This has reference to the articles on the newly amended education bill (Open Page, May 9). They make one wonder about our continued short-term thinking and doomsday predictions. As a small entrepreneur, I thought on similar lines when Tamil Nadu decided some years ago to develop Special Export Processing Zones and industrial parks in and around Chennai and attract multinationals. Salary levels across the board zoomed by 50-60 per cent. It was hard to survive, but survive we did. When existence is threatened, survival instinct kicks in. Drop in quality due to “sub-standard FEPs” is almost certainly true but one has to realise that there has to be a start somewhere. Instead of a “do-we-need” approach why not adopt a ‘how to' approach?
Only with better enforcement, monitoring, accountability, standards and procedures can we evolve a better educational system in India.
S. Kapil Dev,
It is a shame that no Indian institution is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. The competency, infrastructure and quality of teaching as well as the teaching aids pale when compared to those in the western world. One cannot be too sure if Cambridge and Harvard will prefer to set up their campuses in India. Even if they do, there is no guarantee that they will send their most experienced and top-class teaching faculty to India. The cost of education in these institutions will surely be beyond the reach of the average Indian student. We should think of ways to improve our own infrastructure instead.
Those who oppose the entry of foreign universities should consider these realities. We import the most modern weaponry for our defence sector. We deem it our duty to equip our hospitals with the most advanced equipment sourced from all over the world. The industry imports the state-of-the-art machines. Name any sector, be it communication or transportation or energy, we try and get the most advanced technology. Even the aam aadmi prefers to use “cheap and best” foreign goods. When it comes to education, we do not want to open the door to foreign universities.
Who said education is cheap in India? Can we get free admission in a professional college only based on merit? We learnt to live with such realities in the past several years, but say the news of foreign universities' entry is fraught with danger. Their entry should eventually lead to multi-sectoral development.
It is true that an overwhelming influence of market forces has rendered higher education shallow. It may be unfair to expect the universities, native or foreign, to resist market forces. A system that incentivises universities excelling in the educational enterprise is needed. The National Knowledge Commission has a pivotal role to play in this regard.