Foreign institutions to help improve educational quality: Sibal

Entry of foreign educational institutions will help impart skills and quality education to youths in India, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said on Tuesday.

New Delhi: Entry of foreign educational
institutions will help impart skills and quality education to
youths in India, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said on Tuesday.

Such institutions will not only set up campuses in India
but would also be involved in many other arrangements like
skill development and training, Sibal said at a conference
organised by the Planning Commission.
He said foreign education providers can be involved in
offering joint degrees, setting up campuses or offering
training on skill development.

The Union Cabinet has recently approved the Foreign
Educational Institution (Regulation of Entry and Operation)
Bill, 2010, which seeks to regulate the foreign education
providers in India.

The government has already allowed Foreign Direct
Investment in education since 2000. But the new law will
regulate their entry and operation, he said.

"By 2020, hopefully we may have 40 million students in
colleges. There may be another 140 to 150 million outside the
university. They will have to be empowered by skill training.
Foreign universities will also enter into that segment," he

The work-force should be trained to world class standards
so that Indian manpower can be of use globally and
also for the country.

The focus has to be on vocational education and training.
In most developed countries, nearly 95 per cent of youths
learn a skill or a competence in a formal manner. This fosters
employment generation, improves productivity and higher
efficiency of processes within the country as well as
improvement in the quality of life, he said.
Over 70 per cent of the Indian labour force is educated
at below the primary level and only five per cent of youth are
single skill vocationally trained compared to 96 per cent in
Korea or even 22 per cent in Botswana, Sibal said.

The existing vocational training infrastructure caters to
just 2.5 million people annually, Sibal noted.

Establishment of a Task Force on Skill Development,
partnerships for the up-gradation of Industrial Training
Institutes with the corporate sector and setting up 300
polytechnics under PPP mode and 400 polytechnics by the
private sector alone are a few measures in skill development,
he said.

The minister harped on public-private-partnership as a
win-win model for expansion of education sector.

"It is indeed, an enormous task to educate and train all
the youth in the relevant age group in a country with a young
population of half-a-billion. Neither government nor the
private sector can perform this task on their own.

"There is thus no other alternative but to forge
partnerships between the public and private sector, between
national and international institutions, engaged in the
endeavour of education," Sibal said.

To implement the Right to Education up to Class VIII, an
estimated Rs 1,40,000 crore would be required. The private
sector participation in the field of elementary education is
presently below five per cent, he said.

The requirement for universalising secondary education in
the next five years has been estimated to be more than Rs
one lakh crore.
He highlighted the concept of the PPP mode in education
and said it can realised through building infrastructure and
its maintenance, non-educational services and educational

Sibal said the government is considering refurbishing
older schools belonging to state governments through the PPP
mode. State Governments can avoid budget constraints for
creating educational infrastructure through this method.

The Union Government is considering construction and
maintenance of buildings of Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya
Vidyalayas through PPP, he said.