers should make the profes-sion desirable—also from the research and overall governance points of view.
The states and the Centre have to ensure that teachers are provided a pos-itive ambience to work in. At the same time, the ministry’s trying to see how it can fill up the vacancies in institutions; as fast as possible. In terms of quality, I think the emphasis on research is important. Research has not been attracting the kind of attention we wish to see. As per the new UGC regulations, the committees in charge of assessing research performances will have a defin-itive guide allowing them to assess papers— similar to a peer performance review. It will enable institutions to take a look at what a teacher is doing in terms of not only teaching, but also co-curricu-lar activities and research; we hope the evaluation will turn out to be holistic.
And, the quality will have to be bench-marked in all sectors, whether teaching, research or extracurricular activities.
The “Mission 2020” is full of projects that are slated to encourage a technolo-gy-driven (education) sector. The mis-sion will focus on how to develop meth-ods of improving access, infrastructure and quality in education—for instance, we have a software that is freely down-loadable; it does not require equipment or hardware, just a camera. Any and every institution will be able to afford it.
I use it. Well, the Eleventh Five Year Plan
raised the budget by 10 times. The bud-get for the higher education sector has seen a large rise. Furthermore, the ministry plans to raise the number of IITs from seven to 15, have 20 new IIITs, and add so many new IIMs–there are several more plans. The investment that’s coming in from the Public Exchequer is fairly substantial—and nearly 7 percent of it is going into the HE sector.
Now, what we need to do is to incen-tivise the private sector a lot more. Between 65 to 75 percent of profes-sional education is financed by the pri-vate sector. However, since we need to grow further and so substantially, we need to have a larger “canvas”.
We are trying to see how the gov-ernment reforms come in. We see more institutions coming in, but no
fly-by-night operators. We need to ensure that whoever comes in, stu-dents remain the first and foremost concern, not profit. Those are the con-cerns that we are trying to build into the system and we are proposing to set up an ‘education finance corporation’ for students and institutions, which will enable both the parties to seek loans for their needs. We need to have long-range education-finance programmes. Educa-tional finance and its loans cannot be short-term (five years), because, institu-tions will have to charge that money from the students to make up. We need to create a situation where institutes are able to tap into funds that last over a long time and can be repaid over a longer time.
We are trying to reduce our
dependance on physical teachers.
Under the technology
mission, we are trying to create
more (and more) content
19September 2010 EDU TECH
WITH A SHORTAGE OF TEACHERS THAT’S MOST ALARMING, THE CENTRE
HAS FINALLY SAT UP AND TAKEN NOTICE. THIS
SHORTAGE THREATENS TO BE ONE OF THE MAIN
IMPEDIMENTS TOWARDS BUILDING OUR GER
21 | Shashi Gulhati, Former CEO EdCIL
23 | R.P. Singh, Vice Chancellor, Sharda University
20 EDU TECH September 2010
“IN THE CAPITALIST, CONSUMERIST WORLD—LET THE MARKET MECHANISM WORK”Shashi Gulhati, Former CEO, EdCIL
I remember reading an article on the EDU newsletter (dated August 19, 2010)—Faculty Crunch At Premier Institutes, Admits Sibal. The report stated that Kapil Sibal, human resource development (HRD) minister, informed the Lok Sabha that IITs and IIMs “are facing a faculty crunch with nearly one-third of the posts vacant…
Around 35 percent posts are vacant in the central universities… 33.33 percent in the National Institute of Technology and 35.1 percent in other central education institutions”.
But not to worry, reassured Sibal, as “steps are being taken both short term and long term”. Short-term: “Raising the retirement age in teaching posts from 62 to 65 years and enhancement in salaries and other benefits for teachers”. Long-term: “For attracting young people to opt for this (teaching) career… enhancement in fellowships and attractive start-up grants in various disciplines”.
So there! No need to worry! But, I worry!!! Sibal may enhance the sala-ries and \benefits of the IIT faculty.
However, the salaries and bene-fits that an IIT graduate is offered, the moment he or she receives his or her undergraduate degree, are more than
The IITs; Are they slumping or soaring? As a retired professor of IIT Delhi, Shashi Gulhati, had raised the faculty question years ago. Given the chance, he would like to repeat himself over and over again. The former CEO of Educational Consultants India Limited, Gulhati sees a bleak future for Indian higher education, unless a stand is taken
21September 2010 EDU TECH
We were advised that we must provide all these (audio, visual, text-related) mechanisms to our students, so that all have an opportunity to learn, as it suits each mind
what a faculty member at the verge of retirement gets. Why then, will a gradu-ate opt for a career in research and teaching? Enhanced fellowships and attractive start-up grants become rele-vant only if some graduates opt for such a career.
A few days ago, members of Parlia-ment protested strongly when the gov-ernment proposed to jack up their sala-ries three-fold—‘Only three-folds!’ Their protests could be heard around the coun-try. Has Sibal enhanced the salaries of India’s faculty three-fold?
Here I go back to my previous state-ment—I do worry about the state-of-affairs. Not only because currently we have a shortage of faculty, but because we have had it for more than a decade.
And I worry because Sibal’s ministry and documents (e.g. Revitalising Techni-cal Education 2003) released by it had ‘predicted’ that the shortage will get even bigger—and it has.
The shortage is bound to get bigger as we get busy trying to make higher educa-tion available to more and more students (which we must)—and we run out of requisite number of faculty.
With a handful of teachers what type of education will we be offering?
I worry, because I am told that today, when a former student visits his or her alma mater, and runs into a classmate teaching there, he or she asks, ‘What happened? You did not get any job?’
And so, I worry because I end up questioning; the scanty faculty that our institutes do have, are they qualified faculty or just warm bodies? We mouth platitudes about providing ‘quality education’, of creating ‘world class’ institutes, launching ‘14 Innovation universities across the country’.
We believe that the renowned univer-sities across the world are impatiently waiting to arrive here and open their campuses—I guess it is important to dream. May be this hoo-haa about fac-ulty is all just trumped up.
The movie 3 Idiots established the fact that its students were “very bright”, not because of the inputs they received from the facul ty—but , because …just because! The real idiots
of the film were the principal and its faculty members. That brings me to the main question; why do we need a faculty (teachers) to begin with?
There are several very prominent peo-ple in the commissions and panels who believe that teachers have not that big a role to play.
Their theory: there are books, journals and magazines galore. Oh, all right so we may need some ‘brainy types’ to write the books and articles. But why do we need faculty?
We are in a ‘technical age’. We have to take advantage of technology. There is the internet. There is ‘Google’. So what if there are only a few faculty members; lectures of faculty members are no lon-ger limited to a class of 40 or 60 or 100, they can be put on the internet and they are they are there for thousands.
If we don’t understand some thing, we can post it on a forum and some one will post an explanation. Then, can engage in chats, and tele-conferencing with the very best anywhere in the entire world and not be restricted to our own ‘idiots’!
Sounds great! But, then to take advantage of technol-
ogy, we need equipment, people with technical know-how of how to setup everything and run it, maintenance engi-neers, bandwidth (read infrastructure)
and, of course, electricity. Maybe it’s eas-ier to get all this infrastructure up and in place, more easy than getting faculty.
Let’s ask Sibal, shall we, to set up a ‘Technology Utilisation Commission’. And, it should be ready with a report within three months.
Somewhere during my career, I was taught that a teacher is to be viewed not as the ‘sage on the stage, but a guide by the side’. Also, that ‘teaching’ is not what we need to focus on; we should be con-cerned about their ‘learning’. Point: an individual learns through his or her set of preferred mechanisms.
Some learn by listening, some by read-ing, some through interactive dialogue, some by solving problems, some by proj-ect activity, some by getting their hands dirty and by doing and so on.
We were advised that we must provide all these mechanisms to our students, so that all have an opportunity to learn, as it suits each mind.
With developments in technology, we need to add to the list of mechanisms and include surfing and searching the net, viewing and listening to lectures available on the net, participating in webinars—so on.
But, to expect that these technology-based mechanisms are appropriate and relevant for all—is just another way of focusing on ‘teaching’ and not on ‘learning’. So what do we need to do?
How do we solve the problem of fac-ulty crunch? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? In this capitalist, consumer-ist world, I can only suggest that let the market mechanism work, let supply and demand get into action.
If there is more demand for faculty and the supply is less—pay up. Make a career in research and teaching more attractive than other careers and the bright and intelligent will seek these careers.
With brighter entrants, we will have a brighter faculty, who in turn will provide a better learning experience for the stu-dents who will turn out to be brighter graduates—and will make better profes-sionals and better citizens.
“God said let there be light, and there was light, and God said it was good.”
22 EDU TECH September 2010
“A WAY TO SOLVING FACULTY CRISIS WILL BE TO START PROGRAMMES FOR FUTURE MENTORS”
The impediment on the path to 30 percent GER in India is the scarcity of teachers. As far as I comprehend, there are two main layers to this faculty scarcity problem—one exists at the pre-secondary level, while the other at a higher education level. And together, both these lay-ers feed the holistic problem of the GER gap (between
India and the rest of the world).As much as it pains me to admit it, currently, in most of our
colleges and universities, teachers don’t really contribute to the understanding of a subject, or promote self-learning and self-actualisation. The rote model of teaching and learning only makes our youth unable to cope up with the pressures of profes-sional reality–or develop an analytical mind. What could be done to redeem the situation? Well, for one, seek a change in the academic conscience—teachers and educators themselves need to learn throughout their lives. Pursuit of knowledge is endless after all.
And, educators need to invite and invoke interest in a subject to help the youth develop a platform for doing things differently, and doing it on their
R.P. Singh, Vice Chancellor, Sharda University
R.P. Singh heads one of the biggest private institutions of the country. In his previous discussions, Singh could be heard repeating himself, over and over again—take a look at the crisis at hand; that of vacant seats and faculty ‘ill-treatment’. Sometimes, people such as Singh are a blessing. Because they put the spotlight on the bigger picture and the smaller points. Though not too sure of whether the GER dream will be achieved, Singh was willing to be hopeful
23September 2010 EDU TECH
own. The education system must learn to accept that every question may not necessarily have uni-linear answers—challenges in life don’t manifest them-selves in that way.
Originality needs to be promoted and out-of-the-box thought needs encouragement.
Teachers need to actively participate in student and career counselling. And, the education system must empower the educators to participate in the counsel-ling sessions, or in discussions involving the youth’s future–a process usually gov-erned by peer and parents’ decisions.
Unfortunately, the problem of the shortage of faculty that we wish to address right now, has been steadily get-ting worse for the past 15 years now.
Any short-term initiative cannot bridge the gap–not even in 50 years’ time. We have, over the past few decades, have been trying to deal with the problem.
If there were some easy way out, we would have found it. In the meantime, the shortcuts have made us realise that any “easy fix” will only worsen the quali-ty of higher education.
But we need solutions. And, in a resource-starved nation,
such as ours, the solutions need to be pragmatic and capable of changing the status quo.
The first solution will be making ICT-enabled methods of teaching available to students.
This may, to some extent, take care of the scarcity. Another option is to experi-ment with the concept of apprentice-ship—help students assist senior educa-tors. Youth involved in undergraduate, postgraduate and research may be roped in to fill the lacuna. Even today, partici-pants enter the teaching profession out of respect—there could be no other rea-son, as we have failed to make the pro-fession a viable career.
A long-term solution would be to isolate faculty members from pressures–create a mechanism for performance-based pay structure. And provide training in teach-ing and learning pedagogy alone.
Mostly, effectiveness of teaching is a better motivator to students than the content.
Every faculty member, even if quali-fied, must spend (either in undergradu-ate, postgraduate, or at doctoral level) a year teaching or assisting a teacher. The idea is to mentor the future mentors.
The training should come from trained and experienced faculty. Lessons should revolve around the ideas of effec-tiveness in teaching and learning. Then only should a participant be appointed as a member of a faculty.
Teaching is perhaps the only profes-sion where no formal training is really necessary for being employed as a facul-ty—it has, however, the potential to irreparably scar a career!
I can only speak from experience and explain how we do it at Sharda University.
Here, we try to follow a “rigorous meth-od” of selecting faculty. Inexperienced members are recruited as teaching assis-tants and allocated with a senior member.
The university follows an “assessment schedule” for teachers–where student’s feedback is an important component. Some of the best faculty members are given advance increments and promo-tional rules are performance based.
For faculty recruited from around the world, a PRP (performance-related pay) component is added to the base salary.
Teachers are provided ample facilita-tion to use ICT-enabled teaching peda-gogy in classrooms and the lectures are simulated to provide a feel of real work environment and design concepts. Research and development activity is encouraged—also providing job satisfac-
tion to the international faculty. Above all, the faculty has the freedom
to design and change curriculum and introduce courses during summer term. Such flexibility, freedom to innovate and empowerment encourages the educators to give their best.
Institutions mostly get faculty who are migratory, hopping from one institution to another for more money. Poor incen-tives lead to members who have poor communication and computer skills. It is important to devise a simple method for selecting faculty. Faculty coming from institutions of better repute, may be considered for a pay hike. Faculty coming from institutions of equal repute may only be recruited with full pay pro-tection. Result; this would (hopefully) discourage cross migration and bring in a semblance of quality consciousness among faculty.
No faculty should be recruited without making a presentation of their commu-nication skills, clarity of thought and expression. Their commitment (to teach-ing) must be given credence to.
He or she ideally should be encour-aged to conduct research on his or her own and assist students in industrial projects—creating a second layer of future mentors.
These changes soon reflect in a class-room. If teachers are respected then stu-dents, too, start considering the profes-sion a viable one, one that they could opt for in the future.
The government, on its part, must not strictly regulate the pay package. The mini-mum guarantee needs to be fixed, but institutions willing to pay more for deserv-ing candidates, through their own resourc-es, should not be discouraged—the same goes for government institutions.
Let’s get pragmatic. The root cause of this (faculty) scarcity, and the vacancy problem, even in the IITs, is economi-cal—and by pretending anything other-wise will only delay solutions further.
The need of the hour is to seek inno-vative, alternative methods of teaching and encourage more youth to partici-pate in the process by making it a via-ble profession that is both respectable and paying.
The problem of shortage of faculty that we wish address now, has been getting worse for the past 15 years now
24 EDU TECH September 2010
Lokesh Mehra, Regional Manager, Corporate Responsibilty, South Asia, CISCO
Education 1.0 is more of a ‘Chalk and Talk’ method as against Education 2.0 which is mostly technology enabled. The transition from Education 1.0 to Education 2.0 comes with its fair share of challenges. The first and foremost challenge in countries like India is skepticism about technology; second, is the cost of technology. Irrespective of the advantages it provides, technology still comes at a price. The third chal-lenge is the availability of basic infra-structure like electricity and broadband, especially in rural India.
Another issue of concern while tran-sitioning from Education 1.0 to 2.0 is that the learning curve is very high. The teaching faculty needs to learn new teaching methods facilitated by technol-ogy and more often than not, they are not open to that idea. Another challenge is the adaptability of the students to such a form of learning, although they seem far more open and receptive.
Cisco on its part is playing a pivotal role in using 21st century technology to enable education 2.0. We believe that using the four C’s-Collaboration, Com-munication, Creativity and Critical Thinking, educational institutions can leverage technology to facilitate learn-ing. Beyond cost-effectiveness and ease of administration, such enablement enhances the reach of education.
Our NetAcad initiative makes us an active player in the education arena. At Cisco we believe that the network is going to play a critical role in the educa-tion of the future where video and data would get converged and we would have a single IP Pipe handling that con-
From a solution perspective, Cisco leverages on its WebEx technology to enable audio, desktop sharing and video with a call back feature and deliv-er educational content remotely. One of the solutions we recently launched is called the Cisco Learning Environment. There are two aspects to this -- one is in terms of the solutions that ride over video and enable users to tag videos and search for particular segments at a par-ticular time.
The second is WebEx technology referred to earlier. The Learner Manage-ment System, provided within WebEx enables a person (teacher) in a tier 4 or tier 5 town to create a virtual classroom at the press of a button and register stu-dents to attend the class. Such solutions go a long way in reaching out to a wider student population across various geog-raphies.
From a user perspective, the Assam University has its entire infrastructure - from administrative to residential buildings enabled by Cisco technology. The University has ensured that all its academic content is available through the network for students to access online at the time of their choice. Wire-less facility made available on the cam-pus, has added to the convenience.
Our technology is being leveraged in some form or the other, in many other universities as well. Foreign universi-ties like Duke University, Brent Univer-sity and the University of Arizona use our technology to impart education. Indonesian vocational schools are also benefitting from Cisco curriculum and technology. The MIT courseware has networking technologies running in the background that allow people to access the curriculum/content from any part of the world.
Such and other examples are proof points that Education 2.0 is not a choice but a necessity. The transition to this new form of education is a reality even in countries like India. Going forward, we would continue to extend our sup-port to all educational institutions to help them ramp their infrastructure and curriculum and transform them-selves into campuses of the future.
EDUCATION 1.0 TO EDUCATION 2.0 IS A BIG STEPLokesh Mehra, Regional Manager, Corporate Responsibility, South Asia, CISCO
vergence. The introduction of 3G would take it one step further and make video chat more common, enabling an inter-active platform for knowledge delivery.
The teaching faculty needs to learn new methods facilitated by technology and, more often than not they are not open to that idea
25September 2010 EDU TECH
26 EDU TECH September 2010
PERHAPS THE PROBLEM ISN’T SO MUCH ABOUT THE YOUTH BEING RELUCTANT TO PURSUE HIGHER EDUCATION. PERHAPS IT’S THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE NOWHERE TO GO WHEN THEY DO. FIND OUT WHY ACCESS IS IMPERATIVE
ACCESS27 | Father Xavier Alphonse, Director, Indian Centre for Research and Development for Community Education, Chennai
29 | Shyam Menon, Vice Chancellor, Ambedkar University Delhi
30 | A.M. Thimmiya, Senior Vice President, Distributed Learning, Manipal Education
Cover Story_access.indd 26 9/22/2010 7:51:14 PM
“BEFORE THE 2020 LEAP, WE SHOULD TAKE SMALL STEPS TO A BETTER 2010”
First things first—the possibility of raising India’s GER to 30 percent from its present state, is, in one word, improbable. Unless, of course, three aspects, what I call ‘exclusions’, are eliminated from
our reality: economic, social and educational.A recent UNDP report suggested that an average
Indian family earns around $1.25 daily, roughly around Rs 58 per day. This is the reality among 40 percent of the population of India. The average income of a middle-class family in rural or subur-ban Tamil Nadu is roughly Rs 3,000. In such a family, a youth spending Rs 750 monthly on trans-portation eats heavily into the family’s income. Add to that the cost for textbooks, photocopies, etc. But, he has no other choice but to spend, because as administrators and policymakers, we have cho-sen to put centres of learning in urban places alone—showing what I call a blinkered planning. This is also an example of economic exclusion.
Then, there is social exclusion. There are sec-tions of our society (Dalits, SCs and STs), who find it difficult to avail education due to several socio-economic constraints. And educational exclusion–the dropout rate. Since, I have a clearer picture of Tamil Nadu, let me borrow from the state. Did you know that 82 percent of this state’s high school stu-dents opt out of higher studies after Class XII? And that all the science, commerce, medical, engi-neering and arts graduates come from that tiny remaining percentage?
As I have always pointed out–what ties our country together is poverty. We don’t have poor Hindus or Muslims or Christians, we have poor Indians. This overarching reality needs to be considered, every time a state or central government sits down to plan education policies. And, it needs to be remembered that when we speak of Indians, we refer mostly to a population that stays out of its urban centres.
There is a possibility for change. But, a step towards positive change and a GER of 20 percent
Father Xavier Alphonse, Director, Indian Centre for Research and Development for Community Education, Chennai
Father Xavier Alphonse is a visionary and a bit of a revolutionary—though we have a feeling that he would be embarrassed if we call him so on his face. He is called the ‘Father of Community Colleges’ in India. His idea of education is characterised by deep pragmatism. The teacher would rather put his answers ‘in the context’ and deal with problems while keeping an eye on the reality. While talking to EDU regarding the growth enrollment ratio (GER) issue, his plea, and yes, he did use this word, was that ‘please take a look at India’s present economic scenario, before planning anything’. His request was for everyone–not just the government, but private players, as well
27September 2010 EDU TECH
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UGC’s scheme, special development grants for colleges in educationally backward areas, needs to be looked at
(which I believe is still possible) have to be well thought out. Some considerations will leave an impact. All of them are close-ly linked to the question of accessibility.
Primarily–introduce an education policy that is inclusive. Keep in mind that there are people who can afford to pay and those who can’t. There is nothing wrong with the idea of “for profit” education–only, if institutions blindly follow this norm, there would be less students because most won’t be able to afford it. Solution? Private players should run two-tier institutions; taking money from those who can pay, and subsidising edu-cation for those who can’t.
Community colleges need to be promoted actively. UGC came up with a scheme called: ‘Special Development Grants for Colleges in Educationally Backward Areas’. Though this scheme, UGC decid-ed to provide grants to establish 253 new colleges in districts where the GER was seen to be dismal. Due to state govern-ments’ apathy, the scheme is waiting in the pipelines.
If our country’s GER woes need to be solved, then one of the simpler ways of doing it, is through community colleges.
These can promote vertical mobility through credit transfer. Provided you (as an education provider) allow a student to be main-streamed after he or she has attended a com-m u n i t y c o l -
lege–allow transfer of credits. An exam-ple; Tamil Nadu, for instance, allows a student with a diploma in ‘DTP Opera-tor’ programme’ to seek admission into i ts B.Sc in Computer Science / BCAcourse.
The strong point of a community col-lege is that it allows a student to pursue studies and work at the same time.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, let me remind everyone that a large part of our student population can’t afford to sit at home. Policymakers must truly look at this focus group.
Which brings me to my fourth point of realistic planning. Who are you planning
for? Is it possible to sustain all
plans? How would you go about it? All these questions need to be addressed by all bodies.
Finally, one of the biggest boons to India’s higher education sector is the concept of community colleges, a move-ment that started in 1996. ICRDCE, in which I am involved, has around 280 community colleges serving under it. It, in its turn, serves around 80,000 stu-dents. All this would not have been pos-sible without UGC support.
But, the body is being run by norms that are decades-old.
India has taken steps forwards and (alas!) some steps backwards since that time–leaving the dated rules behind. The last time that UGC (norms) faced a makeover was in 1956. This is 2010. Before getting ready for the big 2020 leap, perhaps we should see what small steps may be taken to a better 2010? Since education is one of the items on the Concurrent List, an apathetic state government could be the death of the higher education sector in a state. A gov-ernment ideally should support private players, willing to invest in the state and in the sector.
Perhaps, a division of 70:30 ratio of finances (with private players playing the bigger role) could ensure smooth run-ning of institutions. But, the process is no magic. Only steps taken together can lead to results.
I am glad that the GER question has been raised. Because, deep in my heart I am afraid that by 2025 when we are declared the world’s youngest nation, we will also be a nation whose young people are disgruntled and unhappy–without jobs or proper education. Dis-content almost always leads to discord. Left with no other way, violence is
often the only path. This should not happen. A young
but a violent nation should not be our future.
28 EDU TECH September 2010
Cover Story_access.indd 28 9/22/2010 7:51:21 PM
“OPTIMISING THE UTILISATION OF OF EXISTING RESOURCES WILL BE THE KEY”
formation. The dysfunctional relation-ship between the output of undergradu-ate programmes and the demands of the job market will have to be corrected. We will need to build into undergraduate programmes a strong ‘community col-lege’ type orientation.
We have to drastically expand our infra-structure. However, one has to be realistic about availability of resources for such expansion. And, one must be modest about our competence to execute it in the limited timeframe.
Utilisation of the existing infrastructure has to be optimised. I would advocate multiple-shift system in colleges and uni-versities. Each classroom and laboratory should be in use for as much as 12 to 14 hours, or more, every day for 12 months. At present, most of our infrastructure is sub-optimally utilised, to the tune of about four to five hours a day for less than 180 days a year.
We will need to build in flexibilities in access through mixed-mode, split-site approaches. The youth will need opportu-nities to access quality undergraduate Shyam Menon, Vice Chancellor,
Ambedkar University Delhi
India is at a threshold of expanding its higher education base. Policy-makers have figured correctly that without achieving the critical num-bers, we can never sustain the momentum towards emerging as a knowledge society. However, fixing a target is one thing. Jacking up the GER to more than double its present figure in 10 years is a tall order. The relevant age cohort is itself
going to swell in absolute numbers in the next decade. That makes this target all the more difficult, but I believe it is ‘do-able’, pro-vided we manage to get our act together.
Only a small proportion of the current 13 to 14 percent of the GER is accounted for by those enrolled in postgraduate and pro-fessional streams of higher education. Bulk of the enrolment is in undergraduate programmes. Most undergraduates are located at mofussil-level liberal studies colleges, and a not-so-small proportion of those in undergraduate programmes study through distance education mode. It’s imperative that the epicentre of expansion be quality undergraduate education targeting the teeming millions in district and taluka towns. Nothing short of a mission mode of function-ing will take us anywhere close to the target.
Undergraduate education will have to see manifold expansion with diversified courses. Its contents and methodology will need drastic and structural trans-
Shyam Menon’s stint with the Task Force on Access to Higher Education, constituted by the International Association of Universities, makes him one of the young and exciting edu-experts. After the veteran Father Alphonse, we spoke to Menon. Here’s what the young professor had to say about his area of speciality—access
29September 2010 EDU TECH
Cover Story_access.indd 29 9/22/2010 7:51:33 PM
education, while pursuing jobs. The solu-tion does not lie in mutually-exclusive systems. The need is for integrating alter-native systems into pragmatic assemblag-es of facilities, structures and courses—involving face-to-face instruction, independent study, on-line instruction and project work at sites of employment.
We will need to create a cadre of teach-ers. Our postgraduate and doctoral pro-grammes should be strengthened on a priority basis to ensure a steady supply of quality faculty. Those pursuing doctoral research need to be encouraged through attractive fellowships and incentive sys-tems, with a view to lure in the best tal-ents. We should think of a flexible faculty structure with concurrent appointments and multiple affiliations.
Given that we are moving towards diversifying our course contents, it becomes a necessity to tap competencies located outside the university systems in the professions and complement the core competencies of full-time regular faculty. A system of hiring part-time, adjunct and guest faculty must be developed.
Diverse systems and institutional mod-els must be designed because our needs are diverse. The affiliation model that governs the bulk of our undergraduate institutions is sadly an outdated one. It kills diversity and creativity, bureaucratis-es curriculum development and assess-ment processes and drives a wedge between research and teaching.
Multiple institutional models with operational autonomy facilitated (as opposed to merely regulated) and back-stopped by robust and sophisticated accrediting and quality assurance sys-tems is what we need to build.
Mere provisioning of access structures is not adequate to ensure that students stay the course. They will require more backstopping than earlier aspirants of higher education did. The downward spiral in students’ economic profile makes continuing support by the state an imperative.
The influx of first generation aspi-rants is unlikely to afford high invest-ments. Private providers are not likely to find it attractive to participate at the base of the pyramid. If they have to play
A nation’s wealth lies in its higher education sector—essential for national, social and economic progress. The Economic Sur-vey 2009-2010, presented by then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, projected an economic growth of 8.75 percent in 2010-11. Mukherjee predicted that India would be the world’s fastest-growing economy in four years. A 2010 Morgan Stanley
Report projected that in the next few years, India’s economic growth will acceler-ate markedly. The report argued that in 25 years, India will be the highest-growth
“DISTANCE EDUCATION IS A VIABLE OPTION TO ACHIEVE VISION 2020” A.M. Thimmiya, Senior Vice President, Distributed Learning, Manipal Education
a role at this stage, we will need to strengthen state subsidies, scholar-ships, bursaries and large-scale loan schemes to enable participation of eco-nomically disadvantaged students. One needs to innovate new ways of building public-private partnerships. It is impor-tant that all institutions be considered public whether they are operated by government entities or not. We must explore all entities jointly investing in creating institutions.
I believe it is possible to organise qual-ity higher education in an effective and efficient manner, and yet make it acces-sible to people who do not have the capacity to go for expensive options. There is a vast middle-ground between the almost totally-subsidised public higher education and the for-profit and non-inclusive alternatives. Our path towards the target of 30 percent GER by 2020 will essentially be broken in this middle ground.
Thimmiya has been responsible for distance education initiatives of the Manipal Group. He has spearheaded the distance education community to more than 180,000 students and across 650 learning centers—not only in India, but in over 21 countries globally
30 EDU TECH September 2010
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I will make a case for India to promote vo-cational educa-tion, harness technology, PPP method, open universi-ties to the pri-vate sector
economy among large nations—its size by 2020 will be over $6 trillion, com-pared to the present day $1.2 trillion. But, can the education sector keep up with this growth?
The global average of GER in develop-ing countries is around 16 percent. It is around 65 percent in the industrialised nations (source: UNESCO Global Moni-toring Report 2007). A country’s develop-ment is linked to the quality of education and research. In India, we currently have 14 million students pursuing higher edu-cation. Our nation’s GER is at 12 percent. The Centre aims to take the rate to 30 per-cent by 2020. Given the number of higher education institutions in India now, the number seems far-fetched. And the distri-bution of the institutes is disparate—20 percent of institutes are located in rural India, home to more than 65 percent of our population. The remaining 80 per-cent is located in urban or semi-urban areas, where 35 percent of Indians reside.
Earlier, the National Knowledge Com-mission had projected the need for 1,500 universities. A more recent approach of having at least one univer-sity for each district and developing
The government cannot do it alone; it does not have the adequate financial resources. The process will require effec-tive partnership of all stakeholders. I will make a case for India to promote vocation-al education, harness technology, PPP method, open universities to the private sector, and allow private entrepreneurs to set up universities with special emphasis on distance education—a medium by which we can reach the rural population. GER in distance education has seen vast improvement in enrolment and has emerged as a viable alternative to the for-mal system. Technology has greatly facili-tated its reach to far corners of the country.
As a force contributing to social and economic development, distance learning is one of the most rapidly growing fields in developed and developing countries. The growth has been fuelled by educators and trainers and their interests in inter-net-based information technologies. Technological development allows for new paradigms of access and delivery sys-tems, linked to new demands. Continu-ous miniaturisation of equipment, slashed costs, user flexibility and portabil-ity offer a whole range of opportunities.
These can lead to more effective cen-tralised systems of development. And, the distribution of educational services and software. They can also support an open network society with equitable access to resources.
In a market-oriented educational sys-tem, conventional institutions are using some sort of distance learning as a means of extending their markets.
Strategic alliances are being formed between the educational and private sec-tor. This means that traditional distinc-tions between providers (distance, con-ventional, public and private) are being blurred, particularly within vocational and continuing education Gradually most institutions who offer campus edu-cation will incorporate distance modules for the benefit of a large number of stu-dents to expand to Tier-II and III cities.
To conclude, the 21st century will be the century of knowledge. Only those
nations will survive, which will build themselves by creating true
distance education needs to be paid due attention. A knowledge superpower can only be built upon a foundation of a civil society that is nearly 100 percent literate and has a capacity to absorb innovative knowledge where people are the capital.
Therefore a constant development of human capital, with a thrust on skill upgrade, generation, assimilation, dis-semination and the use of knowledge needs emphasis.
It’s essential to first focus on assess-ing our preparedness in this con-text. While delivering the keynote address at the recently-concluded Kuruvila Jacob Memorial Ora-tion in Chennai, Kapil Sibal expressed concern at the ratio of students joining colleges.
How will it happen? Who will build the institutes?
It will require the gov-ernment to make huge investments in creating
additional infrastructure, faculty, access and deliv-ery mechanism, and, last but not the least—technology.
31September 2010 EDU TECH
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TECH-BOOST TO ACCESSIBILITY
India’s GER goal will require massive infrastructure overhaul, collaborations among skilled resources, foreign univer-sity partnerships, and discussions (among stakeholders). The process can be lengthy, if education institutions rely solely on traditional communication—phone discussions, e-mails and face-to-face meetings.
Technologies, such as video conferenc-ing and immersive telepresence are used every day by institutions for countless applications; alumni enrollment, inter-active distance learning classes, remote access to subject matter expertise, pro-fessional development and to conduct collaborative meetings among stakehold-ers—virtually.
As the market leader in unified collab-oration solutions, Polycom offers afford-able, easy-to-use and comprehensive—training solutions available today.
Polycom Video Conference Room Sys-tems—connect over geographically dis-persed sites, in set distance learning rooms or with portable roll-about enabled rooms through high-definition two-way and multipoint capable units.
Polycom Immersive Telepresence Solu-tions—provide a natural environment as the instructor moves about a room and true-to-life dimensions allow reading the body language of others, as if in the same room.
Polycom Video Conference Personal Sys-tems—desktop video conferencing is ide-ally suited for distance learning by allow-ing generation and reception of learning from a Mac or PC.
Polycom Recording and Streaming Solu-tions—capture, manage and deliver
Common challenges are bandwidth availability, poor quality of experience, content quality and resistance to change in the higher edu-cation sector
As market leader in unified collaboration solutions, Polycom offers affordable, easy-to-use and comprehensive—training solutions
multimedia content real-time, or for on-demand viewing to browsers, digital signage screens, rooms, or auditori-ums. Track student viewing and inte-grate chat sessions.
Polycom Conferencing Infrastructure—empower high-quality life- like group collaboration over video. Create meeting
rooms for classes or student work teams. Faculty can easily drop in virtually to facilitate or provide feedback.
Polycom Professional and Support Ser-vices—offers expertise with assessment, planning, implementation and support of technology, at a fraction of the cost of additional, internal headcount.
Common challenges in the higher education are bandwidth availability, poor quality of experience, content qual-ity, session interactivity and resistance to change. Polycom provides superior video and audio quality, along with ease of use. Problems of bandwidth availability can be solved if universities connect to part-ners working closely with Polycom such as ERNET that offers fixed broadband connectivity. Or, Reliance, which offers the first wireless video conferencing ser-vices with Polycom equipment over their mobile broadband infrastructure.
Packet loss is a common problem in IP networks. This can affect the quality of voice, video and content. Polycom solutions support two major innova-tions such as H264 High Profile and Lost Packet Recovery to ensure a best of class teaching-learning experience content over both private and public IP networks.
It helps institutions address other challenges through comprehensive pro-grammes. The Polycom Education Hon-ors Programme enables the purchase of equipment at an affordable rate, while including specialised application train-ing, beneficial association memberships, value-added service options and access to mission critical content and collabora-tion resources.
Also, CAPspace (Collaboration Around the Planet)—a large-scale global directo-ry or professional network of educators for video conferencing project collabora-tion. It enables educators to connect with global peers thus expanding and enhancing curriculum.
Finally, Polycom’s E2BCONNECT is a professional social network and directo-ry for higher education institutions and businesses to share subject matter exper-tise, conduct research, interview and recruit, or deliver professional develop-ment through video conferencing.
Marc-Alexis Remond, Director, Government, Education and Health Care Solutions, Asia-Pacific, Polycom
32 EDU TECH September 2010
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At a glance SPOTLIGHT
33September 2010 EDU TECH
SPOTLIGHT GERGER DREAMS
60STUDENTSTO A CLASSWILL NEEDTO ESTABLISH
LABS WHICHWILL BE USED
ONLY FOR THREE HOURS
A WEEK (THAT TOO IN ALTERNATESEMESTERS) ON THE OTHER HAND,THIS LAB COULD SERVE 10 SECTIONS EASILY
Use each and every classroom or laboratory present in the country for as much as 12 TO 14 HOURS OR MORE EVERY DAY FOR ALL 12 MONTHS. At present, most infrastructure is sub-optimally utilised, to the tune of about four to five hours a day, for less than 180 DAYS A YEARSHYAM MENONVICE CHANCELLOR, AUD
GER IN 2010 : 12.4%GOAL BY 2012 : 15%
GOAL BY 2017 : 21%GOAL BY 2020 : 30%
WHAT IS THE USE OF A HALF-BAKED EDUCATION? HIGH-
FLYING ADVERTISING ABOUT MERITS OF AN INSTITUTION
MIGHT BE THE RAGE, BUT WHAT GOOD IS IT WITHOUT QUALITY?
35 | S. Parasuraman, Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
36 | Abhijit Mukherjee, Director, Thapar University, Patiala
34 EDU TECH September 2010
“AUTONOMY AND STATE-FUNDED PROGRAMMES WILL BE THE KEY”
When I was asked to comment on the Centre’s target to raise India’s GER to 30 percent by 2020—there was a moment of doubt. How-ever, after much consideration it was clear to me; the goal may be difficult, it is not impossible. It’s possible to achieve the target through direct and open university modes; and through massive government investments.
It’s important to strengthen our state universities across the country. Most uni-versities are in a bad shape—plagued by the lack of fresh recruitment of faculty for almost two decades, inadequate funding to enhance infrastructure, teach-ing–learning enablers, library resources, IT system and political interference.
State-funded universities are also rooted in the local reality and in its myri-ad problems. Their quality can be improved through infusion of infrastruc-ture and faculty resources. And, infrastructure at the level of enrolment should be strengthened.
Indian privately-funded institutions and foreign universities may add to the overall number of existing universities, but their courses remain limited to professional modules.
The main problem remains with the primary and secondary education. The drop-out level is very high at the primary and secondary-level, making the level of feeder group to higher education limited. The situation is far more difficult in case of SC, ST, Muslim and OBC
S. Parasuraman, Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
TISS is one of the top social science institutes in Asia, conducting studies and research on social sciences and work, human resources management, health systems and allied fields. At its helm is Dr Parasuraman, a very busy man, but one who still managed to put in a word for the cause
35September 2010 EDU TECH
“REGULATORS SHOULD RECOGNISE THE DIVERSITY OF STUDENTS AND OFFER FLEXIBILITY TO INSTITUTIONS”
groups. What role does quality play in increasing the gross enrolment ratio?
What are the kind of challenges an insti-tution is likely to encounter when address-ing the issue of quality? Well, quality is a concern. However, inter-linkages among universities and institutions, sharing of resources through new teaching methods can make quality better.
What we need is quality faculty. There is migration of faculty from state-funded uni-versities to central universities (due to bet-ter working conditions and retirement age at 65); and then there is migration from state and central universities to private cen-
Abhijit Mukherjee, Director, Thapar University, Patiala
Abhijit Mukherjee has been the director of Thapar University since 2006—and his long stint has given him the experience to realise that quality is the key, if there is to be progress in the higher education sector. His advice to edupreneurs—a vision statement before everything else
tres. Here are some methods to address these issues:
Support state-funded universities through adequate funding and greater autonomy
Substantially increase funding to doc-toral programmes in order to develop teachers in large numbers. At this stage there is huge shortage of qualified teach-ers with tertiary degrees.
Give academic freedom to teachers to help them to develop programmes
Build strategic partnership with uni-versities and institutions within and out-side India to create opportunities for
student and faculty exchange and collab-orative research opportunities. Such ini-tiatives will enhance quality of teachers and also attract and retain quality teach-ers who seek and spread opportunities for professional growth.
Specially now that we are setting up new institutions we have an opportunity to build quality by attracting the right faculty. It is possible for new institutions to recruit faculty in a focused manner, and create lean administration that works to support and strengthen teach-ing and research thus creating better learning environment.
The target of achieving a GER of 30 percent by 2020 is undoubtedly a stiff one—but we must do our best to reach that goal because we have no
other option. With regard to the role of quality in increasing the gross enrolment ratio—with scaling up we should be ready to accept variable output. More important-ly, institutions must have different “enrich-ment goals” for students coming in from different sectors; those who leave school with strong mathematics and analytical skills can be shaped into great market ana-lysts or researchers. At the same time, there should be a significant demand for positions that require not high mathe-matics, but sector knowledge, diligence and discipline. The educational institu-tions should articulate these goals; what kind of students they cater to, and what value-addition they promise. Pro-grammes should be tuned to social reali-ties and needs—to ensure quality the first step should be to take stock of the sur-
36 EDU TECH September 2010
roundings and see what are the core capa-bilities of an institute. Our regulators should recognise the diversity (of stu-dents in India) and offer flexibility to institutions, rather than centrally dictat-ing requirements and processes. The institutions may be ranked on what value addition they have achieved through the students. That would be a shift from the present norms such as land area, con-structed space, et all. One must appreci-ate that the question of quality (of educa-tion) must be judged by its purpose. Thus, there can be no single yardstick (or value) that may be adjudged as the best.
The dilemma is to fix a goal. What are the social realities? What is the target enrichment? What kind of people (stu-dents and faculty) would one like to work with? What are the best practices to reach there? Once decided on the imperatives, the planners must articulate them clearly, and choose the right enablers. For exam-ple, if an institute is located in an area with engineering enterprises and if the university expects its students to come from that area—then it should ideally offer such training that the students can later join the local industries. Success (of the institute and students) must be mea-sured by the success of both in that target
sector (local industries). Quality must be like a mantra. It must
be imbued into an institution’s ecosys-tem and culture. An important compo-nent is to define it in measurable terms and keep monitoring an institution’s individuals and sections, and the institu-tions as a whole, to understand the prog-ress. There must be tangible benefits for adhering to high quality.
On a personal note, I can cite Thapar
University as an example—the Univer-sity set the creation of knowledge as its prime goal. I clearly declared what I wanted from its faculty and began to measure their performance on parame-ters such as publication, PhD theses and research grants. A department’s rank was published. The faculty have jointly decided the target for the next year based on previous year’s data. The recruitment policy is based on these requirements. Budget allocation was based on targets and performances. Individuals are felici-tated with substantial financial benefits. Finally, the university’s targets are decid-ed and its performance monitored. With-in three years, there is a perceptible change not only in the numbers but also in the culture of the University.
Institutions have to delicately balance the imperatives of growth and quality. They must study assets and societal needs; set goals every year; and devise mid-course corrections. Standards must be compatible with goals—which must receive budgetary support.
It must be remembered that educa-tional institutes have a long gestation period and budgeting must be decided
Institutions have to balance the imperatives of growth and quality. They must study assets and societal needs; set goals every year
37September 2010 EDU TECH
Educators worldwide are working to transform education through person-alised learning, improved teacher devel-opment and performance, enhanced access to information, and more effi-cient management of the processes that facilitate teaching, learning, and research. Hence they are adopting IT to enable and facilitate teaching as well as other functions of an educational insti-tute as mentioned above.
India’s education sector is adopting IT at a fast scale. According to the Springboard Research report “Inside the Campus: IT in India’s Education Sector”, the IT spending in the Indian education sector will increase to $704 million in 2012, which reflects a com-pounded growth of 19 per cent as com-pared to the estimated $356 million spent in 2008. To cater to that huge market, vendors are developing cus-tomised and innovative solutions to facilitate teaching in a cost effective manner. IT not only makes teaching easy by using the solutions to support all the needs of the students and teach-ers, but also supports and manages various multi-campus requirements.
IT implementation provides cost effective teaching solutions,and facili-tates administrative functions which are vital for smooth functioning of an institute. The adoption rate in the Indi-an educational sector has been slow as compared to the rest of the world due to several reasons:
IT adoption is largely confined to large cities with high PC and internet penetra-tion. It is almost negligible in rural areas.
Lack of funds is a huge challenge and majority of the institutes are not able to incur the cost involved.
There is not enough properly trained staff in schools and colleges.
IT usage leads to compliance and regu-latory issues which many institutes find difficult to manage.
As the students keep on increasing year-on-year, many educators are appre-hensive and are concerned about wheth-er the solutions will be scalable and adaptable enough to meet the changing
demands. Data and content manage-ment can become a big burden for the institutes if the solutions are not inte-grated and hence hamper seamless and better dataflow.
In order to help higher education insti-tutions meet and adapt to the changing needs and expectations of all constitu-ents, Oracle works closely with a wide variety of colleges and universities, stan-dards bodies, higher education associa-tions, and education industry leaders, to develop and deliver a responsive and comprehensive student administration and alumni development systems avail-able today.
Academic Advisement gives students and faculty timely access to academic records and reports.
Campus Community provides a com-mon source of campus data and co-ordinating all forms of communication to help manage administrative servic-es. Campus Self-service significantly extends the user functionality of stu-dent administration and contributor relations modules.
Contributor Relations gives you the abil-ity to manage relationships with alumni and other donors. It gives your contribu-tors online access to a detailed history of their involvement with your institution.
Financial Aid automates federal and institutional financial aid processing to ensure more efficient operations.
Gradebook integrates with the student administration module to help your fac-ulty better manage their learning activi-ties and track student progress
Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise campus solutions is being used at over 800 cam-puses in more than 20 countries.
It is the most adaptable solution serving all sizes and types of institu-tions including small, private universi-ties, community colleges, research institutions, and large, public, multi-campus systems.
It is the only administrative suite available today that provides students, alumni, faculty, and staff with immedi-ate access to real-time information and then connects that information to spe-cific action.
EDUCATORS WISH TO SEE SOLUTIONS THAT ARE SCALABLESamik Roy, Head—Growth Business, Oracle
Samik Roy, Head, Growth Business, Oracle India
38 EDU TECH September 2010
DIGITISING THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE, WITH EMPHASIS ON THE QUESTION OF QUALITY AND ACCESSAbhilesh Guleria, Country Head of IT, NEC
For us to elevate the standard and the quality of education imparted today, it’s imperative we change our outlook and become more receptive to newer ways of imparting education. With the help of technology, education has moved out of the confines of the blackboard to a digi-tised and smarter way of imparting knowledge. It is imperative for HEIs to adapt themselves to an environment which makes teaching more innovative Incorporating technology into the cur-riculum at any level can greatly increase the effectiveness of teaching. In order to benefit from the range of technology available, its implementation must be all the more democratic.
Opportunities That ExistTechnology and content are like a double edged sword. With the influx of technol-ogy to aid learning, what we face today is an “information overload”—content is available everywhere. Hence, it becomes imperative for educators to apply a filter and sift information, which is relevant and useful. Interactive whiteboards improve learning in several ways, sup-port different learning styles and are used in several learning environments. Research shows that designing lessons around interactive whiteboards helps educators streamline preparation, be efficient in their information and com-munication technology (ICT) integration and increase overall productivity.
3D ProjectionThe education market has been waiting a long time for affordable interactive 3D
Abhilesh Guleria, Country Head (IT), NEC
development projection systems. 3D projectors will give form and substance to creation. While the ideal scenario would be to have one projector per class-room, India still needs to have at least one multi-media room in every HEI to start with. Usage of digital learning con-tent can also raise the quality of teachers, supply e-teaching resources, digital learning and learning support services.
Besides, the advantage of optimum usage of resources, digital learning con-tent tends to make learning more inter-active and fun.
Best PracticesFrom graphing calculators to online les-son plans to virtual field trips and simu-lated dissections, educational technolo-
gies can help students’ access content in new ways. While every HEI has different needs and resources, there are several factors that facilitate technology imple-mentation and can help inculcate tech-nology into the curriculum as means of imparting better learning.
Professional development—It is par-ticularly useful in the implementation of educational technology and the creation of digital learning environments. An HEI must make efforts to impart profes-sional training to the teachers so that they can grow and learn in their own profession as an educator.
Leadership—The attitudes and actions of HEI leaders surrounding new technologies will encourage and support teachers as they engage in learning opportunities and explore new tools.
Organisation—HEIs have organi-sational structures that encourage teacher autonomy as well as frequent collaboration. These structures allow teachers to become responsible for their own learning.
Resources and support—Money alone will not ensure successful implementa-tion. Bringing about change requires hard work. This includes time for plan-ning, professional development, collab-orative work, and trying new things. .
All this shows how we can build class-rooms for the future and use technology not just as an enabler, but also to empow-er education. As our lives change, as the society reorients itself to new situations, educational support systems will have to evolve to make our HEIs of today, the HEIs of the Future.
39September 2010 EDU TECH
SPOTLIGHT At a glance
40 EDU TECH September 2010
SPOTLIGHT GERAROUND THE WORLD
THE FIGURES ARE IN CRORES (TEN MILLION)
OUR GER OF AROUND 12.4% IS VERY LOW COMPARED TO THE WORLD AVERAGE OF
23.2%, 36.5% FOR COUNTRIES IN TRANSITION, 54.6% FOR
DEVELOPED COUNTRIES, AND 22% FOR ASIAN COUNTRIES
GOVERNMENT’S BUDGET EXPENDITURE ON HIGHER EDUCATION FROM 2004 TO 2010
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
DISPARITIES IN GER, 2004–05 (GENDER)
4 Edu TEch December 2009
THE CENTER MIGHT HAVE INCREASED THE BUDGET FOR HIGHER EDUCATION, BUT WILL IT BE ABLE TO SUSTAIN IT? LET’S SEE IF THE OUTCOME ENABLES THE CENTRE TO PUT ITS MONEY WHERE ITS MOUTH IS
43 | Deepak Pental, Former Vice Chancellor, Delhi University
44 | N.K. Singh, Member of Core Committee, Nalanda University
46 | Dhiraj Mathur, Executive Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers
42 EDU TECH September 2010
“HOW CAN YOU EXPECT IMPROVEMENT WITHOUT GIVING VARSITIES FREEDOM TO EXPAND?”
I’ll admit that funding was once a constraint as far as the Indian higher education sector was concerned–however, in the current Eleventh Five Year Plan, because of increased resource availability provided to universi-ties, the situation has improved. Though, I won’t go as far as calling it excellent even today. Of course, concomitant to larger funds, we have also increased university seat capacity by 50 percent. But, one of the good
things that has come out of this increased resource capability has been the agree-ment between the Moily Committee and universities that there should be a concept of ‘per capita expediency’—to do positive stuff, such as build new hostels, laboratories and departments.
Frankly, as far as alternative sourc-es go–there aren’t several choices. I don’t expect the industry to invest in a ‘big’ way. Neither the alumni, but that’s because we have not followed them
Who better to talk of funds than that man at the helm-of-affairs in one of the largest universities of India–Professor Deepak Pental. He has been at the centre of several controversies while he tried to ‘change’ rules just a little. EDU caught the expert as he was going through the last days of his tenure as the VC of DU and asked him to shed some light on what makes the financial side of a university tick. What he said should be informative for fledgling institutions, seeking to find a place in this mindbogglingly complicated sector
Deepak Pental, Former Vice Chancellor, Delhi University
43September 2010 EDU TECH
“INDIAN UNIVER-SITIES CAN’T SURVIVE WITH-OUT PPP INTERVENTION”
up actively. The fault, if you can call it such, lies with us.
One plausible way to get to a better resource position is to hike fees for those who can afford it. Right now no one wants to do that, maybe because it is easi-er to maintain status quo or because peo-ple are always happy to pay less.
However, what a student from a partic-ular economic background pays, should be determined by his or her capacity to afford. Let’s remember that a student of a private school pays a lot more while he or she is in school, than at college.
Merit is never determined by econom-ic factors. And, economics should not factor in merit and in admission. Look at the Ivy League universities. They charge a high fee for offering a chance to be a part of their excellent infrastructure, but even if you can’t afford it, and if you are a meritorious student, then it offers a scholarship enabling admission.
One of the bizarre rules implemented by the Indian government, I believe, is to deduct grants or aid whenever universities manage to rake in extra resources. Unless, you give universities the freedom to expand or spend on its infrastructure–how can you expect there to be any improvement?
In the west, the system’s a little differ-ent—in the US, if a professor gets a dollar for research, 60 to 70 cents go to the uni-versity. If I generate `300 million for DU and you don’t let me improvise or use it for seeding new programmes or teach-ing programmes or allow me to build a laboratory, what is the use of that extra money? Ideally, the money is not going to the university, the recipient is the stu-dent. We need scholarships for the needy and also need to charge more from those who have the means to afford it.
Another problem, which is India-specif-ic, is that in India we have these small cen-tres of learning and research laboratories that do eat into the fund. Often, the umbrella institution gets left out, as a gov-ernment can’t afford to spend on everyone.
Due to this lack of funds, universities are forced to starve their laboratories and classes to pay for the utilities. In such a scenario, can extra seats be created?
And with the current state of funds, how will people ever raise the funds?
N.K. Singh, Member of Core Committee, Nalanda University
The so-called feasibility of the plan to raise India’s gross enroll-ment ratio (GER) to 30 percent by the year 2020 is not really a ‘debatable’ issue. I believe it’s an inescapable economic neces-sity—India will have to do better as far as its higher education sector is concerned, if it wishes to cash in on its demographic dividend (rise in economic growth rate due to a rising popula-
tion of working-age citizens).In this respect, the plan—to raise India’s GER to 15 percent by the Eleventh
Year (2007-2012) and then raise it further over time–makes sense to me. However, let’s acknowledge it right from the start—it will be an uphill task! The plan entails that the government establishes numerous centres of learning and universities–in fact, in Parliament, the number was predicted to be around 1,500.
The goal is a challenge because establishing so many centres will take capital, time, detailed planning and prioritising. We will have to take a second look at the Bills that are pending at Parliament—the draft bill on the creation of a National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER), for instance, needs to be moved faster than all the rest. However, the two principle challenges are ‘access’ and ‘quality’—defined by the type of faculty we recruit, train and retain. Vacant seats, even in the most stellar institutions, is a problem in our country. Here we are, already facing a problem, and we are making ambitious plans to
He is a member of one of the ‘most intrusive arms of India’s Parliament over the executive’–the Public Accounts Committee–which was set up in 1926, before the Indian Constitution was framed. He is also one of the core members of the proposed Nalanda University. Singh has been closely related to the education sector. Currently, his major headache involves the question—where will Nalanda get its grants to fund its grand plans?
44 EDU TECH September 2010
raise the number of institutions further. I see no way of improving the scenario without providing incentives (to teach-ers). We need to ask ourselves if there is something ‘missing’ from the estab-lished structure that is failing to attract quality educators. The answer, I believe, lies in the question of flexibility. A uni-form (thereby, sometimes rigid) struc-ture discourages good teachers from being a part of the system. A flexible structure is one that helps create com-pensation packages that allow best prac-tices (as far as faculty recruitment, train-ing and flexibility) to flourish. To fulfill our GER goal, we have to either depend on subsidies, or on fees. However, we can’t depend on these two alone—in India, high fee is not an option for all.
Where then, does the money for fund-ing, infrastructure, teachers’ training and subsidies come from? Through a flexible system that combines different models of
extended its help and ‘re-built’ the library. (Incidentally, the older Nalan-da was famed for its library that alleg-edly took six months to burn after Bakhtiar Khilji attacked it.) There are several other crucial steps remaining, like finalising the appointment of a Vice Chancellor.
Then, the process of constructing the university will really start—statutes will have to be formularised and tenders will have to be invited from international and national architectural firms. The original university could accommodate more than 10,000 students and hundreds of teachers. It’s modern namesake should be able to do that much and, if possible, more. Its governance structure will have representative of countries from which we expect ‘alms’ for the project.
As far as funding is concerned, I will say that the university has not done too well.
That is why I go back to my previous point—private endowment is a neces-sary part of the funding process. Either national or international, Indian uni-versities can’t survive without PPP intervention. We have to explore inno-vative ways possible to establishing this PPP route.
As a part of Nalanda’s Mentor Group, I admit that a lot remains to be done.
But, a major requirement has been met—the Bill for the university has received the nod from both houses of Parliament and we have received land from the Bihar Government for the upcoming university at Rajgir. The men-tor group, with chairperson professor Amartya Sen, has completed the visits to the land. We are also in the process of determining the pedagogy. For now, we have identified six crucial topics of study, ranging from comparative religion, Bud-dhism to contemporary subjects such as IT and management, to focus upon.
As Amartya Sen pointed out, “At the time when Nalanda was burning, Oxford was being inaugurated.”
Though Oxford and the much-older Nalanda did not co-exist, Professor Sen’s words signify the transition of intellec-
tual power and academic tradition from the east to the west.
education and categories of institutions.Currently, India allots more than six per-
cent of its GDP to education. A massive por-tion of that capital is invested in the higher education sector. But, the government can-not fund all its endeavour alone—we need a framework that allows private players to participate in tandem with the Centre. The balance should be such that we don’t com-mercialise higher education completely, but invite in private players also.
The Nalanda University, however, can’t be taken as a model for the upcoming universities, as it is one-of-its-kind. It is an outcome of the East Asian Summit (EAS) of Prime Ministers at Cebu, Philip-pines. In that summit, an international decision was taken to collaborate and re-establish the lost glory of Asia as the seat of intellectual power.
Maximum endowment was received from the Planning Commission. The proj-ect also received a significant contribution from the Bihar government—with chief minister Nitish Kumar acting as one of the key catalysts.
A Singapore-based association has
45September 2010 EDU TECH
“PRIVATE SEC-TOR’S ENTRY WILL AUGMENT RESOURCES”Dhiraj Mathur, Executive Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers
He is the former energy secretary of Madhya Pradesh and now the executive director at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Au naturale, he is one of the first people we thought of while setting out to do our Spotlight issue.
menting the Right to Free and Compul-sory Education Act, it is unlikely that the GER targets will be met. Let’s examine what achieving it would entail.
Inadequate budgetary provisions and low fee structures have led to a slow expansion of government institutions and created a huge demand-supply gap. UGC estimates that achieving a GER of 15 percent by 2012 would require enrol-ment to increase by over 7 million between 2006 and 2012 at an annual growth rate of about 9 percent (to put this in perspective, we need to compare this with the growth during the Tenth Five Year Plan, during which enrolment increased by 4.5 million). This would require massive capacity creation. Another UGC study estimates that meet-ing the GER targets would require addi-tional 380 to 735 universities and over 2,000 new colleges.
Against these projected requirements, the Plan provides for a total of 30 new central universities, eight new IITs, 20 NITs, 20 IIITs, three IISERs, seven IIMs, two SPAs and 373 new colleges in dis-tricts with GERs that are below the all-India average. It also provides for 500 new community polytechnics, and 210 new community colleges. A second strat-egy adopted by the Government envis-ages expanding intake capacity of exist-ing institutions in the central, state and private sectors. However, it is clear that this will not be enough.
India spends about 3.7 percent of its GDP on education. Of this, a meager 0.66 percent is spent on higher educa-tion, which is less than sub-Saharan Africa’s median. The Knowledge Com-mission recommends an increase of at least 1.5 percent of GDP for higher edu-cation out of a total of 6 percent for edu-cation overall. It is difficult to estimate the financing requirements to achieve these GER targets because there are no established norms for capital expendi-ture to create capacity and recurrent expenditure to meet quality standards. A UGC study estimates an additional requirement of `470 billion to `780 bil-lion between 2006-07 and 2011-12, to finance an additional 8.3 million stu-dents’ enrolment. This study assumes
The idea that India can reach a GER goal of 30 percent is impossible–for that matter a GER of even 21 percent is unrealistic, for, inter
alia, two primary reasons: lack of fund-ing and the restriction on “for-profit” entities by our extant regulatory regime. This has deterred the entry of private capital into the higher education sector. Hence, the government will have to fund the bulk of the expansion. Given the present level of funding for higher edu-cation, the high fiscal deficit and the
compulsions to fund almost 70 percent of `1,714.84 bil-
lion for imple-
46 EDU TECH September 2010
that private expenditure on higher edu-cation is minimal, and the variance in the estimates is based on the difference in norms used to estimate recurring expenditure (per student enrolled).
PwC estimates suggest that to achieve a GER of 15 percent would require an investment of `946 billion. There would also be an incremental annual recurring cost of approximately `344 billion. Against these projected requirements, the Eleventh Plan allocation for technical and higher education had been raised almost nine-fold to ̀ 850 billion from ̀ 95 billion in the Tenth Plan. However, it has been reported in the Press that this allo-cation has been almost halved in the recent mid-term Plan review due to bud-getary constraints. While funding esti-mates may vary, the evidence is unequiv-ocal: the incremental investment required to support the increase in GER is likely to be beyond the resources of the government. We need to look elsewhere for funding.
The issues faced by non-governmental entities in funding institutions are mani-fold. Other than government funding, the primary sources of funds for HEIs are, tuition fee from students and dona-tions and investments from the private sector. There is a smaller fourth source —fees earned from research. Fee has been steadily declining in government institutions. While private institutions charge higher fees, there will be limits to raising additional resources from tuition fees. That then leaves private capital as the only alternative.
The biggest constraint in obtaining funding is the restriction on a “for prof-it” entity. Except for project finance, it is almost impossible to get market fund-ing for a not-for-profit entity that is not allowed to distribute profits. The insis-tence on a not-for-profit regime not only creates opportunities and even incen-tives for malpractices in the system, but it also keeps out genuine investors and educators who wish to provide quality education. Yet, during the Tenth Plan, the share of private unaided higher edu-cation rose from 42.6 percent in 2001 to 63.21 percent in 2006 and private enrol-ments also increased from 32.89 per-
cent to 51.53 percent. Capacity con-straints are forcing parents to spend large sums on overseas education. More than 450,000 Indian students reported-ly spent about $4 billion on overseas education in 2006-07. These facts, along with the estimated `45 billion or more spent on illegal donations and capita-tion fees to secure admissions at HEIs in India, indicate that the market is will-ing to pay more. The constraint lies in the supply and its quality.
The fundamental problem with the not-for-profit mindset is the presump-tion that there are numerous promoters with surplus capital to invest, on a phil-anthropic basis, to set up new institu-tion. This presumption is not correct. We will therefore have to allow entry to the private sector to augment resources for expanding access. However, for this to happen at a meaningful scale, private investors need to be able to legitimately make a return on their investments.
A further problem with this policy is that it raises entry barriers for foreign universities. While 100 percent FDI is allowed in education, it is not clear how a charitable society or trust or a not-for-profit company can accept foreign investment. Not-for profit institutions typically raise funds through donations from both domestic and foreign donors. However, the stringent conditions imposed by the Foreign Contribution Regulat ion Act (FCRA) make i t extremely difficult to raise funds or donations from overseas. Unfortunate-
ly, this regulatory ambiguity has not been addressed in the Bill for Foreign Universities that the HRD Minister introduced in Parliament.
Another constraint in ramping up capacity is the shortage of trained and qualified faculty. The HRD Ministry has reported a faculty strength of 0.59 mil-lion and a shortfall of nearly 73,000 PhD and 58,000 master-degree level faculty.
Getting qualified persons in a short time will be a challenge, since teaching is generally not the preferred choice for students. Allowing foreign and domestic private participation can substantially address this issue as there will be com-petition for qualified personnel leading to better compensation that would attract more students to teaching.
In conclusion, we acknowledge the reality that the ‘not-for-profit’ model is the final frontier of the Indian education system and will take time to be breached. For the interim, we make three specific suggestions with regards to private and foreign participation.
1.Government should allow a long term 30 year lease of the land and build-ing as these are the two major compo-nents of the initial Capex. It would be a challenge to get funding for buying land. The key is to minimise capital and opera-tional expenditure by separating core academic functions from infrastructure and other services that can be legitimate-ly outsourced to “for profit” private com-panies. This model is adopted by most private institutions in schools. It is easier for infrastructure and services compa-nies to raise funds. Such an amendment will significantly facilitate private partici-pation, even on a not-for-profit basis.
2. Just like other regulated sectors like electricity, the Government can cap prof-its by allowing a reasonable rate of return to for-profit universities. This can easily be done through the existing fee fixation committees that have been set up in each state. This would prevent excessive profiteering while providing private investors an incentive to set up HEIs. and its quality. Finally, the Centre can relax the conditions prescribed in the FCRA for obtaining approval for for-eign investment in the sector.
The incremental investment required to support the increase the enrolment is likely to be
beyond govt resources
47September 2010 EDU TECH
As per the UN, the GER is calculated by expressing the number of students enrolled in primary, tertiary and sec-ondary levels of education, regardless of age as a percentage of the popula-tion of official school age for the three levels.
For countries where GER is not so healthy, technology will surely play a crucial role in making education more accessible and affordable to the undeserved. At Intel, our goal is to put education technology in the hands of students, teachers, and citizens world-wide through specific programs for both the student and teacher communities.
The Intel® Teach Program helps teachers become more effective educa-tors by integrating technology into their lessons—promoting problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration skills among their students. As part of the Intel World Ahead Program, we collabo-rate with governments, telecom service providers and other organisations to accelerate technology access and usage for more people.
Classmate PCs—rugged, affordable, student-friendly netbooks with full PC functionality provide engaging ways for students to absorb information and cre-ate content. And they give teachers the tools to foster problem-based learning.
Recently, Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), in association with Intel Corporation, announced a Multi-core curriculum revision for its under-graduate courses. The revision of curric-ulum will help integrate parallel
programming at the undergraduate level to prepare future software developers to write codes on emerging technologies.
As HEIs expand their technology adoption, learning environments are improving providing for higher quality outcome. Working with academic insti-tutions and research centers helps understand trends and document results, so technology providers and edu-cators alike can benefit from the experi-ences of teachers, administrators, and communities worldwide.
The Intel®Higher Education Pro-gram brings cutting-edge technology expertise to universities, encourages stu-dents to pursue technical degrees, and helps move technology out of university labs and into local communities.
The program includes research grants,
technology entrepreneurship forums and competitions, and mentoring by Intel technologists. To encourage inno-vation and entrepreneurship in aca-demia Intel has public and private part-nership (PPP) with Department of Science and Technology (DST) Govern-ment of India.
There should be programmes which encourage students to innovate on newer technologies. For example the Intel India Embedded Challenge Award. This is an initiative by Intel India in the area of embedded technology to award outstand-ing innovative ideas with Rs. 1 million as a grand prize. Intel Embedded Challenge contest aims to encourage ideation and innovation in the areas of embedded technology among engineering students and technical professionals of the coun-try. As a global technology company, Intel is proud of the work that we do to help shape the global youth community for the future technology revolution.
We are actively involved in education programs, advocacy, and technology access to enable tomorrow’s innovators. The Intel® Higher Education Program focuses on advancing innovation in key areas of technology and developing a pipeline of diverse world-class technical talent for Intel and the broader industry.
In India, the Higher Education Pro-gram covers more than 300 engineering colleges, focusing on developing indus-try expertise in cutting edge technology areas like Multicore, VLSI, as well as supports research engagements and innovation & entrepreneurship develop-ment programs across the academia. The program has impacted over 2,000 engineering faculty and more than 20,000 engineering students to date
Such programmes include research grants, technology entrepreneurship forums and competitions, and mentor-ing by technologists. Our collaboration with Visvesvaraya Technological Univer-sity (VTU) in developing multicore cur-riculum is an example of our work where we help academia in getting the cutting edge technology to the students
Intel is ensuring that innovators of tomorrow have the skills they need to create the technology of the future.
TECHNOLOGY IS A MUST TO MAKE LESSONS ACCESSIBLE
Rahul Bedi, Corporate Affairs, Intel South Asia
Rahul Bedi, Corporate Affairs, Intel South Asia,
48 EDU TECH September 2010
At a glance SPOTLIGHT
49September 2010 EDU TECH
21%BY THE END OF THE TWELFTH PLAN WITH AN INTERIM TARGET OF
BY 2011–12. TO ACHIEVE THIS, THE ENROLMENTS IN UNIVERSITIES/COLLEGES NEED TO BE SUBSTANTIALLY RAISED AT AN ANNUAL RATE OF 8.9% TO REACH 21 MILLION BY 2011–12
WE SHOULD AIM TO INCREASE THE GER TO
THE AIM BY 2017
25% SHORTAGE OF FACULTY IN HIGHER EDUCATION30%TO
THERE IS A SHORTAGE OF ALMOST 30 PERCENT OF TEACHING FACULTY IN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS. WE NEED A HUNDRED THOUSAND QUALIFIED TEACHERS AT COLLEGE LEVEL IN THE NEXT TEN YEARS
D.PURANDESWARI, MOS, HRD & VIJAY GUPTA, VICE CHANCELLOR, LPU
HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTES NEED TWO REQUISITES: TO BE UP-TO-DATE, AND TO HAVE NECESSARY RESOURCES IN ORDER TO DELIVER QUALITY EDUCATION. FIND OUT HOW IT’S POSSIBLE TO OVERCOME HURDLES OF INFRASTRUCTURE
51 | Vijay Gupta, Vice Chancellor, Lovely Professional University
52 | Surabhi BanerjeeVice Chancellor, Central University, Koraput
54 | Ashok Ranchhod, Director, MICA
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“THE BIGGEST QUESTION IS AFFORDABILITY, FOLLOWED BY INFRASTRUCTURE”
I s the target of achieving a gross enrollment ratio (GER) of 30 percent realistic? Not in the next 10 years—if we wish to maintain a basic standard of education in the country. Let’s face the facts—this target may be achieved only if we make education available in large numbers to economically-weak sections of the society. Almost every young person who can afford private higher education is in college today, which is evident by the number of empty seats in engineering and profes-
sional colleges in most states. Most private colleges are engaged in an intense marketing war between themselves trying to lure in students. A GER above the present figure appears to be feasible, only if we solve the problem of ‘afford-ability’ of education, which can be achieved only if a state makes a large (nay, huge) commitment (of resources) to education.
It may appear that some state governments have increased allocation to the education sector, but, if we look closely, the fund boost is limited to IITs, IISERs, IIMs, IITs and central universities, which with
their fixation on ‘quality of input’ cater only to students who can afford private
education—not because they
Vijay Gupta, Vice Chancellor, Lovely Professional University
Vijay Gupta was awarded the President of India Gold Medal for topping among all graduates from all branches of engineering. He was also a professor at IIT Kanpur. Despite his elite background, Gupta believes that exclusive education may hamper India’s goal—rather than enhance it
51September 2010 EDU TECH
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“CONNECTIVITY IS OF PRIME IMPORTANCE”
are inherently brighter, but because they can afford expensive private secondary school education, which state schools do not provide.
Those who cannot afford private insti-tutions are left unprepared. They fail to get admission into ‘elite institutions’—because they can’t afford the ‘preparato-ry education’. Education in this country is rarely about merit, however much we may harp on the necessity to make it thus. Even at the present (GER) level of 12.4 percent, just 20 percent of all col-
Surabhi BanerjeeVice Chancellor,
Central University, Koraput
lege graduates pass out with even rudi-mentary knowledge and skill. What is the point in getting ten times that num-ber of useless graduates? If we wish to raise the number of graduates, and ensure that we teach them well, India will require 100,000 qualified teachers (at the college level) in the next 10 years! Even by our best estimates, qualified teachers today meet less than 20 percent of the requirement.
As far as I see, issues of infrastruc-ture are quite secondary. But, we defi-
nitely need a solid base of infrastruc-ture—which will require investment and manpower (for maintenance; something that is in woefully in short supply). Technology can help make infrastructure more productive.
Then there is the economy of scale—a college admitting 60 students will need to establish labs. These will be used for barely three hours a week; that too in alternate semesters. On the other hand, such labs could easily serve mul-tiple classes.
Surabhi Banerjee has quite a task at hand. She is at the helm-of-affairs of a fledgling university located in one of the most beautiful (but backward) parts of Orissa. The prospect of establishing an institution of pan-India importance is now up to her and her team. The challenges before her are mindbogglingly difficult. Here’s a taste of what it will take to make her vision take shape
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I am optimistic! Half-way through the Twelfth Plan, I foresee a sea change in India’s reality. But for it, we shall have to keep an eye on the question of quality
Al l dreams require work–a lot of work. However, the success of an inst i tut ion depends largely on where it is located. If
an institution is started in a well-con-nected area–there is less of a challenge, because connectivity is of prime impor-tance in this globalised world. If you have transportation and communication then you could bring the best people (students, teachers and administrators) to the university. Thus, if you are going to build a national institution and wish to project it as a pan-India institution for any one aspiring to receive formal high-er education, half of the work is done if the location is ‘right’.
Coming back to the question of GER–the goal may be ambitious, but it is imminently possible. It will require fab-ulous expansion as far as resources are concerned; simply put, more schools, colleges and universities.
The Eleventh Five Year Plan is looking at this aspect of expansion.
Greater number of institutions will enhance the access of education among the student milieu. It will help change mindsets, and eventually, change the destiny of the nation. Children have to be raised to believe that they have the ‘right’ to education.
But, I am optimistic! Half-way through the Twelfth Five Year Plan I foresee a sea change in India’s reality. But for it, we shall have to keep an eye on the question of quality. At Koraput, my team has been alerted regarding the question of quali-ty–content, faculty and student support services. We have to create a culture of quality if we wish to leave a mark.
I often believe that my previous stints (in rest of India, mostly West Bengal) were simply preparing me for my cur-rent stint, in this place I call the ‘real India’. In this pocket, words such as ‘expansion’ and ‘infrastructure’ are not enough—as steps to progress.
Koraput is an amazingly beautiful town located approximately 2,000 feet above the sea level. It’s inhabited by trib-al people. The site is unique in all aspects; its vistas are stunning, its eco-
been pro-active. State governments have to work in tandem with the Union gov-ernment to make the real difference—otherwise, the GER dream will not be realised.
Each institution will face its own set of impediments. However, each unique problem, comes with its own set of solu-tions. Our university is facing three main challenges as far as the infrastruc-ture is concerned–lack of railway con-nectivity, commutable roads and build-ings to hold the classes and housing for the students.
To tackle the first problem, it was imperative that we spoke to the Indian Railways and the heads of the state. There was also a conspicuous dearth of houses here–the few dilapidated build-ings were used to house CRPF jawans.
Thus, the greatest chunk of my Kora-put visits is spent house hunting. The rest of the time is spent sitting with architects and meeting the building committee. K.T. Ravindran, the chairper-son of School of Planning and Architec-ture, Delhi, is a part of the building com-mittee. Even these experts have had to travel to Koraput for site visits.
Then, there is the question of social responsibility. The university team has thus rented a home where a Centre for Tribal Welfare and Community Develop-ment was started.
Its highest point was when two local girls lit the lamp to herald its beginning instead of any VIP. All this is a part of the vision document–we wish to develop Koraput as a township and a seat of excellence; not an insulated island but one that carries the flavour of the region.
Innovation and sustainability have been the key words for us. Innovative thinking and technology will make all our goals possible with minimum investment. Sustainability will depend on the university’s programmes and how relevant they are to the contempo-rary global needs.
Sustainable quality will also depend on our academic conscience. Just like buildings need maintenance, teaching and learning need academic con-science. After all, knowledge is a cease-less process.
nomic state is dismal and its people have led a similar lifestyle which is simple and forest-oriented for a long time.
When I first began the process of assimilating knowledge to start with the vision document, the first question that I was compelled to ask was: ‘Whose uni-versity will this be?’ Needless to add, a university has to relate to a greater soci-ety, and at the same time to the local milieu. Thus, the Central University was for the greater civil and tribal society—both. An institution cannot be a stand-alone centre for excellence–it also needs to address local needs. Thus, the task is three-tier; to look at the global, national and local requirements. The process of establishing the university in Koraput began with the ‘vision document’; that helped to determine the purpose behind the endeavour. My team and I visited vil-lages to hold talks with residents, to gauge what they expected from the Cen-tre–especially, the younger generation.
Yes, the task was difficult, but it was worth it. I remember a girl, who approached us. She confessed that now she ‘dared to dream’, because of the uni-versity. For us, this statement was inspi-ration enough.
My team and I are just small fish in the pond. None of this would have been possible, had the Orissa government not
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Do I believe that the hope to bring India’s GER up to the 30 percent mark is a plausible proposition? Now that, is a tricky question. As far as I compre-hend, India does stand a chance to meet the goal, because the country has the infrastruc-ture required for the progress.
Then, there is the matter of interest. People are willing to invest in India. The success of the GER ambition will depend on how well we can utilise this interest; either through public-private partnerships (PPP) or, by making others (read; inter-national universities, venture capitalists and edupre-neurs) invest in us.
I believe that Sibal was looking at such collaborations while formulating his plan. Even a newcomer such as I can understand that there are three bas ic , interrelated points—fund, fac-ulty and infrastructure that are the three major challenges that new fledgling universities will face.
Institutions are being established in India, but mostly on a piecemeal basis—the establishment of such uni-versities beats the very purpose of
education. A robust classroom envi-ronment requires a blueprint. The government needs to clearly define its expectations from both private and public institutions—and, universities or institutes not being able to meet that standard, should not be allowed in the sector. The chairperson of National Innovation Council, Sam Pitroda’s statement, that given a large enough room, a robust IT infrastruc-ture and some bright minds, a univer-sity may be established, makes perfect sense in this country, where we need to establish an environment of education that is pragmatic. Especially, if we look at the Tier-II and III cities.
On the other hand, students who can afford to pay, look for more—a campus equipped with facilities and a campus life. If India wishes to compete at a glob-al level then it should look beyond bor-ders. Apart from the obvious factors like brand name and faculty, students tend to look at the accommodation environment and facilities available (classrooms, lec-ture halls, shops, along with sports and medical facilities).
Even the factor of whether the faculty lives on or off the campus plays a part.
Thus, though the one room university
is a great option in the Tier-II and III cities,
“BETTER INFRASTRUCTURE DOES NOT GUARANTEE QUALITY” Ashok Ranchhod, Director, MICA
When EDU interviewed the director of MICA, Ashok Ranchhod, for its June 2010 issue, the team was struck by Ranchhod’s optimism–he believed that it was ‘advantage India’ as far as the education sector was concerned. His beliefs are a mishmash of foreign and desi ideas
54 EDU TECH September 2010
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TECHNOLOGY WILL STANDARDISE ALL ISSUES
Pratima Amonkar, Director, Academia Microsoft, Bengaluru Area, India
When it comes to increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio, the solution is not as simple as merely driving it upwards. There are several ways issues to consid-er. In our efforts to expand, we will be faced with the issue of uniformity. While it will be unreal to imagine that we can have uniform expansion, our efforts have to be directed towards achieving quality and a semblance of standardisa-tion. When it comes to infrastructure, achieving standardisation is even more difficult. Yet, technology can make a huge difference. Self-based learning will be possible only if the technology is eas-ily accessible to the learner.
Shared Resource Computing, which is an easily available solution that deploys computing resources at an affordable cost, should be deployed. The ‘Cloud’ is something that is being touted as the next
Giving access itself could be a hurdle. In some areas, issues like bandwith are still to be overcome. A key challenge would be to get faculty to recognise that ICT will help them. This requires empow-erment and the education of faculty.
Peer collaborations among educators is a highly beneficial way to increase the quality of teaching, and hence, draw more students. Faculty should be able to col-laborate—across tiers—and learn from each other. This would also help in creat-ing better content. Technology can play a pivotal role here.
We believe in empowering the educa-tors, so that they can educate better. We set up Faculty Connections across the globe where we conduct short-term pro-grammes. We also have an IT academy that helps develop institutions to develop their faculty by giving them training on the latest, as well as the core curriculum. Another area where we have our finger in the pie is in laboratories. All labs need the latest technologies and software. Microsoft launched DreamSpark – a programme that helps students get access to develop-ment and designer tools free of cost. We also have tie-ups with institutions—Micro-Soft Developer Network Academic Alli-ance where institutions or universities enter into an alliance with us and get soft-ware for learning purposes.
Access, content, peer collaborations, empowerment and quality all play impor-tant roles in the standardisation of aca-demics. Quality and access, especially, are force multipliers.
big thing and will definitely be an impor-tant mechanism to institutions, in the near future. It can be used to build stan-dardised content. That content, however, should be available both online and offline and should be scaled across all campuses. Cloud will, of course, dissemi-nate the information.
it will perhaps not be enough for stu-dents who have grown up in the metros and who are still tied by the normative definition of formal education.
Can we manage all that we want, both in the metros and in the rural and subur-ban centres, without a monitoring body? Perhaps not! India lacks an encompass-ing, overarching governing body, like there is in the UK. Perhaps the National Commission for Higher Education and Research Bill 2010, needs a re-look.
It is important to maintain a standard, especially since establishing a better
infrastructure does not necessarily guar-antee quality. I realise that the challenges before edupreneurs and educators are manifold. An edupreneur needs to ask herself: what is the need for education in a particular area—what discipline does the institution wish to focus upon?
Once you have determined this key point, the rest will fall into place.
The infrastructure will be determined by the discipline. After all, the facilities needed by an arts institution will be dif-ferent from that devoted entirely to med-ical or scientific research.
The biggest factor will be the question of land–the ‘type’ of institution will deter-mine how much land a person will require Then, around the ‘plan’, infrastructures will be put in–do you have enough power, or is the nearest town, near enough? Is the road leading to your campus commutable? The question of amenities comes in next.
The establishment of an institution requires a vision, plan and government nod. After all, somebody has to take con-trol–either the government, or a desig-nated body, even if it is a body set up through the PPP path.
Pratima Amonkar, Director, Academia, Microsoft Bengaluru Area, India & Mark D’Souza, Microsoft
55September 2010 EDU TECH
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SPOTLIGHT At a glance
56 EDU TECH September 2010
SPOTLIGHT GERUNIVERSITIES NEEDEDUGC CAME UP WITH A SCHEME CALLED ‘SPE-CIAL DEVELOPMENT GRANTS FOR COLLEGES IN EDUCATIONALLY BACKWARDS AREAS’. THROUGH THIS SCHEME, UGC DECIDED TO PROVIDE GRANTS TO ESTABLISH 253 NEW COLLEGES IN DISTRICTS WHERE THE GER WAS SEEN TO BE DISMAL. THE SCHEME IS WAITING IN THE PIPELINES
SHARE OF PRIVATE UNAIDED HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS INCREASED FROM
THEIR SHARE OF ENROLMENTS ALSO INCREASED FROM
42.6% IN 2001 TO
63.2% IN 2006
51.5% IN THE SAME PERIOD
THIS TREND IS LIKELY TO CONTINUE IN THE ELEVENTH PLAN
Give me A ROOM LARGE ENOUGH,
A ROBUST IT INFRASTRUCTURE
AND 10 YOUNG PEOPLE BELOW THE AGE OF 30
and I will give you a university
SAM PITRODA,CHAIRPERSON, NATIONAL INNOVATION COUNCILSO
FR. XAVIER ALPHONSE
4 Edu TEch December 2009
58 EDU TECH September 2010
MOST AGREE THAT TECHNOLOGY WILL BE THE MAIN CATALYST IN RAISING INDIA’S GER. WITH AN EVER-INCREASING REACH, TECHNOLOGY SEEMS SET TO ERASE CLASSROOMS, BOUNDARIES
59 | Atul Chauhan, Chancellor, Amity University, Uttar Pradesh
60 | Mohammed Naseem Faruqui, Founder Chancellor, JIIT
62 | Uday Salunkhe, Director, Welingkar Institute of Management, Mumbai
The target of raising the present Gross Enrol-ment Ratio (GER) of India from 12.4 percent to 30 percent by 2020 is realistic and much await-ed, to promote economic growth and social development of the country.India ranks third—behind China and the US—
when it comes to GER. China boasts of a 22 percent GER while the developed countries have a GER of about 45 percent. As per the Annual Report of the Ministry of Human Resource Development 2008-09, India has one of the largest number of higher education institutions, amounting to 22,535.
There are many factors which need to be addressed for rejuvenat-ing and reforming higher education and attaining the desired results—technological and infrastructural revamping of existing institutes of higher education, opening new institutes of higher educa-tion especially in educational-ly backward districts of India, greater accountability and transparency in the institu-tions of higher learning, well-equipped faculty, mod-
ern pedagogy and research facilities, continuously evolving curricu-lum addressing the social, economic and developmental concerns of the country, increased budget allocation to higher education from a meager 3 percent of the GDP to almost 10 percent and above and effective partnership of all stakeholders and collaborative efforts.
The era of globalisation and rapid economic expansion has resulted in the need for adequate educated and skilled manpower. There is no dearth of manpower in the country but to convert them into a force which can accelerate the pace of social, economic, political and other developmental reforms in
“THE TARGET IS REALISTIC AND MUCH AWAITED”Atul Chauhan, Chancellor, Amity University, Uttar Pradesh
Among the people who we interviewed, it was Atul Chauhan who was most prompt in his reply! He gave us an emphatic yes—yes, Kapil Sibal’s pet project is not a far-fetched one. Sure it can be done. And, not only that, he came up with some tips on how it may be done
59September 2010 EDU TECH
“OUR COUNTRY DOES NOT BELIEVE IN INNOVATING”
the country is a challenging task. Educa-tion Minister, Kapil Sibal has also pro-posed to constitute the Indo—US Educa-tion Council to facilitate joint efforts in this area of concern.
India is also faced with the complex problem of a rural-urban divide, when it comes to education. Urban areas have 27 percent enrolment in higher education institutes, while in rural areas it is around seven to eight percent. On one hand, there are a group of institutes fully equipped with modern infrastructure and latest technology, like Information and Communication Technology (ICT) whereas their poor counterparts do not even posses the requisite infrastructure to provide higher education, including class-rooms, libraries, laboratories or computer labs. Then there are remote areas where there are almost no avenues for higher education in the wake of shortage of funds and faculty crunch. In such areas, either a student has to be satisfied with elementary education or move to cities endowed with higher institutions of repute having limited intake capacity.
Currently, India has about 350 univer-sities. The National Knowledge Com-mission has also recommended the opening of about 1,500 universities nationwide to attain the increased GER. The Indian Government is also looking at foreign shores (Foreign Education Bill) to solve the problem.
Amity Group with its three universi-ties- Amity University, Uttar Pradesh; Amity University, Rajasthan and Amity University, Haryana and over 15 Amity Global Business Schools is providing education to over 80,000 students across the country. The Founder President of Amity, Dr. Ashok K Chauhan has envis-aged Amity campuses in every city of India by 2020 in order to provide quality education to the youth of the country.
The land is limited; a university or educational institute has to ensure the optimum utilisation of resources with the usage of most modern technology, be it networking, connectivity, knowledge sharing etc. A capacity server, for exam-ple, can cater to many other IT needs than just being a medium of transmit-ting information.
M.N. Faruqui, Founder Chancellor, Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, Noida
While the use of information technology into education has bridged the gap drasti-cally between education seekers and pro-viders, further involving ICT in its true form in education will not only make qual-ity education reach the ‘unreached’ but also improve the quality of delivery and teaching methodology.
Under the Pan-African e-Network project, which is being funded by the government of India, Amity University, Uttar Pradesh, is providing Tele-medicine, Tele-education,
Internet and Voice-Over IP Services, e-gov-ernance, e-commerce, infotainment, resource mapping and meteorological ser-vices through satellites, fibre optics and wireless links to millions , even in remote areas of the country through a click of a button. Amity has already deployed high end resources in developing e-content enriched with animation and graphics. Students can now pace their studies even if they are miles away from the campus. That is technology’s reach.
Planning is all about deciding how to act, and then sticking by an idea. I have a feeling that in India, we have forgotten how to plan. The people at the helm-of-affairs are too wishy-washy when it comes to decision making. For instance, the recent hullabaloo sur-rounding the Common Entrance Test for medical examinees– the plan was celebrated and then ceremoniously abandoned.
Technical education and technology in education–the ideas may be grand–but the question that intelligent people need to ask themselves and others is-to what end are we pursuing technical education? Why will we invest in technology in education? To improve technical education? To boost India’s capacity to innovate? The answer is a no–since our country does not really believe in innovating.
He belongs to the first batch of IIT- ians (Kharagpur). His credentials read an impressive list of technology-driven topics. We approached M.N. Faruqui, member of the Supervisory Board of Jaypee Institute of Technology (JIIT), hoping to receive an insight into what exactly ‘technology’ and ‘education’—two words brought together—entails. What we got was more than we bargained for
60 EDU TECH September 2010
es, there will be a vacancy unless the industry reality changes. This industry reality is therefore the crux of the matter–the complete and utter lack of viable options for students. And however hard the rest of us may try to spruce up the classrooms with technical tools–every-thing will end up being meaningless.
Having said all that, there is a need to make technology a part of classrooms, because the expertise is available and because the world is a technically-driven place. But, there is a need to train teach-ers how to use all that to the best of advantages. The Licence Raj should be eliminated to create more projects (tech-nical and otherwise) and then, when India looks less ‘anti-development’, will technology driven education and techni-cal education make sense to us.
TODAY, EMPLOYEES NEED TO BE INNOVATIVEVinay Awasthi, Director, Personal Systems Group, Hewlett Packard, India
India needs a truly global classroom experience where teaching will be inter-active and interesting.
Technology solutions should help institutes go beyond textbooks to hone the skills and knowledge of the students and faculty alike.
These e-learning solutions should aim to identify, develop, deliver and support solutions that will enable educational institutions to achieve better academic standards by deploying adequate and appropriate technologies.
According to IDC’s Asia Pacific Quar-terly PC Tracker 2009, demand from education contributed largely to the overall PC shipments in the commer-cial segment.
According to Himanshu Seth, Country Manager, Mid-market and Education, Personal Systems Group, HP India, Col-leges and universities worldwide are
striving to enhance the quality and effi-ciency of education that translates into a bright career for students. We would all agree that IT can play an important role
as a key education enabler. Today, employees are required to be
innovative, acquire digital prowess, communicate effectively and work across teams.
This is where technology can facilitate adoption and learning for students and also support and empower faculty.
HP Learning Solutions (HPLS) is one such tool.
The combined offerings of the service, which includes HP Educenter, Procurve Mobility Academy Solution, Solidworks Lab, industry-relevant certification courses by Education Services and HP Financial Services.
The HP Educentre brings the best in class video and text content on five streams of engineering prepared by NPTEL.
Technology enhances classroom learning and collaboration and helps control infra-structure costs by delivering anywhere, any-time wireless services to a broad array of users and devices campus-wide.
To bridge the increasing gap between ‘what the university provides’ and ‘what industry expects’, the HP Solidworks Lab gives the students a first hand experience of cutting-edge technologies, used by engi-neering professionals worldwide, which are used to design innovative and real-world products.
We borrow technology, tools, ideas and industries. Unless, the culture of manufacturing is inculcated in this industry, it will not make sense to have technical education. My grandchild, in his Class XII has already decided against such an education. He believes that it will not be ‘useful’ as ‘he had heard’
there is a 25 percent vacancy in engi-neering institutes because there are no jobs ‘at the end of the day’. He is not far off the truth. In Haryana indeed there is 25 percent vacancy
in engineering institutes–and no matter how techni-
cally brilliant you make your class-
Vinay Awasthi , Director, Personal Systems Group, Hewlett-Packard, India
61September 2010 EDU TECH
“WE CAN’T JUST CUT, PASTE AND COPY”Uday Salunkhe, Director, Welingkar Institute of Management, Mumbai
Uday Salunkhe, an engineer-MBA and a PhD is currently the director of Welingkar Institute of Management, Mumbai. He served as the president of Association of Indian Management Schools. He is currently on the board of Associat ion of Management Development Institutions in South Asia. Under his leadership, Welingkar Institute ranked eighth in the private B-school category
It looks difficult. But then, India takes quantum leaps. The telecom revolution is a good example of such a leap. We don’t go for the very gradual kind of growth. Peo-
ple go through that learning curve all across the world, but India doesn’t.
When the PCO revolution came about kiosks came up overnight and
reached out to over seven lakh villag-es. We will have to take a similar
approach if we want results here. Though 30 percent may be difficult, it is not impossible. However, achieving it is nothing short of a revolution.
With the 3G or with the 4G revolution coming through, and with a technology point of view, if you’re looking across the country at the infrastructure being developed, concepts need to be changed; new products need to be developed. With an increasing standard of living, people are now willing to spend a lot of money and gadgets are now taken for granted. However, for a real technological revolution in educa-tion, students need access to affordable gadgets like the $35 laptop.
A chalk and board education is no more valuable. An institution today has to create more value and opportunities for grooming. A typical student spends five to six hours a day in college. The remaining 17 to 18 hours are not invest-ed very wisely. Today, students get hooked to technology easily. It’s up to us to device the means to engage them in a meaningful way through technology.
Besides engaging students, technolo-gy can also aid in the administrative pro-cess and make life easier for institutes. We invested in clicker technology for all our multiple choice exams.
Faculty now does not need to invest too much time in correcting papers. Even the student, at the end of the test, knows whether he has got zero or ten and he can even go for a retest. I don’t need to invest too much time from my side and I get instant feedback.
Welingkar was the first wireless cam-pus in the country. We got help from Intel to make our campus wireless in 2002. We were also conscious that rais-ing the bar through technology would be incomplete if we did not involve the fac-ulty. We have to involve faculty to devel-op original content. It’s not easy to devel-op content, and teachers will need to be research driven if they want to keep up with new content. They can’t just cut and paste and copy.
Technology cannot be implemented overnight and in isolation. You have to prepare for it and ensure that all other processes are in place.
62 EDU TECH September 2010
TECHNOLOGY CAN EQUIP USERS WITH DEVICES TO EXPAND THE SCOPE OF LEARNING
Ramachandran Viswanathan, President and CEO, Devas Multimedia
Technology has the power to support education, by making it a more involving and experiential way of learning. Educa-tional institutions continue to adapt to newer methods, involving high usage of technology. A fact that needs attention here is that technology can benefit peo-ple only when it is pervasive and within the reach of everyone—from the metros to the remotest villages.
Unfortunately, despite the success of various systems supporting education, we have poor connectivity in over 40 per-cent of the nation’s landmass. A satellite system such as Devas, thus, has a sig-nificant role to play.
We believe the Centre’s expressed tar-get of including 90 percent of the nation’s geography with mobile coverage by 2010 can be exceeded. From day one, Devas will cover 100 percent of India in data services, including the entire land-mass and territorial waters.
The Devas Integrated Satellite System, a home-grown endeavor, will provide IP-based communications solutions, com-bining satellite, wireless, mobile and multimedia technologies, adapted for use uniquely in an Indian context. It will provide a resilient, multicast platform, extending the length and width of India and to all citizens. This will give the gov-ernment and private players an opportu-nity to tap the geographically unreach-
streaming audio and video sharing.Technology can equip users with
devices to expand the scope of learning.The challenge here is the adoption of
technology that often gets delayed and hampers the penetration of education.
For technology manufacturers, lack of knowledge among consumers restricts applicability and usage in several spheres—including education.
On the other hand, a report from ‘The Economist Intelligence Unit’ on The Future of Higher Education—How Tech-nology Will Shape Learning, suggests that high cost can lead to less consum-ers buying technology. Even if the con-sumer is aware of the technology, he may not be able to afford it.
Looking closely at what learners like and dislike about technology, it has been observed that devices that are bulky, or focused on large groups, instead of an individual, discourages users. For this, Devas enables users to have cost-effective communication through handy devices on a person-alised basis with nationwide connectiv-ity, at any point of time.
Post the activation of commercial ser-vices in the early next year, Devas plans to partner with companies that look into the educational area to encourage pene-tration of education in the remotest of areas in the nation.
able areas, and ensure that the youth in these regions get real-time updates and education through live-internet, just as an urban child would.
In 2010, Devas, in partnership with ISRO, is slated to launch its first satellite —GSAT6, to be followed by the GSAT 6A late in 2011.
By delivering internet-based IP-multi-casting and two-way communications services nationwide, Devas will enable NGOs and government agencies to deliv-er innovative applications such as dis-tance learning and transmission to users across a wide area, such as educational information. The personalised hand-held devices for two way communication between the teacher and the learner will ensure real time knowledge sharing and discussions through data exchange,
Ramachandran Viswanathan, President and CEO, Devas Multimedia
We have poor connectivity in over 40 percent of the nation’s landmass. satellite systems have a big role to play here
63September 2010 EDU TECH
64 EDU TECH September 2010
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
Let’s say we wish to create a CV for this particular Indian, who, as far as we see, changed the face of education in free India. Gandhi described him as the “Emperor of Learning” and counted on him as “a person of the calibre of Plato, Aristotle and Pythagoras”.
The youngest-ever president of the Indian National Congress adopted the name “Azad” (free) as a symbol of his emancipation from, what he perceived to be, the narrow dogmas of religion. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was born as Maulana Abul Kalam Muhiyuddin Ahmed, into a promi-nent Muslim family. His name means “the lord of dialogue” —it’s no coincidence then, that Azad was a brilliant debater. He was a freedom fighter and a poet, and a philosopher. He was a staunch supporter of Gandhi and was deeply committed to the cause of Hindu-Muslim unity.
Great leaders have called Azad a visionary. He has more than earned the title. After India won Independence, Azad became its first education minister. One of his first steps was to establish an Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur. “I have no doubt that the establishment of this insti-tute will form a landmark in the progress of higher technological education and research in the country”— that was a visionary speaking.
He was a man who thought ahead of his time; not only did he set up the IIT because he foresaw a great future for science and technology, he also set up the University Grants Commission to regulate and oversee the activities of future universities. As chairman of the Central Advisory Board of Education, Azad pushed for the education of women and took steps to address adult illiteracy. He was also responsible for the diversification of secondary education and vocational training. Nobody can accuse Azad of concentrating only upon the sciences, either. Along with fellow Khilafat leaders Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari and Hakim Ajmal Khan, he founded the Jamia Milia Islamia in 1920—an institute completely under Indian control, in a British-run country. What better man to lead the country’s education concerns than Azad—poet, philosopher, science lover who spoke Arabic, Hindi, Persian and Bengali. He even taught himself English. While imprisoned in a fort in Ahmedabad, he taught Persian, Hindu, Indian and world histories to his fellow inmates; Congress leaders. Education and literacy were issues that he considered cardinal. He rose to prominence mainly through his work as a journalist. At 12 he was the editor of Al-Misbah. At 14 he was contributing articles to literary journals. He was doubtful of religious dogma and at a young age entered into a period of what he called “atheism”. It is no wonder, then, that Jawaharlal Nehru called him “Mir-i-Karawan” —the “caravan leader”, “a very brave and gallant gen-tleman, a finished product of the culture that, in these days, pertains to few”.
If you would like to share similar stories with readers of this publication please write to the Editor, EDU at [email protected]
“I have no doubt that the establishment of this institute will
form a landmark”
1912Started a weekly Urdu newspa-per Al-Hilal, criticising the Brit-ish. The circulation went up to
1923Served as the youngest president of the Indian National Congress
1924President, Unity Conference
1931Organised the Dharasana Satya-
1939Endorsed the Congress’ exit from
1951IIT, Kharagpur established under
1952Elected to the Lok Sabha
1953University Grants Commission
1956President, UNESCO General
1957India Wins Freedom, book,
1992Posthumously awarded the
Emperor of Learning
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