AUTONOMOUS INSTITUTIONS- THE WAY FORWARD?
Autonomy was a hot topic way back in the eighties and touted as the panacea to all issues pertaining to the quality issues of an academic institution. With more than three decades of the functioning of the autonomy regime the educational landscape has certainly changed for the worse. The way a concept is put into practice is the measure of its real utility and the persons at whose behest it ought to happen may turn out be its biggest challengers, knowingly or otherwise.
With private institutions dotting the county’s map; a liberal educational regime in place, the final outcome as it unfolds is radically different from what the country had set out to achieve. Though it has led to horizontal extension of higher education, yet its qualitative impact even its biggest proponents, would find difficult to substantiate.
Autonomy goes with huge dose of ownership, responsibility & accountability which is blatantly missing. It has finally turned out to be a via media to evade quality, for which his system was created. The grant of such permission / accreditation certainly needs a review given the crossroads on which we are positioned now. Lack of correctional measures can make matters worse, a mayhem to say the least. Aspirational India would be hit at its base by such mayhem.
Mediocrity has come to stay. The via media creation of such academic institutions has also meant a via media for the substandard to get degrees for which they are actually not qualified, which report after report is throwing up. The rot has set in deep and the perpetuation of mediocrity has already become the established norm.
It manifests itself in the low end faculty, the curriculum, the content, the teaching pedagogy and equally questionable evaluation process.
QUALITY CAN BE THE ONLY TOUCHSTONE OF PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION.