With new government’s huge emphasis on equity, it’s time to revise the age old, outdated education policies and shift the emphasis from subsidizing all to just the underprivileged—
Such is the recommendation by the Centre for Public Policy, in a recent report, that convincingly argues for removing the current Rs 45,000 crore direct funding by the government to universities and colleges and instead stresses on benefitting the needy sections directly by focusing these funds just on them through Education Vouchers & Scholarships.
The report’s top 4 suggestions to the new government are:
1) Give support to the underprivileged sections via reimbursement of specific fees directly to the SC/ST, OBC’s and Minorities and other underprivileged sections or the college where they take admission.
2) For the balance the government should give a Sovereign guarantee for a student to access a soft loan from a bank without a collateral and this can be capped at a reasonable amount.
3) Direct the educational funds just on underprivileged, through Education Vouchers & Scholarships.
4) Focus on educating and skilling our great numbers of unemployed youth – 500 million - in the next 5 years.
Dr. Harbeen Arora, President of the Centre for Public Policy, hopes that the new government will take some urgent measures to curb the disparity between the students of high level and the low level income group, and usher in policies that help educate and skill our great numbers of unemployed youth – 500 million - in the next 5 years. It is to achieve this ambitious target that the Center for Public Policy has brought out a radical new thought in their detailed report on why government funding for higher education should, instead of bearing the entire costs of running of the universities, be redirected only to the underprivileged sections of society, who need maximum support and hand - holding.
According to the suggestions proposed by the Centre for Public Policy, government should provide the underprivileged section of our society with educational coupons and scholarships. For the balance, government can provide Sovereign Guarantee for all to have access to a bank loan without collateral.
The National Youth Policy (NYP-2014) states that, the 12th Plan priorities for secondary and higher education are (a) increasing access, (b) ensuring equity, (c) improving the quality of inputs and outcomes, and (d) promoting greater governance and accountability. These steps might sound time consuming but can surely help in making a difference in lives of needy. Also, such kind of financial help/aid can surely minimize the economic disparities within the different classes of the society and take our nation towards growth and progress from the grass “roots”.
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