Readers' take: Cleanse education of money, politics

  • Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jun 29, 2015 11:19 IST

Better faculty, placements will attract talented students

Students from the city are making a beeline for educational institutes in Delhi and far-off places like Bengaluru because these institutes are reputed for churning out famous alumni besides offering easier absorption into reputed firms. Also, professors at such colleges and universities are found to be more involved with students. The solution lies in hiring experienced and well-qualified faculty, paying them well to keep them motivated, building an effective job placement cell for each department and simultaneously establishing a strong alumni association.
Aakansha Sekhon, Chandigarh

Private institutes are nothing more than real estate ventures
When private universities advertise about their buildings and infrastructure rather than their knowledge capital — which in most cases is a zero — you know there is something wrong with the education system. Government universities and institutes have become hotbeds of politics while private institutes are only real-estate ventures. Students come to acquire degrees and not to learn, showing off the wealth of their families and having a good time in the city, while teachers are underpaid and exploited. Many institutes do not even pay provident fund to their staff nor have any social security benefits, so it is hard to expect quality from them. At one such institute, discarded books bought by the kilo were kept in the library. Now, can you blame students from running away from such a bad system of education?
Dr Dinesh Kumar, Chandigarh

Youngsters coming to city end up wasting time in parties, geri
Most youngsters studying in private colleges in the region score average marks. Increasing the cut-off will help in raising the standard. Also, students coming to Chandigarh to study from neighbouring states end up wasting time and money on partying and “geris”, affecting their academic performance.
Amrinder Brar, via email

Curriculum needs an overhaul
We don’t have a firm education policy. Also, the government is not spending much on this sector. The curriculum needs an overhaul, with emphasis on job-oriented courses. Faculty, too, should be capable to meet the global challenges.
SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Develop educational infrastructure
Panjab University is yet to be accorded the status of a central university, although it fulfils all parameters. Also, the PEC University of Technology still awaits an upgrade to the elite status of an Indian Institute of Technology. The only medical college in the city has a limited number of seats. In short, a lot needs to be done on infrastructural front to make Chandigarh an educational hub.
Hemant Kumar, Ambala City

City lacking job prospects
The emergence of private professional colleges is a major threat to quality education in Chandigarh. They are producing professionals in quantity, not quality. Also, the city lacks major industries and corporate offices, which can offer jobs to youngsters after they complete studies. Creation of jobs is a must.
Suman Kansal, Panchkula

City becoming hub of coaching centres, not quality institutes
Instead of quality higher education, the city has become a hub of coaching institutes that are minting money without giving two hoots about the standard of education. The mushrooming of a number of private colleges has also affected the quality.
DP Gautam, via email

Region not giving industrial exposure to students
Instead of quality educational institutes, it is the lack of job opportunities and industrial exposure in the city that is responsible for the flight of toppers to other parts of the country. The city has poor connectivity with other parts of the country, due to which multi-national companies stay away from it.
AK Sharma, Chandigarh

Experienced teachers reluctant to shift base to city
Chandigarh came into being just a few decades ago. A large number of educational institutes in metropolitan cities are over a century old, giving them an edge over city-based institutes. Also, experienced teachers are reluctant to move to the city. Local student politics, too, make serious students move to other cities.
TR Goel, Chandigarh

Punjab, Haryana governments must chip in to raise standards
While ignoring the local government institutes, the UT administration and Punjab and Haryana governments have allowed mushrooming of substandard private colleges on the periphery. Institutes must develop internal quality assurance cell and provide quality faculty, without prejudice to any department. Also, institutes should generate revenue resources internally.
Manjinder Pal Singh, SAS Nagar

Outsiders not at comfort in city

Chandigarh has failed to evolve as an educational hub as it suffers from a few handicaps. Local institutes have a strong regional bias and fail to make outsiders comfortable on the campus. Also, the fee at Panjab University, especially the hostel fee, is much higher than Delhi University. Those offering a paying-guest accommodation fleece students. There is a big question mark on the safety of students, particularly girls. Also, the transportation system is inadequate and poor. Chandigarh must evolve a national outlook and provide facilities to attract students.
Colonel RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt

Not many firms in IT Park
What separates cities like Bengaluru, Delhi and Hyderabad from Chandigarh is the presence of a large number of MNCs and
corporate houses. The IT park has managed to attract only a handful of firms in all these years. The city needs job opportunities to attract the huge pool of talented students.
Agam Singh Bedi, Rupnagar

Quality faculty, facilities must
Chandigarh, despite having a persistent demand from the neighbouring states, has failed to provide a single quality educational institute. Even Panjab University has failed to deliver, leading to the mushrooming of private professional colleges, some with dubious distinction. It’s never too late to start afresh. To make Chandigarh a dream destination, those at the helm of affairs need to go the extra mile to provide the best available facilities and faculty.
Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh

Educational institutes arebecoming hotbed of politics
Instead of developing scientific and technical prowess, educational institutes in the city have become a hotbed of politics and intrigues. The local institutes also lack hostel facilities for students.
Sham Lal Khera, Chandigarh

Political leadership to be blamed
Local institutes boast of alumni like Dr Har Gobind Khurana, Kalpana Chawla and Dr Manmohan Singh. However, due to some political reasons, despite its best infrastructure and potential, the city is losing its talent to Delhi and southern cities. The lackadaisical attitude of our leadership is to be blamed for not tapping the potential of information technology. By establishing IT industries and institutes, southern cities attracted students. Of late, however, Panjab University has started pursuing excellence by improving its teaching, research, infrastructure, student support and governance.
Paras R Kalotra, SAS Nagar

Students need global exposure
Delhi University has tie-ups with corporate giants for internships. Panjab University needs to invite more international scholars for interaction with students. Also, the varsity has not improved its infrastructure at all. PU has good teachers, but the system needs to be revamped. Political parties should stay away from the campus.
Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh

Merit ignored, nepotism prevails
Political interference played a major role in Panjab University losing its glory. Appointments are not being made on merit and nepotism prevails. PUTA, too, has not taken adequate measures for maintaining the standard of education. Growth of private institutions has resulted in a big setback.
Jagmohan Singh Bhatti, via email

Paucity, misuse of funds
Any good education system must develop such educated citizens who can solve the problems that impede the growth of the nation besides and two, help them become useful citizens. However, an uninspiring curriculum has failed to develop such individuals. Higher education is treated as a business activity. There is a paucity of competent and motivated teachers who can act as mentors to students. Universities have become unwieldy due to the number of programmes they offer. Research is not given priority. There is a paucity of government funds and misuse of whatever funds that are received.
Col DS Cheema (retd), via email

Diversified, professional courses needed in curriculum
The major drawbacks of PU are the lack of professional faculty, infrastructure and internship programmes. Also, DU offers various diversified and professional courses, which are nowhere to be seen at PU. Colleges here are more into money-making business and elections rather than education. More emphasis is needed on quality of education, cultural events, overall development of students, international connections with globally renowned institutes for better placements and a competitive environment.
Bhavya Gaind, Panchkula

PU needs central university status
While the Punjab government was happy to get an IIT, an IISER and a central university for the state, it did not allow the upgrading of Panjab University to a central university. Similarly, Haryana got a central university and an IIM but did nothing for Chandigarh. Now, when Chandigarh is all set to become a smart city and a lot of money will be spent on its development, the Centre should sanction an Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) for Chandigarh and accord the central university status to PU in order to make the city an educational hub.
Prof AK Agarwal, Chandigarh

Private institutes denting image
It may be incorrect to say that the city lacks quality educational institutes. However, the mushrooming of private institutes with inadequate facilities has dented the city’s image. Stricter compliance of norms is needed to improve these institutes.
DS Banati, SAS Nagar

Provide modern facilities to colleges
Despite a number of institutes, the city has failed to lift the standard of education to that in the national capital region and southern states. The bureaucrats and politicians have a role to play in improving the situation. The authorities concerned must provide all modern facilities to these institutes. Students’ agitations hamper education. All genuine grievances must be addressed immediately, so that an environment conducive to studies can be created.
Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, SAS Nagar

PU vice-chancellor needs a free hand to implement policies
An educational hub is not created overnight. It needs collective efforts of the faculty. How can Chandigarh claim the status of an educational hub, when teachers indulge in politics and busy settling scores with each other? The PU senate is not giving a free hand to the vice-chancellor in planning syllabus, introducing new courses, improving library facilities and research work besides regulating private colleges that have become commercial establishments.
Colonel SK Aggarwal (retd), Panchkula

Private professional colleges acting unprofessionally
The mushrooming of professional colleges on the periphery that are working in the most unprofessional way is adding to the chaos. Degrees don’t mean anything until they are productive. If the policymakers act proactively, solutions can be found.
Dr Devinder Garg, Chandigarh

Industrial tie-ups needed
Chandigarh is one of the best cities in the country to live in, but when it comes to providing quality education, it lags behind. Infrastructural development, tie-ups with industry and good placements are needed.
Mohit Sharma, Chandigarh

Update syllabus to match present requirements
Delhi, being a metropolitan city, provides more exposure to students. Infrastructure and curriculum at Panjab University and its affiliated colleges are not up to the mark. There is a need to improve the syllabus and provide ample facilities to the students.
Amanjit Singh Kohli, via email

Develop educational infrastructure under smart city project
The quality of higher education has been deteriorating in the City Beautiful in the past 15 years. Now, that efforts are being made to make Chandigarh a smart city, it is an apt time to stop the situation from worsening. The Centre must upgrade the educational infrastructure in the city to help it regain its lost glory.
SC Luthra, Chandigarh

Commercialisation affecting quality
Commercialisation and the lack of teaching spirit among the faculty are affecting the education standards. Education should be provided without any frills to ensure quality. Students should be treated as the nation’s future, not a source of money by colleges.
Richa Sharma, via email

Colleges selling dreams to gullible students
The skill set of students graduating from various colleges in and around the city are not able to match the industrial requirements. Most of these institutes are not able to add any value to these students. They sell just dreams to gullible students, who end up working for small companies as glorified clerks and technicians.
Mahavir Jagdev, Chandigarh

Put more impetus on skill development
There is no other city north of Delhi that has so many premier educational institutes. The only need of the hour is to overcome various shortcomings to improve these institutes. There should be more impetus on skill development.
Lalit Bishnoi, via email

Students define quality
The quality of education is judged from the performance of the students, infrastructure and other facilities. Going by this, Chandigarh is the best in the region. The quality must not be seen from the professionalism of teachers but from the grasping power of students. We are repeatedly experiencing that students from ordinary schools and colleges are topping in various examinations.
Capt AmarJeet Kumar, via email

City doing a decent job
Before talking about higher education, we must look at the state of school education. Most children study in government schools. In Chandigarh, the standard of education at these schools is better than the remaining country. When it comes to colleges and universities, the city is doing a decent job.
Neela Sood, Chandigarh

It is students’ calibre that matters
The rush of students towards Delhi is not an indicator of poor education in Chandigarh. It’s a mad race of students who can afford to bear the expenses of living in big cities. A brilliant student can also come from a rural school or college. It’s the student’s calibre — not the institute — that matters.
Sukhdev Singh Minhas, SAS Nagar

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