A FIELD OF PRIORITIZED CONCERN: EDUCATION

Posted: October 2, 2011 in News, The NamoLeague Times
Tags: , , , , , ,
EDUCATION IS A PRIME NECESSITY THAT HAS GRABBED THE LATEST HEADLINES DUE TO ONE REASON OR THE OTHER. LET’S HAVE A DEKKO

And there’s good news! The Government has given a special place to education in its 12th 5 year plan (2012-2017). It has decided to spend a whooping $100 billion on education. The current estimated expenditure is $70 billion. The declaration was made by Sam Pitroda, the prime minister’s advisor on education and innovation, at the ninth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD). He said, “We will be spending close to $100 billion on education in the 12th plan period. This will be in addition to around $20 billion investment on IT”.

However, the advisor is dissatisfied at the pace at which the developments are taking place. “We have made recommendations. Minister has to act. So far, they have not acted to my satisfaction,” Pitroda said referring to the recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission. The Government, on the other hand, seems to be keenly taking measures to open up the education sector for more private and overseas investments.

Pitroda also said that the education system needs to be liberalized just like the economy was in 1991. He urged the Indian diaspora to invest in the educational sector. More than 1,500 members of the Indian diaspora took part in the ninth edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. This is 20% more than last year.

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As a part of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, International Round Table of Academic Institutions’ opening ceremony was presided over by Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Hasmukh Adhia, Principal Secretary, Education, Gujarat at the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University in Gandhinagar. A total of 76 MoUs were signed by 11 educational institutes and universities based in the state with foreign universities, companies and research institutes.

The MoUs consisted of 6 main combinations: those signed between a company and a state university (36 MoUs were signed in this category); an international university and a state university (24 MoUs); an international university and the state government (9 MoUs); a state university and a state institute (4 MoUs), between a research institute and a state university (2 MoUs), and another category in which ATIRS signed an MoU with a company named Elmarco.

Narendra Modi wooed the audience, he said, “Research is the essence for future development. I assure you that Gujarat has a society that will offer an ambience of risk-taking and entrepreneurship so that the fruits of research are taken to the common man”.

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The Prime Minister expressed his concern regarding the widespread of private institutions in the field of education and the problems they may create in the dissemination of knowledge.

PM Manmohan Singh also stressed on scholarships and prizes to tide over social and economic handicaps. He added that had it not been for scholarships, he would not have been able to complete his education.

Talking about the barrier, PM said that, “With the growing share of privately funded for-profit educational institutions, this may be emerging as a worrisome barrier to freer access to knowledge for all our people. The strength of a nation is no longer determined by the might of its armies. Feudal restrictions and pre-democratic institutions are no longer able to impose social barriers to access to knowledge. If there is one barrier, and this too is an ancient one, it is the barrier of economic capacity.”

The concern seems to be genuine as the PM also referred to the brain drain and young people’s decisions to “leave the comfort of well funded institutions abroad to return home to work in India”.

Read original article at: http://epaper.namoleague.com/EpaperArticle.aspx?title=A%20FIELD%20OF%20PRIORITIZED%20CONCERN:%20EDUCATION_409

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