From The Desk of The Chief Editor
Higher Education in India has evolved in distinct and divergent streams with each stream monitored by an apex body, indirectly controlled by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The 415 universities/institutions are mostly funded by the state governments. However, there are 25 important universities called Central universities, which are maintained by the Union Government and because of relatively large funding, they have an edge over the others. . The higher education system in India has grown in an incredible way, particularly in the post-independence period, to become one of the largestsystems of its kind in the world. However, the system has many issues of concern at present, like financing and management, including access, equity and relevance, reorientation of programmes by laying emphasis on health consciousness, values and ethics and quality of higher Education together with the assessment of institutions and their accreditation. These Issues are important for the country, as it is now engaged in the use of higher education as a powerful tool to build a knowledge-based information society of the 21st Century. Recognizing the above and the basic fact, that the Universities have to perform multiple roles, like creating new knowledge, acquiring new capabilities and producing an intelligent human resource pool, through challenging teaching, research and extension activities so as to balance both the need and the demand, the University Grants commission (UGC) has been assigned the responsibility of maintaining the quality of higher education in the country. The exceptional growth of population has increased manifold the demand for education at all levels. With demand out-matching the means and resources, the quality of education and individual attention to the pupil has suffered a serious set-back. The scope for individualized teacher-student interaction is radically cut. Therefore, there is a dire need of trained teachers who are well-informed, creative, inspiring, research oriented, IT savvy, as well as effective managers, and role models. For making higher education institutions active hubs of academic activity, the UGC Academic Staff Colleges have to envisage their new role, which, of necessity, has to be multidimensional and integrative. Hence, professional development Programmes for teachers will have to be reengineered and reinvigorated.
National Policy of Education (1986) has emphasized the importance of motivation in improving the teaching-learning process. In pursuance to this policy, UGC has established 66 Academic Staff Colleges all over the country. The Academic Staff College of Himachal Pradesh University came into existence in 1989 and since then if has organized 377 programmes for improving the quality of teaching and research in different branches of knowledge by imparting training to 12653 teachers all over the country. It has attempted to enhance the training and development process by bringing out an annual journal (with ISSN), ‘academe’ that contains articles pertaining to varied issues in higher education.
Participants’ column contains important subject matter for the organizers who get feedback for further
refinements. The readers are requested to offer their valuable comments and suggestions so that the journal could further be improved. They are also requested to contribute relevant articles.