“Reliance” will enter the education sector to provide quality higher education as it emerges as the next profitable opportunity.
A range of private enterprise has already set up international schools and they are doing well. And some fly-by-night operators have entered too rather they were always there!
The state has a role to play in order to modulate this enthusiasm amongst the eligible ones so as to maximize the social cause. Let’s face it…Population and education have always been the most sought after sectors that need correction. In countries like US, UK and other developed , private enterprise have always played a role to better education standards as well to provide scholarships to the ‘worthy’ students aspiring for higher education. Of course, the scene is far better in India when compared to 20 years back. PSU banks and other institutions have started disbursing educational loans that were not available earlier.
We should allow companies to run educational institutions as well-run businesses that have transparent accounts and declare dividends. But a word of caution…entry of private funds into higher education is not a case for the state to withdraw from the sector. Rather the state should deepen their involvement and give it a different shape. Higher education is expensive, many will agree. A good part of the cost in providing higher education should be recovered from ‘realistic fees’ from the students. At the same time, it must be ensured that lack of funds does not kill the dreams of attending college by well deserving students coming from poor families. A large part of government funding should be in form of scholarships which are liberal.
Securitized loans by government undertaking banks is already happening as mentioned earlier in this passage. That is a good step taken by the PSU banks.Hence there is mix of private enterprise and modulation (read control) by the government required to uplift the standards of education in this country.