Even as the government spending on higher education has increased 14 times more than the 11th UGC plan, there is a huge imbalance in the general enrolment of students, both subject wise as well as the region wise.
This was stated by Dr Rakesh Mohan Sharma, principal, GNDU campus Niari, Pathankot, while reading out a research paper at a national seminar on higher education held at Shanti Devi Arya Mahila College, Dinanagar, on Tuesday. The seminar was sponsored by the National Assessment and Accredited Council, Bangalore.
Dr Sharma said that as per the available data, 42.1% students enrol themselves in arts, 19.30% in science, 17.82% in commerce, 10.33% in engineering, where as only 2.35% students take up the study of law, 3.48% are enrolled in the study of medicine, 0.55% in agriculture and 0.14% in veterinary sciences.
"Similarly, the number of higher education institutions located in the south is three times more than those in the north. Such an imbalanced state of affairs in general enrolment and location of institutions in higher education defeats the basic object of providing dignified life to common people as per Article 21 of our Constitution," he said.
Dr Sharma dwelt upon the theme of providing all-pervasive physical, internet and knowledge connectivity to all institutions.
He said that solutions based on common sense and traditional wisdom are far more lasting than blind adherence to the western commercial ethos.
Invoking Gandhian vision that India lives in villages, Dr Sharma urged the government to make holistic efforts to provide urban facilities in rural areas.
"All knowledge is and should be declared common heritage of the mankind in the light of Montreal Declaration, 1992 in respect of Free Access to Law Movement (FALM) started by Cornell University professors Tom Bruce and Peter Martin. Therefore, all skills and knowledge must be disseminated seamlessly and free of cost among all," he said.
Narrating the story behind the invention of light weight calipers for the handicapped persons, Dr Sharma said that the alloy with which the calipers are made is primarily used for building missiles.
"The moment we start harnessing lethal tools for productive and peaceful purposes, quantitative changes in all spheres of life including higher education will start coming as naturally as leaves come to tree," he added.