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Focus on increasing college enrolment: Sibal

Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal called for substantially increasing the number of students joining colleges for higher studies after completing their schooling.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2010 21:47 IST

Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Saturday called for substantially increasing the number of students joining colleges for higher studies after completing their schooling.

“In India, nearly 220 million students go to schools and around 14 million go to colleges. Our GER (gross enrolment ratio), that is the per centage of students going from schools to colleges, is only 12.4 per cent,” said Sibal in Chandigarh at a seminar on education reforms.

He added: "This is a matter of worry as in other developed countries GER is not less than 40 to 50 per cent. If we talk about the research sector, then in Europe for every million people not less than 6,000 go for research, in the US this number is 4,700 whereas in India it is just 156."

He said that we have to make sure that by 2020 India’s GER increases to 30 per cent.

"At presently 480 universities and 22,000 colleges are fulfilling the need of 12.4 per cent GER. If we have to reach a mark of 30 per cent GER, in the next 10 years we need around 700 to 1,000 universities and nearly 45,000 colleges," he said.

He said the definition of wealth has changed globally and it now refers to ideas, innovation and creativity that are intellectual assets.

Sibal said changes are needed in school education as well.

He said that no government can run schools efficiently therefore there should be a transfer of ownership to community from the government.

"Under the Right to Education Act, we have impressed on the need of involving 75 per cent people from the locality, out of which 50 per cent should be women, in a school management committee. Ownership should be gradually transferred to the community and people, especially mothers of students, should decide a school’s operations," said Sibal.

Talking on exam reforms, he said, "We need to move away from the examination system to creativity. There should be no exams or boards. We require a constant evaluation not for those skills that a student does not have but for those that he actually possesses."