On education system

The article “The many structural flaws in India’s education system,” (Nov. 5) has drawn attention to the structural flaws and organisational incapacities that hobble the higher education system. The flight of researchers to the West, which society used to lament as ‘brain drain’ in the eighties and the nineties, has created a vicious cycle. The shortage of qualified faculty has prevented the creation of an ecosystem where innovative research could flourish and contribute to economic development.

There is another unexplored and undebated dimension to India’s poor record in research and development. We cannot have universities only devoted to research existing in a vacuum. Our research and development edifice seems to be built on a shaky foundation because of the failure to popularise basic sciences as educational streams worthy of academic and research-oriented pursuit. The curriculum should offer a bouquet of subjects that include basic sciences and technology-related subjects with the option for students to switch between electives. Curricular flexibility will facilitate interdisciplinary research as cutting-edge knowledge exists at the intersections of disciplines.

V.N. Mukundarajan,


According to the State of World Population 2019, a report by the United Nations Population Fund, 27% of India’s population is in the age group of 10-24 years. Given these numbers, our country has massive potential for creativity and innovation; however, the wide rich-poor gap can act as one of the major stumbling blocks. In this context, the understaffed and underfunded higher education system is a cause of concern — the government needs to tackle this through policy, legislation and funding. Every rupee under this head is not an expenditure; it is an investment — one of the most important investments a country can ever make. In the long run, this investment will dramatically boost indigenous development of defence equipments, green energy conversion devices, medical devices, among many others. Not only that, youngsters who receive subsidised quality education at government institutions are likely to pay back their alma mater — demonstrated by the considerable funding the older Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs) receive from their alumni.

A. Venkatasubramanian,


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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 11:19:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/on-education-system/article30199681.ece

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