Reengineering India's Education System Through E-Learning

Reengineering India's Education System Through E-Learning

Reeta Sharma (The Energy and Resources Institute, India) and Shantanu Ganguly (The Energy and Resources Institute, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5146-1.ch009
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The education marketplace in India is changing dramatically, whether at school, university, or at advanced or professional course levels. In today's context, the need of the hour is to augment knowledge in every sphere to remain abreast of the competitive landscape. On the other hand, with the constant advent of ICT and rapid invasion of internet in the knowledge society, the online delivery models are becoming user friendly, interactive, and dynamic. Universities and colleges face significant constraints in raising revenue, growing classroom capacity, and increasing student enrolments; student graduation rates remain a major concern and graduating students are finding it difficult to find suitable jobs with corporations, who are demanding greater and varied skills and competencies. Online education platforms are constantly evolving as a great savior by providing suitable professional courses to the right aspirants at the right time, at the right place. This chapter is an exploratory study of the role of e-learning platforms, which emerged as one of the major remedies in India's education system.
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An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have created new spaces in the construction of knowledge. Now, teaching goes beyond the institutions themselves and it arrives at businesses, our homes and social venues. The time for learning is no longer confined to a certain place and period, but the whole space, at any time, concepts, distance education, e-learning, collaborative work, b-Learning, m-Learning and Web 2.0 have all become increasingly important in higher education and educational communities. (Gomes & Gomes, 2013)

India holds an important place in the global education industry and has one of the largest education systems in the world. It has the world’s largest population, about 310 million in the age group of 6-17, attending school.A typical Indian student is introduced to formal education at the age of five (Technopak & Simplilearn,2016).

In 2016, Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education reached 24.5 per cent. Government has a target Gross Enrollment Ratio of 30 per cent to be achieved by FY17. Indian literacy rate was expected to reach 75 per cent in 2016 as compared to 63 per cent in 2011. The national capital’s total expenditure (plan and non-plan) on education, including sports, art & culture, increased from USD713.8 million in 2011-12 to USD1.59 billion in 2016-17. India’s education sector is experiencing drastic changes such as influx of foreign universities, emergence of e-learning platforms and changing course patterns (IBEF, 2016).

Figure 1.

India’s literacy rate

Source: Census 2011, Ministry of HRD, UGC, AICTE, NCTE, MHRD and INC. UGC Annual Report 2013-14. TechSci Research.

India Education Scenario

According to NSSO survey released in 2015, literacy rate in rural areas was pegged at 71% in 2014, compared to 86% in urban areas.

As per the survey report, no significant difference between rural and urban India existed in terms of distance for physical access to primary schooling. In both rural and urban areas, nearly 99% households reported availability of primary school within 2 kms from the house. For accessing educational institutions providing higher level of learning, say upper primary or secondary, a lower proportion of households in rural areas compared to the households in urban areas reported existence of such facilities within 2 kms. Nearly 86% of rural households and 96% of urban households reported upper primary schools within a distance of 2 kms from the house while nearly 60% of rural households and 91% of urban households reported secondary schools at such a distance (Table 1).

The proportion of persons having completed higher level of education (graduation and above) was more in the urban areas than in the rural areas. One of the reasons could be that most of the higher education institutes and universities are situated in urban areas. According to the University Grants Commission (UGC), in 2017, India is having 789 universities which includes, state, central, deemed to be and private universities and over 35,539 colleges. The distance education system contributed a quarter of student enrolments in the Higher Education System, with over 29 million students enrolled in the Indian Higher Education Systems (Technopak & Simplilearn, 2016)

Table 1.
Total no. of universities in the country as on 22.02.2017
UniversitiesTotal No.
State Universities359
Deemed to be Universities123
Central Universities47
Private Universities260

Source: UGC.

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