Careers360 interviews Prof. Jandhyala B G Tilak, Vice Chancellor, National University of Educational Planning and Administration where he speaks on the challenges in higher education planning.
Read the complete interview below where he also shares his expectation from the New Education Policy.
Careers360: NUEPA is a different kind of University and gives suggestions on school and higher education. What all things have you planned since you joined?
Prof. Tilak: NUEPA is a very specialized university and one of its kind in the country. It does a lot of policy research, runs a lot of programmes for capacity development of education personnel and provides a lot of policy and technical support to the government. These have been the three traditional activities which still occupy the major part of NUEPA’s work. Among new things, we have started MPhil and PhD programmes where the whole idea is to train graduates who are specialists in educational policy planning and administration. The challenge is to become a good university and at the same time play the role of a think tank for the Government of India and MHRD. This is the public responsibility that we have and we take these two as the major responsibility of NUEPA as of now.
Careers360: What are the focus areas in planning higher education policies?
Prof. Tilak: This University is one which looks at education in a much more integrated fashion, looking at every level of education from primary to higher education. In school education, we have launched two major programmes recently. First, is on building a huge database on school statistics and development of school leadership. Another major programme is that we have set up a National Centre for School Leadership within the university. One of the important and immediate tasks is to train school principals and also prospective school principals and provide good academic leadership to the institutions.
Careers360: Why are we not able to produce quality research and at times the output is not of much relevance to the society?
Prof. Tilak: These are true to some extent but not completely. Quality research is happening at a few places but those are small places as at our university also, we do quality research. We have a Centre for Policy Research in Higher Education, other departments as well and the research that is done is useful to the government and the society. But, on an average, the overall quality of research is not very impressive in terms of publications, citations, etc. There is a long way to go to improve the quality of education and the research standards in our country.
Careers360: What are your expectation from the New Education Policy?
Prof. Tilak: I don’t know whether it is coming or not, but we have one which was framed in 1986 and was partly revised in 1992; and 1992 to 2016 is a long period. It is long in terms of number of years and also in terms of the changes that the society has undergone; technological, economic, socio-political changes and there is also changes in the development paradigm. We need a new kind of direction, a new kind of policy on how we proceed and also a good policy statement. We need to know what will be role of the government, market, private sector, how we can meet the challenges of the globalized society. There are lot of forces that now needs to be taken into account which were not visualized in 1986 and 1992.
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