As cut-offs reach 100%, FICCI reminds gov about education bills catching dust

As the tussle over getting admission into Delhi colleges worsens, one of India’s top two industry associations, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) has reminded the government about the several education reform bills catching dust in Human Resources Development ministry’s cabinets

The industry organization, whose opinions tend to reflect those of the corporate sector, pointed out that not only is quality education becoming more and more difficult for Indians, but India’s educational institutions are slipping in international ranking.

“The recent developments.. indeed is an indication of the desperate situations that today’s children and parents are faced with.. Dismal show of quality higher education is further substantiated once again by the recent QS rating of universities across Asia, in which only IIT Mumbai features in the top 200,” it pointed out, referring to the most respected education rank list in the World.

It pointed out that India’s much celebrated ‘demographic dividend’ — the reason for India’s strong economic growth — may turn to a demographic liability if the youngsters don’t get proper education and jobs.

“A FICCI World Bank employer satisfaction Survey in 2009 and FICCI CVoters Survey in 2010 showed that about 60-65% of the employers were only somewhat satisfied with the current engineering and general graduate (BSc, BCom, & BA) skills. These findings substantiate the Indian Labour Report 2007, which declares 57% of our youth to be unemployed,” it pointed out.

The way out, it pointed out is to quickly dust off the various education reform bills that have been lying with the government for years. Among them is one which will allow foreign universities to set up Indian operations and another which will try to reduce corruption by reducing the number of ‘approval’ organizations for setting up educational institutions in India.

“The 4 pending bills namely, the accreditation Bill, Foreign Education Institutions Bill, Malpractices & Education Tribunal Bills have been introduced when there is an impending The National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) Bill 2010 which purports to replace and subsume UGC, AICTE, MCI etc.

“The 4 Bills ignore such pendency which is yet to be tabled in the Parliament and has the potential to bring about transformational changes to the higher education scenario in the country.

“In a country of 500 plus Universities and about 25000 colleges, only about 40 percent institutions and universities are accredited. Hence, it is extremely crucial to accord high priority to implementation of National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions, Bill, 2010,” it said.