14 May, 2021

Chalk And Cheese

Education has to be an inclusive idea in India. It is not now.

Narendra Bisht
Chalk And Cheese

Bang! Bang! Bang! This is how Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal launched himself in his new role. With the announcement of scores of new plans, he appeared determined to infuse dynamism into our rotten educational system. Alas, the bubble has burst. The promised dawn of a new era is yet to arrive. Even the effort to build a national consensus on reforms has eluded the minister. The non-Congress states have refused to play ball.

As always, the goals of education remain nebulous. State funding is an old problem. The Kothari Commission had recommended 6 per cent of GDP in the 1960s, but this has yet to materialise despite the additional cess being levied. While the states contribute a fairly high proportion of their SDP to education (between 15-25 per cent), the Centre still provides less than 4 per cent of GDP. In comparison, the average expenditure on education in the OECD countries is 8-12 per cent GDP. Clearly, in India, we continue to pay a heavy price for the monumental neglect of our educational needs.


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