Category : Editorial
The government is considering a proposal to have partnership with private companies under Public-Private Partnership model to encourage opening of medical colleges. This is expected to make up for the acute shortage of doctors in India.
This is a very laudable proposition. What is discouraging is the small print- to tax the profits. The only way that educational institutions can make a profit is to charge heavily the students. It there is no bar for the fees and the motive of the government (or the additional motive) is make profit by taxing the profits, we are going back to the laissez faire - the doctrine of unrestricted freedom in commerce, especially for private interests, Ms principle has already been rejected long time back even by the so- called capitalist countries such as USA, Canada and European countries. They have converted themselves to welfare societies. At all levels, education for their citizens are either free or affordable by making permission for work and learn easier for students. Some countries keep education very much affordable for their citizens and make others pay for the facilities.
Free education up to the secondary level, affordable education up to the highest level, food, water, shelter and medical facilities for all at reasonable prices are the responsibilities of the government. Even with a good intention, throwing open education and hospital facilities with no control on charges and administration will ultimately be having adverse effects even on other Institutions- Not taxing educational institutions is good in principle and that alone will curb ideas of making profit through educational institutions.
Let us mobilize and encourage charitable institutions and also arrange public sector undertakings to start engineering and medical colleges of their specialties. They will become centres of excellence with the specialists participating in teaching and research. We do welcome the opening of any educational institution by private companies but under the same conditions and controls as non-PPP models, Accountability has been misinterpreted. Educational institutions should be proud of their research and excellent teaching. Consultancy fees gained by institutions are only distractions from their main thrust.
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