Careers360 in an interview with Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah (Retd.), Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University speaks on various problems plaguing India’s higher education.Read this interview to know what the AMU VC says on New Education Policy and initiatives taken for AMU.
Careers360:How do you look at the New Education Policy that is being framed? Will it increase regulations?AMU VC: I do not disfavour regulations and I think some level of regulation is required and it is the case with the country’s higher education.
Careers360: Is giving autonomy to colleges good for reducing burden on universities?AMU VC: The university system is good and giving autonomy to colleges would be de-regulatory, the Aligarh Muslim University does not have any autonomous college and we are a fully residential university. However, the number of colleges affiliated to a university needs to be reduced. How can a Vice Chancellor handle 100 colleges? It is unrealistic. So, I would favour reducing the number of colleges a Vice Chancellor has to exercise control over.
Careers360: How do you look at the role of the UGC in India’s higher education scenario?AMU VC: UGC has been a cushion between the political leadership and universities and they have been playing that role reasonably well, and more or less they are serving their purpose.
Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah (Retd.), Vice Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University
Research is inadequate, research should not result in mountains of papers it should lead to new inventions and something for betterment of mankind and I think that is one field we need to improve.
Careers360:A lot of universities like AMU, Panjab University face fund crunch. How can this issue be addressed?AMU VC: If the numbers will increase as per the UGC plan then the funding will never be adequate and I think universities need to gear up for generating own funds. They need to do, just like we have been doing at AMU like we want to be a world class university, we have the alumni base and we have got to find ways to generate our own funds. We are doing that by creating a new dawakhana, just like Hamdard Dawakhana looking after the Hamdard University.
Careers360: The Government has come up with its own ranking framework. How do you look at this?AMU VC: I think the ranking by different countries are different, in foreign countries ranking very much depends on the number of international faculties and the number of international students that’s where we take a beating so, I think our own ranking is required.
Careers360: What all initiatives you have taken up at AMU?AMU VC: The first and foremost is women empowerment. I am glad to say that 40% of our students and most of our medal winners are girls and we are giving a big boost to women education. The second is integrating the madrassa education. Madrassa students earlier who had no access to modern education, we at the AMU are giving an opportunity to madrassa students through a course which bridges the gulf between madrassa education and university education.
Careers360: How is the Bihar campus of AMU coming up?AMU VC: We fought very hard for funding; first time we have been given a grant of Rs. 10 crores for Kishanganj campus, which is not adequate enough, it is just enough to keep two courses going. We have asked for funds for constructing our own campus. We are expecting 70 crores.
Careers360: Why is it that none of the Indian universities are among the top 200 globally?AMU VC: The method of ranking is skewed in favour of foreign universities as to get good ranking you need foreign faculties, students and unless we correct that we will not be able to figure among top 200.
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