March 14, 2016, 11:08 am
India is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 62% of its population in the
working age group (15-59 years), and more than 54% of its total population below 25 years
of age. A skill gap study conducted by National Skill Development Corporation over 2010-
2014, indicates that there is an additional net incremental requirement of 109.73 million
skilled manpower by 2022 in twenty-four key sectors.
As per the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2014-15(Provisional), the Gross
Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher Education is 23.6% which in absolute figures is 33.3
million. The GER target is 25.2% at the end of Twelfth Five Year Plan in 2017 and 30% by
2020. As per AISHE 2014-2015 (P), the data of enrolled students for various streams are as
follows: Ph. D- 112456, M. Phil- 32371, PG- 3578587, UG- 24257984, PG Diploma-
160244, Diploma- 559541, Certificate- 91810 and Integrated programmes – 131736. Further,
enrollment in stand-alone institutions indicates: Polytechnics- 1391775, PGDM- 30500,
Nursing- 146704, Teacher Training- 246795 and within Institutions under Ministries- 17752.
During the 12th Plan period, though the thrust is on consolidation of higher education,
several new Central Universities, Indian Institutes of Management, Indian Institutes of
Technology, National Institutes of Technology, Polytechnics and other Institutions of Higher
learning have been established. A new scheme „Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan
(RUSA)‟ has been launched which aims to assist States to open new institutions, consolidate
old ones and take appropriate steps to achieve the aims of equity, access and excellence.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) is providing General Development Assistance
(GDA) to Universities and Colleges declared fit to receive grants under section 12B of the
UGC Act, 1956. This assistance is provided to these institutions for their overall
development covering aspects like enhancing access, ensuring equity, etc.
Since „Education‟ is a Concurrent subject, State Governments are also taking various
initiatives to increase access to higher education in the States. Besides, Private
Universities/Institutions are also catering to the educational aspirations of the youth.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has initiated several steps to include innovation
and improvement in course- curricula, introduction of paradigm shift in learning and teaching
pedagogy, examination and education system. With a view to allow the flexibility in
education system, so that students depending upon their interests and aims can choose
interdisciplinary, intra-disciplinary and skill-based courses, choice based credit system
(CBCS), is adopted. The choice based credit system not only offers opportunities and
avenues to learn core subjects but also explore additional avenues of learning beyond the
core subjects for holistic development. The UGC has prepared mainline and specialised
model syllabi for undergraduate programmes and made it available to the universities to
facilitate the implementation of CBCS.