'India needs to focus on higher education for $5tn economy'

Chennai, Nov 2 (IANS): Stressing that universities are the engine for innovation, economic growth and social development, O.P. Jindal Global University's Founding Vice Chancellor, Prof C. Raj Kumar outlined a 10-point ambitious growth and reform plan for the Indian Universities at an event here on Friday.

He observed that this plan will enable Indian universities to achieve excellence and also move up in global rankings. Indian universities need to re-imagine their vision and mission to align themselves with the goals of nation building with a stronger focus on social and economic development of the country, he said.

"India needs world class universities that will produce outstanding graduates across all disciplines. Indian universities need to become the driver of social and economic transformation through research, innovation, and human development," said Prof Raj Kumar.

"The demographic dividend we have on account of the 850 million young people less than the age of 35 years will positively impact our economy and the society, only if we have quality education that will produce research, solve problems and lead to sustainable job opportunities," he said.

It is worth noting that not a single university from India is among the top 100 universities of the world, while there are several universities from Asia - China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taipei besides from the US, UK, Europe, Australia, Europe among the top 100 in the world.

"Global rankings have emerged as a dominant way of measuring performance. There is today a serious aspiration underlining the need for Indian universities to be in the top 200 universities of the world and the urgency of seeking reforms that will pave the way for promoting excellence in higher education and research.

"It is important that Indian universities embrace the international rankings framework as well as international accreditation processes, which will benchmark Indian universities with the world class universities in many countries," Prof Raj Kumar saod.

Prof Tom Goldstein, Dean of the Jindal School of Journalism and Communication, was also present at the meet.

Both of them emphasized the need for Indian higher educational institutions to be at par with their international counterparts and also invest in strategies, vision, faculty, research and infrastructure to ensure they break into globally recognised international rankings.

Founded in 2009, O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) is a non-profit global and research-oriented private university, recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC).


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