Manbir Singh, Managing Director, CT University, shares his views on the importance of industry-academia collaboration to create a robust higher education system...
Q. How can industry-academia linkage be improved?
A. A support system is needed to ensure a focused involvement of both academia and industry. Academic institutions should develop systems and procedures to ensure that industry expectations are met without any compromise on academic aspirations. Initially, academia should conceive and take up short-term, small budget projects which would instil confidence in the industry and encourage it to start development projects. The industry also has to give a fresh look to its R&D efforts. This process must be guided by a complete shift from trading set up to a technologically- driven entrepreneurial setup.
Academia should shift the focus from basic study to applicative research. Research initiatives involving industry people with flexible formats could serve as the first step in this direction.
Setting up of technology incubation centres in close proximity of academic institutions could provide for fostering wholesome technology development. Industries connected with the academia should be given incentives like rebate in taxes and fixed amount. It should be made mandatory for the industry to spend 1 to 5 per cent of their profit on academia.
Q. How to mobilize better resources for building institutions? Is Public-private-partnership the best way out?
A. Private organization should be encouraged to mobilize the resources and the government should provide good governance and monitor the private organization for any wrong practices in the education sector.
In India, there is a huge requirement of mobilization of resources in the education sector. Central government, State governments, public sector institutions and private educational groups should come on the same platform to share and mobilize resources so that students from all segments gain equal level of education. Public-private partnership (PPP) has become a fashionable slogan in new development strategies, particularly over the last couple of decades. It is projected as an innovative idea to tap private resources and to encourage the active participation of the private sector in national development. It is more forcefully advocated when public resources are projected to be inadequate to meet needs. PPP is already being adopted in several infrastructure development sectors, such as the development of airports, railways, roads, and so on. It can be very helpful for the overall development of the education sector.
Q. Is there a need to put in more student-centric learning processes that are in sync with the ‘information age’?
A. Yes, it is very important that the student-centric learning processes should be in place. This will motivate the students in finding more creative solutions to various issues. Also, flexible learning will help in the holistic development of the students.