Demand for fee hike and free land to private universities

A Planning Commission group has sought massive govt support, including free land to the private sector entering higher education.

New Delhi: A Planning Commission group has sought massive government support, including free land to the private sector entering higher education, even as Plan panel Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Tuesday pitched for across-the-board fee hike in universities.

A committee on corporate sector participation in higher education headed by Chief Mentor of Infosys NR Narayana Murthy submitted its report to Ahluwalia, who said, " I am in favour of raising the fee across-the-board...".

The Plan panel Deputy Chairman said," Stop funding the universities and just fund the students...Then they go to universities that are worth paying for".

The public resources need to grow in primary and secondary education, he said adding the corporate sector should be involved in the sector as the public resources for health and education are limited.

Human Resource Minister Kapil Sibal, who was also present on the occasion of the report being submitted to the Plan panel, said, "Private sector is not going to invest unless you give them appropriate environment and the fundamental is land".

However, he said, there were litigations over land given to the private sector. He also supported soft loans for setting up educational and health institutions in the private sector.

The Narayana Murthy Committee said charge-free 999 year land lease should be provided to the corporate sector entering into education in developed areas with world class air connectivity and well-developed social infrastructure.

Also, liberal fiscal incentives like 300 per cent deduction from tax income be provided, it said, contending that the country needs additional 26 million seats in the next 10 years.


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