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Evolving Scenario Of Higher Education In India

Steps such as operational autonomy, flexibility in norms for setting up of private institutions, modifying and implementations of education bill, and access to global curriculum design framework will not encourage the private players but also promote the cause of higher education in India to a whole new level.

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In 1948, when the Government of India appointed university education commission under the Chairmanship of Dr. Radhakrishnan, the commission made several recommendations considering various aspects of the higher education need among Indians and published a report in August 1949. Some of the main recommendations suggested in the report included - consolidation and expansion of Institution, development of autonomous colleges and related departments, course designing, training of teachers, strengthening of research and establishment of open universities and availability of distance learning programmes for aspirants.

Since the 1980s, higher education has drastically evolved in India pertaining to number of universities, colleges, and centres for open learning. There are over 700 universities and 34000 colleges that have sprawled up in India over the past few years, which include duly recognized and well-performing private universities. Additionally, the gender gap or the gender parity index (GPI) has shown significant improvement wherein, women students have been able to perform exceptionally well in academics. Immense growth in the overall structure and method of teaching can be found in globally-acclaimed Indian institutions like IIMs, IITs and B-Schools, imparting competitive higher education to millions of college pass-outs each year. The influx of foreign students has also been evidential with highest number of students applying for admission from neighbouring countries like Nepal, Afghanistan, and Bhutan. 

On the other hand, with an ever-changing education scenario influenced by the global economic developments, focus on enforcing higher standard of vocational and doctoral education, professionalization of the education sector and reprioritization of educational goals – is the need of the hour and will lead to noteworthy radical reforms in the sector for the overall benefit of the society. 

Into the future

As per a study published by E&Y, India is reported to have 140 million young college goers before 2030. And thus, the country should pursue massive structural and systemic changes to produce better results in the field of higher education and distance learning, specifically. Apart from having best-in-class post-secondary education system, by 2030, India will have the largest population in the world resulting in increased bracket of students eligible for higher learning and educational courses. 

Coupled by spreading urbanization and rising income levels, the demand for higher education is likely to touch new pinnacles of growth. Concurrently, Indian economy will also surge economy at a rapid pace while factors such as need for rapid industrialization would require a workforce of 250 million by 2030. Therefore, with a well-structured and sufficiently reformed higher education system in place, India can emerge as a global supplier of skilled manpower. And, higher education will have a significant role in shaping up the future socio-economic structure of the country, amid a crucial part will be played by the private sector in India. Evidently, the growth in the number of private institutions has been notable with 7.5% year on year, with private players.

Steps such as operational autonomy, flexibility in norms for setting up of private institutions, modifying and implementations of education bill, and access to global curriculum design framework will not encourage the private players but also promote the cause of higher education in India to a whole new level.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Puneet Sharma

The author is Brand Strategist, Saints Art Strategic Communication

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