Fools rush in

Here’s a gross generalisation. In none of India’s public institutions of higher education are the fees anywhere close to the cost of providing that education. They are way too low.

And in rushes the honourable Human Resources Development Minister with an honourable agenda of lowering the fees at India’s elite institutes of management. Ostensibly, the resulting shortfall will be funded by the taxpayer. And the fact that the IIM’s are well able to take care of their own affairs without the taxpayer’s additional support seems to be besides the point.

The government should not try to fix what is’nt broken. Why not encourage the private sector to lend to tertiary students and create a market for securitised student loans? Higher education is not a right, and those wanting to avail of its benefits must be willing to pay a fair price for it.

The key duty of the government (and where it has really abdicated its responsibility) is in plain vanilla primary and secondary education. The taxpayer’s money is better spent here, as the link between literacy rate and economic growth is strong.

Murli Manohar Joshi has wasted enough time on this, its time Vajpayee stops him from wasting any money.

1 thought on “Fools rush in”

  1. Nitin,

    You’re onto something here. One of the strengths of the u.S. system is that it is roughly 70% private funds, including both endowments and tuition. It has caused a variety of schools to pop up to match peoples’ level of learning and their goals.

    Britain is currently suffering at the university level precisely because of the low cost and subsequent underfunding that results.

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