There is such unevenness that our higher education system has been largely ineffective in improving scientific output in particular.
A recently-released World Bank report paints a rather dismal picture of socioeconomic mobility and inequality of opportunity around the world.
Source: The Wire
Economic research shows that interventions aimed at improving cognitive skills rather than mere enrolment rates are required to boost economic growth.
Source: Study International
In November 2016, India’s government suddenly declared that all 500- and 1,000-rupee notes no longer held any value, sending citizens across the country scrambling to exchange their now-worthless bills. In the aftermath, university students are finding it difficult to get a hold of the cash they need for daily expenses, such as buying food, printing documents, and getting top-up for their mobile phones.
To view the complete article, visit Study International.
Canada must encourage more international students to stay and work in the country if it wants to make the most of their economic potential, according to a new report from the Conference Board of Canada. The report highlights how international students generate up to $10B annually in economic activity and account for 11% of total postsecondary enrolments in Canada. The report argues that Canada would benefit economically by changing immigration policy to help more international students work in the country after graduation. “International students generate billions of dollars of economic activity at Canadian Post-Secondary institutions and in the surrounding communities. They also provide considerable social and cultural value to Canada,” said Conference Board Vice-President, Industry and Business Strategy Michael Bloom. “On the other hand, the great majority of international students do not stay in Canada after their studies and hence do not employ their skills and expertise in our economy.”
Source: Globe & Mail
At a recent conference in Ottawa, where speakers included Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains and Advisory Council on Economic Growth chair Dominic Barton, a challenge was laid on the table.
We live in a low-growth world and Canada is not immune – we’ve experienced sluggish growth for much of the past decade and our GDP growth rate is not predicted to breach the coveted 3-per-cent mark without bold action now.
So what do we do?
For the full article, visit The Globe & Mail.
The economic slowdown has hit smaller management schools in India big time as campus hiring drops sharply, forcing many of them to shut shop. “Business schools are closing down due to poor quality of education, lack of right kind of faculty and dearth of proper infrastructure to run them,” said N K Dhooper Professor emeritus, IMT Centre for Distance Learning, Ghaziabad.
It’s a piquant situation for those managing or running B-schools in India. And there are over 3,500 of them. A majority of these schools had come up over the past decade or so on the back of the economic reforms that ushered in large-scale foreign direct investment into manufacturing and other sectors. These schools came up to cash in on the increasing demand for management graduates. But the demand has been sluggish in the recent past, due to the economic slowdown.
On one hand, there is a severe shortage of trained faculty, which varied industry estimates place at a high 50 per cent of the actual requirement. As a result, several of these schools are opting to fly down experienced faculty from developed markets to conduct core classes as well as short-term courses. Even some of the top-notch B-schools in the country seem to be facing this problem, albeit of a lower degree.
On the other hand, a number of B-schools have either been closed down or are facing closure due to their inability to attract sufficient numbers of students to get enrolled year after year.
While many B-schools have been closed down due to lack of basic infrastructure, a few others had to beat a retreat due to their inability to place their students with leading companies.
With the economic slowdown hitting corporate balance sheets across the board, a large number of B-schools other than the top 15-20 institutions like the IIMs are going through hard times on account of a sharp 40-50 per cent drop in campus hiring and a similar decline in the number of students opting for fresh admissions, said a recent study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).
Campus recruitments have fallen drastically. As a result, a large number of B-schools are unable to attract students. About 190 B-schools were closed down in 2012 in major cities like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Dehradun, among others.
Another 165 are struggling for survival, said the study.
The number of B-school seats for MBA programs in India grew almost fourfold from 95,000 in 2006-07 to 3,60,000 in 2011-12, resulting in a five-year compounded annual growth rate of 30 per cent. A lot of B-schools have either been closed or are facing closure due to their inability to attract sufficient numbers of students to get enrolled year after year. Apart from the IIMs and a handful of other top B-schools, it will be difficult for other business schools to get 100 per cent placements in the future. This capacity was built based on the projection of a 9-10 per cent economic growth. Unfortunately, job opportunities for MBAs have not grown in the same proportion during this period, thanks to the global financial crisis and the economic slowdown that followed.
“Business schools are closing down due to poor quality of education, lack of right kind of faculty and dearth of proper infrastructure to run them. Over the years, B-schools mushroomed minus the credentials and without verifying the potential for the right kind of students,” says N K Dhooper, professor emeritus & adviser at IMT Centre for Distance Learning, Ghaziabad.
Sankaran P Raghunathan, professor of international business and dean of The National Management School, Chennai, puts it in perspective. “B-schools are no different from businesses. The supply needs to be bought by the consumers for it to survive,” he says.
According to him, B-schools think they are making MBAs and students are the consumers. Whereas in reality, education is the product here and the industry, which recruits these management graduates, is the consumer. As a result, there is a mismatch between the expectations of the industry and the actual product being offered to the market.
The Assocham study said the global uncertainty affected placement patterns at B-schools. The number of placements has been fewer and average pay packages have been flat. Apart from the IIMs and a handful of other top B-schools, it will be difficult for other business schools to get 100 per cent placements in future.
B-schools have to improve infrastructure, train their faculty, work on industry linkages, spend money on research and knowledge creation and pay their faculty well in order to attract good talent, the study pointed out.
From the student’s point of view, the way one looks at an institution has changed in the present scenario. He is looking for a 1:1 match between the fee he pays for a course and the salary he is likely to get after the degree.
As a result, B-schools that charge low fees do not attract students, who think they will end up getting a lower salary. On the other hand, institutions that charge higher fees do draw students, but there are not enough jobs that offer high salaries.
“There is a complete mismatch in expectations among the three segments – B-schools, students and the industry. The expectations of each segment simply do not match that of the other,” says Sankaran.
A part of the blame also lies with the pathetic undergraduate education system. About 67 per cent of general graduates are not employable. Having wasted four years of their prime and finding themselves unemployable, they turn to MBA programmes. “But the B-schools find it difficult to make them learn in two years, especially after wasting four years. Hence, the input itself is a problem,” Sankaran points out.
Questions have also been raised as to whether the B-schools are doing a good job of imparting education and if they are delivering it in the right format?
People who run the undergraduate institutions also end up running MBA courses. As a result, the problem persists. “We as a country have failed to groom quality teachers over the past 25 years, because the system itself runs on approvals, and not on accreditations. As a result, anyone can teach anything in India. Thus, there is an input problem, process problem and hence an output problem,” Sankaran explains.
On its part, the industry needs to join hands with the B-schools to decide on what needs to be imparted to make these management graduates employable. The faculty problem has been there for several years, and it is only going to magnify over the next 10 years. In the US, people are trained to teach; India has failed to do this. Singapore focused on this area long before and it took 25 years for that country to establish itself as a leading player in the international education market. An estimated 44 million students study outside their home countries every year and industry estimates pegs the revenue potential of this industry at $44 trillion. “As a result of the country’s failure in establishing a proper system, we are now a leading importer of this service, instead of being an exporter,” Sankaran points out.
Education can be an economic engine, not only to meet our demand but also to take it to the overseas market, as it happened in the case of the IT industry, which today accounts for seven per cent of the country’s GDP and 30 per cent of exports. It should be noted that even the IT industry suffered for the initial two decades due to lethargy on the policy front. “Let us not do that mistake on the education front. The need of the hour is to invest on creating the right system,” says Sankaran.
According to Dhooper, when there is a shortage of really competent faculty, the recruitment of the right faculty becomes even more difficult for institutions. At the same time, it becomes very difficult to retain good talent. “In fact, recruiting faculty through references is a more reliable mode of recruitment; but finding such reference is not an easy task,” he feels. As for the newfound trend of flying down overseas faculty, Dhooper says this could at the most be an interim arrangement and not the end solution. Flying down professionals may be a temporary solution or maybe an add-on flavour to teaching.
“B-schools should look for industry experts having a taste for teaching on sabbatical or on a visiting basis, besides recruiting academicians from other B-schools or universities. They can also have arrangements for exchange of faculty to supplement or complement their pool of talent” says Dhooper.
NSB’s Sankaran is not so enthusiastic about using industry experts. “Institutions recruit people with industry experience in order to overcome shortage in faculty. But these people end up sharing only anecdotes, which do not really add much value,” he says.
Technology could be an option for B-schools to focus on in order to overcome faculty crunch, feels Dhooper. “Faculty shortage can be overcome by B-schools to a great extent by using technology and internet by having bipartite arrangements to help each other, wherever they can through exchange of faculty, without loss of time and without physical presence in the class through video conferencing,“ he says.
TCS Insights: This article highlights the growing gap between the top tier and the next level of academic institutes. It also highlights how Tier 2 institutes are not able to address student expectations such as quality education delivery and employment opportunities.
This presents an interesting opportunity for Canadian colleges to tap into those students who have not been successful in getting into the top Indian institutes due to limited intake. It also represents an opportunity for students as potential recruits for quality programs in Canada.
Source: India Blooms
Malda, West Bengal, Mar 16 (IBNS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said without qualitative education India will not be able to maintain its economic growth rate.
“The truth is that without education we will not be able to propel the growth of our economy. Our UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government understands this well. That’s why we have to focus on education,” Singh said in his address at the foundation-laying ceremony of the Ghani Khan Choudhury Institute of Engineering and Technology in West Bengal’s Malda district.
“To fulfill India’s growing economic requirements our UPA government has given special attention to the education sector,” he said.
“Public expenditure on education have been increased from 3.3 percent to 4 percent of GDP we have. We have many new institutes for higher education, including 16 Central Universities, 7 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), 8 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), 10 National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and 5 Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs).
“We launched the National Skill Development in the 12th Plan that aims to create 5 million skilled people,” Singh said.
The PM said India needs to focus on quality of higher education.
“In higher education, we are paying little attention to quality,” he said.
Source: Quebec Ministry of International Relations via Indian Economic Business News
Jean-François Lisée, Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade, and Élaine Zakaïb, Minister for Industrial Policy and the Banque de développement économique du Québec, are enthusiastic about the potential for expanding economic, political, educational and cultural relations with the emerging Asian giant. They led a delegation of representatives of about 15 Québec companies and institutions. In Delhi, Jean- François Lisée met with Shashi Tharoor, former United Nations Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information and current Indian Minister of State for Human Resource Development, with a view to expanding collaboration and discussing the numerous existing agreements between Québec and India in the field of higher education. He also met with Valayar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, who confirmed that the Québec-India social security agreement currently on the drawing board may be ready for signing this coming spring. In Mumbai, Bhopal and Delhi, the Québec participants met with national and regional players involved in the deployment of various segments of this ambitious project. All told, the Québec representatives took part in over 50 bilateral business meetings. In Gujarat, Minister Zakaïb toured the facilities of the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-operative Limited (IFFCO), one of the world’s leading agricultural co-ops. Élaine Zakaïb also met with IFFCO executives at the organization’s headquarters in Delhi.
Source: Press Trust of India via Indian Economic Business News
Prime Minister’s key economic advisor C Rangarajan hoped that inflation will come down to 6.5% by end-March and suggested that steps should be taken to release more food stocks to ease price pressure. The wholesale price index-based (WPI) inflation eased to 6.62% in January, from 7.18% in December, 2012, as per official data. “The decline in inflation is a welcome and reassuring sign. I expect March end inflation to be 6.5%,” said Dr. Rangarajan, the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) Chairman, adding that January inflation has moderated more than expected. This is the fourth straight month of decline in the WPI numbers. Retail inflation, however, remained in double digits at 10.79% in January mainly on account of higher prices of vegetables, edible oil, cereals and protein-based items. Dr. Rangarajan said with the moderation in manufacture or core inflation in January, there was a need to focus on supply side easing of food articles. Inflation in manufactured items category witnessed a decline and stood at 4.81% in January, from 5.04% in the previous month.
Source: Press Trust of India via Indian Economic Business News
Striking a positive note, Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Company CMD Jamshyd N Godrej recently said the economy should be in a better position next year. “It is difficult to say (when the economy will recover). I think next year should be better,” he said. “The government is talking about six to seven per cent growth rate.” It was difficult to forecast the kind of growth, but if the government puts right policies in place, things would change for better, he said. Showing persistent sluggishness, India’s economy grew by 5.5 per cent in the April-June quarter, mainly on account of poor performance of manufacturing, mining and farm sectors. The gross domestic product had expanded by 8 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2011-12. Besides, the economic growth in the January-March quarter last fiscal was at nine-year low of 5.3 per cent.
Source: Press Trust of India via Indian Economic Business News
India’s economy could expand by around 6 per cent in 2013, World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu said, attributing the current slowdown to global factors. Amid global slowdown impacting India, the government had lowered the country’s economic growth for the 2012-13 fiscal to 5.7-5.9 per cent from its earlier projection of 7.6 per cent. The GDP had expanded by 6.5 per cent in 2011-12, which was nine-year low. On India’s current account deficit (CAD) which widened to record 5.4 per cent of GDP in the July-September quarter, Mr. Basu said that though it is a cause of worry, there are market factors which will come into play to stabilise it. “India has proper floating exchange rate, it (CAD) is not as worrying because there are automatic market stabiliser which will begin to kick in,” he said. The CAD, which represents the difference between exports and imports after considering cash remittances and payment, was $18.9 billion in the same period of a year ago and $16.4 billion in the first quarter (April-June).
Source: Economic Times via Indian Economic Business News
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh underlined the need for new approaches to address challenges in infrastructure, education, energy, water and agriculture. In his inaugural address at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on January 8, the Prime Minister dwelt at length on the state of the economy and pointed out that despite the impressive performance and change on an enormous scale in the past two decades, India faced persisting challenges of poverty, equity, sustainability and opportunity. “Vulnerable sections of society, including our women, face enduring prejudices and continuing problems in a rapidly changing India,” he said. “Among the most positive stories out of India in recent years are the acceleration in the rate of poverty reduction, stronger growth in the poorest States and improved productivity and increased real wages in our agriculture sector. This is significant, given that 65 per cent of our population still relies on agriculture,” he noted. The country has just embarked on its 12th Five-Year Plan with the ambition to sustain an annual growth rate of 8 per cent. For this, we will require enormous resources, reforms in policies and institutions, new models of public-private partnership and community participation and innovation-driven science and technology.
Source: Economic Times via Indian Economic Business News
The Indian economy is likely to grow 6.5 per cent in 2013 driven by favourable external demand outlook and domestic structural reforms push, a Goldman Sachs report said. According to a research note by the investment banking major, growth is likely to pick up gradually to 6.5 per cent in 2013 and further to 7.2 per cent in 2014. This is on the back of “easing financial conditions, in part driven by some reduction in policy rates, a continuation of reforms boosting confidence, and a normal agricultural crop’’, it said. The report further noted India’s GDP growth is likely to accelerate from 5.4 per cent in 2012 to 7.2 per cent in 2014, and remain high through 2015-2016, provided the Government continues with its reforms push. A continuation of structural reforms is an important assumption underlying these views, it said. “While allowing FDI in retail, the goods and services tax, direct cash transfer of subsidies, and dedicated freight corridor will help, we believe further reforms on fiscal consolidation, financial liberalisation and infrastructure growth will be needed to sustain an improvement in trend growth,” the report said.