Higher Education in India: Issues and Concerns By Poonam Bhushan School of Education IGNOU, Maidan Garhi New Delhi-68
Table : Number of InstitutionsC: Higher Education Institutions
University Grants Commission (UGC) The UGC Act, 1956, Ministry of HRD www.ugc.ac.in
Distance Education Council (DEC) Sec. 25 of IGNOU Act, 1985, Ministry of HRD www.ignou.ac.in/dec/
All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) AICTE Act, 1987, Ministry of HRD, www.aicte.ernet.in
Medical Council of India (MCI) MCI Act, 1953, Ministry of Health, www.mciindia.org
The Council of Architecture (COA) The Architects Act, 1972, Ministry of Urban Development, www.coa-india.org
Indian Nursing Council (INC) The INC Act, 1947, Ministry of Health, www.mohfw.nic.in
Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) RCI Act, 1992, Ministry of Social Justice, www.rehacouncil.nic.in
National Council For Teacher Education (NCTE) NCTE Act, 1993, www.ncte-in.org
Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) Not a statutory body, Ministry of Agriculture, www.icar.org.in
Bar Council of India (BCI) The Advocates Act, 1962, Ministry of Law www.barcouncilofindia.nic.in
Quality and Quality Assessment • In order to evaluate performance of an institution and bring about a measure of accountability a mechanism of accreditation has been developed by UGC. This is an autonomous council under UGC called National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) with a purpose to carry out periodic assessment of universities and colleges. NAAC has evolved a methodology of assessment which involves self-appraisal by each university/college and an assessment of the performance by an expert committee.
Contd. • Similarly, for technical education, AICTE has established its own accreditation mechanism for its institutions through the National Board of Accreditation (NBA).
NAAC • NAAC has identified the following seven criteria to serve as the basis of assessment procedures: • Curricular Aspects • Teaching-learning and Evaluation • Research, Consultancy and Extension • Infrastructure and Learning Resources • Student Support and Progression • Governance and Leadership • Innovative practice
Higher Education : Some Concerns • India has significant advantages in the 21st century knowledge race: • It has a large higher education sector — the third largest in the world in student numbers, after China and the United States. • It uses English as a primary language of higher education and research. • It has a long academic tradition. Academic freedom is respected.
Contd. • There are a small number of high quality institutions, departments, and centres that can form the basis of quality sector in higher education. • The fact that the States, rather than the Central Government, exercise major responsibility for higher education creates a rather cumbersome structure, but the system allows for a variety of policies and approaches.
Large under-funded Institutions • Large, under-funded, ungovernable institutions • Politics has intruded into campus life, influencing academic appointments and decisions across levels. • Under-investment in libraries, information technology, laboratories, and classrooms difficult to provide top-quality instruction or engage in cutting-edge research.
Faculty Concerns • Freeze on new appointments • Affects morale in the academic profession. • Lack of accountability means that teaching and research performance is seldom measured. • Few incentives to perform. • Bureaucratic inertia hampers change.
Influence of English • For an elite section, a stream of English medium schools are run followed by an elite set of colleges. • Indian languages to be used as medium of instructions have failed to undertake translations on a large scale. • Sciences, Technology and selective institutions remain firmly anchored to English. • Society remains divided between the upper classes with takes advantage of English and the lower classes or rural people who have to do with regional language.
Research and Creativity • Weak research base • A chain of laboratories outside the university system has developed causing a diversion of human and material resources to the system of laboratories and institutes.
Science and Technology • Institutions like IITs are criticized because : • Industry has not tended to profit from the technological institutions; • Their graduates often prefer foreign employment since the developed countries have a demand for their services and Indian industry has not picked up high technology areas of operation; • The industry itself has relied much more on foreign and imported technology than indigenous efforts to correct its weaknesses.
Content of education • Two themes are important : Indigenousness and Relevance. • The tradition of subservience and inactivity in the methods in institutional discipline as well as in the learning processes are criticized.
Methods of Teaching • Large sized classes resulting from expansion, inadequately backed by resources and an external examination system which is easy to negotiate with small amounts of unimaginative work perpetuate in teaching and learning.
Public Policies and Practices • The most recent initiative for making Higher Education more inclusive: • An Act of Parliament which came into force in early January 2007. Reserves an additional quota of 27% of intake in institutions of higher education maintained by the federal government to marginalized social groups listed in the Constitution as “Backward Castes”.
Public Policies and Practices • An Act of Parliament which came into force in early January 2007. • Decline in Public Budgets • Non-recruitment of Teachers • Cost Recovery • Fees • Loans • Privatisation
Decline in Philanthropy • Virtual halt of State-aided private sector • Rapid growth in Self-financing private sector, leading to diminution of public sector • Growth in self-financing courses in public universities/colleges.