Why is that an Indian education minster in hurry to cleanup the road to let in the mega sized foreign private universities, and assigning young Indian Private Universities to dustbins ?
Is Mr Kapil Sibbal the current education minister of India right in throwing 44 private Indian universities out of the ring? The answer is in many parts. /a/ moral and historical character of Indian politicians /b/ can a court of law or anyone for that matter trusts and will trust in competence and processes of the government i.e., UGC and MHRD as regulators /c/ market size of Indian education and prowling eyes of mega sized private universities and brokerage opportunity for politicians and their family and friends. /d/ state of competence of government services in general: comparing government schools with private schools, similarly with hospitals of the two breed, and in any other field of fair competition.
The question will be before the Indian top court whether the minister of education and his weapon of committee claiming to save India from commercial education can be trusted and if yes, why? Is the government run by adhoc committees and self will of an individual minister or, has had an institutional mechanism of the state. If the competence and processes of UGC and MHRD are at fault, the minister should first correct it and be apologetic to the nation for the failure of governance in education. Is it acceptable to believe India still a country of colonial legacy, and governments can run it like an animal husbandry where laws for butcher and laws for domesticated animals differ.
It is well known that foreign universities are knocking doors of India with huge purses filled with USD. The road for letting them enter India has yet to be cleaned, and it is a rewarding job for any deserving corrupt politician. I can guess the minister has been active in geting foreign universities bill passed. Given the morality of authorities and powers they hold, only an idiot cannot benefit from the enterprise of this loot? It only has had one hurdle. Indian origin Private Universities can offer stiff competition to these mega foreign universities …. the government universities anyway …cannot and will not have the sense of competition and abilities. People in government see an opportunity and can at best be a broker in allowing foreign universities and make laws that suit their masters who can pay them in green bucks. I hope this assumption is my fear and not becomes true.
As the issue of educational standards are concerned, there is no national standard. The word education is not even defined. It is not possible to test a person to be called educated and a degree or measurement can be independently applied. University is a monopoly of education because it has no other test of it in public domain It is really bad to see the people in government who have as yet not made knowledge as deliverable. Incompetence can be a good justification but why should one then have regulators for counting number of bench in a classroom, or color of plaster in building, and land records of ownership of building and so on.
I think knowledge commission of Sam Pitroda has more and deep insight of the education standards and its implementation than.. flying committees of Sibbal & company. For example, for engineering degree, there are n number of affiliated colleges to so called technical universities of a state, and this can be one answer of state level standard. If that is so.. the minimum standard for engineering degree becomes a state education standard. The practicals and other requirements can be prescribed and any student or teacher or dean can evaluate the compliance, transparently. As a regulation,it should have a courts for complaints and disputes when deficiency of service levels found and it should publish each such cases to public rating, opinion and percepton.
IIT and US education system is certainly better because it is not an Indian system of universities. Indian university system makes teachers as delivery boys and with no self initiative. University system is wedge between student and teacher. This is humiliating and IIT graduates and post graduate can get suffocated in Indian mass education. This means, our honourable minister should bring a bill for Quality of Teachers and Thinkers that can be used to rank teachers by its students alone but at different places. A teacher should move from one university to another freely and merit basis, and develop him/herself not as delivery boy/girl but a man/women of character, integrity, freedom and knowledge. Teaching should become a rewarding experience for teacher and students both, and good teachers can have higher demand in open market where universities compete for the best. The universities will then compete for good teachers, and India will have a vibrant educational infrastructure by private sector and yet high quality. Even a small university with a very limited means …in some village can be world class university without any recognition from government but by the processes and results.
The content of education itself is no longer remained subjects of nobility or genteleman/statesman education but of the value in market. One studies engineering to earn money from market, and expect to act as player of economic system. Similarly, in business administration, and media and advertising and so on. The government finds it hard to pursue studies in nobility or gentleman’s education like literature or laws or history. May be these subjects called hobby areas and one can study by informal means or in few state funded universities of nobility. The private universities are of market and these know what exactly to teach for latest market requirements. Governments and existence of nation state is no long lasting thing, and there will be soon multinational countries in form of common markets as the european union. Idea of markets anyway will at some point in time …kill the Plato’s idea of republic or nation state.
Government in any case has no competence in educational reform by own resources. A teacher of government school even if paid well cannot perform because it faces no competition and his/her self image is pushed to low. Government fails in secondary school system, and sons and daughters of Indian minister do not even look at government quality schooling. There can be exception but it is a rule. The government is not honest and it has the authority to misuse but not serve country men, and by domestic resources.
The judgement of top Indian court shall be based on laws and assessment of motives of government and market. I only hope that Indian education is not sold and if the private sector Indian education is made handicapped by this clever man… India will be surely a slave nation with Indian rulers and public. We will then say as I often quote that India has few Indians.
In the last… we in India need educational reform where teachers have interest, ability and character and students should be known by name their teacher as well as course number and version number. Teacher should develop courses, make it public and get a national code after an online public review and suggestion, and let universities have them at choose of students. This is also a privatization but with due philosophy and process. I do not think the minister of Indian education has the caibre of understanding the impact of quality education by best use of our limited means and people. I only hope he is not lured by green bucks from off shores and sells off the future of 1.25 billions of Indians on the earth.