Prasenjit Bose, the Leftist economist, lately published a fact-check in The Wire to reply a query the installation: ‘Is West Bengal’s Economy Growing because of the Rest of India’s Slows?‘ After some standard probing, the solutions that this isn’t the case – and his solution is probably partly actual. His verdict: the country finance minister, in this yr’s price range speech, relied much less on proof and extra on hyperbole.

This is aware, but, worries best three small paragraphs in his article coping with training, and not with other troubles together with sales, tax collection, growth of the gross domestic product, etc. Though one could argue with Bose round his rivalry that Goods and Services Tax figures do not mirror the sales collection using a state, but I will focus on training.

Bose writes that the West Bengal government’s claim regarding a boom in the number of universities within the kingdom from 12 in 2011 to forty at present, with student enrolment in higher training growing from thirteen.24 lakh in 2010-eleven to 20.36 lakh in 2017-18, does not mean something noticeable.

The purpose is that the gross enrolment ratio in higher training (in the 18-23 age organization) in 2017-18 become handiest 18.7% in West Bengal, as in opposition to the countrywide common of 25.8%, with the ratio amongst women inside the state even decrease, at 17.6%. With most effective 1,341 schools in West Bengal, the wide variety of colleges in line with lakh population (18-23 years) is simplest 12, at the same time as the national common is 28. Average enrolment in keeping with college in West Bengal is 1,170, whereas the countrywide common is best 698.

Hence, Bose claims that the deficit both in phrases of the number of higher training establishments in addition to the satisfactory of the institutions in West Bengal is too obtrusive to miss.
That West Bengal needs to do greater in schooling is authentic. But why is Bose reluctant to confess the large strides the country has made inside the closing seven-8 years? Why does he dismiss the factor that 2011 does indeed tell us the start point of a tale in enlargement of education? Bose ignores the essential factor that education is one of the maximum contentious social web sites, and progress in this discipline does certainly reflect social struggles and contentions.

Between 2016-17 and 2018-19, the scholar-instructor ratio for school education stepped forward from 29 to 22 for number one faculties and 49 to 42 at the higher primary level. There become an 18% growth in the revised budgeted expenditure in the identical subject from 2016-17 to 2018-19.

Likewise, among 2010-eleven and 2017-18, government expenditure in schooling within the kingdom saw a significant boom. The departments of college education, panchayats and rural improvement, urban development and municipal affairs, and fitness and own family welfare noticed the best allocations within the price range of 2018-19. The state allotted 18.2% of budgeted expenditure on education that 12 months. This is better than the common expenditure allocated to schooling by 18 other states.

Between 2011-12 and 2018, the number of universities grew from 26 (which includes besides 19 state public universities, central universities, deemed universities and universities of other classes to 46.

The motive of this factor isn’t always to exaggerate the effect of the emphasis on training via the brand new authorities after 2011, however simply to deliver to attention the state of education in West Bengal in the ones debt-ridden years within the ultimate phase of Left Front rule.

For example, while in nation-sensible distribution of budget for education by using the schooling departments below the revenue account, West Bengal stood quite excessive (with Rs 12,922.31 crore) preceded through Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, in case of the relationship between budgeted expenditure on training and gross country domestic product (GSDP) of states and union territories all through 2010-eleven, the percentage stood at 2.Seventy three, a discern beneath than those of several other states. This percent advanced inside the following years to 3.32. However, this improvement certainly became, nevertheless now not sufficient. The situation became better in numerous northeastern states and other states like Chhattisgarh.

The variety of higher academic institutions (permitted to diverse countrywide establishments consisting of the University Grants Commission, Medical Council of India, All India Council for Technical Education and different such bodies) expanded from 855 to one,849, while 31 new authorities schools and 15 government-aided faculties got here up. Five extra universities are to return up soon in Darjeeling, South Dinajpur, Alipurduar, Murshidabad, and Birbhum.

In the duration among 2011 and 2018, the quantity of the latest colleges installation become 47; seven new universities have been set up. These were: Kazi Nazrul University (2012), Cooch Behar Panchanan Barma University (2012), Diamond Harbour Women’s University (2013), Bankura University (2014), Raiganj University (2015), The Sanskrit College and University (2015), and West Bengal University of Teachers’ Training, Education Planning and Administration (2015).

The variety of teachers and employees also went up as 2,816 new coaching and non-coaching posts were created. Many new academics have been appointed, and lots of posts of academics last vacant for long had been stuffed up. Teachers schooling institutions now wide variety of 655, many of them being elements of different establishments and faculties. A National Council for Teacher Education-Eastern Regional Committee document also tells us that an awesome wide variety of those colleges started functioning from 2014-15.

In 2013-14, the gross enrolment ratio within the entire nation changed into 17.5% in comparison to the countrywide average of 19.4%. According to a CII-Deloitte report titled ‘Annual Status of Higher Education of States and UTs in India 2016‘, the gross enrolment ratio in higher training within the nation progressed from 15.1% in 2015 to 17.4% in 2016, and West Bengal turned into a few of the top 5 states in phrases of general enrolment. The record confirmed that more students have been coming to better academic institutions, however additionally that the state has miles to go.

Expansion of better education, however, did no longer appear suddenly. The emphasis at the expansion of primary training and secondary training as elsewhere led to a demand for getting entry to to higher education. In 2010-eleven, the number of faculties became 61,326 (such as forty-nine,908 number one colleges and four,454 secondary faculties); in 2015-16 the overall number of colleges increased to ninety five,736 (of which number one establishments had been seventy-six,703).

In 2013-14, the enrolment of Scheduled Castes and Tribes had been respectively 11.1 % and eight% of total enrolment in better education. In 2017, the corresponding figures elevated to thirteen.5 % and 10.1%. Again, the growth isn’t always great. However, we ought to notice on the identical time that the expansion of better schooling is going on in this foundation. In remote districts, villages and my fossil towns, there may be a clamor for education. Dalits, Muslims, girls and different poorer sections are all jostling for access in close by schools. Expansion and rivalry are going hand in hand.

In the present day 12 months (2019), in keeping with the University Grants Commission, the wide variety of self sustaining colleges within the kingdom is 15 (thirteen in 2017), at the same time as in Tamil Nadu it is 193, in Andhra Pradesh 104, in Karnataka 71, and in Telangana 60. This must be understood within the heritage first-rate described in a 2004 record of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (UGC), in which it had mentioned, “So a long way, there is no self-reliant college in West Bengal. Autonomy has been contemplated for a number of the leading establishments but has now not seen implementation yet. Higher Education in West Bengal, therefore, continues to be largely a governmental duty.”

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