Published On: Sat, Oct 22nd, 2011

International conference on better higher education in Bihar

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Bihar HRD MinisterThe state government of Bihar is continuing its overall thrust on development. The Bihar state Human Resource Development ministry recently organized a two-day international conference on ‘Quality in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunity in India’, along with Institute of Public Enterprises (IPE), Hyderabad. The Agenda was to prepare a road map for higher education in Bihar. The Bihar state HRD minister P K Shahi appealed to the academics to find out solutions to meet the challenges of higher education in the state.

He informed that the government was focused on improving the academic environment and imparting international standard quality higher education in the universities in Bihar. He added that independence era 64-year-old practice of governor being the de facto chancellor of universities had to be reexamined and changed if necessary.

Shahi also informed that the state govt. is planning to develop 50 state colleges as centres of excellence as the migration of Bihari students to other states for higher education can also be stemmed by providing improved higher education in the state. He said that shortage of competent faculties was a major holdback which had to be overcome in the right fashion. HE also expressed concern over the decreasing popularity of language and literature studies as unless talented young people were motivated to study humanities, the supply pool of good and talented teachers for higher education would shrink further.

Finally he pleaded for increased expenditure on higher education saying that with a mere Rs 12,000-crore budget, for both plan and non-plan schemes for HR development in Bihar, an  judicious and efficient use of the available resources with proper planning was required for best results.  He added that as state alone could not bear the huge costs of quality higher education autonomous institutions would also be encouraged to open up.

The Principal secretary for HRD, Anjani Kumar Singh, highlighting the achievements of the department said that in last 5 years, the government has revived primary education by drastically reducing the dropout rate from 25% to 3%. This was followed by steps to improve secondary education and now the focus was to better higher education, including technical education. Acknowledging the mismatch in demand and supply of faculties for higher education, he said it would be solved by creating centres of excellence in higher education like the Aryabhat Knowledge University and Nalanda International University.

Outlining the conference theme, Mridula Sahay from IPE said that “Passion for Higher Education” is to bring qualitative and quantitative development in the field of higher education. In his inaugural address, Kuldeep Kumar, head, School of Economics and Statistics, Bond University, Australia, said that a awards should instituted for innovation in teaching technology, teaching excellence, research supervision, and outstanding service to boost the morale of teaching fraternity. But it should be accompanied by a review of teachers’ commitment towards the profession, he said.