Privatisation of Higher Education

Privatisation of Higher Education

There has been an upsurge in the demand for higher education after independence, resulting in a substantial expansion in the number of universities and colleges in the country. India has the second largest higher education system in the world. As per UGC Annual Report 2014-15, as on 31.03.2015, the number of Universities had gone up to 711 (46 Central, 329 State, 205 State Private, 128 Deemed to be Universities, three Institutions established under State Legislation) and 40760 colleges in the Higher Education sector. The Indian higher education has already entered a stage of massification and the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education in 2015-16 is 24.5 percent, which is 3.45 crore in absolute numbers. The current target is to increase Gross Enrolment Ratio to 25.2 percent in 2017-18 and further to 30 percent in 2020-21.

The extant National Policy on Education (NPE) provides for a National System of Education which implies that, up to a given level, all students, irrespective of caste, creed, location or sex, have access to education of a comparable quality. The Government is committed to provide equitable access to quality education to all, by enhancing access to public funded education across all levels ranging from elementary to higher education.

Quality of Higher Education

The Central Government and the University Grants Commission (UGC) are constantly endeavouring to improve quality of higher education in the country. The Central Government has launched several initiatives viz. National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), Impacting Research Innovation & Technology (IMPRINT), Uchchtar Avishkar Yojna (UAY) and Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) in the field of education for the qualitative development of education in the country.

The UGC undertakes maintenance of standards in teaching, research and quality assurance in Universities, Deemed to be Universities and Colleges through framing and notifying regulations, schemes and disbursing grants to the eligible institutions. The UGC has notified several regulations with a view to sustain and improve the quality of higher education and to undertake academic reforms. The regulations are available at . In order to encourage research and development in the country, UGC is implementing schemes, awards, fellowships, chairs and programmes under which financial assistance is provided to institutions of higher education as well as faculty members working therein to undertake quality research covering areas of knowledge across disciplines. Some of the initiatives taken by UGC for improving quality of Higher Education are:

(i)    Choice-based Credit System (CBCS);

(ii)   Universities with Potential for Excellence;

(iii)  Centre with potential for excellence in particular area;

(iv)   Special Assistance Programme (SAP);

(v)    Basic Science Research;

(vi)   Major Research project;

(vii)  B.Voc. Degree Programme;


(ix)   Scholarship Scheme (ISHAN UDAY) for North Eastern Region;

(x)    New Methodology of Grading by NAAC;

(xi)   UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of M.Phil / Ph.D. Degrees) Regulations, 2016;

(xii)  UGC (Credit Framework for Online Learning Courses through SWAYAM) Regulation, 2016.

The Universities are established either under Central Act, Provincial Act or State Act and are free to grant affiliation to colleges as per the provisions made under the respective Acts.

International Quality Education

India participated in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009 only through schools in two states, i.e., Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh. India has not participated in the PISA Test after 2009 as India has developed its own student assessment system called the National Achievement Survey (NAS), which is independently conducted by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) across the country on the latest international Item Response Theory (IRT) methodology. The NAS is conducted for classes III, V, VIII & X, i.e., the critical stages of education, early primary, end of primary, upper primary and secondary levels. From current year onwards, Government has decided to conduct annual National Achievement Surveys covering all students from grade I-VIII in all government and government aided schools. The students learning assessment will be according to the Learning Outcomes developed by NCERT for all subjects covering all classes in the elementary cycle.

The Central Government through a centrally funded programme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), financially supports State and UT Governments to address gaps and challenges in ensuring quality education to children in elementary classes through recruitment of additional teachers to improve the Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR), regular annual-in- service teacher training to all teachers to update their skills and knowledge, support for Computer Aided Learning at upper primary level and regular academic support through Block Resource Centres and Cluster Resource Centres. Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat, a sub-programme under SSA has been launched to enhance the quality of foundational learning in languages and early mathematics in classes I and II and a focused programme for Science and Maths at upper primary level under SSA is also being supported. For secondary education, the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shikhsa Abhiyan programme similarly provides for in-service teacher training, academic support to schools for improving performance, including training for Principals.

Appointment of IIM Directors

There is a proposal to upgrade / setup twenty World Class Teaching and Research Institutions, of which ten shall be in Public sector. These institutions are proposed to be named as Institutions of Eminence. As per the draft Guidelines, all Public Educational Institutions including IIMs are eligible to apply for Institutions of Eminence. The selection process for Institutions of Eminence shall start only after the Guidelines and Regulations are notified.    

Out of a total of 20 IIMs, the posts of Director in the following IIMs are vacant:

1.IIM Bangalore.
2.IIM Kozhikode.
3.IIM Rohtak.
4.IIM Ranchi.
5.IIM Raipur.
6.IIM Udaipur.
7.IIM Tiruchirappalli.
8.IIM Amritsar.
9.IIM Sirmaur.
10.IIM Bodh Gaya.
11.IIM Sambalpur.
12.IIM Nagpur.
13.IIM Visakhapatnam.
14.IIM Jammu.

However, the Directors of the mentor IIMs are looking after the seven new IIMs (IIM Amritsar, IIM Sirmaur, IIM Bodh Gaya, IIM Sambalpur, IIM Nagpur, IIM Visakhapatnam and IIM Jammu), till the appointment of regular Director. For other IIMs, the tenure of the outgoing Director has been extended or the senior most Professor of the Institute has been given additional charge of the post of Director.

For all the above IIMs except IIM Kozhikode and IIM Jammu, the Search cum Selection Committee has recommended a panel of names for the post of Director, which are under consideration of the Government. For IIM Kozhikode and IIM Jammu advertisement for the posts has been issued.

No Dual Degree from Foreign Educational Institution

At present there is no law which allows the entry and operation of foreign educational providers to set up their campuses and offer dual degree in India. However, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has notified the UGC (Promotion and Maintenance of Standards of Academic Collaboration between Indian and Foreign Educational Institutions) Regulations 2016, which spell out the modalities regarding the eligibility criteria and the conditions for the collaboration of a foreign educational institution with an Indian educational institution. The regulations stipulates that the degree of the student graduating from Indian Educational Institution, in collaborative arrangement with Foreign Educational Institution, shall be awarded only by the Indian Educational Institution and not by Foreign Educational Institution whatsoever and Joint degrees are not permitted. The degree may incorporate a para that ‘this degree is being awarded in collaboration with the Foreign Educational Institution’ to make it amply clear that the primacy and the award of the degree is by the Indian Educational Institution and that the degree awarded is not to be construed as a Joint Degree.

AICTE has also issued Regulations for Entry and Operation of Foreign Universities/Institutions imparting Technical Education in India to facilitate collaboration and partnerships between Indian and Foreign Universities/Institutions in the field of technical education, research and training.

Report of Justice Ashok Kumar Roopanwal (Retd.) Commission of Inquiry

The report of Justice Ashok Kumar Roopanwal (Retd.) Commission of Inquiry alongwith memorandum of Action Taken thereon has been laid before both the houses of Parliament on 15.12.2016. Government has instructed all the Central Universities to implement and ensure compliance of the following recommendations/measures:-

(i)                 The university should evolve a mechanism where the students can appeal in case there is any excess by the university.

(ii)               Counselling Centres consisting of professionally trained counsellors should be set up which shall provide services to students, research scholars and faculty including non-teaching staff.

(iii)             Monitoring Committees should be constituted which should be headed by the supervisors who would provide guidance on the matters related to the subjects studied by the students.

(iv)             Equal opportunity cell headed by the Anti-discrimination Officer as per the UGC (Promotion of Equity in Higher Educational Institutions) Regulations 2012 should be made functional.

(v)               Grievance Redressal Committee headed by the Ombudsman as per the UGC (Grievance Redressal) Regulations 2012 should be made effective.

(vi)             All the directives in the orders passed by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh in PIL No. 106/2013 should be implemented.

(vii)           Strong induction programme for better acclimatisation.

(viii)         Establish (as far as possible) local guardian system for outstation students.

(ix)             Grievances to be discussed and dispensed with on weekly basis and Vice    Chancellor to hold meetings on monthly basis.

(x)               Remedial teaching for academically weak students.

(xi)             Deans to closely monitor Department problems. Any serious issue to be brought to the notice of Vice Chancellor immediately.

(xii)           University to select suitable student volunteers to act as mentors and help freshers.

(xiii)         Effective administration and supervision of Hostels and strict compliance of Hostel Admission Rules and Regulations so that only current students allotted hostel accommodation by the University stay in the hostels.

Geo-Spatial Technology

Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), a Web Based School Geographical Information System (GIS) application has been initiated for seamless visualization of school locations across the country. Geographic location of schools collected by the various School Education Departments of the states has been collated and mapped on GIS Platform established by National Informatics Centre. Further, these school locations have been interlinked with the school report cards based on Unified District Information System for Education (U-DISE) database, developed and hosted by National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA).

In this web application, base map services like street maps, and high resolution satellite images are available for better understanding of the topography/ terrain of the location. This web service application comprises of administrative boundaries up to village level and location information up to habitation level along with basic GIS functionalities and measurement tools which will help to improve the quality of planning and better utilization of resources available under the schemes.

In the centrally sponsored scheme of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed a mobile application for uploading geo-tagged
photographs and associated details captured by the educational institutions, on Bhuvan-RUSA portal as a part of implementation of RUSA funded works in States. This application for geo-tagging of institutions under RUSA is a location based service. The mobile geo tagging App of RUSA covers the following attributes: construction work or equipment, institution name, new or upgraded work, type of work, current stage of work, percentage completed, completion date, bank name, account number, amount released and amount utilised. The portal for Bhuvan-RUSA can be accessed at

The key stakeholders in Bhuvan RUSA are: Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development; National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO); State Governments and institutions of the States/UTs funded under RUSA.

Employment Opportunities for Technical and Arts Graduates

The data regarding employment of graduate and post graduate students from technical and art stream is not centrally maintained.

The All India Council for Technical Education and University Grants Commission (UGC), in association with MHRD, have undertaken the following initiatives to enhance the employability of the students:

(i) Implementing National Employment Enhancement Mission (NEEM) and Employment Enhancement Training Programme (EETP) to enhance the employability of the students.

(ii) Carrying out the Start-up Policy, 2016 to nurture the entrepreneurial talent of students.

iii) Implementing Community Colleges, B.Voc. degree programme, Deen Dayal Upadhaya KAUSHAL Kendras in Universities and Colleges imparting skill based vocational courses under National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF).

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