Indian Higher Education: Happenings, Hurdles, and an ODL Case Study

Indian Higher Education: Happenings, Hurdles, and an ODL Case Study

Nikhila Deep Bhagwat (SNDT Women's University, India) and Hemant Rajguru (Y.C.M.Open University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2624-7.ch005
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This chapter gives an overview of Indian Higher Education system with special reference to Open and Distance Learning. It enlists the merits and limitations of Open and Distance Learning system. It also focuses on complexities and weaknesses of Indian Higher Education comparing it with the educational policies in other Asian Countries. The chapter describes the limitations of Higher Education System in India and discusses the reforms and restructuring announced by the ministry of education in India. It further unfolds the success story of Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University's ‘School of Agricultural Sciences' by explaining in detail the innovative practices in Agricultural ODL.
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Indian Higher Education: At A Glance

India has significant advantages in the knowledge contest of the present times. India has a number-wise large higher education system. It uses English as a primary language for higher education and research. Indian education has a long academic tradition. Indian culture recognises and respects academic excellence. There are a few world-class and specialised institutions that can form the basis of quality culture in higher education. The Central Government takes major responsibility of functioning and finances the higher education. This allows the system to adopt a variety of policies and approaches, which are uniformly applicable in the whole country. The ‘All India Survey on Higher Education’ (AISHE) carried out by ‘Ministry of Human Resource Development’ (2013) revealed the following:


There are 601 Universities, 21158 colleges and 6702 private institutions of higher education in India. Out of 601 universities, 238 are affiliated comprising of 83 Technical, 33 Agriculture, 24 Medical, 17 law and 10 Veterinary Universities. The top 6 States in terms of highest number of colleges in India are Uttar-Pradesh, Andhra-Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. Bangalore district topped in terms of number of colleges with 924 colleges, followed by Jaipur with 544 colleges. Top 50 districts have about 36% of colleges. College density, i.e. the number of colleges per hundred thousand eligible population in the age‐group 18‐23 years, vary from 6 in Bihar to 64 in Pondicherry as compared to all India average of 25. It is revealed that 73% colleges are privately managed, 58% are private‐unaided and 15% private aided. Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, both have more than 85% private unaided colleges, whereas, Bihar has only 6% and Assam has 10% private unaided colleges.

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