There are 471 universities at present comprising 268 State Universities, 40 Central Universities, 125 Deemed Universities, 5 Institutions established under States legislations and 33 Institutions of national importance. In addition, there are 22,064 colleges including around 2,260 colleges for Women. At the beginning of the 2008-09, the total no. of students enrolled in the universities and colleges was reported to be 123.77 lakhs of which 15.89 lakhs were enrolled in University teaching departments and 107.88 lakhs in the affiliated colleges. The enrolement of the women students at the beginning of the academic year 2008-09 was 50.25 lakhs constituting 40.60% of the total enrolement. The regular faculty strength in universities had been 0.83 lakh and 4.38 lakhs in colleges, totalling 5.21 lakh in the beginning of the reporting year.

Higher education is a subject of the Union List. University Grants Commission (UGC), was established in 1956 under an Act of Parliament to take measures for promotion and coordination of university education and determination and maintenance of standards in teaching, examination and research in universities. To fulfil its objectives, the Commission can enquire, among other things, into financial needs of the universities; allocate and disburse grants to them; establish and maintain common services and facilities; recommend measures for improvement of university education and give advice on allocation of grants and establishment of new universities.


Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) was established by an Act of Parliament in September 1985 for the introduction and promotion of open university and distance education system for organising programmes of continuing education and initiating special programmes of higher education for specific target groups like women, people living in backward regions, hilly areas, etc. The IGNOU provides an innovative system of university level education, flexible and open in regard to methods and pace of learning, combination of courses, eligibility for enrolment, age of entry, methods of evaluation, etc.

Open Universities in the country B.R. Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh), Kota Open University, Kota (Rajasthan), Nalanda Open University (Bihar), Yashwant Rao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, Nasik (Maharashtra), Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University, Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Ambedkar Open University, Ahmadabad (Gujarat), Karnataka State Open University, Mysore (Karnataka) and Netaji Subhas Open University, Calcutta (West Bengal).

Apart from the technical institutions set up by the Central and State governments, there are Centre-State joint venture institutions as well as State-aided and private institutions. 
All such institutions are recognised by the statutory regulatory authority, 
All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) set up by the Central government through an Act of Parliament. A number of premier institutes are training persons in different disciplines of Technology and Management. These include 13 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) located at Mumbai, Delhi, Kanpur, Roorkee, Kharagpur, Chennai, Gandhinagar, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Hyderabad, Kota, Ropar and Guwahati; seven Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) at Ahmadabad, Calcutta, Bangalore, Lucknow, Indore, Calicut and Shillong; Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore; 

Specialised higher Technical Institutes like 
School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), New Delhi; 
Indian School of Mines (ISM), 
National Institute for Training in Industrial Engineering (NITIE), 
Mumbai; National Institute for Foundry and Forge Technology (NIFFT), 
Ranchi and Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management (IIITM), Gwalior.

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