Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it.
Certain words have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
India's colleges and universities, with just a few exceptions, have become large, under-funded, ungovernable institutions. At many of them, politics has intruded in campus life, influencing academic appointments and decisions across levels. Under-investment in libraries, information technology, laboratories and classrooms makes it very difficult to provide top-quality instruction or engage in cutting-edge research. The rise in the number of part-time teachers and the freeze on new full-time appointments in many places ha affected morale in the academic profession. The lack of accountability means that teaching and research performance is seldom measured. The system provides few incentives to perform. Bureaucratic inertia hampers change. Student unrest and occasional faculty agitation disrupt operations Nevertheless, with a semblance of normality, faculty administrators are able to provide teaching, coordinate examinations, and award degrees.
Even the small top tier of higher education faces serious problems. Many IIT graduates, well trained in technology, have chosen not to contribute their skills to the burgeoning technology sector in India. Half leave the country immediately upon graduation to pursue advanced study abroad and most do not return. A stunning 86 per cent of students in science and technology fields from India who obtain degrees in the United States do not return home immediately following their study. Another significant group, of about 30 per cent, decides to earn MBAs in India because local salaries are higher and are lost to science and technology. A corps of dedicated and able teachers work at the IITs and IIMs, but the lure of jobs abroad and in the private sector makes it increasingly difficult to retain the best and brightest to the academic profession.
Few in India are thinking creatively about higher education. There is no field of higher education research.
Those in government as well as academic leaders seem content to do the "same old thing". Academic institutions and systems have become large and complex. They need good data, careful analysis, and creative ideas. In China, more than two dozen higher education research centres and several government agencies are involved in higher education policy for optimum planning. India has survived with an increasingly mediocre higher education system for decades. Now, as India strives to compete in a globalised economy in areas that require highly trained professionals, the quality of higher education becomes increasingly important. So far, India's large educated population base and its reservoir of at least moderately well-trained university graduates have permitted the country to move ahead. But, the competition is fierce. China, in particular, is heavily investing in improving its best universities with the aim of making a small group of them world class in the coming decade, and making a larger number internationally competitive research universities.
To compete successfully in the knowledge-based economy of the 21st century, India needs enough universities that not only produce bright graduates for export but can also support sophisticated research in a number of scientific and scholarly fields and produce at least some of the knowledge and technology needed for an expanding economy. How can India build a higher education system that will permit it to join developed economies? The newly emerging private sector in higher education cannot spearhead academic growth. Several of the well-endowed and effectively managed private institutions maintain reasonably high standards, although it is not clear whether these institutions will be able to sustain themselves in the long run. They can help produce well-qualified graduates in such fields as management, but they cannot form the basis for comprehensive research universities. This sector lacks the resources to build the facilities required for quality instruction and research in the sciences. Most of the private institutions do not focus on advanced training in the sciences.
Only public universities have the potential to be truly world-class institutions. But these institutions have not been adequately or consistently supported. The top institutions require sustained funding from public sources. Academic salaries must be high enough to attract excellent scientists and scholars. Fellowships and other grants should be available for bright students. An academic culture that is based on merit-based norms and competition for advancement and research funds is a necessary component, as is a judicious mix of autonomy to do creative research and accountability to ensure productivity. World-class universities require world-class professors and students and a culture to sustain and stimulate them.