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Where Does the Buck Stop? Governance of Technical and Engineering Education in India – Learning Forum

ICT BackgroundMethodology (not selected)Program

Governance of Technical and Engineering Education in India - Participating states map

-South Asia Human Development Unit (WB)
-Education in South Asia
-Education in India
-National Association of Software and Services Companies

In September 2009, policy makers and institutional leaders in five Indian States: Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and West Bengal will join the first Learning Forum organized by the World Bank and its Indian partners, to examine and benchmark State developments concerning governance of their higher education institutions. Please find attached a planning paper for the Learning Forum. (PDF, 195Kb)

The move towards greater autonomy, and the need for better accountability will have a profound impact on India’s tertiary education system. The Learning Forum provides an environment for senior policy makers and practitioners to develop a strategic framework for effective governance and establishes support of the systemic reforms at the State and institutional levels. This is a concrete follow-up activity to the conference on “Accountability and Autonomy in Engineering Education: What is Working” organized by the World Bank, that took place in July 9-10, 2008, Mysore, India.


While India is undergoing rapid economic change with sustained high growth rates for more than a decade demand for skilled labor is increasing substantially. Despite significant improvements in the education system, it has not been able to achieve similar rapid pace of change as in other sectors of the national economy. As a consequence skilled labor is becoming scarce and returns to education, in particular to Higher education, are rising.

Governance of Technical and Engineering Education main
Technical and engineering education is critical to India’s aspirations of being a competitive player in the global knowledge economy.
There are approximately 1,800 Technical/Engineering Institutions across India’s 30 States, of which less than 8% are autonomous. Tertiary education, and in particular technical and engineering education, is critical to India’s aspirations of being a competitive player in the global knowledge economy. As the demand for tertiary education continues to grow, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that tertiary education systems, as well as individual institutions, are managed well to meet the needs of industry and society. National policies have stressed the importance of increasing autonomy and accountability in the tertiary education sector since 1964, and that this is key to the delivery of these national needs and to improving the quality of learning outputs.

The Government is taking strong steps in the 11th Five Year plan to increase opportunities in Higher Education, relieve skill shortages in the economy, and increase competitiveness. Some of these steps include: (i) establishment of a central autonomous university in each state, (ii) higher education institutions in each district of the countries, (iii) private institutions may be granted deemed university status, (iv) creation of more Inter-University Centers, and (v) funding of up to 150 new polytechnics autonomous colleges.


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