ISLAMABAD, Aug 3: Unlike Pakistan, its next door neighbour India has increased its higher education budget five-fold by allocating more than one thousand billion rupees for the year 2012-13, 40 times more than what Pakistan spends on education.
In Pakistan, budget for higher education has been decreased by Rs10 billion and over all allocation is Rs48 billion for 2012-13.
According to a document, higher education enrollment in India is 18 per cent as compared to eight per cent in Pakistan. Political persuasions do not impact public funding there and Higher Education is not a commodity therefore no commercial exploitation is there and profits cannot be taken out.
In India, a lot of emphasis is being paid on research in all the public and private universities and the government is extending every possible assistance in this regard. The federal universities offer monthly stipend to all PhD scholars amounting to Rs5,000, they said.
An officer of Higher Education Commission (HEC) requesting not to be quoted said various organisations like Indian Council for Social Sciences and Research (ICSSR) provides funding for promotion of research. The prime minister of India is the chairman of this council.
“Commitment and steps are under way to make Indian University Grants Commission more autonomous, powerful and effective federal organisation. Federal universities have been established throughout India to provide quality education and increase access to higher education through federal government funding,” he said.
Vice Chancellor of University of Gujrat, Dr Nizam while talking to Dawn said: “India is far ahead of us because it invested in Engineering, IT and Social Sciences sectors long ago. Both states and federal government spend funds on education. They don’t have trend to have PhD from abroad because they have dozens of PhDs in every university,” he said.
“We have more youth as compared to other countries and if we do not invest in them we will have unskilled nation after 30 years and they will become burden on the economy. So we have to invest in them through education. At the moment Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan are spending much more on education as compared to us,” he said.
“The only way out is that now we have to understand that spending on education is an investment not an expense. So we should send 4 per cent of the GDP on education,” he said.
Adviser to the HEC, Dr Riaz Qureshi said that the HEC was also trying its best to increase the number of skilled persons in the country but it should not be ignored that neighbouring country is spending much more as compared to Pakistan, he added.