Imperatives of Access, Equity and Quality in Indian Technical Education System: Role of ICT

Chapter
Part of the Lecture Notes in Educational Technology book series (LNET)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

OECD 

Abbreviations

AICTE

All India Council for Technical Education

BPO

Business Process Outsourcing

BRIC

Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, and China

CAL

Computer Aided Learning

C-DAC

Centre for Development of Advanced Computing

CIET

Central Institute for Educational Technology

DeitY

Department of Electronics and Information Technology

DTH

Direct to Home

EDUSAT

Educational Satellite

EMRC

Educational Media Research Centre

ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning

FOSS

Free and Open Source Software

GB

Giga Byte

Gbps

Giga bits per second

GER

Gross Enrollment Ratio

ICT

Information and Communication Technology

IGNOU

Indira Gandhi National Open University

IIIT

Indian Institute of Information Technology

IIM

Indian Institute of Management

IISc

Indian Institute of Science

IIT

Indian Institute of Technology

INR

Indian Rupee

IT

Information Technology

Kbps

Kilo bits per second

LAN

Local Area Network

LXDE

Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment

MHRD

Ministry of Human Resource and Development

MOOC

Massively Open Online Course

NASSCOM

National Association of Software and Service Companies

NBA

National Board of Accreditation

NCERT

National Council for Educational Research and Training

NE

North Eastern

NIT

National Institute of Technology

NITTTR

National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research

NKN

National Knowledge Commission

NPTEL

National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning

OBC

Other Backward Classes

OECD

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

OER

Open Educational Resource

Oscad

Open Source Computer Aided Design

PG

Post Graduate

PPP

Public Private Partnership

RAM

Random Access Memory

R&D

Research and Development

SC

Scheduled Cast

SIET

State Institute for Educational Technology

ST

Scheduled Tribe

SWOT

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

UG

Under Graduate

UGC

University Grant Commission

UT

Union Territory

VCTEL

Virtual Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning

VOD

Video on Demand

References

  1. 10-emerging-educational-technologies-how-they-are-being-used-across-the-globe. Retrieved September 25, 2013 from http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2013/07/29/10-emerging-educational-technologies-how-they-are-being-used-across-the-globe/.
  2. AICTE Annual Reports. Retrieved from http://www.aicte-india.org.
  3. AICTE Annual Reports. (2005–2006; 2008–2009; 2011–2012). Retrieved from http://www.aicte-india.org.
  4. AICTE Annual Reports. (2012–2013). Retrieved from http://www.aicte-india.org.
  5. Blom, A., H. Saeki. (2011). Employability and Skill Set of Newly Graduated Engineers in India. Policy Research Working Paper 5640, World Bank, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  6. Census of India. Retrieved from http://censusindia.gov.in.
  7. Census of India. (2011). List of states with population, sex ratio and literacy. Retrieved from http://www.census2011.co.in/states.php.
  8. Developing suitable pedagogical methods for different classes, calibres and research in e-learning. Retrieved from www.ide.iitkgp.ernet.in.
  9. Durlach, P. J., Lesgold, A. M. (Eds.) (2012). Adaptive technologies for training and education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Gautam Biswas, K. L. Chopra, Jha, C. S., Singh, D.V. (2010). Profile of Engineering Education in India: Status, Concerns and Recommendations. New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata: Indian National Academy of Engineering, Narosa Publishing House.Google Scholar
  11. Government of India. (2001). Area of India/State/District. Census of India. Retrieved from http://www.censusindia.gov.in/Census_Data_2001.
  12. ICT in Education. Retrieved from http://www.aicte-india.org/icteducation.htm.
  13. National Knowledge Commission: Report of Working Group on Engineering Education; March 2008.Google Scholar
  14. National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology, Mission Document. Retrieved from www.sakshat.ac.in.
  15. National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning. Retrieved from http://www.nptel.iitm.ac.in/.
  16. National Policy on Education (NPE 1986). http://www.educationforallinindia.com/page62.html.
  17. NASSCOM-McKinsey Report. (2005). Extending India’s Leadership of the Global IT and BPO Industries. Report No. 57.Google Scholar
  18. Sakshat. Retrieved from www.sakshat.ac.in.
  19. South Asia Human Development Sector International Comparative Study: Engineering Education in India April 2013. Retrieved from http://www.abenge.org.br/Arquivos/90/90.pdf.
  20. Toward Cognitive Tutoring in a Collaborative, Web-based Environment: Workshop on Adaptive Hypermedia and Collaborative Web-Based Systems (AHCW’04), Munich, Germany, July 2004. Retrieved September 22, 2013 from http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bmclaren/pubs/McLarenEtAl-TowardCognitiveTutoring-ICWE2004.pdf.
  21. Virtual Labs. Retrieved from http://www.vlab.co.in/.
  22. Walsh, T. (2011). Conjunction with ITHAKA S+R; unlocking the gates-how and why leading universities are opening up access to their courses. Princeton: Princeton University Press; 2011.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Educational TechnologyIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurWest Medinipur, KharagpurIndia

Personalised recommendations