Higher Education In India

October 18, 2017 India , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Reuters photo



Ratnesh Dwivedi



Continuing the series: The Glory Of The Past, The Challenges Of Today And The Road For Tomorrow



Part 6


Central government involvement


As a part of the tenth Five Year Plan (2002-2007), the central government of India outlined an expenditure of 65.6% of its total education budget of 438.25 billion (US$8.77 billion) i.e. 287.5 billion (US$5.75 billion) on elementary education; 9.9% i.e.  43.25 billion (US$865 million) on secondary education; 2.9% i.e. 12.5 billion (US$250 million) on adult education; 9.5% i.e. 41.765 billion (US$835.3 million) on higher education; 10.7% i.e. 47 billion (US$940 million) on technical education; and the remaining 1.4% i.e. 6.235 billion (US$124.7 million) on miscellaneous education schemes.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), India has the lowest public expenditure on higher education per student in the world.

During the Financial Year 2011-12, the Central Government of India allocated Rs 38,957 crores for the Department of School Education and Literacy which is the main department dealing with primary education in India. Within this allocation, major share of Rs 21,000 crore, is for the flagship program ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan‘. However, budgetary allocation of Rs 21,000 crores is considered very low in view of the officially appointed Anil Bordia Committee recommendation of Rs 35,659 for the year 2011-12. This higher allocation was required to implement the recent legislation ‘Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

In recent times, several major announcements were made for developing the poor state of affairs in education sector in India, the most notable ones being the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. The announcements are; (a) To progressively increase expenditure on education to around 6 percent of GDP; (b) To support this increase in expenditure on education, and to increase the quality of education, there would be an imposition of an education cess over all central government taxes; (c) To ensure that no one is denied of education due to economic backwardness and poverty; (d) To make right to education a fundamental right for all children in the age group 6-14 years; (e) To universalize education through its flagship programmes such as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Midday Meal.

However, even after five years of implementation of NCMP, not much progress has been seen on this front. Although the country targeted towards devoting 6% share of the GDP towards the educational sector, the performance has definitely fallen short of expectations. Expenditure on education has steadily risen from 0.64% of GDP in 1951-52 to 2.31% in 1970-71 and thereafter reached the peak of 4.26% in 2000-01. However, it declined to 3.49% in 2004-05. There is a definite need to step up again.

As a proportion of total government expenditure, it has declined from around 11.1 per cent in 2000?2001 to around 9.98 per cent during UPA rule, even though ideally it should be around 20% of the total budget. A policy brief issued by [Network for Social Accountability (NSA) titled [NSA Response to Education Sector Interventions in Union Budget: UPA Rule and the Education Sector] provides significant revelation to this fact. Due to a declining priority of education in the public policy paradigm in India, there has been an exponential growth in the private expenditure on education also. [As per the available information, the private out of pocket expenditure by the working class population for the education of their children in India has increased by around 1150 percent or around 12.5 times over the last decade].


Article 45, of the Constitution of India originally stated:

“The State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.”


This article was a directive principle of state policy within India, effectively meaning that it was within a set of rules that were meant to be followed in spirit and the government could not be held to court if the actual letter was not followed. However, the enforcement of this directive principle became a matter of debate since this principle held obvious emotive and practical value, and was legally the only directive principle within the Indian constitution to have a time limit.

Following initiatives by the Supreme Court of India during the 1990s the Ninety-third amendment bill suggested three separate amendments to the Indian constitution:

The constitution of India was amended to include a new article, 21A, which read:

“The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such a manner as the State may, by law, determine.”


Article 45 was proposed to be substituted by the article which read:

“Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years: The State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of sixteen years. ”


Another article, 51A, was to additionally have the clause:

“…a parent or guardian [shall] provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, [a] ward between the age of six to fourteen years.”


The bill was passed unanimously in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament, on November 28, 2001. It was later passed by the upper house the Rajya Sabha on May 14, 2002. After being signed by the President of India the Indian constitution was amended formally for the eighty sixth time and the bill came into effect. Since then those between the age of 6?14 have a fundamental right to education.

Article 46 of the Constitution of India holds that:

“The State shall promote, with special care, the education and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and in particular of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of social exploitation.”


Other provisions for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes can be found in Articles 330, 332, 335, 338-342. Both the 5th and the 6th Schedules of the Constitution also make special provisions for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.



Part 7


Higher Education Policy under current leadership of Prime Minister of Narendra Modi and MHRD Prakash Javdekar



Clause (3) of Article 77 (Conduct of Business of the Government of India) of the Constitution of India lays down as follows:


“(3) The President shall make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business of the Government of India, and for the allocation among Ministers of the said business.”


Under the above provision, the President has made the “Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961”, rule 2 of which reads as follows:


“2. Allocation of Business: The business of the Government of India shall be transacted in the Ministries, Departments, Secretariats and Offices specified in the First Schedule to these rules (all of which are hereinafter referred to as ‘Departments’).”


Further, Rule 3(1) of the above Rules says that:


“The distribution of subjects among the Departments shall be specified in the Second Schedule to these Rules…”


A Ministry or Department is responsible for formulation of policies of the Government in relation to business allocated to it and also for the execution and review of those policies. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is one of the Ministries specified in the First Schedule of the above Rules, and consists of the following two Departments:


Department of School Education & Literacy (SE & L)

Department of Higher Education (HE)

The Minister of Human Resource Development heads the Ministry of HRD. Currently, he is assisted by a Minister of State each in the two Departments.


Subjects Allocated to the Department


The following subjects are allocated to the Department of Higher Education, as per Second Schedule to the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961:


University education; Central Universities; Rural Higher Education, Foreign Aid Programme relating to Higher Education, Technical Education Planning.

Institutions of higher learning (other than Universities).

Audio Visual Education with reference to the items in the list

Production of University level textbooks in Regional Languages.

The Copyright Act, 1957 (14 of 1957) and International Conventions on Copyrights.

Educational research

Publications, information and statistics

Development and propagation of Hindi, including multi-lingual dictionaries.

Grant of Financial assistance for the teaching and promotion of Hindi

Propagation and development of Sanskrit.

Rehabilitation and other problems relating to displaced teachers and students

Central Advisory Board of Education.

UNESCO and Indian National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO.

Matters relating to all scholarships, including those offered by foreign countries and foreign agencies, in subjects dealt with by this Department but excluding scholarships to students belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, denotified, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes and General Scholarships Schemes and scholarships to foreign students and different schemes.

Education and Welfare of Indian Students overseas; Education Departments of Indian Missions overseas; Financial assistance to education institutions and Indian Students’ Associations abroad.

Educational Exchange Programmes, exchange of teachers, professors, educationists, technologists, etc.; programme of exchange of scholars between India and foreign countries.

Grant of permission to teachers of Universities, colleges and institutions of higher learning to accept assignments abroad.

Admission of foreign students in Indian Institutions.

Charities and Charitable Institutions, Charities and Religious Endowments pertaining to subjects dealt within this Department.

Adhoc scientific research, other than research in higher mathematics, nuclear science and atomic energy, in universities and educational institutions.

Vigyan Mandirs.

General Policy regarding partial financial assistance to Scientists going abroad for studies in fields other than mathematics, nuclear science and atomic energy.

Expansion, Development and Coordination of Technical Education.

School of Planning and Architecture.

Regional Schools of Printing.

Grants-in-aid to State Government institutions, non-Government institutions, professional bodies and technical institutions of Union Territories for technical education. Grants-in-aid for post-graduate studies in basic sciences, grants-in-aid for development of higher scientific and technological education and research in educational institutions; Grants-in-aid for fundamental research in science and technology, grants to individuals for fundamental research.

All Indian Council for Technical Education, including conduct of its National Diploma and National Certificate Examinations.

Practical training facilities for students of engineering and technological institutions.

Recognition of professional technical qualification for purposes of recruitment to posts under Government of India.

National Research Professorships and Fellowships.

Holding of Foreign Examination in the fields of professional and technical education in India

University Grants Commission.

National Book Trust.

Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad.

Indian School of Mines and Applied Geology, Dhanbad.

Indian Institutes of Technology at Kharagpur, Mumbai, Kanpur, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati and Roorkee.

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

The Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

International Students Houses in India and abroad.

Schemes for grant of financial assistance to voluntary organisations for promotion of modern Indian languages.

Regulation of Engineering Professional Services.



Part 8


The Globalisation of Education: The Road for Tomorrow



Globalization is no more a recent phenomenon in the world’s socio-economic system. The impact of globalisation has been uneven and responses to it are varied in terms of its positive and negative dimensions the world over. Initial enthusiasm for globalization as a beneficial set of processes has yielded to an understanding that the phenomenon is largely associated with increasing social inequality within and between countries as well as instability and conflict. Thus, it is time to assess the impact of globalization on India’s economy, as it has not yielded any spectacular outcomes.

While it has expedited the pace of development in some areas, it has led to certain absurdities in others. Therefore, it is necessary that steps should be taken to reduce, if not remove, its baneful fall out. Globalization has a multi-dimensional impact on the system of education. It has underlined the need for reforms in the educational system with particular reference to the wider utilization of information technology, giving productivity dimension to education and emphasis on its research and development activities.

Education is an important investment in building human capital that is a driver for technological innovation and economic growth. It is only through improving the educational status of a society that the multi-faceted development of its people can be ensured. In the post-industrialized world, the advanced countries used to derive the major proportion of their national income not from agriculture and industry but from the service sector. Since the service sector is based on imparting skills or training to the students and youth, the education sector is the most sought after.

It must provide gainful employment so that the sector is developed in a big way. It has also given rise to controversies relating to introducing changes in the inter-sectoral priorities in the allocation of resources leading to the misconceived policy of downsizing of higher education. It has also advocated privatization of higher education without realizing the danger of making the system a commercial enterprise.





Ratnesh Dwivedi

Ratnesh Dwivedi is a seasoned Academician, Author, Journalist, NASA Certified Educator and Board Member with 15 plus years in teaching and corporate. He has seen changing face of global politics and has written extensively on International Affairs.

He serves on board of a dozen global firms ranging from Mining, Oil & Gas, Electricity, Energy,Cyber Security, Intelligence, Defence and Counter Terrorism having finest people from corporate and Gov on board.

He holds membership with global organizations such as ECREA-Brussels, Mission Essential-Virginia, Global Ethics Network-Wash, American Astronomical Society-Wash, Internet Society-Virginia, CSIS-PONI-Wash, RTDNA-Wash, NSTA-Virginia, EIN News Desk, Bush Center, Texas and Foreign Correspondent Club, Delhi.

He has authored six books. The Story of an Intern is a Reportage, The Cosmic Mask is a Space Fiction. Third and fourth are awarded academic books. His fifth book, US Intelligence and Cost of War talks about USA Military engagements in Middle East .His sixth book on manned and unmanned missions of NASA is in print.

Ratnesh Dwivedi bears the honour of attending several high rated workshops of NASA and is awarded multiple certifications from NASA.

He has set up Radio and TV Stations in India. He is widely published Author in the field of Media and Communication with 34 publications and presentations across globe with 15000 downloads, which itself is a record.

He is Director-India and Professor with Global Institute for IT & Management, New York. He serves as Country Head with Advisors Energy Group NJ and Director with Synergence and Pro Energy Trade based in Chicago, all Energy and Financing companies. He is Manager-SMXP, Australia, a mining firm. He works as Country Head with Orion Global Technologies, UK. He is India Correspondent of Tuck Magazine. He is Institutional Representative with SECINDEF-Israel, an Intelligence agency and Global Representative with Opia and D-Fence, Israel.

Editor review


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.