Need for Kerala to reform higher education: Experts

September 14th, 2012 - 5:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Chennai, Sep 14 (IANS) Panellists at the Emerging Kerala 2012 Global Connect conference here Friday agreed that Kerala must revamp its higher education sector to create world-class institutions.

The panellists also stressed on the state improving the employability of its students and forging synergies between industries and institutions.

Citing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assurance to set up an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the state, the panellists said the process of reforming the higher education sector should be accelerated.

Though Kerala has large pool of skilled manpower, it suffers from infirmities like unemployable graduates, said state Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb.

He said an expert group has identified improving quality, competitiveness and efficiency as the major areas to work on in the higher education sector.

The higher education sector in the state faces three major challenges: investment deficit, bridging the quality gap and providing an enabling policy framework, said K.M. Abraham, principal secretary (higher education).

He said that the private sector has immense opportunities in setting up excellence centres, sponsoring research and providing industrial training to students. He added that the government would soon announce a new policy framework in this connection.

S.K. Barua, director, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, said during the two decade liberalisation process, the government relinquished control over education, resulting in its commercialisation and a fall in quality.

Representatives from Germany, Canada, Britain, Saudi Arabia and Singapore expressed their interest in investing in Kerala’s education sector.

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