Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Finance Minister on higher education in India

In an Economic Times op-ed (excerpted from his Convocation Address at Symbiosis International University), P. Chidambaram says:

... [T]he number of universities and deemed universities has increased from a mere 30 in 1950-51 to 177 in 1990-91 and to nearly 300 now. The rapid expansion, to a large extent, is owing to the entry of the private sector in the field of education. At one end are colleges established and funded by trusts, charities and philanthropists; at the other are self-financing institutions where the motive is profit. Both have a place in society and both should be welcomed. In fact, the endeavour should be to create space for new models and novel efforts so that many more millions of students get the opportunity to pursue higher education. ...

After making a strong case for doubling the number of students in the 'tertiary sector' (er, in our colleges and universities) from the current 11 million, Chidambaram goes on to highlight some of the "bold" initiatives by the present UPA government:

Firstly, it has decided that all central and aided educational institutions will be required to increase their capacity by 54% over a period of three years. Government also intends to allow foreign educational institutions to offer courses in India independently or in collaboration with Indian institutions. The Knowledge Commission has been set up to look into the issue of building quality human capital.

Has the government really done enough?


  1. kuffir said...

    agree with you - has the govt really done enough?