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HIGHER EDUCATION

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Can India reap the benefits of having 64% of its population in the working-age group? Perhaps not! Experts are of the view that one of the biggest spoilers of the party is the lack of excellence in India’s higher education system, which could jeopardize India’s opportunity of reaping the benefits of being the ‘youngest country’ in the world. by EI Bureau

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r Sandeep Chatterjee, the working-age group. However, While India’s higher education Registrar of Jawaharlal posing a serious threat to India’s system has scored well on quantity, Nehru University and ability to reap the benefits is it is in complete doldrums member of IEF Academic Council, one enormous challenge – lack when it comes to its quality at says: “It is a 10-year the global level. window at best! If our There are alarming While India’s higher education system has scored higher educational regional imbalances well on quantity, it is in complete doldrums when institutions do not in the provision of put excellence on the higher education. it comes to its quality at the global level. There are agenda now, we may Quality colleges and alarming regional imbalances in the provision of miss the bus once universities in small higher education. Quality colleges and universities again.” towns and rural India India has an remain a distant in small towns and rural India remain a distant opportunity to amplify reality. At the same reality. At the same time, the quality of education its economic growth by time, the quality being imparted in existing institutes is poor. intensive exploration of education being of the power of its imparted in existing human capital. The institutes is poor. ‘youngest country’ in the world has of excellence in India’s higher Christopher K Ahoy, APPA only a decade to reap the benefits education system, which fuels Fellow, CEO of Performance of having 64% of its population in economic growth and innovation. Management Consulting, LLC,

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EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014


Associate Vice-President Emeritus of Iowa State University, and member of IEF Academic Council, says: “Commitment to excellence requires persistent and consistent continuous quality improvements in all areas of academic excellence: teaching, research as well as outreach that require high performance and trained faculty. Limited university research and innovation opportunities, infrastructure upgrades necessary to compete at 21st century global level, industry-academia gap, tired and old curriculum, and commercialised pedagogical approaches have shortchanged the existing educational system. Benchmarking, using appropriate metrics for raising the bar and marshalling of resource will be the pathway for excellence to the future.” Compounding these systemic deficiencies are the weaknesses in the attitude of pupil and the teacher to focus on excellence. It is this urgent need to channelise efforts on excellence orientation that catalysed the inception of Institutional

Dr. Sandeep Chatterjee, Registrar, Jawaharlal Nehru University Member, IEF Academic Council

EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

GDA teachers will use Android tablets to teach everything from Mathematics to languages, as well as continuously evaluate students on multiple parameters. Excellence Forum, with a singlepoint agenda of ‘EXCELLENCE’ (Identify, Develop and Celebrate). Driven by passionate leaders from the fields of academia and industry, IEF is a not-for-profit organisation pledged to ideate, invoke and inspire excellence in education. Nine key areas form the core of IEF excellence initiatives for higher educational institutions in India: faculty, student intake process, curriculum and pedagogy, research and innovation, endowments and funding, alumni relations, industry interface, infrastructure, and effective leadership. IEF members are the beneficiaries of all IEF activities in India. The activities include

international seminars by thought leaders; IEF excellence agenda conferences and workshops; IEF teaching excellence fellowships and research initiatives; master classes with international firms and experts to provide a practical view of excellence tools and methods; creation of India-centric excellence training material; and faculty development programmes, topped with a range of downloadable excellence training and communication material available on our website. IEF is also in the process of setting up Excellence Chapters across India to create a vibrant network that is informed and ready to infuse excellence in higher education. For details, visit www.iefglobal.org “IEF has firm plans to work with excellence-minded associates from industry, academia, the teaching community, and volunteer communities to get Excellence on India’s agenda,” says Probir Roy, co-founder and promoter-director of PayMate and trustee of IEF.

Christopher K. Ahoy, APPA Fellow, CEO, Performance Management Consulting, LLC Associate Vice President Emeritus, Iowa State University Member , IEF Academic Council

Probir Roy, Co-founder and Promoter Director, PayMate Trustee IEF

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India's Higher Education in need of Excellence