New Delhi: India needs to come up with its own model to correct its education system rather than emulating what other nations such as the US and the Europe have done, especially in the area of higher education, said Union minister for communications and information technology Kapil Sibal.
The former minister for education, who was speaking at the HT Leadership Summit in New Delhi used the word omnishambles to describe the education system. The word, which means a state of total chaos has been chosen as the word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary. He added that India is at the cusp of a huge transformation and “the real capital that will contribute to the growth of the country will be human capital.” It will come “not from the sale of spectrum but from how much we invest in education,” he added.
He said that the gross enrollment ratio in the country has risen to 20 and is expected to rise to 30 by the year 2030. However, with the rise in the ratio there will be a need for more colleges and at least 6-8 new universities. On being asked about how the country plans to solve the problem of shortage of faculty, he said that the “next 2-4 years, everything will go digital.” “There is no way we can build physical infrastructure... so we are laying down a network of fibre optics, providing last mile connectivity and the low-cost tablet Aakash and the national knowledge network, through which a professor in one college can simultaneously provide a course in another as well. “
The minister also hinted at a need for administrative reforms in the education sector. He said that there are examples of one university having affiliation to 800 colleges where they only take the exams and fees are paid to them. He added that some legislations are required such as mandatory accreditation to universities and penalties for education malpractices. Two key bills on accreditation of universities and on the unfair practices have been pending before the Parliament due to objections from the opposition.