With just three government degree colleges in Gurgaon, students willing to pursue higher studies have limited choice. Though there are a dozen odd private institutions offering courses with high fees, many students either head towards the Delhi University or look for alternative options.
Principals of all the three government colleges will meet the state's principal secretary, Higher Education, on Friday to demand better infrastructure so as to accommodate more number of students and provide them with career-oriented courses. At present, none of the existing government colleges offer any post-graduation course in science stream.
Karan Rampal, a resident of Palam Vihar, preferred to get enrolled into a private university in Noida while most of his friends opted for Delhi University. "I didn't even look for an option in Gurgaon since I knew there was no good college here," says Rampal.
While the likes of Rampal can afford to study at private institutions which are 'tad too costly', not every student in Gurgaon can. Rashmi (name changed) who studies at a government college here says, "I have to make use of the best resources available here as I can't afford to go to Delhi or elsewhere nor will my family allow me to."
Even students of government colleges grapple with lack of infrastructure. For 13,000 regular students in three colleges, there are only 194 professors. "We have been facing the problem of lack of staff for years," said, Subhash Sapra, professor of commerce at Dronacharya College.
While admitting that the state of affairs in higher education in Gurgaon should have been better, the principal secretary to the government of Haryana, Higher Education, SS Prasad said: "We are encouraging some private universities to set up branches in and around Gurgaon to cater to the surging demand." He, however, said that there were "no plans as such" to set up a central university in the city.
On the other hand, students hailing from rural and semi-urban areas complain that despite living in the vicinity of one of the fastest growing commercial hubs, they can't explore avenues as they cannot afford to pursue education in private institutes mushrooming here.
"Our students are not able to bag offers of these corporates since they don't have training in professional courses," says Ashok Diwakar, principal of city's only girl's college at sector 14.
Many local youth end up doing the job of security guards, drivers and bouncers.
"Even if the students of the local colleges are hired, the best salary they manage to bag is not more than Rs 15,000 a month," adds Diwakar.