Current status of higher education in India.

The educational structure in India is generally referred to as the Ten + Two + Three (10+2+3) pattern. In +3 stage, the student attends the college in his chosen field of subject. The higher education also offers 4 years Engineering courses and Medicine. Professional courses in other disciplines like architecture, law are offered for five years. Since the privatisation of the education sector the training programs at the undergraduate level has been streamlined. 60%-80% of graduates are employed by the Industry and the success story is clearly evident in the shift from the past economy to the progressive economy in India. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is the regulatory body responsible for the development of human resources. The current level of GER in India stands at a figure of 12.4% and is very low compared to world average of 23.2%, 36.5% for developing countries and 45% for developed countries. Some relevant data are given below: • There were 20 Universities and 500 Colleges at the time of independence. • At present, Universities and University-level institutions - 504 • At present, State Universities - 243 • At present, State Private Universities - 53 • At present, Central Universities - 40 • At present, Deemed Universities - 130 • At present, Institutions of national importance established under Acts of Parliament-33 • At present, Institutions established under various State legislations – 5 • In addition, there are 25,951 Colleges Including around 2,565 Women Colleges. Out of 25,951 Colleges, 7,362 Colleges (28%) have been recognized under Section2(f) and 5,997 Colleges (23%) under Section 12-B of the UGC Act, 1956. Total number of students enrolled: Universities and Colleges- 136.42 lakhs, 16.69 lakhs (12.24%) in University Departments and 119.73 lakhs (87.76%) in affiliated colleges. (Status of Higher Education in India : Recent advances in frontier areas D. Manjunatha). The higher education sector is beset by major problems. There are problems of quality – higher education being offered is of mediocre or poor quality with the exception of a few institutes such as the IITs and IIMs. There are imbalances in demand and supply – a large army of graduates in non-technical areas faced with scarcity of employment opportunities coexisting with excess demand for technical skills despite the spurt in vocational education. The enrolment rate in higher education is still very low despite significant growth in recent times. A complex and confusing web of multiple regulatory agencies and ministries bind the functioning of educational institutions. Overlap in roles, lack of coordination among agencies and inadequate awareness about one’s role characterises these regulatory agencies. Thus, many clarifications come from courts rather than legislators or regulators. While higher education is constitutionally a state subject effective control is exercised by the Central Government and related governing institutions.

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