New Delhi: Concerned over the "gaps" in the higher education system, the University Grants Commission (UGC) will undertake a slew of measures to bridge them including increased number of fellowships, reservations and financial assistance to girls.
Announcing this, UGC Chairman Ved Prakash also pointed out that another "key concern" was the low enrolment in teacher education which stood merely at three per cent.
The Commission will also make corrections in its programmes and schemes that were being implemented for the purpose of ensuring equity -- equal participation of different social groups, gender, minorities, Prakash, who along with HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju, released brochures which identified the gaps, said.
Noting that there were abysmally poor participation of girls in some disciplines, Prakash said, "We are concentrating on this so that more number of girls participate....We will take measures such as financial assistance, increase the number of fellowships, open certain disciplines in certain parts of country, and then incentivise the public institutions for those programmes or even make reservations."
He also stressed on the need to have more number of trained teachers to strengthen the school education and asserted that unless the school education was strengthened, the quality of higher education cannot be improved.
"We need to identity the states where the teacher training institutes are less than the national average."
Raju said that as higher education grows in capacity, one of the important components was to make sure that it is accessible to everybody. "And also that there is equity that is ensured in our higher education effort to encourage participation of the SCs, STs, OBCs, the minorities and the persons with disabilities," he said.
In the last few years, Raju said, the UGC has supported nearly 18.94 lakh students from as many as 6,562 institutions involving an expenditure of Rs 4,684 crore.