Sunday, November 04, 2007

BS interviews Sukhadeo Thorat

Um, BS would be the Business Standard and, of course, Thorat is Chairman, Universities Grants Commission. Topic: The state of higher education in India.

What about reforms in the university education system, like common entrance tests, semester systems, constant revision of the syllabus and student transferability? What about the autonomy and governance issues? Universities seem to be going slow on the reforms front.

Yes, these are some of the issues raised by the Kothari Commission as well, and we have to look at them seriously. But it is wrong to say that they are not implemented at all. Central universities are going forward with reforms and we have to see that the state universities follow the same model. This can be done in stages.

To have a uniform approach in administrative and other matters, the UGC has a proposal to limit the affiliations under one university to 50 colleges. At present, some universities, like Mumbai and Osmania, have a huge number of affiliations. Most of the state universities are also in agreement with the proposal. This can be done by splitting the colleges within the existing universities and by creating new ones. There is also a proposal to have ‘constituent colleges’ which would deliver courses from the undergraduate to Phd levels.