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Speaking at the higher education conclave organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, minister of human resource development, Kapil Sibal stressed ways to improve the existing academic patterns. "Most of our universities are not forward-looking and follow archaic academic systems and policies because their highest decision making bodies - the academic and executive councils - are run by people with vested interests," he said.
"The statutes and ordinances in most universities have outlived their utility and need revision. However, the academic and executive councils comprise people who are often politically motivated and do not want such changes. Naturally, there's a stalemate!" Sibal said. He went on to criticize the dichotomy in the policies of universities across the country, causing a severe disparity in levels of learning. "There are forward looking universities that have converted colleges affiliated to them into the semester system, whereas there are many others who take exams at the end of three years. Naturally, there will be a wide gap in the quality of students produced," Sibal stressed. He criticized affiliating universities that keep taking colleges under their wings, reminding everyone of Calcutta University that has nearly 400 colleges affiliated to it. "Such universities cannot concentrate on academics anymore because they have become centres that set exam question papers and publish results," Sibal said without mincing words. He went on to elucidate on the plan of a single engineering entrance exam for the entire country. The idea is that not only the IITs and centre-run engineering institutes will take students on the basis of one central exam, but even the state run colleges. "We do not want to force this on the states. Each state will be consulted before a final call is taken. We will be able to remove the disparity between the different school exam boards by arriving at a formula that is being devised for the purpose by the Indian Statistical Institute," Sibal explained.
Courtesy: Times of India
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