India - Education overview
- The Indian government allocated 3.5% of its GDP for educational expenditure in 2020-21.
- According to the All India Survey on Higher Education, India’s higher education system comprised approximately 50,000 institutions, including nearly 1,000 universities, 40,000 colleges and 10,750 stand-alone institutions in 2018-2019. The system enrolled 37 million students, representing a Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 26%, in 2018-2019. India’s higher education system is one of the largest in the world.
- According to Educational Statistics at a Glance, India’s school education system comprised over 1.5 million schools in 2015-2016. While universal participation has been achieved at the primary school level, the GER in senior secondary school was 56% in 2015-2016. By 2018, the system enrolled 250 million students, making it one of the largest in the world.
- India’s formal skills development sector is, by contrast, much smaller, notwithstanding efforts to incorporate vocational education and entrepreneurship skill development into school and higher education. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship reports that 2.2% of India’s 15-59 year olds had received formal vocational training, and 8.6% had received non-formal vocational training by 2011-2012.
Policies and Initiatives
- The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP) is a comprehensive framework which aims to transform India’s school and higher education system by 2040. As aspects of the NEP are progressively being implemented over the period 2020-2040, reforms will impact India’s school and higher education system in governance, structure, funding, size, teaching, research and outcomes.
- With the intent of catalysing research across India, the Government of India is establishing a National Research Foundation. Existing Government of India research schemes include the Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) which facilitates international collaborations, the Scheme for Transformational and Advanced Research in Sciences (STARS), the Scheme for Trans-disciplinary Research for India’s Developing Economy (STRIDE), and the Impacting Research Innovation and Technology (IMPRINT) program. The Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN) attracts international talent to India for teaching-related collaborations, and in doing so, create avenues for possible research collaboration.
- India’s skills development agenda reflects a range of policy developments, most notably including the National Skills Development Mission, the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launched in 2015, and the National Skill Development Policy of 2009.
- The Government of India launched an India Report Digital Education in June 2020 identifying key remote learning initiatives in the school and higher education sectors. Across India, learning technology-related initiatives include the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT), the Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA), the National Digital Library of India, and the SWAYAM MOOCs portal, amongst others. Remote learning is also facilitated by education-focused TV channels (e.g., Swayam Prabha) and radio broadcasting.
- Issues of education access, equity and equality are being supported by schemes including Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) (program for transformational rural development), Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) (transl. Save the girl child, educate the girl child), National Means-cum-merit Scholarship Scheme, the Samagra Shiksha (Centrally Sponsored Integrated Scheme for School Education) and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009.
- To promote innovation for the manufacturing and design industry, the Government of India introduced several programs, including the Uchchatar Avishkar Yojana and National Initiative for Design Innovation.
As education is a shared responsibility under the Indian Constitution, both the central and state governments have authority on education matters. The peak central authority is the Government of India’s Ministry of Education, however, states have education ministries and departments. Other bodies involved in regulating and maintaining education centrally include the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the University Grants Commission (UGC), the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE). The All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) presents statistics regarding the status of higher education and the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) was established by the Government of India to rank higher education institutions.