‘We’re ready to pay back to Telangana’

By: R. Ravikanth Reddy

The expertise of Telugus abroad can contribute significantly to improving technical education in Telangana. The expatriates were ready to pay back to society here if the government comes up with a proper plan of action, said eminent professor Junuthula N. Reddy of the prestigious Texas A&M University.

Prof. Reddy, who was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) – the highest professional distinction extended to an engineer in the USA – said the government should attract them with good academic positions and grant them total independence of functioning.

“Respect their recommendations and you can see the change,” an alumnus of the OU Engineering College, Prof. Reddy said recruiting quality teachers was key to improving technical education.

The present system needs drastic change and teaching aspirants should present seminars to students to prove their worth. It should be followed by peer reviews and student feedback. “Otherwise, we will produce only engineers and not knowledge-creators,” he observed.

Welcoming Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s initiatives in weeding out “non-serious” educators, Prof. Reddy said quality institutions built by the Birlas and Tatas continue to thrive, while new private institutions churn out “mediocre products”.

The problem, he said was the “entry of politicians” into the education system, adding that colleges need periodic reviews and punishment to keep the tempo up. Teachers with a passion for research create knowledge and disseminate it, he said, adding that post-doctoral experience should be made compulsory in technical institutions.

The lack of “good teachers” affects even the brightest of students and it is reflected among those coming to US for higher studies. “If good students aren’t coming out it is less to do with their calibre and more to do with governments failing to create the academic atmosphere,” remarked Prof. Reddy, whose books are now part of engineering education in India.

On the dying research culture in Indian varsities, he said more than funds, it was the lack of good proposals from teachers which was the problem. “The key to improving technical education is focussing on research and it should be the priority.”

If good students aren’t coming out it is less to do with their calibre and more to do with governments failing to create the academic atmosphere

Junuthula N. Reddy

Professor, Texas A&M University

Source: The Hindu

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