Coaching IIT aspirants a Rs.100 bn business: study

July 2nd, 2008 - 7:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) Private academies that train students for entrance exams of the Indian Institutes of Technology and other prestigious engineering colleges mint Rs.100 billion ($2.30 billion) a year - an amount that can fund 30 to 40 new IITs, shows a study by an industry body. The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) study, released Wednesday, said private academies who train 600,000 students every year for these exams make Rs.100 billion a year.

Calling for de-regulation of higher education, Assocham president Sajjan Jindal said the beneficiaries of the current system were those running big educational institutions and coaching centres.

“The amount of money which goes to these institutions - Rs.100 billion - is enough to open 30 to 40 IITs with lots of seats that can ensure admission to average candidates, aspiring to be an engineering graduate,” he said.

At least 50 percent of the students who appear in the entrance tests for admissions to IITs and other engineering colleges enroll with coaching centres to beat the cut-throat competition, said Assocham.

Talking about another anomaly in higher education, the body said that 80,000-90,000 students go abroad for higher studies, leading to a high foreign exchange outflow.

“If quality institutions are provided, a large number of students will stay back and contribute to the nation,” said Assocham.

The chamber asserted that more institutions of excellence should come up and suggested that private players and big industrial groups should be encouraged in higher education.

According to Assocham, India has over 12 million students in higher education but fewer than 350,000 faculty members.

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