The Times of India
March 2, 2009
BANGALORE: The enrolment ratio in higher education in Karnataka is 13% close to all India ratio, but the state needs to catch up with Kerala,
Tamil Nadu and Punjab, which have ratios higher than Karnataka, according toUniversity Grants Commission (UGC) chairman Sukhadeo Thorat.
At the release of `Heritage in higher education’ on Wednesday, he said all India enrolment ratio in higher education is 14%. “This was based on the 2004 national sample survey. It includes degree, certificate course, diploma and PhDs,” he said.
“It remains to be seen how Karnataka catches up with other states. The government and citizens should work towards improving the ratio. Also, there should be expansion of institutes and more allocation to higher education.”
Disparity in many levels
There is a disparity between urban and rural areas, between the genders and among people from various castes in enrolment for higher education. Thorat said enrolment in rural areas is 7% while in urban areas it is 21%. For women, the ratio is 10% while it is 14% for men. The ratio is less than 1% under the poor category.
“However, under the income slab, the ratio is 57% in the highest income group in Karnataka,” he said.
Fee structure is another problem
Apart from poverty and gender issues, the other factor that affects enrolment ratio relates to fee structure. Karnataka has scope for self-financing and private institutes, but enrolment ratio may remain less due to faults in the fee structure. Many are denied access to higher education due to this. “The government is taking corrective measures on this issue,” Thorat added.
Governor Rameshwar Thakur said education gives knowledge, skills and attitude to shoulder one’s responsibilities in life with confidence. “Education brings you respect. It should be imparted with a view to suit the type of society that we wish to build,” he explained.
“People are attracted towards technological education. But it can’t go alone without support from humanities. If it did, it tends to become imperfect.”