Explain the need for engagement of the private sector in professional education in India.

While India was under British rule, in 1882, Hunters commission recommended government’s withdrawal from the higher education sector and suggested that it should be taken care by private institutions and government should take care of elementary education. Even now, after many years, this recommendation is relevant. There is a dire need for the involvement of private sector in professional education in India for the following reasons.

Budgetary constraints :- As per the constitution of India, it is the responsibility of the government to provide free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of six to fourteen years. With this obligation, government is left with very limited resources for higher and professional education. Hence, with the engagement of private sector, this vacuum can be filled and the government can completely focus on providing the primary education to all, which will be the basic foundation to the education system.

Quality education :- Private investments can provide better infrastructure and better quality education through commercialisation of education.  India has a significant section of people, which can afford the fee of private institutions, especially schools. As there are many financial constraints to government institutions, private sector can solve the problem of the quality of education.

Cultural dominance :- As per General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS),  government cannot object foreign institutions from providing education in India. As these institutions are mostly from western developed nations, there is a high probability of cultural hegemony, which will eventually pave the way to neo-colonialism. The only solution for this is to counter this education from foreign institutions by affordable and quality education system within the country.

Government of India is encouraging the private institutions in education by giving aid to recognised private schools and colleges. As per the constitution, government is also providing aid to the educational institutions run by linguistic and religious minorities. With these initiatives, a lot of private institutions had come up to provide professional education in India.

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