‘Higher education needs reforms’ | SupportBiz

Policy Notes

‘Higher education needs reforms’

The Union Budget 2013-14 is just around the corner. Stakeholders from the education industry are coming forward in order to share their views on their expectations from this budget.

Highlighting the status of the Indian education segment, Nirmal Singh, Founder and CEO, Wheebox, said, "With a view to attract large investments from the private sector in skill and vocational education, which is critical for growth   of employment  in the country, I urge the Finance Minister to exempt from service tax   privately-run organisations contributing to  skill development and education  for the next five years. This will greatly help to lower the cost of tuition and assessment fees, as well as  the cost of education in the skills space. It will  reduce  the unemployment rate to  lower than the present 3.8%.”

  Explaining the government’s focus, he also added, “The 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17) intends to achieve enrolment of 35.9 million students in higher educational institutions, with a GER of 25.2% by the end of the 12th Plan period, through the co-existence of multiple types of institutions, including research-centric and vocation-focused teaching.”

Bringing the focus on another aspect of higher education, Abhijit Chaudhari, Director, GATEFORUM, said, “The industry is growing at a fast pace, and we expect the government to come up with  a bill which can benefit the people as well as educational and training organizations. The government of India should promote higher education and, at the same time, improve the overall quality of education. We expect that the  upcoming Union Budget  will increase the amount of financial scholarship from Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 12,000 in  M.Tech /ME programs, in order to encourage more students to pursue these courses. The  government should plan to allocate more resources to research and development in the country.”

The education industry also wants the government to allocate more resources to improve the IT infrastructure in the country, so that more students can access e-learning programs. Speaking  about this, Chaudhari stated, “This  recommendation, if implemented, can lead to an overall improvement in the quality of higher technical education.”