Bangalore: Higher educational institutions must focus on inclusive, quality education to contribute to the nation`s economy, UGC chairman Ved Prakash said here on Sunday.
"We need to tap the talent which is still beyond the reach of higher educational institutions. There are some sections of society whose participation in higher education is very poor, especially Muslim minorities. Inclusive and quality education is the need of the hour. It is only such institutions which are going to be in business in future", he said.
He was speaking at the sixth National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) Award ceremony here.
Prakash said educational institutions need to invest on classroom processes and not just infrastructure and accord importance to physical fitness by having enough space and facilities for students to pursue sports.
They should strengthen research and innovation and curb malpractices to make a mark nationally and globally, he said.
Calling on higher educational institutions to adopt a "multi and inter-disciplinary approach", Prakash said no single discipline can create new knowledge.
Institutions must partner industry to create a skilled workforce instead of churning out unemployed graduates, he said.
He lamented that very few higher educational institutions come under category of "knowledge systems" and 30-35 percent of premier institutions face severe faculty shortage.
They suffer from "under utilisation or misutilisation of resources" which needs to be addressed, apart from the serious concern of competing with the revolution of online education, he said.
"We must have institutions which have inspiring learning ambience, caring competent teachers, can partner with industry and in tune with its (industry) requirements", Prakash said.
Lauding the private sector`s contribution towards higher education, he said there has to be harmonious co-existence of private and public educational institutions.
Commercialisation of higher education through private sector is not acceptable, Prakash added.