TODAY -

Seminar on "Excellence in Higher Education Challenges & Remedies"
- at Maharaja Bodhchandra College, Imphal -
- Last Date : March 15, 2013 -



Maharaja Bodhchandra College, Imphal is organizing a Two Days National Seminar on "Excellence in Higher Education: Challenges & Remedies" on April1819, 2013 at Imphal. The seminar is sponsored by NAAC. Interested scholars/activists may submit abstracts of about 350 words on any of the theme listed below by March 15, 2013.

Acceptance letters shall be communicated to the applicants by March 16, 2013.
Selected persons are requested to send well-researched papers of about 4000-4500 words to the e-mails ids. given below latest by April 10, 2013.

Themes:

o Higher education in Manipur: Policy framework in Historical perspective
o Conflict situation & higher education
o Resource allocation and utilization
o NAAC & other funding agencies for improvement in higher education
o Ethics and accountability: Role of teachers in teaching-learning process
o Internal Quality Assurance Cells and Academic excellence
o Any other strictly relevant to the theme of the seminar

For details contact:
Karam Monoranjan Singh
Coordinator
mbcollege(dot)imphal(at)gmail(dot)com

Dr. Homen Thangjam
Convenor
homenth(at)gmail(dot)com




Two Days National Seminar
on
Excellence in Higher Education: Challenges & Remedies
April1819, 2013
The Maharaja Bodhchandra College, Imphal
Sponsored by:
National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Bangalore

Concept Note


Education is one of the ways to upward social mobility. Good education is seen as a stepping stone to ensure not only one's livelihood and but also quality of life. However, education system in India currently represents a great paradox. For instance, technical and professional education is given an edge over general-higher education. And in today's understanding of the knowledge economy; the latter does not find a place. Majority of the colleges in the country do not even have the basic infrastructure to meet the challenges which have emanated largely from the changes taking place both at the global and domestic level, especially in the arena of the economy and technology. In the case of Manipur, which is marked by conflict situation, budget allocation for education and social spending have remained low as compared to allocations for police in the last many years, thus capturing the thrust area for the ensuing governments, which consider security (law and order) as the most important sphere in the state. Education in the state is pushed to the back seat. In such a situation, higher education in the state has remained deplorable. And had it not been for the presence and assistance from Central Government agencies the situation of higher education in the state would have been worse.

Higher education in India is undergoing a paradigm shift especially after India undertook structural adjustment programme as a part of the larger process of liberalization initiatives undertaken in the early part of the 1990s. The catch word has been excellence. At the policy level, what largely impinges upon the education sector is the need to produce human resources with expanded "capacity" e.i. the ability to meet global demands in terms of employment and livelihood opportunities. Policy shift is witnessed in India's overt declaration and emphasis on knowledge economy. Today, India has formed a National Commission for Higher Education and Research to streamline education, especially higher education, to meet domestic and global demands. However, such a move is not free from constraints and Yash Pal Commission on Higher Education rightly captured the constraints as both structural and invisible. The simple fact is that the system of public education in India at all levels is in advanced stage of disrepair and disarray.

Many of the recommendations of the Yash Pal Committee were accepted and endorsed by the Government. Moreover, the University Grants Commission recommended policy changes for betterment of higher education in India, starting from pay revision to recruitment requirements of teachers, which the Government of India has accepted and implemented at the national level. At least an initiative has been started and nodal agencies such as National Assessment and Accreditation Council, an autonomous body has been created to assess, accreditate and fund colleges in India. This is in addition to existence of institutions such as Indian Council of Social Sciences, University Grants Commission, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, and other state level funding agencies.

In the face of the above changes, an appraisal of higher education in Manipur is a must. First of all, we need to understand that there is conflict situation in the state which affects the everyday life of the people. Making education a free from conflict has been an empty promise or assurance on the part of the armed opposition groups and state security forces in the state. Secondly, general impression is that higher education in the state largely suffers from lack of a clear Government policy to effectively address multiple challenges in terms of financial assistance (allocation of fund), recruitment policy, upward mobility, pattern of affiliation, framing of syllabus, and so on. There is a general sense of deja vu that education in general and higher education in particular operates in an environment of government apathy.

For so long, resource constraints have been cited as reasons for upliftment of higher education in Manipur. To illustrate a point, there are 28 (twenty-eight) government colleges in Manipur without regular principals, in whose absence accountability cannot be extracted from both the teaching and non-teaching staffs of the concerned institutions. Then there are the issues of uneven distribution of colleges across districts in the state. Colleges suffer from inadequate number of teaching and non-teaching staff, infrastructure bottlenecks and curriculum framework and evaluation process. In this regard, it is worthwhile to mention that although semester system has been introduced, the modality of evaluation remains examination centric.

The need to evaluate the present state of higher education in Manipur largely emanates from the fact that Manipur today is at a cross road. On one hand, people are direct witnesses to information technology revolution unfolding in front of their eyes and the opportunities that accompanies such transformations. On the other hand is the absence of livelihood opportunities in the state. For example, the agriculture sector has reached a saturated point wherein more and more number of people cannot be absorbed in terms of employment. Secondly, absence of private investment in the economy means that government is the institution to provide employment to the people.

In such a scenario, production capable human resources is the only alternative to ensure future of the state, ones who can compete outside Manipur, thus, the overarching need to ensure excellence. Here, higher education can play a positive role and pay attention on ensuring that future generations are equipped sufficiently to operate in a knowledge economy.

In the light of the above observations, The Maharaja Bodhchandra College, Imphal proposes to organize a two-days state level seminar on "Excellence in Higher Education: Challenges & Remedies" on April1819, 2013. The aim of the seminar is, as stated above, to deliberate and find strategies that will enable us to effectively address the multiple challenges in the higher education sector so as to ensure excellence, and an adequate supply of higher skills and trained manpower in the region. Interested scholars/activists may submit abstracts of about 350 words on any of the theme listed below by March 15, 2013. Acceptance letters shall be communicated to the applicants by March 16, 2013. Selected persons are requested to send well-researched papers of about 4000-4500 words to the e-mails ids. given below latest by April 10, 2013.

Broad Sub-Themes

1. Higher education in Manipur: Policy framework in Historical perspective
2. Conflict situation & higher education
3. Resource allocation and utilization
4. NAAC & other funding agencies for improvement in higher education
5. Ethics and accountability: Role of teachers in teaching-learning process
6. Internal Quality Assurance Cells and Academic excellence
7. Any other relevant to the theme of the seminar


* This post is sent by Homen Thangjam who can be contacted at homenth(at)gmail(dot)com
This Post is webcasted on February 28, 2013.

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