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The Changing Scenario of Management Education in India
Prof. C. S. Venkataratnam, Member, FICCI Higher Education Committee & Director, IMI, New Delhi
Ms Shobha Mishra,
Joint Director & Team Leader, Education & Health Services Division, FICCI
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The vast Indian rural market beckons Indian companies

By C Jayanthi

With the notification of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act on April 1, education for children aged between 6 and 14 has finally become a Fundamental Right.

The Prime Minister Mr Manmohan Singh while addressing the nation on the issue, said: “The health, education and creative abilities of our children and young people will determine the well-being and strength of our nation. Education is the key to progress. It empowers the individual. It enables a nation.”

The hallmark objectives of the UPA government has been its commitment to the right to education and food security. The government has in mind to operationalise the RTE Act through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).

The Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA), an NGO, questions whether increasing the outlays for SSA from Rs 13,100 crore in 2009-10 (revised estimate) to Rs 15,000 crore in 2010-11 (budget estimate) would help achieve universal access to education.

The spending on education as a proportion of the total budget outlay has hardly increased. It has gone up from 3.9% in 2009-10 to 4.5% in 2010-11. However, in 2004, the UPA promised to increase the outlay on education to 6% of the GDP—which is still a long way to go. It is one thing wanting to imitate the West or even Singapore, it is quite another getting there.

Meanwhile, UNESCO, ILO and UNICEF joined forces in applauding the ground-breaking Right to Education Act, legalising the right to free and compulsory education for all children between the ages of 6 and 14 in India.

“Tens of millions of children will benefit from this initiative ensuring quality education with equity,” said Karin Hulshof, UNICEF Representative in India. “RTE will propel India to even greater heights of prosperity and productivity for all guaranteeing children their right to a quality education and a brighter future.”