NEW DELHI, July 14, 2010: A Credit Agreement of $300 million equivalent for the Second Technical/Engineering Education Quality Improvement Project (TEQIP) was signed today by the representatives from the Government of India and the World Bank. The signatories to the Agreement were Mr Anup K. Pujari, Joint Secretary, on behalf of the Government of India and Mr Roberto Zagha, World Bank Country Director in India.
TEQIP is a partnership with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, and this is the second phase of an envisioned 15-year program initiated in 2002. The first phase of TEQIP initiated a reform process that led to over 30 TEQIP-institutions becoming academically autonomous.
This Project builds on the significant results achieved in the first phase which supported 127 public and private institutions with implementing institutional reforms, in particular autonomy and accountability towards producing highly skilled engineering graduates, and modernizing classrooms, labs and workshops, up-to-date teaching-learning materials and faculty and staff training. Thousands of faculty members were supported in upgrading their skills in well-performing institutions, such as NIT Rourkela, College of Engineering Pune, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad, and BIT Mesra.
Implementing such institutional and policy reforms has made considerable impact on the quality of education. TEQIP’s second phase will respond to the emerging challenge of a shortage of faculty in these institutions by helping prepare more postgraduates to fill the gap. It will also help these technical institutions launch more Research and Development (R&D) programs in collaboration with industry.
“The Government of India is renewing its efforts to strengthen higher and technical education,” said Roberto Zagha, World Bank Country Director in India. “This focus on higher education, and in particular the technical stream, is vital to address the current skill shortages in the economy. This Project will help India meet its growing demand for highly qualified engineers – a demand which has been growing parallel to its rapid economic expansion.”
Enrolment rates in higher education are currently only 11 percent. This has led to a severe skills’ shortage, especially in the IT, infrastructure, power and water sectors. Bank finance for the Second Technical/Engineering Education Quality Improvement Project (TEQIP) will support some 200 competitively-selected engineering education institutions to produce higher quality and more employable engineers. It will also scale up post-graduate education, research, development and innovation at these institutions.
“A key challenge is an over-regulated, but under-governed higher education system,” said Andreas Blom, World Bank Senior Education Economist and project team leader for TEQIP. “Less than 4 percent of institutions are academically autonomous and only 5 percent are accredited. The Government of India and the Bank have found that increased autonomy allows the institutions and their faculty to teach students the skills that corporate India demands, in particular problem-solving skills, creativity and flexibility. This in turn enhances the quality of education.”
The project is also designed to build capacity of policy-planners and administrators in the technical education sector. Substantial effort will be devoted to monitoring and evaluation to improve governance and ensure that the investment results in better performance of the selected institutions.
The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm – which provides interest-free loans with 35 years to maturity and a 10-year grace period.