India open to investments from everywhere in edu sector: Dharmendra Pradhan

Union Education & Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, while addressing an event, said that India will invite capital from everywhere to provide quality education infrastructure as the central government will very soon release new guidelines for foreign players in the sector.

Pradhan, at ET Roundtable, said India is open to capital to improve education infrastructure, which can educate and skill more than 255 million youth in the age group of 15-25 and improve the nation’s Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for higher education to 50 per cent to 27 per cent by 2030.

“UGC’s primary work is completed and consultations are on with stakeholders to deregulate. We are also talking to various prestigious institutions,” Pradhan said, quoted ET.

The government is working with a 2030 timeline for the education sector, to augment its quality, capacity and infrastructure, keeping sight of its demographic advantage, the union minister said.

He added, “Our overall GER is 27 per cent. This must be increased up to 50 per cent by 2030 for us to achieve productivity as a nation. For this, we need to augment the existing strength, capacity and infrastructure in the education system. How do we do that? We must invite capital from everywhere. We must also ensure that market forces don’t overpower the institutions and there is no commercialisation. So, anyone is welcome to our system with one expectation-that it should not be exploited.”

There are currently almost 255 million youth in the 15-25 age group, out of which only 110 million are in educational institutions, said Pradhan, adding, “This means that another 14 crore (140 million) are either at work or not gainfully employed. India cannot be a superpower unless we focus on all these 25.5 crore (255 million) students and give them the right orientation, training, knowledge and opportunity. The State has the responsibility to do so,” quoted The Economic Times.

The central government allows 100 per cent foreign direct investments in the education sector through the automatic route but foreign investors have hardly shown any interest.

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