o;? DELHI MATTERS: Higher Education in the Delhi Region b Are Things getting Better?


10th August 2018

Higher Education in the Delhi Region - Are Things Getting better ?

The subject of higher education has been generating both interest and controversy even as access to high quality institutions is becoming hugely challenging. The IIC therefore organised a Panel discussion coordinated by Shailaja Chandra former Chief Secretary Delhi to address the key issues.

Delhi University still draws some of the best students for undergraduate courses but its capacity is limited to some 1.3 lakh regular and twice that number of non-formal students. The intake being open to students from the whole country it still attracts many among the best.

JNU has an enviable status among Universities despite being bogged by controversies. To fill the widening gap, private players have emerged but the cost of land and its availability in Delhi has made it impossible to establish new institutions of higher learning within the city. Educational philanthropists and entrepreneurs have therefore moved to the states of UP and Haryana and chiefly NOIDA, Greater NOIDA and Sonepat where names like Ashoka, the OP Jindal Global University, the Shiv Nadar University among others are attracting good students and highly qualified faculty both Indian and foreign.The surprising news is that many among the faculty have opted to stay on campus- which augurs well for the development of the institutions.

The questions that arise include concerns about who is doing well and badly and how far the process of ranking and accreditation has taken root. What made Miranda House emerge as first among college rankings pan India for two consecutive years? What gives JNU its third position among all Universities in the country? How far is the criticism against JNU merited?

Overall what has been the experience with the National Institutional Ranking Framework ? What has been the experience of private Universities in the NCR?Where do their students go for still higher education- to acquire Masters and PhDs?And importantly in terms of careers where do they end up ?

To answer these questions the IIC through the Delhi Matters series invited top academics and educational administrators that are currently handling the most important aspects of higher education and have been doing it for decades.Each one of them continues to be at the helm of affairs.

An outstanding panel - each one fully conversant with government policies, strategies which have worked and the problems and challenges that lie ahead met to discuss the milestones crossed, the contemporary issues that beset Delhi and the NCR and the future cross roads that lie ahead .


Dr Virander Chauhan who is directly involved with UGC, NAAC and NIRF recounted the experience with higher education from a global perspective and where India fits into the history of education. He highlighted the enormous expansion of the higher education sector which was affecting quality even as many more institutions would still be needed if the gross enrolment ratio is to increase as planned.

About Prof. Varinder S Chauhan


Dr Chintamani Mahapatra Rector of JNU tore into the negativism against JNU and exploded the myth that the University is elitist, anti- women and politicised countering each charge with data on admissions, research, publications and the Universitybs affirmation in favour of underprivileged students.

About Prof. Chintamani Mahapatra


Principal Pratibha Jolly from Miranda House recounted how the aspirations of students are growing and colleges are no longer dull and predictable spaces; instead how every opportunity is being seized and exploited by her students.As the proud recipient of the first rank among all colleges for two years running she shared what it takes to document achievements and showcase them before NIRF recognises them as achievements .

About Dr. Pratibha Jolly


Pramath Raj Sinha the founder Dean of the Indian School of Business at Hyderabad b which moved with surprising speed into the worldbs top 20 Business schools list, gave hope that indeed a private University like Ashoka which he co-founded has found its place among the sought after academies not just of NCR but India. He underscored that their achievements have to be judged by their management ethos, the credentials of the faculty both Indian and foreign and the doors that open to students as they emerge from a University like Ashoka.

About Mr.Pramath Raj Sinha


The Biggest Takeaway:

The strongest message that emerged was that the students from other states were making a bee-line for Delhi University and the NCR institutions and though many came from relatively modest backgrounds, unaccustomed to the privileges of city life, they were willing to compete and excel.In fact they constituted the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs who will one day run this country and take it forward even as better endowed students will inescapably cross to foreign shores- seldom to return to India.