New Delhi: The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Thursday felicitated leading woman entrepreneur Sushma Berlia for her outstanding contribution to academia and industry.
Berlia, president of the Apeejay Stya & Svrán Group and Chancellor of Apeejay Stya University was presented the honour by Sunil Kant Munjal of Hero Corporate Service Ltd at the AICTE-CII University-Industry Congress 2012 & 4th Global Higher Education Summit.
Emphasizing on the need for structural reforms in India’s higher education system, Berlia said: “Despite the tremendous growth in the number of universities and colleges, the gross enrollment ratio, or GER, still remains at an abysmal 16 percent, which is much below the world average of 27 percent.”
“The higher education sector in India is still not producing enough skilled, educated, trained and employable graduates,” she said, adding: “Being in industry gave me insights into the acute disconnect between the graduates being produced by our universities and the challenges of employability in terms of their industry-readiness, ability to think and analyze critically, to learn for life, and to work collaboratively in teams.”
Speaking on the need to reform the regulations in education, Berlia said: “Admissions, courses, programmes or geographical jurisdictions should not be the criteria for regulation. Instead, the need of the day is to regulate the adequacy of infrastructure, faculty, quality of teaching facilities, and governance.”
“Instead of one monolithic body, there should be three separate groups to manage regulation, accreditation and financing respectively. Independent testing agencies that do not require a coaching format should also be encouraged to create a level-playing field for the students,” she added.
Berlia “has been working towards the cause of education, skill development and women empowerment and has played a leading role in helping formulate policies for educational reforms and industry”, a company statement said.
“Many of her recommendations on issues of access, equity & inclusive education, industry-academia linkages, skill development and implementable solutions for funding of higher education have been well-appreciated and accepted by the government and regulatory bodies,” the statement added.
The Apeejay Education Society (AES) that Berlia heads runs 13 Schools and 16 institutions of higher learning in India with more than 32,000 students on their rolls.