This refers to the article, “Privatising professional education” (May 7). Mr. Hegde’s arguments are untenable and may even lead to more social inequality. However well-intended they may be, if they are used, quality education, already a scarce commodity, will become even more unattainable. Mr. Satya Nadella and Mr. Suri haven’t exactly contributed to poverty alleviation or social uplift. As expected from a person educated in an elite institute, they are now serving the elite markets.
The suggestion that higher and professional education can now be left to the private sector is highly irresponsible. Examples of the success of Manipal University and professional colleges in other developed countries do not form the basis for a logical reason to leave the higher education sector to private management. In India, unlike in the West, higher education has become a playground for politicians, liquor barons, religious gurus and those with black money to hold sway. Many are not educationists. Imagine a situation where all of them are allowed to function freely without any governmental regulations.
Rameeza A. Rasheed,
It is fine when people talk about the retreat of the state from the economy, but it is illogical and detrimental when people demand a retreat of the state from education. If the writer’s logic is to be followed, a population the size of Indonesia’s, will still be under-educated for generations to come. It is because of state-sponsored education that millions of Aam Aadmis are doing well. A new education policy cannot be wished for by using merely two “Other MIT-ians” as an example.
Mr. Hegde’s generalisation about graduates from private institutes vis-à-vis the IITs is deplorable. Let’s not forget that while Satya Nadella and Rajeev Suri graduated from the same college, they have worked hard for about 20 years to get where they are today. Using Arvind Kejriwal as an example to generalise things doesn’t make sense either. Also, it’s silly to quantify what technical education is and where it should be applied. Does Mr. Kejriwal cease to be an engineer once he becomes an MP or Minister? Let us not forget that CEOs themselves do not conduct experiments, write programs or build bridges. They create vision and nurture talent. Several IITians (in the DRDO, for instance) do the technical groundwork.
In an age where higher education is all about great demand and less supply, this new approach to a solution gives us hope. The emerging middle class in India is in a position to be able to pay for education. So it is time for us to bring about reforms in the sector that will enlarge and nurture the scope of private-funded education. Upgrading the quantity and quality of higher education is the need of the hour when the demographic dividend of India is changing.
Athira Jayaprakash E.,