January 16, 2010

Why there is no IIM or IIT in private sector?

Privatization of higher education in India has not achieved the same results as we see in school education sector. The private schools have created a great redoubtable reputation over the state schools but in the higher education the dominance of the state institutions is still growing despite existence of competition from the private sector for over two decades. Recently the HRD minister Kapil Sibal has made a lot of good noise about giving more freedom to the private institutions from layers of regulatory bodies like UGC, AICTE, & Medical Council etc. But what ails the private sector institutions particularly in professional & technical education category?

The brightest students still seem to prefer IITs, AIMS & IIMs therefore companies in search of them end up on those campuses only. Those who swear by this argument are discounting the rationale of the privatization itself. I believe the privatization of the education has happened because most of us believe that prevailing examination dominated system fails to do justice with large numbers of bright students who could not make it to the existing institutes. Therefore new institutes are required. Most teachers and others involved in education management that I have interacted with agree that quality of students that enroll in private sector is almost at par with those who score very high score to enter the reputed existing institutions.

Second most important factor in an educational enterprise is the quality of teachers. Let us take a cue from the quality of teachers in reputed private schools as compared to government run schools. Isn’t it markedly qualitative? My experience of the 4-5 private & state run higher education enterprises has led me to believe that faculty in state run institutions have greater exposure & learning opportunities on the job. The on- the- job exposure factor is the major differentiator in up-gradation of the quality of teachers. Private institutes generally hire faculty at less cost as compared to the state run which limits their chances of selection & retention of senior faculty, hence reduced quality of teaching and resulting poor education of the students. Faculties in private institution have less learning opportunities in general and lack educated charismatic leadership required for their development. Give me good teachers I will give you shining educated persons.

I will right about other reasons in due course.

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