The need for a rapid expansion of higher education infrastructure, to match the projection of over 144 million young Indian’s who would be eligible for enrolling into institutes of higher learning, has been voiced with increasing frequency in the past decade.
The growth in infrastructure carried out over the past 60 years, reflected in staggering number of state run and supported institutions, has been an impressive story. Yet the question of resources and skills to take it all to the next level is challenging our policymakers and experts more than ever.
In this issue we engage in a stocktaking of the past journey and current state of affairs on what’s happening with India’s higher education sector in terms of it addressing the dual challenges of supporting the country’s developmental needs and also responding to the need for integration with the market demands.
For quite sometime now, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is seen as an answer for bridging geographical spaces and vast differences in student profile. It has allowed India’s education sector to think in terms of content and audiences beyond the confines of text books and classroom walls. It has changed the profile of students, in terms of their age and background.
The integration of ICT in educational processes and content has given a new meaning to developmental aspirations as the skilled work-force is set to expand exponentially and needs of the new knowledge economy are being addressed with greater flexibility and speed. All this has translated into the emergence of need-based courses and training that are delivered to student at his or her own time and space.
In this issue, we present three perspectives