5 Big Things in the Education Sector in 2016

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The education sector in India is currently at a crucial transformational stage. It is likely to grow leaps and bounds due to India’s demographic advantage presenting huge opportunities for investors. Among several things, these are the five big things that happened in the education sector.

1. The National Educational Policy Debate

The education sector in India had grown because of the first National Education Policy in 1968. The new draft NPE 2016 aims to bridge the gap between the growing population and quality education for all. It plans to put India’s education sector in the global map by making the country a global knowledge hub. The policy also plans to bring must needed reforms such as technology enabled education, skill education, teacher training support and compulsory quality audits for educational institutions. However, the draft policy has been widely criticised by teachers and institutions due to factors such as issues of commercialisation, massively open online courses (MOOCs), internationalisation and recruitment policies.

2. Education Sector & CSR

The education sector continues to be one of most favoured sector receiving CSR funds from businesses. In a recent report by Nasscom, it was highlighted that on an average 70% of the CSR funds of business is directed towards the education sector. Even, private educational institutions have been quite vocal about their wish of receiving CSR funds. The spending of the Nifty listed companies increased this year by more than 20% and education remained their priority sector.

3. Swachh Vidayala

Sanitation have become an important instrument to ensure there is no dropouts from schools. After the PM’s call to construct toilets and make the nation open defecation free, several companies under CSR contributed towards construction of toilets. Within a year, 4.07 lakh toilets were constructed out of which 2.66 lakh were new toilets whereas the rest were repaired. The aim was to have a separate toilet for girls and boys at every government school thereby reducing the drop-out rates of girls because of unhygienic facilities.

4. More Firms But Few Offers at IITs

The campus placements are always in the news, especially because of the highest offered packages from US based companies. This year, although more companies visited IIT campuses, it seems number of offers per company has dipped from last year. Students picked by leading finance and consulting firms have also reduced. The reason for such maybe the changing global dynamics and the slowdown of the developed economies.

5. Improved Rankings

The rankings of the Indian Universities improved from the last year. In the newly expanded Times Higher Education BRICS and Emerging Economies University Rankings, India was the 2nd most represented country, with the Indian Institute of Science becoming the first Indian institute to enter the top 15. In the list of 300, India has 27 universities. In 2015, 16 Indian universities had made it to the top 200. China continues to dominate with 52 places in the top 300 and six in the top 10.

There might be several other impactful things that happened in 2016 related to the education sector, but these were the few which garnered much media attention.

By Rahul Choudhury

Media & Communications, Fiinovation

**The above article is based on the author’s personal views and analysis of the sector.

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