Higher education the only field where profit is not the motive: Education Minister. Higher education is the only field where we need not work for profit. We need to make this clear, said Dr. Ashwath Narayan C.N., Minister for Higher Education for Karnataka, speaking at the National Conference on Implementation of NEP-2020 conference.
Talking about the high fees of educational institutions, he said: “Healthy competition between private and government institutions needs to exist for the benefit of the students, the government of Karnataka has not distinguished between private or government institutions.” The average fees for engineering in private colleges ranges from Rs 2.5 lakh – Rs 3.5 lakh in the country, according to Careers360.
Dr. M.R. Jayaram, Chairman of the Gokula Education Foundation, speaking at the conference said that Karnataka has taken the lead in the implementation of NEP 2020. “We are not following the Government of India or the Supreme Court, but have established a better education system.”
However, a report by University World News says that research expenditure in India has continuously risen in the past 5 years.
T. Mangeshwar, Vice Chancellor at the S.R.M Institute of Science and Technology, rebutted his fellow speaker, saying: “People have asked for government support. Gupta Ji, why do we need this support? Universities are quite well to do. We should support innovation and we should support research. Innovation department is very important to compete with the world’s best universities.”
Dr. G. Vishwanathan, Chancellor of Vellore University, stressed the need for the government to increase its expenditure on education. “For the last 60-70 years, it has been requested that six percent of GDP should be spent on education. So far, we have not crossed 3 or 3.5 percent. In fact 147 countries spend more than India on education. This year’s budget has been reduced compared to last year. I am sorry that this has happened”
“I want to tell the Government of India, if you want to grow economically, you must spend on health and education,” he further added.
Stressing on the need for better education, Vishwanathan said, “Inequality in education brings inequality in society. Wealth inequality must be addressed… I ask the government to lift the GST on educational institutions so that amount can be used for students.”
The Government of India currently levies a GST of 18 percent on private institutions and coaching centres.
On the other hand Professor V.B. Nanda Gopal, Ex-professor of innovation and incubation at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore had a different opinion . Talking to The Observer about funding from the government, he said: “Most of the institutions expect the government to give. Institutes have no lack of funds. They should not depend on the government.”
Dr. Mahaling Murde, professor at the Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Technology and Electronics, told The Observer about challenges faced with implementing NEP 2020: “The option to enter or exit a course at any time is good. If a student studies at our institute for one year, we need to provide a skill-based diploma. Most of our current syllabus is not skill based. It will take us at least 2 years to implement this system. Stating an advantage of NEP 2020, he said: “A benefit of the NEP is a multi-disciplinary system of education. Most present technologies, such as robotics or AI, are not based on a single stream of engineering,” he said.
Talking about the importance of private institutions, Professor Anil Dattatraya Sahasrabudhe, Chairman of All India Council for Technical Education said:. “70 percent of education in India is funded by privately funded institutions.”
According to a report by Mint, the Central Government will offer funding between 60 to 80 percent of the cost of setting up medical colleges under public private partnership.
Suhanya, a professor at IFIM Law School in Bengaluru, said: “I attended this conference to know about the skills we can incorporate and the challenges. I’ve made my set of pointers which I’ll implement in my organisation.”
EPSI, host of this conference, aims to facilitate quality education in the country, and is currently functioning in 20 states.