Sustainability of Indian Higher Education

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Education is very important factor for development of a country.It is one of the significant factor to build a nation for sustainable growth of economy. Therefore it should be addressed appropriately to the changing needs of national and international scenario. The present paper attempts to focus on overall performance of higher education system in India. As per 2011 census,India, today is a youthful country having population less than 30 years. This demographic dividend has important competitive factor. The large population should be considered as an invaluable human resource and should be provided the necessary skills so as to empower them to lead a purposeful life and contribute to the economy. But disconnect between the needs of the market and courses offered by higher education has contributed to high level of graduate unemployment and underemployment. Poor employability of graduates is a worrying concern for globe. Thus present study aims to observe effectiveness of competetiveness of higher education in India and its sustainability. The higher education in India is complex with regulatory bodies associated with governace are overlapping and entangled across various ministries. The most important distinguish feature of India Vs other developed countries is there lack of storng commitment of research and knowledge creation. There must be agenda of innovation and nation building. Keeping aside USA,UK,Western Europe, India’s investment in higher education system is significantly less than benchmark. To compete globally even China,South Korea have made significant investment over last two decades in higher education. To develop India as a digital nation at globe, India needs to addess higher education seriously. All the stakeholders have to make joint effort to get solution. John Deway said”Education is not preparation for life,education is life itself.”

Keywords- Education,Higher Education,Sustainability

Introduction- Education plays a very significant role in development of a country.. As per secondary data sources India has achieved growth and expansion in this field. Knowledge is dynamic and this century has observed its expansion. The education creates human capital which in future can be channelized into self sustained economic growth. Thus education is the journey based to provide requisite knowledge & skills required for sustained growth. As per census 2011 India today is a powerhouse of human resource so to convert challenge to win-win situation is the major task before country. India is a nation of young people. The valuable human resource should be equipped with necessary skills to empower them to lead a purposeful life. To ensure quality and excellence in higher education, time to time action plans developed by UGC. The joint effort by the central and state universities, colleges and other educational institutions of higher education need to reconsider and readopt various reforms aggressively. This paper is an attempt to understand scenario of higher education in India, South Asian region and at global level.

Rationale of Study- According to 12th FICCI Higher Education Summit(2016),the Indian economy has emerged from being primarily agrarian to service sector. As we move up the ladder of development, the contributions of hi-tech manufacturing and high value-added services to the GDP increases. Success in leveraging knowledge and innovation is only possible with a sound infrastructure of higher education. A successful education policy forms the foundation of pillars of national development including political, social, economic, technical, scientific, and environmental.Thus, the higher the quality of university education in a country, the more prosperous and competitive are the people. According to (HILAL YILDIRIR KESER 2015) investigate the effects of higher education on global competitiveness. The most widely accepted definition of global competitiveness is in the form of "" efficiency level encompassing all of the institutions that will ensure sustainable growth in a country, policies and factors of production"". The overall competitiveness of a country depends on the various pillars such as; the level of development of R & D activities and productivity, performance Index of various sectors, the country's trading surplus, producing goods hosting high-tech in their nature, availability of expert and skilled labor force. But one of the main points in the realization of these factors is the quality of the higher education.As per (Singh,Harshvardhan 2015) suggest a better examination system leading to a more skill and competencies based evaluation.

The learning dimensions of higher education are integeration,inclusiveness,openness and flexibility.The Indian higher education requires thurst for scientific and technological advancements.There should be motivation for universities to become center of higher learning and research oriented for the furtherance of high-skilled global human resource force.Following are few important issues and challenges.

Knowledge as a tool to become Superpower-We live in knowledge based society.The Indian higher education has to impart a key role to make India knowledge superpower.The higher education has to be reach out to large number of demograph through various way in a seamless way.Internet will be of great things for this purpose. SWAYAM is a programme initiated by Government of India and designed to achieve the three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., access, equity and quality. The objective of this effort is to take the best teaching learning resources to all, including the most disadvantaged. SWAYAM seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy. The four pillars of Indian higher education.

  • Research oriented Higher education - As per Economic Survey2017-18 India's spending on R&D in terms of percentage of GDP has been stagnant at 0.6 to 0.7 per cent in the last two decades - much lower than the US, China, South Korea and Israel The country needs to redouble its efforts to make improvements in science and R&D. 
  • Low budget of Higher Education - Though host of IITs and other government colleges were built in the years after independence, ‘education‘ or ‘teacher‘ were never buzzwords in budget speeches. The 1991-92 budget speech changed that when then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh mentioned it 19 times. The 2001-02 and 2007-08 budgets also saw significant mentions. The 2018 Budget speech had a slew of announcements on improving the quality of education and mentions jumped to 35 – the highest ever.
  • Struggle for good faculty - The present adhocacy system and the biased attitude towards their employability has forced the continuation of poor delivery of quality education.
  • Traditional teaching methods - The habit of traditional teaching methods has its profound effect of absentism on students in class. Lack of virtual class, ICT methods, latest trends in subject knowledge drove them away to the class.
  • Lack of Infrastructure - In India, many of the universities don’t have adequate infrastructure or facilities to teach students. Even many private universities are running courses without classrooms. Internet and Wi-Fi facility is still out of reach of many students.
  • Lack of Value Education - The absence of our culture and ethics in our present syllabus has played a negative role for overall growth of students as a good human being. The education system gives training to brain but fails to train heart and inculcate human values
  • Employability - Tensions between the government and the university sector ran high in 2018, with the government cutting funding to student placement and a big push back from universities.

India’s Ranking in South Asian region and at a global level. India in South Asian region-India is the strongest South Asian nation in the rankings. It is the only country in the region with representatives in the top 100 (eight) and boasts 16 universities overall, while its neighbours Pakistan and Bangladesh have just three institutions between them in the bottom half of the table. Suggestive measures for improving Quality of higher Education

  • Autonomy - The Centre has granted “autonomy” to 60 other universities and colleges. It has chosen to replace India’s University Grants Commission. The eastablishment of Higher Education Commission to regulate higher education was milestone for higher education in India.
  • Student-Centred Education and Dynamic Methods-Student-centered learning, also known as learner-centered education, broadly encompasses methods of teaching that shift the focus of instruction from the teacher to the student. In original usage, student-centered learning aims to develop learner autonomy and independence  by putting responsibility for the learning path in the hands of students by imparting them with skills and basis on how to learn a specific subject.
  • Enrichment of Course Curriculumn - There should be upgradation of syllabus,to delete outdated subjects and inclusion of practical based couse module.
  • Examination evaluation Reforms - In general view, that the traditional examination system does not bring out the real ability, achievement, or potentiality of students. Hence, there is a need for examination reform..
  • International Cooperation- For reasons of equity and economic development alone, it is imperative that all efforts be put to the task of achieving universal school enrollment and learning. 
  • To increase Quantity of Universities - There is need to increase the college density per eligible candidate.
  • Organiging Cross Culture Programmes - Within the changing landscape of our world ,we need persons who can work together overcoming his cultural difference to address critical need, who can resolve global challenges.By organizing such programs there will be growth of harmonious relation ships among people.
  • Action Plan for Improving Quality - The action plan needs to focus on the teacher who plays a pivotal role in imparting education. The entire value chain needs to be looked at, understood, and its interventions clearly outlined.

Conclusions-Research and education is the back bone of a nation for its sustainable development. Sustainable development policies highlight the role of education.It has become the need of the day to create the awareness among the students, researchers and teachers as well as in local communities for environment protection. The present paper gives an overview regarding the role of research and higher education in the development of a country in sustainable manner. Attempts have also been made to summarise the status of higher education system in the countryThe Challenges of higher education cannot be faced by the Government alone. It needs the honest participation of the Government, the private providers and perhaps selectively participation of foreign universities. The Stakeholders has to free themselves from the mindset and take a realistic attitude, taking into consideration the fact that a major revolution is taking place in higher education in the world. Acknowledgement- The Author is an Associate Professor of Commerec,has 31st years of expertise in teaching of Statistics,Taxes and Human resources.


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Sustainability of Indian Higher Education. (2021, Apr 15). Retrieved December 2, 2023 , from

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