Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Free education

In what has become a recurrent theme, especially in the backdrop of the recent attacks in Australia, Niranjan Rajadhyaksha calls on the government to free education. Read the whole piece...

For a moment, pause and think why do students from India go to study abroad? Yes, clearly there are institutions of higher learning in the US, in the shape of MITs and many others which have far better facilities. They also open up avenues as a career academician that pays well which is not necessarily the case in India. Is that all? The biggest reason Indian students go abroad is, that, it is perhaps easier to get a seat there than it is here. We need more universities on the lines of ISB to come up in engineering, science, maths and then anybody listening?

In the meantime, our idiotic ministries in India, have focussed on constriction of capacity in education by preventing foreign universities from setting up campuses in India and by creating capacity constraints in the form of quotas for any community that is willing to create a big ruckus (and/or a vote bank). In any case, the world at large is inviting our students. And they are going in droves. To US - earlier it was the UK which was a preferred destination. And then, those who miss the US bus, go to Australia and it is not very wrong to say that it is our students that prop up the education system in these countries. And why not?

The attacks in Australia have ruffled a few feathers, but it is unlikely to prevent students from leaving in droves. If Australia loses out, China may gain or Singapore or Phillipines, but the only country that will lose out is India itself...

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