Technical Manpower Scenario
History of technical education institutes
The major change in the traditional style of higher education was brought by the European rulers starting from 1600 AD. Till 1850 informal European style learning centres existed across India. Their man focus was in development of European language speaking administrators and clerks for enriching the establishment of the European rule.
The British were successful by 1800 in controlling much the Indian sub-continent under the rule East India Company. The British established formal system of higher education which continues till date. Lord Macaulay had been responsible in making English as the language of instruction across the education system in India. The British style University was established in Calcutta, Mumbai and Chennai in the year 1857 based on the model of University of London which has been the foundation of the modern higher education system in India.
Universities focused on languages, literature, history and philosophy. These learning centers were focused on generating English speaking working class for the British administrative services, army and trade. Modern Science and engineering education which flourished in Europe and America during the late 1800 weren’t the main focus under the British rule. By 1903 the Indian Institute of Science was established by Tata with focus on research in science and engineering which is the first higher technical learning system in modern India. The British model of University system continued expand across India leading to growing number of higher learning centers by 1947.
Higher Education and University system in India
India with the second largest population in the world, is home to the third largest higher education system in the world by volume of students enrolled.
Government of India through Ministry of Human Resource development (MHRD) under the Department of Higher Education shapes the policies related to higher education. The University Grants Commission (UGC) a statutory body established in 1956 through Parliament enacted law modeled on the UGC of United kingdom is responsible for co-ordination, evaluation and maintaining standards of higher education in India.UGC funded through MHRD is responsible for establishing central universities across India and for recognizing Deemed to be Universities run by privately funded trusts and Universities established by the 28 Federal State governments across India. UGC has established statutory Councils to promote, provide grants, set standards and establish professional education in different areas.
The UGC recognizes the Universities to award degrees through affiliation process .The affiliation process allows Colleges run the recognized courses of the Universities in Arts, Science, Commerce, Crafts, Law, Pharmacy and other specific areas. The colleges are affiliated to respective Universities across the 28 Federal states as per their geographical proximity. These colleges are either run by state governments or by the private trusts. These colleges running the specific courses in different areas are required to obtain approval from the respective councils. This was further enhanced in 1986 through National Policy on Education (NPE) and Plan of Action in 1992.
This policy framework allowed India to take higher education to all across sections of the society and locations. Through this framework of affiliation funding of higher education at Masters and Bachelors level education were distributed between private investors, state governments and the central government. Through the NPE in 1986 to take higher education to the masses Distance Education Council was formalized which led to huge surge in the number of students pursuing higher education through distance mode through establishment of Indira Gandhi National Open University ,New Delhi which standardizes, approves and affiliates open education system.
After 1992 when the University affiliation systems was opened to private investors with less bureaucracy India has seen tremendous increase in the number of Universities and colleges across India. Most of the Universities cater to large number of affiliated colleges in a particular geographical location figure 2 gives the overall statistics of the University system in India. Over the last three decades the University education system has reached stagnation in terms of up gradation, R & D and administration. Large volume of students coupled with strict government’s norms and lack of industry investment in University and College research has resulted in turning these colleges as mass training centers for generating skilled manpower for the service industry and totally neglecting science and research.
Considering the number of affiliated engineering colleges to Universities and administration problem with huge volume of students under different disciplines, the engineering and technology courses were separated from the traditional Universities .The colleges running professional disciplines like engineering , Technology and management were affiliated new type of Universities called Technical Universities. Technical Universities at each State are responsible for administration and maintenance of the quality of the technical education.
Science Education Scenario
Looking at the quality and scope of Science education in India, the non uniformity in the system is quite visible. This may be due to various causes. One major cause is the socio-economic difference between rural and urban India. However, the state as well the union governments are in a constant endeavor to fill this gap up and to provide every citizen of the country quality as well as affordable education.
Higher education, particularly in science discipline is offered by universities and colleges located in various parts of the country. The majority of universities in India train a large number of graduate students. Due to issues like infrastructure, proper quality control of faculty, a majority of the students find it difficult to fine-tune themselves with the complexities of science education at this level. Weak understanding of the concepts results in Incompetence. The curriculum is robust in structure – but is very difficult in implementation. To overcome this situation, the government has been implementing various recommendations made by HRD Ministry and other organization like National Knowledge Commission.
Similarly, research activities in Science discipline have not yet gained much distinction. The government has established several research centers all over the country for carrying out research activities in a particular field. Also, universities through out the country have been assigned with various projects to perform research work.
Healthy workforce needs young talent, but organizations can’t just hire everyone. In this age of the digital utility – one with added environmental, regulatory and technological challenges – they need tech-savvy young graduates and “digital natives.” The problem, however, is that college graduates aspire to work at Google, Goldman Sachs and Microsoft. Developing a corporate culture that enables employees to grow, contribute and have fun, needs leaders with the right drive and passion to make sure their style is agile and adaptable to changes in the wider world, whether driven by technology.
In early 2013, India’s government announced an ambitious science, technology, and innovation funding protocol: in the next five years, double its investment in science and technology and, by 2020, drive India’s output of scientific publications to be among the top five nations globally. “The government is going to inject $5 billion into science and technology over the next five years,” says C.N.R. Rao, the founder of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) and chairman of the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister. “This doubles the investment to-date from 1% to 2% of GDP.” This increase in funding is aimed at creating jobs, educating technical leaders, and improving the quality of science in this country of 1.2 billion people, he notes.
The creation of new institutions and universities, opportunities for independent leadership training, and efforts to expand translational research and cultivate a culture of technology transfer are just a few of the federal components encouraging young researchers to set up shop in their homeland. In addition, international alliances, between India and organizations in the United States, United Kingdom, and other countries, are also making an impact in bolstering collaboration across borders and building strong scientific capacity within the subcontinent.
But despite these outreach and funding programs, there are still some challenges that need to be addressed before scientists in India can stand shoulder to shoulder with their counterparts in the West. Recent infrastructure investment programs have successfully produced new facilities and institutions all over India, but this has created a shortage of scientists and experts to run and manage the new universities and research institutes. Specifically, according to university administrators, India needs an estimated 40,000 qualified scientists to fill positions currently vacant. However, there is insufficient talent within India to take up this slack, which is being compounded by current labor laws that can sometimes make hiring foreign nationals a complex and difficult process.