"At the fundamental level, I think too much is made of what industry wants. I don't think the industry should determine what education institutions should be delivering. Education is a much more fundamental and long-term investment in an individual's life than the first job they will get," he said.
Desai was speaking Monday at Education Evangelist of India 2013, a convocation, where he was part of a panel discussion on "Taking Higher Education to the Global Knowledge Economy".
Desai said there was a dichotomy between what is taught at our higher education institutes, and what the industry was expecting out of the students.
"I guess that (dichotomy) comes with the obsession with certification, rather than the process of education that results in degrees being doled out without that meaning anything. There is a gap between what is expected and what is delivered," he said.
Organised by SkillTree India, a global knowledge consortium, the convocation celebrated passionate visionaries who have contributed towards the growth of knowledge economy, and have brought a change in the Indian education system.
The event felicitated 25 visionaries of the education sector, which included noted filmmaker Subhash Ghail; Tata Institute of Social Sciences director S. Parsuraman; Jodhpur National University chairman Kamal Meha; Imperial College founder Hari Krishna Maram; and Manipal University president Ramdas M. Pai.
"The best aspect of education is that it encourages thirst for more education. Education has an intrinsic value. Without education, a man just sees a room. With education, he finds himself in a room with all its windows open to the outside world," Ghai said.
The event also saw the launch of a coffee table book, 'SkillTree Education Evangelist of India' that highlights the achievements of these evangelists.
"SkillTree was a sincere effort to find out 25 visionaries who have worked without title in their respective disciplines. They have brought about a change for our better tomorrow...and have facilitated a global knowledge sharing platform," said Shekhar Bhattacharjee, founder, SkillTree Knowledge Consortium.
--IANS (Posted on 24-12-2013)