Indian universities need to improve, says Bharat Ratna CNR Rao

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CNR Rao, the eminent Indian scientist who was awarded the Bharat Ratna for his work in the field of chemistry and currently heads the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India, has said that 90% of the Indian universities and higher educational institutions have outdated curriculum. According to Rao, this is the reason why Indian institutes are not listed in the top institutes of the world.

"90 per cent of the universities in our country have outdated curriculum. We talk about increasing funds, increasing infrastructure but there is no improvement in the content we are teaching in our hi-tech classrooms," Rao was quoted saying during the Visitor's Conference at the Rashtrapati Bhawan yesterday.

"One of the major reasons behind why Indian institutions don't make it to the top 100 universities in the world. There are lot of Indian students abroad who want to study in our country and come back but there are no quality colleges to offer them the same kind of environment and education," he added.

"Talent search in our country has always been marginal. We teach our students what Newton and Faraday did but there is no mechanism to look out for similar talent in interiors of the country," he said.

Talkimg about the bureaucratic hassles in the education system, he said that, "You want to introduce a course, institute a fellowship, establish an exchange programme, utilise the already allocated funds... there are so many laws, too many bureaucratic rooms. I think that process should be simplified."

The conference, which started yestersay, has the Heads of 114 institutions, including President Pranab Mukherjee. The subjects that will be deliberated upon during the conference include creating inter-linkages of Industry-Academia, interfacing with ranking agencies, providing impetus to research and innovation in educational eco-system, establishing international networks and workforce sustainability, among others.

Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi and renowned geneticist MS Swaminathan are also a part of the conference.

Talking about the Right to Education, Satyarthi said, "Though the introduction of Right to Education (RTE) has contributed to a significant progress in the sector but lack of three things - inclusion, quality and equity, are still roadblocks in ensuring progress at the ground level."

Swaminathan, known as 'Indian Father of Green Revolution', called for developing courses in "Sustainability Science" in all the institutions.

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