The four Southern States of India are witnessing an economic boom in their major metros. This trend can be partly attributed to the policies of economic liberalisation and the retreat of the Indian Government from its earlier attempts at planned and balanced growth. With the retreat of the Central Government from initiating new investments, the policies of State Governments and the initiatives of other social and economic forces have become significant as determinants of how a particular state might adapt to present circumstances. It is the Higher Education segment where the four states have gained brownie points.
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala have seen the expansion of educational opportunities across domains. This coincides with the increasing push by the private sector in creating a market. Private players today provide quality education to a substantial number of students and the content is tuned towards the market needs. It is the significantly higher concentration of science and engineering graduates in Southern India that has attracted the world’s leading technological companies to set up software development centers in Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad.
In this issue, we track some of the innovative educational initiatives in the four Southern States that have propelled the educational achievements. In Tamil Nadu, we find that the higher number of engineering colleges is matched by relatively strong university science departments. In cities like Coimbatore and Madurai, there appears to be a concerted effort on the part of younger faculty members to get PhDs and engage very actively in research and development. Andhra Pradesh has managed to literally double its engineering base in five years, and has pulled ahead of traditionally more prosperous and more industrialised states, such as Gujarat and Maharashtra. Karnataka has seen the acceleration of the Biotechnology revolution through numerous Government polices and private initiatives. Kerala has moved towards Technology Enhanced Learning in all colleges and universities through the Education Grid network.
As a prelude to eINDIA 2009, we hope that this issue provides an insightful and useful read for our subscribers. By exploring the current scene in the Southern States, we aim at covering the thematic issues that are a reflection of the Higher Education segment which form a part of the event. We invite you to send us your feedback, suggestions and any information that might be relevant to the theme. Also, we look forward to your participation in eINDIA2009, which will take us through a wider horizon of ICTs (Information and Communication Technology) and Education.