India deserves world class universities - Business Standard

December 12, 2015

A world-class university is one that considers access to higher education to be a human right and the universities in the BRICS region and emerging economies should encourage creative thought, states a declaration by experts meeting here for a conference on education.

Sonipat Declaration', as it has been called, came out of the conference held over 2-4 December 2015 and organised by the Times Higher Education (THE), O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), Sonipat, and the International Institute for Higher Education Research and Capacity Building (IIHEd). The document emphasises the originality, proper attribution and adherence to the highest standards of academic honesty in the research process. It states that the universities in the BRICS region and emerging economies have a special challenge to promote and produce the highest quality research at the undergraduate, graduate and professional school levels. The document also talks about the need of sufficient financial and human resources for universities to achieve greatness. In this regard, it says that while it is the government's responsibility to provide adequate resources, corporate philanthropy should also fund higher education in order to make education accessible to weaker sections through scholarships. Speaking on why Sonipat Declaration is relevant, C. Raj Kumar, founding vice chancellor, O.P. Jindal Global University, said: "Sonipat Declaration is an inspiring document that imagines the vision and ideas of world-class universities and how they could be established and nurtured in the emerging economies." "It creates opportunities for universities to work towards raising their standards and promoting excellence while benchmarking themselves with internationally renowned institutions," Rajkumar added.