Re-educate: Univ system not producing well-educated graduates: Tharoor

Union Minister of State for Higher Education Shashi Tharoor On Monday said the country's university system was not producing "well-educated" graduates to meet the needs of corporate houses.

This, he said, was forcing companies to "re-educate" the students before they can be assigned any work. This way, the companies were entering the higher education space "in the guise of training", he said.

Speaking at a two-day FICCI higher education summit, Tharoor said: "Companies are entering the higher education space in the guise of training. Our university system simply is not producing well-educated graduates to meet the needs of Indian companies."

Citing a UGC survey of 1,471 colleges and 111 universities, he said 73 per cent of the colleges and 68 per cent of the universities are found to be of medium or low quality.

He said a FICCI survey has revealed in 2009 that 64 per cent employers are "somewhat satisfied" with the quality of new graduates coming out of engineering institutes.

He said the "key area" for the future is the involvement of the corporate sector in higher education.

"The corporate sector is a key stakeholder in higher education. They can play an important role in improving India's current higher education system as well as meeting future aspirations."

He said there would be no need for Indian students to go abroad to study if good higher education institutes were set up in the country. "We will also work towards putting our reforms agenda back on track," the minister said.

Tharoor said there is a proposal to set up 50 centres for research in frontier areas of science in different universities, the IITs and other technical institutions.

The minister said the national education policy has been out of step with the times.

"Whereas countries in the Middle-East and China are going out of their way to woo foreign universities to set up campuses in their countries, India turned away many academic suitors who have come calling in recent years," he said.

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