KOZHIKODE: The fund crunch of higher education institutions in the country would be a thing of the past if the Centre approves UGC's demand and allocates Rs 1.84 lakh crore in the 12th five year plan which will start on April 1. According to Prof Ved Prakash, UGC chairman, he is hopeful getting the funds.
"There can be qualititative expansion of higher education with this kind of funds provided the institutions have the commitment that is required," he said speaking at a seminar on 'Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities' at Vadakara. The UGC's fund demand is almost four times bigger than the Rs 46,663 crore it received during the 11th five year plan.
The UGC chairman said that higher education institutions that lack in quality have no business in this field. "Quality of education should not be compromised. If students are unable to pass with the at least 33-40% from an institution, then the quality of education there is pretty bad," he said.
He said the educational institutions in state have to operate in accordance with state government laws. Prakash said though India has the largest higher education system in the world with 644 universities and 31,023 colleges, the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in the country is still less than those of developing nations.
"Our GER is just 18%, much lesser than the world average of 27%, and 52% clocked by developed nations," he said.
He said that higher education is beset by regional imbalances and lack of equity. "There are pockets in the country where the GER is as high as 37% while some areas have GER as low as 5 %," he said.
Inaugurating the seminar, Mullappally Ramachandran, minister of state for home affairs, called for setting up of the proposed Indian Institution of Technology (IIT) in north Kerala.
Dr V N Rajasekharan Pillai, former vice-chancellor, IGNOU, T P Sreenivasan, vice chairman, Kerala Higher Education Council, Dr M K Hada, senior advisor, AICTE, and vice-chancellors from four universities in the state attended the seminar.