ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Protecting State Universities

The article by Neeraj Hatekar, “Changing Higher Education Scenario in India” (EPW, 19 September 2009), rightly describes the challenges before state universities in the context of reforms started by the central government in the higher education sector.

The author’s suggestion that the “postgraduate and research component in the state higher education system must be taken out of the hands of the state government” could be a step in the right direction to help build the research capacity in the state universities. However, removing the postgraduate teaching and research component entirely from the state’s jurisdiction and appending it to the central government may not be practical. State governments and the university administration are unlikely to give up their control easily and the central government is just as unlikely to be willing to take on the fiscal responsibility of running all the postgraduate courses and research across the country. Moreover, having two administrative set-ups – the postgraduate wing managed by the central government and undergraduate by the state government – in a single university will cause a lot of confusion and chaos therefore not desirable.

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