It is heartening that the Union Government is reforming its Education policy. Currently the policy encourages a dead level of mediocrity on the academic scene. Politicians and bureaucrats dictate policy. The official think tank, Niti Aayog is now set to go for reforms. It has approached Finance and HRD ministries asking for amendment to laws in order to promote foreign university entry and private investment. The emphasis on indigenisation of education shutting out Anglo-American influence seeks to be gone. Education should be in the hands of ‘not for profit’ bodies.’ Underhand practices like capitation fees should be abolished. Such practices allow entry of teachers without commitment to quality. Curbs on tuition fee and student intake have on the other hand prevented the growth of colleges into Universities. There is a veritable licence raj with the result that Indian Universities rank low in the global order. There is a brain drain. The number of Indian students studying abroad has doubled from 84,000 in 2005 to 1.66 lakhs in 2015. It is a sad reflection on the state of education in India.
It is reported that the Union Government is reviving norms for 20 public and private universities which can measure up to world class and can be regarded as centres of eminence. It is of course generally admitted that official legislation will not serve the purpose. Nor will conferring labels. Hard work and autonomy alone can foster creativity. The reservation policy should not allow de-recognition of merit. Instead of twenty institutes following a similar curriculum there should me many breathing the air of maximum autonomy. Education needs a complete overhaul to include skills building as part of the general curriculum if the country is to get its act together and make its youth a potential human resource that is employable.
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