With over 50% of India’s population is below the age of 25, India’s youth are the world’s future. The institutions and universities of today play a vital role in skilling and training the next generation of educated individuals for the society. It is important for us to remember the youth of today will become leaders of tomorrow- in politics, law, intellectual life, industry and in education. The larger onus and scope of transformation lies with research universities. The goal of our Indian research universities should not be to compete with Harvard or Oxford, it should not be to primarily to compete in world rankings. Rather, if we could realign the focus towards research that is aligned towards regional growth and community impact, we’d have meaningful and measurable outputs.
Every institution or university needs to find its niche. Today, the Indian higher education ecosystem is filled with large universities with a mass student population. With scale, the attention to the individual naturally decreases. The youth of today need different skillsets and opportunities to learn. They need the right mentorship, environment and diversity to experience world-class education. We essentially need more smaller institutions which specialize in an array of disciplines. The importance of developing centers of excellences and specific areas in science and management is critical in germinating the seed of quality higher education.
How do institutions identify their specialized areas? These evaluations may be made on the basis of available resources, an analysis of national or regional requirements, or by merely assessing the strengths of the institution and building on them. At Acharya Bangalore B-School, a similar approach has been deliberated to focus on supply chain innovation and analytics. The Business School with its strengths and available resources focuses on training, MDPs, research, consultancies, and conferences around Supply Chain and Logistics. If this can be done by multiple institutions across regions, a window of newer opportunities can open up to students. We would see a variety of niche areas across disciplines that directly impact the economy and the future of work.