India: mega expansion plan for higher education in 11th plan


New Delhi : Mega expansion of the education sector is in the offing with moves to establish 30 universities, including some with world-class standards, and enhance the infrastructure of existing institutions during the 11th Plan.

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The action plan prepared by the University Grants Commission envisages to increase the gross enrolment ratio (GER), the percentage of youths in the age group of 18-23 in higher education, from 10 per cent now to 15 per cent by 2012.

“To achieve 15 per cent GER by 2012, we have to increase the facilities accordingly. Apart from the 30 new universities, there is plan to set up 370 colleges in districts where the GER is lower than the all India average,” UGC chairman Prof Sukhadeo Thorat told PTI.

For the proposed 16 Central universities, concept paper and draft bill has been ready, he said. Similarly for the 14 world class universities, a committee has been set up to prepare concept paper and the draft bill.

Detailed project reports for the proposed 370 colleges are in the final stage. Special development grants will be provided to these institutions, he said.

The UGC has earmarked Rs 870 crore for expanding the infrastructure in the existing over 20 Central universities for implementing 27 per cent OBC quota, which has been given the go-ahead by the Supreme Court.(One Crore:ten million)

This initiate assumes significance in view of the Knowledge Commission saying that there is a need to set up 1500 universities to make India a knowledge society.