Higher education has collapsed in India, we just don’t know it yet

educationHigher education has collapsed in India

K Yatish Rajawat       

The failure of Indian education system is stark when seen in light of the fact that thousands of students every year go abroad for college education. European universities and even the European governments seem to have a more definite plan for Indian students than India. A graduate degree in India is mostly a farce in most of the colleges. There is hardly any education imparted and it is seen as more a stepping stone for a masters or a necessity to do something else. Students file into colleges spend their time in everything but education. Courses are outdated, faculty is inept, illiterate to the changes around them.

As of 2014, there are 677 universities, 37,204 colleges and 11,443 stand-alone institutions in India, as per the statistics from the website of India’s HRD ministry. There is no dearth of institutions willing to give a degree for money, education or skills is not the concern. Higher education is in rot at all levels, the irony is that these numbers are touted as an indication of the prowess of our education system. Not a sign that this rapid mushrooming has created an edifice that is destroying an aspirational class. There is very little debate and discussion on the fact that our higher education system has completely collapsed.

A study done by a private body says that approximately 18.43 percent of engineering graduates are employable, which means 80 percent of them are unemployable. The situation is worse for plain graduates and that is where the real malaise lies. Employers say just 5 percent of the graduates in other disciplines are actually employable. What these figures mean is that in sum higher education or college education has collapsed. Do we see any concern around this collapse. NO.

If India does not look at the collapse of its higher education closely not only will we be leading to a new brain drain but a collapse of aspirations. This is especially of concern to the new government that has come to power on the rise of this aspirational class.

The writer is a digital strategist and policy commentator based in Delhi, he tweets @yatishrajawat.

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