Last week I read a news item that said the PMO was asking the MHRD to give ‘autonomy’ to 20 Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in the country. This they hope will help the HEIs become ‘world class’. It is a very bold and forward looking decision. With most international rankings questioning the stature of our HEIs, such progressive thought is important.
One look at the entrepreneurship literature, especially corporate entrepreneurship literature suggests that ‘autonomy’ is but one among a bunch of factors that can help trigger entrepreneurial tendencies. A simple case in point in ‘corporate entrepreneurship’ within established organisations. While ‘autonomy’ is one of the factors there are others too – such as access to work discretion, rewards, organisation boundaries, and organisation climate.
Above all these an institution that wants to turn entrepreneurial requires individuals with ‘an entrepreneurial mindset’ that will allow them to take risks, bold decisions, handle exceptions, and practice ambidexterity.
Do we have entrepreneurial leaders in higher education who can do it? I think that is a big question. How do we find them? How do we empower them? Else it will be just another few thousand crores spent, not invested.
Hope our policy makers think on this!!