Different people expect different things to happen after the change of guard at the human resources development ministry in New Delhi. For AK Gosain, professor of civil engineering, IIT Delhi, the HRD ministry under the leadership of Pallam Raju “has a pronounced focus on linking jobs to education. This will essentially translate to two things — greater focus on vocational education and strengthening of industry academic partnerships both for teaching and research.”
Rani Kumar, dean, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, expects a mixed bag. “The new HRD Ministry seems forthcoming in terms of impending bills on higher education. However, the bills might take time materialising since the new ministry under the leadership of Pallam Raju is conscientious about thoroughly reviewing the grass root realities before implementation.” She adds, “The foreign education providers bill now seems a distant possibility. The somewhat apprehensive attitude of Pallam Raju when it comes to collaboration with foreign players might have not-so- positive ramifications even in the landscape of international student and faculty exchange programmes.”
Jayaprakash Gandhi, a Tamil Nadu-based career consultant, too, says that the foreign education bill is expected to get “delayed” at least till the next elections. Gandhi says that the country “should have more universities without diluting the quality.” The ministry is likely to become “flexible,” allowing more institutions (deemed universities) to grow as opposed to what the case was earlier, he says. “More deemed universities will come up.”
In addition to this, research in science and technology is going to get a boost, he says. “I expect R&D institutes to get huge funding from the ministry.” According to Gosain, application-based scientific disciplines such as nanotechnology might get a significant fillip.