Abstract transparency and accountability, the role of


Education is the Nation’s strength. The
world has realized that the economic success of the states is directly
determined by the their education systems.

A developed nation is inevitably an educated
nation.Higher education is very imporantant for developing country like
India.It is also imporatant for developing human development.

Higher education has expanded since
independence.India has produced Scientists,engineers,doctors,technologists,managers.Now
india is treated as one of the top ten countries in the world,because of its
contribution of man power and tools provided in the higher education.In coming
years India will be heralded by space craft satellites internets.Higher
education providea oppor4tunities to young flect on the
critical.social,cultural,moral,economicand spirituval issues facing humanity.

Higher education provides special knowledge
and skilled peoples for the development of nation.In coming years,India will have
largest young people. The correlation between people and higher education is
not up to the mark. India’s higher education system in the third in the world.

system is the third largest in the world,
next to the United States and China. Since independence, India as a developing
nation is contentiously progressing in the education field. Although there have
been lot of challenges to higher education system of India but equally have lot
of opportunities to overcome these challenges and to make higher education
system much better. It needs greater transparency and accountability, the role
of colleges and universities in the new millennium, and emerging scientific
research on how people learn is of utmost important. India need well skilled
and highly educated people who can drive our economy forward. India provides
highly skilled people to other countries therefore; it is very easy for India
to transfer our country from a developing nation to a developed nation. The
current study aims to highlight the challenges and to point out the opportunities
in higher education system in India.

Keywords: Education, Opportunities,
Challenges, Colleges, Universities


India’s higher education system is the
world’s third largest in terms of students, next to China and the United States.
In future, India will be one of the largest education hubs. India’s Higher
Education sector has witnessed a tremendous increase in the number of
Universities/University level Institutions & Colleges since independence.

The ‘Right to Education Act’ which
stipulates compulsory and free education to all children within the age groups
of 6-14 years, has brought about a revolution in the education system of the
country with statistics revealing a staggering enrolment in schools over the
last four years. The involvement of private sector in higher education has seen
drastic changes in the field. Today over 60% of higher education institutions
in India are promoted by the private sector. This has accelerated establishment
of institutes which have originated over the last decade making India home to
the largest number of Higher Education institutions in the world, with student enrolments
at the second highest (Shaguri, 2013).The number of Universities has increased
34 times from 20 in 1950 to 677 in 2014. Despite these numbers, international
education rating agencies have not placed many of these institutions within the
best of the world ranking. Also, India has failed to produce world class universities.

Today, Knowledge is power. The more
knowledge one has, the more empowered one is. However,India continues to face
stern challenges. Despite growing investment in education, 25 per cent of its
population is still illiterate; only 15 per cent of Indian students reach high
school, and just 7 per cent graduate (Masani, 2008).

The quality of education in India whether
at primary or higher education is significantly poor as compared to major
developing nations of the world. As of 2008, India’s post-secondary
institutions offer only enough seats for 7 per cent of India’s college-age
population, 25 per cent of teaching positions nationwide are vacant, and 57 per
cent of college professors lack either a master’s or PhD degree (Newsweek,
2011). As of 2011, there are 1522 degree-granting engineering colleges in India
with an annual student intake of 582,000 (Science and Technology Education,
2009) plus 1,244 polytechnics with an annual intake of 265,000. However, these institutions
face shortage of faculty and concerns have been raised over the quality of
education (Mitra, 2008).

Despite these challenges higher education
system of India equally have lot of opportunities to overcome these challenges
and have the capability to make its identity at international level. However,
it needs greater transparency and accountability, the role of universities and
colleges in the new millennium, and emerging

scientific research on how people learn is
of utmost important. India provides highly skilled people to other countries
therefore; it is very easy for India to transfer our country from a developing
nation to a developed nation.

Growth of
Higher Education Sector in India

As higher education systems grow and
diversify, society is increasingly concerned about the quality ofprogrammes,
public assessments and international rankings of higher education institutions.
However these comparisons tend to over emphasise research, using research
performance as a yardstick of institutional value. If these processes fail to
address the quality of teaching, it is in part because measuring teaching
quality ischallenging (Hernard, 2008).India has been always been a land of
scholars and learners. In ancient times also, India was regarded all over the
world for its universities like Taxila, Nalanda, Vikramshila and its scholars.
By independence India had 20 universities, 500 colleges enrolling about
2,30,000 students. Since independence India has progressed significantly in
terms of higher education statistics. This number has increased to 659
Universities and 33023 colleges up to December 2011-12. Central Government and
state Governments are trying to nurture talent through focusing on the number
of Universities and Colleges for expansion of higher educations. There is no doubt
to the fact that much of the progress achieved by India in education has come
from private sector. In fact the public sector and private sector is not in
opposition to each other but they are working simultaneously in Indian
education sphere. UGC is the main governing body that enforces the standards,
advises the government and helps coordinate between center and states. The
chart 1.1 & 1.2 shown below depicts the growth of universities and colleges
in India from 1970 to 2012 respectively. The number of universities has grown
more than six times in last four decades and the number of colleges has been
increased from 3603 in 1970-71 to 33000 colleges in 2011-12.

in Higher Education in India

It is our 69th year of independence still
our education system has not been developed fully. We are not able to list a
single university in top 100 universities of the world. Various governments
changed during these six decades.They tried to boost the education system and
implemented various education policies but they were not sufficient to put an
example for the universe. UGC is continuously working and focusing on quality
education in higher education sector. Still we are facing lot of problems and
challenges in our education system. Some of the basic challenges in higher education
system in India are discussed below:

1.Equity: There is no equity in The Gross Enrolment Ratio(GER) among
different sects of the society. According to previous studies the the GER in
higher education in India among male and female varies to a greater extent.
There are regional variations too some states have high GER while as some is
quite behind the national GER which shows a significant imbalances within the
higher education system.

2.Enrolment; The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of India in higher education is
only 15% which is quite low as compared to the developed as well as, other
developing countries. With the increase of enrolments at school level, the
supply of higher education institutes is insufficient to meet the growing demand
in the country.

Quality in higher education is a multi-dimensional, multilevel, and a dynamic
concept.Ensuring quality in higher education is amongst the foremost challenges
being faced in India today.However, Government is continuously focusing on the
quality education. Still Large number of colleges and universities in India are
unable to meet the minimum requirements laid down by the UGC and
ouruniversities are not in a position to mark its place among the top
universities of the world.

 4.Infrastructure: Poor infrastructure is
another challenge to the higher education system of India particularly the
institutes run by the public sector suffer from poor physical facilities and
infrastructure.There are large number of colleges which are functioning on second
or third floor of the building on ground or first floor there exists readymade
hosieries or photocopy shops.

Political interference: Most of the educational Institutions are owned by
the political leaders, who are playing key role in governing bodies of the
Universities. They are using the innocent students for their selfish means.
Students organise campaigns, forget their own objectives and begin to develop
their careers in politics.

6. Faculty shortages and the inability of the state educational system
to attract and retain well qualified teachers have been posing challenges to
quality education for many years. Large numbers of NET / Ph.D candidates are
unemployed even there are lot of vacancies in higher education, these deserving
candidates are then applying in other departments which is a biggest blow to
the higher education system.

7.Accreditation: As per the data provided by the NAAC, as of June 2010, “not even
25% of the total higher education institutions in the country were accredited.
And among those accredited, only 30% of the universities and 45% of the
colleges were found to be of quality to be ranked at ‘A’ level”. Research and
Innovation: there are very nominal scholars in our country whose writing is
cited by famous western authors. There is inadequate focus on research in
higher education institutes. There are insufficient resources and facilities,
as well as, limited numbers of quality faculty to advice students.Most of the
research scholars are without fellowships or not getting their fellowships on
time which directly or indirectly affects their research. Moreover, Indian
Higher education institutions are poorly connected to research centers. So,
this is another area of challenge to the higher education in India.

Structure of higher education: Management of the
Indian education faces challenges of overcentralisation,bureaucratic structures
and lack of accountability, transparency, and professionalism. As a result of
increase in number of affiliated colleges and students, the burden of
administrative functions of universities has significantly increased and the
core focus on academics and research is diluted (Kumar,2015).

in Higher Education

India is a large country, with an estimated
population of young people aged between 18 to 23 years to be around 150
millions. The sheer size of the market offers huge opportunities for
development of the higher education sector in India. India now boasts of having
more than 33,000 colleges and 659 universities, which has been quite a
remarkable growth during the last six decades. The year 2012 witnessed 21.4
million enrollments, which makes India the 3rd largest educational system in
the world. Unfortunately, the educational infrastructure of India is inadequate
to handle such huge volumes. In spite all the government spending in the
educational sector,it is just too insufficient to meet the growing
requirements. Therefore, higher Education sector has now been identified as one
of the promising areas for private and foreign investments. It offers immense
investment opportunities in both non-regulated and regulated segments (Nexus
Novus, 26 July, 2013).Indian higher education system is growing very fast
irrespective of various challenges but there is no reason that these Challenges
cannot be overcome. With the help of new-age learning tools, it is easy for
country like India to overcome these problems and bring a paradigm shift in the
country’s higher education sector. With such a vibrant country with huge
population properly educated, the possibilities are endless. If knowledge is imparted
using advanced digital teaching and learning tools, and society is made aware
of where we are currently lagging behind, our country can easily emerge as one
of the most developed nations in the world.There are opportunities for
strategic engagement and capacity building in higher education leadership and
management at the state level. There are opportunities for India to
collaboration at national and international level on areas of systemic reform,
including quality assurance, international credit recognition, and unified national
qualifications framework. Equality of educational opportunity in higher
education is considered essential because higher education is a powerful tool
for reducing or eliminating income and wealth disparities.The idea of
equalising educational opportunities also lies in the fact that “the ability to
profit by higher education is spread among all classes of people. There are
great reserves of untapped ability in the society; if offered the chance they
can rise to the top. A great deal of talent of the highest level is, in fact,
lost by an inegalitarian system of education” (Balachander, 1986).The need to
enhance the employability of graduates is presenting entry points for collaboration
inenterprise education and entrepreneurship, links with industry, research
skills and the wide range of transferable skills, including English. The
emerging interest in Indian higher education institutions in the vocational
skills market provides areas for potential engagement with international
partners. There is a need to build stronger relationships and increase mutual
understanding in higher education by increasing support and participation in platforms
(conferences, workshops, seminars) which enable debate and dialogue with other
countries of the world.(British Council, 2014).

Improving the System of Higher Education

 There is a need to implement innovative and
transformational approach form primary to higher

education level to make Indian educational
system globally more relevant and competitive.Higher educational institutes
need to improve quality and reputation.There should be a good infrastructure of
colleges and universities which may attract the students.

 Government must promote collaboration between
Indian higher education institutes and top International institutes and also
generates linkage between national research laboratories and research centers
of top institutions for better quality and collaborative research.

There is a need to focus on the graduate
students by providing them such courses in which they can

achieve excellence, gain deeper knowledge
of subject so that they will get jobs after recruitment in the companies which
would reduce unnecessary rush to the higher education.Universities and colleges
in both public private must be away from the political
affiliations,Favouritism, money making process should be out of education
system etc.

 There should be a multidisciplinary approach
in higher education so that students knowledge may not be restricted only upto
his own subjects.



1. Education is a process,Where a  person’s body,mind,and character are formed
and strengthened. It is bringing together head,mind and heart together and
helping a person to devlop an all around personality.which helps in identifying
the best in him.

2. Higher education in India has expanded
very rapidly in the last six decades after independence yet it is not equally
accessible to all. India is today one of the fastest developing countries of
the world with the annual growth rate going above 9%. Still a large section of
the population remains illiterate and a large number of children’s do not get
even primary education. This is not only excluded a large section of the population
from contributing to the development of the country fully but it has also
prevented them for the benefits of people.as the India is facing many
challenges in higher education   but face
many problems which also tackles with these challenges. India is a country of
huge human resource

3.Oportunities are available in abundance,but
how to get benefits from these opportunities and how to make them accessible to
others is the matter of concern. In order to increase the rate of growth, there
is need to increase the number of institutes and also the quality of higher
education in India.

4.To reach and achieve the future
requirements there is an urgent need to relook at the Financial Resources,
Access and Equity, Quality Standards, Relevance, infrastructure and at the end
the Responsiveness.


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