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18 Oct 2021, Edition - 2288, Monday

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Coimbatore

Autonomy with accountability needed in higher education

Covai Post Network

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Noting that no Indian university figured in the top 200 universities at the global level, D.P. Singh, Director, National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Bengaluru, today said that to compete with the best universities in the world we needed to work hard for achieving excellence in quality performance in all dimensions.

In his address on the 32nd convocation of Bharathiar University, Prof. Singh said that world class universities were research-intensive and focused on research publications and awards; reputation of the institution; teaching-learning processes, faculty- student ratio; alumni base; and international faculty and students.

The quality of academic output greatly depended upon the quality of input as well as the process, he said adding, “It is our responsibility to ensure that we must strive for achieving highest levels of quality in academic performance and take necessary measures in those directions”.

Assessment and audits played an important role in this process as they provided the
reality check by bringing the gap between where we stand today and where we want
to go, Prof. Singh said and expressed confidence that very soon Indian universities would also appear in the list of Best Universities of the World.

“In our quest towards creating world class institutions of higher learning, we need to make suitable reforms for equipping and enabling Indian higher education institutions to achieve greater heights in academic expansion, excellence and innovation. These institutions can achieve the very purpose of their existence only when they are allowed to function with sufficient academic, administrative and financial autonomy.”

He said it was equally important to bring “Accountability” along with “Autonomy” in the institutions of higher education and the benefits of autonomy could be fully realized only when accountability was ensured through good governance, a well defined, organized,
structured, transparent system for smooth conduct of operations.

The Indian higher education system is presently facing a growing number of challenges related to governance, regulation, quality, skill development, regional disparities, gender and social gaps, internationalization, employability and many more issues, Prof. Singh said.

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