Are we turning the page on making some fundamental shifts in the way Indian institutes of higher learning are being equipped to deliver quality education and being granted the freedom to operate? Not quite. In fact, despite all the good intentioned policy announcements, academicians and some of the business leaders involved with the running of some of the institutes argue that there are still a lot of grey areas.
First, to the credit of the government, the year saw regulatory framework being put in place to grant graded autonomy to some of the institutes of higher education. This was with a stated aim to bridge the need to create an enabling environment whereby higher educational institutions become institutions of global excellence. The regulations were to provide autonomy to these institutions based on certain quality benchmarks. Several institutions have also been granted the Institute Of Eminence (IOE) status. What also needs mention is that these, seemingly path-breaking measures, came on the back of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) bill last year. It is an Act now, which was again driven by the intent to grant leading Indian management schools greater freedom to operate and function.