Why Yale won’t come to India, why the sector can’t depend on for-profits and how the UID system will be used to track drop-out rates.
HRD Minister, Kapil Sibal kick started the panel, emphasizing that India’s biggest issue is to scale up the number of children who enter, and pass through, the educational system. “We need to develop a critical mass moving from higher secondary to undergraduate institutions. Of the 220 million who go to school in India, only 12.4% reach college. We need 30% to get there.”
Richard Levin, President of Yale University, talked about the importance of choosing a handful of institutions to nurture and propel towards becoming world class institutions. He also highlighted the importance of attracting and nurturing faculty that are research pioneers in the fields: “India must fund research on a strictly meritocratic basis and integrate researchers into universities.” He also added that universities should be willing to “break egalitarianism in salaries” in order to be able offer competitive salaries to lure back faculty that have chosen to work abroad.
Another theme that dominated the panel included the separation of the deliverer (government) from the regulator, and the possibility of for-profit investments in education. Sibal categorically stated that the for-profit model is unacceptable to him at this point, as it is far too risky to allow educational institutions to be tied to a volatile stock market, and unrealistic to expect private institutions to invest in India’s rural areas. “While the private sector should be allowed to make surpluses that they invest back into this sector, if the stock market goes bust we cannot afford for educational institutions to go bust,” he said. Read More>>