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Kolkata, Dec. 12

BPO's may propose to catch them young, but the Chairman of All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), Mr D. Acharya, disposes of the idea. Attracting the younger crowd, fresh out of high school, will not only harm the education system but these people will later turn into a `social liability,' he said.

Addressing the CII-AICTE third technical education meet here on Monday, Mr Acharya described attempts to attract high school boys as `suicidal.' While the attraction of `big money' would take away students from under-graduation studies, "these students will later turn mentally sick and become a liability for society," he said.

Later talking to presspersons, the AICTE chairman said there was a serious impact on higher studies, especially post-graduate and above as the best of the students were drawn to greener pastures in industry. This had led to a serious shortage of faculty in the country.

He said that 50 per cent of the faculty positions in the Government colleges and institutions, which draws the best students, were currently vacant. Apart from administrative lapses, the major reason behind such large number of vacancies was lack of eligible candidates.

"That the young generation has lost interest in higher studies leading to a serious impact on the quality of teachers, is a national problem," the AICTE chairman said seeking help from industry in solving the problem of dearth of faculties.

The CII - AICTE meet also saw Mr Satya Sadhan Chakraborty, Minister of Higher Education Government of West Bengal, differing with the CPI(M) and the Left stand on the existing quota system for admission of students in higher education. He described the policy as unfortunate.

It may be mentioned that the Left has not only favoured the quota system in educational institutions, but is now backing the extension of the system to private collages and institutes at the Centre.

"I know that being a minister in the Government I cannot speak my mind," he said, adding, "for various reasons, we cannot do away with the quota system. However, I feel that merit should be the only parameter for admission in higher education."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 13, 2005)
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