Millennium Post

VIT has become Mecca for education: Ex-Madras varsity VC

Former Madras University vice-chancellor and ex-chairman of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) chairman Prof A Gnanam on Saturday lamented that for India, with a population of 1.2 billion only a couple of hundred thousands graduates every year whereas the western countries had a better situation.

Delivering the 28th convocation address at VIT University, here on Saturday, Prof Gnanam said that India presently had 650 universities with about 35,000 colleges with an average enrolment of about 1,000 students. ‘When enrolment size is 1,000, only a couple of hundreds graduate every year, which will be practically small for a country with a population of 1.2 billion. This may not be cost and effort effective’, he said.

Pointing out that there were a few exceptions, most of which were too small and clones of the earlier models, the former NAAC chairman said that those were too small to be academically and financially viable.

Lauding VIT University’s effort in developing higher education in the country, the former vice-chancellor noted that VIT University had become a ‘Mecca’ for all those who aspire to excel through formal learning system.

VIT chancellor G Viswanathan noted that VIT had surpassed all deemed and private universities in research publications. ‘For the third consecutive year VIT had published more research papers, according to scopus research index. In 2012, USA had 2.76 lakh patents, Japan-53,000, South Korea-14,000, and China-5,300 whereas India had 1,700 patents’, Viswanathan said.

Flaying university affiliation system in India, Dr Viswanathan said that only India had followed outdated affiliation system since Independence. ‘The affiliating university spends all its time on resources preparing question papers, conducting exams, mass evaluation of answer sheets and declaration of results. In some universities declaration of results is delayed by a year or two’, he added.

Recalling Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) done by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) among 73 countries in 2009, Viswanathan said, India secured 72nd rank and it was only ahead of Kyrgyzstan.

As many as 5,237 undergraduate, postgraduate and 102 research scholars received their degrees and doctorates on Saturday.
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