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Friday, C Rangarajan, chairman, economic advisory council to the prime minister, while addressing the national conference titled ‘Quality of Higher Education and Economic Development (HEED)’, deplored the current system of examinations prevalent in India.
Narrating an incident that in recent times when he happened to see a university question paper that was same as the one he took about 40 years ago, meaning that nothing had changed over four decades was really not only amusing but disheartening too.
“Answer any five questions from the following ten questions: I still see this kind of questions. We need to spend more time in setting the question paper. It is extremely important to completely revamp the examination system,” he said.
Stressing the need that the exams should be a continuous process, he deplored the present system of exam which tests only ability of the students to memorise rather than their critical ability. “At the end of three years, students go through 7-8 exams. Exams should be a continuous process,” said Rangarajan.
While quoting the expansion in the field of education from just 0.2 million students studying in 20 odd universities and 500 colleges in 1950s to the present day about 20 million students studying in 627 universities and about 35,000 colleges, he said the quality has been lost in the process. He expressed concern over the vast majority of average students against only a handful of them doing well overseas.
“Between the ages of 18 and 23, India has a gross enrollment rate of 18%. While the world average is 26%, it is 40% in developed countries,” Rangarajan said.