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Sunday, April 06, 2014

History of Higher Education (Technical Education) in India and Karnataka

Name: Roopashree H.R
Reg No: 1347102


Education in India is provided by the public sector as well as the
private sector, with control and funding coming from three levels:
central, state, and local. Takshasila was the earliest recorded centre
of higher learning in India from at least 5th century BCE and it is
debatable whether it could be regarded a university or not. The
Nalanda University was the oldest university-system of education in
the world in the modern sense of university. Western education became
ingrained into Indian society with the establishment of the British

Technical Graduates: The number of graduates coming out of technical
colleges increased to over 700,000 in 2011 from 550,000 in FY 2010.
However, according to one study, 75% of technical graduates and more
than 85% of general graduates are unemployable by India's most
demanding and high-growth global industries, including information
technology. Nevertheless, that still means that India offers the
largest pool of technically skilled graduates in the world

The history of imparting formal technical education in India can be
traced back to mid-19th century, although it got momentum in 20th
century with the setup of Constitution of Technical Education
Committee of the Central University Board of Education (CABE) in 1943;
Preparation of Sergeant Report in 1944 and Formation of All India
Council of technical Education (AICTE) in 1945. With the country
gaining independence in 1947, the development of technical education
had become a major concern for the government of India to face the new
challenges and move the country forward.

In order to maintain the standard of technical education, a statutory
authority- The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)- was
set up in 1945. AICTE irresponsible for planning, formulation and
maintenance of norms and standards, quality assurance through
accreditation, funding in priority areas, monitoring and evaluation,
maintaining parity of certification and awards and ensuring
coordinated and integrated development and management of technical
education in the country[1].

The beginning of formal Technical Education in India can be dated back
to the mid-19th Century. The major policy initiatives in the
pre-independence period included the appointment of the Indian
Universities Commission in 1902, the issue of the Indian Education
policy resolution in 1904 and the Governor General's policy statement
of 1913 stressing the importance of Technical Education. The
establishment of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, the
Institute for Sugar, Textile and Leather Technology in Kanpur, the
National Council of Education in Bengal in 1905 and the Industrial
Schools in several Information in this section has been taken from the
website of AICTE, accessed in March 2007. 12 provinces marks the dawn
of the technical education in India in the early twentieth century

The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) was set-up by
the Government of India in November 1945 as a national level Apex
Advisory Body to survey the national facilities for technical
education and to promote their development in a coordinated and
integrated manner. To ensure this and
as stipulated by the National Policy of Education (1986), AICTE was
vested with statutory authority for planning, formulation and
maintenance of norms and standards, quality assurance through
accreditation, funding in priority areas, monitoring and evaluation,
maintaining parity of certification and awards and ensuring
coordinated and integrated development and management of technical
education in the country.

The AICTE Bill was introduced in both the Houses of Parliament and
passed as the AICTE Act No. 52 of 1987. The Act came into force with
effect from 28 March 1988. The statutory All India Council for
Technical Education was established on 12 May 1988 with a view to
proper planning and coordinated development of technical education
system throughout the country, the promotion of qualitative
improvement of such education in relation to planned quantitative
growth and the regulation and proper maintenance of norms and
standards in the technical education system and for matters connected

The purview of AICTE (the Council) covers programs of technical
education including training and research in Engineering, Technology,
Architecture, Town Planning, Management, Pharmacy, Applied Arts and
Crafts, Hotel Management and Catering Technology etc. at different

The set up of Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of
Management and Indian Institutes of Science was a major step in the
development of technical education in the country. The quality of
education of these institutes has managed to change the outlook of
India so much that this ancient country which was earlier known for
yoga and meditation is now known for computer engineers. However, it
does not mean that the challenge of making technical education
accessible to the rural populace and other under developed sections of
the society has been overcome


Some of the technical skilled educational institutions are started
before Independence (since 1943), by name "Occupational Institutes".
Then later, these are renamed as "Polytechnics"(multiple technical
skills/many technical skills). All these Polytechnics were working
under "Public Instruction Department", since before independence to
till 1959.Since number of Polytechnics and Technical degree colleges
are increased, the new department called "Technical Education
Department" came into existence in 1959.[3]

A) University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE) was
established in the year 1917, under the name Government Engineering
College, by Bharat Ratna Sir M. Visvesvaraya, and was affiliated to
University of Mysore. It is the 5th Engineering College to be
established in the country. This is one of the oldest technical
institutions in the country, imparting technical education leading to
B.E, M.E, B.Arch, M.Sc (Engineering) and Ph D degrees in the various
disciplines of Engineering and Architecture. The college is approved
by the AICTE and the Government of Karnataka. The departments are
accredited with five A+ for three years by the National Board of
Accreditation, New Delhi.[4]

B) Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) is a collegiate public
state university in Karnataka State, India. It was established on 1
April 1998 by the Government of Karnatakaas per VTU Act 1994, to
improve the quality of technical education in the state. Apart from a
few notable exceptions, VTU has complete authority in the state of
Karnataka. It is a statutory requirement for colleges offering any
program in engineering or technology in the state to be affiliated
with the university.[5]

The university is named after Sir Visvesvaraya from Karnataka, the
only engineer to be awarded a Bharat Ratna award, the highest civilian
award in India. JnanaSangama, Belgaum is the headquarters of VTU.
Additionally, the university has three regional centers located in
Bangalore, Gulbarga andMysore.

VTU is one of the largest universities in India with 208 colleges
affiliated to it with an intake capacity of over 67100 undergraduate
students and 12666postgraduate students. The university encompasses
various technical & management fields which offers a total of 30
undergraduate [11] and 71 postgraduate courses.


Ø Need for a policy framework: Emphasizing the present status of
technical education in India, Prof P Rama Rao, ARCI, and
Hyderabadsuggested the need for a policy framework for improving the
quality of
technical education in the country[2].

Ø Need for strengthening: In terms of the data, 97% of 10, 60,000
annual intakes of students are being accounted by the private
institutions. The annual intake of students in all Indian Institute of
Technology is 7,500, National Institute of Technology 35,000 and the
rest i.e. 10, 17,500 is accounted by the private institutions. This,
viewed along with the lowering of quality of engineering education,
highlights the dysfunctional accreditation process and the need for
strengthening the process to improve the quality of technical

Comparing the number of engineers graduating in a year, at different
levels for India and the USA, Dr Rao indicated that only 5% of the
Bachelor degree holders from India go for the Master's degree whereas
the corresponding figure for USA is about 50%. The total Ph.D. degree
holders in engineering discipline in India for the year 2009-10 is
only 1500 whereas for USA it is 7500.

Looking at sector-wise data, in the field of aeronautical engineering
the total number of students per year in B.Tech is 285, M.Tech 175 and
PhD only 30. The scenario is not very different and encouraging for
the computer science and geology disciplines. India is also witnessing
an acute shortage of faculty in engineering discipline which is about

Ø Regional imbalance: There is also a regional imbalance in
engineering education establishments. More than 505 of the engineering
colleges are located in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and
Tamil Nadu which does not auger well for the balanced socio-economic
development of the country.

Ø Absence of international flavor: Dr Rao also identified problems
like absence of international flavor in both student and faculty, low
research activity across the disciplines and asymmetry in technology
assessment which are areas of concern and need policy guidelines.

Ø Level of excellence resources: India has success stories in
technical education and human resource generation which can guide in
policy formulation. Dr Y Nayudamma's model of balanced development of
the Indian leather sector through an academia-industry partnership and
Institute of Chemical Technology established in the year 1933 are
among the few examples that can be emulated. The level of excellence,
resources and level of autonomy should be synchronized in a policy for
achieving quality technical education in India in the next five years.

Ø Complex relationship: Public-Private partnership is a complex
relationship which needs well thought out policy guidelines along with
proper checks and balances. Drawing upon the US experience in
generating wealth for the nation by investing in academic Research and
Development, Dr Rao stressed the need for increasing the R & D funding
in India for building and sustaining a modern and vibrant nation.


1. Education in India-Wikipedia
Volume 2, Issue 10 (October 2012) ISSN: 2249-7382 by Prof.Shivani and
3. Directorate Technical education, Karnataka
4. UVCE-Wikipedia
5. VTU-Wikipedia.

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