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 Higher Education In India

What Does ‘Higher’ Education in India Mean?

The Indian education system comprises ten years of primary and secondary education followed by two years of higher secondary education. Three years of studying beyond the higher secondary education get you your first degree: the Bachelor’s Degree. Simply put, that means a Bachelor’s degree is obtained after three years study in the case of liberal arts, and four years in the case of the most professional degrees (four and half in the case of medicine and five/six years in the case of law). The Master’s program is usually of two years duration. The research degrees (M.Phil and Ph.D.) take variable time depending upon how much time a student may take to complete his/her research in the particular field of study.

The postgraduate degree programs involve two years of study after the first degree. These include M.Tech, MD, MS and MDS programs that take two years after B.Tech and MBBS/BDS, respectively.

The M.Phil. program is of one-and-half year duration. It is a preparatory program for doctoral level studies. The Ph.D. program is research study for two years and can take several years while D.Sc. and D.Litt. are awarded by some universities after the Ph.D. for original contributions.

For students who do not have the time or have other constraints of completing the degree education, they can opt for diploma and certificate programs that are also available in universities. Their range is wide and they cover anything from journalism to architecture. Some of them are undergraduate diploma programs while others are postgraduate programs varying from one year to three years.

Universities, Deemed Universities, and Institutions on National Importance

Universities, Deemed Universities, and Institutions of National Importance are largely autonomous institutions entitled by law to design, develop and offer programs that they consider relevant and appropriate for the nation’s needs. Colleges and institutes are expected to be regulated by the Universities with which they are affiliated or associated. Given the wide reach and variety of institutions and programs of higher education, a number of professional, regulatory bodies and councils have been established to ensure proper development of higher education in the country in a coordinated manner.

The technical education system in the country can be broadly classified into three categories: Central Government-funded institutions, State Government/State-funded institutions, and Self-financed institutions. The 65 Centrally-funded institution of technology and science education are:

• IITs – 15

• IIMs – 7

• IISc, Bangalore – 1

• IISERs – 5

• NITs – 20

• IIITs – 4

• NITTTRs – 4

• Others (SPA, ISMU, NERIST, SLIET, NITIE & NIFFT, CIT) – 9

• Total - 65