Initiatives for Higher Education in India

Status of Higher Education in India

  • India has the third largest higher education system in the world, after the US and China, according to the World Bank.
  • However, in terms of expenditure per student as well as per teacher, India falls behind.
  • India’s Higher Education sector has witnessed a tremendous increase in the number of Universities/University level Institutions & Colleges since independence.
  • The regional-state-level universities suffer from a shortage of good-quality teaching staff and laboratories, although they are more inclusive in terms of their geographies and social groups.
  • More than 70% of Indian students study at local and regional universities, but these institutes have smaller budgets and have become known for inflated grades, deflated quality and absenteeism among students, even teachers.
  • According to All India Survey on Higher Education 2018-19, south India has a higher per capita proportion of colleges compared to the rest of the country.
  • Despite six out of 10 colleges being private institutions, less than half the students study in them.
  • The study also found that among Muslims aged 18-24, representation in higher education is glaringly low compared to their proportion of the population in that age group.
  • While private unaided colleges account for about 65% of the total number of colleges, they account for less than half the number of students. Govt. colleges (22% of the total) account for 33.6% of students.

Initiative for Higher Education

SWAYAM: SWAYAM MOOCs portal (Study Webs of Active learning for Young Aspiring Minds) is an indigenous MOOCs portal that provides high quality education and offers video lectures, e-reading material, discussion forum and assessment system.

Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA): It is an initiative to make use the knowledge base in the higher educational institutions for plugging technology gaps in the rural areas.

Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT): Launched in 2014, it addresses the issues of supply of qualified teachers, attracting talent into teaching profession, raising the quality teaching in schools and colleges.

National Digital Library (NDL): It is a virtual repository of learning resources with a single window search facility, that supports all academic levels including researchers from all disciplines.
Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN)

Global-Initiative-of-Academic-Networks-(GIAN): It is an initiative launched in 2015 to garner best international knowledge and experience into India’s higher education so as to enable Indian students & faculty to interact with best academic and industry experts from across the world.

Institutions of Eminence: Government has decided to build 20 Institutions of higher learning – 10 public and 10 private institutions as “Institutions of Eminence” (IoE), so that they are related among the global best institutions.
These institutions have the complete academic and administrative freedom and the public institutions was given 1000 crore fund in next 3 years.

IMPRINT-India: IMPRINT is the first of its kind joint initiative of IIT and IISc to address the major science and engineering challenges of India.
It aimed at developing new engineering education policy and creating a road map to pursue engineering challenges.

Prime Minister Research Fellows (PMRF): This scheme was launched to support 1000 bright undergraduate students every year, for direct admission in the research programmes in the reputed institutions like IISc, IITs.

Smart India Hackathon (software Edition): Started in 2017, this initiative was launched to promote innovation in the students by encouraging out of the box solutions for common problems faced by the society at large.
In 2018, the scope has been expanded to Hardware area

Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA): HEFA, a joint venture of MHRD and Canara Bank, aims for financing creation of capital assets in premier educational institutions in India.
The HEFA would finance the academic and research infrastructure projects through a 10-year loan.

Rashtriya Uchchatar Siksha Abhiyan (RUSA): This scheme is aimed at providing more assistance for infrastructure to Universities and Colleges, creation of Model Degree colleges, Cluster universities, Upgradation of autonomous colleges and Vocationalisation of higher education.

Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE): To step up investments in research and related infrastructure in premier educational institutions, including health institutions, a major initiative named ‘’Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) by 2022’ with a total investment of Rs.1,00,000 crores in next four years was announced in 2018-19 Budget.
SPARC (Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration)

sparc: It was initiated to facilitate research and academic collaboration with top academic institutions in the world.
Under this scheme, Government plans to fund collaboration of top Indian institutions with foreign institutions figuring in the top-500 of the QS world ranking.

National Academic Depository (NAD): It is an online store house of all academic awards viz.certificates, diplomas, degrees, mark-sheets etc. duly digitised and lodged by academic institutions.
NAD not only ensures easy access to and retrieval of an academic award but also validates and guarantees its authenticity and safe storage.

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