SILCHAR, Nov 16 � Amidst a momentous change, India�s higher education is facing the challenges of expansion, excellence, equity and employability and the need of the hour is to strike a balance between the 4Es as we prepare ourselves to be globally competitive, said Prof Suranjan Das, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calcutta in his address at the 14th convocation of Assam University Silchar on Saturday.
In his address as the chief guest of the convocation, Prof Das said that India is confronting competition at regional, national and international levels and being driven by the compulsions of globalisation, the attainment of excellence has become the sin qua non for survival in today�s higher education scenario. �None of the universities finds a place within the top 200 universities in the world ranking. This is not surprising when the country�s 62 per cent of universities and 90 per cent of colleges in India accredited by NAAC are either average and below average,� said Prof Das lamenting the fact that India records only 3.44 per cent of global research as compared to USA and China with 29.01 and 10. 96 per cent respectively.
However, acknowledging the fact that there are some excellent centres of excellence in India, the Vice Chancellor felt that there is a need to inject a new dynamism into the higher education system with modernisation of teaching learning process which allows effective use of the ICT and creates opportunities for student mobility geographically.
Prof Das said that even as he is not against private participation in higher education, the authorities must be careful so that this does not degenerate into commercialisation of higher education leading to comodisation of education.
Addressing the graduating students on the occasion, Prof Das said that the students moving out of the university must be equipped with skills and motivational levels so that they are ready to face the competitive world. Also, it has to be ensured that the students remain committed to the principles of nationalism and pluralism. �We need to create a student community who would be critical members of the civil society and be aware of the problems as to whether growth of science and technology is leading to a decline of infant mortality rate and also ensure answers on whether IT creates a digital divide or not,� he maintained.
Meanwhile, as many as 2393 students present on the day were conferred degrees and were administered oath by the chancellor of the university Gulzar. Prof Somnath Dasgupta, the Vice Chancellor said that the Pranab Mukherjee, President of India and the Visitor of this university and JB Patnaik, Governor of Assam and Chief Rector of the university have sent their greetings and wishes on the occasion.