Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has said that the aim of the ministry is to double the existing Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) which is presently 15% by 2020. The move aims to triple enrolments in the tertiary sector from around 13 million to 40 million. This will entail massive capacity building, both institutional as well as human. Besides enhancing the quantum of teachers and faculty in colleges and universities we have also to improve their quality. He was speaking at the inaugural function of the 98th Indian Science Congress at SRM University, Chennai.
The minister has said that rising lower middle class group and women is increasing the demand for higher education thereby creating an urgent need of more universities, centres of excellence and training institutes.
The minister said, âThe growing demand for higher education will necessitate many more universities and colleges to be opened in the years to come which are estimated minimum doubling over the next decade. We must also broaden our skills base beyond a few centres of excellence and foster innovation on a national scale. We need to create and enhance our competitive edge. For this to happen, quality and merit-based education for the entire population is a must.â
Sibal has also announced three generic principles that any new institute of higher education needs to embrace. First, providing access to educational opportunities to all who desire and need it; second, affordability by reducing financial barriers; and third, building quality and accountability to ensure that what is taught is relevant and at global levels, delivering good value for money.
He assured that a quality assurance system will be in place and that will provide a common frame of reference for students and others to obtain credible information on academic quality across institutions, domestic as well as international.
A National Commission for Higher
Education and Research (NCHER) will be set up to regulate higher education. An
Education Finance Corporation will also be set up to give educational loans to
deserving and needy students the corporation will also provide funds to
non-profit educational bodies.
Describing the strategy to realize the Vision of India as an Innovation Hot Spot, Sbal said India will enter into academia-industry collaborative relationships to promote research development. It will also seek to forge agreements between Indian and foreign entities to set up research and innovation centres. He said government is also planning to give tax incentives to businesses that collaborate with academia and R&D researchers are included.