M. Rajesh

Raisoni Group of Institutions (INDIA)
Higher education is critical to India’s aspirations of emerging as a major player in the global knowledge economy. The global competitiveness of Indian industry and also its employment generation potential is clearly dependent on availability of required skills and trained personnel. Higher education in India has expanded rapidly over past two decades. This growth has been mainly driven by private sector initiatives. Higher education in India suffers from several systemic deficiencies. This results in graduate’s unemployed despite of skilled manpower in an increasing number of sectors.
There are genuine concerns about the higher education in India being substandard and exploitative. The Indian government is still not clear about the role of private sector in higher education sector because of which the growth has been chaotic and unplanned .Some of the problems of the Indian higher education such as affiliation system, inflexible academic structure, and uneven capacity across various subjects, reducing autonomy of academic institutions and low level of funding.
The scale of current economic turmoil, social changes, increased globalization and demographic changes leading to an ageing population, all requires a future workforce with different portfolio of knowledge and skills and a new approach to education policy. Despite remarkable progress in reforms covering a number of sectors and sub sectors of the economy, there are little reforms happening in the higher education sector in India.
Higher Education in India could maintain only a very small base of quality institutions at the top despite of its impressive growth. This results in high rise to entrance test and a flourishing tuition industry. As there is a quota based reservation of seats in education in India which has further intensified competition for the limited capacity in such quality institutions.
The public funding in higher education in real terms have declined over a period of time which has further deteriorated academic standards. Thus the educational institutions were forced to raise their tuition fees to sustain themselves. Mushrooming private institutes and hike in tuition fees of public institutes has made higher education beyond the reach of the poor.
This paper takes a comprehensive look at the various facets of higher education in India and discusses feasible strategies to overcome all shortcomings. The paper also relates the growth of higher education in India to the changing funding pattern and suggests ways to ensure that higher education remains both affordable and accessible to all, thus setting and mobilizing new constituencies to bring about the much needed change in Indian higher education.