1,00,000 crore For Research: Empowering Indian Higher Education

Indian Higher Education

One of the largest working education web in the world, the Indian Higher Education is still in its budding stage and working its ways to improve the level of education in India. Upgrading and evolving the system has become the necessity of the hour, as it not only makes the situation better for the Indian students but will also attract foreign students.

Currently, our Indian Higher Education Sector which once used to be famous worldwide for its flourishing culture and knowledge seems to be losing its touch. But to make sure we come back with a hit, the Central Government is coming up with new schemes and plans.

Indian Higher Education

And for every new plan, financial support is required which seems to lacking and acting as a hindering factor for the developments. The level and amount of researches being conducted by the Education sector, as a result, have also gone on to become very low. To reduce this hindrance, the government plans to invest  1 lakh crore for research and academic infrastructure for Indian Higher Education.

Into the Past

In recent years, the science and technology department of India has fostered a lot than before. Yet we are not standing even nearby to international standards. As one of the major obstacles on the path of evolution faced by people is the lack of funding.

It is not that there is an absence of funding but the provided funds are very low. In India, funding for the higher education sector is done by both governments as well as the non-government organization.

 Prof. Dr.S.B. Siwach
 Prof. Dr.S.B. Siwach

The Indian Higher Education is divided into various sections, each specializing for a certain sector of education. These sections are basically organizations like the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), and the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) to name few departments that conduct and govern researches in Indian higher education sector.

The funds are provided to these departments who later then allocate funds for the various researches and fellowship programs open for all with eligible qualifications. One must think that if different departments are allocated then each department will be conducting many kinds of research and though this is true, the funds are so less that these departments have very few options to proceed forward with.

This is a major reason why India is left behind when it comes to research. Even the universities in India do not promote research that much, a trend which should be switched with the modern time. This era calls for progressive research and knowledge.

And the Government seems to agree with this. In the 2018-19 proposed budget, released on February 1, The government raised its spending on India’s science and technology programs compared to previous years.

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) receives a hike of 8% in the proposed budget. The Department of Biotechnology gets an increase of nearly 7%. The Department of Scientific & Industrial Research sees a nearly 4% raise. And the cash-starved Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), which runs 38 labs, is slated to receive slightly more than a 3% increase. And despite all this, even these funds are less to have to grace growth in research in India.

Into the Present

The Union Cabinet on July 4th made a decision that left many with the hope of a better future for the Indian Higher Education sector.  The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) which is headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the proposal to expand the scope the Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA).

And this will be done by expanding its capital base to 10,000 crores. Not only this, but the CCEA  also allocated 1,00,000 crore for research and academic infrastructure for higher education institutions by 2022.

The HRD Minister took Twitter to express his agreement and happiness for this decision. He tweeted, “Landmark decision of the Union Cabinet today, approves HEFA to mobilize 1,00,00 crore for research and academic infrastructure for higher education institutions by 2022. This substantial allocation for research and academic infrastructure will help India compete on the world stage.

Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) was set up on May 31, 2017, by the Central Government as a Non-Profit, Non-Banking Financing Company (NBFC) to strengthen the  Indian Higher education by providing “free loan” to the Universities if they provide a laid down plan on where they want to spend money. This was done to help progress the growth in academic infrastructure in India.

Indian Higher Education

Into the Future

If without any delay the approved plan is put into work, then the future will be brighter. This will be also the first time that schools like Kendriya Vidyalayas /Navodaya Vidyalayas will also get funding from HEFA.

The education in India will go under major transformation and we hope that research will be promoted not only in universities but at the schooling level too. The IITs, NITs, IISERs, and other central universities, as well as AIIMS and other medical colleges, will also get funds from HEFA.

Although in recent years there were a lot of researches and progress made yet the medical department of India was left somewhere behind. With this, the Indian Medical department will also prosper.

Surely this move of the central government has made a stand as an undisputed and one-sided opinion of people that this will act as a ladder in the progressive path of the Indian Higher Education & Research. For us, we are glad that even though before the election, the central Government is finally working to strengthen Indian Higher Education.

The promotion of research in India can bring many changes and bring back the glory we used to have. This is definitely going to be a game-changer but only time will tell us as to how effective the move would be depending on the way the research funds are utilized and executed.   Let us know your views about this in the comment section.    

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