Public Private Partnerships: The Fast Track Way to Education Reforms

The education sector today is seeing tremendous amount of enthusiasm and participation from all stakeholders across spectrum. The past few years have witnessed the maximum number of educational reforms being undertaken by the Government. The education targets set by the government have been hugely ambitious and aggressive by all means. The Government of India is now open to Public Private Partnerships (PPP) like never before, in order to achieve its goals.

If we glance through the higher education sector, the government attempts to attain a GER of 30 percent by 2020, which effectively means reaching an enrollment figure of 40 million. It is estimated that an additional 33,000 institutions will be required, with an investment of `1,000,000 crores to accomplish this mammoth task.

Even in the skills training field, the current national target is to skill 500 million people by 2020. However, with the present training capacity of India, it is estimated that we will be able to skill only 4.2 million per year. That leaves a gap of upto 10 times in achieving the national target!

Attaining the said numbers would require colossal amount of investment and resources which the government alone cannot strive to achieve. In this, the PPP model has to be adopted with full force and vigor.

The National Knowledge Network throws open tremendous possibilities for all solution providers in the education sector. The National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT), National Programme for Technology Enabled Learning (NPTEL) and related IT activities of the government have all emphasised on the involvement of the private sector to address  educational concerns. The immense amount of research and development efforts undertaken by the private stakeholders and the diverse number of educational tools, if effectively deployed, would help put governmental efforts on the fast track.

Today, India is a leader of the education sector. Partnership model would help actualise the educational priorities of the country, and also integrate the efforts of a large segment of education stakeholders into the developmental arena. With the amalgamation of the best of both worlds, education will only scale new heights in the coming years.

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