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Affordable education still out of reach for Indians


Active member
Before last Sunday’s attack in Jawaharlal Nehru University, the students’ union was protesting a fee hike in the university for months. An analysis of National Statistical Organisation (NSO) data shows that affordable education is a larger problem that needs to be seriously discussed.

The PLFS data confirms the intuitive belief that social and economic disadvantages perpetuate educational inequalities. The proportion of the population (15 years and above) with a graduate or a higher degree is much lower for the socially backward sections than others. Muslims fare worse than even the Scheduled Caste (SC) Hindus. To be sure, the social gap has been reducing over the years, but it still remains significant. There is also a gender gap when it comes to access to education. (See table 1)


A similar pattern can be seen by economic status as well. Disaggregation by deciles of monthly per capita consumer expenditure shows a strong correlation between economic status (spending) and educational attainment. Data clearly shows the social gap in educational attainment as well as the gap by economic status across and within socio-religious groups.

The NSO report on education also tells us about the average cost of education in the country.

The average annual expense on a graduate course was Rs 10,501 in a government institution, and almost double in an unaided private institution (Rs 19,972). The expenditure for a graduate degree in technical courses in a government college was Rs 36,180 as compared to Rs 72,712 in private unaided institutions.

This must be seen along with the income data available from PLFS (2017-18): 45% of the regular workers, 60% of the self-employed and almost all casual workers earned less than Rs 10,000 a month.

Overall, about 67% of Indian workers earned less than Rs 1,20,000 in a year.

India remains a country with an overwhelming number of poor people who cannot afford expensive education.

What is the importance of a graduate degree in India? If we look at the distribution of graduates in the workforce, 62% were in regular jobs in 2017-18. The wage for a worker with a graduate (or higher) degree in salaried jobs was 1.6 times the overall average wage of a regular worker.

Here, it must be noted that the unemployment rate is much higher among the educated.

Quality education leads to better job prospects and higher wages for all, but also provides a path for social mobility. Students’ demand for better and just prospects for all is completely justified.



Active member
The post is a year old one. But is still relevant today. Here are some problems and solutions:
“Affordable education still out of reach for Indians is a complaint” without any feasible solution keeping the current time in mind. When evil caste system is blamed for all maladies, we forget that the Mogul and British rule came to India because the Kings and Zamindars were not interested in India or Indian, only their selfish live and power. Lord McCauley is the firtst one to ask” what makes India non-conquerable”? Ah, the education system which makes them think! So, he devised methods to destroy our systems without agumenting it and made us believe Indian Education is inferiror. By dividing and conquering the society on the basis of castes( in other countries by differentiating tribes and so on), the destroyed our system. So, we moved towards becoming clerks in the British system. Have we changed it NO!

So, the firs reason is (1) keeping bogus degree mills but calling Universities that force you to memorize and pass and get a low level job and not research and development.

Thus, priority one should be to remove that British structure which they themselves are not following any more. (2) Good crops need good seeds. Not every one can become a teacher, because he or she should be intellectually curious, willing to learn and look teaching as a profession like Medicine etc. But without preparing any ground work every one is a teacher now! So bad seeds produce bad crops and thus students have no fundamental knowledge or wisdom as they are learning from third rate teachers. This does not mean only Brahman should be teacher. Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai was the teacher of Sri. U. Ve Swaminatha Iyer- Tamil Tatta. So, strict quality control should be enforced and both psychological and intellectual competency should be tested and the best be selected as teachers. You can not do that now due to quota and anti Brahman mentality. (4). If we look at our ancient history , unfortunately written in Sanskrit (for Tamilians) that shows that Arya Bhatta introduced the concept of zero, Brahma Gupta took it further and taught using it to Arab traders to calculate profit and loss ( he was not a teacher in any school) who in turn took a Persian translation to Irque(old Mesopotamia) and the Kali fa there made Persian mathematician, Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, to study it and he produced the decimal system and Algebra(Algibar), which the world is using now. Canade (6 BC) postulated the three laws of Physics, which the Univ. of Manchester shows that Sir Issac Newton read the translation and published as his own. Medicine Sushrudi showed plastic surgery and the list goes on. The sad story is neither the Central Govt, nor TN or any state took up on themselves to bring back the legitimate historical knowledge to nudge us to be thinks and not stinkers.

I have more, but will stop as it will become a huge essay.

Conclusion: We don't teach, we cheat, thus affordable education will be a dream until parents and children learn our history and demand a change in the system, rather than asking fro free bees to vote in the elections. People get what they deserve.
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