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Plethora of Indian education: are we following the development path?

INTRODUCTION

India being the second most populous country in the world is bestowed with a large working population (estimated median age of 25.3 in year 2009). Being the largest stock of active workforce; India gives an edge over most of the other developing and developed countries (median age of Indian population is better than China and most of the developed countries). However, India is facing a shortage of skilled manpower which prevents this large segment of the Indian population out of the development story. According to a recently concluded study by NISTADS (Kumar et al. 2009) more than 44% of the India's schools going population drop out at primary education level (Figure 1, year 2006). Nearly 84% of this 'could be school going' population drops out at secondary level. The report also says that 85% of Indian science graduates fail to enter the PG levels, and only 5% of the total entrants at graduate level enrol for PhD (Figure 2). This comparison unfavourably with, for example, China, where access to secondary education is almost universal and enrolment in higher education exceeds 20%. Moreover, the quality of Indian graduates is poor and employers offer very little skills in upgrading them (16% of Indian manufacturer's offer in-service training to their employees, compared to over 90% of Chinese firms). The informal sector employs nearly 90% of the workforce, but there is very little investment or opportunity for formal "skill up gradation' for informal workers and enterprises (Word Bank 2006).

OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The study explored the Plethora of Indian education as means of determining India's development path.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Although the Indian economy has experienced rapid growth over the past decade, but the low levels of education and formal training of the workforce are a matter of concern. Workers without education and skills are stuck at the bottom of the labour market with low productivity and earnings. The lack of skills and the inability of the workers to adapt to changing technological and market conditions constrain the growth of the economy and lead to a lop-sided growth structure in which the majority of workers are not able to participate effectively in the development process. The estimates of total employment and employment of informal sector workers as per 61st Round Survey during 2004-05 were 457.5 million and 394.9 million, respectively. This means 86% of the total workforce belongs to the unorganised sector.

Primary education is the backbone of any education system of a country which feeds secondary and post-secondary enrolment. Developed countries have reached 100% enrolment at primary level, but most of the developing countries are lagging behind. India belongs to the club of those countries where enrolment at primary level is far behind developed countries. However, China has achieved 100% enrolment at primary level. Indian Government is also making efforts in the direction of universal education at primary level. Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) is one of the major initiate in this direction. The estimates of enrolment and GER are depicted in Figure-1.

* Figure indicates increasing trends at elementary level of education. It is expected that India will achieve ~100% enrolment by the year 2030. However, impact of SSA is not taken into account due to paucity of the data which is a major constraint in this regression. Hence the goal of universal education at elementary level may be achieved earlier as after implementing SSA there is a spur growth in enrolment. However, India is far behind China as it has already achieved the target of 100% enrolment.

* Estimates (Figure-2) indicate that to accommodate 100% enrolment at elementary level India will require nearly 19.5 lakh schools by 2030.

* Also it will require nearly 14.1 lakh, 15.6 lakh and 17.4 lakh schools at elementary level by the year 2015, 2020 and 2025 respectively.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]

Further, figure-3 shows the projections of enrolment at primary, middle, secondary and post-secondary levels. Projections indicate that enrolment is increasing significantly at primary and secondary level, while the enrolment at the middle level is not satisfactorily. But the situation is more severe at post-secondary level as increase of enrolment at this level is very meager (3).

Figure-4 shows the drop out at different stages of education in India. It is evident from the figure that drop-out after elementary education is a major hurdles in increasing the enrolment at secondary and post-secondary levels. Estimates show that only 16% students of elementary level go to secondary level. Out of this 8% goes to UG level, from UG to PG level goes to nearly 2.5% only and. about 0.03% get admission in Ph. D. Courses (4,5).

[FIGURE 3 OMITTED]

Break of drop-out at post-secondary levels is depicted in Figure-5. The analysis of this figure reveals:

BSc [right arrow] Almost 78% of the students fail after entering in BSc levels in science. Therefore this 21% population, which is the passing out population, is eligible to go to the next level of education; i.e. MSc level.

MSc [right arrow] The second set of trend shows that only 14.37% of the population actually get into MSc; which means 6% remain dropped out. This may be attributed to the fact that most of BSc pass outs eventually join engineering or medicine, thus never entering into MSc level. Second trend (green hatchet line) shows the passing out population at MSc level. It is approximately 5% of the total enrolment at BSc level. Out of this 2.8 % are males and 2.15 % are females. This corresponds to 10% failure at MSc level.

PhD [right arrow] The plot shows the approximately 4.0% of total at BSc level get into PhD level, which corresponds to a very high success rate from MSc passing out to PhD aspirants. It also shows out of that 2.45 % correspond to males and 1.54 corresponds to females.

[FIGURE 4 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 5 OMITTED]

CONCLUSIONS

Being the largest stock of active workforce; India gives an edge over most of the other developing and developed countries (median age of Indian population is better than China and most of the developed countries).

India is facing a shortage of skilled manpower, which pushes this large segment of the Indian population out of the development story.

India faces a massive dropouts at all levels of education, which is alarmingly high at primary level; going down up to more than 99.9% in PhD levels.

Fresh graduates have a low level of practical skill and thus are not directly employable. They either go for on-job training or, after graduation, skill up-gradation.

Some 86% of the total workforce belongs to unorganised sector, which is basically unskilled workforce. India has a massive task of skill up-gradation/education of these huge population. It is estimated that to accommodate 100% enrolment at elementary level, India will require nearly 19.5 lakh schools by 2030. It is expected that India will achieve ~100% enrolment by 2030. However, India is far behind China as it has already achieved the target of 100% enrolment. 100% enrolment and less dropout up to secondary level would require massive investment in education infrastructure at elementary level. Presently, it is less than 1% of the GDP.

This paper passed the plagiarism detector, spelling and grammar checker, Gunning Fog Index, Flesch Reading Ease, reference checker, and formula checker.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7828/ljher.v7i1.18

LITERATURE CITED

Annual report 2005-06, University Grant Commission, 2007.

Kumar, Vipan; Kumar, Naresh; Kumar, Neelam 2009 "Pattern of Enrolment at Different Educational levels", in the chapter "S&T Human Resource" of India Science & Technology 2008 Published by NISTADS, May 2009, pp 3-7.

Manpower Profile 2008 Yearbook of institute of applied manpower Research, New Delhi, 2008.

Selected Educational Indicators 2004-05, Ministry of human Resource Development, Government of India, 2007.

World Bank. 2006 Skill Development in India: The Vocational Education and Training System. Draft

VIPAN KUMAR

NARESH KUMAR

SAPNANARULA

vipin.nistad@gmail.com

Scientist EII

NISTADS, New Delhi, India
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Article Details
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Author:Kumar, Vipan; Kumar, Naresh; Sapnanarula
Publication:Liceo Journal of Higher Education Research
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Dec 1, 2011
Words:1333
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