Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given it. Certain word/phrases have been printed in ‘’bold’’ to help you to locate them while answering some of the questions.
India is rushing headlong towards economic success and modernisation, counting on hightech industries such as information technology and biotechnology to propel the nation to prosperity.
India’s recent announcement that it would no longer produce unlicensed inexpensive generic pharmaceuticals bowed to the realities of the World Trade Organisation while at the same time challenging the domestic drug industry to compete with the multinational firms. Unfortunately, its weak higher education sector constitutes the Achilles’ heel of this strategy. Its systematic disinvestment in higher education in recent years has yield neither world-class research nor very many highly trained scholars, scientists or managers to sustain high-tech development.
India’s main competitor especially China buts also Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea are investing in large and ‘’differentiated’’ higher education systems. They are providing access to large number of students at the bottom of the academic system while at the same time building some research-based universities that are able to compete with the world’s best institutions. The recent London Times Higher Education Supplement ranking of the world’s top 200 universities included three in China, three in Hong Kong three in South Korea. one in Taiwan, and one in India. These countries are positioning themselves for leadership in the knowledge based economies for coming era.
There was a time when countries could achieve economic success with cheap labour and low-tech manufacturing. Low wages still help, but contemporary large-scale development requires a sophisticated and at least partly knowledge-based economy. India has chosen that path, but will find a major stumbling block in its universities system.
India has significant advantages in the 21st century knowledge race. It has a large higher education sector --- the third largest in the world in student numbers, after China and the United States. It uses English as a primary language of higher education and research. It has a long academic tradition. Academic freedom is respected. There are a small number of highly quality institutions, departments, and centres that can form the basis of quality sector in higher education. The fact that the States, rather than the Central Government, exercise major responsibility for higher education creates a rather cumbersome structure, but the system allows for a variety of policies and approaches.
Yet the weakness far outweigh the strengths. India educates approximately 10 per cent of its young people in higher education compared with more than half in the major industrialised countries and 15 per cent in China. Almost all of the world’s academic systems resemble a pyramid, with a small high quality tier at the top and a massive sector at the bottom. India has a tiny top tier. None of its universities occupies a solid position at the top. A few of the best universities have some excellent departments and centres and there are a small number of outstanding undergraduate colleges. The university Grants Commission’s recent major support of five universities to build on their recognised strength is a step toward recognising a differentiated academic system and fostering excellence. These universities, combined, enroll well under 1 percent of the student population.
Which of the following is/are India’s strength/s in terms of higher education?
A: Its system of higher education allows variations
B: Medium of instruction for most higher learning is English
C: It has the paraphernalia, albeit small in number, to build a high quality higher educational sector.