रविवार, २९ एप्रिल, २०१८

Education Institutions: From Public good to private good - Autonomy or Divorce?

On 20th March, Indian government in their "HISTORICAL DECISION" granted the autonomy to 60 educational institution (5 Central Universities, 21 State Universities, 24 Deemed Universities, 2 Private Universities and 8 Colleges).

Source - Public information bureau of India

Human Resource Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar said that UGC will have control over the given institutions but these institutions will have freedom to start the new courses, off campus centers, skill-related courses, research parks and other new academic programs. They are free to hire the foreign faculty and enter into academic collaborations.

This looks like India will witness the high quality education, India will witness the research based education etc etc. But I don't think so. Anyway we already have 74 autonomous institutions (This doesn't include the institutions and colleges which are grated the partial autonomy or autonomy for specific department.). But still we haven't seen any major transformation. I can understand the autonomy giving to the private universities, deemed university and colleges as they are already generating the funds at their own. They want the autonomy as they are interested to EXPAND THEIR BUSINESS. But granting the autonomy to central and state universities is problematic. According to UGC, till 29th June 2017, there are 47 Central Universities in India. Central universities are National Importance institutions. Central University Act 2009 is passed with the aim of having universities with goal of teaching and research in the various States. Now grating the autonomy to Central universities is like I am giving the freedom to myself!! Is anything going change after giving autonomy to Central Universities? Except the fees, nothing will be changed. Central Universities are already free to make the research based program, collaboration. Government itself can attract MoU and foreign collaboration more than autonomous central universities.
Now I tried to get the fee structure of some autonomous institution and central universities.

Source - Walchand College of Engineering and JNU university.

Walchand college of enigeering is autonomous college and JNU is a central university. Above graph shows the comparison between the M-Tech fee of JNU and Walchand College. Fee of Walchand college is very high compare to the JNU. And this is going to happen with central universities also.
Education is public good. Okay, it is impure or imperfect public good.We have privatization of education with the presence of public institutions but  further liberalization of public education will throw the majority of population out of the higher secondary education system. Around 22% Indian population is below poverty line. Government should at least control the Central universities and state universities and their fee structure. Government should stop CONVERTING THIS PUBLIC GOOD INTO PURE PRIVATE GOOD. 

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