Technical Education in India: Role of Private Institutions

Higher Education sector has witnessed a tremendous increase in the number of Universities/University level Institutions & Colleges since Independence. The number of Universities has increased 34 times from 20 in 1950 to 677 in 2014. More specifically if we talk about technical institutions, their number has gone up from 1,511 colleges in 2006-07 to an astoundingly high 3,345 in 2014-15.

India now ranks second after China in terms of enrolment of students. The government has set a target to achieve a Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 30% by 2020. But, the question arises, that is it sufficient to increase the number only?

It is true, that given with scale and complexity of the higher education challenges, the government on its own cannot single-handedly tackle all the issues but at the same time we all have to accept that majority of private technical institutions in India are Lacking in infrastructure, sufficient laboratory equipment, trained faculty, Research & Development, industry oriented curricula and theory- practical balance. They are producing large number of graduates with technical degrees but with no technical skills and who is not industry deployable.

Today many institutions claiming themselves as the best engineering college or the best private university which do not even have the basic practical training which is the essential part of any technical degree.

Now the time has come where more focus is needed in providing quality education, skill development and improved learning methodologies and government has taken the initiative in this direction by inviting the big corporate houses under CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in education field to improve the standards.

Support of corporate houses creates a new vision for Industry academia partnership, which is linked with various advantages in terms of getting industry ready engineers. This industry academia interface has boosted our system in terms of Corporate involvement in curriculum and content design, Joint seminars by academia and industry, Projects conducted under industry mentors, Industry experts in governing councils and boards of advisors, Summer internship opportunities, Academia generating ideas and acting as incubators for entrepreneurs, Industry visits for students and faculty, Guest lectures by industry representatives and much more.

JK Organization is one of those corporate houses which have contributed significantly in this direction. It started JK institute of Applied physics and Technology, Allahabad (1949), JK cancer institute and hospital in Kanpur and JK Lakshmipat University (JKLU) at Jaipur in Rajasthan in 2011.

JK Lakshmipat University has emerged as a best engineering university in Rajasthan in a very short span of time. Also it has won a number of reputed awards to its credit. To mention a few are “Best Private University in Rajasthan” By Prime Time Research Media Private Limited under the ‘Global Education Excellence Awards 2013’, “Best Emerging Private University in North India” by One Planet Research under the ‘Education Excellence Awards’ in 2013.

Along with such initiatives as CSR, the exponential growth in private higher education institutes needs to be regulated based on quality of outcomes. Government funding and scholarships need to be rationalized based on the merit of the students rather than subsidizing limited number of institutes like IIT’s and NIT’s. Uncontrolled and unbalanced growth of private institutes needs to be regulated to focus on development of research based Universities and correcting regional disparity in higher education.

About the Author

Dr Jaya Gupta Dr Jaya Gupta is working as Assistant Professor in the dept. of Mathematics,IET,JKLU.She qualified NET (CSIR) in 2005. She obtained her Ph.D. degree from the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur in 2010 under the kind supervision of Prof. Mridula Garg. Dr Jaya Gupta’s current fields of research interest include Special functions, Integral Transforms, Fractional Calculus and Statistical Distribution Theory.