New Delhi: "Knowledge institutions have to be at the centre of the host communities in order to innovate and create new knowledge. Therefore, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has tied up with the Ministry of Science and Technology for an increase in the level of fellowship, so that research output is much higher. Each ministry must have a certain percentage devoted to ensure research," said Vibha Puri Das, Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Government of India, during the second day of the World Education Summit 2011.
She emphasised upon connectivity not only among institutions in terms of humans, but also in terms of the optical fiber network. She also discussed main issues of the 12th Five Year Plan and described it as a plan geared on consolidation of expansion of education agenda during the second day of the summit, organised by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) along with the Center for Science Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) and Elets Technomedia at the Ashoka hotel in the capital.
Das discussed India's education scenario in context with the alarming school drop-out numbers along with facilitating private investment in higher education.
"Consolidation is the key word in the 12th Five Year Plan to confront the challenges that the institutions of higher learning in India are lacking in critical mass of student and faculty. Out of 76 lakh school pass outs, only 36 percent make it to the higher learning institutes. Skill requirement is another factor influencing the Five Year Plans. Our national vocational qualification framework ensures vertical, horizontal and diagonal mobility," said Das.
"A year after the Right To Education (RTE) was launched, the drop-out rates have been much higher. Only 36 percent of the school drop-outs make it to the higher education. We are looking at these numbers and strategies to ensure that the drop out rate is not allowed to continue. The National Knowledge Commission and Yashpal Committee have also steered our thinking to enhance the reach of higher education. A system based on self disclosure rather than verification is needed to enhance and assure the quality," she added.
Dr. Narendra Jadhav, Member, Planning Commission and Member, National Advisory Council, Government of India, also delineated his vision for the education sector for the next 12th Five Year Plan and said that educational skill development and health are the two high priority sectors in resource education.
"Identification of viable Public Private Partnership (PPP) model is now well recognised, but one of the contentious issues is non profit tag in education sector. There should be industry-academia interface to meet the challenges in the global market, along with the entry of foreign education providers," he said.