Education in India has a rich heritage that can be traced back to the ancient urban centres of Taxila and Nalanda. The Nalanda University was the oldest university in the world. Western education became an integral part of the Indian education system with the establishment of the British Raj in the country. The growth of the Indian economy in the last few years and the need to do well is forcing the Indian government to accelerate the process of developing various branches of the Indian education system.
The Vedas, Puranas, and Kautilya’s Arthasahtra are some of the highlights of the rich traditional knowledge system that India boasts of. There have been evidences of imparting formal education under the Gurukul system. Under the Gurukul system, young boys who were in their Brahmacharya stage of life had to stay at a guru’s home and complete their education. Though this system produced many geniuses it was hardly egalitarian. Women and men belonging to the lower castes lost the right to education as the caste system did not allow them to be educated. With the spread of Jainism and Buddhism there was some liberation in the castes but not completely. Later with the establishment of the British Raj in the 19th century education spread far and wide in the country.
After gaining independence in 1947, making education available to everyone became a priority for the Indian government. As discrimination on the basis of caste and gender was prevalent it became the government’s duty to ensure that all members of the society received education.
The present education system in the country mainly comprises of primary education, secondary education, senior secondary education and higher education. Elementary education consists of eight years of formal education. Each of secondary and senior secondary education consists of two years of education. Higher education in India starts after passing the Higher Secondary Certification (HSC). Depending on the stream, graduation in India can take anywhere between three to five years. Post graduate courses are generally of two to three years. Lately, there has been a boom in preschool education in India.
There are quite a few educational institutes in India that can compete with the best educational institutes of the world. The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), Indian Institutes of Science, National Law Schools and Jawaharlal Nehru University are some institutes that have an international standing. In fact, six Indian Institutes of Technology and the Birla Institute of Technology and Science – Pilani were listed among the top 20 science and technology schools in Asia by Asiaweek. The Indian School of Business situated in Hyderabad was ranked number 12 in global MBA rankings by the Financial Times of London in 2010 while the All India Institute of Medical Sciences has been recognized as a global leader in medical research and treatment.
With such good institutes imparting education in India we can be sure of the quality of education youngsters receive.