The Higher Education System in India
The Indian higher education system is supervised and under the responsibility of the University Grants Commission (UGC) which was established in 1953 and headquartered in the capital New Delhi. UGC is the central statutory body, under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, that is in charge of regulating, setting the standards, overseeing and providing institutional recognition to India's institutions of higher education. It is also responsible for advising the central and state governments on matters related to higher education, as well as for coordinating the efforts of the central and state governments, the higher education institutions and the other accreditation bodies in India.
Types of higher education institutions in India
In India there are different types of higher education institutions:
- Central Universities: Central Universities are public and non-profit higher education institutions established by an Act of Parliament and are under the competence of the Department of Higher Education within the Indian Union Human Resource Development Ministry. uniRank currently includes 49 Central Universities.
- State Universities: State Universities are public and non-profit higher education institutions established by a State legislative assembly act and are, therefore, run by the local government of each of the States or Territories of India. uniRank currently includes 355 State Universities.
- Deemed Universities: Deemed to be Universities are public or private higher education institutions, often specializing in a particular area of studies, having a higher status of autonomy and recognition granted by the Department of Higher Education on the advice of the University Grants Commission. uniRank currently includes 112 Deemed to be Universities.
- State Private Universities: State Private Universities are private higher education institutions established by a State or Central Act by a sponsoring body or private body. uniRank currently includes 268 State Private Universities.
- Institutions of National Importance: Institutions of National Importance are public and non-profit higher education institutions established by an Act of Parliament that are recognized as and mandated to develop highly skilled personnel within the country. uniRank currently includes 81 Institutions of National Importance.
It is worth noting that many Universities in India are made up of numerous affiliated colleges.
Universities are governed by statutory bodies such as the Academic Council, led by a Vice-Chancellor as Chairperson, the Senate/Court, regarded as the legislative organ of the University, and the Executive Council/Syndicate.
Funding for public universities mainly comes from State governments and the University Grants Commission.
Access to higher education in India
Indian students access higher education after a total of at least 12 years of primary, secondary and higher secondary school studies, from the age of 6 to the age of 18, and after obtaining the Higher Secondary School Certificate which is the official Indian certificate awarded at the end of the higher secondary school.
Languages of Instruction in India
University programs and courses are mainly taught in the Indian national languages English and Hindi as well as regional languages including Bengali, Tamil, Gujarati, Urdu and Panjabi.
Stages of higher education in India
- First stage: the first stage of University-level higher education in India can last from 4 to 6 years, depending on the area of study, and leads to the award of the Bachelor's degree.
- Second stage: once obtained a Bachelor's degree, the second stage of University-level higher education generally lasts 2 years, depending on the area of study, and leads to the award of the Master's degree.
- Third stage: the third stage includes pre-doctoral programs which usually last 1 year.
- Fourth stage: the fourth and last stage of University-level higher education in India can last from 3 to 5 years, depending on the area of study, and leads to the award of the Ph.D. or Doctoral degree.
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