The Education worldwide is trillion-dollar business; the first University in the world was established in Takshila in 700BC named Takshila University. This center of learning was situated about 50 km west of Rawalpindi in India. It is the earliest of the ancient seats of higher education. The 'Taxila' town was already famous in about 300 B.C. at the time when Alexander the Great had come to India. The origin of University of Nalanda, date back to 4th century BC was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education and higher learning. Chinese traveler and chronicler, Hien Tsang wrote in his diary that 10,000 students and 200 professors were at Nalanda University. The Nalanda University functioned until 1300, destroyed by invaders. It gained prominence during Kingship of Chandra Gupta Mauyra and Chanakya wrote treatise “Arthasastra’ [Knowledge of Economics]. It is estimated that more than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects.
In India, the education is offered by state owned &funded schools, colleges and universities one hand and other hand, there are large number of private sector funded institutes offering school education to university education to fill the demand and supply gap as government alone can’t provide education to growing population. The education in India is also offered in Public –Private initiative or charitable institutes or non –profit educational institutes registered under Society Registration Act, 1860 or Trust under Indian Trust Act or Not for profit Company under Section 25 of Company Act, 1956
The education in India is three tier structure i.e. 10,10+2,10+2+3.
India is one of 135 countries where bill “The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE)”, was passed and became operational, it expressly guarantee the right to receive free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. It requires all private schools to reserve 25% of seats to children from poor families (to be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan), The central government can legislate in even School education after constitutional amendment of 1976 [education become a Concurrent Subject virtue of said amendment].
Article 45 of Constitution of India “The State shall Endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.
The private sector school education became a privilege of higher class and upper caste people, as government schools failed to attract middle class and higher people, due to poor infrastructure and poor educational standard.
The University Grants Commission formed under UGC Act 1956, principle aim is to regulate and control higher education/university, autonomous body in the Ministry of Human Resources Development. Union Government. The universities in India are formed under UGC Act [state or central legislation]. Under the Constitution as originally enacted, education was primarily a State subject. The relevant entry (Entry 11) in the State List read "Education including universities subject to the provisions of entire 63,64,65 and 66 of List I and 25 of List III" Thus education was exclusively a responsibility of the States, the Central Government being concerned directly with certain areas like coordination, determination of standards in technical and higher education etc. In 1976, by a constitutional amendment education became the joint responsibility of the Central and State Government. The Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act omitted Entry 11 from the State List and amplified Entry 25 in the Concurrent List. The immediate implication of this amendment is that education has become a Concurrent Subject which enables the Central Government to legislate in such fields as, for example, school education.
After India attained independence higher education was only offered mostly by State owned universities, formed under state Act or Central act, many reputed IIT, IIM, REC, Law Schools, Central universities, state universities were set up to cater growing needs of students population.
The concept of ‘Open University’ came into existence to cater needs of people, who could not undergo formal conventional college education. The concept of distance education gained importance for people, who are working; those who cannot attend full time courses, due employ mental commitments or avocations.
The concept of ‘Deemed University’ is of recent origin, where any reputed institute offering quality educational programs over period of time were conferred ‘Deemed University’ status by Ministry of HRD, Union Government of India. Their performance is reviewed periodically and their approval is not permanent character.
Many people are not aware that there is lot of difference between Deemed and conventional University.
“A university is an institution of higher education and research formed under statutory enactment passed by legislature; University Grants Commission Act, the university grants academic degrees in a variety of disciplines. The university provides undergraduate education, postgraduate education, and Research or Doctorate degree”
“Deemed university is a status of autonomy granted to high performing institutes and departments of various universities in India. It is granted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India”.
There was lots of criticism by eminent educationist and concerned citizens over the issue of Deemed and Private Universities approvals, opined that said approvals were granted with out proper scrutiny of infrastructural facilities [like land, building, qualified staff, library facility and it is stated UGC has indiscriminately granted permission to deemed universities to function with out background verification checks& quality control.
The HRD Ministry De-recognized, some deemed universities for not maintaining desired standards, the issue reached Honorable Supreme Court of India, granted stay over withdrawal of recognition by Ministry of HRD.
Private Universities formed by private entities [society or trust], do not receive any public funds [UGC funds], there are allegations that some of the private universities are not implementing social welfare legislation measures like Reservation policy meant for under privilege sections of society, there is a demand by civil society groups to include bring private sector with in the ambit of reservation policy and it is also observed that some of the private universities are not maintaining adequate standards of excellence [do not posses qualified staff nor infrastructure.]
Unna Krishnan, J.P., v. State of A.P. and Others, 1993 AIR 217, 1993 SCR (1) 594, 1993 SCC (1) 645, JT 1993 (1) 474, 1993 SCALE (1) 290- The Supreme Court held that the right to basic education is implied by the fundamental right to life and disagreed with the finding in the earlier case of Mohini Jain v State of Karnataka 1992 AIR 1858.
T.M.A. Pai Foundation & Ors. vs. State of Karnataka & Ors. (Pai Foundation case) [2002,8 SCC 481] the State can’t impose its reservation policy on minority and non-minority unaided private colleges, including professional colleges.
Islamic Academy of Edn. & Anr. vs. State of Karnataka & Ors (Islamic Academy of Education case,2003[2003 SCC 677] gave more freedom to minority institutions for admission.
P.A. Inamdar & Ors. vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors,AIR 2005 ,3226 SC; S.C held that reservation is private institutions is un Constitutional.
Prof. Yashpal & Anr. V State of Chhattisgarh & Ors. [Prof .Yaspal case] JT 2005 (2) SC 165,2005,Chhatis garh Chhattisgarh Niji Kshetra Vishwavidaylaya (Sthapana Aur Viniyaman) Adhiniyam, 2002 notiication of formation of private universities are declared to be ultra virus and are struck down.
Conclusion: One of issue of concern is a falling standard of higher education in India and the irony is that quality of research has come down; there is no encouragement of original research in some of universities. Only 10-15 of students are opting higher education. There is large gap between industry needs and student standards. The curriculum is not updated periodically to match changing needs of industry and society. India is signatory to WTO agreement, as agreement the service sector needs to opened for international players, where as our educational standards are not in position to match international standards and face international competition.
Some of departments in Social sciences, Law and Pure sciences is not attracting intelligent and quality students. Agents and some private institutes, who are luring innocent students by offering foreign degree, financial assistance and placements assistance, were cheating some of gullible students. At the same, one must not underestimate private sector contribution in the field of education [minority institutes & charitable institutes]. We need have good regulatory mechanism as enunciated in Prof.Yaspal Report with uniform body to regulate and control higher education and school education. There is need to set up separate educational tribunal to settle disputes of educational institutes.
Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 19-01-2011