AN ANALYTICAL STUDY ON THE PERFORMANCE AND PROSPECTS OF INDIAâ€™S HIGHER EDUCATION
Dr Jahan Ara
Education and especially higher education is the primary agent of transformation towards sustainable development and increasing people’s capacities to transform their visions for society into reality. Education provides the skills for “learning to know, learning to live together, learning to do and learning to be”. To function effectively and to manage or even work in any economic activity, knowledge becomes essential; hence the need for involvement and education of all people. In this perspective, looking to the role of higher education, one needs to go beyond the role of the traditional universities and degrees and the teaching- learning process. Higher education is of vital importance for the country, as it is a powerful tool to build knowledge-based society of the 21st Century. With the growing size and diversity of the higher education sector particularly in terms of courses, management and geographical coverage, it has become necessary to develop a sound database on higher education. Existing data base on higher education is inadequate and out-of-date. Collection and dissemination of data on higher education suffers from incomplete coverage, inordinate time lag etc. Due to this, Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER), which is being calculated on the basis of available data, does not reflect the correct picture of the country’s development in respect of Higher Education sector. Government has set a target of increasing the GER from the present level of about 12% to 15% by the end of XI Five Year Plan and to 30% by the year 2020. Various new initiatives have been taken during XI Five Year Plan to increase the GER. Reliable and comprehensive data-base is an immediate requirement to measure the actual GER and efforts taken to improve the GER. A sound database on higher education is also required for planning, policy formulation, fulfilling International Commitments, Research etc.
KEYWORDS: Education, Economist, natural resources, human capital, knowledge,