It is the quality of primary education that is really hurting human and economic development. While India has over 15 lakh schools which are reportedly three times that of China’s, 40% of them are unviable with less than 50 students and 2 to 3 teachers. Considering that we have about 935 districts in the country, the 15000 schools to be strengthened constitute an average of 16 schools per district which is significant. These schools can serve as model schools and have a spin-off effect on education in the rest of the district and trigger a revolutionary improvement in primary education.
Establishing a Higher Education Commission is in keeping with the recommendation in the New Education Policy(NEP) and would greatly uniformity and consistency help elevate the quality of higher education in India and enable many universities to enter the top 500 rankings. I am glad that the government has quickly responded to the NEP-2020 recommendation and earmarked funds for the NRF. However, budget allocation is the easier part. What is more important is for a mechanism to integrate academia, industry, government, and the social sector, on a common platform that is a repository of problems, issues that need to be researched. I hope the government, maybe through Niti Aayog quickly acts on this. Then there will plenty to chew for researchers in terms of ideas and research will become a movement where all the stakeholders are equally involved.”