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policy brief - Sonik 1 To Minister Arjun Singh Ministry of...

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Sonik 1 To: Minister Arjun Singh, Ministry of Human Resource Development. From: Upasana Sonik RE: Aiming for Higher Education in India Date: March 10, 2008 Background: India is the second largest country in the world. The population of India is still on the rise. An immense number of people in India are still living under the poverty line. In 2007, based on a report, “by the state-run National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector, found that 77% of Indians, or 836 million people, lived on less than 20 rupees per day.” 1 Even though poverty has decreased immensely and is still a major economic problem that India has to deal with. There are two reasons for people living in poverty. The lesser of the two is the caste system that is present in the society of India. According to the caste system, many Indians were deprived of education, ownership, as well as other rights. This brings us to our most important reason, lack of education. People do not notice that Indian’s spend nearly $4 billion annually to send their children abroad for higher studies and technical training while there is no
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Sonik 2 reason for India not emerging as a global center for higher education and technical training. Therefore, the real challenge is to expand capacities in higher education to keep ahead of the curve of rising domestic and global demand. Challenges: India has a vast number of uneducated children. Even though, the Constitution of India states that “provision for free and compulsory education for children.” 2 This only provides children education up to the age of 14, which means that after the age of 14, children have no source of education. The country has the uncertain distinction of one of the highest levels of illiteracy in the world. The system of public education at all levels is in advanced stage of disrepair and disorder. Therefore, India has to find a strategy that will enable it to effectively address the multiple challenges in the education sector of improving literacy, universalizing access to quality basic and secondary education and at the same time ensuring an adequate supply of higher skills and technically trained manpower. This paper states the prevailing policy environment in this context to ensure that India remains ahead of the curve in the knowledge sector which has been growing exponentially in recent years. Causes:
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Sonik 3 There are many factors that help expand education as well as globalization. The internet and recent trends in the education sector are two factors that can help Indian’s having a higher literacy rate. Lastly we come to the supply and demand of education in India. Issues with regard to both regulation and affordability are taken up into account since they are recognized as important constraints in this context. India needs to take action against all these challenges and prove to the world that they are not as illiterate as people label them to be.
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