The Budget 2018 should focus on empowering private Deemed to be Universities. The higher education landscape in India is undergoing a paradigm shift, with private Deemed to be Universities beginning to make significant contributions in terms of quality and quantity. Some of them have emerged as top-ranked Indian universities in global rankings, overtaking many well-established public universities in the country. Also Read - Late Arun Jaitley's Son Rohan Files Nomination For DDCA President's Post

Over the years, such top-ranked private Deemed to be Universities have exceeded expectations in their research calibre, relevance and dedication to solving challenges facing our society as well as the needs of a new emergent India. The Government needs to place full confidence in them and actively promote research at their campuses by making available significant funding opportunities. (Also Read: School Education Allocation Expected to Rise by 14 Per Cent) Also Read - 'Miss my Friend a Lot,' Says PM Modi on 1st Death Anniversary of Arun Jaitley; Many Political Leaders Pay Tribute

In most advanced nations, private Universities are major shareholders in, and contributors to, the exceptional quality of their higher education. If India too is to build a world-class higher education system, the Government in the upcoming Budget should empower top private Deemed to be Universities and create a level funding playing field. This is essential if they have to compete, innovate and contribute to meeting the challenges of Make in India, and also adapt to the needs of a rapidly growing, information-centric population Also Read - Year-Ender 2019: Country's Political Bigwigs Who Left us in The Year Gone by

The author Dr P Venkat Rangan is the Vice Chancellor of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.