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8.1 Enrolment at disaggregate level
After having assessed the progress at aggregate level in the last chapter, attempt
has been made to look at the progress with respect to certain special groups and
also at the inter-group disparities of multiple natures. The present chapter
devotes on a study of the disparities between (a)rural and urban (b) States (c)
Inter-caste (d) Inter-religion (e) Male-female (f) different occupation groups; and
(g) Poor and non–poor. NSS data for 2000, which provide detailed information
at disaggregate level, has been used..
8.2 Rural and Urban
There are significant disparities in enrolment ratio between rural and urban area.
In 2000 the GER for rural and urban area was 5.58% and 21.74% respectively-
GER in urban area being four times higher compared with rural area (Table
The population census came up with the GER of 8.99% for rural area and
24.52% for urban area in 2001 – the GER in rural area being all most three time
lower compared with urban area.
The EER worked out to 51.1% for rural and 66% for urban area-later being
higher by about 15% points. This means only half of the rural boys and girls who
complete higher secondary go to higher education which is less by 15% points
compared with urban area.
8.3 Inter-State Variation
There are considerable inter-state variations in the level of higher education.
While the GER at aggregate level is about 10.08%, it is more than national
average in State/UTs like Chandigarh (26.24%), Delhi (21.16%), Kerala
(18.08%), Goa (17.54%), Pondicherry.(15.37%), Himachal Pradesh (15.22%)
and Maharashtra (14.14%) (Table 4.1(b).
By national comparison, the GER is lower than the national average in
States/UTs like Lakshadweep (0.34%), D&N Haveli (2.23%), Arunachal Pradesh
(2.42%), Sikkim (5.01%), Tripura (5.97%), Bihar (6.16%), West Bengal (6.30%),
Meghalaya (07.13%), Mizoram (7.87), Karnataka (7.96%).
8.4 Gender Disparities. The access to higher education is also low for girls as compared with boys. The
GER being 12.12% for male and 8% for female.


Higher Education – Autonomous Colleges

India consists of a large network of more than 17,000 colleges. Out of
them, there are 204 autonomous colleges spread over in 44 universities of
10 States and 1 Union Territory. These colleges form the bedrock of
higher education. They are also the unit of higher education to promote
access, equity, quality, relevance and research. The recommended
measures are:-
– Teachers of autonomous colleges should be treated on par with
those in the Universities.
– Special recognition should be accorded to meritorious autonomous
– Autonomous college be granted degree awarding status.
– Cluster colleges should be created. Clear and well-defined
guidelines should be formulated for these to function.
– The academic council of autonomous colleges must be empowered
to start the undergraduate or postgraduate courses just like the
‘deemed to be universities’.
– Networking of autonomous colleges be done in such way that the
students benefit by credit transfer from one autonomous college to
another autonomous college, for the purpose of conferment of the
degree , so as to enable students’ mobility.
– University Grants Commission should support creation of
specialized schools in the campus.
– A permanent status of autonomy and degree awarding status is
conferred to colleges, which have gone through the experience 15-
20 years of autonomy.
– Special grant for CPE and Autonomous colleges to initiate the
Deemed University status with the aid of and in consultation with
the State Governments.
– Additional grant as second phase of CPE for existing CPE

Higher Education – Use Of Technologies


The Parliamentary Standing Committee on HRD in its 172nd Report
has recommended that we must exploit our ICT potential for its
penetration to the Country remotest corner to expand the access to
higher education.
• ICT has tremendous potential to extend and augment quality in higher
education. Its full potential has not been tapped.
• Under the Eleventh Plan, Central Universities can lead this process by
providing campus based wireless Internet facilities, 24X7 computer labs.
• In collaboration with corporate houses, a laptop initiative can be put in
place for post-graduate and research scholars. This will greatly enhance
equitable access to knowledge base
• Satellite uploading equipment for each Central University should be
• The State universities have fallen behind in modernizing their
administrative machinery and introducing e-governance.
• Funds should be provided to State universities for ICT faculty.


Process and Nature of Planning for Higher Education
• The plan size is determined by the Planning Commission in consultation
with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, UGC and other
experts through the constitution of an expert group on higher education.
The development grant is essentially in the nature of ad hoc grant
provided once in five years by UGC to the Central Universities on the
basis of negotiations. In allocating the plan grants to the universities, UGC
has scheme-based approach to fund higher education. Plans prepared by
the universities are scrutinized by the UGC and allocations to the
universities are made under the different schemes.
In the light of above observations, it would be profitable to explore the
possibilities of alternative method of planning, considering one or more of
the following issues and aspects: –
– Scheme based approach of the plan support to universities and
colleges should be restricted to the few major schemes only.
– Universities and colleges should be allocated a block grant. The
block grant can be disbursed against a 5 year perspective plan
prepared by the universities and colleges under the guidelines
issued by the UGC.
– Perspective plan of the universities and colleges should clearly
mention the vision, mission and objectives of the institution. The
detailed plan should review the status of teaching and research and
contribution of the institution in terms of access, equity and quality.
– Guidelines of the UGC may provide for the norms and the financial
support for the separate programme.
– UGC should develop an effective online monitoring mechanism
along with the review missions for supervision of implementation of
the programmes.

Growth Pattern of Public Funding for Higher Education

The trend of the public expenditure on higher education indicates that
during 1993-94 and 2004-05, the public expenditure in elementary
education has gone up by four times. However, the public expenditure on
secondary and higher education has increased roughly by three times.
The size of the total public expenditure in India in 2004-05 (B) is Rs.
80286 crores (Rs. 802.8 billion). The Sectoral allocation of public
expenditure on education for all these years on elementary, secondary,
higher (general) and technical education remained

Summary on last ten five year plans




GENERAL : To achieve a profound transformation of higher education in order
that it becomes an effective promoter of sustainable human development and at
the same time, improves its relevance with closer links with the world of work and
achieve quality in its teaching, research, business and community extension
functions including life long learning.
SPECIFIC: To contribute to the transformation through improvement of the
conceptions, methodology and practices related to:
�� The relevance of higher education.
�� Quality, evaluation and accreditation.
�� Research and development.
�� Outreach activities in business and community and life long
�� The knowledge and use of the new information and communication
�� Management and financing.
�� Export of higher education, and reorientation of international
�� Strengthening of open and distance education system.
�� Strengthening of research institutions.
�� Mobilization of resources.


Analysis of the past Five Year Plans indicates that, there have been
continuous efforts to strengthen the base by developing infrastructure, improving
the quality through several programs and schemes, introducing reforms in
content and evaluation and encouraging generation of knowledge through
research. The focus of fifth five-year plan was on infrastructure development, the
sixth plan onwards the focus shifted to consolidation and quality improvement.
The Seventh Plan laid emphasis on research and academic developments. It
was from this plan onward that the development centers of excellence and area
study programs got special attention. From the Eighth Plan onward, the need for
differential funding was recognized. Under this plan, it was envisaged that the
developing departments would be provided necessary funds to bring up their
facilities and activities to an optimum level for their teaching and general
research pregrammes. The Ninth Plan aimed at gearing the system of higher
education to meet the challenges arising out of the major social, economic and
technological changes. The focus of Tenth Plan was aimed at quality and
relevance of higher education, research and development, management in
financing and the use of the new information and communication technologies.
The Tenth Plan provided the basis for higher education in the 21st century.



Indian Higher Education Sector : Conclusion









There is much work to be done – on all aspects of higher education. We believe that these Bills will lay the
foundation for creating a modern framework to improve quality and check malpractices in the Higher Education
space in India. They will create an enabling environment wherein multiple providers of education – domestic
and foreign, public and private, not-for-profit and, if the government deems fit, for-profit, can operate and
compete to provide access to quality education. Higher education is the basis for the knowledge economy. India
has a lower GER of only 11% of the 19-24 years age-group compared to 21% in China, 30% in Malaysia and
83% in the USA. Gender differences in attendance in higher education have declined for recent age-cohorts; but
social group, income and rural location still influence access. Of the 12mn students enrolled, one third study in
private sector institutions, the rest of the sector is of variable and on the average poor quality largely focused on
undergraduate education in the arts, social science and humanities on the other hand post-graduate, professional
degree and science and technology enrolments accounts for a smaller share. The scenario is even truer in private
sector. The unemployment rate among tertiary graduates is 12% compared to 5% overall, reflecting perhaps a
combination of initiatives to be taken. The present framework of GATS needs to be exploited by India to enable
it to remain competitive in the global scenario. These are exciting times for higher education. The Government
has made massive increases in budgetary allocations. It has also acknowledged the importance of private
participation. There is a wide and growing spectrum of services being offered in this sector. These are almost
entirely on a legitimate for-profit basis. We have the potential of becoming a global hub for education. The
Government should work with all stake holders and seek to harness the creativity, energy and capability of the
private sector and create synergies by working with, rather than in competition with it. The opportunity is real –
all stakeholders need to work together to capture it.