In the North Indian state of Haryana, which shares its borders with the neighbouring educational hub of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, the education sector could be one of the primary and effective critical elements of change in society. If nurtured well, it has the propensity to become one of the main components for the state's growth and accessibility. Although, as per the 2011 Census of India, Haryana has recorded a literacy rate of 76.6%, the gap between the male (85.4%) and female (66.8%) literacy rate is still a matter of concern. Only Gurgaon, with a literacy rate of 84.7% as per the 2011 Census, has a higher literacy rate in the state. Amidst all this, the one question we must ask is, are educational facilities equitable across the vast cross-sections of the society?
Haryana's emphasis on imparting quality higher education, which is the key to an empowered and self-reliant political economy in the state, has not percolated to all classes, rich or poor. Again, a divide is noticed so far as educational facilities to the urban and rural population are concerned. Rural regions are often not granted the best of infrastructure and educational facilities, which are extremely expensive. The exorbitant costs of education remain within the reach of children of a handful of upper-class urban elite families. Educational facilities must be made pocket-friendly so that it can be accessed by all strata of society, the rich and the poor, the urban and the rural, men and women.
In India, education and empowerment are synonymous. Education empowers the youth in the region. In this regard, another growing problem in the education sector in Haryana is the lack of infrastructural enhancements along with the issues of accessibility and equity, which are some of the characteristics of an emerging educational sector. Haryana has a contrasting economic structure, with the presence of both, strong industrial belts and rich agricultural production. This stark difference in economic forces demands that the state government must strengthen aspects to make its education compatible with the demands of its employment sector. Haryana should present ample opportunities of empowerment not only to its residents, but also to many young graduates from other parts of the country and the world. However, for this hope to be envisioned, many branches of higher learning in the state must guarantee global standards of college and university placements for students, so that students could directly enter their respective professions after graduation.
One nurtures immense positive hope and encouragement from the education and empowerment trajectory that the ambitions of Naya Haryana have echoed. The correct implementation of Right to Education Act of 2009 in the state must be one of the primary weapons of bringing the change. The different facilities and amenities for education and employment sectors, through global networks of exchange and communication, must be enhanced, so that the state could be a forerunner in these two critical components. Through this, Haryana can mark its progress on a national scale.