News Excerpt
In the Union Budget 2020, Finance Minister has suggested a new education policy, besides several measures that will bring in a paradigm shift in the educational systems and creation of the employment in Indian and abroad.

India has the third largest higher education system in the world, after the US and China, according to the World Bank. In the last decade, access to higher education has improved as more IITs, IIMs and central and state level university have been established. However, this proliferation has also raised concern about an imbalance between excellence and inclusion.

Condition of Higher education system of India
•    The regional-state-level universities suffer from a shortage of good-quality of teaching staff and laboratories. More than 70% of Indian students study at local and regional universities, but these institutes have smaller budgets and have become known for inflated grades, deflated quality and absenteeism among students, even teachers.
•    Outdated, rigid curricula and the absence of employer engagement in the course content and skills development. Very few opportunities for interdisciplinary learning.
•    Pedagogy and assessment are focused on input and rote learning; students have little opportunities to develop a wider range of transversal skills, including critical thinking, analytical reasoning, problem-solving and collaborative working.
•    High student-teacher ratio, due to the lack of teaching staff and pressure to enroll more students.
•    Our narrowly specialised institution of excellence such as IITs IIMs and AIIMs, and IISc serve less than 0.5 percent of the total students enrolled in colleges and universities. Out of 35 candidates appearing for CAT, only close to one candidate is admitted in IIMs. Out of 65 candidates, one is selected for IIT course.
•    None of the universities and institutions from India is in the list of top hundred universities in the world. This has resulted in graduates with low employability, a common feature of higher education in India.
•    Growth disparity and access to opportunity: Socially, India remains highly divided. Access to higher education is uneven with multidimensional inequalities in enrolment across population groups- geographies.

Recent Initiative taken by the government
Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP):
    Double the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education and resolve the geographically and socially skewed access to higher education institutions in India
    Upgrade the quality of education to global standards.
    Position at least 50 Indian institutions among the top 1000 global universities.
    Introduce governance reforms in higher education and promote Research and Innovation ecosystem.

Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE):
    Global standard of academic infrastructure and upgrade the research by 2022.
    Make India into an education hub by making available high quality research infrastructure in Indian higher educational institutions.
Other Initiatives:RashtriyaUchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), Global Initiative of Academic Network (GIAN), Scheme for Promotion of Academic Research Collaboration (SPARC), Impactful Policy Research in Social Science (IMPRESS), Institutions of Eminence (IOE) and All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE).
The Road Ahead
In order for Indian universities to improve their ranking and become world class, the deficiencies mentioned have to be tackled. There is a need to implement an innovative and transformational approach from primary to higher education level to make the Indian educational system more relevant and competitive globally. There is also a need to free universities and colleges in both public and private sectors from political interference.
What we need is a roadmap that delivers a complete overhaul of India’s education system over the next five years. A fundamental change is needed for the way education is perceived, imparted and utilised in India. An inclusive, quality assured and globally acceptable higher education system in the country will decide if India’s large population is a liability or an asset.

Report of parliamentary standing committee on HRD
    The report said that the allocation for central universities is inadequate as compared to their infrastructure, faculty and number of student enrolled.
    Central universities have a larger number of students enrolled in them as compared to technical and management institutes.
    50 per cent of the government’s funds for higher education, between 2016 and 2018, went to just 3 per cent of the country’s students — those who study at premier institutes like IITs, IIMs and NITs.
    The remaining 49 per cent of the higher education funds were given to 865 institutions that account for over 97 per cent of the country’s students.
To address the situation, the committee recommended that the department of higher education, which falls under the HRD ministry, reconsider/review its overall mechanism, right from the stage of presenting proposals until the final expenditure is incurred. “It should also assess the impact thereof insofar as the implementation of various schemes is concerned.