The Narendra Modi government should spend eight per cent of GDP on expansion of higher education in the country and free the sector from the malaise of "capitation and corruption", education experts observed here today.
"Based on our experience, we want drastic changes in the country's education policy aimed at expanding higher education and making it free of capitation and corruption," Dr G Vishwanathan, president, Education Promotion Society of India (EPSI), the premiere institute which aims at setting standards of quality education, told reporters.
Briefing media on the deliberations at an EPSI Western Region meeting held here, he said the recommendations made during the EPSI interactive session with experts in the field would be incorporated in a policy note to be submitted to the Prime Minister and HRD ministry before the budget session.
Highlighting an urgent need for expansion of higher education, Vishwanathan specified the medical sector saying there was a staggering shortage of medical as well as nursing education seats in the country, prompting students to go abroad.
"Only 50,000 medical seats (for MBBS) are available against the demand for 5 to 6 lakh. The situation in nursing segment is worse with a shortage of 20 lakh seats," he added.
The aspirants for medical education and nursing training in the country, were leaving the Indian shores and travelling to China, Russia and East European countries to fulfill their ambition, Vishwanathan said, adding, "In the troubled Ukraine, there are 5,000 Indian medical students facing hardships."
Even after coming back to home country, it becomes difficult for the students who study medicine abroad, to start their practice due to the technicalities involving the eligibility tests here, he noted.
Listing the ills plaguing the country's education sector, Vishwanathan said a forceful plea would be made in the EPSI memorandum to the new government for granting autonomy to the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Citing an example of interference with UGC recommendations, he noted that the Tandon Committee set up by the previous UPA government under HRD minister Kapil Sibal overruled certain UGC findings in respect of improper functioning of the deemed universities in the country.
The EPSI has also proposed abolition of the present system that offers higher education in affiliated colleges where the infrastructure is not conducive to quality education.
"All over the world higher education is offered on university campuses except in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The government should abolish the affiliating system and grant autonomous status to the colleges that