Unfair education system in India has not only severely hindered the nation’s economic development but also caused social rift, which should serve as a warning to China, an article in a state-run Chinese newspaper said today. “The gap between the rich and the poor reflected in India’s education is not just related to money, but also the gap in economic and social rights, and traditional social classes,” the article in the state-run Global Times said. The daily from the publication group affiliated to the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) said while India has 700 million youth, which is an “enormous wealth” when it comes to cheap labour, “the quality of Indian labour cannot satisfy the need of foreign companies” investing in India under the ‘Make in India’ campaign.
Skirting any references to Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution in which millions of people were killed, the tabloid, which daily carries articles critical of India, said China’s 1949 revolution has eliminated social classes. “Compared with India, thanks to the 1949 revolution, which completely eliminated the division between social classes and realised free and compulsory education for all, China has achieved rapid development over the past decades,” it said. Admitting that the education system in China is not flawless, it said class differentiation is a major barrier in obtaining higher education and advised India to focus on “continuously breaking the barrier to class mobility.”
“And what China needs to do is to prevent the gap between classes from widening. From this point of view, the education situation in India should also serve as a warning to China,” it said. The growing inequality in Communist China in the last few decades has long been a concern. The Gini coefficient, a widely-used measurement of inequality, stood at 0.469 in 2014.
The World Bank considers a coefficient above 0.40 to represent a severe wealth gap. Last year, the Financial Times quoted a Peking University report stating that China has one of the world’s highest levels of income inequality, with the richest one per cent of households owning a third of the country’s wealth.