Monday, 13 May 2013

The right university-industry nexus

If industrial houses can be allowed to run banks — the Reserve Bank of India is currently working towards issuing licences – they could a fortiori be permitted to run colleges as well.

The All India Council for Technical Education should be complimented for deciding to allow companies with net worth of more than Rs 100 crore to set up universities. But this should be subject to suitable safeguards. A company should, thus, not be allowed to spread itself thin. Rather, it should be made to impart education only in areas that are its core strength.

Larsen & Toubro, for example, could offer relevant courses in civil, structural and electrical engineering and its offshoots. It would, after all, be a mere me-too, if it sets itself on imparting education on biotechnology as well.

In other words, just as companies concentrate on their niche areas in the market, they should impart education as well only on those very same niche areas. If they are willing, they may be allowed to have campuses across the country to cater to various regions, so that children are not wrenched away from their parents besides ensuring that the latter do not have to fork out huge amounts on hostel expenditure as far as possible.

It should also be kosher if two or more companies — otherwise competitors in the market place — pool their resources and jointly set up a university.

Read the full story from Business Line

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