BENGALURU: Education in Karnataka is disconnected from the needs and aspirations of all its stakeholders — students, parents, society, industry. There is a need for urgent and comprehensive reforms to transform the higher education system on all key dimensions — scale, scope, structure, excellence, impact, and speed.
The CM mentioned upgrading University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering at a cost of `25 crore. The same proposal was there last year too. There is no allocation of funds for development of the two new universities carved out of Bangalore University.
A few announcements in the budget like free laptops for first year engineering, medical, polytechnic and first grade colleges proposed are good initiatives.
Karnataka’s Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) is a mere 12.2 per cent, which indicates that 87.8pc of young people don’t get a college education. The GER in the northern part of state is even more pathetic, in Kalaburagi it is 4.85pc and at Hubballi-Dharward is 6.89pc. There is a need for a wholesale change in the entire strategy.
No government since Independence has shown commitment towards education. Now there is some attempt at expanding the mass education with scant respect for quality.
When it comes to medical education, infrastructure for six medical colleges with 150 seats each, good development and five multi-speciality hospitals have been announced. These multispecialty hospitals could be attached to medical colleges with multiple gains as the Union government has increased the postgraduate seats.
But the allocation of only `30 crore for medical education is peanuts.
Upgradation of Minto Hospital, Kidwai Hospital, starting of peripheral cancer centres, dialysis centres are all welcome moves. But there is no mention of ushering in universal health insurance.
Dr N Prabhu Dev
Former Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore University and former director of Jayadeva Institute of Cardio Vascular Sciences