Haryana education minister Geeta Bhukkal tells Hindustan Times why Gurgaon is a better destination for education than Delhi.
In the last decade, Gurgaon has become home to some of the best schools in the country and is known for its new age universities. How do you view this education boom in the city?
As per the chief minister's vision, we are trying to make Haryana the education hub of the country. Gurgaon is an investment-friendly city, close to the national Capital, and has seen a huge increase in the number of MNCs setting a base here. So it is our goal to set up good quality schools, colleges and universities. We want to provide human resource for these companies as well as good schooling experience for their wards.
The HT-C fore survey revealed that 61% residents prefer schools in Gurgaon over Delhi. What factors, you think, are responsible for this shift?
Gurgaon provides an eco-friendly environment as compared to New Delhi, which is highly polluted and populated. The government, and more prominently, the private schools in Gurgaon provide good facilities in terms of infrastructure, recreation and quality of education.
There are 605 government schools in Gurgaon, including model schools, Model Sanskriti schools and Aarohi schools. Last year, we also launched the national vocational education framework which entitles economically weaker students to jobs right after school.
We are also planning to set up a number of colleges as there is tough competition for admission in the existing government colleges in Sector 14 and Guru Dronacharya College.
Can you elaborate on the proposals for setting up of more colleges and universities in Gurgaon?
We will soon inaugurate a defence university, the foundation stone of which will be laid down by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this month. A government commerce and economics college, on the model of Sri Ram College of Commerce in New Delhi, is also on cards.
Land has already been allocated for this project. According to Private Universities Act 2006, many international-level private colleges are to be set up in Gurgaon, plans for which are in the pipeline and are expected to materialize soon. Land has been allocated in sectors 51 and 68 for setting up of educational institutes.
According to the survey, not many people prefer to send their children to Gurgaon for higher education. Is the government planning on some higher education projects?
We already have five government colleges in Gurgaon. More than 5,800 girls, coming from across the state, are currently studying in the Sector 14 college. Colleges in Gurgaon are of international standards and can compete with any college in India. Though there are many private institutes in Gurgaon, students generally prefer the government colleges.
Our survey also revealed that most parents prefer sending their children to CBSE and ICSE affiliated schools. Is the government planning to allow the entry of more such schools in Gurgaon?
Gurgaon has a lot of options in terms of government, private, aided and international schools. There are many CBSE, ICSE as well as Haryana's Bhiwani Board schools here. It should be left to the discretion of parents as to where they want their wards to be educated. However, government schools offer various facilities such as free education (as per the Right to Education Act), stipends and scholarships.
What is your vision for Gurgaon for the next 10 years?
It is our aim to make Haryana the education hub of the country. Gurgaon, being an international city, attracts more attention than any other city in the state. In the near future, people can expect many new private colleges here as it is fast becoming the first choice for all private institutes.
In the government sector as well, we are planning to establish more schools, colleges and a university. The Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) of Haryana is already 20% more than the national average.
We are also implementing the RTE in letter and spirit. We are trying to increase the GER further and urge students to take up higher studies.
We want to convert our manpower into skilled human resource. We are setting our curriculum according to industry needs. We are not producing unemployable youth.