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Education: Problems Overflow; Time to Change

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Education: Problems Overflow; Time to Change
By Gaurav Moghe, Mumbai, India
I work for Ak hil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the large st and the only
non political stude nt m ove m e nt in India. ABVP has organise d a m assive
rally on 26th nove m be r, 2002 on Indian Parliam e nt in which 1,50,000
stude nts from all ove r India will be participating. More im portantly, all will be
com ing to de lhi with the ir own m one y. the rally has be e n organise d to voice
stude nts de m ands on the issue s of Indianisation of Education, C ourse
re structuring, Financial C ondition of Education, Autonom y, and
Une m ploym e nt. The article is a short run of the curre nt e ducational condition
of india.

------------------------------------------55 years have passed since Independence, and yet our country
has not been able to drive out the stink in its systems. The
problem of an ever-increasing population is turning out to be our
worst nightmare. Our economy is still struggling, even after
three phases of reforms since 1991. Our national prestige is at
an all time low. Globalization is taking an awful number of
potshots at our culture, our lifestyles alongwith our economy.
Sadly enough, Indians seem to lack the Winning Mindset
essential in such circumstances. We have not been taught to
learn, even though we have become "educated". The Education
System has failed to produce winners. It has failed to create a
stir in the Indian minds. It has failed in its mission to create a
vibrant India.
The government boasts of a 65% literacy rates in its 2001
census. But, hidden figures show that only 5% of them ever
reach graduation level, while a whopping 29% still live in the
"able-to-sign" or minimum literacy status. The government
statistics talk about increasing spending on education, but the
fact remains that only a measly 3.8% of the GNP goes into the
field. Universities have risen 8 times since 1951, but the number
of substandard universities among them is fantastic. The number
of educated unemployed in India has crossed an alarming 3.5
crore mark, and is still increasing with every passing day. The
Government is slowly pulling its hands out of higher education,
trying to cut its spendings, while politicization of the system is
becoming commonplace in every state of India. Education has
become a Market for the Universities. On the other hand,
Universities have become tools for ideology-expansion for the
The Financial condition of the educational scenario is terrible.
Professors are being treated more badly than municipal
sweepers, and grandmothers continue to tell their grandchildren
stories of Eklavya and Dronacharya. The teachers are being
denied payscales as per the Fifth Pay Commission
recommendations. "Contract Systems" have been ushered in.
Non Salary Grant is tending to a negligible amount. Every college



Education: Problems Overflow; Time to Change

across the country is being forced to increase its fees

drastically. Engineering colleges are found to lack proper
equipments, while science colleges do not have adequate
research facilities. The end sufferer of ALL THESE is the student
Higher education is being extensively neglected. The funding for
UGC has witnessed only a lowly 7% rise in the past 5 years. The
entry of Foreign Universities in India is being thought upon. Such
senseless moves seem to be "signature" moves of the current
NDA government in Centre. Even though the concept of a
Bharatiya Shiksha Kosh has been given a go ahead, massive
effects of the project are still to be witnessed.
Recommendations of a 6% GNP spending on education have
been largely ignored, and we still stick to a 3.8% figure, and
continue to boast of how it is better than that in Bangladesh
and Pakistan.
Even on the front of granting Autonomy to Universities and
colleges, successive governments have been only stage
dancers. Out of the 10,555 colleges and 222 Universities in
India, only 138 colleges in 8 states are autonomous. On the
other hand, political interference in Education has been
increasing with time. Senate bodies, Management Councils,
Student Councils etc. which till now had remained fairly
nonpartisan, due to their electoral nature, are being politicized
to a new level. The Karnataka Government even went to the
extent of dissolving such elected bodies in the state, and
replacing such bodies with Government nominees. Universities
have become hotbeds for spreading party ideologies. The State
Governments have also lost their sense of thinking for the
country as a whole, in this regard.
Much need not be said about the course structures in such
Universities. Figures indicate an increasing flow towards
technical and diploma courses rather than degree courses.
Students joining pure sciences are waning, while the share of
Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities have too decreased. A
very limited and rigid course structure has been an obstacle in
the path. Vocationalisation of Education, suggested long back
by the CABE committee in the National Education Policy of 1986,
has not been implemented till now. However, the sounds
emanating from New Delhi on Vocationalisation, and introduction
of Professionalism in Education have not lessened even a bit.
The percentage of dropouts at the upper Primary level has been
an alarming 53%. Still, the Government figures show beautiful
increases in enrollments. Stress laid on English language at all
levels of education needs to be removed immediately. The
figures of dropouts in rural areas can be decreased significantly
if education is through Mother Tongue, rather than any foreign
language. Indian languages need to be given primary importance
at all costs, so that national unity is all fostered at the same
Our education has failed to address the problem of a burgeoning
number of unemployed workforce in the country. Various
programmes initiated by the Government till date have been a



Education: Problems Overflow; Time to Change

big farce. Mere degrees have failed to provide security to the

youths of today. Engineers, Graduates, Doctors have all been
engulfed by this storm. A whopping 3.5 crores of our educated
population is still unemployed. And why should it not be?
Farmer's children are being taught Pythagoras theorem,
Fishermen's children need to study Costing and BookKeeping.
What is required is being given the boot while the most
undesired things are being forcibly taught. The youth of today,
just like their earlier generation, have been forced to gulp down
things that have no reference to their professions. Theoretical
aspects are being stressed while the Practical aspects of
education are being largely ignored. And this is what is the root
cause of all our miseries.
The bureaucracy, which is at the helm of things, is responsible
for all this. Corruption, indifference has so much entered our
skins that the cry of the nation is seldom heard. China is surging
ahead of us in all fields. Countries like Korea and Japan are
gathering pace in their strides. The USA has been trying to
wrest its muscles in the Indian subcontinent all along. Things
have to change, NOW
It is upto the youths of today to understand the need of the
times. It is upto the fiery young blood to take the torch of
progress in their hands, and rise upto the occasion. It is upto
the young blood to close their fists, and fight for what they
want. What is desired at this stage is not a change, but a
massive revolution, on which the entire future would be firmly
based, an uprising which would shake the system of all its evils
and make it a vibrant, new catalyst of tomorrow..

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