INDIAN EDUCATION NEEDS A LIBERALIZATION TONIC

INTRODUCTION

Liberalization is the loosening of previously imposed restrictions by the government, typically in the form of community or monetary policy. It may relate to a loosening of laws in the social sphere, and it may allude to free commerce or an open market in the economic sphere. It’s also known as deregulation in other contexts. Liberalization and democratization are two distinct processes that shouldn’t be confounded. India has a liberal economy, but its educational system is not. There are several causes, but one of them is that the government and the national education sector do not want to cede power and the national education business does not want the competition. The Indian Constitution’s concurrent list includes education. Therefore, legislation on this topic may be passed by both the federal and state governments. While the ministries may have encouraged its education under this constitutional framework, in practice it has led to a proliferation of regulators and a profusion of regulations and requirements. The final effect is that compliance requirements and complexity have turned off and deterred both domestic and international investors from investing in Indian education. The only area of the education industry that is not now governed by the administration is early childhood or pre-primary education. Private pre-primary schools and play schools have proliferated throughout the nation due to their lack of regulation. These schools are run by private individuals (owners and franchisees), and thousands of teachers now have jobs thanks to them. On the other hand, there is a powerful lobby in favor of regulating pre-primary schools and imposing upon their entrance, teacher recruitment, tuition fee approvals, and registration laws and regulations.[1]

Education Policy (2009) in India concerning Liberalisation

Only trusts, organizations, and benevolent companies are permitted to establish educational institutions in India, per Article 25 of the Companies Registration Act, and any profits earned by the institution must be reinvested. The government, however, doesn’t specify or make clear the rules for international colleges setting up campuses in India. Before being certain about the extent of regulation, funding, and other difficulties, interested parties have been cautious to move forward. Though international educational institutions are not permitted to grant degree certificates in India, the education department has permitted almost 150 foreign schools to offer courses alongside Indian universities under the condition that part of the course would be completed in India and the other portion will be completed abroad. Their dissatisfaction is clear, but foreign colleges have the necessary background and experience to start educating new researchers and educators right once.

However, the Foreign University Bill, which appears to be in the works as of 2009, offers optimism for foreign universities. There is a chance for a significant improvement in the quality of the Indian higher education system, which suffers from the government’s neglect if the government ensures that no fraud occurs and if it delimits the bureaucracy by placing only minor restrictions on the incoming foreign universities[2]. The UGC (Promotion and Maintenance of Standards of Academic Collaborations between India and Foreign Educational Institutions) Regulations, 2016, were recently published by the University Grants Commission. Given that the regulation was from 2016, it was reasonable to anticipate that it would be up to date with the times. The notified laws, however, continue to emphasize outdated standards like the required length of study, etc., and the traditional idea of on-campus education.

A few initiatives will go a long way toward liberalizing Indian education for the benefit of India’s children and youth, such as making the regulatory framework uniform across the country to prevent regulatory overlap, allowing for-profit entities to operate in this sector to encourage private education providers, recognizing education delivered online, etc.[3]

Liberalizing Indian Education -New Education Policy (NEP) Can Give A New Shape To India’s Education Sector

The NEP suggests implementing the 5+3+3+4 system, which consists of five years of primary school, three years of pre-primary I and II, three years of preparatory phases, three years of intermediate school, and finally four years of high school. After a term, students can participate in the Board’s exams on each topic using a new modular format. The subject board will administer at least 24 tests or an average of three evaluations per semester. Children would experience board exams with less stress and load. Before Class 5, at least, Sanskrit instruction may be used. For all eight of the planned languages, it will be one of the optional languages at the secondary and postsecondary levels of education. For grades 6 through 8, this will start in secondary and university.

The government wants to establish a single NHERA regulator for the higher education sector (National Higher Education Regulatory Authority). High schools can offer high-quality instruction, research, and student services while also being multidisciplinary. For undergraduate courses, it can be extended to four years and offers a variety of options. Students may choose to enroll in a five-year hybrid Baccalaureate/Masters program in addition to the one-year master’s program for those who complete the four-year program. The government has also started offering bursaries under the Diaspora Children Bursary Scheme for the 2019–20 school year (SPDC). Over 800 scholarships are given to Indian ex-pats in India. Major Indian universities like IITs and NITs will accept students who were born in India as students.[4]

Impact of liberalization

Positive Impact

With a steady stream of funds that liberalization will bring, research-based careers will become more accessible and an attractive alternative for Indian instructors and students in the future. It will increase the supply of something that is currently in limited supply, and competition among educational institutions will ensure that they do not overcharge for education. A rise in educational options will inevitably lead to a decrease in educational costs. The education sector becoming a significant portion of the economy will help the Indian economy, which is currently primarily driven by the service sector. The cost of studying abroad for Indian students is believed to be approximately $1 billion a year, and it has the potential to stop the departure of thousands of students who have already left the nation to pursue their studies abroad. India will save a tonne of money as a result. Allowing corporations to participate would guarantee the creation of better, more industry-focused graduates with certain skill sets. Rapid advancements in communications and technology are implied by an increase in the educated population. It also means that society is moving away from an industrialization-based society and toward one that is information-based. With the extra benefit of a degree that will be recognized worldwide, liberalization gives students the choice of pursuing a degree near to where they live. Additionally, it reduces brain drain, another loss for the country.

Negative Impact

In emerging nations, local institutions and students are similarly unsupervised. Frequently ignorant and ill-informed. Students frequently use these services without much knowledge or comprehension. A degree with a foreign label is alluring enough to cause them to disregard their knowledge. Uninformed or simply suspect institutions in poor nations could collaborate with subpar Indian schools and universities. Additionally, there is a chance of scam institutions that will take advantage of any opportunity to line their coffers. In India, corruption is pervasive. There isn’t much room for speculation as to how such a policy may play out in terms of bribery, bogus degrees, half marking, etc. Unexpected results occasionally only become apparent after they happen. Small-budget local institutions won’t be able to survive, which will cause many people to lose their jobs. Even the well-known ones will face competition because their national certifications will be worth less than certificates that have gained international recognition.

CONCLUSION

Work opportunities from a far more organized business sector that is more successful and raises human resources would become a reality through these and other clever developments. This legislation would support international college’s and organizations’ accountability and transparency. The same is true for all institutions of higher learning in India, whether they are public or private. India aspires to raise the standard, accessibility, and affordability of secondary education. This can be achieved by effectively liberalizing education, making it easier for students to move between States, and offering more scholarships and loans to students from the lower and middle classes. Only then will the Indian Educational System be able to lay the groundwork for sustainable development. The government should be somewhat, if not fully, disengaged from the education sector as a viable remedy. This industry’s work should only be regulated. Similar to other markets, the educational industry will experience market problems. Correcting this ought to be the regulator’s responsibility, and the government ought to operate independently. Transparency is necessary to prevent shady providers from providing inferior services that harm national interests and students.

Author(s) Name: Kopal Mittal

References:

[1] Vivek Kathpalia “ Indian Education Needs Liberalization Tonic “ , Education World November 16, available at <https://www.educationworld.in/indian-education-needs-liberalisation-tonic/> accessed July 24, 2022

[2] Asma Khizar , Muhammad Nadeem Anwar and Mushtaq Ahmad Malik, ”Role of National Education Policy-2009 and National Professional Standards for Teachers in Developing Teachers’ Professionalism”, Vol. 41, No. 3 pp. 101-118, Bulletin of Education and Research December 2019

[3] Department of School Education and Policy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, available at <https://www.education.gov.in/en/school-education> accessed July 24, 2022

[4] Ministry of Human Resource Development, available at <https://www.education.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/NEP_Final_English_0.pdf> accessed July 24, 2022