It is being billed by the Modi government as an attempt to introduce ‘minimum government, maximum governance’, but Indian higher education needs much more deep-rooted change.
Several new proposals for Indian higher education promise incremental change to the system.
Source: Study International
“That’s a lot like Singapore study, study, work hard and you get an MBA, you will have a Mercedes but where is the creativity?”
Source: Times of India
Bill Gates believes there is a need to reform the Indian education system and has ideas on how to do it.
Source: The PIE
India’s government plans to merge the University Grants Commission and the All India Council for Technical Education into one national regulator, HEERA.
Source: The Economic Times
The rigid and heavily criticised regulatory regime of the UGC is set to undergo a major overhaul!
Source: The PIE News
For the first time in more than two decades, the government of India is drafting a new education policy which will include reforms on the internationalisation in higher education, digitisation of education and skills development.
The government has released 33 discussion themes– 13 for secondary, 20 for post-secondary– to the public for consultation, a process which the government expects could take up to a year.
Speaking about the government’s new approach to internationalisation, Richard Everitt, director of education at the British Council in India said: “It’s not whether it should happen, but how to make it happen.”
Strengthening of vocational education; promotion of languages; integrating skills development in higher education; promoting open and distance learning and online courses; and engagement with industry to link education to employability are among other topics available for discussion on the government’s website until the end of March.
International education stakeholders in the country say the list of proposed discussion themes show the government is taking a relevant approach to modernise the current education environment.
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NEW DELHI: Access to education beyond higher secondary schooling is a mere 10% among the university-age population in India. This is the finding of a report “Intergenerational and Regional Differentials in Higher Education in India” authored by development economist, Abusaleh Shariff of the Delhi-based Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy and Amit Sharma, research analyst of the National Council of Applied Economic Research.
The report says that a huge disparity exists — as far as access to higher education is concerned — across gender, socio-economic religious groups and geographical regions. The skew is most marked across regions. Thus, a dalit or Muslim in south India, though from the most disadvantaged among communities, would have better access to higher education than even upper caste Hindus in many other regions. Interestingly, people living in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal — designated as the north central region — and those in northeast India have the worst access to higher education. Those in southern India and in the northern region — consisting of Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Haryana and Delhi — are relatively better placed in this regard.
In the age group 22-35 years, over 15% in the northern region and 13% in the southern region have access to higher education. In the north-central region, the number is just 10% for men and 6% for women whereas in the northeast, only 8% men and 4% women have access to higher education.
The report, brought out by the US-India Policy Institute in Washington, is based on data from the 64th round of NSSO survey 2007-08. It throws up quite a few other interesting facts. For instance, among communities, tribals and dalits fare worst with just 1.8% of them having any higher education. Muslims are almost as badly off, with just 2.1% able to go for further learning. Similarly, just 2% of the rural population is educated beyond higher secondary level, compared to 12% of the urban population and just 3% of women got a college education compared to 6% of men.
South India offers the best opportunities for socially inclusive access to higher education including technical education and education in English medium. For instance, the share of Hindu SC/ST in technical education in south India is about 22%, and the share of Muslims 25%. These were the lowest shares among all communities in south India. But this was higher than the share of most communities including Hindu OBCs and upper caste Hindus in most other regions. South India also has the highest proportion of higher education in the private sector at about 42%, followed by western India where it is 22%. The northeast has the least privatized higher education sector and is almost entirely dependent on government-run or aided institutions.
Not surprisingly, government institutions are the cheapest places to study at, with annual expenditures ranging from less than Rs 1,000 to around Rs 1,500, except in north and south India, where the average is above Rs 2,000. Both private and private-aided institutions are quite costly, making them difficult to access for the poor. With little regulation of the quality of education and cost differentials, the poor and deprived are often trapped in low quality education, the report points out. It adds that although free education is provided at school level, it is almost non-existent at higher levels.
The report also compares India’s low 10% access to higher education with China’s 22% enrolment and the 28% enrolment in the US. Since the early 1990s, China’s post-secondary enrolments grew from 5 million to 27 million, while India’s expanded from 5 million to just 13 million, says the report, while emphasizing that higher education has the potential to enhance productivity and economic value both at the individual and national levels.
“The government has to urgently address the geographical skew in the availability of higher education facilities in the two regions of north-east and north-central,” says Shariff. “The central region, comprising Chhattisgarh, MP, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha, too needs attention. There is so much talk about a Harvard in India. I say, give two hoots to Harvard. What we need are thousands of community colleges that can offer professional courses so that youngsters can improve their skills and become employable.”
TCS Insights: In regards to the ability to access a higher education, disparities are apparent across a various groups in India. Due to a lack of regulation, in terms of the quality of education provided, not being able to afford a private institution can lead to individuals earning a poorer education because of where they are from, in addition to factors such as religious beliefs and gender. It is thought that increased enrolment in higher education has been linked to both individual and national improvements.
Source: www.arabnews.com via PwC – EdLive
The country has passed a national ‘education reform’ bill that will reassert government control over the education system, wresting it from the hands of a corrupt teachers’ union leadership. Mexican unions have a long history of control by political parties and by corrupt and violent bureaucracies. The teachers’ union is one of the worst examples. The Mexican Congress approved the measure on December 21, 2012. Mexican unions were already stunned and reeling from pro-business changes to the labour law passed in September. The education overhaul was supported by both of Mexico’s major pro- business parties and by the left-of-centre Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). It was opposed by some PRD legislators, a new left party called Morena, the Mexican Teachers Union (el SNTE), and the powerful opposition caucus in the teachers union, la CNTE. President Enrique Peña Nieto said that he wanted to reestablish the government’s role as director of the country’s education system and create a system based on genuine merit.
Peña Nieto’s new law modifies Article 3 of the Mexican Constitution, one of the three revered articles that arose from the demands of the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920, leading to the establishment of free, public, secular education. The other two recognised workers’ rights to organise unions, and redistribute land to indigenous and peasant communities. At the centre of the changes is a national teacher evaluation. Other important elements of the law are a census of schools, teachers, and students, and standardisation of the responsibilities and salaries of school principals and other supervisors.
Source: The Economic Times via PwC – EdLive
The AICTE has been asked by the Delhi High Court to probe into an allegation that various engineering colleges are conducting unapproved courses. Disposing of a plea for direction to colleges to stop unapproved courses, a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw asked the AICTE, the regulatory body for technical education, to carry out a thorough probe and apprise it of its findings within four months. The court order came after the AICTE counsel told the bench that the statutory body would examine the allegations by conducting an in-depth enquiry into the matter.
www.indiaeducationdiary.in, Chennai, March 2011
As per the 11th educational budgetary plan, Government of India is working on improving the education sector by increasing the allocation by 19 percent of the gross budgetary support. A conference was held on “Education for Sustainable Development” organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Dr Purandeswari, Honorable Minister of State of the Human Resources Development, Government of India, addressed the audience at the conference. She stated that the education system should respond to the changing needs of the stakeholders and focus on quality of education and the faculty, in addition to infrastructure and curriculum. She urged the state governments to increase funding to the Universities and also enact the Right to Education Act to ensure a holistic development in the education sector.
The Minister mentioned that it is crucial for the private sector to join hands with the Government to provide on-the-job experience for students to develop their vocational skills and employability.
Mr Arun Maira, Member of Planning Commission, Government of India emphasized on three key elements to make education relevant to current scenario which include “innovation in delivery, new methods of learning and job-oriented education.” He stated that it is critical for the education system to align with the emerging economic trends and employment potential.
Mr S Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of CII Southern Region and Managing Director of Infosys Technologies Ltd, stated that “education should be an enabler of sustainable development and aim at developing people with right attitudes, skills and knowledge.” He also mentioned that technology delivery systems should be used in education systems, which would pave a way to open learning platforms reaching a large section of people.
Mr C R Swaminathan, Conference Chairman & Chief Executive of PSG Industrial Institute stated that realigning education to promote awareness, attitudes and skills, changes in the work systems and the use of technology will lead to sustainable development.
In her welcome address, Ms Nandini Rangaswamy, Chairperson of CII Tamil Nadu & Managing Director of Chandra Group emphasized the need to strengthen skills training capabilities to meet the ever growing demand for skilled labor. Furthermore, she added that this could only be achieved through partnerships involving academia, industry and government.
The vote of thanks was proposed by Mr N K Ranganath, Vice Chairman of CII Tamil Nadu & Managing Director of Grundfos Pumps India Pvt Ltd.