Imperatives of Access, Equity and Quality in Indian Technical Education System: Role of ICT
This paper analyzes available data to identify the causes of poor access, equity, and quality in the higher technical education system in India. It then proceeds to examine the effects of the policy measures taken to address these issues. Given the very inadequate intake capacity in higher technical education until around 2003, India’s initial priority was to rapidly increase seat capacity, mostly through private participation. Access increased significantly but inadequately, mostly in affluent areas of the country and that too, more at the undergraduate rather than at the postgraduate level. Skewed increase in seat capacity in different regions meant that those who needed access the most lost out in favor of the more privileged and the urban rich, resulting in an increase in inequity. Since the capacity increase in technical education at the master’s and doctoral levels were significantly lower than at the undergraduate level, the demand for qualified teachers far outstripped supply, resulting in a drastic loss of quality. In the meantime, experience from various pilot projects convinced India that innovative use of ICT tools was probably the best way forward. Three main priorities have emerged in the last decade: high quality e-content creation in the OER mode, massive increase in digital connectivity, and immediate development of versatile and cheap digital access devices. Large-scale teacher training through ICT tools and modernization of curricula are the other priorities. Major ICT initiatives undertaken in India in recent times are briefly reviewed, and it is concluded that given the socioeconomic realities, currently identified ICT priorities in education appear to be quite appropriate. Countries in similar position may benefit from the Indian experience.
KeywordsFaculty Member Engineering Education Blended Learning Open Educational Resource Virtual Laboratory
All India Council for Technical Education
Business Process Outsourcing
Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, and China
Computer Aided Learning
Centre for Development of Advanced Computing
Central Institute for Educational Technology
Department of Electronics and Information Technology
Direct to Home
Educational Media Research Centre
Enterprise Resource Planning
Free and Open Source Software
Giga bits per second
Gross Enrollment Ratio
Information and Communication Technology
Indira Gandhi National Open University
Indian Institute of Information Technology
Indian Institute of Management
Indian Institute of Science
Indian Institute of Technology
Kilo bits per second
Local Area Network
Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment
Ministry of Human Resource and Development
Massively Open Online Course
National Association of Software and Service Companies
National Board of Accreditation
National Council for Educational Research and Training
National Institute of Technology
National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research
National Knowledge Commission
National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning
Other Backward Classes
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
Open Educational Resource
Open Source Computer Aided Design
Public Private Partnership
Random Access Memory
Research and Development
State Institute for Educational Technology
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
University Grant Commission
Virtual Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning
Video on Demand
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