Article Title: “Library and Information Science Title: “Library and Information Science Education in India: Perspectives and Challenges” Dr. Sanghamitra Pradhan Faculty member Department of library and information science The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda

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  • 151 International Research: Journal of Library & Information Science | Vol.4 No.1, Mar. 2014

    Article Title: Library and Information Science Education in India:

    Perspectives and Challenges

    Dr. Sanghamitra Pradhan

    Faculty member

    Department of library and information science

    The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda

    Vadodara, Gujarat

    India-390002

    sanghamitrapradhan@rediff.com

    Abstract

    The paper assesses the status of formal library and information science (LIS) education provided

    in India. It is based on a study carried out to bring out the perspective and the challenges in LIS

    education by analyzing the LIS courses, its structure and contents, availability of faculty,

    research contribution, infrastructural facilities, etc. A total of 33 universities, representing each

    region of India, were selected as sample. Content analysis method was applied to analyse the

    contents of the websites under eight categories.

    Findings reveal that a diversified level of LIS courses is observed to suit the demand and

    employability of students at various job levels. LIS courses are updated and designed to meet the

    objectives of an advanced LIS curriculum. Lack of adequate faculty is found to be a major

    setback in imparting quality LIS education.

    The paper recommends establishment of a national accreditation council for LIS education to

    uphold quality and standard in LIS courses. More of technology oriented practical components

    as well as scope to develop soft skill and professional ethics should figure in the syllabus.

    The paper has originality as it contributes to the knowledge regarding current state of LIS

    education in India. It attempts to draw attention of the financing and regulatory authorities of

    higher education to focus on developing needed faculties and facilities urgently.

    Keywords: Library and information science education, LIS courses, LIS professionals, India,

    Universities

    Introduction

    Since information is regarded as the driving force for any kind of societal development whether

    it is economic, intellectual or cultural, however it can be guaranteed only through efficient

    deliverance of information to all. And to accomplish this noble task qualified and competent

    library and information workforce is very inevitable for any society. At same time raising such

    workforce who can manage libraries and information centres well is an obligation of every

    nation. India, the largest democracy in the world, has long realized the need of building an

  • 152 International Research: Journal of Library & Information Science | Vol.4 No.1, Mar. 2014

    effective human resource which could contribute greatly to realize Indias march to become one

    of the developed nations of the world. However the process of developing competent library and

    information science (LIS) professionals is directly related to the quality of LIS education

    imparted to these professionals. Through this paper an attempt has been made to assess how far

    the current LIS education provided in India is capable of meeting the objective of supplying

    competent human resource for nation building.

    Library and information science (LIS) education in India: A brief overview

    Imparting of formal LIS education in India is a century old development. It began to cater the

    need emerged from managing libraries with professionally qualified hands. At present LIS

    education in India covers a wide spectrum of courses ranging from low level certificate and

    diploma in library science to bachelor and master degree in library and information science and

    to high level MPhil and PhD programmes.

    In India, at present LIS education is provided on regular basis in more than 100 universities and

    in some national and regional training institutes. Apart from these a few national open

    universities as well as some state universities also offer various LIS courses through distance

    mode of learning to meet the demand of growing job market in the field.

    Scope of the Paper

    The purpose of this paper is to present the status of library and information science (LIS)

    education in the universities of India on the basis of empirical evidence. The scope of the paper

    is limited to the study of formal LIS education programmes offered at postgraduate level by the

    universities. The paper analyses the LIS courses in terms of its structure, student intake,

    admission criteria, curriculum structure, course contents, faculty, teaching methods, research

    contribution and infrastructure. The scope of the paper does not include the diploma, certificate

    or any short term specialized courses run by various library associations, national and regional

    training institutes, polytechnics, or any of the universities and also LIS courses offered through

    distance education mode.

  • 153 International Research: Journal of Library & Information Science | Vol.4 No.1, Mar. 2014

    Methodology

    The present study covers a sample of 33 universities of India out of more than 100 universities

    that offer LIS education recognized by the University Grant Commission (UGC), a statutory

    body established for maintaining standards in higher education in India. The sample tried to

    represent each region of India. From each region universities were selected. The details of these

    universities are provided in Table 1 Regional distribution of sample universities offering LIS

    education in India, their website address and establishment year of the LIS Departments. 8

    universities from Northern India, 7 from East and North Eastern region, 4 from Central, 8 from

    Southern and 6 from Western India were selected as sample.

    Table 1 Regional distribution of sample universities offering LIS education in India, their

    website address and establishment year of the LIS Departments

    Region Sr.

    No.

    Name of Universities Website address Year of

    Establish

    ment

    Northern

    1 University of Delhi (DU), Delhi www.du.ac.in 1946

    2 Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), Delhi http://jmi.ac.in *1985

    3 Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Banaras www.bhu.ac.in 1942

    4 Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh www.amu.ac.in 1958

    5 Punjab University (PU), Chandigarh www.puchd.ac.in 1960

    6 Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU),

    Amritsar

    www.gndu.ac.in 1970

    7 Kurukshetra University (KU) Kurukshetra http://www.kuk.ac.in/ 1969

    8 Jammu University (JAU) , Jammu www.jammuuniversity.in 1971

    Eastern

    and

    North

    Eastern

    9 Calcutta University (CU), Kolkata www.caluniv.ac.in 1945

    10 Jadavpur University (JDU), Kolkata http://www.jaduniv.edu.in/ 1964

    11 Rabindra Bharati University (RBU), Kolkata http://www.rbu.ac.in/ 1985

    12 Sambalpur University (SU), Burla http://www.suniv.ac.in/ 1976

    13 Utkal University (UU), Bhubaneswar www.utkaluniversity.ac.in 1981

    14 Gauhati University (GU), Gauhati http://www.gauhati.ac.in 1966

    15 North-Eastern Hill University

    (NEHU), Shillong

    http://www.nehu.ac.in 1985

    Central

    16 Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAV), Indore http://www.dauniv.ac.in/ *1993

    17 Jiwaji University (JIU) , Gwalior http://www.jiwaji.edu 1984

    18 Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya (GGU),

    Bilaspur

    http://www.ggu.ac.in/ 1985

    19 Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University (PRSU),

    Raipur

    http://www.prsu.ac.in/ 1971

    20 Andhra University (AU), Visakhapatnam www.andhrauniversity.info 1935

    21 Osmania University (OSU), Hyderabad http://www.osmania.ac.in/ 1959

    22 Gulbarga University (GUU), Gulbarga www.gulbargauniversity.kar.nic.in 1980

    http://www.du.ac.in/http://jmi.ac.in/http://www.bhu.ac.in/http://www.amu.ac.in/http://www.puchd.ac.in/http://www.gndu.ac.in/http://www.kuk.ac.in/http://www.jammuuniversity.in/http://www.caluniv.ac.in/http://www.jaduniv.edu.in/http://www.rbu.ac.in/http://www.suniv.ac.in/http://www.utkaluniversity.ac.in/http://www.gauhati.ac.in/http://www.nehu.ac.in/http://www.dauniv.ac.in/http://www.jiwaji.edu/http://www.ggu.ac.in/http://www.prsu.ac.in/http://www.andhrauniversity.info/http://www.osmania.ac.in/http://www.gulbargauniversity.kar.nic.in/

  • 154 International Research: Journal of Library & Information Science | Vol.4 No.1, Mar. 2014

    Southern

    23 Karnataka University (KU), Dharwad http://www.kud.ac.in 1962

    24 Calicut University (CAU), Kazhikode www.universityofcalicut.info 1977

    25 Kerala University (KEU), Thiruvananthapuram www.keralauniversity.ac.in/ 1961

    26 Annamalai University (ANU), Chidambaram http://annamalaiuniversity.ac.in 1979

    27 Madras University (MDU), Chennai http://www.unom.ac.in/ 1931

    Western

    28 University of Mumbai (MU), Mumbai www.mu.ac.in 1943

    29 University of Pune (UP), Pune www.unipune.ernet.in 1958

    30 Shivaji University (SUK), Kolhapur www.unishivaji.ac.in 1964

    31 Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda

    (MSU), Vadodara

    www.msubaroda.ac.in 1956

    32 Gujarat University (GJU), Ahmedabad www.gujaratuniversity.org.in 1965

    33 Sardar Patel University(SPU), Anand www.spuvvn.edu 1982

    * From this year the University library of the respective universities started the LIS courses.

    Data for the study was collected mainly from the websites of the 33 sample universities (see

    Table 1). The websites were accessed during 1st April to 30th April 2013. Content analysis

    method was applied for this study. Contents of the websites hosted by the universities were

    analyzed to get the data required for the study. An information tapping schedule was prepared to

    collect data systematically from the websites. The schedule also helped in maintaining

    consistency in data collection. One fact that needs to be mentioned here is that since websites of

    few universities were not updated recently, there might be some gap in data. However, the author

    contacted the LIS departments of these universities in case need was felt to clarify some content

    and also to fill the gap.

    Analysis and Discussion

    An analysis of data collected from the sample universities revealed that all of them are

    established higher education institutions of India. The departments of LIS founded in these

    universities mostly cater to the human resource needs in the country since long. Initially most of

    these departments started as Department of Library Science. Later on around 1980s onwards, this

    nomenclature has changed to Department of Library and Information Science to reflect the

    changing trend in the field especially to incorporate the increasing contents on information

    science into the discipline. Table 1, provided above, shows the names of the universities, their

    website address and the year of establishment of the LIS departments. The table shows that most

    of the universities have a LIS department which is pretty old, at least 3 decade. Madras

    http://www.kud.ac.in/http://www.universityofcalicut.info/http://www.keralauniversity.ac.in/http://annamalaiuniversity.ac.in/http://www.unom.ac.in/http://www.mu.ac.in/http://www.unipune.ernet.in/http://www.unishivaji.ac.in/http://www.msubaroda.ac.in/http://www.gujaratuniversity.org.in/http://www.spuvvn.edu/

  • 155 International Research: Journal of Library & Information Science | Vol.4 No.1, Mar. 2014

    University, Chennai has the oldest LIS department established in 1931. Jamia Millia Islamia

    (JMI) and Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAV) so far do not have separate LIS department and

    the central library of the respective university conducts the LIS courses.

    Data gathered for the study are systematically presented, analysed and discussed below under the

    following eight aspects to provide a perspective of and the challenges faced by the universities of

    India while imparting LIS education:

    Level of LIS Courses

    During 100 years of its journey, LIS education in India has witnessed many changes. Once

    started as a vocational library course, over the years due to growth in its theoretical base and

    introduction of various multidisciplinary ideas, it has now transformed into one full fledged

    discipline. The course nomenclature subsequently changed to library science education and

    presently to library and information science education. At present LIS education is offered

    through a variety of courses which provide a wide opportunity for the aspirant librarians to

    choose from. The details of different levels of LIS courses offered by the universities and their

    duration are presented in Table 2: Level of LIS Courses.

    Table 2: Level of LIS Courses

    Sr.

    No.

    Name of the University

    BLIS

    1-

    year

    MLIS

    1-

    year

    MLIS

    2-

    year

    2-year

    Integrat

    ed MLIS

    5 year

    Integrat

    ed

    UG+PG

    (MLIS)

    MPhil PHD

    1 University of Delhi (DU), y y y y

    2 Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) y -

    3 Banaras Hindu University (BHU) y y

    4 Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) y y y

    5 Punjab University (PU) y y

    6 Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) y y y y

    7 Kurukshetra University (KU) y y y y

    8 Jammu University (JAU) y y y

    9 Calcutta University (CU) y y y y (2 years)

    y

    10 Jadavpur University (JDU) y y y (2 years)

    y

    11 Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) y y -

    12 Sambalpur University (SU) y y y

    13 Utkal University (UU) y -

  • 156 International Research: Journal of Library & Information Science | Vol.4 No.1, Mar. 2014

    14 Gauhati University (GU) y y y

    15 North-Eastern Hill University

    (NEHU)

    y y

    16 Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAV) y y y -

    17 Jiwaji University (JIU) y y y

    18 Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya

    (GGU)

    y y y

    19 Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University

    (PRSU)

    y y y y y

    20 Andhra University (AU) y y y

    21 Osmania University (OSU) y y y y

    22 Gulbarga University (GUU) y y y

    23 Karnataka University (KU) y y y

    24 Calicut University (CAU) y y y

    25 Kerala University (KEU) y part time

    y y y

    26 Annamalai University (ANU) y y y -

    27 Madras University (MDU) y -M. Sc. in LIS

    y

    28 University of Mumbai (MU) y y y

    29 University of Pune (UP) y y y

    30 Shivaji University (SUK) y y y y

    31 Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) y y y

    32 Gujarat University (GJU) y -

    33 Sardar Patel University(SPU) y y y part time

    y y

    Total No. of Universities offering

    different levels of LIS courses

    18 17 5 14 2 18 27

    Table 2 shows Bachelor of library and information Science (BLIS) and Master of library and

    information Science (MLIS) are the main courses offered. However the pattern of these courses

    in terms of duration is quite different. The pattern mostly followed in universities is one year

    duration for both BLIS and MLIS. There are two semesters in each one year BLIS and one year

    MLIS and both of these generally consisted of 30 credits each. However, Calcutta University

    (CU) and Guru Ghasidas Viswavidyalaya (GGU) run 5 year integrated UG+PG course (3 years

    of under graduation and 2 year MLIS) apart from a 2 year MLIS programme. Two year part time

    MLIS programme are conducted in some universi...

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