Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam: Paper - III (General Studies – II) - 28 September 2019

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam

UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper-III: General Studies -II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

Q. What are the challenges faced by the Higher Education System in India? Discuss the initiatives taken by the Government of India to promote Higher Education. (250 words)

Model Answer:

  • Why in News?
  • Introduction
  • Challenges faced by the Higher Education System in India
  • Government initiatives to promote Higher Education
  • Conclusion

Why in News?

The status of Institute of Eminence (IOE) has been awarded recently to IIT-MadrasIIT-KharagpurDelhi UniversityBenares Hindu University and the University of Hyderabad.


Higher Education plays a key role in the realization of India’s extraordinary potential and aspirations for economic and technological development. It serves as a hub of developing ideas and innovations that enlighten individuals and help to take the country forwards socially, culturally, artistically, scientifically, technologically and economically.

Challenges faced by the Higher Education System in India:

The Standing Committee on Human Resource Development published a report entitled ‘Issues and challenges before Higher Educational Sector in India’. The few challenges faced by the higher education system are as follows:

  • Lack of Access of quality higher education: This is still a big challenge to people residing especially in the socio – economically disadvantaged areas.
  • Accountability and performance of teachers: There is no mechanism for ensuring the accountability and performance of professors in universities and colleges.
  • Lack of Teacher and Institutional Autonomy: Increasing vacancies in various institutes hinders the scope of innovation and research.
  • Lack of employable skills: Lack of employable skills has been observed both among the teachers and administrators of higher education. Identification of skill gaps and offering courses for enhancing employability. 
  • Shortage of funds: The funds received by the State Universities are meagre as 65% of the budget is utilized by the central universities and their colleges.
  • Infrastructure is lacking in most of the higher education institutes. This is hampering the research and development of India.
  • There is a need for a robust regulation system so as to prevent the fake colleges from thriving.

Government initiatives to promote Higher Education:

The government of India has initiated major reforms in the education sector to improve the quality and access to education. Few such initiatives are as follows:

  • SWAYAM MOOCs Portal offers various courses by the best teachers in the country through video lectures, e-reading material, discussion forum and assessment system.
  • Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) is a new initiative to make use of the knowledge base in the higher educational institutions for plugging technology gaps in the rural areas.
  • Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) was launched to garner best international knowledge and experience into the country’s higher education so as to enable Indian students and faculty to interact with best academic and industry experts from across the world.
  • National Digital Library of India (NDL India) provides a single window search window facility to access digital content currently available in India.
  • e-Yantra to spread education in Embedded System and Robotics by IIT Bombay.
  • IMPRINT (IMPacting Research Innovation and Technology) is an initiative to address the major science and engineering challenges faced by India. This initiative is aimed at:

(a) Developing new engineering education policy

(b) Creating a road map to pursue engineering challenges

  • ARIIA (Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements) was launched to systematically rank all major higher educational institutions and universities in India on indicators related to “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development” amongst students and faculties.
  • Rashtriya Uchchatar Siksha Abhiyan (RUSA) would provide more assistance for infrastructure to universities and colleges, creation of model degree colleges, cluster universities, up gradation of autonomous colleges and vocationalisation of higher education.


The aim of a quality university or college education must be to develop good, well rounded, and creative individuals. Education must empower students for the future to become enterprising and creative innovators.

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