Essay on Higher Education in India

 

India has travelled a long way in education, from the “Guru -Shishya” practice of learning under the shade of a tree in medieval times, to becoming the second largest in the field of higher education world over after United States!

Today, all high school students start thinking about career options but the question is whether our country has the facilities to help our dreams  soar in the sky or whether we have to go abroad to make our dreams come true. After extensive research on this topic, it is indeed reassuring to know that “Our future lies in safe hands.”

In the current world scenario new inventions, modern technologies, growing economy and competition is the order of the day. In this emerging global one upmanship, India is trying to position itself as a knowledge driven economy. Higher education assumes tremendous importance in facing these challenges.

What is higher education?  To put it simply, it is a stage of learning that occurs after secondary education at the Universities, Colleges and Institutes of Technology. The aim of higher education is to prepare a person to play his part well, as an enlightened member of society.

The world has fast shrunk to a common platform of education and learning.  It is then heartening to know that some Indian universities like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have been listed in the world’s top two hundred universities. In the field of finance, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad has been ranked number 12 in the global MBA ranking by Financial Times, London.

All India Institute of Medical Sciences has been recognized as a global leader in medical research and treatment. In sheer numbers, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) can proudly boast of being the largest university in the world, with approximately 3.5 million students across the globe.

During the last few years, universities have increased manifold and colleges have mushroomed all over our country to impart higher education. However whether just the availability of educational institutes means do we have a robust higher education system? In this scenario, a conflicting picture arises with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s words, “Our university system is, in many parts, in a state of disrepair. In almost half the districts higher education enrollment are abysmally low. Almost two third of our universities and 90% of colleges are rated below average in quality parameters...”

Unfortunately, we are lacking hugely in terms of quality output from our higher education institutes. This can be confirmed from the fact that barring exception of few institutes mentioned above very little world class research gets published from other institutes, very few new innovations comes from Indian soil.

There are no Nobel prizes awarded to Indian Scientist who has exclusively worked in India and published his research from Indian soil. This is not true for Indians living abroad, so the talent is there but drive to achieve the results from this talent is not there. This has sadly led to a massive “brain drain”

The first step towards improvement has to be taken at school level with aptitude tests being introduced to know where the interest of the student lies. These students should then be encouraged to join those fields of interest. Emphasis should be laid on not just increasing the number of higher education institutes but Centre of excellence. Great stress must be laid on good infrastructure and facilities. Achievers in every field should be rewarded adequately.

Universities for other varied branches other than Engineering and Medicine should come up to prevent saturation in restricted fields. Last but not the least CORRUPTION needs to be routed out and money used to start more projects and research scholarships.

In conclusion higher education means integrated development of personality which should be imparted through head, hand and heart. Rabindranath Tagore rightly said, “The higher education is that which does not merely give us information, but makes life in harmony with all existence”.

By

Saloni Wadhwa

Email: drrwadhwa-at-yahoo.com