27 January, 2021

Time For Reforms As Engineering, Medical Courses Under Pressure From Liberal Arts

Buoyed by the world's largest population in the 6-17 age bracket and expansion of digital learning, the education market will double and can be valued at $180 billion by 2020. It will be a challenge for the Narendra Modi government to streamline the sector

Photograph by R.A. Chandroo
Time For Reforms As Engineering, Medical Courses Under Pressure From Liberal Arts

On May 30, the Narendra Modi government embarked on its 100-day education agenda. The agenda comprises a new education policy, a Higher Education Commission of India, a new accreditation system and a special drive to fill five lakh faculty positions in institutions of higher education. The urgency of the government shows the higher education system could be in for an overhaul.

Especially over the past decade India’s professional colleges have been ailing due to several reasons such as a sudden spike in the number of these institutions, unaffordable fees, poor quality and lack of jobs. The malaise goes ­beyond India’s favourite streams—engineering, medicine, law and management—but data for eng­ineering and ­medicine is all that is ­readily available.

Last July, then MoS in the Union HRD ministry, Satya Pal Singh, said the total number of sanctioned seats in institutions approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) went down from 16,94,030 in 2014-15 to 14,66,713 in 2017-18—a ­decline of 13.41 per...



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