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What will be the game changer for higher education in India in 2013/2014?

Traditionalists have, for long, maintained that being a jack-of-all-trades is less effective
as opposed to being the master of one. However, given todays corporate scenario where
companies are looking to economize and, thus, have one person oversee several responsibilities,
it is important that students stay away from specializations, and focus instead, on building a
strong skills base. These skills should be academic and non academic. A student of physics or
chemistry may have the knowledge of the core subjects ,but it cannot be fully utilized without
the knowledge of humanity , human application and communication skills., the right attitude, a
will to learn and strong business acumen, will he or she be of use to the workplace. Today, being
multi-faceted is the name of the game.
The need of the hour is changing the education system more practical-oriented rather
than theoretical. Right from kindergarten to matriculation, a child should be instilled with the
practical knowledge and skills to apply the theory, which s/he is forced to cram and never made
to understand. Moreover, concrete steps should be taken not to privatize education, rather the
institutions should be government based with a constant check on the level of output. Criteria
should not be marks or how well a student performs in the exam; rather it should be whether a
student can apply such knowledge in real life and practical purposes.
In the present age, use of good technology can bring in a big leap in the education
system. While the younger generation is making their little ones quickly acquaint with e-
education, the older teachers have to bridge the gap by making themselves more familiar with
modern methodology like tablets, smart classes, and so on. Technology is most certainly the
future for learning. In disciplines like medicine, technical knowhow enables one to stay updated
on the various researches happening in the field of medicine. Higher education in India demands
new skills and needs to educate and re-educate people in their mid-careers to keep pace with the
globalised world. The scale of exposure required could be enhanced with suitable use of
technology. A right blend of the traditional system of teaching with rational use of technology is
going to be a new trend in education toward the welfare of all. Technology alone cannot suffice
or replace the one-on-one student-teacher interaction. We can always use technology for online
assignments, research and journals and so on.
Education that engages with societal, familial, industrial and environmental issues
relevant to India will transform itself and the country. It will produce deep and holistic learning
in the student, and lead towards an economically prosperous and humane society founded on
human values. Innovation and experimentation can change the face of education in India. The
academic system is in dire need of drastic reforms. Education should inculcate values and hone
skills, which will produce competent human beings and not mere professionals. The education
system should be responsible for creating entrepreneurs who can generate jobs while inculcating
creative acumen. Academics must produce individuals who are crisis managers, problem-solvers
and wealth-creators.
Information technology is a game changer. It can deliver content instantly, bring distant
individuals together, and make administrative processes faster. But IT can be more than a
delivery channel. IT can change the educational experience through simulations, games, haptics
(touch) devices that allow users to feel the reality of learning. The use of IT should be in a
different way as it can collect data on individual interactions and use that information to predict
who is at risk of failing, tailoring interventions to their needs. That same data can be used to
create recommendation engines, like Amazon or Netflix, that help students select the best
courses for their skill level and needs or plan a more efficient pathway to their degree. IT allows
people from around the world to collaborate, learning from each other and creating more than
any one person could individually.

Schools, colleges and universities are complex adaptive systems where people and
technology can work together to create value. School learning experience can be more than the
classroom chalk & talk. All the educational institutions must take into consideration the
educational needs of the learners, and design the curriculum while creating a scope for social,
technical, and intellectual interactions among students, faculty, and staff across the country.
Institutions must design processes and experiences that will allow students to solve their
problems and achieve their goals. However, multiple models will be required to be used as per
the specific needs of an institution as the needs, aspirations and circumstances vary a lot at
different locations.
Much of the use of information technology till date has focused on content delivery that
emphasizes information or course management systems rather than on student support or
collaborative, interactive, and immersive learning environments. New e-books /e-learning with
pragmatic needs are to be designed as it is happening in western countries as alternative models
that allow students to achieve more of their potential. Education is a game changer. We owe it to
ourselves, our students, and our society to keep working to change education for the better.
The Indian higher education system has witnessed significant expansion in recent years,
both in terms of the number of institutions as well as the student enrollment. Student enrollment
has crossed 129 million in 2007-08. The private sector has enthusiastically participated in the
growth of the higher education system with about 63% share. Some national open schooling also
has come up to augment the need of the growing population, still education system suffers from
significant structural shortcomings and faces huge challenges in meeting future expectations.
Despite having more higher education institutions than any other country in the world, India has
only a fewer number of world class schools or universities. Our GER (gross enrolment ratio) is
almost half of China, and lower than many developing countries. Inequity is also pervasive in
the system with the GERs of women and backward castes being much lower than the national
average. Education researchers have identified five areas critical to making the Indian Higher
Education system future ready They, as potential Game Changers for the Indian education
system are: financial innovation, innovative use of information and communication technologies
(ICT), reinvigorating research, thrust on vocational education & training (VET), and regulatory
The central government and the state governments are making more provision to promote
higher education. Five year planning makes provisions only to increase Gross Enrolment Ratio
(GER) related to the higher education. It is responsibility of the U.G.C. to make higher education
system in India more effective. Merely growth of higher education will not serve the basic
purpose of education policy. It is necessary to see that the schools, Universities and colleges
provide quality education to the masses. In some schools and colleges there is poor infrastructure,
lack of skilled manpower, or resources which are barriers in providing quality education. There
are also malpractices and unhealthy practices in some institutions related teaching, learning,
recruitment of staff and so on. The Govt. machinery should make effective regulation and try to
control such malpractices.
In the era of globalisation there are more weightage for competitiveness. Indias higher
education should be more reliable, competent so that the coming generations can be more
competent to face the challenges in their life. On the eve of a new century, there is an
unprecedented demand for and a great diversification in higher education, as well as an increased
awareness of its vital importance for socio-cultural and economic development, and for building
the future, for which the younger generations will need to be equipped with new skills knowledge
and ideas.