Recently, the University of Delhi sent a group constituting a University Engineer and his team, some professors along with Member of Parliament Shri Ramesh Bidhuri to inspect a proposed land for an upcoming college. They were also accompanied by the villagers of Bhati Kalan, Fatehpur Beri.
This institute would be an initiative to bridge the economic divide between students from urban and rural backgrounds and help them get better access to higher education. The official website of DU claims that this college will cater to the educational needs of the rural belts in Delhi and Haryana.
Expansion of colleges, especially in rural belts, is a long-growing need for Indian universities and is a fundamental step forward for the country’s education sector. In 2014, TOI uncovered a report titled as the ‘Intergenerational and Regional Differentials in Higher Education in India’ that was co-authored by two experts — Abusaleh Shariff and Amit Sharma. They claimed that only 10% of university-aged students have access to higher education in India. The report also showed that the disparity between access to higher education is greatly determined by regional variations, apart from other apparent factors like the socio-economic and religious background of a prospective student.
Expanding universities as well as distance learning is a key solution to the problem as it would provide a relatively equal distribution of universities across the country. In addition, greater accessibility to a nearby college would likely promote higher admission rates from more conservative families of the country while distance learning would allow economic limitations, like the inability to bear the cost of cross-country migration of a student, to decline further making India’s education system more inclusive.
The sky-high cut-offs in the top universities like DU, IIT, IIM reflect the growing competition between students where the limited seats deter most aspiring students from having a realistic chance to get acceptance. Alleviating the problem by expanding more colleges, just like the recent initiative by DU is the way to go forward for all the other universities in the country.
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