Role Of Education In Realising The Dream Of Developed India - Eastern Mirror
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Role of Education in Realising the Dream of Developed India

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By EMN Updated: Feb 26, 2024 11:55 pm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to see India as a developed country by the year 2047. While addressing the recent Vikas Bharat Vikas Chhattisgarh program, Modi said that 10 years ago I had said that we will create such an India, which our earlier generations had dreamed of with great hope. Look today, all around, a new India is being built just as our ancestors had dreamed of. This is the result of good governance of BJP government.

Modi often talks about developed India because developed India is the vision of his government. Its objective is to make India a developed nation by 2047, the 100th year of the country’s independence. This approach includes various aspects of development including economic growth, social progress, environmental sustainability and good governance, education. Modi has been emphasising on harnessing the energy of students and youth of every university to achieve the goal of ‘Developed India’. We need to think comprehensively on why Modi associates universities with the dream of a developed India.

I have been a professor in Delhi University for 44 years. With my long experience as a teacher, I strongly believe that education and development are complementary to each other. Every level of development can be reached only by climbing the ladder of education. If we want to see India as a developed country by the year 2047, on the occasion of completion of hundred years of independence, then this dream can come true only with the help of education, but it is not so simple and easy. For this, the universities of the country will have to work hard. Modi wants the energy of university students to be channeled towards achieving the goal of a developed India. His thinking is far-reaching but before this the universities will have to be energised. The current condition of the country’s universities is extremely worrying.

In our country, private universities are continuously expanding and earning money, but on the contrary, the universities funded by UGC are lagging behind. The infrastructure of most of our universities is not strong. They lack world class smart class rooms. Good auditoriums, libraries, academic blocks and excellent laboratories are missed. India, which was the major center of education in the entire world in ancient times, where the most important and famous Nalanda University, which was among the world’s first universities of higher education, was established, the current condition of universities in that India is worrying. Because of this, higher education in the country is lagging behind in terms of quality. Children of rich people go abroad for higher education and also settle there after making a career. Children of common people are facing exploitation in private universities. The situation can be changed if the condition of UGC funded universities is improved. This is possible only when we bring our universities into the world ranking. Will work towards making them a big brand.

Today, brand-ranking has value all over the world. Youth educated in institutions like Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford get big positions immediately. This has been possible due to their brand-ranking values. Indian universities can also do this miracle, but it is unfortunate that after the country’s independence, no thought was given in this direction for seven decades. Our prestigious universities have also been lagging behind in the last seven decades.

India’s higher education system is counted as the third largest higher education system in the world. Our higher education system ranks third after USA and China. We have more than a thousand universities and university level institutions, more than 37 thousand colleges are affiliated with them, but despite this, the situation is that after China, India is the country from where the maximum number of children go abroad to study every year. Have been. Union Minister of State for Education Subhash Sarkar told the Lok Sabha this year that between 2017 and 2022, more than 30 lakh Indians went abroad for higher education.

The question arises that why are our children running abroad to study? Why are we not able to provide them world class education in the country itself? And why are children from foreign countries not taking interest in coming and studying in our country? The main reason for this is our lagging behind in the world university ranking. On one hand, while universities of different countries are in the top 100, our university is not even counted in the top 500. As an example, the World University Rankings 2024 released by Times Higher Education (THE) can be seen. It includes 1904 universities from 108 countries and regions. Oxford University of London ranks first among the top universities in the world. Harvard University of the United States is at second place and University of Cambridge of the United Kingdom is at third place. This time, 91 universities of India have got a place in The World University Rankings 2024, out of which only IIS Bengaluru has been able to make it to the list of top 250 universities for the first time since 2017. In this ranking, Anna University of South India is at number one between top 501 to 600. Anna University has been ranked 20th in the NIRF 2022 ranking and 22nd under the overall category. In THE ranking, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi is at second place, Mahatma Gandhi University of Wardha is at third place, Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences is at fourth place. All the remaining universities are in the top 601 to 1000.

India has a base of more than a thousand universities and university level institutions, but out of these only 15 higher education institutions are ranked in the top 1000. Due to this, the world community is not paying attention to our higher education institutions at the global level. In the year 2021, only 23 thousand 439 children came to us from abroad to study. Till now the number of foreign children coming to study here has barely reached fifty thousand.

In the new education policy of Modi government, emphasis has been laid on internationalisation of Indian higher education. Obviously, the government wishes to increase the number of foreign students in our higher educational institutions. Compared to western countries, it is cheaper to get education in India, but still, foreign children not coming here in large numbers to study points towards the shortcomings of our system. Even the ‘Study in India’ program implemented by the Central Government in 2018 has not inclined foreign children towards studying in India.

Only students from those African and Arab countries come to study in our country, whose higher education infrastructure is weak. Children from Bangladesh, Bhutan also prefer to study here, but the number of foreign children coming to study in India from all these countries combined is negligible compared to the number of children who go from India to study abroad. Children from western countries do not even think of studying in India because when they choose a country and institution for higher education, they also look at the cost of studying and living there and the quality of life there. Along with this, feedback received from students who have previously studied in the concerned country also plays a role in this.

The major reason for all these circumstances is India’s lack of international educational strategy. If this direction had been thought about decades ago, the situation would have been different today. Modi government has thought about this in the new education policy, this is a good sign. But for this, collective efforts will have to be made from the government, higher education institutions and the general public. No work should be left to the government alone. The development of the country is possible only through collective responsibility.

If the dream of a developed India is to be realised then we will have to make collective efforts. We have to make such a strategy that the condition of our higher education institutions improves rapidly. More and more of our institutions should come in good world rankings. Poor ranking is the biggest hindrance for us because due to poor ranking, neither foreign educationists are getting attracted towards India nor foreign students are getting interested in our country. For this, we will have to follow the higher education institutions of different countries which have become recognised globally. We need to learn from the higher education institutions of those countries which have consistently maintained their position at high positions in the global rankings through better and developed education systems. Necessary resources will have to be supplied in universities. In accordance with the spirit of the new education policy, while we will have to make universities self-reliant, significant efforts will also be required in the field of education and research.

If we are able to do this, it will prove to be a revolutionary step for the higher education of our country. Through this, we will be able to provide quality education here to the children going to study abroad. While this will stop the migration of talents, we will also be able to stop the flow of millions of dollars towards foreign countries. When we have world class educational institutions, they have quality education and all the necessary resources and facilities, then the world ranking will also move towards the top. This will make foreign children eager to study here. This will also pave the way for the dream of a developed India to come true.

-Prof. Mahesh Chand Gupta-

(The author is a renowned educationist and has been Professor of Commerce in Delhi University for 44 years.)

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By EMN Updated: Feb 26, 2024 11:55:00 pm
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