Opportunities Galore

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The challenges and opportunities that India’s potential digital revolution will present are enormous. There is immense hope and hype around the ambitious Digital India programme. The journey has just begun. Elets News Network reads the fine print

opportunities-galoreThe announcement of the Digital India programme has been received with a lot of enthusiasm from the Indian corporate sector. For long, we have been listening and discussing the impact that technological interventions can bring to the education sector in India. News revolving developments was also limited to politicians, academicians and the industry recognising the merits of technology. However, never before had there been such a clear and visible push towards digitisation from the corridors of power.

The time for hesitation is over. The time now is to act. The announceament of the Digital India programme has triggered a lot of hope about the boost the corporate sector will get. Opportunities will be huge.

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In a favourable scenario such as this, the engagement between the private sector and the government is only set to grow. One of the primary reasons behind this will be the government’s inability to meet the demands of higher education with limited public resources. One challenge that India faces at this point of time is heightening its funding for promoting research and improving quality. The participation of the corporate sector towards this end will be crucial. The government mechanism for funding and assistance is limited to maintenance and salaries. This approach does not manage to look into curriculum and quality improvement. This is one crucial area that the corporate sector can be roped in for participation.

India still lives in its villages. The quality of education in the rural areas and the interiors need utmost attention. Though recent times have seen interest by start-ups to cater to this section, private investment in this area has been negligent. Private universities have managed to fill this void to some extent. However, the impact towards improving the quality, access and affordability has not been addressed. Neglecting villages and tier II and tier III cities will fail India’s future both in terms of education and the Digital India programme.

Skill development is another area that India needs to urgently build. Time and again, we hear of India’s demographic dividend in the coming years and how India needs to take urgent steps to bridge the gap between the knowledge and skills quotient of university graduates and the demands of the industry. India needs to develop a skilled workforce if it has to claim its rightful place in future world order. Things, as they stand today, are worrying. Reports after report have pointed to the unemployability factor among young graduates and post-graduates and this will be one area where all eyes will be on us.

In India, we breed a habit of blaming the government for all ills that plague our nation and society. The corporate sector and the government need to work hand in hand if India has to overcome issues plaguing the development of our education sector.

Emerging Opportunities
> Indian education industry is growing at an average CAGR of 14 per cent
> The size of business was $50 billion in 2011
> Expected to reach $87 billion by the year end
> Higher education poised for a growth of 18% per year till 2020
> India’s economy is expected to grow at a fast pace
> India has the opportunity to become a prominent R&D destination

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