Ashok Mittal, Chancellor, Lovely Professional University, shares his thoughts on the challenges before the education sector in India and what role the private sector could play in improving quality and access...
With time to come, India’s higher education will certainly adopt transformative and innovative approaches to see enhanced gross enrolment ratio and become the largest provider of global talent. India also wants to be among the top five countries in the world, in terms of research output, with 20+universities among the top 200.
Future Knowledge Superpower
On these lines, since initial framing of the National Education Policy, several changes have taken place to meet the changing dynamics with regards to quality education, innovation and research. This all undoubtedly aims to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and technology know-how. It is also to eliminate the shortage of needed human resource in science, technology, academics and industry. In this regard, we want that such an education policy should be framed so that instead of being mere job-seekers students should preferably become job-providers to others. We see that education scenario has changed to excellence only where it is propagated as autonomous and allowed to grow freely.
Autonomy is the way forward
We also see that the best universities all over the world are autonomous, that is why most of these are included in the top 200 universities of the world. Similarly, education sector in India can also grow if it is allowed to grow on the lines of autonomy. It does not mean that we do not want any governance; statutory bodies should be there with an aim to make the institutions grow progressively and not lag behind in any way.
Presently, there are layer after layer of regulatory bodies, providing accreditations and recognitions to the institutions, which usually clip the wings of otherwise growing education sector.
It is indeed useful and important to share that with rapid expansion in time-needed latest learning and knowledge gaining; Indian education market is expected to almost double by 2020. Similarly, the world’s largest young student-population in India is also fast increasing. So, the demand for education on latest trends and techniques exists both at the student and employment level, with millions of aspiring student and workforce population in the country. With autonomy to the institutions, enormous economic opportunities would of course be there for the young generation of the country.
High level of investment needed
For world-class quality education, high level of investment is also required to launch, operate, maintain and update the institutions. On these lines, once the market is taken as a regulatory authority, only a dedicated educationist will dare to enter this field with all resources. No one else with money-making type of endeavour be ever able to enter the educational arena.