India’s education sector today faces multiple challenges of access, equity and quality. Over the past five years, Ministry of Human Resource Development has been busy in attaining the goal of making education accessible to every child, particularly among the marginalised sections in the rural areas. We are also addressing the gap that exists between the market demands and the available skill sets among professionals through the participation of private sector in the curriculum framework.
Coming to the aspect of quality, infrastructure and faculty are two major concerns that need to be focused on. We are roping in as many colleges as possible under the ambit of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to upgrade their quality. The UGC and AICTE are also pursuing various measures to lure fresh graduates into research and teaching profession.
The government alone cannot address all these challenges. The private sector needs to play a proactive role to supplement the efforts of the government. A PPP model is to be developed with the active participation of stakeholders at the central and state level.
The 11th Five Year Plan has kept a target of raising the gross enrollment ratio to 15% by the end of the plan year. This is where ICT steps in. Integration of ICT in education will give an impetus to our efforts to attain our target of increasing our gross enrollment ratio by widening the reach of education to the remote and marginalised areas of our country.
With a large percentage of our population constituting the workforce, ICT also gives them space to pursue education at their own convenient pace and time. The role of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) systems, which have accepted and integrated ICT in their functioning and outreach, particularly finds mention here.
As we all know education is what ultimately decides the position of a country in the comity of nations, we should all strive to make India a knowledge society. This is what my ministry aspires for and I hope all the stakeholders put in their best in achieving this.
I also take this opportunity to wish ‘digital Learning’, a leading magazine on ICT and education, on the occasion of its third anniversary. The magazine has played a key role in providing a platform to all the stakeholders to voice their views and opinions. I hope it carries on this role for many more years to come!
I am also happy to know that the publishers of digital LEARNING magazine are organising the eINDIA 2009 on 4-6 August 2009 in the National Capital Region of Delhi. I congratulate the organisers on this endeavour. I am pleased to know that my Ministry is actively participating and supporting this path-breaking event. I wish this event a great success.