During the past two decades, bulk of the expansion in higher education has been in the self-financial private sector. Research output in these institutions is often questioned. Recently the AICTE has come out with a research policy framework document written in collabration with clarivate Analyties. This document is entiled “ Aimming for excellence pathways to Institution advancement through Research”. The document lays three pre-requisites for research excellence namely a high concentration of faculty and student tallent ; abundant resources and conductive goverment policies. Unfortunately all three are lacking in case of private sector . Faculty talent is imited; attrition rate is very high. Security of job and liberal working conditions lure the teachers to public sector institutions The students capacity to pay is more important than his academic excellence as fee is the sole source of revenue generation. Teaching & placement are top priority. Research is an added burden. Study leave is normaly not granted. The periodic inspections (interestingly called peer teams) of the statutory bodies make it even worse. The end-Product is a plethora of sub-standard, cooked and inflated research output, presented solely with a view to get good grades.
Under the circumstance, what kind of research policy should an institution, particularly in the private sector,follow? The answer lies in carefully looking at various objectives or purposes of research. These are as follows:
- It is helpful in improving teaching ; involvement of student in research makes class room environment lively and participative.
- It is required for career advancement.
- It adds to the knowledge spectrum of the branch.
- Research can be revenue generating in terms of increased number of consultancy projects, copyrights and patents.
- It helps in attracting goverment funding.
- Enhances personal and institutional reputation.
Keeping in view the limited intellectual capital of private sector, Theoretical research which is totally innovative is a rare- except only in case of some island of isolated, self-motivated brilliance. Similarly,career advancement scheme is bound to produce sub – standard Ph.D work & research outcome. The industry rarely funds research activities in the private sector. Consultancy income is virtually negligible. Thus these institutions are best advised to encourage research which improves class room teaching and encourages greater teacher-student participation. It will do away with rote learning system and shall be twice – blessed as it will increase the employability of the students. This kind of research can be incorporated in the teaching schedule and thus the faculty will not feel anything like extra-burden. It does not require any special or additional resource. These institutions should strongly face the statutory bodies and their expert/peer teams with the research output mainly and only conducted with a view to improve teaching-no refereed journals; no cooked-up impact factor, no nothing. We are sure that the statutory bodies shall take cognizance of this in due course of time and will not measure all educational institutions with the same yardstick.