India is earmarked on the world map due to the cultural mix of diverse backgrounds and religions. Being the seventh largest country in world in terms of area and second in terms of population, India has the third largest higher education system in the world, next only to China and the United States. Education in India has always been seen as auspicious and sacred. With the increasing global demand for Indian graduates due to most multinational companies having Indians as their CEO and amongst the Board of Directors, the country's academic system is extremely strong. India possesses a significantly developed higher education system which offers training in almost all aspects of creative and intellectual endeavors such as arts, medicine and engineering. Government of India has taken various steps towards improving facilities for higher education in India. The process of setting up 5 additional Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and 6 more Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) is promised in the union budget. Once all of these institutions open their doors, India will have a total of 19 IIMs and 21 IITs, with provision for world class education at affordable prices.
University Grants Commission was set up in 1956 to govern higher education in India. The committee is responsible for performing roles such as maintaining the standard of research, training and examination in the universities; making regulations to regulate the minimum standard of education in the country; and acting as a link between the union government and the institutes of higher education by advising the government about the steps to be taken in order to improve the education system. The organization has already taken giant strides to facilitate convenient access to higher education in India which was very limited before independence with enrolment figures of less than a million students in about 500 colleges and 20 universities. After independence, the number of universities (as on 31st March 2006) has multiplied by 18 times, the number of colleges by 35 times and enrolment figures by more than 10 times which represents a significant growth.
The governing body of higher Education, MHRD has foresighted the need of higher education in India, for which Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) was started in 2013 with an objective of improving the overall quality of state institutions by ensuring conformity to prescribed norms and adopting accreditation as a mandatory quality assurance framework . This led to ushering in transformative reforms in the state higher education system by creating an institutional structure for planning and monitoring at the state level, promoting autonomy in State Universities which resulted in improving governance at the institution level.
Statistics show a significant rise in the number of graduates in general as well as technical disciplines. With more initiatives like Make in India and skill development programs, India is already beginning to witness a dramatic change in education and technology sector. 23 Indian universities are among the global top 200, going from none two decades ago. There are also 11 Indian intellectuals who have been awarded the Nobel Prize across different categories such as Economics, Physics and Medicine. New job opportunities are arising and graduates are also creating new opportunities for themselves. Today, half of the country\'s population is below 25 years. Almost 10 percent of them or 12 crore are between the ages of 18 and 23. It is further expected that India will be having the highest population in education age group around 2030.
With a brisk increase in urbanization and the need for getting better education, the demand for higher education will be rising rapidly. India's economy has also recorded quick growth which in turns generates the need for an increased workforce of around 250 million by 2030, thereby emerging as a source of supplier for highly skilled manpower. If they are equipped with both knowledge and skills, they could drive India's entrepreneurial and competitive spirit, thereby going a long way in developing India into a global super power.
Dr Gagandeep Arora
With over 14 years of experience of working in ITS Engineering College as a Professor, his interests include Artificial Intelligence, Image Processing and Algorithms. He is currently serving as the Dean of Academic Administration in ITS Engineering College. He has also conducted several research programs related to Artificial Neural Network.