Recently National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog replaced the Planning Commission of India. Different Five-year plans were developed by the planning Commission. Some plans yielded better results while some plans remained incomplete. NITI Aayog is different from the Planning Commission in the sense that strategies will be formulated in consultation with the states.
Coming to our educational sector, in every five-year plan education was given a top priority. But still a lot needs to be done. In the first five year plan (1951-56) University Grants Commission was established. It was set up to take care of funding and take measures to strengthen the higher Education in the country. Five Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) were also established as major technical Institutions.
Similarly in the second 5 Year plan (1956-1961), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research was established as a Research Institute. Between the years 1961-1966, many primary Schools were started in rural areas.
State Secondary Education boards were formed. States were made responsible for secondary and higher Education. From time to time every 5 year plan included various steps to improve Educational Scenario.
In India there are about 45 Central Universities, 322 State Universities, 19 IIMs, 16 IITs, 30 NITs, 128 Deemed Universities and 192 Private Universities.
No doubt Educational Institutions are being set up from time to time but it should not be at the cost of quality. There is mushroom growth of colleges and private universities which is becoming the main obstacle in the uplift of Educational Sector. A Proper mechanism should be followed by Government in giving recognition to these Institutions. We have some private institutions that have played an instrumental role in the growth of sector.
Various famous private institutions have helped in creation of Knowledge networks, Research and Innovation center. Thus private Sector can also not be ignored. In NITI Aayog we hope that proper parameters will be laid down in assessing the educational scenario of the country.
There is shortage of Faculty in State and Central Universities. All the positions should be filled up. According to National Assessment Accreditation Council (NAAC), 62 percent of Universities and 90 percent of Colleges showed average or below average performance in 2010. No Indian Institute features in the top 20 Educational Institutions.
These rankings are primarily based on Quality of Research Output ratio. The Research output of Indian Institutions is very low as compared to the top institutes of the World. More and more focus should be given on Research.
We have enormous talent, but the only thing which we need is a right platform and that platform can be provided by the policy makers.
Policies pertaining to Education are largely appropriate but there should be proper Implementation and execution of policies. MOUs should be signed with the leading Universities of the World. The curriculum of education should be revamped and revitalized.
Many Institutions like NCERT, NAAC etc. are becoming irrelevant as they have deviated from their vision. They need to rediscover their sense of purpose.
There should be Internationalization of education, research environment has to be created and there should be practical application of Research.
Decentralization will encourage institutions to be more flexible and innovative. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) from time to time has started various schemes but they should not be merely on papers but also implemented in letter and spirit. They should also monitor quality on a regular basis.
Let us hope that the newly formed NITI Aayog will stress more on quality education in its future plans.