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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 13 April 2023


Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 13 April 2023


Contents

  1. Higher Education and Its Biases
  2. Important Period for India-U.S. relations

Higher Education and Its Biases


Context:

The Indian educational system is plagued by antiquated procedures, rules, and academic inertia.

Relevance:

GS Paper-2: Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, and Human Resources

Mains Question

Recently, the Indian government proposed allowing foreign universities to establish campuses there. What are some of the possible advantages and disadvantages of this proposal, and what potential effects might it have on the domestic education market? (250 Words).


Highlights

  • The National Education Policy (NEP) is a welcome effort to incorporate learning into what the educational system should provide.
  • But the government’s plan to permit foreign universities to open offices in India ignores the problem of domestic organisations that could be turned into universities.
  • Indian regulators will have almost no control over foreign universities, but bureaucracy still stifles local institutions.
  • While Indian institutions lack the same freedom to set their own admission standards and fees, foreign institutions are permitted to do so.
  • Foreign institutions are not subject to UGC regulations governing the minimum requirements and methods for awarding degrees or the concepts put forth by NEP 2020.

The Indian educational system currently faces the following challenges:

  • Limited access to education: Despite government efforts to increase access to education, many children in India still lack access to high-quality education. Children who come from underprivileged backgrounds and live in remote areas are especially affected by this.
  • Poor educational quality: Many schools lack the necessary resources, qualified instructors, and instructional materials, which has an impact on the instruction given.
  • Outdated curricula: Many schools use outdated curricula that are out of step with the shifting demands of the labour market. This has an impact on students’ capacity to acquire the abilities and information required to succeed in the workforce.
  • Inadequate teacher preparation: Many Indian educators lack the necessary skills to deliver effective lessons. This has an impact on the standard of education given to students.
  • Lack of funding: The government has made an effort to increase funding for education, but there is still a funding gap in the industry. This has impacted the standard of the available infrastructure, educational resources, and teacher preparation.

What potential advantages and disadvantages could there be if foreign universities were permitted to establish bases in India?

  • Potential advantages:
    • Greater access to international education: Students would have easier access to international education with the establishment of foreign universities in India.
  • This might give Indian students access to higher-quality instruction and innovative teaching techniques and technologies.
    • An improvement in educational quality: The competition from foreign universities may push domestic universities to raise the standard of instruction they provide.
  • This might eventually result in an overall rise in India’s educational standards.
    • Economic boost: The opening of foreign universities may result in an increase in the number of foreign students visiting India.
  • Through increased spending on lodging, food, and other goods and services, this would boost the Indian economy.
  • Potential negatives:
    • Financial burden: Since the Indian government would have to provide infrastructure, land, and other facilities to these universities, the establishment of foreign universities could result in a financial burden.
  • This might take money away from the expansion of the domestic education industry.
    • Talent Drain: Due to the higher salaries and better facilities offered by foreign universities, the establishment of foreign universities in India may result in a loss of talented faculty and students from domestic universities.
    • Cultural impact: There is a chance that the establishment of foreign universities will result in a homogenization of the educational system because foreign universities are more likely to teach topics that are culturally relevant to India than those that are popular internationally.

Key Features of NEP

  • The NEP 2020 emphasises a multidisciplinary approach to education, which means students can select courses across various disciplines based on their interests and talents. Holistic and multidisciplinary education.
    • A holistic approach, which includes physical education, art, and vocational education, is also promoted by the policy.
    • This strategy differs from earlier regulations that were primarily concerned with academic education.
  • Early childhood care and education: The NEP 2020 aims to give every child access to high-quality ECCE while also recognising the significance of ECCE.
    • This emphasis on ECCE marks a significant change from earlier policies that did not give it as much attention.
  • Curriculum and assessment flexibility: The NEP 2020 supports curriculum and assessment flexibility, letting students select classes based on their interests.
    • It also promotes the transition from memorization to conceptual understanding, in contrast to previous policies that placed a strong emphasis on memorization and exams.
  • Technology in education: The NEP 2020 aims to encourage the use of digital technology for teaching and learning and acknowledges the significance of technology in education.
    • This strategy differs from earlier regulations that did not give as much weight to technology in education.
  • Teacher education and training: The NEP 2020 places a strong emphasis on the importance of high-quality teacher education and training, including ongoing professional development.
    • This emphasis on teacher training represents a change from earlier policies that did not place as much emphasis in this area.

Way Forward:

  • It is unfortunate that regulators hold files that could transform many institutes into prestigious universities for a country that has a history of luring international students to the Takshashila and Nalanda educational systems, among others.
  • To make it relevant for the times we live in, the Indian education system needs a significant overhaul.
  • To level the playing field for both domestic and foreign institutions, the regulatory framework must be reorganised.
  • In order to ensure that high-caliber institutions emerge and that students have access to the best education, the government must create an environment that encourages private players to invest in the education sector.
  • Additionally, the government must streamline bureaucratic procedures and uphold transparency in the field of education.

Conclusion:

In general, the difficulties the Indian education system has faced have impeded its development and lowered the standard of education offered.These difficulties have been exacerbated by stalled procedures and out-of-date laws, underscoring the necessity of reforms in the education sector to deal with these problems.


Important Period for India-U.S. Relations


Context

  • After a two-year wait, the United States finally named Eric Garcetti as its next Ambassador to India.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit the United States in June, and US Vice President Joe Biden is expected to visit India later this year for the G20 summit.
    • The two countries will also be more involved in forums such as the G20, Quad, and I2U2.As a result, the next six months will be critical for India-US relations.

Relevance:

GS Paper-2: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and affecting India’s interests; India-US relation

Mains Question

“The structural factors outweigh diplomatic incentives to pursue long-term cooperation, despite the USA and India having a mindset of cooperation.” Analyze the claim critically and make recommendations for how to deal with these issues. (250 Words).


Highlights

  • The presence of Mr. Garcetti in Delhi, who is known to be a close confidante of Mr. Biden, is a sign of things to come.
  • While his appointment indicates the possibility of greater collaboration, there are also disagreements to be resolved in the US-India relationship.

The area of divergence

  • The US may want India to change its stance on the Ukraine crisis, whereas India may want the US to take a stronger stance against China.
  • While India would seek greater partnership with the US, it would also be hesitant to sever its stable relations with Russia.
    • Moscow has just released its foreign policy strategy, which names China and India as its primary allies.
    • India is also the president of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a forum that includes China and Russia, until September. o Meanwhile, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s overtures to India will be closely monitored as it seeks greater participation from Delhi.

Area of Convergence

  • Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET): o It is expected to expand strategic technology partnerships and defence industrial cooperation between the two countries’ governments, businesses, and academic institutions.
  • Indo-Pacific Partnership: o It aims to promote regional security and economic growth, increase trade and investment, and improve connectivity. o It is based on a shared vision of a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region that respects all countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • The collaboration includes a variety of initiatives, such as joint military exercises, information sharing on security issues, and collaboration on economic and infrastructure development projects.
  • Cooperation is also required in areas such as counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, and maritime security.
  • Countering China’s growing influence: o The United States and India are both concerned about China’s aggressive behaviour in the South China Sea, its expanding military presence in the region, and its efforts to establish economic dominance through the Belt and Road Initiative.
  • Diversifying Supply Chains: o Due to geopolitical tensions, trade disputes, and concerns about over-reliance on a single country, there has been an increase in interest in diversifying supply chains away from China in recent years.
    • India’s expanding consumer market makes it an appealing destination for American companies looking to expand their customer base.
  • India has a relatively low-cost labour force and an abundance of skilled workers in sectors such as IT, engineering, and manufacturing. o The government has also implemented policies aimed at attracting foreign investment and promoting economic growth.
  • However, India’s infrastructure, logistics, and regulatory systems are not as developed as those in China.
  • India has a complicated legal and bureaucratic system as well.
    • To address these challenges, the United States and India have taken steps to strengthen economic ties and facilitate investment.
  • The US-India Strategic Energy Partnership, for example, aims to strengthen cooperation in areas such as energy security and access, as well as climate change.

The Lows and Highs of relations

  • The nuclear deal, market liberalization, and the outsourcing of Indian techies to U.S. companies are a few key moments in the relationship.
  • Indian Americans are among the most prosperous immigrants in the United States.
    • To regain its global position, India requires the knowledge, skill, and investment of its diaspora.
  • The US-aided Green Revolution transformed India from a food-shortage economy to one with surplus food.
  • The US has also played an important role in transforming India into an IT superpower.
  • The United States and India are also partners in the fight against climate change.
    • This includes a variety of initiatives such as renewable energy promotion, joint research and development projects, and investment in renewable energy infrastructure.
  • The two countries also agree on the importance of space technology.

Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET)

  • The iCET is a collaboration between India and the United States to develop important and new technologies.The iCET involves collaboration in a range of areas including quantum computing, semiconductors, 5G and 6G wireless infrastructure, and civilian space projects such as lunar exploration.
  • The iCET process will be monitored and driven from the PMO in Delhi and the White House in Washington.

Way Forward:

  • In the past, there was a trust deficit between India and the U.S.
    • Indians feel that the U.S. has not always lent support to it and has instead pivoted to supporting Pakistan.
  •  Moreover, the American pull-out from Afghanistan does not inspire confidence in the U.S. as a trusted partner.
    • On the other side, the U.S. has been flagging issues related to terrorism, human rights and democracy in India.
  • But now it is hoped that trust between the two nations will be enhanced in the coming months.
    • By building on their strategic partnership, the two countries can gradually strengthen their ties.
  • The iCET will boost India’s technological capabilities with access to cutting-edge technology and expertise in areas that are critical and emerging in nature.
    • Working together on new and important technologies can lead to more business between India and the US, which can help the economy grow as it will bring more investment and employment opportunities for both countries.

Conclusion:

Therefore, this is the right time to take the relationship forward constructively and make it reach its potential as well as look for positive areas of collaboration.


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