Trend in Access and Equity in Engineering Education–Karnataka’s Perspective
Keywords:Access, Engineering Education, Equity, SC, ST
Education plays vital role in the socio-economic development of India. India since the early days of independence has always focused on improving the literacy rate in our country. Even today the government runs many programs to promote Primary and Higher Education in India. It is a generally accepted conviction that development requires an ever increasing level of education in the population. According to report of “Intergenerational and Regional Differentials in Higher Education in India” (2014), access to education beyond higher secondary schooling is a mere 10% among the university-age population in India. The report says that a huge disparity exists — as far as access to higher education is concerned — across gender and socio-economic religious groups. The skew is most marked across regions. A dalit in south India, though from the most disadvantaged among communities, would have better access to higher education than even upper caste Hindus in many other regions. The report says that, South India offers the best opportunities for socially inclusive access to higher education including technical education. For instance, the share of SC/ST in technical education in south India is about 22%. But, according to pilot study conducted by researcher, the ground reality was different; the admission of SC&STs to PG engineering programme tells a disappointing story. Many private engineering colleges increased their tuition fees to offset the losses of capitation fees. They are able to ensure that meritorious students without money would never get admission. The tuition fee is fixed arbitrarily to cater to only rich or super rich students. In the backdrop of this result, the researcher felt it is necessary to undertake an in-depth study to examine the access and equity of SC &STs to PG engineering course in the state of Karnataka. The researcher has made an attempt to examine the access and equity of SC &STs to PG engineering course in the state of Karnataka. The paper is primarily concerned with access and equity in PG engineering course by social groups—caste and by gender. This paper is trying to give a thoughtful view to those concerned with inclusive higher education. It provides suggestions for the inclusion of SC &ST students in the Higher education system.
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