The India Government has set very ambitious targets for enhancing both the number and quality of places available in ...
Higher Education In India
The India Government has set very ambitious targets for enhancing both the number and quality of places available in HE. India already has the largest number of colleges and universities in the world and the government has plans to more than double HE capacity within this decade. India has around 21,000 higher education institutes compared to 6700 in the U.S. and 4000 in China. The key is to maintain or even increase the quality of existing and new institutions. When to talk of Eastern India the scenario is much lower than that of pan India statistics.
Recruitment both in Private, Public sector and the PSU’s are abysmally low from this part of India and properly trained and employable manpower is scarce.
To reach the goal of providing HE opportunities for 20% of Indian young people (40 million/yr.) by 2020, the government would need to add roughly 800 universities to the 504 operating in 2009- 2010 and expand the number of colleges from roughly 26,000 to 61,000.
Perhaps the biggest constraint on being able to meet this ambitious growth targets while improving, rather than diminishing quality is the availability of a sufficient supply of well-qualified faculty members with advanced needed qualifications.
India has one of the worst faculties to – student ratio of any ratio 26: 1; it is roughly twice the ratio of China.
Quality is the Key:
India needs to recruit at least one million new faculties for its colleges & universities if it is to meet the government’s ambitious target of offering s higher education to 20 % of the country’s young people by 2020. In India, the real is not the number of Institutes. The key is to maintain or even increase the quality of existing and new institutions.
Faculty shortages at universities and colleges are alarming and growing, as roughly half of faculty positions are going unfilled. If India is simply to maintain its current faculty-student ration it will need to add over a million new faculty members to a current base of roughly 6,00,000 and this does not include replacing those retiring or leaving the HE system.
This challenge is made all the more difficult by the limits on faculty salaries and the accompanying high turnover rates, as professors leave him for more lucrative opportunities in the private sector. India’s HE salaries are difficult to assess in comparative perspective.
The other challenge which is facing India currently is the Make in India concept which even by the humblest of projection will require skilling / upskilling of a minimum of 500 million by 2020 in skill competency development and will require both fundamental education reform across primary, secondary and higher education and significant enhancement of supplementary skill development. In the near term, this developmental process will strive to create seamless tracks within the education system. In strengthening supplementary skill development, that should focus on fostering private sector-led efforts that will include both nonprofit and for-profit initiatives with the goal of building models that are scalable.
Suggestions for Policy Improvement
- Practical education and more transparency are the need of the Hour. Adding more space for innovation & motivation, more stringent measures for cutting corruption.
- Try to invest more in infrastructure of every single college.
- Suppress the hierarchy system from the institutions and allow young people to lead new projects, with the support from the senior and experienced people.
- More independence at work places, less corruptions, less bossism, appreciation of one’s achievement.
- Encourage much more interaction between industry and academia.
- Encourage startups not just from IIT / IIM’s but from State universities and private organisations as well. The recently declared Atal Incubation Mission is being considered as a very positive step towards this end.
- Reward innovation-oriented research faculty.
- Develop skill-based training programs to make students employable.
Written by Taufail Ahmed – Executive Director – Visionites
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