Deemed or Doomed?

If you have not been living under a rock for the past few weeks, i am sure you’ve heard of the strikes and agitations that have taken place at various deemed universities throughout Tamil Nadu. Bharath Engg College, Dr. MGR Deemed University, SRM and now Sathyabama.

The crux of the issue is that the AICTE has not granted approval for some courses in some DU’s and students are worried that their future is at stake because of the non-recognition.

But if you really go down to the bottom of this issue, the fault lies with the government for not having given the DU’s proper powers to conduct their business unhindered (like changing the syllabus, for example) without the AICTE’s interference. Consecutive governments have indiscriminately approved engineering colleges all over the state in the name of technological development. The resulting glut of engineering colleges has increased supply of engineers and driven down salaries over the past few years. The sheer number of engineering colleges (one for every caste, tribe and MLA) has made keeping standards high very difficult and DU’s were supposed to ease the pressure on the state education apparatus by giving engineering institutions enough freedom to decide how they will educate their students.

But what has happened? The AICTE is supposed to be a body to plan, co-ordinate and promote technical education in the country. They are also supposed to be responsible for the regulation and maintenance of norms and standards in the technical education system.

The question is, who decides what the standards are? Is it the Indian scientific community? Is it the government?

I personally feel the only party who can establish standards is industry. If our engineers are not employable after completing their education, then what the fuck is the AICTE doing maintaining the quality of technical education? Why do graduates require recognition from the state? What is the purpose of a technical education? Isn’t getting a job the final goal of an engineering graduate?

If the DU’s were able to guarantee employment to their students, would we be seeing these protests? And why are DU’s unable to guarantee jobs? Because supply has outstripped demand for their engineers. What are the other options for these unemployed engineers? Government jobs of course. And this is the root of the problem. The conflict between centre (the head of the AICTE council is the HRD Minister, GOI) and state has led to this situation where students fear they wont get government jobs if they don’t get government recognized degrees.

What is the solution to this problem? My opinion here is to privatize education completely and let market forces prevail. Historically, market forces have been very effective in separating the good from the bad, be it companies, products, services. Why cant market forces clean up our education system when both state and central governments have proven themselves to be unworthy of this role?

The private education concept has worked before. It works very well in the management education space. Very few management institutes give out MBA degrees. Mostly what the student gets is a Post Graduate Diploma in Management. This is the case even with the IIM’s. And very few PGDM’s are recognized by the Indian government. So how come management students are not protesting? Simple. They are assured jobs when they complete their education. The HRD Ministry has surprisingly kept its meddling in management education to a minimum (probably because of industry lobbies).

So on one side we have a state managed technical education system in shambles with students resorting to violence to get themselves heard. on the other side we have industry recognized education systems, which are thriving in the same country. Is anyone seeing this picture? Vk is right, the country is going to the dogs after all..

Image courtesy of The Hindu.

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10 Responses to Deemed or Doomed?

  1. Ponnarasi says:

    Tht was a very nice post. I guess its AICTE’s responsibility to have an eye on the institutions. Its not just giving a statement, DU’s degree without affiliation is not a valid one. And the students have dug their own grave as far as this issue is concerned. In the case of SRM, Chairman Pachamauthu is very much concerned about the students studying there. He is not a person who will leave others in the middle of sea.
    Infact people suspect if this was done by the students or the localites (Potheri). Because not only the labs and classes were damaged but also many computers are missing. It will be well and good if the students have some patience.

  2. Vijai says:

    Well said machan. I am a great believer in the market forces. However, the conflict between the AICTE and UGC should be solved first with proper guideline laid as to who should regulate the Deemed Universities. On the other hand, why should deemed universities exist ? I am not able to think on this now.

    I would not agree that the students have dug their own grave. One cannot expect them to be patient when their own future is at stake. These DUs demand exorbitant fees and they are answerable to the students. Hope everything is solved at the earliest.

    I cannot resist from making this comment. “Nalla vela naama escape aaitom”. Problems due to changes in syllabus, TNPCEE confusion and now this. A simple system has been made complicated. Hope common sense prevails.

  3. Vijai says:

    Dei,

    This template looks neat. Konja naalaiku kai kaala vechundu gammunu iru.

    Vijai

  4. anand raghu says:

    summa nachunnu irruku , suddu polambal…super appu…i also think standards for education should be centralised and privatised….there is a college called Thangavelu engineering college…enga oru unga oru college illa…samma college…world class education…amazing faculties….thinking of what happened in SRM recently i get reminded of the days when we protested for the development fees of 8000/- per student..i still dont understand why it was charged and on top of it..i dont see any developments in college….we raged a complete strike and people tore principals car seat and put sambar in it…lol….broke all the glasses….and i as usual went late to college….on a serious note…education standards should be revised and controlled by a private body with appropriate government support….

  5. AM Aravind says:

    My Blogroll is not detecting when u update ur blog 😦
    adhanaala thaan me late to comment 😦 Nee rendu post pottadhe theriyaadhu enakku Any idea why??

  6. @ Ponns

    Dhanks fer the combliment! Green Pearl concerned about students.. Thats new..

    @ Vijai

    Dei blog url thappa adichtiya illa french la blog ezhudhariya? Nalla vela namma escape ayitom nu ippo sollalaam, aana edhuvum seyaama irundha aduthu varum thalaimuraigal nammala kevalama pesumey :p

    And, yea this template will be The One for at least the next one week 😀

    @ anand

    Nanri hai. Dei, nee on collegeku latea ponadha pathi yaaravdhu ketaangla? Naanum dhaan rendu vaati condonation kattirkeyn.. Idhellaam perumaiya solra!

    @ Aravind

    WordPress innum under heavy development da, ipdi nadaka dhaan seyyum. Dhenom oru dharava en blogku vaa!

  7. Ponnarasi says:

    Dhoda… Thamizhan’nu title vechukttu aanu oo’nna Yenna translation english’la.. Arumayana pachamuthu yengira peryarai ippadi kocchai paduthatheenga 😉
    Take my words. He is gem of a person and he is really really concerned abt the people he employs and the studns who studies there.

    Have a nice day,
    Ponnarasi

  8. Ponnarasi says:

    @ Vijai,
    Agreed that any1 cant be dumb when their future is at stake. But does’nt mean they should make the situation much worse. For eg, When we have a fight with our siblings we don’t publicise that neither do we want others to know abt it. Its a private issue to be dealt only in private. Same way students should not have made it such a big scene and now SFI has no role in it, but they are trying to make this situation much more worse.
    Growing aggressive or being violent is not how we show that we are concerned abt our own future.

    Have a nice day,
    Ponnarasi

  9. Sai says:

    Hey,DU’s are supposed to be given to established instituitions who can frame their own syllabus and guide students properly into the industry,the way IIT’s and all famous universities in the world work.Centralising is not a solution.DU status should be granted based on the quality of the “faculty”,facility and management only..and absolutely nothing else

  10. Gp says:

    Dont worry, there are worst education systems out there…funny that students are loosing more and more their rights for a good education while politics is gaining the upperhand in almost anything.

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