India Business
Industry urges government to allow FDI in education
May 14, 2007 - 6:21:07 PM

New Delhi, May 14 - Pointing to the lack of infrastructure and quality teachers, industry leaders Monday urged the government to 'bury the fear of East India Company' and allow foreign direct investment - in education.

'Indian education sector needs dollar as well as rupees,' said Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal.

Speaking at Education Summit, Innovation for Excellence, organised by the industry lobby Confederation of Indian Industries -, Mittal said there are around 280 million school dropouts in the country and unless these youngsters were imparted skill-based knowledge, 'we will face a disaster'.

'The western world is ageing in next 10 years and they will be looking forward to India. Here, if we don't have enough manpower, we will miss a big opportunity,' he said, adding that the government must allow FDI as soon as possible.

Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations - director and chief executive Rajiv Khanna said: 'India needs to bury the fear of East India Company and allow FDI for a greater cause.

'We need to think why only 11 percent of Indians pursue higher education as against 43 percent in South Korea and 85 percent in the US,' Khanna said.

While underlining the need for a widespread accreditation system to maintain quality education, he said salary packages of teachers should be reviewed.

Mittal, who will be taking over as CII president, said the Indian education system needed a huge pull of teachers and the existing salary structure was too poor. 'There is a huge mismatch in their salary and that of their counterparts abroad.'

Vijay Thadani, CEO of NIIT Ltd and chairman of the CII's national committee on education, also supported FDI in education and urged the private sector to invest more in this area.

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