“With 762 universities, India has the world’s largest higher education system in the world & it ranks 2nd in terms of student enrolment in higher education” – IBEF. The education industry in India is estimated to reach US$ 144 billion by 2020 from US$ 97.8 billion in 2016. Added to that India’s higher education system is the largest in the world with 70 million students.
With growing incomes, there is an increase in expenditure on education. But how did the Indian Education System fare at the end of 2017? Here’s a recap of the year:
- The education budget for 2017 was labelled as a “no-nonsense” budget with Rs.80,000 crores allocated to the sector – 10% higher than last year. But overall, India has reduced its spending on education from 4.4 percent of GDP in 1999 to around 3.71 percent as per this year’s budget estimate.
- Push for skill-based learning – The Government of India has allocated around Rs 17,000 crore (US$ 2.55 billion) towards skilling, employment generation, and providing livelihood to millions of youth, in order to boost the Skill India Mission
- The Government of India and the World Bank have signed a US$ 201.50 million International Development Association (IDA) credit agreement for the Third Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP III), aimed at improving the efficiency, quality and equity of engineering education across several focus states
- AICTE set to close down 800+ engineering colleges from the next academic year. The move comes after studying the intake the colleges in the last 5 years. A majority of colleges have inadequate infrastructure, no faculty or just aren’t able to fill their seats up.
- Bill Gates calls Indian Education System as the biggest letdown. But on the upside, private philanthropists are investing in the education sector. From April 0f 2000 to March 2017, a total of US$ 1.42 billion was invested through Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), based on a report by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
- To boost research in India, 5 new research parks have been approved, at a total cost of Rs.100 crore each. These parks will be built at IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, IIT Hyderabad, and IISc Bangalore.
- Push for Digital India is being seen with the distribution of tablets at Kendriya Vidyalayas and setting up of the National Digital Library (NDL) under the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT). UGC introduced new regulations to provide clear directions and instructions for HEIs offering Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode of education.
- Introduction of National Achievement Survey (NAS) – For the first time in Indian education history, teachers will have a tool to understand what exactly a child is to learn in various classes. This is in addition to the government setting up proper Learning Outcomes for each class in Languages, Mathematics, Environmental Studies, Science and Social Studies.
- Passing of IIM Bill in Lok Sabha – Under the Societies Act, all IIMs are separate autonomous bodies and are not authorized to award degrees. The IIM Bill has been passed in both the House of Parliament, declaring IIMs as Institutions of National Importance and will soon be able to grant degrees.
The Indian government understands the enormity of bringing about a change in the Indian education system. An entire restructuring of the system is the need of the hour to boost employability and bring India to the forefront of education globally.
Need to know more about the Indian Education System? Watch Shashi Tharoor’s talk on Indian Education at the University of Hyderabad on “Educational Policies in today’s Era”