Reviving Higher Education in India

Asia/ India/ 03.12.2019/ Fuente:

India has seen a dramatic increase in the capacity of its higher education sector in the last two decades. Enrolment in higher education has increased four-fold since 2001. With a Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 26.3% (AISHE 2018-19), we are close to achieving the target of 32% GER by 2020. However, many important questions such as the quality of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and employment of graduates merit further examination.

In this report, we address these questions by examining the enrolment trend and patterns; graduation and employment patterns; and the quality assurance framework for HEIs in India. We also track the policy shifts that enabled this expansion. We offer context to India’s expansion by comparing it to other countries. We also compare the growth of India’s higher education sector to that of China over the last 25 years.

Despite the increasing number of professional colleges, three-year degrees in arts, commerce and sciences remain the most popular programmes as evidenced by high enrolment rates.

  • India has seen a rapid expansion in the higher education sector since 2001. There has been a dramatic rise in the number of higher education institutions (HEIs) and enrolment has increased four-fold. The Indian higher education system is now one of the largest in the world, with 51,649 institutions.
  • Despite the increased access to higher education in India, challenges remain. Low employability of graduates, poor quality of teaching, weak governance, insufficient funding, and complex regulatory norms continue to plague the sector. India’s gross enrolment ratio (GER) in 2018-19 was 26.3% but still far from meeting the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s target of achieving 32% GER by 2022.
  • As the government evaluates proposals to reform the University Grants Commission and implement the recently proposed Draft New Education Policy 2019, this Brookings India report takes a wider view of reforms necessary to respond to challenges facing higher education in India today. It examines the capacity of HEIs with respect to students as well as teachers; governance and accountability; funding and affordability; research and innovation; and, regulatory regime, to create a globally relevant and competitive ecosystem that can produce employable graduates and sophisticated knowledge workers.
  • The exponential growth of the sector has been due to the increased demand for higher education. The higher education sector has grown across all levels and disciplines. However, broad trends and patterns in enrolment, graduation and placement suggest that access to higher education continues to remain a challenge, especially at the postgraduate level.
  • Given the low proportion of students that go on to pursue postgraduate and doctoral education, a shortage of qualified teachers is a further problem that is plaguing even the best universities in India. High entry barriers, poor incentive structures, stringent tenure rules and rigid promotion practices lead to a limited supply of faculty.
  • Faculty shortage, low inputs available for research and inadequate industry linkages amplify the existing limited uptake of good quality independent research in HEIs across all disciplines. We find that while countries like the United States, China and South Korea have invested in research to build a skilled, productive and flexible labour force, HEIs in India, in contrast, lack the culture of independent academic research.
  • The higher education sector in India is crippled due to the lack of financial, academic and administrative autonomy granted to institutions. Overall, this has resulted in the poor quality of institutions as well as education. Under the affiliating university model, the supervisory authority for most colleges is the university or a government authority; both lack the capacity to effectively regulate their constituent colleges and hold them accountable. In contrast, autonomous HEIs are at an advantage since they have the power to constitute their own academic councils and make decisions on academic matters.
  • In the last three decades, the government has taken a step back from its role as the primary funder of higher education. Union funding for government and government-aided HEIs is skewed in favour of central universities, and state governments spend a lot more than the central government on higher education. While, there is little to no data on how the higher education sector is funded, we do know that household expenditure on higher education is now the biggest source of funding. Private HEIs are funded almost entirely by student fees. Research suggests that the average tuition fee for an engineering degree from a private institution is almost twice as that of a public institution, while private HEIs account for three-fourths of all enrolments.
  • Limitedassessment and accreditation capacity of the NAAC and NBA has been a significant barrier in linking the performance of an institution to autonomy and funding decisions. Thus far, NAAC has retained the exclusive power to accredit HEIs, allowing corruption and profiteering to creep into the sector.
  • Several proposals, committees and draft policies in the last decade have suggested the need to revamp the University Grants Commission in order to resolve the numerous roadblocks in an over-regulated regime in the Indian higher education sector. The distribution of functions, roles and responsibilities among several agencies and providers has inhibited innovation and creativity, and led to issues with accreditation of HEIs, their autonomy and inadequate funding. Some recent measures—for instance, granting Institution of Eminence status to select HEIs, enactment of IIM Bill 2017, many proposals made under the DNEP19—demonstrate that these issues have been acknowledged and reforming the regulatory regime is non-negotiable.


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Future Trends That Will Shape Primary Education In India

By: Dr. Amrita Vohra.

According to the Census of India, the rural literacy rate still stands at just 69 percent, which is far below the world average of 86 percent


With the ever-growing population of the country, the future of India promises to be exciting. Youth has the largest share in the demographics of India, and that makes education the most vital sector for India.

When we talk about education, one can’t help but think and bemoan at the current state of primary education in the country. Primary education forms the most basic stage of formal education that is preceded by preschool. It gives children a basic understanding of various subjects.

It is at this stage that India lags behind, especially in rural areas, where the level of literacy among adults is poor. According to the Census of India, the rural literacy rate still stands at just 69 percent, which is far below the world average of 86 percent.

However, all of these promises to change in the coming years. With the advent of technology, the process of teaching, as well as learning, is bound to become more interesting and practical. Of course, there are cons to it as well, but use technology the right way and there’s nothing that one cannot achieve.

The future isn’t just limited to technology, though. Yes, it will revolve somewhere around technology, but there’s more to it than just that. Let’s take a look at some of the future trends that will shape the primary education in India –

Use Of Technology At Teaching Level

Generation Z is so much into technology these days that education can’t help but involve technology in some form or the other. Global Indian International School, Chinchwad, is one of the top schools that work in tandem with the latest and innovative practices introduced through technology.

Smart classes are one of the latest developments taking place in primary school, especially in urban areas. Google Classroom is an extremely popular tool that is used in Global Indian International School, Chinchwad from class 5th onwards.

3D printing is another technology that is expected to take earning to a new level. It helps to give shape and form to the imagination of young, creative minds. Creating real-life models gives influx to creativity.

Virtual reality (VR) is another aspect of technology that we cannot overlook. Just like 3D printing, it gives a more real-life experience to students. Chinese philosopher Confucius once said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” VR thus helps in enhancing the classroom experience of a child.

Revival Of Indian Languages

India is a land of ‘linguistic pluralism’ or in simple words, a large number of languages are spoken in India. A few years back, Sanskrit was a part of the Indian education system, alongside Hindi or other similar local languages.

In recent years, we’ve seen Indian schools aspiring to compete on an international level. Competing at the international level requires knowledge of a language that goes across geographical borders to bring people on a common platform. In this race to become internationally acclaimed, Indian languages have been compromised upon.

However, Indian languages will continue to play a role in primary education of the country. Hindi still remains the 3rd most widely spoken language in the world and one cannot overlook its importance.

At Global Indian International School, Chinchwad, there is a usage of Hindi even in their flagship events. An entire show is compeered with impeccable articulation in Hindi and I take great pride in sharing that my students are well trained in the language and have won accolades in competitions at inter-school, state and national level.

Ed-Tech Startups

India is the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world. Not all of them succeed, of course. In fact, according to a study by IBM Institute for Business Value, 90 percent of Indian startups fail within the first five years and the most common reason is lack of innovation.

That being said, there are many edu-tech startups in the country currently that are changing the landscape of the education sector. By offering online courses and other means of e-learning, starting right from pre-school, these startups will play a dominating role in the industry’s future.

Khan Academy, even though not Indian, is a popular e-learning startup that offers a variety of online tools to educate students. Udemy is another foreign startup that offers similar services.

Keeping in mind the fascination of kids towards technology, edu-tech startups are here to stay.

One-To-One Mentoring

While the number of students is constantly increasing, the number of teachers aren’t increasing at the same rate. What this means is that the student to teacher ratio is falling constantly.

However, mentoring is a concept that is going to play a major role in primary education in the future. Mentorship may not necessarily be a relationship between a teacher and a student. It may exist between a senior and a junior as well. Whatever may be the form, mentorship concept is something that will shape primary education in the future, especially when the teacher may be short in number.

Multiple research studies document the social and emotional benefits that school students receive through mentoring programs (Komosa-Hawkins, 2012).

Fewer Dropouts As Literacy Rate Among Parents Increases

Literacy is an enormous tool that decides the fate of not just the individual but of the nation and the world at large. Primary Indian schools in rural areas have been facing dropout problems for years. The main cause of this problem is the poor literacy rate among parents. They don’t value their child’s education as much as they value their daily income, which is why they prefer sending their children to farms rather than schools.

It is extremely important to keep elevating the rate of literacy. Global Indian International School, Chinchwad believes that parents are the ambassadors who will create awareness about literacy. It has a program called ‘Individual Development Plan’ that is charted for each child in partnership with the parents. It sets a goal which is not just restricted to academics but touches the horizons of extra-curricular as well.

As the literacy rate continues to elevate, we will produce well-educated individuals and see lesser number of children dropping out of primary education.

Skill-Based Education or Vocational Education

According to a recent study, 65 percent of today’s grade school kids will end up at a job that hasn’t been invented yet. These jobs are primarily going to be focusing on the skill set which will be the need of the hour. It has been stated in various talks that academic prowess is losing its magnitude in comparison with human virtues. People management, teamwork, compassion are now being looked upon as important skills.

Thus, skill-based education is going to be the way to go in the future. At Global Indian International School, Chinchwad, there is a wide array of 21 hobby clubs for students to choose from, which helps them to enhance their intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. Such clubs are important in helping the children learn new skills and discover within themselves the hidden talents that they may possess.

As mentioned earlier, education is an exciting space that promises to deliver in the future. Technology is going to bring a revolution in the education sector and thus produce more employable youngsters in the future.

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India needs to re-engineer its education system, says vice president

Asia/ India/ 19.11.2018/ Source:

Indian Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said that there was a need to re-engineer the country’s entire education system, and that the same education could not suit each and every individual.

He said that the country’s current education system failed to recognize the innate potential that exists within each student, and also failed to nurture and develop these unique qualities and capabilities.

The youths should be allowed to think freely in order to ensure a balanced education, added Naidu.

«There is a need to re-engineer our entire education system. The ‘one size fits all’ approach followed by us so far will not take us anywhere,» said Naidu while speaking at the annual convocation of the University of Delhi.

«We cannot keep forcing the same syllabus on a student who excels in science stream and a student who is a savant in music,» he said.

He also said that only half of the school hours should be spent in classrooms, and the rest should be spent in the community, in the playground, in nature and in open air to ensure balanced education.

The vice president expressed his deep concern over the fact that the rise in the number of educational institutions in the country «had not led to corresponding improvement in the quality of education» granted in the country.

On the occasion, he urged the students to not let their degrees and mark lists limit themselves. Degrees were just foundations and it depended on students, on what built from there, what they choose to be and do in life, he added.

According to the vice president, India presently has more than 33,000 colleges and 659 universities. The world has realized that the economic success of any nation is directly determined by their education systems. Education is a nation’s power, he added.

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Priyanka promotes importance of girls’ education in India

Por: TheSiasatDaily.

“I want to help little girls get an education to build a brighter, more secure future,” said global star Priyanka Chopra, on the occasion of International Day of the Girl Child.

To mark the important day, the 36-year-old, who is working with YouTube to highlight the impact of educating girls in India, took to Twitter to share a video.

In the clip, the actor – a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador – appeals to everyone to give girls a chance at everything. She captioned it as, “Let them raise their voices so they achieve their dreams. This #InternationalDayOfTheGirlChild, @YouTubeIndia, @UNICEFIndia and I want to help little girls get an education to build a brighter, more secure future.”

Let them raise their voices so they achieve their dreams. This #InternationalDayOfTheGirlChild, @YouTubeIndia, @UNICEFIndia and I want to help little girls get an education to build a brighter, more secure future. ? #DayoftheGirl

Talking about her initiative, ‘The Sky is Pink’ star, in an official Google blog post, said, “Today, on October 11, 2018, International Day of the Girl Child, I have teamed up with YouTube to highlight the importance of educating a girl child. What I love about it is that through this campaign, viewers will be directly linked to stories from NGOs making an impact all across the nation.”

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India’s failing education system: It is our children’s future, not our ancestor’s pride, that deserves our outrage first

Por Anustup Nayak 

Here is a sample of what has outraged Indians over the last year: a violent mob attacked a bus full of schoolchildren to protect the honour of a mythical queen. Riots erupted between caste groups over a battle fought two hundred years ago. Young people were killed for falling in love outside their faith and for eating the meat of their choice.

We are willing to die and kill for dead queens, sacred animals, and caste history, all symbols of our past. But why is our response so muted when it comes to our children and youth, who symbolize our future?

Angry high-school students are out protesting on Delhi streets over the leaked Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) grade 10th and 12th question papers. Data analysis conducted by Geeta Kingdon shows that between 2004 and 2016, the median percentage score in CBSE’s school leaving examinations have been systematically inflated by 8%. Only 40% of our 14-18-year-olds can calculate the price of a shirt sold at a 10% discount and less than 60% could read the time from an analog clock, according to the findings of the Annual Status of Education (ASER) report. And, less than 17% of India’s graduates are employable.

None of these revelations are new. We have known for years that our education system is failing. Children are going to school but not learning much beyond “floor level tasks.” Yet, there has been no big bang policy shift, very little sustained media scrutiny and indeed no parent uprising.

Why does the bleak future of our young people not stoke our collective outrage?

Students, parents and employers all benefit from good education. But they lack the voice to press for change. Politicians, bureaucrats, and media can influence education from the outside, but they find it of no use to advance their agendas.

Till recently, the software outsourcing industry boomed. Companies flocked to hire at campuses of even second rate engineering colleges. Most of these graduates are ill equipped to do entry level jobs. Corporations spend months to reskill them rather than getting entangled in lobbying government to fix college teaching.

Politicians do not win elections, or bureaucrats get promotions on an education platform. It takes years for good education policies to show results and even for bad ones to fail. Few in public office have that kind of patience to sow and wait. Fewer have the gumption to take on the entrenched unions, cartels, and ideologues who block meaningful change in schools and colleges.

Children are the most important beneficiaries of a good education yet the ones with least power to shape it. When children are in school, they are either unaware of how little they are learning or afraid to speak up. College students sometimes raise their voices in protest, but mostly on issues tangential to their learning.

Parents choose to exit the school system rather than pressuring it to change. Millions of parents pull their children out of broken government schools and enroll them in low-fee private schools. Then they find out that even private schools do not deliver much better results. The better-off among them find refuge in tuition centres. The rest make do with what they get.

However, this pattern of exiting without a voice need not be fait accompli for Indian education. “The time for the richer Indian to secede has come to an end,” notes philanthropist Rohini Nilekani in her article for this column “The end of secession” (13 November 2017).  “The foul air in Delhi is a perfect example of a great leveller. Rich and poor alike must breathe in its health hazards,” Nilekani argues.

The leak of CBSE question papers may be the fateful “foul air moment” for Indian education. Fates of children living in Gurgaon skyscrapers hangs in uncertain balance alongside their mofussil peers.  Consider this. There will soon be 100 million under-skilled and under-employed young people on our streets. Many will be desperate, leading them to harass, loot, and molest, or to harm themselves if not others. A student commits suicide every hour in India, unable to fulfill aspirations, cope with failure, or find emotional support, according to IndiaSpend reports.

Would we keep quiet if these were your children or mine? Will they find a college of their choice? Will they qualify for a job when they graduate? How will we grow our businesses when there are so few skilled people to hire? What India story will we sell to attract foreign investors? What myth will politicians spin to get the disillusioned to vote this time?

Now is the time to cry out for an excellent education for every child.

Parents, students, and employers must demand that our institutions deliver real capability and not empty certificates. Let us stamp our vote to those leaders who can make this happen. Let us not keep quiet till we get what we deserve. But with the right to raise our voices comes the responsibility to stay invested. Media must capture this moment and ensure that those in power heed this call. It must hold them accountable for action.

It is our children’s future, not our ancestor’s pride, that deserves our outrage first. Only then can we begin to unleash the potential of our 100 million young minds.

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India: Indian govt may soon turn to private sector to boost higher education system

Asia/India/5.06.2018/By: Elton Gomes/ Fuente:

Higher education in India might receive a significant monetary boost as the government is planning to rope in private companies and high-net individuals (HNIs) to finance and promote higher education across the country. The ministry of human resource development has prepared a draft of the plan and will present it before the Union cabinet for consideration.

Two government officials have stated the plan will be implemented through the higher education funding agency (HEFA), a non-banking financial company, under the human resource ministry, as reported by Live Mint. According to Swarajya Mag, the plan is to raise Rs 1 lakh crore from the market, and spend it on funds for ‘infrastructure requirements of educational institutions.’

Roping in HNIs and private companies might lead to improvements in higher education in India, and government officials seemed optimistic. “Bringing in industries or industrialists or high net-worth individuals for HEFA equity will have three benefits. One, structured and clean private funding. Two, outside experience of managing higher education funding. And three, curb chances of manipulation at the institutional level,” a government official told Live Mint.

In February 2018, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the education sector was a priority for the Indian government.

Why does this matter

In 2014, the Times of India reported that a mere 10% of students have access to higher education in the country. The article cited a report by a development economist Abusaleh Shariff, and mentioned that residents of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal have the worst access to higher education.

A report in Live Mint details that lax quality and a lack of accountability and widespread innovation is what ails higher education in India. Indian higher education seems to be suffering from a two-fold problem of quality and quantity. The Indian government seems to think that privatising education is the only solution. However, along with private investment, the government also should look to invest more in education.

In 2016, China spent roughly $565 billion on education – more than 60% of which came from the government. In the same year, India spent approximately $4.5 billion on higher education, as per the Quint. India’s spending on education is much lower than that of other countries.

Mumbai’s apex varsity – the University of Mumbai – has been in shambles despite having a highly conducive environment for studies. Further weakening the reputation of the university is the incessant delays in results.

Perhaps some degree of privatisation is the only way out for better higher education in India. However, along with adequate funds, the government must ensure the funds are being allocated to improve the quality of teaching offered to Indian students, thereby, improving accountability of the system.

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