July 23, 2018
Sugata Bose asks a Question regarding the higher education commission of India
Madam Speaker, the Government won the vote of No-Confidence on Friday night but the reply that the honourable HRD Minister has given us on Monday morning does not inspire much confidence in the future of higher education in our country.
First Supplementary Question
The Government seems on its way to establishing a Higher Education Commission which will be dominated by Bureaucrats rather than by Academics. My question regarding the transparency in funds disbursement to central universities has gone unanswered. As you know, Madam Speaker, over the last four years I have made various suggestions on how to achieve both broad access and excellence higher education. In our quest for excellence I urged the Government on the floor of this House, on July 17 2014, to invest in 10 of the most promising established universities; both central and state, that may have gone into some decline of late but can be turned around through visionary leadership and judicious strategic investment.
Sadly, not one Central or State university has made it to the list of institutes of eminence to be given autonomy and financial support. May I ask the honourable HRD Minister whether he believes that not a single existing Central or State university has the potential to become a world-class institution even though a non-existent private institution can be declared as one of the six institutes of eminence? Is it the Government’s policy to demoralise our best public universities and starve them of resources to enable their own favoured industrialists to make unconscionable profits at the expense of our youth?
Second Supplementary Question
Madam Speaker, my first Supplementary Question was directly related to the question that we have posed, because the Higher Education Commission is being established to improve the quality in higher education in our country.
The point that I made was that there are three public institutes, two IITs, one IISc that has been included on the first list of institutes of eminence. But among the three private universities, there is one non-existent private university; that means that you have recognised its potential.
The question that I asked the HRD Minister, was that does not a single Central or State university have the potential to become a world-class institution? There are so many Central universities and there is not one university that has been included. Now I can understand that the Government can only provide extra funds for 10 public intuitions but will the HRD Minister tell us that he is prepared to give genuine and substantive autonomy to all Central universities and all promising State universities. Why not?