Appraisal of Legal Framework for Education System in India – Issues in Context of Public Private Partnership in Primary, Higher & Special Education

Abstract

High population in India, one time considered as liability, now being seen as an opportunity to convert population into quality population, a global need of professionals and hence an asset. India is emerging as growing economic force and may be one of the largest economies in few decades from now. This will not automatically happen; the government and other agencies have to strategically work in this direction. One of the mechanisms of enhancing quality in population is providing mass education of best quality. The result of many researches concludes that levels of education have a positive correlation with a nation’s economic development. As per latest census (2001) literate (having primary education, who can write & read) pie is 65.38% out of more than one billion population. As per 1997 data, only 12.7 per 1000 are enrolled in higher education. To be global force as anticipated; the literacy & quality in higher, technical, professional and special education is required to be enhanced substantially.

As per constitutional provision, ‘education’ is a concurrent matter where Union & State governments, both enjoy powers. Central Government is responsible for major policy relating to higher education in the country; grant permission to Central & Deemed Universities. State Governments are responsible for establishment of State Universities and colleges, and provide plan grants for their development and non-plan grants for their maintenance. Article 21A of the constitution guarantee Fundamental Right for education, while Article 45 under Directive Principle, states for provision for free and compulsory education for children. This mandate is limited to primary education, and to discharge this obligation, government requires Rs. 727,000 million in addition to regular requirement of Rs. 471,000 million annually. Looking to the technology up gradation, research & development in higher education huge investment and recurring expenditure is required. Like any other sector of economy, education also should not be monopoly domain of government, but private players should be allowed to operate.

There is mesh of express & implied provision relating to administering Public Private Partnership in education. This research paper aims at to see and appraise whether present legal environment ensure constitutional obligations cast on State for primary education and permit conducive growth of higher, technical, professional & special education? If not, than what are the reasons thereof? As the needs, challenges & opportunities are different in each category of education, there is unambiguous & clear-cut need of designing legal framework, which takes care of the issues related to public private partnership in primary, higher & special education.

Objective & Research Problem

1)Government as regulator of educational institutes has five major functions such as entry, accreditation, disbursement, affirmative action and license. Does the present legal framework is effective in regulating primary & higher education in public & public-private partnership?
2)Government as facilitator of educational institutes should provide encouraging & competitive environment to establish, grow & sustain higher, professional, special & technical education institutes. Does the present legal framework is effective in facilitating primary & higher education in public & public-private partnership?
3)To propose dynamic & flexible regulating & facilitating legal framework for public private partnership that ensure constitutional obligation in primary education and allow globally competitive environment in higher, technical, professional and special education.

Research Methodology & Data Source

The study encompasses analysis using primary and secondary data from various sources. Using secondary data, studying present regulatory framework for primary & higher education, literature survey undertaken in recent year, more specifically in primary education. By primary survey, experience of management of private players in higher, technical & professional educational institute will be source for analyzing current situation & problems. One educational institute from health, agriculture, biotechnology, management & engineering will be taken for primary data collection. Considering student as the major stakeholder, their satisfaction level will also be measured and inviting suggestions from them to improve quality of education. At least 10 students in each field will be surveyed.

Conclusion

The last objective of this research project is to develop a model of legal framework that ensure constitutional obligation of government to provide free primary education so as to increase literacy level. As one size does not fit for all, for higher, special, professional and technical education the government should act as facilitator and legal framework that provide environment to create globally competitive institutes on business model. It may be proposed to generate ‘universal service fund’ out of fees charged or profit of such activities of higher education as business model and that may be used to support primary education.

Keywords: Education, Private, Public, Partnership, India
JEL Classification: I

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