January 31st, 2015
While India still lags behind many developed and developing nations in the field of higher education, the Central Government has reduced the funds for higher education by 3,900 crore in its revised budget estimates for the coming financial year. The figure has been revised to Rs. 13,000 crore, as against Rs. 16,900 crore.
The budget cut could seriously affect the setting up of permanent campuses of eight IITs which will be receiving Rs. 163 crore less than the original sum allocated. Besides, the Government will now disburse only Rs. 65 crore for setting up 5 new IITs and 5 new IIMs, as opposed to Rs. 500 crore decided earlier.
Recently, we covered an article about “Massive Open Online Course” or MOOC, which is a new, free and efficient way of e-learning accessible to all, and could potentially emerge as the next generation education system. Reportedly, the Government has revised allocation for MOOCs in India from Rs. 100 crore to Rs. 5 crore.
Some other initiatives that faced shocking budget cuts of more than 80% are the Madan Mohan Malviya National Mission on Teachers Training and Rashtriya Uchcha Siksha Abhiyan.
Sadly, Times Higher Education places only 4 Indian Universities in its worldwide top-400 list, with India’s top-ranked university ranking in the range of 276-300 worldwide. Considering India’s population and potential, the figure is quite disheartening. The Logical Indian community believes it is necessary to improve the quality of Higher Education in the country to properly nurture talented Indian students, thereby preventing brain drain. Cutting the budget for higher education is arguably not a solution to this.