The access to education beyond higher secondary education is a mere 10 percent among the university age population in India, according to a report on "Intergenerational and Regional Differentials in Higher Education in India." Also, a study by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) showed that 90 percent of the colleges and 70 percent of the universities that the council graded were of average or poor quality. Another huge blow to our nation can be seen from the findings reported by NASSCOM which states that 90 percent of the graduates and 75 percent of the engineers are unemployable.
As a lot of graduates are not able to gain jobs, which showed the weaknesses in our education, the Indian government in its budget which was presented at the end of February decided to provide more funding to the Higher Education Sector to empower and up skill the youth of the nation. The government in its union budget has announced that there will be an increase of 22 percent in the budget towards higher education. In the year 2014 - 15, the Indian government had allocated Rs. 13000 Crore. However, the present government which is more concerned in providing the necessary education and skills to the youth has increased it to approximately Rs. 16000 crore. The significant hike will include a range of activities that the government has planned for and hopes to achieve by the end of its five years.
Setting up Needed Infrastructure
The government has begun its herculean task of setting up the right infrastructure around the nation. Two new IIMs in Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh will be constructed in order to provide more opportunities to the professionals who would like to grow up the corporate ladder or give back to the country by starting their very own companies as Entrepreneurs and hire a lot of youth who are constantly on the outlook for jobs. It has also been announced that a new IIT will be set up in Karnataka which is home to the IT capital of the nation, Bangalore. The Indian Institute of Mines in Dhanbad which has been admitting students thru the IIT-JEE exam has consistently asking the central government to get the IIT status which has been granted in the present budget and as such will become IIT, Dhanbad.
At present the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi is the only prestigious medical institute setup by the Central government in the nation. However, realizing the importance of creating more opportunities to students who wish to become doctors, six more AIIMS will be setup in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Assam.
Apart from this, the government plans on establishing an Institute of Horticulture Research and Education in Amritsar, a University of Disability Studies and Rehabilitation in Kerala, a Center of Film Production, Animation and Gaming in Arunachal Pradesh and Institutes of Science and Education Research in Odisha and Nagaland. In order to promote the youth to pursue their interest in joining a booming pharmaceutical industry, the government in the budget announced the opening of three new National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
Mission to Skill Develop the Youth
While the government has announced the setting up of the necessary infrastructure, it is crucial to note that the majority of the graduates are unemployable as they do not possess the necessary skills. To ensure this does not happen the government has allowed Rs. 1500 crore in the National Skills Mission for skill Development and Entrepreneurship. With the investment, the unemployed youth will gain new skills and gain the opportunity to get employed. Furthermore, by providing more opportunities for the Youth to become Entrepreneurs, the unemployed youth will gain more prospects of gaining employment opportunities. The government has also taken a step further and setup the Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram, through which a fully IT based Student Financial Aid Authority will administer and monitor Scholarship as well as educational loan schemes.
No Focus on Faculty and Research
Despite the praises that the budget received from everyone, there was no emphasis laid on the development and recruitment of capable faculty members which is one of the biggest crises the nation is facing. The crisis has also affected the IITs which are affecting a shortage of faculty members and the government has not taken the necessary step to curb it. Apart from this, the world of academics and industry were hoping to see an increase in the funding provided by the government in the area of research. However, no such announcement was made, which is a real blow to the graduates who are more incline to pursuing a career in the field of research than a professional job.
It can be said that the majority of announcements made at the budget will benefit the youth of the nation and avert the rising crisis. Regardless of its failure to talk about the quality of faculty and research, the people of this country hope that the government will take these facts into consideration and make available more opportunities to the youth to have a brighter and successful future.