The Gujarat government has conceded that concerted efforts are needed to expand the scope of higher education in the state,as also to improve its quality to place Gujarat on the higher education map in the country.
Replying to a debate on the Private Universities Bill,2009 in the Assembly on Friday,Education Minister Ramanlal Vora said the gross enrolment ratio in higher education (in the age group 18-23) in the state was lower,though marginal,than the national average. The national ratio is 11 per cent,while it is 10 per cent in Gujarat,he said,adding that overall,higher education environment in the state is polluted.
Illustrating the various provisions of the Bill,Vora said a scrutiny committee proposed to be set up under the chairmanship of the Principal Secretary (Education) would examine all aspects before giving approval to those wanting to set up private university in any part of the state.
The Bill is aimed at improving the quality of higher education and also to widen its scope,which will attract students to Gujarat from other states too.
Referring to the objection earlier raised by Congress MLA Sidhdharth Patel to a provision to include an eminent industrialist on the governing body of a proposed private university,he said: It was necessary to appoint an industrialist on such a body,for it is only he who can analyse the latest trends in the market and suggest courses in keeping with these trends. There will also be experts,educationists and government representatives in the body,he added.
Vora said though the management of a proposed private university would be given full freedom to run its administration,the government would have its control to monitor the quality of education in the university. The Bill was later passed by a voice vote in the House.