C. Raj Kumar. . Image Source: IANS News

Mumbai, Nov 14 : India will significantly lag behind other nations like China and South Korea if financial investment in higher education is not increased substantially, Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) C. Raj Kumar said here on Thursday.

Saying that the private sector has a parallel responsibility alongside the Indian government to transform the Indian education sector, he added that philanthropic entrepreneurship must create equitable access to education for social and economic growth.

"Two decades ago, India and Chinese educational institutions were at par when compared to their western counterparts," the JGU VC said at an event.

"Today China is one of the leading education miracles and has several universities featuring in world rankings. This has been achieved through sound policies, consistent financial commitment and international partnerships and they have made China a world reckoner in higher education," he said.

To match international standards and global competition, we need to make our universities the drivers of innovation, economic growth and entrepreneurship, he said, while outlining a 10-point growth and reform plan for the Indian universities.

Indian universities need to reimagine their vision and mission to align themselves with the goals of nation building with a stronger focus on social and economic development of the country, he said.

The National Education Policy 2019 is a detailed road map for the future of education in India and outlines implementation models at the government level. However, public investment alone cannot bring about the change required in India.

"The New Education Policy has been drafted by eminent persons, including Dr Kasturirangan and a Fields Medal winning mathematician, Manjul Bhargava. However, merely because the policy is drafted by intelligent people will not automatically make it a good policy.

"A policy can be judged to be good only when its main purpose and its goals - reorganise higher education institutions into large, multidisciplinary universities, phase out the system of affiliated colleges, tenure-track for teachers, autonomy and deregulation are actually realised," said Sudarshan Ramaswamy, Dean, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy.

"The budgetary allocation towards higher education of Rs 38,317 crore is not sufficient to fulfil the dreams of more than 600 million young people in India who are less than 24 years of age," said Ashish Bharadwaj, Dean of the Jindal School of Banking and Finance.

"With 78 per cent of our 900 universities and 39,000 colleges privately managed, private investment in higher education is a chief agent of socio-economic change in India. The private sector, along with the State, will play a pivotal role in providing world-class education as well as creating jobs to absorb several million youths that enter the labour force every year," he said.

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