Unaided institutes constitute 92% of technical education

Written by Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 18 2013, 06:38am hrs
Unaided private institutions now account for almost 92% of the total institutes imparting technical education in the country, a big increase in the share from 85% a few years ago.

With government institutes not coming up at the same pace, the private sector has taken up a major chunk of technical education in the country and is growing around 8% annually.

This paints a different picture for technical education vis--vis higher education as a whole as the 12th Plan envisages a faster growth for central higher education institutes than private ones even though the latter will continue to account for the lions share of enrolment in 2016-17 (estimated at 52%). Moreover, central institutes are expected to show the highest annual growth of 14.9% in student enrolment compared with private institutions (7.6%) in the period.

Between 2007 and 2012, the number of private institutions grew faster than the number of government institutions at 10.3% while the latter grew at 8.3%. This growth included the establishment of 98 state private universities, 17 private deemed universities, 7,818 private colleges and 3,581 private diploma institutions.

The private sector is promoting education and these institutes want to compete with their global counterparts. The problem is that new institutes in the government sector dont grow fast while more and more private institutes get added every year, said SS Mantha, chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

As per consultancy and advisory firm Ernst & Young, the share of unaided private institutions in the total number of institutions is now a little less than two-thirds, up from 40% a decade ago. Besides, the unaided private sector accounted for around 60% of total enrolment in 2012 almost double that of the share of total enrolment of 33% in 2001.

Though this growth in private institutes is healthy, the primary goal of government institutes to provide public good needs to be met. Hence, we need to ensure this quality through regulatory systems, Mantha added. AICTE regulates a range of issues relating to the setting up of such institutions and their operations, including land, infrastructure and intake and faculty.

At present, there are 40 central universities and 289 state universities in the country. Professional courses account for 19% of the total higher education enrolment. However, courses such as architecture, pharmacy, hotel management and computer applications have lost popularity in the past few years while management and engineering continue to remain students favourites.