Back to: Contemporary India and Education-Unit 1
In India, the Kothari Commission was set up in 1982 to look into the quality of the education system. The commission is headed by Justice M.M. Kothari, and its mandate is to suggest ways to improve the quality of education in India. Its report, which has been submitted to the government, is said to be highly critical of the government’s functioning and policies.
The Kothari Commission was an ad hoc commission formed by the Government of India under the Chairmanship of Daulat Singh Kothari on 14 July 1964 and dissolved on 29 June 1966. He was the chairman of the University Grants Commissions (UGC) when the Kothari Commission was formed. The Commission consisted of twenty members who were experts in the education domain and based out of the UK, USA, Japan, Sweden, and France.
The commission report has a lot of recommendations for reforms in the education system. It includes proposals on increasing expenditure on education, reducing the number of schools and colleges, revising the syllabus, changing the way teachers are selected, and even setting up a new education ministry. The commission is expected to submit its report in the last week of October. The recommendations made by the commission will have to be implemented by the central government. The central government has already accepted some of the commission’s recommendations. However, there are many suggestions that are yet to be considered. In this article, we shall look at the demerits of the Kothari Commission’s recommendations.
Objectives of the Kothari Commission (1964-66)
The main objectives of the Kothari Commission (1964-66) were as follows:
- Provision of guidelines and policies for education development in India.
- Evolution and finding of a general education pattern in India.
- Examination of every aspect and domain of the Indian education system.
Critical Analysis of the Kothari Commission’s Recommendations
The Kothari Commission is not free of criticism as it is believed to be controversial in some areas. The critical analysis of the Commission is as follows.
Increasing Expenditure on Education
The Kothari Commission recommends that the government should increase expenditure on education. According to the Kothari Commission, the expenditure on education needs to be increased from 3% to 6% of the gross domestic product (GDP).
The commission suggests that the government should spend more money on education as it is an investment in the future of India. The commission also says that it will help in increasing the number of school children and providing better facilities for the schools. However, increasing expenditure on education is not a solution to the problems faced by the government. It will only add to the already heavy burden of taxes. Moreover, the government cannot afford to increase expenditure on education as it has a large number of other expenses to pay. In addition, the Kothari Commission’s recommendations on increasing expenditure on education are based on an estimate that 6% of GDP is required to meet the educational needs of the country. This is quite unrealistic as India’s per capita income is just about USD
Lack of Explanation
While the Commission puts forward the educational goals and problems being faced by the Indian education system, it offers a lack of solution and explanation on how to achieve the goals.
Many believe that the commendations pointed out by the Commission on the medium of language are conflicting and controversial.
The Commission fails to provide adequate guidance and suggestions on the steps and tips that can transform the education system in India as envisioned by the Commission.
Huge Financial Investment
The Commission’s recommendations to transform the Indian education system required heavy financial investment which was not economically or socially feasible especially when the majority of the citizens of the country were below the poverty level.
Positions of Heads
The Commission did not touch upon the subject of the head of schools and left it undecided. This lack of emphasis and attention towards this domain is regarded as ignorant.
Along with the reception of these criticisms, the Commission also made an error in placing Sanskrit and Arabic on the same level which raged the citizens and sparked a controversy. Therefore, despite its helpful recommendations, the Commission is regarded to be controversial and conflicting.
Hence, it is not possible for the government to increase expenditure on education by such a huge amount.