Higher Education in India

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Abstract
Higher Education in India – Issues and Challenges

Higher Education in India is improving gradually after Independence. It is in the second place in the world after United States. Some institutions of India, such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), National Institute of Technology (NITs) and Jawaharlal Nehru University have been globally acclaimed for their standard of education. University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), are two apex organisations that cater for the higher education in India. The solutions for the below mentioned Issues, Challenges and Concerns of Higher Education in India discussed in this paper would improve the status of Higher education system in India. Issues Challenges and Concerns dealt in this paper includes : Autonomy of Universities, Access, Equity, Caste-based Reservation, Quality, Cost of Education, Declining Enrolment in Traditional Fields of Knowledge, Red Tapism, Vocationalization at the First Degree Level,Privatization and other Domestic Issues and Challenges of Higher Education in India

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Author Name : Prof.S.Gopalakrishna
Designation : Head, Department of Management Studies – MBA Institution Name : Cambridge Institute of Technology
Place : Bangalore

Higher Education in India – Issues and Challenges

Higher education system in India is the second largest in the world, after the United States. The main governing body at the tertiary level is the University Grants Commission, which enforces its standards, advises the government, and helps coordinate between the centre and the state.  Indian higher education system has expanded at a fast pace by adding nearly 20,000 colleges and more than 8 million students in a decade from 2000-01 to 2010-11. As of 2011, India has 42 central universities, 275 state universities, 130 deemed universities, 90 private universities, 5 institutions established and functioning under the State Act, and 33 Institutes of National Importance. Other institutions include 33,000 colleges as Government Degree Colleges and Private Degree Colleges, including 1800 exclusive women's colleges, functioning under these universities and institutions as reported by the UGC in 2012. The emphasis in the tertiary level of education lies on science and technology. Indian educational institutions by 2004 consisted of a large number of technology institutes. Distance learning and open education is also a feature of the Indian higher education system, and is looked after by the Distance Education Council. Indira Gandhi National Open University is the largest university in the world by number of students, having approximately 3.5 million students across the globe. Some institutions of India, such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), National Institute of Technology (NITs) and Jawaharlal Nehru University have been globally acclaimed for their standard of education. The IITs enroll about 8000 students annually and the alumni have contributed to both the growth of the private sector and the public sectors of India.

As India gained its independence in 1947, the apathy of the State towards research, both basic and applied, not surprisingly changed. India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru strongly believed that it is industrialisation alone that could drag the country out of poverty and into prosperity. However in a decision that had far reaching consequences, the first government of independent India decided to keep the boundaries of the university system largely intact and focused on research in science and technology through institutions that were largely outside the higher education sector. Many publicly funded research institutions were set up to carry out basic and applied research but these institutions did not carry out any significant teaching or training of students. Beside this, engineering...
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