HRD change: Doubts over for­eign ed­u­ca­tion bill

Dif­fer­ent peo­ple ex­pect dif­fer­ent things to hap­pen af­ter the change of guard at the HRD min­istry in New Delhi

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - HT Ed­u­ca­tion Cor­re­spon­dent

Dif­fer­ent peo­ple ex­pect dif­fer­ent things to hap­pen af­ter the change of guard at the hu­man re­sources de­vel­op­ment min­istry in New Delhi. For AK Gosain, pro­fes­sor of civil engi­neer­ing, IIT Delhi, the HRD min­istry un­der the lead­er­ship of Pal­lam Raju “has a pro­nounced fo­cus on link­ing jobs to ed­u­ca­tion. This will es­sen­tially trans­late to two things — greater fo­cus on vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion and strength­en­ing of in­dus­try aca­demic part­ner­ships both for teach­ing and re­search.”

Rani Ku­mar, dean, All In­dia In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Sciences, ex­pects a mixed bag. “The new HRD Min­istry seems forth­com­ing in terms of im­pend­ing bills on higher ed­u­ca­tion. How­ever, the bills might take time ma­teri- al­is­ing since the new min­istry un­der the lead­er­ship of Pal­lam Raju is con­sci­en­tious about thor­oughly re­view­ing the grass root re­al­i­ties be­fore im­ple­men­ta­tion.” She adds, “The for­eign ed­u­ca­tion providers bill now seems a dis­tant pos­si­bil­ity. The some­what ap­pre­hen­sive at­ti­tude of Pal­lam Raju when it comes to col­lab­o­ra­tion with for­eign play­ers might have not-sopos­i­tive ram­i­fi­ca­tions even in the land­scape of in­ter­na­tional stu­dent and fac­ulty ex­change pro­grammes.”

Jayaprakash Gandhi, a Tamil Nadu-based ca­reer con­sul­tant, too, says that the for­eign ed­u­ca­tion bill is expected to get “de­layed” at least till the next elec­tions. Gandhi says that the coun­try “should have more uni­ver­si­ties with­out di­lut­ing the qual­ity.” The min­istry is likely to be­come “flex­i­ble,” al­low­ing more in­sti­tu­tions (deemed uni­ver­si­ties) to grow as op­posed to what the case was ear­lier, he says. “More deemed uni­ver­si­ties will come up.”

In ad­di­tion to this, re­search in sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy is go­ing to get a boost, he says. “I ex­pect R&D in­sti­tutes to get huge fund­ing from the min­istry.” Ac­cord­ing to Gosain, ap­pli­ca­tion-based sci­en­tific dis­ci­plines such as nan­otech­nol­ogy might get a sig­nif­i­cant fil­lip.

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