Published On: Wed, Apr 13th, 2011

Arvind Panagariya: UGC should be dismantled

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Prof. Arvind Panagariya , leading economist has pitched for dismantling of University Grants Commission (UGC)  saying it is stifling higher education in the country. He said this while delivering a lecture organised by the CII on ‘Building a modern India: What must be done’.

“It’s high time that we dismantled the mammoth University Grants Commission (UGC) and bring in a slender organisation that is agile and live to the needs of today and tomorrow,” said Panagariya, who is the professor of economics at the Columbia University, New York.

“What is the UGC’s business in framing the curriculum? Why can’t it allow each university to frame its own curriculum according to its capacity and the emerging needs?” he asked.

Pangariya said that India should follow the US model where there is no higher education regulator. He mentioned that in US even a professor can start a new course. However, he appreciated the primary education sector in the country saying, though quality is debatable, at least we have made tremendous progress in elementary enrolment over the years.

Mooting for the complete privatization of higher education, he said, “The past six decades of experience has clearly proved that the public sector cannot provide quality higher education.Let the private sector and public sector compete, and then we will know who succeeds.”

Arvind Panagariya is a Professor of Economics and Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy at Columbia University and a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.  He has also worked for the World Bank, IMF, WTO, and UNCTAD in various capacities.  He holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Princeton University.

Panagariya has written or edited ten books. Panagariya is currently an editor of the India Policy Forum, a journal jointly published by the Brookings Institution, Washington DC and the National Council on Applied Economic Research, New Delhi.

Panagariya writes a monthly column in the Economic Times, India’s top financial daily.  He has also written guest columns in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Hindu, India Today and Outlook.  He has appeared on numerous national and foreign television channels.

[Source: IBNLive]