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HRD minister Kapil Sibal announced here on 3rd Friday, 2012 that a network of universities, forming a meta-university, will allow students to pick courses from across disciplines from different institutions from the coming academic session (2012-13). He explained that this would re-interpret the concept of a university as not just a traditional, physical space of learning, but as a repository of knowledge and information that can be delivered in multiple ways and can be accessed from anywhere and anytime. Addressing a conference on “One Globe 2012”: Uniting Knowledge Communities organized by US-India Business Council, Sibal said: The 21st century meta-university would be a network and an eco-system rather than a single brick and mortar space.
Though the internet and technology are fundamental to this conception of the meta-university, at the crux is not a new technology but a new pedagogy that is more in tune with the requirements of the knowledge society of the 21st century. Ten foreign universities that the Institute of International Education is bringing from the US are participating in the two days conference. Referring to the announcement made by the PM two months ago on the formation of a meta-university with the broadband backbone linking institutions of excellence in specific fields of knowledge, Sibal added: “To give this idea a shape we have mounted a National Mission on Education through ICT to link in 25,000 colleges and 2,000 polytechnics for enabling e-learning and content sharing”. The minister said that there is a need to open the doors to reputed foreign education institutions to usher in global competition in the higher education sector as well as to expand its base. He said that “the government is seeking to open up establishment of foreign educational institutions in India through enactment of a Foreign Education Providers Act, which will allow for 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in higher education”. Stressing on the need for the participation of the private sector to give a boost to the gross enrolment ratio, Sibal urged to increase it from existing 15% to 30% by next eight years. Hence, the aim is to raise the present 16 million enrolments in higher education to 42 million by 2020.
Courtesy: Times of India
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