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Indian Cultural Landscape

About India

  • Country Name: Republic of India
  • Capital: New Delhi
  • Area: 3.3 Million sq. Km
  • Indian Standard Time: IST (UTC+05:30)
  • Population: 1.4 billion people (2022)
  • Official Languages: English, Hindi, and 27 other regional languages

Why India


  • High potential for higher studies and research in India
  • Quality assurance
  • Young workforce
  • Around 170 research institutes funded by Central Government of India
  • Over 1000 universities (more than 40,000 affiliated colleges)


  • Shortage of young researchers/scientists in India
  • Dearth of funds for research in humanities & social sciences
  • Not enough private fundings

Indian Academic Landscape

In India, education is predominantly handled through the state-run public education system, which is governed at central, state, and local levels.

Levels of School System-

The school system in India has four levels: lower primary (age 6 to 10), upper primary (11 and 12), Secondary (13 to 15), and senior higher secondary (17 and 18).

Types of Schools-

  • Government schools
  • Government aided private schools
  • Private schools (not government unaided)
  • International schools

Higher Education System-

Students may opt for vocational education, university education, open & distance learning education, and online education as higher education options.

  • Vocation Education- Vocational training courses, also known as Career and Technical Education (CTE) or Vocational Education and Training (VET) provide career-oriented skills. These courses are available after the tenth grade (at the age of 15+ years).
  • University Education- Students may enrol in general degree programs such as bachelor's degree (graduation) in arts, business, or science, or professional degree programs such as engineering, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, chartered accountancy, and law graduates after passing the Higher Secondary Examination or the Standard 12 examination (at the age of 17+ years).

Types of Indian Universities-

Central Universities, State Universities, Deemed-to-be Universities, Private Universities

Central universities, or Union universities, are established by an Act of Parliament and are under the purview of the Department of Higher Education in the Union Human Resource Development Ministry.

State universities are run by the state government of each of the states and territories of India and are usually established by a local legislative assembly act. Note that most State Universities are "affiliating universities" in that they administer a large number of "affiliated colleges" (many located in very small towns) that typically offer a range of undergraduate courses, but may also offer post-graduate courses. More established colleges may even offer Ph.D. programs in some departments with the approval of the affiliating university.

Deemed university, or "Deemed to be University", is a status of autonomy granted by the Department of Higher Education on the advice of the UGC, under Section 3 of the UGC Act A deemed to be a university can certainly award degrees but, cannot use the word 'university' by virtue of Section 23 of the UGC Act

Private universities are approved by the UGC. They can grant degrees, but they cannot have off-campus affiliated colleges.


Accreditation of Institutes of Higher Education-

Unless formed by an act of Parliament, Indian law requires all universities to be accredited. Accreditation for higher learning is overseen by autonomous institutions established by the University Grants Commission (UGC)-

  • All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)
  • Distance Education Bureau (DEB)
  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
  • Bar Council of India (BCI)
  • National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC)
  • National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE)
  • Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI)
  • National Medical Commission (NMC)
  • Pharmacy Council of India (PCI)
  • Indian Nursing Council (INC)
  • Dental Council of India (DCI)
  • Central Council of Homeopathy (CCH)
  • Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM)
  • Veterinary Council of India (VCI)

Ranking of Institutes of Higher Education -

1. NAAC Rating: The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is an organization that assesses and accredits institutions of higher education in India. It is an autonomous body funded by the University Grants Commission of the Government of India. To qualify as the best academic institute in terms of quality of education, it is mandatory for all educational institutions in the country to get the NAAC accreditation.


2. University Grants Commission (UGC): The University Grants Commission of India (UGC India) is a statutory body set up by the Indian Union government by the UGC Act 1956 under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, and is charged with coordination, determination, and maintenance of standards of higher education. It provides recognition to universities in India and disburses funds to such recognized universities and colleges.


3. National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF): The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) was approved by the MHRD and launched by the Honourable Minister of Human Resource Development on 29th September 2015. This framework outlines a methodology to rank institutions across the country. The methodology draws from the overall recommendations broad understanding arrived at by a Core Committee set up by MHRD, to identify the broad parameters for ranking various universities and institutions. The parameters broadly cover “Teaching, Learning and Resources,” “Research and Professional Practices,” “Graduation Outcomes,” “Outreach and Inclusivity,” and “Perception”.



Dr. Amisha Jain
Head of Regional Office - India, South Asia & South East Asia


German House, 21, Jor Bagh
New Delhi, 110003 India

Telefon +91-11-46063410
E-Mail amisha.jain(at)uni-koeln.de