Subir Roy: Reengineering Higher Education

Your Education is Our World

The country is immersed in a critical debate on how to reform and rejuvenate its higher education, led by a literate and articulate minister Kapil Sibal. Luckily, two major forward-looking reports (of the Knowledge Commission and the Yash Pal committee) provide vital reference points from which arguments can take off.

A key issue being debated is easing entry, making it much easier to set up institutions with private money — Indian or foreign. This is essential as the needs are huge and there just isn’t enough public money to raise overall supply sufficiently. But it is necessary to do this with eyes wide open. Virtually all the top institutions in the country, as also in developed countries, are public ones and the vast majority of private institutions, ranging from mediocre to abysmal, are solely devoted to making money, imparting quality education being furthest from their minds.

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