ENROLMENTS ACROSS FACULTIES IN INDIAN HIGHER EDUCATION: A STUDY OF ENROLMENT PATTERNS, FACTORS DETERMINING THEM AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR THE GROWTH PROCESS
1 University of Pune (INDIA)
2 Maharashtra Academy of Engineering (INDIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The new endogeneous growth models have emphasized the complementarity of the processes of physical and human capital formation to ensure sustained economic growth. Mankiw (1994) has taken this approach one step forward to suggest that given the perishable nature of human capital, it is the creation of knowledge that drives long-term growth. Given the strong linkage between education, human development and the growth process, it may be understood that a well-balanced, sound, and dynamic education system lies at the core of the social infrastructure-building process engineered to accommodate the changing needs of and adequately address the concerns of a progressing society and a growing economy. Experts have raised concerns over the systemic deficiencies in the prevalent system of higher education in India posing as a severe constraint on the translation of the growth potential into growth achievement. This paper reviews the patterns of enrolments across faculties in the Indian higher education system and attempts to identify the factors contributing to the evolution of the system into its current position and also attempts to understand the implications of the current enrolment patterns for the functioning of the socio-economic mechanism with respect to certain selected indicators.The evolution of the system under the British regime was guided primarily by administrative concerns of the colonial governing authority and understandably lacked diversification and coverage.
The greatest challenge before policy-makers in the post-independence period with respect to education sector was to transform its orientation from being tailored to serve colonial interests to fulfilling national endeavors. Though India has registered significant progress in the area of education on various fronts, several structural and functional deficiencies continue to constrain the development of the sector. The paper argues that even as six decades have elapsed since determination of education policy has been transferred into the jurisdiction of a democratically elected Government committed to the objective of welfare state, the higher education sector has failed to achieve the desired degree of diversification and balance in enrolments across faculties. Though a skewed enrolment pattern in itself is not a problem, it’s implication for the functioning of the socio-economic mechanism is consequential.
Conclusion: The new endogeneous growth models have emphasized the need to allocate available resources to engineer simultaneous and proportionate expansion of both physical and human capital base. Also, since knowledge is not specific to any particular area of study, secular socio-economic development requires the creation and enhancement of knowledge base in all areas of study in a balanced manner. This implies that investment in human capital formation through the instruments of education, R&D and innovations should create and disseminate knowledge in all areas of inquiry equally and without bias. However, this paper highlights the bias observed within Indian higher education with respect to enrolment pattern towards the faculty of Arts that translates into a disproportionate development of different areas of study. There is a geographic tilt that defines this composition further. The professional courses only compound the already skewed distribution or availability, which abounds with anomalies and cannot be termed reflective of individual preferences/aspiration.