How do you see the overall education scenario in rural India?
In the rural areas, the trend is to educate the child at the village level till primary schooling, then send him/her to the nearest town for secondary school and then to the closest city for intermediate. Higher education from a reputed college is still a dream in most of the rural youth because of the distances that he/she is required to travel, or economic unviability or simply because he/she is expected to stay close to community to help out in the family occupation. We have to make sure that each and every child has access to education, which makes him a globally responsible citizen.
How do you see the status of primary, higher and professional education in India?
The primary, higher and professional education in India by themselves do offer value to the students and has been constantly changing over the last decade. Technology is now being leveraged at least at the professional and to some degree at the higher education level. More and more people are now realising the need for making some decisive changes at the primary and school level such that it is not focussed only on knowledge, but also lays the foundation for skills and capabilities.
What is the importance and status of Rural Management Education in India?
Most of the prominent players in the corporate sector are looking at Rural India as the potential area for expansion of their business activities. For ensuring success, they would require managers who understand the pulse of Rural Markets. Due to the extreme diversity in Rural India, knowledge and insights about specific rural areas is a must for strategizing the rural business plan into those areas. A mere exposure to the principles of core management studies may not be sufficient for this. While in the curriculum of rural management programs, the on-field rural studies can be designed as an integral part. This fact offers a distinct advantage to Rural Management graduates for their career progression.
What is the USP of Welingkar Institute especially in the Rural Management course?
The different programs in ‘Rural Management’ that are on offer, are focused on ‘Social/community Development’ of rural areas. These are vital for a country like India where 60% of population lives in small towns and villages. However, the outreach of education, rising income and aspiration levels enabled by advancement in Information and Communication Technology has developed Indian rural sector as a vibrant economic growth engine and it is obvious that Rural Management though a sought-after discipline, needs to encompass latest syllabus in core Management, but also on Innovation and opportunity creation in the emerging markets. With the view of filling this niche, We School has have launched a new course this year, the PGDM – Rural Management (Emerging Economies) program. The program seeks to groom students who, not only protect the rights of the persons living in the rural areas, but also empower them by giving access to advancements in technology, markets and other comforts/ privileges enjoyed by the urban population.
The Govt. has opened the doors for foreign universities. What will be the impact of it in educating the youth in rural?
Having foreign Universities in India, will create a surround of compulsion to provide good quality education in specific and niche areas. The impact of this on educating the youth in rural India would be positive, pushing everyone to look for innovative, meaningful, cost-effective education that will truly help people in how they live their life.