ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Jandhyala B G TilakSubscribe to Jandhyala B G Tilak

Private Higher Education in India

An important feature of the very high rate of growth of higher education experienced in India, particularly since the beginning of the 1990s, is the alarming growth of private higher education. The size of the private sector is about twice that of the public sector in terms of the number of institutions and student enrolments. This has several cnsequences, some of which are already being felt. Apart from refuting several claimed advantages of private higher education, this article draws attention to the dangersinvolved in a high degree of dependence on the private sector for the development of higher education in a country like India.

Higher Education in the BRIC Member-Countries

The BRIC member-countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - are experiencing a very high rate of growth in the demand for higher education. But they do not have the fiscal resources to meaningfully meet the key challenge of catering for the exploding demand without compromising on quality and equity. Each of them has adopted a stratified system of higher education - a few high-quality, elite institutions coexisting beside a large number of low-quality, mass institutions - to address the problems of access, quality, and equity, all at the same time. This paper focuses on this aspect of development of higher education, and examines its real effects on access, quality, equity and funding, and attempts to draw a comparative picture among the BRIC member-countries.

Right to Homeschooling vs Right to Education

The affidavit submitted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to the Delhi High Court recently clarifying that parents can choose to homeschool their children is violative of the Right to Education Act.

Higher Education Policy in India in Transition

With the government's attention being riveted for decades on elementary or primary education, higher education was reduced to the role of playing second fi ddle. This has suddenly changed in recent years. Alongside, neo-liberal economic reforms have seen an expansion in the role of the private sector in education. Many of the recent initiatives in policy reforms mark a transition in the history of higher education in independent India - from a system embedded in welfare statism to a system partially based on quasimarket principles and fi nally to a system based on a neo-liberal market philosophy.

Education for Profit

The Mid-Term Appraisal of the Eleventh Plan calls for exploration of the possibility of converting existing private institutions into public partnerships. The government believes that strict regulation and enforcement will ensure that the private sector contributes significantly to equitable education. However, the government's record until now in terms of both its willingness and ability to do so has been poor.

A Weak Attempt to Curb Unfair Practices in Higher Education

Although the Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Technical Educational Institutions, Medical Educational Institutions and Universities Bill 2010, which was introduced in Parliament recently, acknowledges the widespread prevalence of malpractices in our institutions of higher education, it is inadequate for tackling the host of corrupt and unfair practices.

The Foreign Educational Institutions Bill: A Critique

Five bills on higher education are under consideration of the government and as many as four of them were introduced in Parliament on 3 May. Here, a critical discussion of the bill which aims to roll out the red carpet to foreign educational institutions.

The Proposed NCHER: A Solution Worse Than the Disease?

The draft bill setting out the constitution, functions and powers of the National Commission for Higher Education and Research has proposed a body in which will be concentrated the powers to oversee higher education in all fields, and which will be overburdened with bureaucratic responsibilities. The NCHER is also likely to end any measure of autonomy with the state universities. The new commission, which is expected to replace the University Grants Commission, will possibly end up with exactly the same problems as the UGC.

Neither Vision Nor Policy for Education

Going by the reduced non-plan expenditure for higher education institutions, increased emphasis on interest subsidy on educational loans, a steep cut in the allocation for the National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship scheme, and reliance on public-private partnership modes for setting up of model schools in the Union Budget, it may not be wrong to infer that the State intends to continue reducing its role in funding education and relying on the private sector.

Education in 2008-09 Union Budget

The allocations to the education sector in the union budget for 2008-09 are substantially more than in 2007-08, but the hike is not as large as in previous years. The budget marks a shift in priorities in a number of areas. One, higher priority to secondary, technical and higher education, and less to elementary education. Two, a preference for expansion of elite over mass-based system. And, three, a preference for funding from cesses over allocations from the general budget.

Inclusive Growth and Education: On the Approach to the Eleventh Plan

Inclusive growth is regarded as the new mantra of development. This paper critically looks at the approach to the development of education outlined in the Approach to the Eleventh Five-Year Plan, some of the new and not-so-new strategies proposed, a few controversial proposals, the assumptions that underlie them, the issues conveniently ignored and highlights the weaknesses and the continuation of the big policy vacuum.

The Kothari Commission and Financing of Education

The Education Commission (1964-66) chaired by D S Kothari made a valuable set of recommendations on financing education in India, many of which are still relevant for education planning but have not received much official attention. A review of the premises of the recommendations, the visionary approach adopted by the commission and their current relevance are attempted in this paper and will hopefully be useful for the preparation of the Eleventh Plan.

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