NIU and Educacation Experts for better higher education in Bihar

A two-day international conference on 'Quality in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunity in India', organized jointly by the state HRD department and Institute of Public Enterprises (IPE), Hyderabad, for preparing a road map for higher education in Bihar commenced here with state HRD minister P K Shahi appealing to the academics to find out solutions to meet the challenges of higher education in the state.

He stressed on improving the academic environment and imparting quality higher education of international standard in the universities in Bihar. The 64-year-old practice of governor being the chancellor of universities had to be reassessed, he said.

"Efforts are on to develop 50 colleges in the state as centres of excellence," Shahi said, adding that migration of Bihari students to other states for higher education can be checked only by improving the higher education scene in the state. He said that non-availability of competent faculties was a hindering factor which had to be addressed properly. Expressing serious concern over the decreasing number of students taking up studies of languages and literature, he said the talented new generation had to be motivated to study these subjects to create a base of good and talented teachers for higher education.

Pleading for increased outlay on higher education, he said that with mere Rs 12,000-crore budget, including for plan and non-plan schemes for human resources development in Bihar, a judicious use of the resources was needed for positive outcome. This could be achieved only with sound planning, he said. The state alone cannot bear the huge cost of quality higher education and so the opening of autonomous institutions should also be worked out, he said.

Principal secretary, HRD, Anjani Kumar Singh, said that in last 6-7 years, the government was able to revive primary education by reducing the dropout rate from 25% to 3%. Steps had been taken to improve secondary education and now effort is on to better higher education, including technical education. He said that a mismatch in demand and supply of faculties for higher education had to be solved for creation of centres of excellence in higher education. For this, the Aryabhat Knowledge University and Nalanda International University had been established.

IPE academic Mridula Sahay said that the theme of the international conference is "Passion for Higher Education" to bring qualitative and quantitative development in the field of higher education. In his inaugural address, the head, School of Economics and Statistics, Bond University, Australia, Kuldeep Kumar, said that awards should be given for innovation in teaching technology, teaching excellence, research supervision, outstanding service award. There should also be a review of teachers' commitment towards the profession, he said.
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