ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Paradigm Shift in Favour of ‘For Profit’

Higher Education in 12th Plan

The Twelfth Plan has chosen an approach that will promote private capital in higher education with an eye on profit generation - a stance contradicting present policy. It has not considered the alternate path of garnering resources for the public and private sectors through the creation of a National Education Finance Corporation.

The Twelfth Plan (2012-17) was approved by the National Development Council in late December. The Plan visualises a paradigm shift in the expansion of facilities in higher education, which needs to be widely debated.

The draft Plan document has organised the discussion on strategy in higher education around three “Es”: expansion, equity and excellence. This note focuses on the funding strategies of expansion. The growth in enrolment in higher education during the Eleventh Plan (2007-12) was concentrated in the private providers of higher education. Between 2006-07 and 2011-12, enrolment, according to the data compiled by the Planning Commission, increased by 53.11 lakh while the corresponding numbers for the central and state government sectors were 2.53 lakh and 23.72 lakh, respectively. By the terminal year of the Eleventh Plan, the private sector had a share of 58.9% in gross enrolment, as against the central and state sectors’ share of 2.6% and 38.5%, respectively. The private sector expanded from its already large share of 54.2% of gross enrolment in the opening year (2006-07) of the Eleventh Plan (Table 21.10, page 94, Draft Twelfth Plan, Volume 3). Eventually, during the Eleventh Plan, 98 private state universities, 17 private deemed universities, 7,818 private colleges, and 3,581 private diploma institutions were set up.

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