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Indian Higher Education Sector : Conclusion
There is much work to be done – on all aspects of higher education. We believe that these Bills will lay the foundation for creating a modern framework to improve quality and check malpractices in the Higher Education space in India.
foundation for creating a modern framework to improve quality and check malpractices in the Higher Education
space in India. They will create an enabling environment wherein multiple providers of education – domestic
and foreign, public and private, not-for-profit and, if the government deems fit, for-profit, can operate and
compete to provide access to quality education. Higher education is the basis for the knowledge economy. India
has a lower GER of only 11% of the 19-24 years age-group compared to 21% in China, 30% in Malaysia and
83% in the USA. Gender differences in attendance in higher education have declined for recent age-cohorts;
social group, income and rural location still influence access. Of the 12mn students enrolled, one third study in
private sector institutions, the rest of the sector is of variable and on the average poor quality largely focused on
undergraduate education in the arts, social science and humanities on the other hand post-graduate, professional
degree and science and technology enrolments accounts for a smaller share. The scenario is even truer in private
sector. The unemployment rate among tertiary graduates is 12% compared to 5% overall, reflecting perhaps a
combination of initiatives to be taken. The present framework of GATS needs to be exploited by India to enable
it to remain competitive in the global scenario. These are exciting times for higher education. The Government
has made massive increases in budgetary allocations. It has also acknowledged the importance of private
participation. There is a wide and growing spectrum of services being offered in this sector. These are almost
entirely on a legitimate for-profit basis. We have the potential of becoming a global hub for education. The
Government should work with all stake holders and seek to harness the creativity, energy and capability of the
private sector and create synergies by working with, rather than in competition with it. The opportunity is real –
all stakeholders need to work together to capture it.
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The Shruth & Smith Foundation is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization committed to work towards resolving enduring problems in social, educational and rural sectors that requires sustained effort and determination.