"In India that flexibility is needed. We can't carry forward with the 19th century mindset, 20th century process and 21st century needs," Pitroda, the Advisor to Prime Minster Manmohan Singh, said.
Addressing the 'Academic Congress' organised by Delhi University, Pitroda also found fault with the present system and demanded that the universities and colleges should be given freedom to award a student with a degree whenever they think the student is ready to be a graduate.
"There is a need for theoretical and practical experiences and to achieve this students should also be allowed to work in their respective sectors of interest even while studying."
Advising the need for a generational change to make education more accessible, he said the education system in the country is pretty rigid and the country needed expansion, equity and excellence so that the quality of education can be raised.
He said a number of education bills are stuck in Parliament and alleged that parties, unions and people with vested interest block reforms in the country.
"Who decides that it will take four years to get a degree? Why can't we give freedom to the universities and colleges to give the degrees within two or three years, whenever they think the student is ready to be a graduate. Why a standard procedure of four years?" he asked.
Pitroda said teachers are not needed for content generation and defining the content but they should be in the role of mentors. "To achieve this teachers training programme should be change. We need to re-define the needs of students and teachers," he said.
Pitroda said the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) plan was to set up 40 new innovation universities with new ideas, which could offer degree in 2 to 3 years but now the government is talking of forming just 14 Universities or making desired changes in the existing universities.
He claimed the government is in no mood to change the education system, but it is students who should demand for change.
Claiming that Universities do not provide fertile ground for innovations, he said hardly any programmes for internships are conducted.
"Professors from outside are not called and Professors in the country do not do the researches, so it has become a chain where nobody wants to change. Innovation require collaboration.
Every University should have innovation centres," he said.
He said in the US "classes are held on sea, on railway stations. Why a teacher should take class in a room only, why not in garden or in a restaurant".
Students learn more from each other than a teacher can teach them, he added.
"Education should be provided in multiple languages along with local languages otherwise students will not be able to have overall development," he said.
I agree with each & every opinion of him. I always had feeling that I wasted my precious time doing MCA engaging 8-10 hours in college from Mon-Sat while I could have used it to get practical working knowledge in addition to theoretical-conceptual knowledge.
here in india we need research based education system, its already there in the system must use this properly and put eye on various sector. The IT jobs ruining our students creativity and life ethics. so we must spread our knowledge in every field then only we can see the better future.
Yes. Education should be in multiple INDIAN languages for the all-round development of the student.
"Why a standard procedure of four years?" he (Sam Pitroda)asked. Else, what prevents a university to hand out degress w/o a common base of minimum requirements? Whereas the Indian education system is still rote at all levels and much innovative thinking is needed, classes in restaurants, playing fields and platforms does not provide a solution - in fact it might further degrade a decreipt discipline in universities. However, Mr. Pitroda is right in insisting industrial contacts, training, research, internships and all that constitutes 'innovation'.
There are lot of questions here about students taking jobs. In the West, students often take up jobs as Research Assistants (doing junior work to a researcher), Teaching Assistant (assisting the teacher), odd jobs (working in restaurants, gas stations) or junior work related to their field of study. From a financial perspective, these jobs pay a part of the tuition or give them pocket money. But more importantly it gives them a sense of resposibility, makes effective use of student's energy and gives them field level experience which they can utilize later. To the general economy it gives skilled manpower at very low rate. How many of the students of Mechanical Engineers in India would be ready to work as an assistant to Car Mechanic. How many Civil Engg students will work with Mason who is building a house. Or how many MBBS students will creaet AIDs awareness by working for an NGO. My point is - 21st centy mindset needs to be embraced by students as well.
Students can take up the jobs, but where ARE the jobs
Sam says "students should also be allowed to work", where are the jobs ?
Finally someone came forward and spoke the truth...
Beginning with the department of education of innovation and then go to the other unless the whole India is vulnerable to collapse on majority basis of democracy particular vested interest. I fully support on Mr.Pitroda´s report on educational innovation in Indian Universities is a must to go India on to the mainstream of the Globalization in all the fields as well. So, such developments must be implemented by the govt., without considering the majority in the parliament or the interests of any parties.
The same Mr Sam pitroda goes to UP with Rahul Gandhi and announces his caste for votes. It is which century mind set or vested interest? If HIS gandhi regime now and earlier not able to deliver don't blame others.
Mr. Pitroda who brought in revolution in telecom sector during Congress rule is unable to persuade the current UPA government to bring in much needed reform in the Education sector. Speaks volumes of this government lack of interest in anything other than blame game.
It is not just the Universities that have the 18th century mindset. It is applicable to most of India!