It is a welcome step and strategic development of public funded educational Institutes of higher learning in India. We are looking for world class Institutes and trying to compete globally. The financial and manpower inputs are huge. However, the fundamental flaws in realizing the objectives are:
* Lack of proper planning for initiation and establishment of the Institutes. The Institutes are coming out of nowhere and leading almost way ward. There is no infrastructure available for new Institutes. Manpower and students are admitted before a bare minimum infrastructure facility is developed. In many cases, the land is not demarcated or allotted by the State Govt. Leading to the HER administrators to divert their time and resources for infrastructure planning and building for years. It so happens that both sides- infrastructure and academics suffer.
* A major difficulty in these Institutes is the lack of HRD's, lack of proper planning for mobility and induction of senior faculties at the level of Professor and Associate Professors.
* There is no clean and clear policy for portability of old pension, which debars senior faculties to move to new HER. The present policy is ambiguous and the directives by MHRD are not mandatory for Private and State Universities to follow. This is the greatest hindrance for new centrally funded HER to get faculties at senior level.
* Contrary to the concept of taking quality education to the masses, the popular policy in admitting students and other defective recruitment policies are spoiling the quality of education in the country.
Taking into the very poor performance of our Institutes in global ranking and competitiveness, it is high time to have an introspection on the above 3-4 points seriously by the MHRD, so that the country is geared up to meet the challenges of HER in near future. A clear cut policy is made to:
* Create infrastructure before appointing manpower.
* Make the portability of old pension to new HER Institutes, so that experienced Associate Professors and Professors can move to new Institutes without suffering financial loss and difficulty.
* The entrance process should not be cosmetic; it should be rigorous, free of any sort of political/social/financial/regional/cultural bias and based on competition only.
No doubt, India has a galaxy of talented and competent manpower and youth. But, only the above recommendations and implementation by MHRD immediately can be panacea for new HER Institutes to meet the minimum standards for global competitiveness.
Dr. Amarendra Narayan Misra
An expert in the fields of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology of photosynthesis, Dr. Amarendra Narayan Misra has more than 32 years of teaching experience.