Education Sector seeks funds for Infrastructure
Akhil Shahani, managing director, Thadomal Shahani Centre for Management, Shahani Group and CEO, Ask.Careers, says, “IMD’s World Competitiveness ranking places India’s education sector at a dismal 59th place out of 64 countries, with only 45% of all graduates being considered employable. Obviously, we cannot expect India’s government to bridge this education-employability gap by itself. Its needs greater support from the private sector along with wider deployment of technology to ensure its goal of quality education for all is met. The union budget can facilitate this by reducing the GST rate for providing educational technology & ancillary services from 18% to at least 5%. In addition, it should allow private investors to set up schools & colleges with the ability to generate profits and equity returns. It should also allow foreign educational institutions to easily set up campuses in India, to promote healthy competition with local players. Collateral requirements for school/college educational loans should be reduced, along with interest rates, by public sector banks, to allow more families to afford the fees of quality institutions. Special sops need to be given for teacher training colleges, to enable them to expand & provide higher quality talent to institutions. None of these suggestions requires additional funds from the government, just need a practical and holistic approach to opening up education regulations.