India is an important educational center in the global education industry. India has more than 1.4 million schools and more than 35,000 higher education institutes. India has one of the largest higher education systems in the world and there is still a lot of potential for further development in the education system.
India’s online education market size is expected to touch US$ 40 billion by 2017. The RNCOS report titled, ‘Booming Distance Education Market Outlook 2018’ expects the distance education market in India to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 34 per cent during 2013-14 to 2017-18. Moreover, the aim of the government to raise its current gross enrollment ratio to 30 per cent by 2020 will also boost the growth of the distance education in India.
The vocational education and training is fast emerging as an important area of focus, as Germany and India enhance their strategic bilateral partnership. One of India’s biggest challenges as well as advantages is its growing young population. India targets creation of 500 million skilled workers in 2022.
The need to train fresh graduates in new skills and ensure that they remain employable is important since the US$ 118 billion Indian information technology (IT) industry added about 180,000 new employees in 2013-2014, 70 per cent of which were fresh hires, according to Nasscom.
India’s IT firms are working with academic institutions and setting up in-house institutes to groom the right talent as these companies move to social media, mobility, analytics and cloud (SMAC) technologies. Tech Mahindra’s infrastructure management services academy set up in 2014 has inked partnerships with five universities to hire students trained on a co-developed curriculum.
The total amount of foreign direct investments (FDI) inflow into the education sector in India stood at US$ 1,071.5 million from April 2000 to January 2015, according to data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
The education and training sector in India has witnessed some major investments and developments in the recent past. Some of them are:
- EMC Corporation plans to establish 100 centers of academic excellence in India in 2015. These centers will be set up in leading IT institutes across the country to give students an opportunity to learn and practice key skills in the areas of cloud, data science, analytics, IT infrastructure and other leading technologies, as per a company statement.
- Pearson Education is on a global transformation journey graduating from its largely publishing business to expanding into school, higher education and vocational training. On the vocational education segment, Pearson trains about 20,000-30,000 learners per year in livelihood training and provides them with placement.
- To foster entrepreneurship, IIT-Bombay (IIT-B) has five interdisciplinary centres of development, a Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE) that has incubated some 55 companies since its inception. IIT-B has also launched the Desai Sethi Centre for Entrepreneurship (DSCE) in July 2014 to foster an entrepreneurial spirit and technology innovation.
- The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) is working to prepare a management entrance test modelled on the US Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT). AICTE wants to attract students from some half-a-dozen Asian countries seeking admission to management programmes. The regulator is to roll out the entrance exam in Asian countries, followed by African countries and then take it global. A total of 93,693 foreign students were studying in India in 2013, according to data from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD).
- The Times of India Group-promoted Bennett University has tied up with Babson Global, a wholly owned subsidiary of Babson College, Massachusetts, US, to offer programs for Indian students and entrepreneurs.
- Ford India inaugurated its fourth Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) Centre at St Joseph’s Industrial Training Institute in collaboration with Don Bosco Centre for Learning in Kurla, Mumbai, with an aim to create a pool of talented and skilled professionals for the automobile industry.
The Government of India is all set to roll out a new educational policy by 2015, according to Ms Smriti Irani, Union Minister of Human resource Development (HRD), Government of India.
Some of the other major initiatives taken by the Government of India are:
- The Government has drawn up an ambitious roadmap to enhance skill levels of millions of people. The plans involve integrating skill enhancement and entrepreneurship in the syllabi at the school level, setting up of 2,500 multi- skilling institutions in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode, and set up institutes of entrepreneurship development in various centres including upcoming smart cities among others. India will have to skill 120 million people in non-farm sectors, with the highest requirement of skilled labour to come from the construction sector (31 million) followed by retail (17 million) and logistics (12 million), according to estimates between 2013 and 2022. A National policy on skill development and entrepreneurship will be finalised by March 31, 2015.
- The Government of India plans to open a first-of-its-kind national vocational university that will subsume all Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), a move to improve standards and bring uniformity among the schools that supply workers to the manufacturing sector.
- A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT) and Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL). The MoU has been envisioned to foster collaboration on research, training and professional development and exchange of technical expertise in areas of mutual interest such as material sciences and testing capabilities.
In addition, Government of India restructured its teacher training system, doubling its duration to two years and mandating a six-month internship as part of it, in an effort to improve the quality of teachers and, by extension, education.
Various government initiatives are being adopted to boost the growth of distance education market, besides focussing on new education techniques, such as E-learning and M-learning.
“Hiring quality talent will be a focal point, and the use of non-traditional methods for recruitment like mobile technology will be one trend to look out for in 2015. Also, we will see a move towards hiring for particular skills as opposed to capacity or just numbers,” said Mr Richard Lobo, Vice-President and Head of Human Resource Development units, Infosys.
Moreover, availability of english speaking tech-educated talent, democratic governance and a strong legal and intellectual property protection framework are enablers for world class product development, as per Mr Amit Phadnis, President-Engineering and Site Leader for Cisco (India).
The Government of India has taken several steps including opening of IIT’s and IIM’s in new locations as well as allocating educational grants for research scholars in most government institutions. Furthermore, with online modes of education being used by several educational organisations, the higher education sector in India is set for some major changes and developments in the years to come.
Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.016 as on March 24, 2015