The concluded Education Conclave 2016 gathered many eminent speakers and scholars from civil society, academia and private concerned bodies, across the nation. Ms. Kiran Bhatty raised the eyebrows of delegates of the packed house when she mentioned that the Government still does not have any credible number of out of school children. Even within the Government, there are contradicting figures provided by different departments and regulatory bodies. However, HRD data says 3 million kids, Statistics bureau claims 20 million but according Census data, it is a nearly 40 million children.
The issue of quality also discussed in the conclave. The conclave questioned that Out of nearly 3,500 colleges and 700 Universities in the country, till now, only 140 have been accredited by National Assessment Accreditation Council (NAAC) and the alarming situation is only 32% managed to get A+ rating. This seriously needs Govt. Attention as by Indian Constitution, education is the fundamental right which the Govt. has reaffirmed many times.
Anita Rampal, a delegate and former professor in Delhi University showed her concerns about the large gap between the knowledge and actual skills. She cleared that Govt. is taking steps for the trend of vocational training and skill India campaign is on run, the importance cannot be sidelined about the need of vocational training but basic knowledge and primary education especially basic sciences are if did not get proper attention, India would have to suffer in global educational competitions.
The participants made it clear that both Educational and vocational training programs are necessity of time bit if one has to suffer for the other, the consequences will be against the education vision. We have to make complete parity between these two pillars of modern progress bridge.
Some performance of educational institutions was also remained in the educational talks; many critics questioned that with such large infrastructure and heavy spending, why only two universities are in top 200 best institutions list.
Physical education which has been considered as extra-curricular activity is a basic unit of education life and should be given necessary time in school schedules.
Any notable Govt. personality did not attend the conclave. However, the ministry of HRD sent its additional secretary for representation. In the union budget 2016, the Finance Minister has also announced that Govt. will help 10 universities to become center of excellence in their respective fields, the budget for such program has been allocated.
This is no doubt a well needed initiative taken by the India Today group and Sathyabama University, hopefully the ideas and views will get adequate attention of Govt. authorities. Without education, such large population cannot become a powerful resource to help in country’s progress.