Industry-Education Interface: Synergy for Success

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The writing on the wall is clear. It is only through major strides of collaboration between the private sector and government agencies that we can even attempt at improving the abysmal figures of number of college going students, which stands at a mere 10 % of the total population, actually being able access higher education institutions.

The tremendous infrastructure for higher education, that the Indian government has created over the decades, is proving inadequate for the millions of young men and women who could be in colleges and institutions. This is despite the fact that India has over 400 universities and more than 20,000 colleges with an enrollment of 14 million students.

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The added dimension that needs to be addressed simultaneously along with creating better and professional infrastructure is the need for increasing employability of graduates emerging out of the HEI's. This is vital for sustainability as 80 % of graduates stepping out with degrees do not have any professional skills. Thus an industry-institution interface has to be evolved in tandem with resource and infrastructure generation.

In this issue we touch on these issues and capture new ideas and research that look ahead to an inevitable era of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in education. The recent  E&Y-FICCI report on various aspects of PPP in education highlights the resource gaps and possible solutions to them. It also talks about various partnership models  possible with the private sector.

An interview with Prof Kesav Nori, one of the pioneers of Tata's computer based literacy programme, throws light on the literacy aspect in India and challenges associated with running the programme on a massive scale in a country like India with its diversities and uniqueness.

In the urban slums of India, a silent revolution has been taking place in the form of private education. Project Gyana Shakti is one such initiative seeking to improve learning outcomes in the schoolgoing children in the slums of Hyderabad through various technological and pedagogical interventions.

All this only enforces the belief that a collective effort on the part of industry and government is inevitable, if our country is to gain a foothold in the global knowledge workforce.

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