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Home > Business > Special


Don't interfere in higher education

K Raghavendra Rao | February 12, 2004

K Raghavendra Rao,the son of a railway clerk and a brilliant student throughoutschool and college, passed out from IIM-Ahmedabad in 1977 when he was just 19.He worked for various companies until 1992,beforegoing into business.Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals,one of India's shining stars,expectsto have revenues ofRs 1,000 crores (Rs 10 billion) by 2005.

Raghavendra Rao discussesthe government's decision to slash fees at the IIMs.

IIMs: Trials and Tribulations

I don't agree with the government's interference with the independence of higher education. Institutions like the IIMs should be allowed to run independently. They have done a great job and I don't think there is any reason to interfere.

There is no difficulty for people from the middle class to get either scholarships or loans, which is what I did. I stood firstin Andhra University in B Com andgot a merit scholarship for two years. There was a shortage of Rs 6,000, and for that I took a loan from the State Bank of India. The SBI has a branch inside IIM-A itself, and without any collateral, without any security, they gave me the loan. They do this sort of thing even now.

In the first year of my employment itself, I repaid the loan. It is a kind of a fund which is recycled and given to the next student. No student ever suffered because s/he could not pay the fees. S/he can easily borrow. Even now, the State Bank is willing to give the loan of one-and-a-half lakh rupees on the campus itself.

When you look at the kind of salariesstudentsget when they come out of the IIMs, the fees areonly three months of your salary. I would say you damn well pay that.

I don't believea poor studentwould get in just by reducing the fees at the IIMs.

We were not people born with a silver spoon. My father was a clerk in the Railways. He used to earn Rs 700 a month. Still, I went to Ahmedabad. I got a scholarship, I got a loan. So, I don't believe in cutting the fees at all.

Let the government not confuse poor people's education with the IIMs. The IIMs have enough corpus to run the business; they know best what they are doing. They are giving good education tostudents, and students can afford to pay with the help of banks.The cycle can go on as it has gone on till now.

If the government really wants to do something for the poor, let them invest in primary education, invest in healthcare, invest in poverty eradication, invest in self employment so that the poor send their wards to school. Attack that area and give
free education.

'Students are made to pay enormous amounts of money'

I readthey are going to start 10,000 schools to eradicate child labour. Let them open 20,000 schools and make primary
education compulsory. When you give them the basic knowledge, they getskills early in life. Let these students come up to the graduation level. Let me tell you their economic status will have no bearing on their passing the entrance examination or the group discussion or the interview at all.

IITs and IIMs are not meant for the rich or the poor; they don't differentiate at all.

So, give primary and secondary education free of cost and not interfere inhigher education.

K Raghavendra Rao spoke to Shobha Warrier


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Number of User Comments: 20




Sub: Fee cut

I think it is a very good move on part of Sri Murali Manohar Joshi. Let the managers think about the country management as well ...


Posted by Ambarish Srivastava





Sub: IIM's for the country and not for individuals

I surely and strongly pat and praise the ministrial intervention in the monopolistic educational positions gained by IIM's. Poor or rich this is not the ...


Posted by Nitin Bajaj





Sub: Why Don't Interfere

I don't t think a Railway Clerks son can afford to pay Rs 1.50 lakh today to get in any IIM. It is definitely a ...


Posted by G S Uppal





Sub: View

Man, you passed in 1977 when the economic disparity awsn't very high. So, think over what you have written. Now, if the government wants to ...


Posted by Kaushik Das





Sub: Don\'t interfere in education!

I agree with Mr. K Raghavendra Rao, but probably as you know about Indian people they never get loan unless and until you bribe authorities, ...


Posted by Sunny




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