14 Jun 09 Education Musings

BooksIsn’t it great how education has become a mainstream media subject? Notwithstanding some of the completely retrograde political opinions, for once, we’re actually seeing a debate on this subject. Even those who lay the blame for this heightened interest in malafide corporate greed, must agree that increased awareness and discussion is a positive.

So much so, when Mr. Sibal recently unveiled his initial plans for the education sector, his ideas appeared tame – even though some might call them revolutionary, as compared to the views of his predecessors in the Education ministry.

There is no doubt that education (or the lack of it) is one of the crucial drivers of economic growth and equality. However, muddled views on private participation and regulation, still conspire to constrain supply.

There is a basic law of economics – that when supply exceeds demand, then competition will force prices to fall and quality to improve. Moralistic arguments against profiteering only serve to limit supply, and encourage profiteering by the incumbents. Shortages mean poor quality and disproportionate profits for existing suppliers.

If the government does not have enough money (or spends it elsewhere) to educate every Indian, then let the private sector expand freely. The resulting over-supply will by itself, engender the survival of the fittest – and cost and quality are the two metrics usually associated with the fittest.

Arun Jethmalani

Arun is one of the founders of ValueNotes. Apart from trying to build a high-quality research business, he has spent the last 27 years researching, analyzing, and dissecting companies and industries. He has worked with clients of all shapes and sizes, from all parts of the world – in providing them insights that make a difference to their business.
Prior to ValueNotes, he was an equity analyst/advisor, and wrote extensively on investing – including a column titled “Value for Money” which ran for 10 years in the Sunday edition of the Economic Times. To this day, he remains an avid “value” investor.
He has also been published in several other publications, and is a regular speaker at events related to technology, investing, competitive intelligence, business process management, Internet, etc. See: Valuenotes Events
He has been instrumental in developing a community of research and intelligence professionals in India, and is the founder and current chairman of the SCIP (India) Chapter. Arun holds a B Tech from IIT, Bombay and an MS from Duke University, NC, USA. LinkedIn Profile

  • bharat
    Posted at 06:48h, 16 September Reply

    Dear sir,
    while I don’t agree with you totally, today’s system is a mess. Privatization is happening anyway, by giving licenses only to politicians and their friends – which in turn is creating a powerful vested interest against open access.

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