The Complete Human Resource Publication

Higher Education In India

Challenges of Higher Education in India


India has a low rate of enrolment in higher education, at only 18 percent, equated with 26 percent in China and 36 percent in Brazil. There is huge unmet command for higher education

India has one of the poorest Gross Enrolment Ratios (GER) for higher education in the world. According to 2010 data, India’s GER was a lean 13.8 percent, equated with the global average of around 26 percent. Australia, Russia and the U.S., to name a few examples, have GERs up of 75 percent. Even though the Ministry of Human Resources & Development had set a goal of a 30 percent GER for India by 2020, that target is unlikely to be met. At the present rate of GER growth, India is looking at a GER of approximately 19 percent.

Higher education is very significant for a budding country like India and it is very crucial for growing human development. Higher education in India has knowledgeable phenomenal growth since Independence. India has shaped scientists, engineers, technologists, doctors, teachers and managers who are in huge command all over the world. Now it is one of the top ten countries in our industrial and technological ability, because of the major involvement of manpower and tools furnished by higher education. Particularly, India has technical education, and has entered into the age of knowledge explosion.

Necessity and Significance of Education

Education, as readers are aware, is imperative to the human resources growth and authorisation in the stages of enlargement for a nation. In any education system, higher education surrounding Management, Engineering, Medicines etc., plays a foremost role.

It adds knowledge, values, and budding skills ultimately increasing the growth and efficiency of the nation. While the Government is loyal for primary education provisions and certain facilities/subsidies for higher education, given the higher cost occupied in the establishment of higher education institutes, we are discovering the admission of private sector to run educational institutions.

While discussing the significance of teaching, we must state that schools have turned into the most significant means of metamorphosing wealth of knowledge and skills from one age group to another. However, the function of institutions becomes more demanding in the contemporary world with innovations and technological developments. Investment in education and educational institutions should be considered as a speculation for financial prosperity.

In India, there are about 26,478 institutions rendering higher education and accounting for the major number in the world. In contrast, according to a report in 2010, the U.S. had only 6,706 higher education schools and China had 4,000. It is vital that given the large number of schools of higher learning in India, we must aim to bring more students under the system. Investment in human capital, lifelong wisdom and quality education assist in the expansion of society and nation.

Higher Education in India: The Context for Change

The Indian higher education system is confronting an unparalleled change in the coming decade. This change is being determined by financial and demographic change by 2020; India will be the world’s third largest economy, with a correspondingly fast growth in the size of its middle classes. At present, over 50 percent of India’s inhabitants are under 25 years old; by 2020 India will outpace China as the country with the largest tertiary-age population.

Regardless of major growth over the last few years, Indian higher education is confronted with various challenges:

The Demand – Supply Gap: India has a low rate of enrolment in higher education, at only 18 percent, equated with 26 percent in China and 36 percent in Brazil. There is huge unmet command for higher education. By 2020, the Indian government aims to attain 30 percent gross enrolment, which will mean supplying 40 million university places, approximately an increase of 14 million in six years.

Quality of Teaching and Learning: The system is overwhelmed by issues of excellence in many of its institutions: a constant deficiency of faculty, poor quality teaching, outmoded and rigid curriculum and pedagogy, lack of responsibility and quality assertion, and division of research and teaching.

Limitations on Research Capacity and Innovation: With a very low level of PhD registrations, India does not have sufficient high quality researchers; there are few chances for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary functioning, lack of early stage research knowledge; a feeble ecosystem for novelty and low levels of industry appointment.

Irregular Growth and Access to Opportunity

Socially, India stays highly divided; access to higher education is irregular with multidimensional inequalities in registration across inhabitants groups and geographies. The private sector, which currently accounts for 59 percent of all tertiary enrolment, continues to grow rapidly, given that most of the professional courses are mainly engineering and management. Many more providers are waiting for legislation which would allow them to enter the market. The private sector is predictable to play a important role in the future growth of higher education in India.

Issues and Disputes

Capacity Utilisation: Another issue to be addressed in escalation is that the Indian education system is to develop the capacity utilisation. For example, a new study on capacity utilisation in India for higher education suggests that the capability utilisation in case of MBA is about 57 percent in Maharashtra and 72 percent in Haryana. In the case of certain other states, there are a lot of vacant seats in institutions. On the one hand, we need to progress our GER, and on the other, we need to make sure that institutions/colleges/schools bent for providing higher education completely make use of the capacity created.

Infrastructure Amenities: One of the factors why the capacity usage is low in impending new institutions colleges (both in private and public sectors) is their incapability to offer essential physical infrastructure to run the institutions. The infrastructure amenities pleasing to rank the institutions of improved quality include real estate, state of the art class rooms, library, hostels, furniture, sports facilities, transport, commercial buildings, etc. We need to make sure a political private sector contribution in the establishment of colleges for providing quality physical infrastructure.

Role of Public Private Partnership: The Government is making efforts to advance the education system in terms of diverse parameters like GER, quality, investments, infrastructure, etc. But we require recognising the restraints for the Government to make a big turn with huge investments in education. We consider that private sector has in progress singing a distinctive role in humanising the education system in India. In this context, it is helpful to discover the prospect of public private partnership (PPP) model in education. The two-way efforts between universities/colleges and corporates would help in organising joint research and growth, students receiving exposure to industrial activities in terms of internships, business training during vacations and bringing out of certificates by corporates for attending internship/training etc., thus, alleviating in image building and branding of institutions and constructing the students more job-worthy.

Student-Teacher Ratio: One more challenge for civilising the Indian education system is to improve the student teacher ratio. In India, percentage is very high as equated to certain comparable countries in the world. For example, while in developed countries this ratio stands at 11:4, in case of India, it is as elevated as 22:0. It is even low in CIS (10:9), Western Asia (15:3), and Latin America (16:6). This brings the requirement to employ quality teachers and reinforces the teachers necessary to handle classes. In many urbanised countries students are given part-time teaching assignments. We can also explore similar kinds of possibilities in technical/higher education to handle lower level classes. It is also required to help the students in gathering their teaching expenses partly.

Looking Forward

Innovations Required

The dispute of educating millions of young people entails that we need to balance up our educational efforts multifold in spite of having the largest number of higher education institutes in the world. The core curriculum of some of the colleges/universities is more or less outdated and does not provide students with the essential skills or impart most up-to-date knowledge. If a student passes out of a chosen course, he or she should be employ being part of the workforce. Unluckily, given the unusual share of lack of technical knowledge in the courses of education, students are found inadequate in the preferred skills and technical soundness. To address this issue, we may think of intensification of vocational streams in schools and colleges. It’s better if universities/schools/colleges regularly re-examine their curriculum by linking experts from diverse fields so that the syllabus can show the way to knowledge development.

Teachers are also the most significant factors for any pioneering society because teachers’ knowledge and skills not only improve quality and efficacy of education, but also progress the possibility for research and innovation. Given the higher level of GER to be accomplished by 2020, a large number of teachers would be necessary to instruct the rising young population. Maybe, students could be used as teachers, particularly good students coming from lower income groups so that they can be partly be paid. There is a need to support teachers to contribute by presenting research papers in seminars/workshops/conferences and accept intermittent trainings for updation of information, skills.

Quality of Education

Given that we require competing internationally in the 21st century, our education system should accept certain benchmarking techniques for humanising instruction models and administrative measures in universities/colleges to go forward. It is suggested that we need a systematic study and assessment of models implemented elsewhere and work out strategies to take on such models in our system. The country is screening steadiness in economic growth patterns, leading the world in terms of data and technology, upgrading a variety of economic activities and approaching for higher share of industries and services sectors of the economy. But there is one area which wants reform and that is the “education system”. While it is true that some investment is taking place in the country’s higher education system, we are yet to set up world class research facilities, and enrolling profound academicians in universities/colleges/research institutions, etc. to sustain and forge a guide in economic development. It is significant to recognise that countries like China, Singapore, South Korea, etc. are moving fast in investing in education systems. Therefore, it is very important that our educational institutions are prepared with the preferred quality and principles which are prerequisites for transforming the younger employees into productive ones.

Making Education Affordable

In India, if education has to reach all admirable students, it should be made affordable. The payment structure in Government owned/sponsored institutions is reasonably priced. It is necessary to urge the educators to keep in mind that teaching should not become prohibitively expensive and make sure that no admirable candidate is deprived of admission just for the reality that he or she does not have the necessary monetary resources.

Morals in Education

The most vital purpose of any educational institution is to furnish the students with moral values besides imparting information and skills. Today RBI as well as Government of India is formulating progressive policies to make sure funds do not pose a major problem for education; it is thus, imperative to encourage banks to give educational loans to all worthy students. Government is looking into the issue of setting up of a system of insuring educational loans to decrease defaulting of education loans.

In the same coin, as education has to be made inexpensive to all deserving and poor students, there is a physically influential need for educational institutions not to over-commercialise education but to support principles in the business of education as well. It is not anyone’s case that the business has to be run unprofitably but the business must be passed out with ethical values for nourishment of instructive institutions. Over utilisation should be avoided. Profit cannot be the sole reason for undertaking this business. It has to be determined by an unwavering promise to society which in turn will promote the industry in the long run.

To Conclude

To sum up, we need to be acquainted with the knowledge, skills and efficiency of our growing young and lively workforce. To bring in the benefits of such a young workforce, we need to realise the reforms in the education system and also carry forth new factors of production, that are knowledge, skills and technology, which have the aptitude to unleash the creative frontiers of the financial system in the most well-organised and dynamic way. Besides, enchanting a leaf from the western hemisphere, India should try to become an information market to endorse comprehensive development.


Ankur Gulati
Dean of Marketing and Branding, IMS-Design & Innovation Academy








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