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Can Indian Higher Education Match Global Standards? A Need To Retrospect

At the BW Higher Education Conclave, panellists from esteemed institutions in India deliberated upon the emerging role on the quality of higher education institutions in India

Long gone are the days when higher education was a perk enjoyed by some. Today, it is mandatory for every job seeker. The challenge today though is the quality of higher education available and if that adheres to the quality and standards of the global education system. In a panel discussion hosted at the BW Higher Education Conclave, panellists from esteemed institutions in India deliberated upon the emerging role on the quality of higher education institutions in India.

The moderator broke the ice talking about how the term ‘World Class University’ causes a stir among people these days. He said, “We need to accept the fact that this country does not have any world class universities due to many reasons and the government is one of them. We still have good institutions who continue to do a good job without being “World Class Universities”. Some of them, these days, call themselves “World Class” and some others are being called “World Class” which was never decided by them. The important thing is that they do the right things.”

It was then open for the panellists to share their viewpoints. Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra, Chancellor, Shobit University said, “Such topics and talks should go out in the public. I personally look at higher education with a different perspective as I am a promoter too. Although we are all from the private sector, there is no such term called ‘private universities’ in the government documents. But 30% of the universities functioning are private. This has been segregated. The government keeps pushing universities to keep doing something. Employability will start seeing a raise only when you give that sort of freedom to the universities. This role of government should be left to the universities then quality education will come.”

Nation building is a very vital part of any country to develop and improve itself. Speaking about the role of educational institutions in this, Dr Sunil Rai, Vice Chancellor, MIT ADT University, Pune said, “If Swami Vivekananda could see great things in our educational system and universities then we must be optimistic and believe in our system and our educational institutions. The contribution of private universities to this nation building is higher as most of the passing out students stay here and contribute to our country. In educational systems, teachers belong to the society and not to a particular institution. So if one college has the privilege of using nanotechnology to be used in their labs then that is supposed to be shared and not be ranked instead.”

Coming from a newer generation space, Sahil Chalana, Founder,, spoke his mind and said, “In colleges and universities, there was no feedback system. But with students and alumni and using technology, one can now get all the details of a college which help in the higher education process of students. Spending frivolously on newspapers and marketing is not the way to go. You need to invest in quality education. All the global world class universities are not managed by the government. If you always look at the government and blame them, then it is not the way to go. In the next 15 years, we have a big challenge in front of us as well as lots of disruptions are on their way. The internet has enabled this.”