14 Realities of Indian Education System

Education is the true alchemy that can bring India its next golden age. Our motto is unambiguous: All for knowledge, and knowledge for all

– President Pranab Mujherjee, Central Hall of Parliament, New Delhi, 25th July 2012

  • FACT I: Just one out of nine children finishing school joins a college. India has one of the lowest higher education enrollment ratios of 11 per cent. In the US it is 83 per cent
  • FACT 2: To meet its target of increasing enrollment levels to 15 per cent in 2012, the Eleventh Plan estimates that India needs to invest Rs 2,26,410 Crore. Yet it has set aside only Rs 77,933 Crore-just a fourth of the total needed
  • FACT 3: A recent ASSOCHAM-McKinsey study showed that only one out of Ten Indian students with degrees in humanities and one out of four engineering graduates are employable. So much for India’s boast of having one of the largest technical and scientific manpower reserves in the world
  • FACT 4: A study by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council showed that 90 per cent of the colleges and 70 per cent of the universities that the council graded were of middling or poor quality
  • FACT 5: Shortage of teachers was endemic with even the IITs reporting a 20 to 30 per cent shortfall in faculty
  • FACT 6: On an average most Indian universities revise their curricula only once in five to 10 years but even then they get defeated in both letter and spirit
  • FACT 7: Over-regulation by the government and a multiplicity of agencies has seen higher education stagnate and corruption become institutionalized
  • FACT 8: In 50 years, only 44 private institutions were granted deemed university status by the University Grants Commission. In the last 5 years, it has granted that status to 49 more, leading to charges of impropriety
  • FACT 9: The shortage of good institutions has seen cut-off percentages for entry into good colleges soar to genius levels. This year’s qualifying marks for B.Com (Hons.) Course in Delhi’s SRCC was 98.75 per cent
  • FACT 10: Studies show that the number of students committing suicide because of the pressure to perform well in secondary board exams is rising alarmingly
  • FACT 11: Indian students now spend $7 billion to go abroad and study in foreign universities because of the poor quality of education at home. Yet the government drags its feet over permitting foreign universities to set up shop in India. Where in same cost we can successfully implement and run around 10 more IITs
  • FACT 12: The quality of school education hasn’t improved. A recent study found that in rural north India on an average day, there is no teaching activity in about half of the primary schools
  • FACT 13: The US currently accounts for over a third of the entire world’s output of articles in science and engineering. India, in contrast, accounts for less than 3 per cent of research papers published and in terms of citations barely 1 per cent
  • FACT 14: Almost half of the country’s population is below 25 years. Almost 10 per cent of them or 12 Crore are between the ages of 18 and 23. If they are equipped with both knowledge and skills, they could drive India’s entrepreneurial and competitive spirit and make it into global power

Why Bother?

Brilliant! It’s good to know what exactly India is missing out on because of all this apathy and sloth. Over a decade ago management guru Peter Drucker had declared: “The Knowledge Society will become far more competitive than any society we have yet known… there will be no poor countries, there will only be ignorant countries… thus the competitive position of every country, industry, institution , and individual will depend on the ability to harness and capitalize on knowledge.”

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