Stop funding universities & raise fee: Montek
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman says that instead the govt should finance students
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today pitched for raising fees by universities and providing easy finance for students to complete higher education.
"Stop funding the universities and just fund the students...Then they go to universities that are worth paying for," he said addressing a function here to unveil a report on corporate sector participation in higher education.
"I am in favour of raising the fees across the board and giving scholarship that will enable students to go to universities which actually do a good job," he added.
Ahluwalia said after making allocation for primary and secondary education which are high priority areas, there will be limited resources left for higher education and thus private sector investment would be required.
"Public resource need to grow in areas of highest priority and in education sector, primary and secondary education is much more important. You cannot have world class universities unless you have world class university entrance," he added.
On private sector investment in higher education, he said: "Corporate sector should be taking interest in setting up educational institutions because the amount of public resources available for health and education is limited. If you don't bring the private resources, you will not get the end result you want".
Speaking on the occasion, Human Resources Minister Kapil Sibal said: "Private sector is not going to invest unless you give them appropriate environment and the fundamental (requirement of private sector) is land".
Pointing towards the litigations over land given to private sector for setting up educational and health institutions, the minister said there is enormous opposition to the idea of giving free land to private players for these purposes.
Sibal also emphasised on the need for giving soft loans for the private sector for setting up educational and health institutions in the country.
"The banks must be asked to give long term loans to educational institutions for 20 to 25 years to set up institutions as nobody is going to borrow at 12% or 16% for 7 years, " he added.
The minister also expressed resentment over the Planning Commission turning down its proposal to set up education finance corporation to provide easy finance to students.