August 4, 2012

Decline in Higher Education in India: MBA B.TECH


The Goal: Education has always been associated with higher achievement in life. Aesthetics, Health, Wealth, and Kingdoms could be created & experienced by an educated mind.  Ancient India gave highest regards to teachers by addressing them as Guru.  A Guru is one who dispels darkness by enlightening human mind.

Innovation vs. Tradition: Couple of decades ago India allowed private capital into setting up of higher education Institutes & Universities.  AICTE & other regulatory bodies were created to oversee the quality of education so that suitably trained human resources are made available for nation building activities. The initial focus of this move went into creation of capacity in Engineering, Medical & Management field. This led to proliferation of large number of Education Enterprises across length & width of India. Since Indian society do not encourage independent  original thinking therefore everything new can only be allowed if there is enough evidence of its existence somewhere else on the planet.

Wrong biz model: India is a land of happy number two unlike some other cultures that encourage & reward original thinking & innovation. So to justify the case for privatization of higher education, the success of privately managed US universities were cited.  Our bureaucracy did not bother to study the financial model for independently funded higher education institutes.  It’s criminal to allow such institutes to meet their finances entirely from students’ contribution.  Did the Babus in government borrow the model from infamous tuition shops in India? Receipts from tuition fee do not make more than 20-30 percent of the revenue of such higher education institutes in the world. They have other fund raising routes & the head of institution spends most of his time on raising funds leaving academics to the faculty.

Private vs. Public: A society needs to invest in education for sake of its future. No reasonable country leaves the task of educating its citizens to parents alone. That’s why Indian govt too provides free compulsory school education to all citizens.  Why the same government does not rationalize the financing of higher-ed institutions in India? This has led to deterioration in quality of education and entry of questionable people as promoters in this critical sector. For instance if you look at the profile of such institutes you shall find that most promoters themselves have had no education at all and they do not understand the value of core purpose of education which is to enlighten a mind. So many of such institutes have names from our ancient past that shows how much freedom such institutes would allow to students & faculty to prepare for a better future.   

Education & Employment: Student in India struggle to enroll in courses & schools that could ensure them a campus placement since employment scene in India is getting darker by the day. Rise of IT sector in India led to large number of students opting for IT related courses.  Investments in infra sector attracted students to go for civil & mechanical courses. MBA had emerged as all encompassing route to enter corporate sector which changed many lives in a significant manner.  Architecture courses attract many looking forward to join construction design boom. Medical education in private sector has expanded a lot despite many controversies.  Even after more than a decade of opening up of this sector the craze for government & autonomous higher education institutes have not diminished.  B.Tech  & MBA seem to have lost their attraction as reflected in dwindling admissions in private universities & institutes.  

B.Sc or B.Tech? Why the students have begun to opt for traditional of B.com or B.Sc instead of B.Tech or BBA/BCA? Why Industry has refused to offer higher salary to MBA grads in comparison to other courses.  It wouldn’t be inappropriate to mention that they syllabi & teaching methodology of B.Sc courses & B.Tech is exactly same.  Even the hallowed IITs teach Engineering science rather than technology. There is hardly a privately funded institute that is treating B.Tech program as a technology course. So a student has the option to enroll in a B.Sc course rather than wasting time & money on a B.Tech program. Market forces have played out and student enrollment in B.Tech courses have fallen in 2012.

MBA Edge: As the industry left Hindu rate of growth behind and economy began chugging along with an unprecedented 8 plus growth rate millions of jobs in corporate sector were created. The corporate began recruiting MBAs in 1990s on higher salaries in droves. This fuelled mushroom growth of MBA institutes across India. Unfortunately an MBA from an average institute cannot find a job these days so new admissions have become a challenge.

Experience vs. Degree for Faculty: MBA has lost its sheen primarily for the same reason which led to unpopularity of B.Tech program which is lack of suitable faculty.  B.Tech & MBA courses require industry experienced faulty with or without a master degree or PhD.  AICTE dominated by academicians from public funded institutes cannot appreciate difference in approach to teaching of B.Sc  & B.Tech course. MBA is taught by faculty that can handle MA Eco or M.Com courses. So what’s the difference in the two programs?  A B.Tech with 10 years of engineering experience would be an excellent replacement for an Engineering professor with PhD.

No institute can guarantee a job unless economy starts gaining momentum once again. Main purpose of education is to open a mind and develop new skills of an individual. Unless an institute gets down to teaching courses in right manner it would find difficult to survive in mid to long run. And students who could master appropriate skills & attitude would not find it difficult to get a great invitation to put their learning to test. 

1 comment:

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