Regulations stifling higher education: Infosys chief
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Regulations stifling higher education: Infosys chief

Narayana Murthy's comments came in the wake of Govt turning down proposal of IIM-B to open overseas campuses.

india Updated: Jan 15, 2006 19:55 IST

Days after the Centre turned down the proposal of IIM, Bangalore, to open an overseas campus, Infosys Chairman NR Narayana Murthy on Sunday said government regulation resulted in India "failing to build truly world-class educational institutions."

In his acceptance speech after being awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) by the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) on Sunday morning, Dr Narayana Murthy said, "Government regulation in our higher education system has limited the ability of our colleges and universities to adapt and change. As a result, we have failed to build truly world-class institutions in the country."

Many of the institutions in India were not able to attract and retain high-quality faculty. Also, a lack of market-orientation had resulted in colleges focusing on outdated curriculum and rote learning.

"Consequently, a large proportion of our educational institutes produce graduates who are ill-equipped to relate their learning with the outside world. India today has over 5.3 million unemployed university graduates, even as Indian industries face shortages of skilled labour," Dr Narayana Murthy, who is the chairman of the governing body of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, said.

The country must realise that world-class institutions are created not by government mandate and control but through academic freedom, innovation and the pursuit of excellence, he added.

"We must provide our institutes with the freedom to take risks and foster bold, new initiatives for growth. Higher education in India must be allowed to function as an industry in a free-market environment. The government must encourage competiton, through autonomy and independence from state funding," he added.

Universities should be allowed to form alliances with firms for research and funding. Businesses must be consulted in curriculum design and conducting of courses. Educational institutions, for their part, should stress on innovation, Research and Development and the creation of new knowledge, he said.

"It is our ability to build an effective education system that will shape India's place in the world in the 21st century," Dr Narayana Murthy, who was named by CNN/Time in 2001 as one of the 25 most influential global executives, added.

First Published: Jan 15, 2006 16:36 IST