Expressing concern at the ratio of school passing students joining colleges, Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Sunday favoured Public-Private Partnership to tackle this as the government “lacked financial resources and wherewithal to achieve the tall order.”
While the present Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) is 12.4 per cent, government’s target is around 30 per cent by 2020 and to realise this, the participation of private players and other stake-holders is important, Mr. Sibal said while delivering the first Kuruvila Jacob Memorial Oration here.
The task of achieving 30 per cent is a “tall order” and not an easy task considering that India presently had 400-500 universities and 5,000 colleges. To achieve the said rate, over 700 universities and 25,000 colleges are required, he said.
“How will that happen? Who will build them? The government cannot do it alone; there are no financial resources and the wherewithal. We require the PPP method. Open up universities to private sector. Allow private entrepreneurs set up universities,” the minister said.
Private players must be encouraged in this process by setting up an ‘Education Finance Corporation’ to allow easy access to credit for those who want to set up educational institutions, Mr. Sibal said, adding they should be given certain tax incentives.
Stakeholders such as the Centre, State governments, panchayats, parents and NGOs should work together in developing the education scene, as that alone would help “teach children in Naxal-affected areas or hinterland of Orissa, Jharkhand or Chattisgrah” among other places, he said.