Education in India

Every parent harbors a dream of providing the best education to his or her child. In India, a country with a middle class of over 300 million and another 400 million living below the poverty line, it is often the only ticket to prosperity. With such a high population, cultivating an educated workforce also offers many social and economic opportunities for the country as a whole. Because of its high social return on investment, education is a key issue for donors wanting to bring about social change in India.

Compared to the graying population worldwide, today’s India has a young population. The country has entered a Demographic Dividend phase that is expected to last nearly 30 years, during which a productive labor force forms the largest population segment (Nilekani, 2008 and The Economist, 2013).

According to several reports, India will have a surplus of 47 million workers by 2020, equal to the world’s shortfall. This young workforce will be a remarkable human capital asset for India — provided it is well educated and skilled. However, currently, only 17.9% of India’s young population is enrolled in higher education (Ernst & Young, Nov. 2012).

In this report, we explore the challenges in India’s primary and higher education system as well as vocational and skills training. We also look at some high-level opportunities for donors and provide examples of innovative groups tackling this issue.

Read the full report, Education in India: An Overview of Challenges and Philanthropic Opportunities