UGC has grand plans for higher education
Here’s a bit of news that will gladden the hearts of students in Classes X and XII, who are on the threshold of entry into higher education and a prosperous career after that. The University Grants Commission (UGC), the apex body for higher education in traditional faculties like arts, commerce and science, has requested the Union Government for Rupees 1.84 lakh crore for the XII Five-Year Plan period (2012-2017) to take steps to improve the quality of higher education in the country.
UGC Chairman Prof. Ved Prakash hopes the government will sanction the amount, which can bring about a major qualitative expansion in higher education. Incidentally, the UGC received Rupees 46,663 crore during the XI Five-Year Plan.
The higher allocation is also expected to improve the Gross Enrolment Ration (GER) in the country, which is 18 per cent, less than the world average of 27 per cent, and the GER of developed countries, which is 52 per cent. Even this is not uniform, with some pockets having a GER of as high as 37 per cent, and others as low as 5 per cent. A huge effort will be needed to remove this disparity and bring the country on par with at least the world average.
Incidentally, India has the largest higher education system in the world, with 644 universities and 31,023 colleges.
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