Privitisation of Higher Education in India

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Introduction 350 words per page
Higher Education must lead the march back to the fundamentals of human relationships, to the old discovery that is ever new, that man does not live by bread alone. - John A. Hannah Education has always been and continues to be one of the most important needs of mankind. It helps man indoctrinate values and apply the technical know-how in real life situations. Of late, there has been an increasing trend towards privatisation of higher education in India. The Government of India cannot absolve itself from the responsibility of providing higher education to its citizens. The Government is thus obliged to not only strive towards providing access to higher education to all its citizens but must also try and improve the quality of higher education in India. In order to cater to these needs, a large investment is required. But in India lack of adequate funds continues to be a major hurdle. In the given context, there is a pressing need for the Private Sector to pitch in and that at the risk of privatization and monopolization of higher education by the Private Sector. There are several schools of thought in this regard and the term ‘privatisation’ raises several issues. Would it be feasible to have a Public- Private partnership as far higher education is concerned? Would the disadvantages of Privatisation outweigh its advantages? Would Privatisation in India lead to monopolization of Higher Education by the Private Sector? These are some of the compelling questions that this paper attempts to answer. II. Definition of ‘Education’ and the need for the Privatization of Higher Education in India The term ‘Education’ has been clearly defined as ....the process of developing and training the powers and capabilities of human beings. In its broadest sense the word comprehends not merely the instruction received at school, or college but the whole course of training moral, intellectual and physical; is not limited to the ordinary instruction of the child in the pursuits of literature. It also comprehends a proper attention to the moral and religious sentiments of the child . Education used to be charity or philanthropy in the good old times. Gradually it became an 'occupation'. Some of the Judicial Dicta go on to hold it as an 'industry'. Whether the right to receive education is a fundamental right or not has been debated for quite some time. But it is settled that establishing and administering of an educational institution for imparting knowledge to the students is an occupation, protected by Article 19(1)(g) and additionally by Article 26(a), if there is no element of profit generation. As of now, imparting education has come to be a means of livelihood for some professionals and a mission in life for some altruists. The Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry, in a recent Report , has observed that education is universally recognised as an important investment in building human capital, which is a driver for technical innovation and economic growth. Providing Education to one and all has been the constant endeavour and one of the primary duties of the Government. To be fair, it is indeed impractical to expect the Government, in one of the most populous countries in the world, to solely shoulder the responsibility of providing education to its citizens. India has one of the largest systems of higher education in the world and according to Department of Secondary and Higher Education, Government of India there are about 338 Universities as on 31/3/2005. With a vast majority of the student population having access to higher education, the situation is quite satisfying in the developed countries. Yet the percentage of student population studying at Universities in India is dismal when compared to some of the other developing countries. Providing free and compulsory primary education has been one of the primary duties of the Government as enunciated in the Constitution, and to do justice to this...
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