Education Policy: West Bengal Govt Encourages Private Funding

Priyanka Tanwer
Priyanka Tanwer Sep 13 2023 - 3 min read
Education Policy: West Bengal Govt Encourages Private Funding
According to the policy, only state government fund is not sufficient to implement the education policy and therefore, it is exploring the ways to promote private funding in the education.

The West Bengal government has said in its education policy that it is necessary to explore the possibilities of private funding as it is untenable that the new policy drawn by union government can be wholly implemented with support from the government.

The government has not denied its role in fianancing the milestones of the new education policy. “The government has to play the primary role of financier and the private sector can play second fiddle,” the policy said.

The government said that there are two broad ways in which private funds can supplement public resources in the education sector, including Grants From Corporate Houses, Funding Based On Mutual Benefits. It also talks about UGC Regulations.

Grants From Corporate Houses

Grants from corporate houses, philanthropic institutions or individuals can enhance the financial capacity of the education sector. Usually, these are untied grants with few conditionalities attached with them.

Top ranking private universities in the USA and more recently some in India have been privileged with such grants. These are the best quality private funding, for they are free from any consideration of profit or gain on the part of the donor. “More efforts should be put to mobilize such grants,” the policy paper stated.

Funding Based On Mutual Benefits

The most common examples are corporate fundings of scientific research which may lead to technological improvement of the donor in the long-run. Apart from funding of scientific research, mutually beneficial projects can be conceived by formulating teaching programmes which may produce human capital directly usable in different industries.

According to the state government, yet another flow of funding can come from the students themselves through self-financed courses. “Students shall be willing to bear the financial burden of a course, partly or fully, if they perceive that their employability will significantly improve by completing the course. The list of such employability enhancing courses is long. These self-financed courses can be offered side by side standard degree programmes as supplementary job-oriented training,” it added.

The UGC Regulation

According to University Grant Commission Regulation, the departments which provide four-year UG degree should have computer labs and software, laboratory facilities to carry out experimental research, and at least two permanent faculty members who are recognised as PhD supervisors.

The private funding is being encouraged as creating facilities for each college and university is an expensive proposition and the state government is not in a position to bear all the expenses. Recently, the state government has introduced education policy which has been notified to continue with the 5+4+2+2 pattern for school education. Accordingly, the Bengali should be introduced from class 1 to class 12 in schools. 

The three-language formula will be implemented in class 5 to 8 depending on infrastructure and resources. Students should be engaged in internship programs and projects during summer vacation related to the subjects of their choice.

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