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Introduce Urgent Reforms
to Improve Science Education
in Schools, Colleges & Universities
for Indias All-Round Development

(A societal initiative under the guidance of
Bharat Ratna Prof C.N.R. Rao and many eminent scientists,
educationists and scholars)

bserver Research Foundation Mumbais report, Whither Science
Education in Indian Colleges? Urgent reforms to meet the challenges of a
Knowledge Society provides an overview of the state of science education
in the country viewed through the lens of some of the best colleges in India
in science streams.
The report underscores the need to reform the science education landscape
as the first step to unlock Indias human resource potential for overcoming
the pressing developmental challenges before our society as well as for
enhancing our countrys global competitiveness. While the existence of a
handful of institutions of international repute like the Indian Institute of
Science, Bangalore, is heartening, it is insufficient to create the scientific
talent pool required to address national challenges.
The report identifies several factors responsible for the falling standards
and makes recommendations on how to mitigate them. The report raises
concerns about the poor governance systems of institutions at the Centre as
well as at the States and calls for systemic changes that can lay the
foundation for the provision of world-class education. The report has also
served as a catalyst for preparing this initial draft of the Manifesto.

The 21
century is the century of
knowledge. Knowledge, science and
education will have the power and
strength to embrace the entire universe.
Development of human resources will be
critical for our future success. Let us link
up with more universities and colleges, to
develop our future leaders in this area.
Picture Courtesy:

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Draft Manifesto for Indias Future
he state of science education in Indian universities,
colleges and schools ought to be a matter of serious
concern for all of us. A recent study by the Observer
Research Foundation (ORF) Mumbai, titled Whither
Science Education in Indian Colleges? Urgent reforms to meet the
challenges of a Knowledge Society, highlights some of the most critical
challenges in science education in the country poor quality of
teaching and research, low motivational level of teachers, outdated
curricula, excessive focus on examinations and weak focus on nurturing
curiosity, innovation and learnability, inadequate laboratory
infrastructure, insufficient funding, low employability and limited career
options for students. As Bharat Ratna Prof. C.N.R. Rao says in his
Foreword to the report:
If we want to see Indias accelerated rise as a strong, prosperous and
self-confident nation occupying its rightful place in the modern
world, our country must pay far greater attention to the quality and
relevance of science education and scientific research than has been
the case so far.
Clearly, there is urgent need for reform. Science education must be
aligned to the nations development, welfare and security goals, since
the availability of well-trained human resources in abundant quantity is
critical to addressing them. The popular perception of science being an
unremunerative and unwise career choice (which therefore fails to
attract the most promising talent), needs to be resolutely reversed.
Concern over the quality of science education in the country is not
something that has surfaced recently. Recommendations to improve
the quality of science education can be traced back to over two decades
ago when the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS, Bangalore) brought out

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its first paper on policy issues titled University Education in Science.
The paper had been prepared by a panel, constituted for the purpose by
the Council of IAS in July 1994, with inputs from the Fellowship of the
Academy. The Academy made a notable departure in that it set out a
course of action for itself besides making recommendations to
Government. The Academy has since delivered on all items of its own
action agenda, some of which include the publishing of the Journal of
Science Education Resonance, conducting refresher courses for
teachers and providing summer fellowships for students. Many of the
recommendations contained in the paper have been included in this
draft Manifesto.
In 2006, the Indian National Science Academy (INSA, New Delhi) and IAS
jointly produced a report titled Higher Education in Science and
Research & Development: the challenges and the road ahead, which
contained recommendations to the Planning Commission for the
Eleventh Five Year Plan, for making India more competitive globally.
Since 2007 the three academies of sciences in the country, the IAS, INSA
and the National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI, Allahabad), have
come together to conduct programmes in science education on an
ongoing basis. In October 2008 they brought out a position paper titled
Restructuring Post-School Science Teaching Programmes which also
proposed the introduction of a 4-year BS programme.
In order to create a more broad-based effort towards quality science
education, and to prepare a plan of action for the consideration of the
government and all other stakeholders, ORF organised a Conclave,
chaired by Prof. C.N.R. Rao, in Mumbai on 21
July 2014. It was attended
by a large number of scientists, science educators and science
popularisers. The Conclave discussed the first draft of the Manifesto
titled MANIFESTO for the FUTURE Introduce Urgent Reforms to

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Improve Science Education in Schools, Colleges & Universities for Indias
All-Round Development.
Given below is the revised draft of the Manifesto incorporating the
salient ideas and suggestions presented by the participants at the
Mumbai Conclave. It is placed forth for a nationwide debate, both
offline and online, with the hope that it will receive serious
consideration from the Central Government, all State Governments,
universities, colleges, business houses, and all those who are
stakeholders in science education in India. We intend to hold similar
conclaves in some other cities across the country to refine the
Manifesto further. We also appeal to all recipients of this draft
Manifesto to provide their valuable inputs for finalising this document.
The final consensus document will be presented to
Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ahead of the
forthcoming session of the Indian Science Congress in
Mumbai in January 2015. We shall urge him to endorse it and
green-signal it for its speedy and effective implementation.

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(a) INDIA SHALL promote science education at all levels with the
motto Science for the People, Science by the People, Science to the
People. No section of Indian society should be deprived of the fruits
of science and technology, nor of the capability and the opportunity
to contribute to their growth. Our rich and proud national heritage
of scientific and technological knowledge should be preserved,
even as India forges ahead to become a leading knowledge and
innovation power in the world in the 21
century. Moreover, science
should be used for the welfare, happiness and security of the
people, and therefore for the promotion of peace at home and
around the world. Since science knows no national boundaries, and
belongs to the entire humanity, India should further increase
cooperation with other countries for the purpose of broadening
and deepening the common reservoir of scientific knowledge and
technological innovation.
(a) INDIA SHALL prepare a human resource development strategy
projecting the requirements for trained manpower in different
disciplines over the next 25 years. The government should set up a
suitable body of experts to do so. This strategy should guide central
and state governments to pursue their education plans and
programmes on a rational and flexible basis, keeping in mind the
rapidly changing economic and technological landscape, both in
India and globally. This strategy should also take into account the
growing demand for Indias trained manpower in countries around
the world. The size, scale of investments, course contents, teacher

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requirements and intake of students at our universities, colleges,
schools, and vocational training institutes need to be oriented
accordingly. This activity will in fact need to be reviewed on a
continuous basis, based on data that should be gathered on the
efficacy of the interventions that are being made.
(a) INDIA SHALL ingrain the culture of excellence and lifelong learning
among students and teachers in universities and colleges.
Mediocrity in teaching, research and learning outcomes must be
banished. This is necessary to build depth into the knowledge base
in science, technology and innovation, without which India cannot
occupy a leading position in a world that is marching ahead at a
breath-taking speed.
(b) INDIA SHALL aim at producing 30,000 high-quality PhDs in various
branches of science each year. Unless the university nucleus does
well, it is not possible to build either a strong R&D ecosystem or a
large enough talent pool of PhDs and Masters degree holders to
provide leadership to our ambitious nation-building projects, man
our public and private research centres, and serve as good science
teachers at schools, colleges and universities. It is important to
make research fellowships more remunerative by increasing the
stipend from around Rs. 8,000-Rs. 16,000 per month to at least Rs.
50,000 per month. In addition to this, post-doctoral research culture
must be promoted for advancement in R&D.

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(c) INDIA SHALL aim at having at least 10 Universities of Global
Excellence that are among the top 100 in the world in the next 10
years. They should be led by dynamic leaders and have a separate
funding, governance and regulatory structure. Their performance
should be monitored, and their needs looked into, directly by the
Prime Ministers Office.
(d) INDIA SHALL create 100 Universities of National Excellence, either
by upgrading the existing state universities, or by converting
clusters of good colleges into universities. New green-field
universities must be large multidisciplinary and fully residential so
that students from rural India and poor urban families can be
funded to live and study there easily.
(e) INDIA SHALL support at least 200 top science colleges in the
country to become Colleges of Excellence within the next five
years. The newly established Indian Institutes of Science Education
and Research (IISER), along with other premier institutions such as
the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institute of Science
(IISc), etc., should be entrusted with the task of guiding this
endeavour. The number of good colleges and institutions must go
up dramatically so that talented students do not have to compete
for just a few seats at good institutions and are not deprived of the
opportunities for higher studies.
(f) INDIA SHALL enhance the quality of state universities, which far
outnumber central universities, but are mostly in a poor shape. This
is because state governments are not paying enough attention to
higher education. Instead of always remaining dependent on the
Centre, State governments must discharge their own responsibility
towards improving higher education in general, and science

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education in particular. At the same time, the huge disparity
between state universities and central universities in terms of the
funding available to them must be removed.
(g) INDIA SHALL change its universities from being examination-
conducting centres into learning-promotion centres. Towards
this end, several radical reforms will have to be undertaken, such as
(i) splitting large and unwieldy universities into two, three or four
smaller universities; (ii) upgrading colleges of excellence into
independent universities; and (iii) creating innovative, transparent
and locally manageable systems of evaluation.
(h) INDIA SHALL ensure diversity on university and college campuses.
Inter-state movement of students and faculty should be encouraged
since it contributes greatly to national integration.
(i) INDIA SHALL encourage foreign students and faculty from abroad
to join our colleges and universities. All necessary steps should be
taken to make India a hub of high-quality education capable of
attracting bright students and good teachers from all parts of the
(a) INDIA SHALL end bureaucratic control and interference of
politicians in the functioning of universities and colleges. This will
be done, among other things, by conferring automatic, complete
and effective autonomy academic, financial, administrative to all
highly accredited colleges (NAAC accreditation A grade).

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(b) INDIA SHALL dismantle the license-quota raj in the education
sector. The growth-impeding and quality-destroying license-quota-
permit raj has been largely removed for businesses after the
introduction of economic liberalisation in the early 1990s.
Unfortunately, it has remained intact for colleges and universities.
(c) INDIA SHALL entrust leadership positions in science colleges to
dynamic and result-oriented individuals with proven academic
track record and managerial skills. The crisis of academic leadership
is largely owing to the fact that most leadership appointments in
India have been politically motivated or based on seniority. Also,
there are not enough academicians who have been groomed to
take positions of responsibility in institutions. By providing
appropriate leadership training, a youthful leadership pipeline needs
to be created in the science sector to shape the future of India.
(d) INDIA SHALL reform the affiliation system of state universities (on
the pattern of central universities), so that vice chancellors and the
faculty can focus their energies more on academics and research,
rather than on unproductive administrative matters.
(e) INDIA SHALL strengthen the system of reviewing and accrediting
all teaching institutions regularly by expert educators to ensure
quality education delivery. The system of accreditation should be
introduced in schools too. Private educational bodies should be
empowered to participate in the accreditation process.
(f) INDIA SHALL ensure healthy growth of private universities, whose
number is bound to rise significantly in the coming years. There
should be effective and transparent regulatory mechanisms to

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monitor their educational standards and to prevent profiteering.
Private universities must also have research obligations.
(g) INDIA SHALL take effective steps to reduce the importance and
growth of private coaching classes. One of the first requirements
for this is to enhance teaching standards at all the educational
institutions. Secondly, the excessive focus on the standardised
system of examinations has to be replaced by emphasis on learning
(a) INDIA SHALL make its universities the main hubs of scientific
research. Sadly, our universities have become unproductive, from a
research point of view. In the past a large percentage of the
research, some 50-60%, used to come from universities but today it
is negligible, less than 10%. This needs to change urgently. Academic
cooperation between educational institutions and national
laboratories should be strongly encouraged, including joint research
and teaching programmes and identification of adjunct faculty. The
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) labs, for
instance, should be connected to existing universities.
(b) INDIA SHALL tightly align research in universities and colleges (also
in IITs and specialised research labs) to major national needs in
socio-economic development such as food security, livelihood
security, affordable healthcare, energy security, environmental
regeneration and climate protection, clean drinking water and
sanitation, sustainable rural and urban development, and so on.

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(c) INDIA SHALL integrate the teaching and R&D capabilities of Indian
universities. Towards this end, it is necessary to increase laboratory-
based hands-on learning experiences and open-ended research
projects in colleges and universities. Since science and technology
are the biggest drivers of wealth creation and employment creation,
necessary measures should be taken to encourage research and
development, commercialisation of R&D, and promotion of
entrepreneurship both among teachers and students.
(d) INDIA SHALL urge and enable its universities and colleges to
strengthen intra-institute, inter-institute, institute-industry and
institute-agriculture linkages to improve both multi- and inter-
disciplinary teaching and research activities. This would also
encourage industry investments in university R&D whereby some of
their research and consultancy could be outsourced to universities
and colleges. Individual industries and industry associations with
common interests could award scholarships at the postgraduate
level, and support laboratories with funds and supplies.
International agencies could also be approached for similar support.
(e) INDIA SHALL further strengthen the competitive grant system for
research and development. Projects in University-Institution-
Industry mode should be provided major support. All the proposals
under the competitive grant system should be on a proposal-
tracking system where the progress of the proposal can be
monitored in an open manner. Further, the grants need to take into
account the recurring expenditure of the project.
(f) INDIA SHALL encourage its educational institutions to strengthen
and broaden the scope of their career guidance and placement
cells such that science students can look forward to campus

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placements. These cells can serve as the connecting link between
industry, independent researchers, research institutes, other
universities and colleges and science graduates and provide
assistance in exploring opportunities for jobs, internships, higher
education and research.
(g) INDIA SHALL provide added incentives to the younger generation
to pursue science and research. Provision for advanced increments
to bright young appointees, start-up grants for young researchers,
better facilities and environment at the place of work leading to
better quality of life could be some of the ways to attract young
people. In fact, the promotion criteria for younger faculty must
place more emphasis on their research output than on teaching.
(h) INDIA SHALL promote innovation and entrepreneurship in its
colleges and universities to encourage more patents, incubation of
companies and generation of new sources of employment, high-
tech research, community outreach and service.
(a) INDIA SHALL introduce radical reforms in curricula in universities
and colleges. The standard combinations PCM (Physics, Chemistry,
Maths), PCB (Physics, Chemistry, Biology), CBZ (Chemistry, Botany,
Zoology) etc., are relics of history and long out-dated. This type of
compartmentalisation of scientific disciplines is totally irrelevant for
the way 21
Century science is conducted. Instead, the curriculum
should be designed with a selection of core concepts from different
sciences and knowledge streams. In addition to keeping pace with
the rapid advances taking place in various sciences, the curricula

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should include more and more inter-disciplinary subjects and
encourage project- and problem-based learning so as to facilitate
dialogue between and across disciplines.
(b) INDIA SHALL be open to introducing a flexible and diverse higher
education system offering wide variety of undergraduate and
postgraduate sciences courses. The courses should be able to cater
to the diverse interests and choices students make during the
course of their education, be it to pursue a job, further studies,
internship, research or even entrepreneurship. Each of these would
require different sets of skills and training. Diversity in the duration
of courses, course content, evaluation methods etc., in universities,
institutes of repute and autonomous colleges should be
encouraged. This will lead to the evolution of best practices and
their adoption on a wide scale. Students should have varied options
to choose from, for instance, 4-year B.S. followed by Ph.D. in basic
sciences, with a provision for early exit with M.Sc. degree or dual
degrees after completion, 4-year B.S. followed by M.Tech./Ph.D. in
professional (Technology) field, 3-year B.Sc. followed by integrated
M.Sc.-Ph.D., 3-year B.Sc. followed by 2-year B.Tech., including an
assortment of vocational courses. Efforts need to be directed to
bridge the science-technology interface. Regulatory bodies such as
the UGC should not enforce standardisation, which is an enemy of
innovation and quality improvement.
(c) INDIA SHALL promote learning of humanities, art and design in all
areas of education. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
(STEM) brought transformative change in the 20
Century. Holistic
change in the 21
century needs a new approach of integrative
learning Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design and Math

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(d) INDIA SHALL encourage local-level flexibility in curriculum and
other aspects of education. All teaching institutions (schools,
colleges and universities) should be allowed to experiment with a
part of the curriculum, based on local needs. This will promote
creativity, initiative, experimentation and adoption of best practices
on the part of teachers and governing bodies of schools, colleges
and universities. It will also bring about some much needed diversity
and local flavour in the curriculum.
(a) INDIA SHALL completely overhaul science education in schools by
changing its focus on how to learn, and not merely what to
learn. The school system, especially government-run schools,
forms the base of the education pyramid. It must be strengthened
on a war footing to meet the rising demand for a strong set of
foundation skills upon which further learning builds. The focus
should be on learnability and learning to learn.
(b) INDIA SHALL reform science education in schools in such a way as
to realise the following ideal articulated by Prof. C.N.R. Rao
Every classroom in the country from the kindergarten to the
most advanced research laboratory must echo with the
excitement and curiosity of science. If we are able to excite young
minds about science, that would propel them to take up careers in
science. If we are able to sow the seeds of scientific curiosity and
endeavour in the young fertile and creative minds of today, in time
the nation will reap the harvest of a robust population of
enthusiastic, energetic and committed researchers, teachers and
science communicators.

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(c) INDIA SHALL give high priority to experimentation and research-
orientation in science education in schools. Towards this end, low-
cost Tinkering and Maker Labs, of the kind popularised by Shri
Arvind Gupta and others, should be established in every school to
help students develop interest in the sciences. Children are natural
researchers, curious and questioning, and these precious traits must
be preserved and nurtured.
(d) INDIA SHALL redesign the student assessment systems in ways
that test for critical thinking skills and creativity rather than the
ability to learn by rote. Among other things, this innovation will
make science fun to learn for school students.
(e) INDIA SHALL quadruple the number of Navodaya schools, which
have been quite successful in promoting quality and innovation in
education in schools in semi-rural areas. Their present number (525)
is totally inadequate for a vast country like India. It should be
increased to at least 2,000 over the next five years.
(a) INDIA SHALL address the acute shortage of good-quality teachers
in a mission mode to meet the gigantic needs at the school, college
and university levels. Towards this end, the National Mission on
Teachers and Teaching (NMTT), which has been recently announced
by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), should
be implemented vigorously and with necessary further
augmentation of its scope and funding.

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(b) INDIA SHALL welcome retired teachers, experienced professionals
and scientists from industry and agriculture, and also academics
residing abroad of Indian and foreign origin to take up teaching
positions on a full-time or part-time basis in schools, colleges and
universities. They should even be encouraged to introduce new
courses. Rules should be suitably amended to make this happen.
There should be a provision in the CSR policy for co-opting industry
professionals, so that they can devote their time and expertise to
teaching. Innovative ideas like giving Education Credits to such
professionals (on the lines of Carbon Credits) should be
(c) INDIA SHALL empower teachers and college managements to
strengthen college-industry, college-agriculture (especially in rural
areas), college-government and college-society interactions. The
exposure to real-world issues and the problem-solving orientation
will enhance students employability. Therefore, taking the college
to the community, and bringing the community to the college
should be a mandatory part of college activities. This will require
making appropriately designed courses / workshops available in
non-English languages to community learners.
(d) INDIA SHALL remove the reservation policy from teacher
recruitment and promotion, which is absolutely necessary to
create a meritocracy in our educational institutions. While there
must be a reservation policy in the admission of students in
institutions of higher education, it cannot, and should not, have a
place in the recruitment and promotion of faculty. Teachers of poor
quality (irrespective of the caste or community they belong to)
cannot be expected to impart education of high quality. As a matter
of fact, the quota system in teacher recruitment and promotion,

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with no consideration for merit, is hurting poor students far more
than students from privileged backgrounds, since the latter have
the necessary resources to pursue quality education in other ways.
Thus, rather than advancing the cause of Social Justice, the quota
system in teacher recruitment and promotion is contributing to
Social Injustice. Also, it is a myth that merit is a monopoly of any
caste or community. However, when merit is compromised,
mediocrity in teaching drags the entire society down.
(e) INDIA SHALL make teacher training and re-training on a regular
basis mandatory. Faculty should be periodically exposed to
advances in their fields of expertise and interest as well as in
educational methodologies through interaction with experts,
industry, workshops and partnerships. This way schools and
colleges can increase their exposure to the advances in the field of
science, education technology, methodology and pedagogy.
(f) INDIA SHALL amend the practice of giving assured (tenured) jobs
to teachers and principals, typically paid for by governments, in
schools, colleges and universities. Teachers should be employed on
a fixed-term (tenure-track) basis to incentivise them to maintain
quality. Their knowledge level and teaching skills should be
reviewed on a regular basis.
(g) INDIA SHALL encourage, support and incentivise teachers to do
research that can improve teaching (on pedagogies etc., not just to
publish papers). For this they must be given time and resources.

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(a) INDIA SHALL make science education at all levels student-centric.
Every student has a unique personality, endowed with intelligence
and creative potential. Therefore, education in general and science
education in particular should be so reformed as to enable every
student to learn joyfully. Standardisation should be minimised by
introducing innovation in teaching and evaluation.
(b) INDIA SHALL attach higher priority to meeting the needs of
students from rural areas, urban slums and those belonging to all
the disadvantaged sections of society. Enriching this section of the
student community will decisively shape the future of our country.
Evidence also shows that talented students from the disadvantaged
sections of society have a deeper hunger for achieving excellence in
academic performance and research.
(c) INDIA SHALL put in place a fast-track growth path for gifted
students who have the potential for extraordinary
accomplishments. Initiatives like the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan
Yojana (KVPY), a national program of fellowship in basic sciences,
initiated by the Department of Science and Technology, to attract
exceptionally motivated students for pursuing careers in research
should be multiplied and vigorously implemented. It is necessary to
identify such gifted students at a young age and help them take up
learning and research at best institutions in the country. There
should be opportunities for students to take up summer courses in
colleges, universities and research institutions around the country.
This will ensure that the best scientific minds in India have a
supportive growth path that will hopefully produce many Indian
Nobel laureates in science in the years to come.

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(a) INDIA SHALL make world-class Information & Communication
Technologies (ICT) infrastructure available to all schools, colleges
and universities. The coverage and funding of the National Mission
on Education ICT (NMEICT) should be augmented for this purpose.
Private sector telecom and ICT companies, content generators, and
e-learning platforms should be made partners in this mission. Efforts
should be made to incentivise use of ICT in conducting science
programmes and creating a large pool of free and open science
resources in English and regional languages.
(b) INDIA SHALL modernise laboratories in all schools, colleges and
universities, thus offering students the space and opportunity for
hands-on learning through experimentation. To encourage
undergraduate research in colleges, teachers and students should
be given access to well-equipped research laboratories either in
their own college or through a shared platform with other
educational institutions. Research institutes can bridge the gap
between scientific community, teachers and students to promote
and encourage research in Indian universities. At least a few of the
undergraduate science programmes should be run not only in
affiliated colleges but also at university departments where
postgraduate courses are also conducted.

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(a) INDIA SHALL increase spending on higher education, by both
central and state governments, to 6% of GDP, of which 2% of GDP
shall be for higher education. This has been promised by many
Prime Ministers over the years but never implemented. We must do
this in India on a priority basis if we are not to mortgage the future
of our children. The quality of education is deeply related to the
funding of educational institutions. Funds are required to upgrade
and maintain infrastructure and facilities; attract and retain qualified
and competent faculty; sponsor research activities and participation
in workshops and conferences; and so on. All these can cumulatively
help improve the quality of science education in India, and must be
fully supported.
(b) INDIA SHALL oblige and incentivise the private sector to
participate in a big way in science education and research. Every
business unit, above a certain turnover, must be mandated to tie up
with at least one educational institution in science and support its
requirements in teaching and research. Philanthropy, contributions
and endowments from corporates and industries into institutes and
universities should also be encouraged and incentivised.
(c) INDIA SHALL empower science colleges to explore new funding
sources, including by raising student fees to reasonable levels.
Deserving (economically disadvantaged and meritorious) students
should be given scholarships and educational loans at low interest
rates. Fee increase and resource mobilisation should however not
lead to cuts in grant-in-aid.

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(a) INDIA SHALL take all necessary steps to encourage women in
science. The current gender disparity in science education and
science-related professions must be removed. Special efforts will
have to be made to support talented women to pursue careers in
(a) INDIA SHALL launch a major new mission to bring the vast number
of people working in the informal sector within the ambit of
science education. The informal sector employs more than 90% of
the work force in India. However, most of them lack formal
scientific and technical education. Their productivity and the
productivity of the national economy as a whole can be
considerably enhanced by providing suitable avenues for them to
improve their knowledge and skills. Internet and television can be
used effectively for the purpose. The concept of Workplace as a
Classroom should be popularised with appropriately designed
certificate courses and course materials.
(b) INDIA SHALL widely popularise educational and career
opportunities for science degree holders. There is a dire need to
attract a large number of young Indians to science-based careers
and provide them ample opportunities for growth. Industries,
media, advertising and government should come together to widely
publicise the educational and career opportunities in science.

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(c) INDIA SHALL take necessary steps to preserve, promote and
popularise Indias traditional treasure of knowledge in science and
technology. Master craftspersons and artisans who have, and
practise this knowledge should be honoured and also supported to
disseminate their knowledge. Organisations like Vigyan Bharati
working in the area of discovering, capturing, and popularising
traditional and indigenous scientific knowledge should be fully
supported. School and college text books should include
information about Indias past achievements in science and
(d) INDIA SHALL encourage study, popularisation and
commercialisation of grassroots innovation in our society. Efforts
of scholar-activists such as Prof. Anil Kumar Gupta, founder of the
Honey Bee Network and Executive Vice Chairman of the National
Innovation Foundation, have highlighted hundreds of inspiring
grassroots innovations by farmers, teachers, self-employed
technicians and rural entrepreneurs. Laudable initiatives like the
Vigyan Ashram model at Pabal, near Pune which trains grassroots
entrepreneurs in rural areas should be widely replicated.
(e) INDIA SHALL support the strong tradition of voluntary
organisations working for the popularisation of science to
develop scientific temper, entrepreneurial spirit and transforming
lives in the process. The efforts of committed and creative
organisations run by the government, such as the Homi Bhabha
Centre for Science Education, need to be replicated nationwide for
maximum impact. These institutions must come together to
champion for reforms in science education and ensure that the
issues in science education become a part of a wider public and
policy discourse.

Page 22

Draft Manifesto for Indias Future
(a) INDIA SHALL significantly enhance measures to honour scientists
and science communicators, and raise their prestige in society.
Science should be glamourised in the positive sense of the term,
and scientists and science teachers should be projected as role
models in society. Apart from increasing the number of awards for
them, this can be done by giving a place for scientists in all policy-
making bodies at all levels.
(b) INDIA SHALL begin a new annual tradition of inviting eminent
scientists to address the Parliament. Apart from honouring the
scientists concerned, this will give an opportunity for MPs to
understand the state of play in science and the tasks before the
nation to seize the opportunities being created by the revolutionary
advances in science and technology. This tradition should also be
replicated at the state and district levels.

Picture Courtesy:


Observer Research Foundation Mumbai
Ideas and Action for a Better India

Observer Research Foundation Mumbai is a multidisciplinary public policy think
tank engaged in research and policy advocacy on issues concerning education,
health, urban renewal, inclusive and sustainable development, youth
development and promotion of Indias cultural and artistic heritage.

NKM International House, 5
178 Backbay Reclamation, Babubhai Chinai Marg,
(Behind LIC Yogakshema), Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 020
Tel: +91-22-61313800

Contact: Dr Leena Chandran-Wadia