AbstractEducation is the Nation’s strength. Theworld has realized that the economic success of the states is directlydetermined by the their education systems.A developed nation is inevitably an educatednation.
Higher education is very imporantant for developing country likeIndia.It is also imporatant for developing human development.Higher education has expanded sinceindependence.India has produced Scientists,engineers,doctors,technologists,managers.Nowindia is treated as one of the top ten countries in the world,because of itscontribution of man power and tools provided in the higher education.
In comingyears India will be heralded by space craft satellites internets.Highereducation providea oppor4tunities to young flect on thecritical.social,cultural,moral,economicand spirituval issues facing humanity.Higher education provides special knowledgeand skilled peoples for the development of nation.In coming years,India will havelargest young people.
The correlation between people and higher education isnot up to the mark. India’s higher education system in the third in the world.Since independence,India as a developingnation is contentiously progressing in the education field.
Although there havebeen lot of challenges to higher education system of India but equally have lotof opportunities to overcome these challenges and to make higher educationsystem much better. It needs greater transparency and accountability, the roleof colleges and universities in the new millennium,and emerging scientificresearch on how people learn is of utmost important. India need well skilledand highly educated people who can drive our economy forward. India provideshighly skilled people to other countries therefore; it is very easy for Indiato transfer our country from a developing nation to a developed nation.
Thecurrent study aims to highlight the challenges and to point out the opportunitiesin higher education system in India.Keywords: Education, Opportunities,Challenges, Colleges, UniversitiesIntroductionIndia’s higher education system is theworld’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 HigherEducation sector has witnessed a tremendous increase in the number ofUniversities/University level Institutions & Colleges since independence.The ‘Right to Education Act’ whichstipulates compulsory and free education to all children within the age groupsof 6-14 years, has brought about a revolution in the education system of thecountry with statistics revealing a staggering enrolment in schools over thelast four years.
The involvement of private sector in higher education has seendrastic changes in the field. Today over 60% of higher education institutionsin India are promoted by the private sector. This has accelerated establishmentof institutes which have originated over the last decade making India home tothe largest number of Higher Education institutions in the world, with student enrolmentsat the second highest (Shaguri, 2013).The number of Universities has increased34 times from 20 in 1950 to 677 in 2014. Despite these numbers, internationaleducation rating agencies have not placed many of these institutions within thebest of the world ranking. Also, India has failed to produce world classuniversities.Today, Knowledge is power. The moreknowledge one has, the more empowered one is.
However,India continues to facestern challenges. Despite growing investment in education, 25 per cent of itspopulation is still illiterate; only 15 per cent of Indian students reach highschool, and just 7 per cent graduate (Masani, 2008).The quality of education in India whetherat primary or higher education is significantly poor as compared to majordeveloping nations of the world. As of 2008, India’s post-secondaryinstitutions 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 ofcollege professors lack either a master’s or PhD degree (Newsweek, 2011). As of2011, there are 1522 degree-granting engineering colleges in India with anannual student intake of 582,000 (Science and Technology Education, 2009) plus1,244 polytechnics with an annual intake of 265,000.
However, these institutionsface shortage of faculty and concerns have been raised over the quality ofeducation (Mitra, 2008).Despite these challenges higher educationsystem of India equally have lot of opportunities to overcome these challengesand have the capability to make its identity at international level. However,it needs greater transparency and accountability, the role of universities andcolleges in the new millennium, and emergingscientific research on how people learn isof utmost important. India provides highly skilled people to other countriestherefore; it is very easy for India to transfer our country from a developingnation to a developed nation.Growth ofHigher Education Sector in IndiaAs higher education systems grow anddiversify, 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 researchperformance as a yardstick of institutional value. If these processes fail toaddress the quality of teaching, it is in part because measuring teachingquality ischallenging (Hernard, 2008).
India has been always been a land ofscholars and learners. In ancient times also, India was regarded all over theworld for its universities like Taxila, Nalanda, Vikramshila and its scholars.By independence India had 20 universities, 500 colleges enrolling about2,30,000 students. Since independence India has progressed significantly interms of higher education statistics. This number has increased to 659Universities and 33023 colleges up to December 2011-12.
Central Government andstate Governments are trying to nurture talent through focusing on the numberof Universities and Colleges for expansion of higher educations. There is no doubtto the fact that much of the progress achieved by India in education has comefrom private sector. In fact the public sector and private sector is not inopposition to each other but they are working simultaneously in Indianeducation sphere. UGC is the main governing body that enforces the standards,advises the government and helps coordinate between center and states. Thechart 1.1 & 1.2 shown below depicts the growth of universities and collegesin India from 1970 to 2012 respectively.
The number of universities has grownmore than six times in last four decades and the number of colleges has beenincreased from 3603 in 1970-71 to 33000 colleges in 2011-12.Challengesin Higher Education in IndiaIt is our 69th year of independence stillour education system has not been developed fully. We are not able to list asingle university in top 100 universities of the world. Various governmentschanged during these six decades.They tried to boost the education system andimplemented various education policies but they were not sufficient to put anexample for the universe. UGC is continuously working and focusing on qualityeducation in higher education sector. Still we are facing lot of problems andchallenges in our education system.
Some of the basic challenges in highereducation system in India are discussed below:1.Equity: There is no equity in The Gross Enrolment Ratio(GER) among manydifferent sectors of the society. According to previous studies the the GER inhigher education in India among male and female varies to a greater extent.
There are many regional variations too some states have high GER while as someis quite behind the national GER which shows a significant imbalances withinthe higher education system.2.Enrolment; The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of India in higher education isonly 15% which is quite low as compared to the developed as well as, otherdeveloping countries. With the increase of enrolments at school level, thehigher supply of education institutes is insufficient to meet the demand growingin the country.3.Quality:Quality in higher education is a dynamic,multi-dimensional,and ultilevel concept.
Today ensuring quality in higher education is amongst the foremost challengesbeing faced in India. However, Government is continuously focusing on thequality education. Still large number of colleges and universities in India areunable to meet the minimum requirements laid down by the UGC and our universitiesare not in a position to mark its place among the top universities of theworld.
4.Infrastructure: Poor infrastructure isanother challenge to the higher education system of India particularly theinstitutes run by the public sector suffer from poor physical facilities andinfrastructure. There are large number of colleges which are functioning onsecond or third floor of the building on ground or first floor there existsreadymade hosieries or photocopy shops.5.Political interference: Most of the educational Institutions are owned bythe political leaders, who are playing key role in governing bodies of theUniversities. They are using the innocent students for their selfish means.
Students organise campaigns, forget their own objectives and begin to developtheir careers in politics.6. Faculty shortages and the inability of the state educational systemto attract and retain well qualified teachers have been posing challenges toquality education for many years. Large numbers of NET / Ph.D candidates areunemployed even there are lot of vacancies in higher education, these deservingcandidates are applying in other departments, which is a biggest blow to thehigher education system.7.Accreditation: As per the data provided by the NAAC, as of June 2010, “not even25% of the total higher education institutions in the country were accredited.
And among those accredited, only 30% of the universities and 45% of thecolleges were found to be of quality to be ranked at ‘A’ level”. Research andInnovation: there are very nominal scholars in our country whose writing iscited by famous western authors. There is inadequate focus on research inhigher education institutes. There are insufficient resources and facilities,as well as, less numbers of quality faculty to advice students. Most of theresearch scholars are without fellowships or not getting their fellowships ontime which directly or indirectly affects their research. Moreover, IndianHigher education institutions are poorly connected to research centers. So,this is another area of challenge to the higher education in India.8.
Structure of higher education: Management of theIndian education faces challenges of overcentralisation,bureaucratic structuresand lack of accountability, transparency, and professionalism. As a result ofincrease in number of affiliated colleges and students, the burden ofadministrative functions of universities has significantly increased and thecore focus on academics and research is diluted (Kumar,2015).Opportunitiesin Higher EducationIndia is a large country, with an estimatedpopulation of young people aged between 18 to 23 years to be around 150millions. The sheer size of the market offers huge opportunities fordevelopment of the higher education sector in India. India now boasts of havingmore than 33,000 colleges and 659 universities, which has been quite aremarkable growth during the last six decades. The year 2012 witnessed 21.
4million enrollments, which makes India the 3rd largest educational system inthe world. Unfortunately, the educational infrastructure of India is inadequateto handle such huge volumes. In spite all the government spending in theeducational sector,it is just too insufficient to meet the growingrequirements. Therefore, higher Education sector has now been identified as oneof the promising areas for private and foreign investments. It offers immenseinvestment opportunities in both non-regulated and regulated segments (NexusNovus, 26 July, 2013).Indian higher education system is growing very fastirrespective of various challenges but there is no reason that these Challengescannot be overcome. With the help of new-age learning tools, it is easy forcountry like India to overcome these problems and bring a paradigm shift in thecountry’s higher education sector.
With such a vibrant country with hugepopulation properly educated, the possibilities are endless. If knowledge is impartedusing advanced digital teaching and learning tools, and society is made awareof where we are currently lagging behind, our country can easily emerge as oneof the most developed nations in the world..There are opportunities for Indiato collaboration at national and international level on areas of systemicreform, including quality assurance, international credit recognition, andunified national qualifications framework. Equality of educational opportunityin higher education is considered essential because higher education is apowerful tool for reducing or eliminating income and wealth disparities.Theidea of equalising educational opportunities also lies in the fact that “theability 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 chancethey can rise to the top. A great deal of talent of the highest level is, infact, lost by an inegalitarian system of education” (Balachander, 1986).
Theneed to enhance the employability of graduates is presenting entry points forcollaboration 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 vocationalskills market provides areas for potential engagement with internationalpartners. There is a need to build stronger relationships and increase mutualunderstanding in higher education by increasing support and participation in platforms(conferences, workshops, seminars) which enable debate and dialogue with othercountries of the world.(British Council, 2014).SuggestionsImproving the System of Higher Education There is a need to implement innovative andtransformational approach form primary to highereducation level to make Indian educationalsystem globally more relevant and competitive.Higher educational institutesneed to improve quality and reputation.There should be a good infrastructure ofcolleges and universities which may attract the students.
Government must promote collaboration betweenIndian higher education institutes and top International institutes and alsogenerates linkage between national research laboratories and research centersof top institutions for better quality and collaborative research.There is a need to focus on the graduatestudents by providing them such courses in which they canachieve excellence, gain deeper knowledgeof subject so that they will get jobs after recruitment in the companies whichwould reduce unnecessary rush to the higher education.Universities and collegesin both public private must be away from the politicalaffiliations,Favouritism, money making process should be out of educationsystem etc. There should be a multidisciplinary approachin higher education so that students knowledge may not be restricted only uptohis own subjects. Conclusion1. Education is a process,Where a person’s body,mind,and character are formedand strengthened. It is bringing together head,mind and heart together andhelping a person to devlop an all around personality.
which helps in identifyingthe best in him.2. Higher education in India has expandedvery rapidly in the last six decades after independence yet it is not equallyaccessible to all. India is today one of the fastest developing countries ofthe world with the annual growth rate going above 9%.
Still a large section ofthe population remains illiterate and a large number of children’s do not geteven primary education. This is not only excluded a large section of the populationfrom contributing to the development of the country fully but it has alsoprevented them for the benefits of people.as the India is facing manychallenges in higher education but facemany problems which also tackles with these challenges. India is a country ofhuge human resource 3.Oportunities are available in abundance,buthow to get benefits from these opportunities and how to make them accessible toothers is the matter of concern. In order to increase the rate of growth, thereis need to increase the number of institutes and also the quality of highereducation in India.4.To reach and achieve the futurerequirements there is an urgent need to relook at the Financial Resources,Access and Equity, Quality Standards, Relevance, infrastructure and at the endthe Responsiveness.
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