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Challenges And Opportunities For South India To Be Hub Of Higher Education

A panel discussion took place at the 5th Higher Education Conference on South India as a Hub for Higher Education.

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The 5th Higher Education Conference, held in Chennai, observed a panel discussion on 'South India as a Hub for Higher Education' where the eminent panellists discussed the challenges and opportunities of the same.

Among the panellist were P Duraisamy, Vice Chancellor of Madras University; Kala Vijaykumar, President of SSN University; Dr Thangam Meganathan, Chairperson of Rajalakshmi Group of Institutions; and Swarup Mohanty, Director of Sona School of Management. The session was moderated by Navin Mittal, IAS, Commissioner of Collegiate & Technical Education, Government of Telangana.

Navin Mittal opened the discussion by stating that south India has driven the education landscape of the country from the last few years with the GER close to 40 per cent.

Kala Vijaykumar expressed that South India has the potential to be the Hub of Education as the GER of southern India is comparatively more than the rest of the country and thus it can provide education to more students.

She further said, "By 2020, India will be the youngest nation with 64 per cent of the population of working-age group. Thus, there lies huge opportunities with equal challenges such as quality of the workforce, industry-academia collaboration and financial autonomy to make education affordable."

Further, Mohanty talked about the 4 'horrible' C's (Compliance, Constraint, Control, and Contact) of education. He said, "The context is missing and we need to build the context around higher education as well as revitalise the context around people."

"The solution is to convert constraint to discipline, control to support, contract to trust and move away from compliance," he added.

Dr Thangam Meganathan pointed out the opportunities -- huge and improving infrastructure, attracting students around the globe, improving teaching -- for South India in being the Hub of Education. She also stated, "South India lacks in multi-lingual skills and that is the main challenge".

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