Part 15: Human Development

  Home | Contents 


The long-term objective of society should be to attain high level of human development with emphasis on spiritual development. Technology can change life-styles but not the quality of human existence.
Human development was at its zenith in Bharat in ancient times. It is today at the lowest ebb. This Part deals with initiatives to attain high levels of human development within the shortest possible time.

Article 15.1 Basic education, health-care and family welfare
There can be no solution for meeting the needs of basic education, health-care and family welfare other than giving full control to grassroots governments to manage these programmes under the overall coordination of district and city governments. Local governments shall hereafter control the entire budget and personnel of basic education, health-care and family welfare. Villages and urban neighbourhoods especially of the poor shall control their schools.
The teachers presently under the state government shall have to apply to local governments of their choice and, after selection, shall be appointed by them. If a teacher does not get local appointment within a reasonable period, the state government shall terminate his or her services and give compensation as per law.
Article 15.2 Higher education
Based on the colonial idiom that the state is best, knows best, and people being undependable need to be ruled, after independence the Indian government pursued the colonial practice of education institutions and curricula controlled by state boards and state universities. Private initiative has been heavily controlled and often scuttled. This has led to short supply of education, wasteful bureaucratic overheads, and mediocrity in standards.

As the State could not meet the demand, some states opened technical education to private initiatives. Since legitimate controls to monitor standards were not installed, teaching shops came up in some states. As a reaction and misinterpreting court decisions, stringent regulations were imposed that have again tended to scuttle all private initiatives.
In democracy, the people have the democratic right to educate the community. Educational institutions should be of three types, namely:

1 State institutions that provide education at subsidised fees, promoting equity,

2 Private trusts that provide education at operating costs, often promoting excellence, and

3 Commercial institutions that give dividends to investors and provide education at price
acceptable by the market, promoting relevance.

The state shall encourage all such initiatives in future. Private universities shall be encouraged, and permitted to charge pre-notified fees, provided they institute stipulated infrastructure.
Article 15.3 Private universities and colleges
The colonial practice of higher education controlled solely by state universities straitjackets higher education and chokes creativity and innovation. The state shall encourage private trusts to institute universities and colleges. The only control the state shall exercise is on provisioning essential infrastructure and an academic council with professional autonomy.
Private universities and colleges can charge any fee they pre-notify. The trust can use the surplus generated for improving infrastructure, expansion and scholarships to the needy. The state shall also institute scholarships and loans for needy students.

Article 15.4 Professional councils
Statutory professional councils such as councils of architecture, engineering and medicine are designed to regulate professional ethics and practice, and professional education. They are presently constituted at the national level. This tends to establish uniform practices at the national level and curbs initiatives and innovation at the local level to suit local needs.
The legislation shall be modified to provide for state level councils in each discipline, coordinated by a national council. The state councils will make state variations in education to suit local needs within the broad standards established by the national council. The law will provide that certification by a state councils shall enable professional practice in any part of India, subject to registration with the local government. No professional council shall have more than 20 per cent government members in them.
Article 15.5 Admission tests
The state shall engage one or more private trusts to organise aptitude tests for higher secondary and college graduates for admission to graduate and post graduate programmes. The various colleges and universities shall use the scores obtain by students in this tests for admission purposes. Employers can also use these tests scores for shortlisting candidates seeking employment. State managed numerous admission tests which lead to multiple testing and harassment to students shall be discontinued.
Article 15.6 Vacation in educational institutions
The colonial rulers introduced the summer vacation in educational institutions to enable them to go to hill capitals or vacation in Britain to avoid the Indian summer. This practise has been continued after independence. The youth can do hardly anything productive during the hostile summer months.
Like other activities, students too can work indoors during summer months. Soon after this Constitution comes into force, the main vacation in educational institutions shall be in the festive winter months between October and December, with a two-week semester break in summer.
The youth can then, during vacation, travel near and far, absorb the environment and culture, and partake in active sports. It will thereby get better informed about the environment and culture. Professional students can visit villages and assist in local programmes. Rural youth can learn improved agriculture and animal husbandry practices.
Hostels of educational institutions can be converted into low budget tourist accommodation in the festive winter months. They can, as a result, earn several hundred crores of rupees for furthering education! At present, they are wasted during summer months and deteriorate due to nonuse.
Article 15.7 Spiritual development
A learning programme of "Society and Universal Values of Humanism" inspired by all religions should be prepared and introduced in the education and awareness programmes. Separate classes for each religious entity based on the teachings in their religions in regard to universal values of humanism should also be introduced.
For this programme to have practical relevance, control and decision-making over local financial and environmental resources and social issues, such as land, water systems, forests, education and health-care, should be speedily transferred to local governments. Local communities will then have the opportunity to practice ethics in their day to day lives.

Home | Contents