Scope for Education in India
Not very long ago, India was considered well & truly to be an agricultural economy, with over 60% of the population engaging themselves in farming. However, agriculture seems all set to become a minority occupation of our country in the not too distant future, because the non-agricultural component of our economy has steadily been growing, aided in no small measure by a booming urbanization.
Industry & commerce, which are thus fast expanding and attaining global proportions, call for globally compatible levels of education & skills. Hence it may be said there is an insatiable demand or scope for education in India.
Having adopted the socialistic democratic model of governance, the central and state governments bore the basic responsibility for progress on all fronts post-independence, in contrast with a capitalistic democracy that encourages private enterprise from its inception. Now that the country has witnessed several decades of growth from domestic initiatives, it is time to look outward and compare & compete with the best in the world.
However as bureaucracy keeps moving at its own pace and the rest of the world does not wait for India to catch up, it is imperative that private enterprise brings in updated inputs to speed up progress. This applies to the fields of education and skills development as well. New alliances have to be forged; innovations must be brought in; assessment ramped up and everything else that helps India to rank higher globally needs to be done.
While this is the demand of the present moment, there are still many parts of the country that are devoid of basic infrastructure. Despite rapid urbanization, several regions lack the environment necessary to evolve technologically enabled solutions to the challenges. Hence there is a pressing need for private enterprise to surmount roadblocks consistently and find ways to move forward. With this preamble, when one looks at the ‘scope for education in India’, it is immense.
An international publication carried a story some years ago, narrating how schools in Southern China had introduced Hindi as a subject for their primary school students. It is an eye opener because one’s neighbors may have a market for our skills that we may have overlooked! China in this example chose education to arm its people with a means for livelihood!
Typically, when the basic needs of an individual have been met through any means, most other higher needs are usually linked in one way or the other to formal education. Being aware of and being skilled in a basic trade can ascertain a livelihood. To achieve anything more in life, an individual needs education that helps in differentiating between the necessary and the superfluous. This is the basis of a healthy, informed and progressive society.
We often come across the term, ‘global village’ which regards the entire globe as one society. While it may appear utopian at one level, if we just consider the speed at which communication has been enabled across the globe today, we will readily agree that the ‘global’ concept is real. Therefore, survival & progress in this global village – which is where the world appears to be heading – is far-fetched as long as there are vast disparities between nations in the areas of education & training.
As a country that has the second largest population in the world, it is imminent that India must aim at upgrading skills and competing with other countries. Besides, as the population keeps growing, the scope for education also keeps growing. Hence India needs to look for more effective and quicker ways to fuel the growth.