Submitted by alvin on Wed, 2016-06-22 18:57 Mysuru: Privatising higher education leads to commercialisation of education which is characterised by its interest in profit-oriented courses, ignoring the needs of general public as well the development of nation, said Professor Lingaraja Gandhi, Director, UGC-Human Resource Development Centre, University of Mysore, on Tuesday. Delivering a talk on ‘Understanding Indian Higher Education: Issues and Challenges; Privatization of Higher Education’ during 109th orientation programme conducted for UG and PG lecturers, Professor Lingaraja said the nation was emulating the British who evolved the Colonial Education Policy to create workforce to serve the British government. “The situation has been continuing in higher education as we are producing workforce for MNCs,” he said. “The modern universities which have their origin in the Colonial Educational Policy were first established in 1857 as Presidency Universities. They have gone a long way in transforming the Indian society, economy and culture.” Professor Lingaraja said the objective of education was not to make graduates employable or increasing the GDP, but create a better society. “Privatisation of higher education led by politico-business class can be termed as neo-colonial and it will not benefit society,” he said, adding that it was unfortunate that in the “name of globalisation, western ideas and the US model had been imposed on the Indian education system” by ignoring interest of national welfare. “Indian higher education system is the third largest after USA and China,” said professor Lingaraja and reminded everyone that India had established the oldest university in the world. “The concept of ‘University’ first originated in India 1500 years ago with the establishment of Nalanda University. Indian education system has grown exponentially since independence with mere 30 higher education institutions to more than 700 universities, and about 39000 colleges,” he said. Speaking on the challenges facing the education sector, professor Lingaraja said the country at present had to address the issues of Access, Equity and Quality. “The issue of Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER), and the necessity to convert the vast reservoir of youth force into creative, productive ‘human resource’ is yet another major challenge the country has to address immediately,” he said.