Good news for the Indian student community. The National Development Council has agreed to set up 14 world class universities for innovation under the 11th and 12th plan periods under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. This is a component of the Ministry of Human Resource Developments (MHRD) "brain gain" policy, which is to draw global talent towards the country. The locations of the planned universities have been identified as Bhubaneswar in Orissa, Kochi in Kerala, Amritsar in Punjab, Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh, Patna in Bihar, Guwahati in Assam, Kolkata in West Bengal, Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, Gandhinagar in Gujarat, Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Mysore in Karnataka, Pune in Maharashtra, Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Jaipur in Rajasthan. Market sources also say that there can be three divergent approaches in setting up these universities. The first one may stress on issues of national importance to India in addition with building fields of research around the same. The second outlook may entail recognizing few already existing institutions and then aid them to become world class standard through modernization and ensuring advancement in chosen areas of knowledge. The third method involves identifying cities in the country where institutions and universities of excellence by national standard are situated and then creating the architecture of an Innovation University along with support and research in teachings within the same.
People Matters’ Take: The decision of setting world class universities comes at a time when India’s economic growth is at its peak. The education sector should offer full support and ensure that this plan materializes into reality benefiting to the Indian as well as international academia. Also, while devising curriculum for these universities, academia and industry representatives should work hand-in-hand so that the gap between industry skill demands and supply of employable talent can be bridged.