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By Way2k Way2k
Way2k 5 Oct 2012
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India’s Univ sys in ‘deep crisis’
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India - After studying for two years to be a teacher, Anam Naqvi found out that the degree her school offers is worthless. Now, instead of attending classes and finishing a mandatory internship, she and her classmates protest every day outside the gate to their university in the northern city of Aligarh.

IIT’s up against govt proposals

Unaccredited and often entirely fake colleges have sprung up all over India as demand for higher education accelerates. In the booming New Delhi suburb of Gurgaon, there are dozens of one-room shops offering degrees in engineering, management, pharmacy, nursing and computers.

It is a story being replayed across many Indian cities. Poorly regulated, unaccredited and often entirely fake colleges have sprung up as demand for higher education accelerates, driven by rising aspirations and a bulging youth population. “New colleges are mushrooming everywhere, but many are flouting norms,” said Nilofer Kazmi, director of the government’s regulatory commission for higher education. “Many are conducting courses that have no approval or accreditation from the government regulators.”

More than 5 million Indians enter the 15-to-24 age group every year, adding a demographic thrust to the demand for more colleges and universities. Properly educated and employed, these young people could bring the country a demographic dividend, the sort of surge in growth that buoyed many of the Asian “tiger” economies from the 1960s to the 1990s. But if India does not create high-quality colleges for its youths, it risks reaping a demographic disaster.

The higher education commission recently released a list of 21 “fake universities,” many of them no more than a mailing address or signboard hanging over a shop, temple or hole-in-the-wall office space. A government regulator that focuses on technical schools named 340 private institutions across India that run courses without its accreditation. Of more than 31,000 higher education institutions, only 4,532 universities and colleges are accredited. “India’s university system is in a deep crisis,” said Devesh Kapur, director of the Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania, who has written extensively on the subject.

“There are so many regulatory barriers to setting up a college or university that it deters honest groups but encourages those who are willing to pay bribes. Millions of young Indians will have high expectations, paper credentials, but will be poorly educated. We can be absolutely sure that it is not going to be pretty.”

Courtesy: The Washington Post

 

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