The Vice-Chancellors (VCs) of over 200 central and state universities have asked the Union Government to provide statutory support for a necessary 10% increment in student fees after every three years to fulfill the financial demands of their institutions.
This proposal for increasing the fees is presented at a national conference of VCs in New Delhi called by the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) to help prepare the nation’s education policy for the next five years.
A government official suggested that any increment in fees will be accompanied by sufficient scholarships to make sure that any student is not left behind due to the lack of resources.
The VCs recommended that the critical shortage of faculty in higher education could be overcome by providing teaching assignments for research scholars, and short or medium-term employment for foreign faculty at an international level of remuneration.
The conference also discussed on the idea of adopting the semester system throughout the country. The VCs suggested that the system can be implemented by dividing the whole academic year into different semesters. The up-gradation of evaluation system from marks to grades was also among the concerned points. It was believed that the grading system will facilitate mobility of students across different universities.
This is not the first time when fee hike proposals are made. Some committees including the National Knowledge Commission have advocated such proposals in the past.
On the issue of affiliation, there was a common sentiment that the number of colleges affiliated to a university should be limited to just 40 to 50. The vice-chancellors also favoured greater autonomy and less political interference in the functioning of the universities.
The VCs also discussed the issue of patenting and they voiced their concern on the probable erosion of indigenous knowledge in case of research done in collaboration with foreign universities or within the campuses of such universities that might be set up in the country. It was necessary to establish the equivalence of degrees and diplomas so they could be recognised abroad and vice-versa.
[Source: Hindustan Times, The Hindu]
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