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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Discuss the challenges related to higher education in India. Also suggest the corrective measures that need to be taken in this regard. (250 words)

    04 Jan, 2019 GS Paper 2 Social Justice


    • Introduction
    • Challenges in higher education
    • Corrective measures
    • Conclusion


    • Higher education system plays an important role for the country’s overall development which includes industrial, social, economic and scientific etc.
    • Indian higher education system is third largest in the world. The role of Indian higher educational institutes is to provide quality in the field of education, research etc to empower youth for self sustainability.
    • India’s higher education Gross Enrolment Ratio (calculated for the age group, 18-23 years) has increased from 11.5% in 2005-06 to 25.2% in 2016-17 but it is significantly less than the global average of 33%.


    • Shortage of resources:  Bulk of the enrolment in higher education is handled by state universities and their affiliated colleges.  However, these state universities receive very small amounts of grants in comparison
    • Unequal access: there is a huge gulf between GER in the poor and the rich; enrolment of Muslims is lower compared to those of other religions at every level, both for males and females.
    • Lack of employable skills:  Only a small proportion of Indian graduates are considered employable. Placement outcome also drop significantly as we move away from the top institutes.
    • Indian higher education faces the problem of poor quality of curriculum. In most of the higher educational institutes curriculum is out-dated and irrelevant.
    • Apart from the highly recognized higher educational institutes in India most of the colleges and universities lack in the basic and high-end research facilities.
    • Many institutes are running without proper infrastructure and basic facilities like library, hostels, transport, sports facility etc. which is desirable to rank the quality institution.
    • There is no policy framework for participation of foreign universities in higher education.
    • There is no overarching funding body to promote and encourage research and innovation.

    Corrective measures

    • There is a need to implement innovative and transformational approach form primary to higher education level to make Indian educational system globally more relevant and competitive.

    • In higher educational institutes Industrial co-operation must be there for the development of curriculum, organizing expert lectures, internships, live projects, career counseling and placements.

    • Higher educational institutes need to improve quality, reputation and establish credibility through student exchange, faculty exchange programs, and other collaborations with high- quality national and international higher educational institutes.
    • Government must promote collaboration between Indian higher education institutes and top International institutes and also generates linkage between national research laboratories and research centers of top institutions for better quality and collaborative research.
    • There is a need to focus on the graduate students by providing them such courses in which they can achieve excellence, gain deeper knowledge of subject so that they will get jobs after recruitment in the companies which would reduce unnecessary rush to the higher education.

    • Domain experts in their field should develop basic minimum standard in curriculum that will serve as a benchmark for institutions at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels.

    • Post-secondary career options should be provided through skills/vocational training that should be integrated seamlessly with higher education and the skilling mission.


    • There is a need to rethink about the current curriculum of the higher institutes, make it more inclusive and viable in present time.
    • Enabling education that is relevant to the economy and society is very crucial.
    • There is a need for development of human resources to be translated into action through vocational and professional education.
    • In our culturally plural society, education should foster universal and eternal values, oriented towards the unity and integration of our people.

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