Varsities expansion without quality improvement serves little purpose: PM
The 12th Plan, he said, has identified the task for the next five years building on the momentum generated in the last ten years and continuing the focus on expansion, equity and excellence.
Singh also said steps were needed to bring about reforms with the aim of enhancing quality in higher education.
The Prime Minister said the focus of the government during the 11th Plan on the higher education sector has led the actual enrolment going up from 16.6 crore to 25.9 crore.
The gross enrolment ratio for higher education in particular went up from 12.3 per cent in 2006-07 to 17.9 per cent in 2011-12 though, he noted, it was “still much below the world average of 26 per cent”.
The share of education in the total outlay also went up from 6.7 per cent in the 10th Plan to 19.4 per cent in the 11th Plan, Singh said.
During the period since 2004 when higher education witnessed unprecedented expansion, he said the government established 51 institutions during the 11th Plan period, the highest for any plan period.
These included central universities, Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Management and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research.
The central universities also more than doubled in the period after 2004-05, increasing from 17 to 44. Each state now has at least one central university, he said and added that the government envisages a very important role for these varsities in setting standards