ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Higher Education

A propos the discussion on ‘Revamping Higher Education’ (July 21), it is to the author’s credit that he has listed a number of naked truths and possible remedies for the betterment of higher education in this country. With the liberalisation of the economy, there is a high degree of commercialisation of education, right from the primary level in the form of public schools, to the hi-tech medical and engineering colleges and other professional institutions. The unbridled commercialisation of education has put several questions about access to education, especially of students from lower middle class families. It has become impossible for such families to provide their children education in good institutions. The consistent withdrawal of the state from the social sector, paving the way for private players, has a definite long-run, negative impact on the economic, social and political life of the people. The status of colleges imparting general education has deteriorated to a large extent. The accreditations by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council guarantee neither continuity nor improvement due to lack of follow-up action in most of the institutions that have received such accreditation. So also the University Grants Commission as the highest body of higher education mainly limits itself to financial assistance to state-run universities and affiliated colleges to build up infrastructure, but lacks in effective supervision towards the proper utilisation of funds at the ground level. There is the dire need for a timely, effective policy for higher education in Orissa on the provision of grants-in-aid, control over the fee structure of private institutions and so on.

Narendra Kumar Behera

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