How do you see the education scenario in rural India and how it can be improved?
The foundation to turn India into a strong nation has to be laid down at primary and rural levels. Therefore, the quality of education right from the beginning should be excellent. Improvement in the condition of government schools in rural areas, education quality, committed teachers and more salaries to these teachers should be part of development. At the same time, we must admit that there is a difference between city and rural students not in terms of brain or development but their initial environment, skills, learning ability, availability of infrastructure, and access to different facilities. All of these must be considered while making the curricula which should not be different but how it is going to be taught would make the difference.
The Govt. has opened the doors for foreign universities in India. What will be the impact of it?
Entry or partnership of foreign educational institutions will certainly advance and enhance the present education standards in India. It will bring in a revolution if implemented in the right manner. Technical know-how, access to foreign resources, faculty, research, etc will add to and speed up the economic development. Of course, all this has to be implemented with checks and balances.
Earlier students from rural India had less interest in higher education. Rate of drop outs were very high. What is the current situation now?
People living in villages have understood the importance of education and know that it is the only way to get rid of poverty. But in my opinion, the present educational system cannot make the child to become independent as they lack job orientation programs. Institutions are giving more stress on completing syllabus and help the students to pass the exams instead of building their character and enhancing their personalities.
Rural marketing has emerged as a new field for Marketers. Is this also being taught as a subject in your university? What are the other new subjects you are teaching?
Yes. We have a large section of students coming from small towns and cities, and rural areas as well. The course helps them to understand the marketing strategy, procedures and means to work as entrepreneurs and as employees for bigger companies.
What are your views on our old curriculum?
The present system of higher education does not serve the purpose for which it has been started. In general, education itself has become so profitable a business that quality is lost in the increase of quantity of professional institutions politicization adding fuel to the fire of spoilt system, thereby increasing unemployment. All round development of personality should be the main purpose of education. That is missing in the today’s curriculum.
Do you see private players joining hands with the govt to improve the ailing education sector?
Private players can reduce the gap in inequalities and its process equities. Public Private Partnership is the solution and which is not new to India. However, the role of private players are transforming, but sadly, the results seem to be dawdling and fluid. And, there is a need for strong structured integrated plan for monitoring the public-private partnership initiatives.