Sibal wants 30% students to reach varsity level by 2020

Mumbai: Stressing for collaborations in the field of education, Union Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Saturday said he had set a target of 30 per cent students reaching university level in India by 2020.

"The current rate is only 12.4 per cent. Presently, there are 500 universities and about 25,000 colleges in the country. We need another 800 universities and 35,000-40,000 colleges to enable more 46 million children to avail college education," Sibal said while inaugurating Indo-US summit on higher education.

He said 220 million children go to school in India out of which only 14 million reach college.

"Our economy cannot sustain with such numbers. Out of the numbers which manage to reach the college, only 40 per cent pass 12 standard," he said at the event organised by the Indo-American Society.

Pressing for joint ventures in education field, Sibal said the country cannot move forward in a fragmented manner in this field.

"Even with expansion, only 60 million children will be able to go to colleges and universities. What about the rest, we need to empower them. Expansion and inclusion without quality is also of no use," he said.

Sibal said the government will soon introduce a national vocational education framework at the 10+2 level to create courses providing employment opportunities. State governments will be asked to identify and devise these courses, standards of which will be decided at the national level.

"Vocational training and academics need to be synergised," he said and asked educationists to think differently.

"Different economic models and educational collaborations will bring energy into the system. A good system is built on foundation of ideas and the need of the hour was to invest in the human mind," the minister noted.

He felt that if the output is better, India will be more competitive in the field of education. "It is said that 100,000 students to the US to pursue higher education. But, in the US there are about 75,000 engineers whereas there are 65,000 in Bangalore alone," Sibal said.

The minister said syllabus and methodology should be left to the teachers and universities must be allowed to chose their curriculum.