New Delhi: Citing lack of funds in the education sector, Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia urged the Centre Saturday to formulate a law which would require Centre and state governments in the country to allocate at least 6% of their respective gross domestic product (GDP) towards education.
Sisodia, who holds the education portfolio, made the suggestion during a meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) convened by the Union ministry of human resource development (MHRD) on Saturday to discuss the draft National Education Policy (NEP) with state education ministers and representatives, along with other officials.
“The biggest problem plaguing the education sector in the country is that it has too many regulations and is poorly funded. No solution has been given to both these problems in the new NEP. The time has come for such a law to be made so that it is mandatory to set aside at least 6% of the GDP in the country towards education budget,” Sisodia said. He added that while some of the provisions of the policy would benefit the education sector, there was no “roadmap” to implement it.
Sisodia said that in the meeting, he also emphasised on the need to strengthen education provided by the public sector in the country. “There is no proposal in the new policy as yet which states that it should be the government’s responsibility to provide education. In contrast, the policy has made many proposals which will encourage private education system,” he said, adding that “the proposal of a private education board would be a dangerous idea” as it would promote private schools and further dilute the responsibility of the government in school education.
The policy also proposes holding board examinations every six months Sisodia said, questioning whether the Central Board of Secondary Education had the bandwidth to deal with this. “It would also be unfair to ask students to pay board examination fee twice a year,” he said.
While praising the government’s policy of focussing on research, the education minister added that granting colleges autonomy, as per the policy’s recommendations, might add to the menace of fake degrees.
He said that the multi-faculty approach of foreign universities should not be implemented in existing universities in India. “Institutes such as AIIMS, IITs, IIMs are specialised institutions and their primary character should not be diluted. Instead, new universities can be created with the multi-faculty approach,” he said.
When contacted, MHRD higher education secretary R Subrahmanyam said, “The meeting was to ensure different stakeholders put their suggestions forward. The response has largely been supportive and we will look into the suggestions that have been put forward.”