The number of universities and colleges in India has increased, but the country’s performance on several higher education indexes has not.
Issues confronting India’s higher education system:
- Lack of industry-academic collaboration and outdated curriculum that emphasises theory over practice.
- Access is constrained in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas due to uneven geographical distribution of Higher Education Institutions (HEIS).
- Teachers are scarce in HEIS.
- Weak research priorities at most institutions and colleges mean a lack of competitive peer-reviewed research.
- Over-centralisation, bureaucratic structures, lack of accountability, openness, and professionalism plague Indian education management.
A variety of efforts to enhance higher education in India are included in the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020, including:
- All higher education institutions will be reformed into three categories: research universities, teaching universities, and degree-granting colleges.
- Every college would either become a degree-granting institution or a university component college.
- There will be several entry and departure points, as well as proper certification.
- Create the National Research Foundation to encourage a strong research culture and build research capacity in higher education.
- Only medical and legal education would be exempt from the new Higher Education Commission of India (HECI).
- It envisions worldwide curricula, substantial social engagement opportunities, superb residential facilities and on-campus support.
- Inter-institutional research and student interactions will be supported.
- Achieving 50% GER by 2035 should be the government’s goal (SEDGs).
This will require a complete redesign of higher education to address varied issues and ensure high-quality, inclusive learning.