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Public and private partnership in primary education in India: A study of unrecognised schools in Haryana

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), Research

Author: Aggarwal, Y

The recent evidence from NSSO and other studies demonstrates that a large proportion of children are attending private unrecognised primary schools. This proportion is highest in Haryana (18.7%) and is followed by Punjab (15.5%), Uttar Pradesh (10%) and Bihar (9.2%). The all India average share of children enrolled in unrecognised schools at primary stage was 4.8% as compared to 2.6% for upper primary classes. The rural urban differentials were striking in almost all the states. At the national level, some decline in Class I enrolment was observed in the last 3-5 years. This could be due to the shift of children from formal to non- formal or to other modes of education including unrecognised schools. It is paradoxical that the states with high proportion of children attending unrecognised schools are from both the economically advanced regions of Punjab and Haryana as well as from the economically poor regions of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Some states like Maharashtra have exercised strict controls on the functioning of unrecognized institutions. Click here to read more.

National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration New Delhi, March 2000

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Investment by private players will improve education sector

Higher Education, Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)

Pune’s education sector cheered some of the announcements in the Union Budget like the scheme for education loans, public private partnership (PPP) for new schools, national programme of midday meals and upgradation of existing government medical colleges to the level of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Former vice-chancellor Ram Takwale said, “Giving the banks the role of distributing loans to deserving students is welcome. Implementation of the scheme by another agency would have caused problems.”

Educationist Ramesh Panse said, “PPP for new schools will somewhat halt government’s dominance in the education sector. There is no school with PPP model in Pune. Investment by private sector will help improve the education performance and overcoming paucity of funds. India spends only 3% of total gross domestic product (GDP), which actually should be between 6 and 8%.”

National head of midday meals scheme, Leena Joseph said, “The increase in funds will add more value to food. Cost of everything has gone up. Generally, we spend Rs3.75 per child from standards 1 to VII and Rs4.75 per student from standards VI to VII. But I am doubtful how the funds will be distributed across the country. Many a times we have to struggle for funds at grassroot level.”

“Upgradation of existing government medical colleges to the level of AIIMS will help enhance availability of affordable healthcare,” said dean of BJ Medical College, Ajay Chandanwale.

Daily News and Analysis, 17 March 2012

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500 schools under PPP mode set to come up

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), School Choice, School Management Committee

In a move to provide “high quality” education to children at the block level, the Centre has initiated efforts to set up 500 model schools in public-private-partnership framework across the country.

The schools, proposed to be opened under the Human Resource Development Ministry, will operate Classes VI to XII with minimum infrastructure and facilities of standards available in existing Kendriya Vidyalayas.

The ministry has invited applications from private entities including corporate houses to participate in the implementation of the programme. Selection of private partner will be done through bidding at each block to be identified for the opening of the schools.

As per the scheme, the schools will be affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).  In exceptional circumstances, affiliation by other national boards may also be considered.

However, irrespective of whatever board the school is affiliated to, it will have to adhere to all the norms of the CBSE with reference to infrastructure, teaching resources and pedagogy, an HRD Ministry official told Deccan Herald adding. The model schools were so far being opened through the state governments in the blocks, identified as educationally backward under the central scheme, launched in 2008. While the opening up of schools in 1,942 blocks covering 22 states have been approved since 2008, only 438 model schools have become functional, according to the ministry.

A total of 6,000 model schools are to be opened at block level with 3,500 in educationally backward district through state governments. The remaining 2,500 schools are to be set up under PPP mode in blocks which are not educationally backward.

As per the scheme, the private entity could either be a trust or a society or a not-for-profit company.

An entity running at least one CBSE school from where at least two consecutive batches have passed out from Class X will qualify for up to three schools. Those who have not come up to the board examination level will qualify for one school.

A private entity, a track record of running educational institutions for five years, will also qualify for opening three schools if it has capacity to make an interest-bearing deposit of Rs 25 lakh for each school, which will be released in three annual installments after commissioning.

“A corporate entity would be eligible for one school for every 25 crore net worth, subject to interest-bearing deposit of Rs 50 lakh each of up to three schools and Rs 25 lakh per school thereafter,” the ministry official said.

The land required for setting up the school and its infrastructure has to be provided by the private entity.

The government will contribute to recurring cost on per capita basis for the students sponsored by it. Besides, additional 25 per cent support will also be provided in respect of sponsored students towards capital cost.

“The initial period of the contract for such provision of quality education would be 10 years for each school, which is extendable as per mutual agreement,” a ministry official said.

Deccan Herald, 10 March 2012

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Mass. Schools Show Dramatic Gains for Low Income, Minority College Prep

Global news, Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), US

Independent report of largest high school STEM partnership highlights impact and cites untapped potential for low income students

BOSTON, Mar 02, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — –Thermo Fisher Scientific pledges $1 million to expand successful five-year program

Mass Insight Education has released an independent evaluation of its Massachusetts Math + Science Initiative (MMSI), a public/private partnership that increases college opportunities by expanding Advanced Placement (AP) participation and performance in high schools and currently supports close to 8,000 students in more than 50 high schools throughout the state. The report, conducted by INSTLL, LLC, an independent education research and consulting firm, found that MMSI, which was launched by Mass Insight in 2008 with a competitive $13 million national grant, significantly increased participation and success in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) AP courses and exams, especially among African American and Hispanic students.

“MMSI’s comprehensive academic strategy is a game changer for underserved high school students,” said William Guenther, president of Mass Insight Education. “The evaluation corroborated that MMSI high schools are closing achievement gaps and sending students to college with the skills to succeed. Imagine the impact if another 50 high schools offered these AP partnerships to thousands of other low income and minority students at the same success rate as the report projects.”

To help MMSI prepare students for highly skilled STEM careers, Thermo Fisher Scientific CEO Marc Casper announced at a State House event today a $1 million new investment in MMSI, spread over three years. Thermo Fisher has been a lead corporate sponsor of MMSI’s partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and local schools.

“We are pleased to sponsor MMSI as an investment in Massachusetts and in Thermo Fisher Scientific’s future STEM workforce,” Casper said. “Too often, low income and minority students with the potential to do more rigorous work don’t have the opportunities, through education and mentoring, to live up to their potential. MMSI has a clear and successful strategy that enables businesses to partner with the Commonwealth and invest in college success for thousands of underserved high school students.”

Independent Study Results

MMSI increases AP enrollment — a research-based strategy to improve college matriculation and success — by providing expanded teacher training and adding weekend study sessions with top AP teachers for students, among other opportunities. The independent report determined that if 16 non-MMSI high-need/low-income schools in Massachusetts had an AP participation rate similar to MMSI high-need/low-income schools, more than 1,000 additional AP exams would have been taken by African American and Hispanic students in 2010-11. The report highlighted four key findings:

Overall Performance

— MMSI schools have significantly increased the number and percent of AP math, science and English exams taken by students, in relation to the baseline year and a group of 30 non-MMSI schools with comparable populations. More than 400 AP exams were taken per 1,000 students in MMSI schools in 2010-2011, versus 160 AP exams per 1,000 students in non-MMSI schools with similar demographics.

— MMSI schools have significantly increased the number and percentage of students scoring 3 or higher — on a 1-5 scale — in relation to the baseline year and compared with non-MMSI schools. If high-need/low-income non-MMSI schools had participation and performance rates similar to the MMSI high-need/low-income schools, close to 700 more exams would have scored 3 or better in Massachusetts last year. Such qualifying scores can equate to college credit, saving families thousands of dollars in tuition costs.

Minority Achievement

— MMSI schools have significantly increased the number and percent of AP math, science and English exams taken by African American and Hispanic students, in relation to the baseline year and compared with non-MMSI schools. African-American and Hispanic students in MMSI schools take nearly 4 times more AP math, science and English AP exams than their counterparts in 16 non-MMSI high need/low income schools.

— MMSI schools are dramatically and significantly increasing the number of African Americans and Hispanics scoring 3 or better on a math, science or English AP exam, relative to prior years and to schools across the state. MMSI schools comprised 19 percent of the African American and Hispanic student population of the state, but accounted for 36 percent of AP exams by African American and Hispanic students scoring 3 or better.

The full independent report is available on Mass Insight Education’s website at www.massinsight.org .

About Mass Insight Education’s Massachusetts Math + Science Initiative

MMSI, launched in 2007 by Mass Insight Education in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, now partners with 53 public schools and is the largest statewide high school science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) academic program. MMSI expands access and improves outcomes in college-level courses, particularly among African-American, Hispanic, low-income, female and other student groups under-represented in AP classes, in order to prepare them for highly-skilled STEM careers. The MMSI approach includes extensive teacher training and mentoring, tutoring and other academic supports for students as well as privately-funded financial awards for teachers and students. Schools participating in the program sign performance agreements with MMSI which include specific enrollment and achievement targets.

Market Watch, 02 March 2012

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UGC’s PPP proposals opposed

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)

University Grants Commission’s (UGC) proposal to promote education in India through Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the 12th Five Year Plan has met with stiff opposition from experts, who feel that privatisation is not the fix for the ailments which plague higher education in the country.

In a seminar organised by Teachers for Intervention in Education (TIE), a group of teachers in Punjabi University to mull the UGC’s proposals, experts rejected the apex body’s suggestions, stating that even in a country like USA, where three-fourths of all universities are private, 65% of the students go to public universities.

“A university has an organic link with its society. It cannot be imported or exported, except when it ceases to be a place of socially fruitful work and becomes a mere franchise run for commercial purposes,” said Kuldeep Puri of Panjab University, Chandigarh.

While minutely analysing the UGC’s proposals, Puri said that, never in the history of
education worldwide had any ‘foreign or private campus’ delivered significant results for the people who live and study there.

“The fine print of the proposals amounts to an assault on public funding of higher education, especially with regard to the state’s financial aid envisaged to be as low as 15% of the teachers’ salaries. On the other hand, the public-private partnership models as proposed are all biased in favour of the private sector,” said Bheem Inder Singh from Punjabi University.

Inder explained how the stated objectives of the proposals were in conflict with the strategies recommended to achieve them: “Under the slogans of access, equity and excellence, a dual and socially divisive system of education was being encouraged, in which the rich would have access to the best education while the economically deprived would be merely accommodated in second-grade ‘community colleges’ and awarded ‘associate degrees’ and diplomas.”

Puri argued that public universities were being systematically denigrated through a concerted campaign to pave the way for handing over higher education to the profit-driven private sector.
Even the judicial injunction to keep education outside the sphere of profit was being insidiously ignored.

Teachers, research scholars and students from several departments of the university as well as many colleges attended the talk, which was followed by an animated discussion.

In his vote of thanks, Teachers for Intervention in Education convener Rajesh Sharma called upon the audience to commit themselves afresh to critical thought and dialogue to protect the democratic traditions.

Hindustan Times, 24 February 2012

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PPP models to expand higher education?

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)

With education sector requiring an investment of over $150 billion in the next 10 years, the government has proposed new private partnership models for expansion of higher education sector in the country.
The government has proposed setting up of large education hubs in different parts of the country anchored by large public/private sector enterprises funded through their allocations for corporate social responsibility.
According to documents accessed by this newspaper, four new models have been proposed in an effort to facilitate the entry of private players in the higher education set-up.
The four proposed models are: basic infrastructure model in which the private sector invests in infrastructure and the government runs the operations and management of the institutions, in turn, making payments to the private investor.
The second proposed model is outsourcing model in which private sector invests in infrastructure and runs operations and management and the responsibility of the government is to pay the private investor for the specified services.
Equity or hybrid model is the third model in which investment in infrastructure is shared between the two sectors while operation and management is vested with the private sector.
The final proposal is reverse outsourcing model in which the government invests in infrastructure and the private sector takes the responsibility of operation and management. The proposals are part of University Grants Commission’s submission before the Planning Commission for the forthcoming 12th Plan period.
Sources stated that four models of public-private partnership have been proposed so as to maintain flexibility in the investment pattern.
According to government estimates, the country needs over $150 billion worth of investment in the education sector in the next 10 years. The government has proposed to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio from its current 12.4 per cent to 30 per cent by 2020. For enhancing the GER to this level, about 1,000 more universities and 45,000 more colleges are needed.

The Asian Age, 13 February 2012

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Increased Private – Public Partnerships needed in Zimbabwean Education

Global news, Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)

The year 2012 comes with the beginning of a new academic year, increases in school fees and levies, expensive new uniforms and an impending strike. Even though education plays a critical role in any nation’s economic, political, socio-cultural and technological development as it helps people to participate fully in society and governance, the Zimbabwean academic year has commenced with clouds of uncertainty hanging nationwide. It is the onus of every government to avail and fund education but this responsibility is outsized and complex for the governmentof Zimbabwe to meet sufficiently. It is thus imperative for the government to explore alternative means of financing and affording educational services. This article will examine how public-private partnerships can help Zimbabwe meet its education goals.

Proficient and equitable access to education is proving to be elusive to many people in Zimbabwe as often low-income families, girls and other previously marginalized groups have limited access to education. Several Sub-Saharan countries have yet to achieve universal primary education even though enrollment rates across all developing countries increased by 4 percent between 1991 and 2006. The collapse of the Zimbabwean economy during the past decade is the source of scores of present day challenges for the country’s education system. It brought about with it failure by the government to finance the rehabilitation of learning infrastructure as well as the procurement of textbooks which are an essential resource of any education configuration if it is to function both efficiently and effectively. Zimbabwe’s economic downturn meant that remuneration paid to teachers by the government was below the Poverty Datum Line contrary to salaries offered by other countries in the region, thus teachers resorted to industrial action as a means of protesting against a failed government. This course of action produced an education sector which was fraught with stay-aways, go-slows and outright strikes with little or no education taking place. Education was put into further jeopardy by the mass exodus of qualified and experienced teachers who abandoned the profession in pursuit of greener pastures within and outside the country. The number of school dropouts increased, attendance became haphazard while pass rates declined.

Given market failures and equity concerns, the public sector remains an important player in providing education services, but making quality education accessible and affordable to all in a developing country like Zimbabwe requires innovative programs and initiatives in addition to public resources and good leadership. There are several ways in which the public sector and the private world can join together to complement each other’s strengths in providing education services and help Zimbabwe meet the Millenium Development Goals for education and to improve learning outcomes. These public-private partnerships (PPPs) can be tailor made and precisely targeted to meet the needs of low-income earners.

Public-Private partnerships are defined as “…any arrangement between a government and the private sector (inclusive of Civic society organizations s) in which partially or traditionally public activities are performed by the private sector.” These arrangements must not be confused with privatization that entails the total purchase of public entities for commercialization. The phenomenon of PPPs in Zimbabwe is neither alien nor new. Government recognized this critical role of the private sector in 2004, and developed underpinning PPP investment guidelines in this country. These guidelines provided the parameters for the development of an appropriate legal and regulatory framework, to protect the interests of the investors and the consumers.Various stakeholders contributed to the development of the PPPs’ legal and institutional framework in 2007 in Kariba, Mashonaland West Province and in 2009 in Harare, leading to the development of a comprehensive “Legal and Institutional Framework for Public-Private Partnerships in Zimbabwe” document, which should guide relevant Ministries.

The country has previously benefited and continues to benefit from PPPs especially in the arena of infrastructure development. For example…Recently, the government launched the National Manpower Advisory Council (NAMACO) with a mandate to explore possibilities and opportunities for PPPs in the Higher and Tertiary education sector that already has other corporate players such as Mimosa Mining Holdings, Econet Private Limited, British America Tobacco (BAT) through its scholarship Programs, Unilever and Metallion Gold.

However, PPPs in the education sector have been limited to the involvement of multilateral donor organizations such as PLAN International and World Vision together with churches such as the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church that have either seen the establishment and management of schools, provision of resources and technical expertise. The involvement of the corporate sector however, remains subdued/limited. This can be attributed to the economic downturn, the long-term cost recovery of education, the bureaucracy of government systems and the absence of incentives to motivate corporate involvement in the sector.

In light of the challenges facing the education sector, it has become more than imperative for increased PPPs in education as best practice from across the globe informs one that for quality education to be a reality, the efforts of government alone, be it central or local government, is insufficient. An education industry producing the needed human capital for the development of this country needs the aid of the corporate world. Its performance affects and determines the quality and magnitude of Africa’s development and indeed that of Zimbabwe. It forms the basis for developing innovation, science and technology in order to harness our resources, industrialize, and participate in the global knowledge economy and for Zimbabwe to take its rightful place in the global community. It is a means by which Zimbabwe will entrench a culture of peace, gender equality and positive African values. The inclusion and participation of the corporate world, the inevitable beneficiaries of a good education system, must be prioritized as it entails a number of merits.Public Private Partnerships offer a less radical alternative to the sometimes controversial and less desirable wholesale privatization as in the case of Herentals Group of Colleges buying Cold Comfort Primary School.

Education as managed by governments has proven to contain a lot of red-tape and conservatism that often impedes the process and management of education in the country. PPPS offer the opportunity for enhanced managerial performance, entrepreneurial spirit through capacity-building and staff retention measures.

Best practice from Pakistan and India reveals a partnership that has seen the involvement of information Technology companies in the education sector with the resultant improved access to leading edge technologies. Intel, the global technology giant, has been responsible for the introduction of computer technology in schools while also participating in the training of computer tutors. Zimbabwe can also learn from the experience by engaging industrial companies in Metal work education,clothing companies in Fashion and Fabrics and culinary entities in Food and Nutrition tuition. Already, football teams have realized this avenue with Bantu Rovers Football Club adopting Mzilikazi High School in Bulawayo, sponsoring it with soccer skits and equipment.

The Zimbabwean education sector has not been divorced from the poor, corrupt governance system that is a common feature in Zimbabwean life. Communities and school authorities have been at loggerheads due to the lack of transparency, popular participation and accountability in the administration of incentives and school projects.PPPs offer an opportunity for improved transparency through involvement of local communities from project formulation, design, implementation and evaluation.

Actionaid, 26 January 2012

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Vidya Mandir celebrates diamond jubilee

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), Quality

PALANPUR: “I’m impressed by the facilities offered for higher education,” said Union minister for heavy industries Praful Patel, inaugurating the Diamond Jubilee function at Vidya Mandir Complex here on Sunday. “Vidya Mandir education complex in the Jewellers’ city of Palanpur provides a glimpse of a superb example of public- private partnership (PPP). One can’t depend on government all the time. It is high time PPP becomes a reality,” Patel said.

Well-known academician and dean of INSEAD, the leading international business school, Dipak C Jain, said nothing is impossible for a youth with strong will and dedication. Emphasizing the importance of educating women, he said, “A mother has a pivotal role in the making of a successful man.”

Established in 1951, the complex is one of the earliest academic institutions of North Gujarat having diverse educational institutes and two PTC colleges. It has a number of events lined up for the occasion. From seminars and lectures to interactive sessions and sports, a lot is on the cards for the institution over the coming weekend, which is when the complex’s diamond jubilee fete will be concluding.

Deputy director of the complex Nilam Joshi said the complex has been running more than 110 institutions, including Mamta Mandir, an institute entirely for hearing and visually impaired, mentally and physically challenged. “The existing value of the assets donated by the diamond rich Palanpuri Jain families pursuing business abroad is far more than Rs 300 crore. Besides, in the education field, the Palanpur NRGs have contributed to dispensaries and hospitals including the oldest Charitable Mahajan Hospital among others,” said S M Modi, chairman of the local management committee.

The Times of India, 15 January 2012

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Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia Aim to Raise Their Higher Education Profile

Global news, Higher Education, Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)

PRAGUE — Charles University in Prague was founded in 1348. Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, has been around since 1364, while Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest has been operating since 1635.

But after 40 years of communism, the educational systems of the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia have fallen behind those of their Western neighbors. Now, education ministers from those countries — who cooperate on a variety of issues under the umbrella of the Visegrad Group — have decided to band together to learn from each other and make strides toward reform.

“We have seen a rapid development of our higher education systems over the last 20 years,” Josef Dobes, the education, youth and sports minister for the Czech Republic, said during an interview last month in Prague. He added that the influence of the Bologna Process, which created a European Higher Education Area to facilitate international cooperation and academic exchange, has changed the way the four countries view their educational systems. They realize, he said, the importance of being open to more student mobility, including recognition of foreign degrees, and of other countries recognizing degrees from the Visegrad countries so that their educational system and its graduates can stay internationally competitive.

Barbara Kudrycka, the minister of science and higher education in Poland, said by e-mail last month that “the higher education systems in our countries were developing for decades in similar conditions and therefore, just after achieving long awaited democracy, were to deal with similar problems: far too low population of students, as compared to the Western countries, ‘academic drift’ in study programs and others.”

“Now we try to do our best to make up the past decades’ delays,” she said.

In November, the education ministers from the four countries decided to form a working group made up of people from the ministries and academics. The ministers would like to see this group share the best of individual changes being made in each country. The goal is to strengthen public confidence in higher education across the region as well as build trust in individual universities and their results so that the nations can better compete in an international context.

The ministers say the group will discuss how these measures will be implemented to achieve both national objectives, based on their own education laws, and international ones, based on E.U. and Bologna Process directives.

“We want to set quality standards and professionalization of accrediting agencies; introduce a transparent system of access to information and establish a working group for reform,” Mr. Dobes said. “The aim is the modernization of our higher education systems, namely evaluation of quality so that we foster public trust in higher education outcomes.”

One of the objectives of the E.U.’s Europe 2020 plan is to increase by 40 percent the number of youths who complete some type of post-secondary education by 2020. Poland and Hungary have recently made major changes to their higher education systems. Poland, for example, implemented a new system of institutional accreditation, while Hungary put a focus on research universities. The Czech Republic and Slovakia are working on new higher-education legislation as a way to improve their education systems.

In Slovakia, Jozef Jurkovic, director of the Higher Education Department at the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport, said improving his country’s quality-assurance system and how its results are measured was high on the list of desired changes. He sees the Visegrad Group as a good vehicle for cooperation.

“We need a more effective usage of public funds and we can learn each one from other. We can avoid mistakes that were made in other countries, and — as we say ‘more heads, more brain’ — we can use the capacity of all our national experts and education policy makers more effectively and implement changes faster,” he said.

One of the goals of the Czech Republic is to improve quality through international cooperation.

“Working together across borders has important potential if we can endorse the integration of universities,” said Jiri Nantl, the director of higher education at the Czech Ministry of Education. “We want to promote cooperation with other universities and having the same standards of quality naturally makes this process easier.”

In their November meeting, the ministers also talked about strengthening links between higher education institutions and employers. They said they would like to see more degree programs consider the needs of the labor market and better train students to meet the needs of their future employers.

“These reforms should benefit the business community,” Mr. Dobes said. “With a common understanding and greater agreement on the requirements of degrees, universities and business could work together more efficiently.”

The officials say that the need to have outside forces with whom to share ideas and experiences should not be trivialized.

“When trying to progress fast, friendly advice is most valued,” Ms. Kudrycka said.

The New York Times, 15 January 2012

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PPP can do good for education, healthcare: CM

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)

MANGALORE: Chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Sunday highlighted the need for private public partnership (PPP) to promote education and provide accessible healthcare to the masses.

While the government has earmarked Rs 12,500 crore for education and an additional Rs 826 crore for medical education, a lot more needs to be done to ensure that quality education is provided to all concerned, and private players have a role in this regard.

Inaugurating Srinivas Institute of Medical Science and Research Centre (SIMSRC) and Srinivas Hospital at Mukka near here, the chief minister said Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, during his recent visit to the state, made a mention of Karnataka’s prowess in the field of education. The erstwhile undivided Dakshina Kannada district is well known for its contribution to the fields of banking and education, with private sector playing an important role in these areas.

Lauding the initiative taken by A Shama Rao Foundation, promoters of the college, for promising quality healthcare to the rural masses at affordable prices, Gowda said low-cost healthcare is the need of the hour. “We come across situations which only seem to reinforce the general feeling that only the affluent have access to quality healthcare,” he said, adding that private medical institutions such as Srinivas too have a role to play in promoting healthcare.

Observing that Karnataka is not yet ready to embrace the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for medical graduates from 2012 as mooted by the Supreme Court, the CM said the state has decided to introduce CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) syllabus for PU exams in Science stream from the next academic year. The switch over, the CM said, is necessary to ensure that students from the state are able to compete in all-India exams.

Higher education minister V S Acharya said the beginning made by SIMSRC in introducing state-of-the-art specialties augur well for rural masses. RGUHS VC Dr Sriprakash K S said Dakshina Kannada has emerged as a hub for medical education and healthcare with focus on quality education.

Sri Vishwesha Thirtha Swami of Pejavar Mutt delivered benedictions, while Foundation president A Raghavendra Rao presided over the function.

The Times of India, 26 December 2011

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