Updated on: Friday, July 23, 2021, 11:32 PM IST

FPJ Anniversary: Future landscape of Indian higher education, writes AK Sen Gupta



Education is the prime driver of any society. There is a significant correlation between educational system of a country including its strategy and structure with its economic growth. Success of all the industrially and technologically advanced countries, to a large extent, has been attributed to a forward looking and innovative education system.

The future of India will also be determined by the education system we have. This is more important as India is the Youngest Country in the world with median age of 29. And these young people will help transforming India into a great and prosperous nation based on education they receive.

Impact Attributes:

For last few years, there has been gradual focus for looking at quality of higher education in India. Indian HEIs are making their mark in world rankings.

The three distinctive attributes driving Indian higher education system are:

1. Internationalization: Indian higher education system is getting increasingly integrated with the world teaching system in terms of structure, curriculum, pedagogy, interaction of faculty, migration of both students and faculty.

2. Digitization: Increased digitization and virtual mode of learning is making education system more technology driven and dependent. Onset of Covid-19 has helped the transition.

3. National Education Policy 2020: Though not yet implemented, NEP 2020 is likely to help India migrate into a new education system that is more inquisitive and innovation centric and in alignment with international system.

Future Landscape:

Cumulative impact of the above three impact attributes will have far reaching changes in Indian higher education system making it pertinent for the 21 st Century and equipping the new generation of Indian youth with tools and techniques to face global challenges with Indian ethos and mindset.

Future landscape of Indian higher education in 2040 is likely to have the following ten (10) distinctive features:

1. Large multi-disciplinary domestic institutions (both Universities as well as Colleges) at par with international standard

2. A number of international institutions alongside domestic institutions

3. Increased digital focus including launch of digital universities and blended mode of learning as the most prominent means of transmission

4. Complete restructuring of curriculum and pedagogy both at graduate and post-graduate level making Indian Universities globally competitive

5. Moe focus on skill-based programs compared to traditional degrees like BA or BCom or MBA.

6. Increased number of foreign students and faculty in Indian system

7. More Indian faculty with foreign degrees

8. Emergence of a strong research focus and many folds increase in Indian Patents

9. Emergence of students with holistic approach to problem solving equipped with life skills rather than only job skills

10. Indian education system developing more entrepreneurs.

The above will definitely create a new India as knowledge hub of the world. Along with economic growth, Indian education system will the centre of gravity of the world education system. And thus, we hope that 21st Century will be the defining moment for India in terms of its leadership in education, more particularly higher education.

A K Sen Gupta is the Founder and Convener, Higher Education Forum

(HEF). He may be contacted at or


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Published on: Friday, July 23, 2021, 11:32 PM IST