Issue :   
Happy New Year 2020 to all Readers.          January 2020 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:Jan' 2020


Need for liberal funding

M. R. Dua

Recently, there was a month-long strike over proposed hikes in tuition fee and service charges at New Delhi’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University. Funding higher education by the Union Government is not a simple proposition. The MHRD’s budgetary allocations of merely Rs. 12,041.83 crore is not even close to keeping pace with the nation’s meteorically expanding higher education network of nearly 950 universities, including public, private and deemed universities; several new and existing institutes of higher learning, excellence and 30 institutes of prominence and research.

JNU is said to be currently running in Rs.450- million-deficit. India’s universities and institutes require liberal funding to promote and conduct meaningful scholarly research.Many reputed U.S.universities and institutes, such as MIT, Harvard, Stanford, etc., receive generous funds. Numerous Indian-American alumni, successful Indian-American businessmen, medical practitioners, engineers,donated over $1.2 billion to 37 U.S. universities during 2017-18, says a U.S. media report. An ex-student Rajat Gupta, donated $ 10 million to IIT, Durgapur, some years ago.

Indian universities and institutes must start tapping miscellaneous sources for funds, including charitable and philanthropic organizations in India and abroad, noted entrepreneurs, wealthy business people and rich industrialists. Business houses of the Tatas, the Birlas, the Thapars, among others, have contributed their mite in funding institutes and schools. Many others, too, can be approached to join in.

Endowment funds, trusteeships, fellowships, scholarships and chairs, named after eminent businessmen, technology wizards, distinguished academics, and politicians can be instituted.

India’s higher education networks are more advanced than those in many Asian, African, and Arab nations. We have not sufficiently internationalized ourselves to attract foreign students. India can charge comparatively higher fees from them.

Incidentally the U.S. government has raised its overall education budget by 5%. America’s spending on higher education is currently around 2% of its GDP. India’s allocation is less than 0.8 per cent.