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Indian Education 2018-02-07

What is going to propel India’s educational growth in the coming future

Apart from fund allocation approved for the Indian education sector, there are other possible elements that can surely contribute towards the education sector growth story. Let’s know more.

By Uttara.J. MalhotraFeature writer

Strengthening the ‘youth’ base occupies the top most position on India's agenda list . This is a clear message, if we look at Jaitley’s recent assertions towards the education sector in the 2018-19 budget allocations. Reports confirm that Jaitley is serious towards ‘strengthening the education infrastructure’ in the country, for which he is looking at enhancement of rural reach and teacher training (an extension to the earlier deadline of July 2017 to train 1.3 million teachers is now March 2019).

The estimated budgetary expenditure on health, education and social protection for 2018-19 is Rs.1.38 lakh crore, an impressive 13% rise over the estimated expenditure of Rs.1.22 lakh crore in 2017-18, according to Fact Checker analysis of budget Data.

All this comes just as the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2018 concluded with a ‘thought provoking’ and ‘bold public assertion’ made by bigwigs like Arun Maira, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Surjit S Bhalla and John Elliott as the moderator. So even before we start looking at the allocation of funds, what is the basic problem stopping the Indian education system from helping its youth become global citizens?

John Elliot, a former Financial Times journalist and blogger from Asia shared that, “The primary and secondary education in India was never given its due. It became the tool of the elite so much so that educational policy has not supported the marginalized in villages and small cities.”

Industry analysts share that the 2018-19 budget allocation came to be less than 4% higher than the revised budget estimate of the current year. This is somewhere dependent on a revelation at the Economic Survey presented recently that the government ‘does not have much fiscal space to spend big on social sectors including education.’ Keeping this in mind, there are chances, the Union government may look at ‘working to integrate the school education sector—from pre-school to Class XII—implying the merger of several school schemes in the near future.’

This is where Kiran Mazumdhar Shaw, a global thought provoker and MD of Biocon reasons out the question thrown at her as to why most of our youngsters today lack civic sense and pride in their national resources. “These are again things which should be importantly incorporated in the educational framework which is sadly missing in our country. The lack of a balanced societal behavior is either passed down through generations, or taught in formal schools. Both ways, it should affect the reactions of the next generation for better.” Shaw and Maria both suggest, “We should update and upgrade our educational policy in such a manner that the youth develops the attitude to become lifelong learners. Learning should not be restricted to textbooks with no yearning for questioning, curiosity or inquiry.” Arun Maira is a Management Consultant and former member of Planning Commission of India. He is also the former India Chairman of Boston Consulting Group.

Shaw furthered added, that lifelong learning, innovations and research is also of paramount importance. Unfortunately, India is one of the worst performers among the developing or developed countries (take this as a point of assessment only).

The most important conclusion drawn from the discussion at JLF 2018 seems to be educating the mindset. The unanimous conclusion was also the fact that instead of investing in newer institutions, it would be better to ‘support established centres of learning like those in Bangalore, Pune or Hyderabad. Ruling out any dependency on private investors, the government just has to invest wisely.’

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