Indian higher education is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing sectors. The change in
demographics, which is expected to grow to about 1.5 billion people by 2030, has set the stage to
propel the country into becoming a powerful mechanism of economic growth and development, if the
higher education system meets the demands and needs of the growing economy, especially the job
market. Huge unemployable youth population, uneven distribution of industry needs and existing
skill gaps are demanding access to education anyone and anywhere (anytime of course).
The very recent decision by UGC to allow 900 autonomous colleges to offer online degree programmes
is a welcomed step. This decision has opened the doors of new learning opportunities to students
and also announced the goal of achieving 50% of GER by 2035. Unlimited teaching and learning
opportunities along with improvement in students' learning outcomes and pedagogical innovation
extend an equitable approach to quality education. In this regard, technology can come In this
regard, technology can come to the aid of planners. Enabling e-learning opportunities to students
anywhere and anytime offer unprecedented learning opportunities to students. The icing on the cake
is the growing number of digital tools and internet usage in the country is promising to fill the
digital divide and is expected to touch 566 million people.
With a prudent blended higher education and vocational skill training, the dream of becoming a
knowledge superpower may soon be a reality. The year 2022 laid emphasis on the implementation of
NEP and the future of education looks as promising as never before.
Jayashri S Patil
Honorary Council Member, IEF