India has the third-largest educational system in the world after the United States of America and China. Higher education in India has been playing a pivotal role not only for the social and political development but also for the economic development of the country. Leading higher educational institutions help in creating information-based society. The Leading Institutes for Excellence in Education are the prestigious institutions as they are essential in developing a nation’s competitiveness in the global knowledge economy. These institutions, at the pinnacle of higher education hierarchy, play an important role in disseminating knowledge, educating the skilled workforce for technological and intellectual leadership. In the highly versatile economy which depends upon educated and skilled workers, excellence has become a buzzword in common parlance. Be it the field of sports, arts, cooking, music or education, excellence has become the ultimate aim. Today, academic institutions in different parts of the world are aiming for academic excellence so that they may lead others in the field of education, research and knowledge. The question of excellence is pertinent with respect to excellence in education in India too, because the way we define excellence in education dictates the way we achieve it. The present structure of the education system in India does students a tremendous injustice by not delivering the quality education we are capable of. Outdated and rigid curricula, rote learning method, lack of research and analytical thinking, and a crunch of faculty and resources are making the Indian Higher Education System lag behind. The changing nature of work, technology and competition in the global job market has necessitated an urgent need for Indian education system to ensure that quality remains core to the way we deliver excellence in education. This is an imperative to keep pace with the global need. Some institutions such as the IIMs and IITs have been globally acclaimed for their standard of education. The IITs enrol more than 9,000 students annually and the alumni have contributed to the growth of both the private sector and the public sector of India. However, India has failed to produce world-class universities like Harvard and Cambridge. In fact, no Indian university has place among the top 200 universities of the world as per Times Higher Education Rankings 2015-16.
Some institutions such as the
IIMs and IITs have been globally
acclaimed for their standard of
education. The IITs enrol more than
9,000 students annually and the
alumni have contributed to the
growth of both the private sector
and the public sector of India.
The private sector has played an important role in the growth of the higher education ii India, especially in professional disciplines. Today, private institutions have helped in making doctors, engineers, managers and other professionals side by side with the government-funded institutions.
It is in this regard that the benchmark set in terms of quality and delivery of education imparted by IITs and the IIMs and many privately funded institutions becomes important. Some of the noteworthy institutions are as follows:
The Higher Education sector in India has witnessed a tremendous rise in the recent times. This was made possible mainly due to the large number of private institutions of higher education set up by the private sector. According to a report by FICCI&EY, more than 60 % of higher education institutions in India are private institutions in which nearly 60% of the total number of students is enrolled. The increasing number of students enrolled in these institutes indicates that the proliferation of vocational institutions, along with commercialisation of education system, is here to stay. However, this growth has often been accompanied with compromising quality. Besides internal management issues, the external regulation has also focused on inputs rather than process or output. As a result higher education in India has lost its way in terms of creating new frontiers of knowledge. The emerging global competition and commitment have created a complex situation. It is high time the policy makers looked seriously into all contours of quality of institutes of higher learning. The problem has been compounded by shortage of good quality faculty. However, it equally applies to government-funded institutions. Many private institutions have earned praise worldwide because of professional excellence they have been able to achieve in the field of education. Their brand and image is exemplified by the quality of their output. The success and achievement of their alumni have become a yardstick of their professional excellence. In fact, there is a need to differentiate the wheat from the chaff as all public higher education institutions are not good and all private higher education institutions are not bad.
The private sector has played an important role in the growth of the higher education in India, especially in professional disciplines. Today, private institutions have helped in making doctors, engineers, managers and other professionals side by side with the government-funded institutions. They have been able to carve out a niche in every domain of the public life and create a meaningful difference. These students enter the global economy with the ability to apply what they learned in these institutions to a variety of ever-changing situations that they couldn’t foresee before
graduating. That is the mark of quality education and a truer indication of academic excellence. As it is highlighted by various surveys which are conducted from time to time in the country, the problem in India is not of unemployment, but of “employability”. There is a gap between educational curriculum and skills needed for the industry at the entry level. According to the third edition of the National Employability Report, Engineering Graduates – 2014, released by a private employability solutions company, only 18.09% engineering graduates actually get a job. The low employability among engineering graduates is a cumulative outcome of poor education standards and higher demand of skilled employees, creating a drastic skill gap in the country. Most of the graduates from Indian higher education are not receiving the education that sufficiently prepares them for the demands and opportunities of the country’s rapidly changing economy. The obvious question that accompanies such a rapid expansion of higher education is whether or not quality can be maintained by the higher education institutes. Now excellence has become the core priority for the Indian Higher Education System. For an institution to attain that level, it is important that the institution is having abundant resources, high concentration of talent and rich learning and research environment. According to a report by British Council, for excellence the Indian Higher Education should emphasise improvements in teaching and learning, and focus on learning outcomes; faculty development to improve teaching; increased integration between research and teaching; more international partnerships in teaching as well as research; better links between industry and research to stimulate innovation; and connecting institutions through networks, alliances and consortia. In fulfilling this criterion, role of privately-funded institutions is undeniable, which are making a conscious effort in incorporating the standards of ‘world- class’ universities by encouraging strategic vision and innovation, so as to respond effectively to the demands of the fast-changing global knowledge economy. This shows that the private institutes providing quality higher education are the norm rather than exception and that privatisation of higher education is now an irreversible trend in India.