Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said it was sad that no Indian university figured among the top 300 in this year’s Time World University Ranking, and stressed on the need to improve quality of education in the country. Addressing students at the 16th convocation ceremony at Symbiosis International University here, Naidu said there wasa need to strategise to ensure Indian universities can rank among the top 100 and then in the top 50 in the world.
“We have to again make India a vishwa guru. And for that to happen, we have to improve the quality of education in Indian universities. It is sad to note no Indian university could find a place among the top 300 universities in this year’s Time World University Ranking. We need to think about the factors responsible for this,” he said.
He said there was urgent need to fill posts of teaching staff lying vacant in Central and state universities, and claimed the Union government had taken proactive steps in this regard recently. He said, in order to create world-class universities, there was a need to attract the best talent as teachers in Indian universities.
“To make teaching more attractive, faculty should be encouraged to undertake consultancy projects and must be provided financial support for start-ups. At the same time, we have to ensure accountability and performance of teachers,” said the vice president. He said, in many foreign universities, performance of college faculty is evaluated by their peers and students.
“We should consider setting up a similar mechanism for the performance audit of professors. This may complement the existing system, generally based on the number of research papers or publications by the teachers.
After the quality of education, another issue of utmost importance is affordability of education,” he said. Naidu said education is enlightenment, empowerment, enhancement, and lastly employment.
“But unfortunately we are taking the last one as the first one...Today values are going down in every field. Be it politics, public life, administration, journalism, judiciary, there is a certain erosion that has taken place... we must arrest it and must go back to our values,” he said. Naidu stressed on teaching “our history” to children so that they draw inspiration from it.
“Unfortunately, due to colonial rule, our history is not properly written. Our history was not properly included in the syllabus because we followed Macaulay’s education system,” he lamented.
Naidu said it was unfortunate that even after 70 plus years of Independence, remnants of colonial systems continue. “Time has come to give up this colonial mindset, colonial education and go back to our ancient, Indian, traditional, rich, curricular heritage and history of our education,” he said.
Naidu asked students to be prepared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, adding there was need for sustainable solutions to every day challenges.
“We need good policy support and resource-management advice from institutes such as this, for our science, technology and innovation to fructify and improve the quality of human lives,” he added.