In the nearly 50 years since independence, India has built a university education system which is second in size only to that of the U. S. , with 200 universities and more than 6,300 colleges. There are large numbers of professional courses at the undergraduate level. The education system in the country saw a revolution with the emergence of a whole new class of education providers, including private institutes, distance education providers, self-financing courses in public institutions, foreign education providers etc. Student may opt for any of it depending upon their interest and condition of eligibility.

To succeed in life or business, you need the right tools. And one of the most important tools is education and training. It provides the strongest link between income aspirations and the realization of income goals. Today India’s youth, parents, employers and the self-employed have acquired a keener appreciation of the association between training and skills, income-generating economic opportunities, and formal professional education and careers than in the past. Prof. Drucker has argued that knowledge travels more effortlessly than money. The knowledge economy relies heavily on knowledge workers.

It includes doctors, accountants, engineers, lawyers, teachers, and researchers. Education, as an economic activity, is the result of the institutionalization of the production and dissemination of knowledge. Institutionalization does not refer to the process of establishing institutes! It pertains to the set of decisions, policies, structures and activities that creates stakeholders that in turn work efficiently and consistently towards achieving desirable objectives. Today Industry-academia interactions are the need of the hour as companies increasingly look for technical graduates with industry-friendly skills.

Enrollment figures in higher education system over the years have been rising; it varies widely across different states in India. To compete with the world today we need industry-friendly skills like leadership, public relations, communication and presentation to be inculcated into the curriculum as well as need to sponsor research, consultancy and industry-institute interaction ; also need to create a technology transfer cell which will give students ; faculty the necessary platform to transfer research and technology developed by them to different industries.

From earlier days to still, Research is the base of success of our country where the concept of zero, decimal and Pythagoras Theorem were all developed here, is well known for the quality of mind and is recognized as a potential knowledge hub of the world. Thus, using this background in this paper we would like to highlight on various sub- themes. The focus points are …. 1. The scenario of higher education system in India 2. Indian education system and its positive and negative aspects. 3. The growth in institutions offering professional courses. 4.

Various issues in professional education 5. Effective strategies to develop Professional Education 6. Focus on Industry scenario, Current technology, Soft skills and values 7. Importance of Industry-Institute interface Key words: Knowledge Society, knowledge-based economy, Faculty Development Program, Mentor scheme, Corporate Representatives committee, Technology Transfer Cell, etc. ?Introduction Extremely dynamic business world and the rapidly developing knowledge based service economy have put in an increased demand for professionals to manage the business effectively.

And this is precisely the reason why amongst various other fields of knowledge, desire for acquiring management qualifications is growing, both amongst the fresh graduates and working executives. During the past two decades, India has made enormous strides in its economic and social development. But the greatest challenge to India is, to convert its large human resource base to knowledge workers, equipped with multiple skills that can harness and take advantage of this booming knowledge economy. Higher Education in India is one of the most developed in the entire world.

There has in fact been considerable improvement in the higher education scenario of India in both quantitative and qualitative terms. In technical education, the IITs, and in management, the IIMs have already marked their names among the top higher educational institutes of the world. Moreover the Jawaharlal University and Delhi University are also regarded as good higher educational institutes for doing postgraduates courses and research in science, humanities and social sciences. As a result, students from various parts of the world are coming today for higher education in India.

After liberalization many multi-national companies entered in India due to which the demand for professionals increased. With establishment of many private institutions, professional education now moved beyond the domains of government control. Indian economy was being integrated into the world economy. As any other ambitious society, also India started placing great importance on commercial activities as a catalyst to socio-economic development. Such knowledge economy relies heavily on knowledge workers. ?The scenario of higher education system in India And it’s positive and negative aspects

The economics of education point to the growing privatization of education. In India, Government spending on education was 3. 3% in 1999-2000. China’s public spending on education was 2% in 1999-2000. But the average government spending on education of the top 100 countries in the world was 5. 24%, about 50 per cent more than India’s. India was ranked 81 in investments and spending related to education which has significant lead over China but China could use its financial resources in the future to fight for its share of the incomes that the knowledge society would generate.

However, what is more worrying is that the Central and State Governments have other fiscal priorities and compulsions. These may make it difficult for India to boost public spending on education. Due to this Governments are more comfortable with centralization than decentralization. But the private sector is capable of making a virtue out of a necessity and viable businesses out of ordinary opportunities. The hard reality is that majority of employment opportunities now are in the private sector and this sector is very choosy. The private sector only selects those who possess skills and competencies as per their requirement.

As this sector has to compete with global competitors, its requirements are continually changing. So nowadays, Education has to be tailor-made to the requirements of the private sector. By providing alternative learning opportunities foreign institutions are also entering in the higher education sector. They claim that their certification will be preferred by multinationals to the degrees awarded by our universities. In India Universities and its constituent colleges are the main institutes of higher education. There are at present 227 government-recognized Universities in India.

Out of them 20 are central universities, 109 are deemed universities and 11 are Open Universities and rest are state universities. Most of these universities in India have affiliating colleges where undergraduate courses are being taught. Apart from these higher education institutes there are several private institutes in India that offer various professional courses. According to the Department of higher Education, government of India, there are 16,885 colleges, 99. 54 lakh students and 4. 57 lakh teachers in various higher education institutes.

Although add to the complexity of issues of higher education in India, demand of private institutes are increased and taking advantage of this, the private sector in a big way in setting up institutions with the hidden agenda of making money. Many states passed acts for setting up of Private Universities. Private universities emerged like mushrooms under the provisions of Private University Acts, and institutions including those which were newly created obtained deemed to be university status. At the same time, most of the institutes are not having proper infrastructure ; facilities to provide quality education.

As seen, from outer side everything is going on track but the reality is different. In most of the institutions, there are no fully equipped laboratories, not having enough books in library and even not enough lecturers. Traditional structure of higher education in the state funded institutions has continued to remain around teacher-student contact, and finds that it is no longer adequate in meeting its demand and relevance. As everyone knows today’s need…. Quality Education which is very important to survive in global competition therefore to support new learning processes, new organizational structures are required.

In such situation, today in India the ambition of Middle Class and Poor students to undergo Higher and Technical education is becoming a dream due to the huge amount of fees charged by the money minded Private Colleges. Postgraduate Courses are mostly self financed and the fee per year for MBA, MCA, M. Sc courses is more than Rs. 30, 000/- per year depending upon the state and reputation of the College. So for two year M. Sc courses a student has to spend minimum Rs. 50, 000/- for tuition fees besides the huge Hostel fees and this is not in reach of Middle Class/Lower Middle Class students.

Even for Prospectus of MBA and MCA courses the private colleges are charging Rs. 350/- to Rs. 1000/- depending upon the institute. If a Middle Class student has to apply for more than one course means he has to face financial problems. As every coin has two sides similarly India, one of the world’s largest economies but another side In a country where majority of people are groaning under the weight of poverty, hunger and increasing prices how the middle class Indian people will pay huge amounts for higher and Technical education. You will be surprised to note that even project reports of MCA, MBA and B. S. re available for sale. This clearly shows you how the education system is commercialized. In such a scenario, the road of higher education seems to have reached dead-end. The need of the hour is to give a fresh look to the higher education and introduce such changes as will restore confidence in the ability of the state universities and colleges for providing, cost effectively, education relevant to the present context of the world of work. ?The growth in institutions offering professional courses India is today one of the fastest developing countries of the world with the annual growth rate going above 9%.

In order to sustain that rate of growth, there is need to increase the number of institutes and also the quality of higher education in India. Therefore Government of India set up an advisory body –The Knowledge Commission in 2005 with a view to bridge this gap and makes India a knowledge powerhouse as well as the Prime Minister of India has announced the establishment of 8 IITs, seven Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and five Indian Institutes of Science, Education and Research (IISERs) and 30 Central Universities in his speech to the nation on the 60th Independence Day.

The outlay for education during the 11th Five Year Plan, which runs from the current fiscal to 2012-13, represents a four-fold increase over the previous plan and stands at Rs 2500 billion. India is home to many colleges and universities that are recognized throughout the world. They offer different professional courses leading to a bright career.

Some of the most popular universities in India are University of Delhi, Banaras Hindu University, Osmania University, Jamia Milia University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, University of Hyderabad, Bombay University, University of Pune, University of Allahabad, Gujarat University, Assam University etc. There are several courses leading to good career avenues which offer various professional career options. The widespread impression is that unlike professional education courses, the general education courses have failed to keep pace with changes that are taking place in the world of work.

The courses offered by the general education colleges are determined by traditional mindset and have continued to remain inflexible. Students complain that in general education, they are not able to exercise choice in selecting what they would like to study. They want to study what would suit their aptitude and also meet their future needs. Also, the general perception is that contents of courses that are being offered at present may not be helpful to them in acquiring skills and abilities required by their future employers. So such a mindset of students’ results in growing demands for professional education and why not?

Due to professional courses One can find excellent career opportunities in different sectors including air force, medical field, advertising, modeling, film making, engineering, foreign languages, bioinformatics and biotechnology, photography, travel and tourism, hotel industry, Indian Army and Merchant Navy, call centers, public relations, journalism and mass communications, civil services, insurance, banking, dairy technology, medical transcription, BPOs, KPOs, video and radio jockey, teaching, veterinary science, law, music, agriculture science and accounting etc.

The number of private institutes has increased in the country impressively whereas the number of public institutions – both government and aided institutions – has increased only marginally. Nearly 30% enrollment is in private unaided institutions, which do not receive any grants from the government. The growth has been predominantly in institutions offering professional courses. According to one market survey report, the private unaided higher education institutions are showing signs of positive growth whereas the number of government and private aided universities and colleges is not likely to show any significant increase.

It also shows possibilities to increase in number of students from neighboring countries will choose the country as their preferred destination for higher education. Therefore in future, there will be tremendous growth of professional institutions in India. ?Importance of Industry-Institute interface To compete with todays global economic and technology based environment one should need industry-friendly skills like leadership, public relations, communication and presentation as well as knowledge and attitude. As the punch line of Human Resource Management is “Right person, at right place, at right time”.

So industry and institution plays a vital role to build a “Right Person” to sustain with competitive edge of globalization. In rapid changing environment, Every day, a person wake up and know that he/she has a challenge; now he/she must decide how to meet it. Every student deserves the chance to participate in this changing environment. Therefore, time has come for redesigning curricular concerns in higher education. The challenge is to introduce innovative interdisciplinary programmes of study appropriate to the concerns of the 21st century.

It is the responsibility of the institutions to provide those skills and knowledge to the students which meets the industry requirements. Every institution must be learner centred and is able to help learners in acquiring the ability of learning. The human capital requirement of industries is only fulfilled by professional institutions. For which the partnership of Industry-Institute is very essential. Industry-Institute partnership will produce the pillar of strength of today’s knowledge-base economy.

As the industry is the powerful customer of institute plays vital role in collaborative learning opportunities and another advantage is, they get the talent they need. For better progress, both industry and institute very well understand the advantage of working in partnership. The success of the advanced countries like Japan and USA is behind the industry-Institute partnership. Now Indian institute and industry also need to adopt this strategy to boost the growth of economy and to place India on number one position in global market.

For Industry-Institute partnership one has to adopt following action plan for excellence…. ?Most important and very basic criteria for students, Information Technology Literacy to be made a compulsory component of all courses whether offered as campus programmes or as distance education programmes. ?As professional knowledge one cannot acquire only in classroom teaching, it needs practical involvement and experience with industry so make a student’s compulsory training program with industry. Faculty is a base of quality education; Faculty should keep themselves in touch with industry and updated knowledge for which Faculty Development Program (i. e. conferences, seminars, training, workshops, etc. ) should have been arrange after each period of interval with industry-institute partnership. ?Mentor scheme also plays vital role to nurture talent and groom students. Students are assigned mentors from industry to learn and sustain with competitive world. Set-up Corporate Representatives committee to design and develop curriculum and course according to industry requirement/input. ?Arrange jointly Seminars and Guest Lectures for both executives and students practices and help them relate the theory to real life applications. ?Executives from corporate are invited to take up few lectures for skills development with prime objective of getting them on campus for placements whereas the theoretical component of courses to be taught by the teachers of the institution. Introduce Management Development Programmes. ?Make Industrial tours as a part of syllabus which helps to interface both faculty and students with different industries. ?Case Study and Case Writing to keep students abreast of changes in the business world and hence enhance the overall teaching-learning experience. ?Invite suggestions from industry to update their curriculum and include the topics of present day relevance. ?Need to establish one Industry-Institute Forum (in which industrialists, administrators, institute members, managers, etc. articipates) to discuss on various issues and to create programmes, to meet challenges of global business environment. ?Need to create a Technology Transfer Cell with Industry-Institute alliance which will give students & faculty the necessary platform to transfer research and technology developed by them to different industries. Most of the Indian institute performs some of above exercise due to which our youth represents our country on top in global market.

If these action plans will be seriously adopted by the Industry-Institute then definitely it will change the face of education as well as industry. ?Conclusion To give India a new identity as destination for quality education our Industry-Institute partnership also provides a unique opportunity to get the best advantage of the talented youth from around the world to enrich the knowledge warehouse of the universities and institutions where the talented one studies. As India is well-known for research and innovation due to which the power of minds of India are well-recognized all over the world.

India is fastest growing economy in the world and one of a pillar of this economy growth is research and development. Indian students have found high demand in Multi-National Companies. Not only this, worlds most of the IT companies utilized Indian talents to develop new technologies. This trend will be increased more due to adopting Industry-Institute partnership. In this competitive age a knowledge-based enterprise requires human capital of knowledge workers only and Indian Institutes has the capability to provide talented work-force to the world.

India realizes that to compete and sustain with global changes as well as challenges one most vital pillar is Industry-Institute partnership. ?References: •Sharma PB Technical Education In the Knowledge Age, University News, Jr of AIU, New Delhi, July 2007. •Sharma P. B. , “Industry Institution Interaction Creating Synergetic Partnerships”, Indo-UK Higher Education Summit, FICCI, New Delhi, Nov 2007. •Bharat Book Bureau, “Education Services Market in India”, Business-Market Research Report, September 2007.