SOME ASPECTS OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN INDIA AND ITS IMPACT ON THE NORTH-EASTERN REGION
Posted by egovindia on June 24, 2006
Nagarjuna University, Nagarjuna Nagar, Hyderabad-522 510
ICFAI University, Nagarjuna Hills, Hyderabad-500 082
Scientific knowledge and technological skills play a significant role in shaping the contemporary world scenario. These advancements are a consequence of higher education leading to the genesis of what is known as a Knowledge Society. Information technology brought about a contraction of spatial dimensions molding the knowledge society to a global village. Geographical and national boundaries of modern world are fast getting erased with flashing of information at an unimaginable rate and accuracy. Man is now better equipped in understanding the genesis of the universe. Medical science achieved the prolonging of life and the threshold of creation of life artificially is not far away. Higher education evidently exerts a profound influence on all these aspects leading to social changes. The North-Eastern region of India being characterized by the simultaneous existence of diverse, unpolluted distinct and highly specific tribal cultures, has its own unique identity. The role of higher education in bringing about social change in the North-Eastern region is to be critically examined in such a milieu.
HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE SOCIETAL CHANGE :
THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY
P. K. Sengupta,
Department of Polymer Science & Technology
Calcutta University, Calcutta- 700 009
In the era of global economy this century foresees a technology driven society where
“ knowledge will be the key differentiator” and human resource development will be the main driving force for the growth engine. To combat this challenge of global knowledge, higher education will have to respond to a certain complex range of inter related economic and social changes amidst the diverse culture, religion, language, geographical locations, policy shifts and local issues of our country. A social dimension of the education, in higher education, is a pre-requisite to enhance the social cohesion and equity. An integrated approach should, therefore, be made for the societal transformation to ensure participation of various sectors such as education, agriculture, energy, healthcare, and information and biotechnology. In case of North East India a review of the educational system, the funding pattern and infrastructure development is urgently needed in view of the tremendous progress made in information and communication technology, and biotechnology especially for the e-learning process in education for distance, adult and continuing studies, and introduction of interdisciplinary and sandwich courses, development in rural and appropriate technology, tourism and horticulture including forestry, and the opportunity for industry- institute co- operative program while taking into consideration the marginalized group mainly tribal, rural, hilly and the large section of underprivileged womanpower of the society.
ENRICHING LOCAL CONTENT OF NORTH-EASTERN STATES THROUGH THE CIC NETWORK
Mala Mittal , Surinder Kumar , Shefali S Dash
Bibliographic Informatics Division, National Informatics Centre
Department of Information Technology, A-Block, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road,
New Delhi-110 003
Content development is an integral part of an information system. In view of this the government is funding and sponsoring research related to content development and related software. In year 2002, Community Information Centres (CICs) were set up by the Govt of India in 487 blocks in the north eastern states. The major objective of the CICs is to function as nodal points for communication, information exchange, citizen centric services, entertainment, learning and to generate content at the grass root level. To understand the requirements of the community, block level need assessment studies were carried out through a specially designed questionnaire. The questionnaire was taken to various users of the CIC such as school teachers, principals, farmers, artisans, agriculture specialists, doctors, gram panchayat members, Block Development Officers, Self Help Groups, NGOs etc. In addition to this, direct interaction with a mixed group of community was also made through workshops conducted in specific blocks. Brainstorming sessions were also held with District State and block level staff of NIC. Inputs of the questionnaire were analyzed using the Central CIC server located at NIC headquarters. Building up local content is a huge task. The Government has recognized the generation of local content as a priority sector for investment, infrastructure development and promotion. The CIC network has played an important role in making his objective possible in the North-Eastern states.
HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AS THE SOCIAL FACTOR FOR SPECIALISATION WITH INTERDISCIPLINARY RELEVANCE
Department of Chemistry, North Eastern Hill University
Shillong- 793022 Meghalaya
The early education of the Formative years and the primary, secondary levels can be categorized as the Development of the Individual to a minimum level of awareness of what the term “social relevance” could mean. That is a question of Human Development. Higher Education is the entry into the aspect of specializing in a subject matter with the pursuit to become proficient and to be contributing constructively. That such an individual must be capable of thinking in terms of his wages without unduly undervaluing ones own contributions [continued maintenance of Human Development] is part of the Social relevance. The development of the individual at Higher levels of education should result in know how on technical aspects, meaning it is a Human Resource Development process. Such a monitoring effectively has a built in potential for interdisciplinary base which would be discussed in this paper.
MORPHOLOGICAL CHANGES OF ‘TRADITIONAL RHYTHM’
IN A CHANGING WORLD
Department of Information Technology, Government of Meghalaya,
Traditional rhythm, a concept similar to musical rhythm can be applied to social phenomena. An interaction between two or more traditional rhythms could either be a constructive/destructive superimposition, a biased superimposition or a non-superimposition, using the concept of superimposition / interference of periodic waveforms, each of which has a unique role to play to maintain the traditional rhythm which is undergoing morphological changes as a result of bombardment of globalized/western culture, ideas and lifestyle while allowing the inevitable globalization process to take place. They could be used as an aid to visualize the underlying social/traditional problems and to tackle them in a more practical and effective manner. A traditional rhythm is dynamic in nature and is susceptible to changes in the environment and as a result it can be manipulated leading to various morphological changes through factors like higher education to bring a social change while maintaining the traditional values and identities.
ROLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: MATCHING THE TALENTS OF NER
Grace Systems, Upland Road, Shillong- 793003
The role of higher education would be to percolate research and ideas right down into tangible realizations having relevance to the place and its people. Apart from the many natural resources, North East India can boast of people with unique talents. Understanding this talent and helping people utilize these can be a powerful force in developing this region to grow and prosper to its full potential. Hence, for projects and new businesses to be effective they need a deeper understanding of this region and its people to tap the full abilities of North East India. This is contextual nurturing and is not much different from raising your sons and daughters to become the best they can be or planting flowers in the correct soil. Once a student finds their best purpose in life they will bloom. And so too a plant put in the most suitable soil for growth will flourish and bloom. In NE India new businesses started in areas that are suitable to the people will flourish and bloom and result in spontaneous prosperity. Finding fertile soil almost assures success.
HIGHER EDUCATION AND SOCIAL CHANGE
Meghalaya Economics Association, Shillong-793 001
Social Change is not a mechanical process. It is clearly a human enterprise and like all human enterprises, its outcome will depend finally on the skill, the quality and the attitude of the men who undertake it. As the lower level skill cannot help generate greater output per worker than the higher level skilled workers, so rate of social progress and development depends naturally on the levels of education. Beyond this economic benefits of education, human enterprise and efficiency have their great social impact and values. This can be illustrated by commonplace examples. When a person becomes literate, this person will certainly choose to enjoy a higher and better consumption pattern. Again many educated females may choose not to participate in the labour force. This does not mean that such females cease to be more productive in the household goods and services produced that are not readily marketable. They do provide better sanitation conditions for all members of the family besides better nutritional meals for them. The higher the level of education is, the faster the socio-economic, political and cultural change could take place. But higher education in India today is ridden with various problems. Some of them are both crucial and controversial. There is no doubt about the advanced countries moving fast towards mass higher education. In general, the advanced countries have more than 50 percent of the relevant age group (18-23) in university level education. In USA, Canada, and Australia it is 80 percent and above. But India has only 7 percent of the relevant group entering the portals of universities. This proportion has to be augmented if India is to achieve a developed nation status by 2020. This paper is a small attempt at reviewing the existing higher education system in India and its role in socio-economic change.
CAN A STATE BE SOCIALLY BETTER OFF WITH HIGHER EDUCATIONAL REFORMS ? A STUDY FOR INDIA’S NORTH EAST
Institute of Social Science Trust, New Delhi
The vision of a 21st century modern India fast emerging as a global powerhouse has opened its economic regime to immense possibilities and progress. The impact of such reforms should go beyond its economic prosperity and should widen the social opportunities for the masses to create a better capability index. One such vital index is education which shapes human capital, and higher education in particular generates human skills for research and development, training, provide policy advise. Global emphasis is thus being put for creation of human capital through the widening and opening the scopes of higher education, training and research. Though it is being realized that ‘Higher Education is no longer a luxury; it is essential to national, social and economic development’ (UNESCO, 2000), it is widely recognized that the standard of higher education and research in Indian universities have declined during the last few decades without any sign of improvement (Shah, 2005). This demands a deep and thorough investigation. This paper aims to look at this area for India’s North – East. In the last couple of decades north east India has been gifted with number of universities and institutions. This is important now to evaluate their qualitative performance. The objective here is to investigate what are the visible impacts one can see in the society as the higher education is being increasingly imparted to the people of this region, their performance standard, and whether the reform measures can bring any tangible solution to the problems of overall declining standard. The study will take up both quantitative and qualitative assessment of the above mentioned objectives.
EDUCATION AND ‘ CHANGE ’
Indira Gandhi National Open University, Shillong -793014
Change is intrinsic to any creative function of an individual or an institution. Similarly, it is with education, which, if, it needs stimulation acceptance and creativity must undergo social transformation. The educational system in our country is undergoing many pedagogical as well as institutional changes. It has been for too long been stymied with typification : the classroom, the teacher and; school, college, or university students. It did not become forward looking, and was unable to go beyond the ‘talk and chalk’ precept. Moreover, accessibility has been a problem in Higher Education institutions. Studies have revealed that out of the 14-15% of the population eligible for admission into Higher Education subjects only about 8% actually get education or admission. Moreover the system seemed impervious to Adult Education and training. Thanks to Distance Education, the accessibility percentage is higher, and it singularly accounts for about 23% of the Higher Education student population in India. The proposed paper will critically examine the concept of change in the context of Higher Education in India and then will have a look at the scenario in North East India.
HIGHER EDUCATION AND DISTANCE EDUCATION
Excellinda Diengdoh ,
Indira Gandhi National Open University, Shillong-793014
Distance education breaks away from the established syllabus and content of the schools and universities and innovates with new learning content which relates to the times, need and state of learning of the student. This is based upon the philosophy that humans are continuous learners throughout life, that learning must be in accordance with their aptitude and that teaching must not be a rigid and linear process but has to be adjusted to the pace and capabilities of the learner. It is designed to fit the changing needs of society and opportunities which must be provided to meet the challenges to the learner. It replaces the rigid parameters of the formal system with flexible ones and provides for individualize learning outside the formal system. It makes socially relevant and economically productive higher education to people to whom such education was hitherto inaccessible. In the North-East, where many areas are inaccessible or partially inaccessible, where the communication link is not properly established, where higher educational institutions, especially those offering varied, new and professionally enhancing courses are rare, distance education is the silver lining.
HIGHER EDUCATION: AN INSTRUMENT FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Department of Economics, Shillong College,
An instrument is a means for achieving set goals and objectives, but attaining such objectives depends to a great extent on the utilization of the said instrument. Likewise, higher education can be an effective instrument to accelerate the economic development of the North Eastern Region, but whether higher can bring a positive social change in the North East depends on how it is made use of and to what extent ? With this background the paper will examine the role of higher education as a catalyst for social change. Higher education is neither a new concept nor a new presence in the North East Region scenario, thus bringing into question how successful or not it had been up till now. Along these lines, the paper will study the factors contributing to its lackluster role which in turn contributes to the relative backwardness in the region, and thereafter suggest measures to improve it.
ROLE OF NSS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE IN INDIA
Department of Education, Shillong College, Shillong
The institutions of Higher Education in India have incorporated the extension activities in the form of curricular and co-curricular activities through NSS in order to establish an interface and transform the society. During the period of about forty years, NSS has been shaped, moulded and directed to meet human needs in the changing process of life and development. NSS brings an all-round development of an individual, campus and community and wherever it comes into force. It has eased human misery and agony throughout history. It has straightened the roads towards place and development. It has also made life better, happier and richer. A perfect blend is seen between educated and uneducated, high and low class, college and community, tradition and modernity, conservative and constructive activities. Such activities through NSS programmes educate the students to develop skills, to gain confidence in leadership, interaction with people, experience, cooperation and these go a long way in character building.
TOWARDS A MORE VIBRANT CLASSROOM:THE NECESSITY OF CHANGE IN
FRAMING AND TEACHING ENGLISH COURSES IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Indian Institute of Technology, North Guwahati ,
Guwahati – 781 039, Assam
In the North East, Education, specially Higher Education had rarely caught the attention of the most vocal critics of the government. The recent crisis in education has led to many uncertainties about universities increasingly becoming factories churning out degrees. In the recent past there have been much talk and discussion of the change and accountability in the Education Policy of the government. The chief concern in my paper is not so much about that end but more wide ranging and pragmatic. In the first part of my paper, my aim is to call attention to the academic community’s responsibility in not just teaching the educational programmes mapped out by the concerned universities. That the need of the hour is an ongoing sustained responsibility in restructuring and remodifying the methods adopted in pursuing the goals of the curriculum. The second part of my paper is the need to revamp the general English syllabus, by taking in more of comparative literature, communication skills courses. English retains its importance in the post colonial era, for an all India ruling class in administration, higher education and culture . However, in order for academics to continue moving in the right direction, some changes need to be made that will allow teachers to perform their jobs more successfully and function within the system more smoothly. A great disparity exists between the knowledge teachers have and the knowledge they should acquire in order to successfully educate students. So long as the creative culture is absent in our teaching community, we will continue to borrow, imitate, and duplicate solutions whose roots and origin lie somewhere outside our country; and these solutions will neither be appropriate nor sustainable. There have been great advances made in teaching methods and styles in the past, and there continue to be new innovations which profoundly affect the profession. The results of this are manifested on the students who gain the full benefits of new teaching methods, styles and materials in the classes they take. A positive approach in integrating more comparative Indian literature in translation should become a fundamental requisite in framing the English courses. Most essential would be for the teachers to enjoy teaching, and taking pride in their work, and making every effort to constantly improve their approaches to teaching and their students.
SOCIAL CHANGE AND HIGHER EDUCATION : ROLE OF TEACHERS
Department of Education, North Eastern Hill University,
Shillong- 793 022, Meghalaya
All change implies moving from one position to the other and social change implies moving from where we are at present into directions which are accepted as desirable. It indicates change in social attitudes, behaviour, customs, habit, manners and values of individual and group of individuals. If social change involves inculcation of values, education is considered as a very important instrument of social change. Compared to other institutions in society higher education has a much bigger share as a fountain head of change. As realization is growing that the tertiary stage of education provides crucial impacts in national development, which includes social change the function performed and desired to be performed by the faculty have come in for closer scrutiny within as well as outside the academia the world over. Amidst realization, teachers and especially college and university teachers are being called upon to play a greater and more conscious role as agents of social change. This paper concerns primarily with sensitizing the key person that is the teacher in higher education to the nature of the challenge and his or her role therein.
ROLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC
UPLIFTMENT OF SOCIETY WITH REFERENCE TO NORTH EAST
Department of Linguistics, North Eastern Hill University,
Shillong- 793 022, Meghalaya
Higher Education in India comprises of over 255 Universities and over 11,000 Colleges, with new ones being added every year. Indian Higher Education is also rated as the second biggest in the world. There is therefore great potential for human resource development through Higher Education, as well as for social change and for economic development. In a world where globalisation and technology are the by-words, where economy and societies are knowledge driven, the role of Higher Education and its impact on modern societies cannot be underestimated. This paper will take a brief look at the role of Higher Education to develop the socio-economic life of the communities in North East India in particular.
SUGGESTIONS FOR CHANGES IN THE HIGHER EDUCATIONAL LEVEL IN MEGHALAYA FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE SOCIETY
Physics Department, North Eastern Hill University
Our inherited system of higher education is geared to achieve material wealth rather than build human resources. The access to higher education is mainly concentrated in the urban areas. Except for a few colleges offering professional courses, the rest of the colleges are still running the usual courses which are not tailored to the needs of the present day society. Higher education is looked upon as a springboard to secure a Government job. There is nothing enterprising or creative about the system. This has led to a large chunk of unemployed educated
youngsters, who become pawns to politicians and bigwigs, that they find an easier and faster means of accumulating wealth in a short time. Moral values have taken a back seat. Rich traditions and culture are slowly getting eroded. The present day youth is not aware of preserving the environment, nor is he/ she feels the necessity of protecting or preserving public property. This is clearly evident in the present day scenario where roads/ meeting places/ playgrounds are littered with rubbish, and drains are clogged. On the whole, one can conclude that the society has not been benefited from the higher educational system. Some changes, are suggested which hopefully will go a long way to cater to the needs of the society so that the future generation can enjoy a bright future.
HIGHER EDUCATION : MEETING ASPIRATIONS OF PEOPLE
Secretary, Meghalaya College Teachers’ Association, Shillong- 793001
Treasurer, Meghalaya College Teachers’ Association, Shillong- 793001
The education system in India constitutes the backbone of this country’s development and future growth. India today has 54 percent of its population below the age of 25 years. The healthy and well educated youth of the country are our biggest assets. In order to nourish and develop this precious asset it is absolutely necessary that education at all levels remains affordable to all sections of society and that the institutions of higher education, in particular, function under some sort of social control pre-empting any mercenary pursuit of profit. Only a mass based higher education will be able to supply adequate human resources for the establishment, maintenance and sustenance of industrial as well as subsequent market activity. Higher education also has a particular role in fighting the influence of decadent cultures as well as the scourge of communalism and the menace of consumerism.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Department of Economics, Shillong College
Department of Education, Shillong College
In the changing socio-economic milieu of the 21st century accountability and performance appraisal in education had shifted from broad issues of finance and programme mangement to teaching and the teachers. This is because the teacher is the central determinant not only in the process of education but in the educational system itself. It is the teacher who is responsible for shaping human capital i.e., human intelligence, creativity, talent and knowledge which is intimately linked to the dynamics of development. This underscores the importance of the teacher in higher education since the quality of higher education may be the single most important indicator of the country’s future. As the goals of education have become more complex there has been an urgency to uphold quality-ensuring mechanism in higher education. This paper is an attempt to highlight that accountability and performance appraisal in higher education is intrinsically linked to quality education.