How come Week days in India match with Western system?

How come Week days in India match with Western system?

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How come Week days in India synchronize with the week days in Western countries? When did this happen?

How come Week days in India match with Western system? - History

The establishment of the British Empire greatly influenced the architecture and culture of India and led to a fusion of styles and techniques.

Learning Objectives

Summarize the changes that took place in Indian architecture during the establishment of the British Empire

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • The establishment of the British Empire in the 18th century and the subsequent westernization of India paved the way for a radical change of artistic taste, and a new style of art and architecture emerged.
  • As a whole, the European advent was marked by a relative insensitivity to native art traditions former Indian patrons of art became less wealthy and influential, and Western art became more ubiquitous .
  • The fusion of Indian traditions with European style at this time became evident in architectural styles as with the Mughals, architecture under European colonial rule became an emblem of power designed to endorse the occupying power.
  • The Indo-Saracenic Revival was an architectural style and movement in the late 19th century, where public and government buildings were often rendered on an intentionally grand scale.

Key Terms

  • Company style: A hybrid Indo-European style of paintings made in India by Indian artists, many of whom worked for European patrons in the British East India Company or other foreign Companies in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • aesthetic: Concerned with beauty, artistic impact, or appearance.
  • advent: Coming coming to approach arrival.
  • ubiquitous: Being everywhere at once: omnipresent.

Impact of British Imperialism in India

The British arrived in India in 1615 over the centuries, they gradually overthrew the Maratha and Sikh empires and other small independent kingdoms. The establishment of the British Empire in the 18th century laid the foundation for modern India’s contact with the West. Westernization paved the way for a radical change of artistic taste, and a style emerged that represented the adjustment of traditional artists to new fashions and demands.

British colonial rule had a great impact on Indian art. As a whole, the European advent was marked by a relative insensitivity to native art traditions former Indian patrons of art became less wealthy and influential, and Western art became more ubiquitous as the British Empire established schools of art in major cities, such as the Bombay Art Society in 1888. The Company style of paintings, for example, became common, created by Indian artists working for European patrons of the East India Company . By 1858, the British government took over the task of administration of India under the British Raj. The fusion of Indian traditions with European style at this time became evident in architectural styles. Toward the end of the 19th century, rising nationalism attempted a conscious revival of Indian art.

Architecture Under British Imperialism

As with the Mughals, architecture under European colonial rule became an emblem of power designed to endorse the occupying power. Numerous European countries invaded India and created architectural styles reflective of their ancestral and adopted homes. The European colonizers created architecture that symbolized their mission of conquest, dedicated to the state or religion. Among the key British architects of this time were Robert Fellowes Chisholm, Charles Mant, Henry Irwin, William Emerson, George Wittet, and Frederick Stevens.

The Indo-Saracenic Revival

The Indo-Saracenic Revival (also known as Indo- Gothic , Mughal-Gothic, Neo-Mughal, or Hindu-Gothic) was an architectural style and movement by British architects in the late 19th century. It drew elements from native Indo-Islamic and Indian architecture and combined them with Gothic revival and Neo-Classical styles favored in Britain. Public and government buildings, such as clock towers, courthouses, municipal buildings, colleges, and town halls, were often rendered on an intentionally grand scale, reflecting and promoting a notion of an invincible British Empire. Infrastructure was composed of iron, steel, and poured concrete and included domes , overhanging eaves, pointed arches , vaulted roofs, pinnacles , open pavilions, and pierced open arcading.

Municipal Corporation Building, Mumbai: This municipal building in Mumbai reflects the Indo-Saracenic architecture of its time.

Examples of Colonial Architecture

The major cities colonized during this period were Madras, Calcutta, Bombay, Delhi, Agra, Bankipore, Karachi, Nagpur, Bhopal, and Hyderabad. St. Andrew’s Kirk in Madras (now Chennai) is known for its colonial architecture. The building is circular in form and is sided by two rectangular sections the entrance is lined with 12 colonnades and two British lions, with the motto of East India Company engraved on them. The interior holds 16 columns , and the dome is painted blue and decorated with gold stars.

St. Andrew’s Church: St. Andrew’s Church in present day Chennai is an example of British colonial architecture in India.

The Victoria Memorial in Calcutta is another symbol of the British Empire, built as a monument in tribute to Queen Victoria’s reign. The plan of the building consists of one large central part covered with a larger dome, with colonnades separating the two chambers. Each corner holds a smaller dome and is floored with marble plinth. The memorial stands on 26 acres of garden surrounded by reflective pools.

India's history and culture is dynamic, spanning back to the beginning of human civilization. It begins with a mysterious culture along the Indus River and in farming communities in the southern lands of India. The history of India is punctuated by constant integration of migrating people with the diverse cultures that surround India. Available evidence suggests that the use of iron, copper and other metals was widely prevalent in the Indian sub-continent at a fairly early period, which is indicative of the progress that this part of the world had made. By the end of the fourth millennium BC, India had emerged as a region of highly developed civilization.

The Indus Valley Civilization

The History of India begins with the birth of the Indus Valley Civilization, more precisely known as Harappan Civilization. It flourished around 2,500 BC, in the western part of South Asia, what today is Pakistan and Western India. The Indus Valley was home to the largest of the four ancient urban civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China. Nothing was known about this civilization till 1920s when the Archaeological Department of India carried out excavations in the Indus valley wherein the ruins of the two old cities, viz. Mohenjodaro and Harappa were unearthed. The ruins of buildings and other things like household articles, weapons of war, gold and silver ornaments, seals, toys, pottery wares, etc., show that some four to five thousand years ago a highly developed Civilization flourished in this region.

The Indus valley civilization was basically an urban civilization and the people lived in well-planned and well-built towns, which were also the centers for trade. The ruins of Mohenjodaro and Harappa show that these were magnificent merchant cities-well planned, scientifically laid, and well looked after. They had wide roads and a well-developed drainage system. The houses were made of baked bricks and had two or more storeys.

The highly civilized Harappans knew the art of growing cereals, and wheat and barley constituted their staple food. They consumed vegetables and fruits and ate mutton, pork and eggs as well. Evidences also show that they wore cotton as well as woollen garments. By 1500 BC, the Harappan culture came to an end. Among various causes ascribed to the decay of Indus Valley Civilization are the recurrent floods and other natural causes like earthquake, etc.

Vedic Civilization

The Vedic civilization is the earliest civilization in the history of ancient India. It is named after the Vedas, the early literature of the Hindu people. The Vedic Civilization flourished along the river Saraswati, in a region that now consists of the modern Indian states of Haryana and Punjab. Vedic is synonymous with Hinduism, which is another name for religious and spiritual thought that has evolved from the Vedas.

The Ramayana and Mahabharata were the two great epics of this period.

The Buddhist Era

During the life time of Lord Gautam Buddha, sixteen great powers (Mahajanpadas) existed in the 7th and early 6th centuries BC. Among the more important republics were the Sakyas of Kapilavastu and the Licchavis of Vaishali.

Alexander's Invasion

In 326 BC, Alexander invaded India, after crossing the river Indus he advanced towards Taxila. He then challenged king Porus , ruler of the kingdom between the rivers Jhelum and Chenab. The Indians were defeated in the fierce battle, even though they fought with elephants, which the Macedonians had never before seen. Alexander captured Porus and, like the other local rulers he had defeated, allowed him to continue to govern his territory.

Gupta Dynasty

After the Kushanas, the Guptas were the most important dynasty. The Gupta period has been described as the Golden Age of Indian history. The first famous king of the Gupta dynasty was Ghatotkacha's son Chandragupta I. He married Kumaradevi, the daughter of the chief of the Licchavis. This marriage was a turning point in the life of Chandragupta I. He got Pataliputra in dowry from the Lichhavis. From Pataliputra, he laid the foundation of his empire and started conquering many neighbouring states with the help of the Licchavis. He ruled over Magadha (Bihar), Prayaga and Saketa (east Uttar Pradesh). His kingdom extended from the river Ganges to Allahabad. Chandragupta I also got the title of Maharajadhiraja (King of Kings) and ruled for about fifteen years.

The Illustrated History of How Sugar Conquered the World

If you want to understand Western history, you have to understand sugar. And vice versa. Because sugar’s not just something sweet: over the centuries it’s been a medicine, a spice, a symbol of royalty, and an instrument of disease, addiction, and oppression.

Here’s a selective highlight reel of just how sugar has shaped our world, from India to Hawaii and everywhere in between.

The Days Before Cane

Alex Testere

10,000 B.C.: Before sugar ruled the world, honey is queen. Basically any part of Europe, Africa, or Asia that isn’t covered in ice has bees, and thus honey. There are no bees in the Americas, though, so their sweeteners are syrups from trees, agave nectar from cactus, or mashed fruits. People eventually domesticate bees, so instead of happening upon a hive and feeling lucky to encounter honey, they keep hives nearby.

The Birth of Sugar

8,000: Sugar is native to, and first cultivated in, New Guinea. Initially, people chew on the reeds to enjoy the sweetness. 2,000 years later, sugar cane makes its way (by ship) to the Phillipines and India. Sugar is first refined in India: the first description of a sugar mill is found in an Indian text from 100 A.D.

400-350: Recipes call for sugar in the Mahabhashya of Patanjali. They include rice pudding with milk, sweet barley meal, and fermented drinks with ginger.

327: Greeks and Romans learn about sugar during visits to India. Nearchus, Alexandria’s general, writes of “a reed in India that brings forth honey without the help of bees, from which an intoxicating drink is made, though the plant bears no fruit.” Small amounts are brought back to the Mediterranean and traded to physicians who use it for medical purposes.

The University of Sugar

Alex Testere

500-600 A.D.: Jundi Shapur, a university in Iran, becomes the meeting place for the world’s scholars (at least those west of China). Greek, Christian, Jewish, and Persian scholars gather to create the first teaching hospital. They study texts from various cultures, and by 600 A.D. they are writing about a potent Indian medicine: sugar. They also develop better methods for processing sugar cane into crystallized sugar.

Arab Expansion

Alex Testere

Circa 650: The Arabs were masters of growing, refining, and cooking with sugar they begin to conceptualize it not just as a medicine or spice, but as a rare delicacy for royalty and the most wealthy. They combine it with ground almonds to create a moldable sweet still popular today—marzipan—and sugar sculptures become regular parts of lavish dinner parties.

As armies of Muslims take over Egypt, Persia, India and the Mediterranean, they bring their knowledge of sugar with them. Many European doctors learn of the medicinal uses for sugar from Arab texts. Under Arab rule, Egyptians master the refining process and become known for making the purest, whitest sugar.

The Crusades

Alex Testere

1099: Europeans conquering Jerusalem learn the details of sugar production, which was a profitable business in the city at the time. When the soldiers return home, they bring sugar with them, sparking widespread demand across Europe.

Venice had been trading with the Muslim world prior to the Crusades, which gave them a fast inroad to dominate the sugar trade in the Mediterranean for almost half a century. But the sweetener remains so rare and expensive that it’s only available to the wealthiest classes until the 1300s.

Sugar Conquers the Western Hemisphere

Alex Testere

1402-1500: The Spanish colonize the Canary Islands, setting up sugar plantations and enslaving indigenous people to run the mills. Export back to Spain is up and running by 1500, though, when the islands become mostly deforested, the sugar industry falters. In 1493, Columbus brings sugar cane from the Canary Islands to Hispañola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). By 1516, Hispañiola is the most important sugar producer in the New World.

1500: Pedro Cabral of Portugal lands on Brazil by accident and establishes sugar plantations there. Portuguese growers make technological advances in sugar production: a new mill design that could be powered by animals, water, or even wind, and a new method for refining sugar that allows them to operate on a larger scale. Brazilian sugar production eventually dominates the industry.

At this point, sugar’s purported medicinal properties have become widely established across Europe. Tabernaemontanus (c.1515-90) writes of it: Nice white sugar from Madeira or the Canaries, when taken moderately cleans the blood, strengthens body and mind, especially chest, lungs and throat, but it is bad for hot and bilious people, for it easily turns into bile, also makes the teeth blunt and makes them decay. As a powder it is good for the eyes, as a smoke it is good for the common cold, as flour sprinkled on wounds it heals them. With milk and alum it serves to clear wine. Sugar water alone, also with cinnamon, pomegranate and quince juice, is good for a cough and a fever. Sugar wine with cinnamon gives vigor to old people, especially sugar syrup with rose water which is recommended by Arnaldus Villanovanus. Sugar candy has all these powers to higher degree.

Sugar and Slavery

Alex Testere

1583: São Tomé, a Portuguese colony that can’t keep up with Brazil’s rate of sugar production, starts exporting slaves to Brazil and other New World islands to work on sugar plantations. It’s a profitable business. By the late 16th century, Brazil out-produces all of the New World colonies and the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean sugar industry collapses.

1600s: At this point, coffee, tea, and chocolate have made their way to Europe. Their arrival drastically increases sugar consumption, making sugar more popular than alcohol ever did, and increasing demand—with lower prices—means a greater reliance on slavery. During the 17th century alone, over half a million African slaves are shipped to Brazil and other New World colonies to work on sugar plantations.

1791: The British Parliament fails to pass the Slave Trade Abolition Bill, which leads to an abstention movement. Abolitionists boycott slave-grown sugar, and the movement increases the demand for slave-free sugar grown in India. American abolitionists also try to avoid Caribbean-grown sugar, turning instead to the maple sugar industry. In 1789, some residents of Philadelphia agree to buy certain amounts at fixed prices in hopes of helping the industry take off. The U.S. government urges Americans to make maple syrup at home and to avoid sweets sold in shops.

1807: Thomas Jefferson signs a bill that prohibits importing slaves to the U.S. Shortly after, the British House of Lords passes an act for the abolition of the slave trade. But slavery remains a widespread practice, continuing in:

the British West Indies until 1834
the French colonies until 1848
the U.S. until 1866
Cuba until 1886
and Brazil until 1888

1817: Ribbon Cane, a fast-maturing sugarcane variety that grows well in the Louisiana territory’s swampy climate, is introduced to the region’s 75 sugar mills. The new production is enough for Congress to pass tariffs on imported sugar, raising demand for cheap slave labor to grow the American sugar industry. Higher yields and plummeting prices, across the U.S. and the Caribbean, help make sugar cheap and accessible to common consumers.

Rise of the Sugar Beet

Alex Testere

1747: Prussian chemist Andrea S. Margraff discovers that sucrose can be derived from beets.

1801: Franz Carl Achard, a student of Margraff, is credited as the first person to extract sugar from beets on a commercial level.

1815 The beet sugar industry thrives in Europe through the Napoleonic Wars, though Napoleon is the subject of much ridicule for supporting the industry. When the wars end, cheap Caribbean sugar is once again exported to Europe, severely damaging the sugar beet business.

1837: Vilmorin, a French seed company, creates the sugar beet, which has a high sucrose content and a structure designed for optimal sugar extraction. As slavery dies out in the Caribbean, European governments enact policies to support their beet growers. With governmental support, the European beet sugar industry expands through the 20th century.

The Industrial Age

Alex Testere

1864: The largest and most technologically advanced sugar refinery in the world opens in Williamsburg on Long Island. With improvements in manufacturing, the production of American sugar increases and drives down the prices.

1887: Lower prices mean less profit, so in 1887, eight leaders in the American sugar industry form the American Sugar Trust with the intention of reducing production to increase prices and profits for all of their companies. After acquiring more companies, they change their name to The American Sugar Refining Company (ASRC). They close facilities they deem inefficient and combine others with ones they already own, essentially fixing the price of refined sugar.

1900: The ASRC creates the Domino Sugar brand to market all of the sugar they produce under one name. By 1907 ASRC controls 97% of all American sugar production.

1906: C&H sugar company is formed by Claus Spreckles, a German immigrant who ran a beet sugar factory in California (C&H stands for California and Hawaii). Spreckles dominates sugar production in Hawaii until the 1930s, when sugar plantations are converted for other uses. Today C&H is part of Domino Sugar, and there are no more sugar factories or mills in operation on Hawaii. Read about the last days of Hawaiian sugar here.

A Sweet Public Menace

Alex Testere

1942: The American Medical Association’s Council on Food and Nutrition suggests that it “would be in the interest of the public health for all practical means to be taken to limit consumption of sugar in any form in which it fails to be combined with significant proportions of other foods of high nutritive quality.”

1966: Medical professionals recommend a decrease in sugar intake, noting new studies that correlate sugar consumption with diabetes and other diseases. These studies, and the increasing rates of diabetes and obesity, spark an interest in sugar substitutes.

1980: The FDA considers fat a greater villain than sugar, driving a trend of reduced-fat (but high-sugar) manufactured food. Sugar-related health issues continue to rise.

The Age of Artificial Sweeteners

1879: A graduate student at Johns Hopkins refines saccharin, a crystalline powder 300 to 500 times sweeter than sugar but with no calories. It doesn’t see widespread use until World War I, when sugar was subject to strict rationing once sugar became available again, saccharine was shunted to diet foods. A 1977 study reports that saccharin caused cancer in test animals, causing the FDA to place a moratorium on saccharine use, which is only lifted in 1991.

1952: Calcium cyclamate starts appearing in diet sodas. Studies in the 1960s show that it’s likely carcinogenic, and the FDA bans the sweetener in 1970.

1965: Aspartame (a.k.a. NutraSweet and Equal) is invented in 1965, and by the late 1970s is used in diet sodas.

1967: High-fructose corn syrup hits the scene.

1998: Sucralose, which goes by the brand name of Splenda and is a whopping 600 times sweeter than sugar, is approved for use in the U.S. Artificial sweeteners supplement or replace sugar in all kinds of food products, but have yet to prove rigorously measurable health benefits.

And We Come Full Circle

Alex Testere

2000s: As artificial sweeteners fall out of vogue, ancient forms of sugar make a major comeback: agave nectar, stevia, dates, and of course honey, which is delicious, shelf-stable, and linked to many health benefits. Nothing beats the classics.

13 of the Largest Power Outages in History — and What They Tell Us About the 2003 Northeast Blackout

What gets the most attention is not what causes blackouts in North America and Europe. It’s the system, not a shortage of power plants that is the problem. Take a look at the 13 major power outages over many years, and see that the problems we face are not because we aren’t building enough power plants. Part one of a two-part series on the Northeast Blackout of 2003.

Only one of these outages, July 2012 in India, was due to more electricity demand than could be supplied by existing resources. In the industrialized economies of North America and Europe, we more often lose power due to a subtle and difficult challenge. The electrical grid is prone to system failures and needs modernization.

Crews work on line. Credit: Mike Jacobs

For decades the concern over power grid reliability focused on ensuring that an adequate number of power plants were built. Still today, most of the policy attention, the financial needs, and advanced planning are on building enormous new plants. This is a holdover from past decades when growth in electricity use was high, and the time it took to build a power plant was increasing. But when one looks at what has caused major blackouts, insufficient power plants was only a factor in the India example, where people are being added to the Age of Electricity as services gradually reach more communities.

In North America and Europe, we have a different set of concerns. Load growth is barely 1 percent per year and there have been significant investments in new generation and technologies to save energy and use renewable energy. Still, every year the regulators and the utility industry make a number of announcements comparing the expected demand and the expected supply. In many states, this reporting is required by law. The numbers in these comparisons are easy math. When reviewed, everyone feels assured that the power supply is large enough to meet demand, or that the investments are coming and the required bills for this assurance will be paid. Even Texas, with its energy crunch, has 150 new plants in the planning process.

Unfortunately, it is unexpected disturbances, usually on the wires, that cause almost every blackout. Storms, droughts, and fires knock out whole sections of the system control errors and flubbed operations trigger shutdowns coordination failures cause overloads. Transmission reliability is much more complex than the adequacy of the generation fleet.

The August 2003 Northeast Blackout resulted from a combination of key monitoring systems offline, generators not responding as anticipated or requested, and then an overloaded line sagging from excess heat and short-circuiting to a tree. Obvious to the experts, this blackout could have been prevented if the grid reliability rules, including tree trimming, were mandatory, and the system needs for communications and cooperation were enforceable.

While the attention of utilities and politicians has been on the largest power plants, the practices for running the system were neglected. Coordination between utilities, adoption of flexible schedules, and use of accurate forecasts allow the transmission system to work reliably. Responsibility had been divided by old territorial boundaries between utility companies, even as the system was becoming more regional.

The creation and strengthening of the regional Independent System Operators has brought great progress inside the regions these serve. However, the utility industry continues to struggle to improve power flows across boundaries, information sharing, and cooperation. These reforms are vital to increasing reliability and lowering costs. We will see in the next post in this series that this modernization will help integrate wind and solar energy supplies with the rest of the grid.

In the summary of 13 power outages below, notice how the weather and the operations of the grid caused the blackouts. Coordination and better information, rather than more old-fashioned power plants, are the recurring need for more reliable systems.

1) October 2012 Hurricane Sandy: Flooding damaged vulnerable equipment and downed trees cut power to 8.2 million people in 17 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada, many for 2 weeks. The impacts from sea level rise and flooding are leading to re-evaluation of local design criteria.

2) July 30 and 31, 2012 Northern India: High demand, inadequate supply coordination, and transmission outages led to a repeating power system collapse that affected hundreds of millions across an area home to half of India’s population. Four key transmission lines were taken offline in previous days. Mid-summer demand in the north exceeded local supply, making the imports and transfers from west vital. Excessive demand tripped a transmission line. Within seconds, ten additional transmission lines tripped. Conditions and failure repeated again the following day. A review found poor coordination of outages and regional support agreements.

3) June 2012 Derecho: Wind storm damaged trees and equipment, cutting power to approximately 4.2 million customers across 11 Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia. Widespread tree clearing and line restoration efforts in many cases took 7 to 10 days.

4) October 2011 Northeast U.S.: Record early snowstorm brought down trees and wires. Outages could only follow removal of snow and fallen trees. More than three million customers in Mid-Atlantic and New England states were without power, many over 10 days.

5) September 8, 2011 California-Arizona: Transmission failure was set up by Southern California’s heavy dependence on power imports from Arizona, an ongoing problem. Hot weather after the end of the summer season, as determined by the engineering schedule, conflicted with generation and transmission outages planned for maintenance. Then two weaknesses — operations planning and real-time situational awareness — left operators vulnerable to a technician’s mistake switching major equipment. This outage lasted 12 hours, affecting 2.7 million people.

6) August 28, 2003 London: Two cables failed, and a leaky transformer could not handle the resulting flows. A section of the city and southern suburbs, totaling 250,000 customers, were off from 6:30 to 7 pm when alternate circuits were arranged.

7) August 14, 2003 Northeastern US and Ontario: Transmission system failed for many reasons seen in major outages that came years before. Information was incomplete and misunderstood inadequate tree trimming caused short circuit operators lacked coordination. System imbalances and overloads seen early in the day were not corrected due to lack of enforcement of coordination. 50 million people across eight states and Ontario were without power up to four days.

8) June 25, 1998 Ontario and North Central U.S.: A lightning storm in Minnesota initiated a transmission failure. A 345-kV line was struck by lightning. Underlying lower voltage lines overloaded. Soon, lightning struck a second 345-kV line. Cascading transmission line disconnections continued until the entire northern Midwest was separated from the Eastern grid, forming three isolated “islands” with power. 52,000 people in upper Midwest, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan saw outages up to 19 hours.

9) July 2-3, 1996 West Coast: The transmission outage began when a 345-kV line in Idaho overheated and sagged into a tree. A protective device on a parallel transmission line incorrectly tripped that line. Other relays tripped two Wyoming coal plants. For 23 seconds the system remained in precarious balance, until a 230-kV line between Montana and Idaho tripped. Remedial action separated the system into five pre-engineered islands to minimize customer outages. Two million people in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico lost power for minutes to hours.

10) August 10, 1996 West Coast: Hot weather and inadequate tree trimming set up transmission collapse. Through the afternoon five power lines in Oregon and nearby Washington short-circuited on trees. This tripped off 13 hydro turbines operated by BPA at McNary Dam on the Columbia River. Blame fell on inadequate tree-trimming practices, operating studies, and instructions to dispatchers. Approximately 7.5 million customers lost power in seven western U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and Baja California, Mexico for periods ranging from several minutes to six hours.

11) December 22, 1982 West Coast: Over 5 million people in the West lost power after high winds knocked over a major 500-kV transmission tower. The tower fell into a parallel 500-kV line tower, and the failure mechanically cascaded and caused three additional towers to fail on each line. When these fell, they hit two 230-kV lines crossing under the 500-kV lines. From that point, coordination schemes did not operate, communication problems delayed control instructions. Backup plans failed because the coordination devices were not set for such a severe disturbance. Data displayed to operators was unclear, preventing corrective actions.

12) July 13, 1977 New York City: Transmission failures caused by lightning strike shutting lines, and the tripping offline Indian Point No. 3 nuclear generating plant. When a second lightning strike caused the loss of two more 345-kV lines, the last connection for New York City to the northwest was lost. Power surges, overloads, and human error soon followed. Nine million people in New York City suffered outages and looting up to 26 hours. Poor coordination, malfunctioning safety equipment, and limited awareness of conditions contributed to the outage.

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How did the Japanese get these names?

The obvious question is: could there be a historical link between the 'seven luminaries' and the 'seven planets' of Western and Middle Eastern antiquity?

The answer is, yes. The seven-day week appears to have originated in ancient Mesopotamia or Egypt. Who first named these days after the planets is not totally clear. It was possibly the Greeks, who passed it on to the Romans. This naming found its way to India and then to China. However, the specific route and timing is not clear. The Cihai ( 辞海 ), a Chinese encyclopaedia, carries the following entry for 七曜历 qī yào lì (Japanese 七曜曆 shichi-yō-reki ), or 'seven luminaries calendar':

七曜历 qī yào lì , i.e., method of recording days according to the 七曜 qī yào . China normally observes the following order: sun, moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. Seven days make one week, which is repeated in a cycle. Originated in ancient Babylon (or ancient Egypt according to one theory). Used by the Romans at the time of the 1st century AD, later transmitted to other countries. This method existed in China in the 4th century. It was also transmitted to China by Manichaeans in the 8th century from the country of Kang ( 康 ) in Central Asia (Note: The country of Kang) .

The earliest use of the 'seven luminaries' ( 七曜 qī yào / shichi-yō ) is attributed by Cihai to Fan Ning ( 範寧 / 范宁 , Japanese Han Nei ), a scholar who lived from AD 339-401. Tellingly, the Chinese 'seven luminaries' were arranged in the same order as the Indian planetary names for days of the week, not in the classic order of the Chinese five elements, which put water before fire.

Besides the Manichaean route noted by the Cihai, there was also an Indian route of transmission in the 8th century. The Chinese Buddhist monk Yi Jing ( 義凈 / 义净 Japanese Gi Jō ) and the Ceylonese or Central Asian Buddhist monk Bu Kong ( 不空 , Japanese Fu Kū , also known as Amoghavajra) are both credited with referring to the seven-day cycle of planetary names in their writings, drawing on Indian sources. The Indians, in turn, appear to have taken this from the West. (Note: The Buddhist route of transmission)

Although there were several routes of transmission into China, it appears that the Indian route was the direct source of the Japanese names for days of the week. In 806, the famous Japanese monk, Kobo Daishi ( 弘法大師 ) (Note: Kobo Daishi) brought Bu Kong's writings back to Japan along with a huge quantity of other Buddhist scriptures. Great interest was taken in Bu Kong's astrological work by Japanese astronomers, with the result that the planetary names found their way into Japanese calendars of the time. One such calendar was used by the Japanese statesman Fujiwara no Michinaga ( 藤原道長 ) for writing his diary in 1007, in which the present-day Japanese names for the days of the week can be found (Note 6: Fujiwara no Michinaga) .

Although not in widespread use except for astrological purposes, this system of names was nevertheless maintained by the Japanese right through to the modern era. At one stage the days got out of kilter in eastern Japan and had to be rectified by a calendar reform in 1685. When they came under pressure to harmonise their working calendar with the West in the latter half of the 19th century, the Japanese turned to this old system to name the days of the week, officially adopting them in 1876. After this the names gradually came into general use in Japan (Note: The crucial step).

China also maintained the planetary names at least as late as the 19th century. Indeed, the Chinese adopted the word 星期 xīngqī 'star period' , to mean 'week' by reference to the planetary names. But when the seven-day week was adopted as part of the Westernisation (or "modernisation") of Chinese life in the modern era, the Chinese turned to a completely different, home-grown system to name the days of the week.

Incidentally, the Japanese word for 'week', 週 shū , is etymologically derived from Chinese roots and has the meaning of 'cycle'. It has since been borrowed back into Chinese as one of the alternative words for 'week'.

Higher Education

Rapid Growth amid Surging Demand

India’s higher education system has expanded drastically and undergone various changes since independence. India now has a much more socially inclusive mass-based education system than it did in the 20th century. Over the past two decades, the tertiary student population increased sixfold, from 5.7 million in 1996 to an estimated 36.6 million in 2017/18. The number of universities, likewise, grew from 190 in 1990/91 to 903 in 2017/18, while the number of colleges exploded: 18,000 new colleges were established between 2008 and 2016 alone—that’s more than six new colleges a day. The number of technical institutions offering programs at various levels jumped by a whopping 1,278 percent between 1980 and 2012: While there were only 794 such institutions in 1980, that number is now higher than 10,000.

This massive expansion has greatly increased access to education, but has placed the Indian system under tremendous stress and so far failed to yield enrollment ratios comparable to those of other BRIC economies. India currently has a tertiary gross enrollment ratio (GER) of only 25.8 percent (2017/18), compared with GERs of 50 percent, 48.4 percent, and 81.8 percent in Brazil, China, and Russia, respectively, according to the latest available UNESCO data. India’s GER is well below the global average of 36.7 percent, although it should be noted that its enrollment ratio is high compared with that of other lower middle income economies, which had a GER of 23.5 percent on average in 2016.

The Indian government seeks to increase the GER to 30 percent by 2020, but the challenges in expanding access are enormous, given that the country is expected to soon harbor the largest tertiary-age population in the world. It has been estimated that more than 4 million additional university seats would have to be added within the next two years to reach the target GER of 30 percent.[5] Some projections on India’s needs are staggering: The India Brand Equity Foundation, for example, estimates that an additional 700 universities and 35,000 colleges will need to be built to keep up with demographic trends in the years ahead. India also remains characterized by rampant disparities in access between its different states and territories. While the union territory of Chandigarh currently has a GER as high as 56.1 percent, that rate stands at only 14.4 percent in the state of Bihar.

Drastic Expansion of Private Higher Education

Indian authorities have traditionally not held favorable views of private higher education, but fiscal exhaustion and mounting demand caused the Indian government to allow private HEIs to operate in India in the 1980s. Since then the private sector has grown drastically: While there were just 15 private universities in 2005, that number ballooned to 282 in 2017. Between 2006/07 and 2011/12 alone, 115 private universities, 7,818 private colleges, and 3,581 private diploma institutions were established in India. The majority of Indian students now study at private institutions: According to the MHRD, 77.8 percent of Indian colleges are privately owned and enroll 67.3 percent of all students.

This growth has been driven by a variety of factors, including mounting public funding problems and a severe shortage of available seats at public institutions. In addition, students are attracted to the short-term diploma and certificate programs that private institutions offer and that are more geared toward employment. However, unlike in the school system, where private institutions are often the preferred choice, most higher education students in private institutions would prefer to study at public institutions, according to nationwide surveys. Because of factors like high costs and a generally low reputation of private higher education, most students enroll in private institutions not by choice, but by necessity after failing to get admitted into a public HEI. Continued demand for public HEIs is also reflected in the growing numbers of students securing private tutoring to prepare for these institutions’ entrance examinations.

Growth of Distance Education

India early on embraced distance education as a means to increase access to education, particularly in remote, underserved areas. In 1985, the federal government established the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), an open distance education institution which is now considered the world’s largest mega university with more than three million students. As this number demonstrates, distance education has spread dramatically in India since the 1980s. There are now 15 open universities in different states, while more than 200 additional HEIs, including many state and federal universities, are authorized to offer distance education programs by India’s Distance Education Bureau, which is the UGC’s quality assurance body for distance learning.

Distance education plays an important role in absorbing demand in India. Between 2006/07 and 2011/12 alone, the number of students enrolled in open and distance learning programs increased from 2.74 million to 4.2 million. At present, distance education accounts for 11 percent of all higher education enrollments. It is a remarkable feature of India’s education system that the vast majority of students enrolled in undergraduate programs study remotely: According to MHRD data, 2.65 million undergraduate students studied in distance mode in 2016/17, compared with only 1.75 million in regular programs.

Quality Problems

The rapid growth and massification of India’s higher education system has resulted in various quality problems, most notably in the fast-expanding private sector. As AICTE officials have noted, many of the newly established private colleges in India recruit “students using attractive websites and colorful brochures with glorified mission and vision statements,” but deliver substandard education. While there are a number of high-quality private HEIs in India, including, for example, the Birla Institute of Science and Technology (Pilani ) or the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, many private providers are small commercially oriented institutions that are run like businesses and place little emphasis on research—a fact often reflected in the retention of low-quality faculty.

Privatization also opened the door for the spread of unapproved fly-by-night providers. Just last year, the UGC and AICTE announced that 23 universities and 279 colleges were operating illegally throughout India. Lists of such institutions are published on the websites of the UGC and AICTE.

But quality problems are prevalent at public institutions as well. According to the government’s own assessment, the education sector “is plagued by a shortage of well-trained faculty, poor infrastructure and outdated and irrelevant curricula. The use of technology in higher education remains limited and standards of research and teaching at Indian universities are far below international standards with no Indian university featured in … rankings of the top 200 institutions globally.”

As mentioned before, sky-high unemployment among university graduates also reflects a lack of responsiveness to social needs and tends to undermine the relevance of education in India. In the latest 2018 U21 ranking of higher education systems, India scored second to last among 50 countries. However, the performance of India’s education system also needs to be viewed in the context of its level of economic development. India scored 26th in the ranking when controlling for GDP per capita.

One issue of great concern for Indian authorities is the low research output of Indian universities. Recent research found that the combined research output of 39 federally funded Indian universities, as measured in journal publications between 1990 and 2014, was less than that of either Cambridge or Stanford University alone — a weakness that observers have attributed to “unsuitable research infrastructure, inappropriate funding, highly bureaucratic systems of research funding, incompetent faculty members, lesser incentives for research and poor administrative structures….”

That said, the research output of Indian institutions has recently improved, particularly in the discipline of chemistry, where India in 2014 was among the top 10 publishers of peer-reviewed articles worldwide. Likewise, four Indian medical colleges were among the top 10 institutions that published the most research articles globally between 2004 and 2014. But recent increases in publications output are far from universal: 57 percent of India’s 579 medical institutions did not publish a single paper throughout the entire decade.

Types of Higher Education Institutions

Compared with other education systems, India’s has a large variety of HEIs. India’s UGC Act of 1956 specifies that only universities that were established by federal, state, or provincial legislation,[6] or institutions that have been granted the status of a deemed university by the federal government, are allowed to award academic degrees in India. Thus, there are five types of institutions with degree-granting authority:

Central Universities (also called Union Universities) are established, overseen, and funded by the federal government, mostly through UGC grants. There are presently 40 central universities directly under the MHRD. In addition, there are seven federal universities, including the Indian Maritime University and Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University, which fall under other federal government bodies like the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Tuition fees at most central universities are nominal, but the UGC has in recent years repeatedly asked central universities to increase fees to make them less dependent on federal funding. Examples of central universities include the prestigious University of Delhi, Banaras Hindu University, and IGNOU.

State Universities are established and overseen by the governments of the individual states. There were 370 state universities as of 2017. State universities are generally eligible for UGC grants, but not all of them receive such grants, instead deriving funding from state governments, tuition fees, and other sources. Like central universities, state universities are bound by UGC standards regarding matters like curricula, program structures, and admission requirements, even though the regulatory reach of the UGC may sometimes be blunted in federal court. Most are larger, multidisciplinary institutions, but there are also a large number of specialized agricultural universities among the state universities. Prominent state universities include the University of Mumbai, Bangalore University, and Guru Nanak Dev University.

Private Universities are privately owned institutions that have been established by federal or state legislation and are therefore sometimes also referred to as “state private universities.” Private universities can only be set up by non-profit entities (philanthropic societies, religious groups, non-profit organizations, etc.). For-profit higher education is officially not permitted in India, but many private universities are said to operate like de facto for-profit institutions.

Private universities face greater restrictions than public institutions. The UGC stipulates that they “cannot affiliate an institution/college. They cannot establish off campus center(s) beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the concerned State. However, they can establish off-campus center(s) within the concerned State after their existence of five years and with the prior approval of the University Grants Commission. So far, UGC has not approved any off campus center(s) of any Private University.”

There were 282 private universities in India as of 2017. They comprise a diverse group that includes small specialized institutions and larger multidisciplinary research universities. Many, but not all, have lower admissions requirements than public universities and charge high tuition fees by Indian standards. An example of a larger private university is Amity University, which has gained government approval in a number of different states and is therefore able to run 11 branch campuses throughout India. It has 150,000 students and offers a range of bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. programs with annual tuition fees between USD$4,500 and USD$9,000, depending on the program.

Deemed-to-be-Universities are defined as non-university institutions of high quality, public or private, that the federal government has declared to be of equal standing with universities via executive order based on the advice of the UGC. There are presently 124 of these institutions, which have the same academic status as universities and are eligible to receive UGC grants, if only under certain conditions. Deemed universities have the right to award the same types of degrees as state universities, although most of them have a much narrower, more specialized academic focus.

The extent to which the UGC regulates deemed-to-be-universities has varied widely over the years and remains in flux. However, the current UGC criteria for obtaining and maintaining deemed university status are rigorous and deemed universities include several top-level institutions. The UGC in 2006 allowed these institutions to call themselves universities, but a supreme court ruling in 2017 reversed that decision and barred them from using the word “university” in their name.

Deemed universities are not allowed to affiliate colleges and must seek UGC approval before offering new types of degree programs, although some deemed universities have recently been exempted from these restrictions under a new “graded autonomy” system (see below). Only high-quality deemed universities that have been in existence for more than five years and offer postgraduate programs are allowed to operate outside the confines of their relevant states. The majority of deemed universities are private institutions and mostly deliver undergraduate programs. Total enrollments in these institutions are much smaller than enrollments in state and private universities.

Institutions of National Importance (INIs) are defined as institutions that serve “as a pivotal player in developing highly skilled personnel within the specified region of the country/state.” INIs are specialized, highly selective elite institutions that are usually set up, or declared, by federal legislation and receive special central government funding. There are 91 of these institutions, including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the National Institutes of Technology, the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology. In 2017, the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), a group of top-quality public institutions specialized in postgraduate management education, were also declared INIs, which means that these institutions are now authorized to award academic degrees. As a group, INIs predominantly focus on technical education and enjoy much broader autonomy than other university-level institutions.

In addition to these university-level institutions that have degree-granting authority, there are many so-called stand-alone institutions (SAIs), which can be private or state-controlled. There are more than 11,000 recognized SAIs that range from polytechnics, teacher training institutes, and nursing schools, to business schools awarding postgraduate diplomas in management (PGDMs).

Most of these institutions fall under the purview of the AICTE and other regulatory bodies like nursing boards. Unless they have been conferred degree-awarding authority by the UGC, SAIs can only award diploma and postgraduate diploma type credentials. The IIMs, for example, were not authorized to award degrees until they were declared INIs, even though their PGDMs were factually considered equivalent to university-issued MBAs by the Association of Indian Universities, as long as their programs were at least two years in length. Other SAIs try to get around these restrictions by issuing credentials like a “bachelor’s program in engineering” as opposed to a “Bachelor of Engineering.” However, these credentials are not recognized as official degrees in India. The majority, 76 percent, of SAIs are privately owned.

Constituent, Affiliated and Autonomous Colleges

A prominent feature of India’s education system, and one also found in other South Asian countries, is the fact that there are few universities but a very large number of smaller teaching institutions, called colleges, operating under the umbrella of these universities. Most colleges are private and teach undergraduate curricula they are usually relatively small: 64 percent of them enroll less than 500 students. There are three different types of colleges, delineated by their degree of autonomy:

Constituent Colleges are integrated into their respective universities and fully administered by them. Most of them are located directly on the university campus or close to it. Constituent colleges are more likely to teach graduate programs than affiliated colleges.

Affiliated Colleges make up the largest number of colleges in India: There were more than 40,000 colleges affiliated to 278 public universities in 2016/17. The number of colleges affiliated to individual universities varies, but most affiliating universities have less than 200 colleges. That said, 16 universities had 500 colleges or more. In some instances, the growth of universities has rendered the college system so unmanageable that colleges were split up and redistributed among different universities—Chhatrapati Shahu Ji Maharaj Kanpur University in Uttar Pradesh, for instance, had 1,276 colleges with about 1.5 million students in 2017.

Colleges must meet certain criteria to be eligible to affiliate with a university, but the criteria vary by jurisdiction and institution however, the UGC has set forward an overall regulatory framework. Colleges generally need to be located within the confines of the state or even within specific districts in the state. They also need to pass inspections and infrastructure requirements. Affiliation is typically granted on a temporary basis and converted into permanent affiliation after five years or more.

While colleges are given the freedom to run their day-to-day administrative affairs, the affiliating university usually sets directives for the admission of students, tuition fees, and the recruitment of faculty. Colleges are required to teach curricula prescribed by the university, which conducts external examinations and awards the final degree. Colleges have to pay affiliation fees to the university and are not allowed to offer programs other than those taught as part of their university affiliation.

Autonomous Colleges, on the other hand, are a small group of affiliated colleges that have been granted freedom over curricular design, assessment methods, admissions criteria, and tuition fees. While the final degree is still awarded by the university, autonomous colleges are authorized to issue their own academic transcripts (mark sheets) and provisional degree certificates and have their name indicated on the final degree certificate (in addition to the name of the affiliating university). Autonomous status can only be conferred federally by the UGC and is reserved for high-quality institutions that meet clearly defined UGC requirements. There were 621 autonomous colleges in India as of 2017.

Quality Assurance and Accreditation

Oversight of academic institutions and programs in India involves a variety of different agencies, including the UGC, the AICTE, the Distance Education Bureau, and professional regulatory bodies like the Medical Council of India or the Pharmacy Council of India, some of which have overlapping responsibilities. In one recent example, the AICTE in 2017 extended its reach from technical institutes to universities when it ordered that it review and approve technical programs at private and deemed universities, even though these institutions formally fall under the purview of the UGC. This directive was based on a supreme court decision, reflecting the importance of India’s courts as arbiters in India’s fragmented, bureaucratic system. Harivansh Chaturvedi, a former executive at the AICTE, considers “the mushrooming of regulatory agencies in India is one of the prime reasons for India’s problems in maintaining the quality of its higher education institutions.”

In university education the UGC is the main regulator. It imposes a wide range of requirements that institutions must meet in order to earn and maintain degree-awarding authority. However, there is a growing realization in India that rigid oversight, as exercised by bodies like the UGC, stifles academic innovation and limits the ability of institutions to modernize their programs. The UGC has in recent years repeatedly highlighted the need to establish more autonomous colleges in order to create more innovative institutions.

In a similarly motivated move, the Indian government recently introduced a new “graded autonomy” system that gives top-rated institutions greater independence. In 2018, the UGC granted full autonomy to five central universities, 21 state universities, 24 deemed universities, and two private universities—a decision that Prakash Javadekar, India’s minister of HRD, billed as a “historic day for higher education in India. These quality institutions will get complete autonomy by which they can start new courses, new departments, new programs, off campuses, skill courses, research parks, appoint foreign faculty, take foreign students, offer variable incentive packages, introduce online distance learning.” This change is but one of several current reforms in university oversight in India as mentioned before, the entire UGC is slated for a radical overhaul with a new Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) expected to usher in a more flexible and responsive quality control regime.

NAAC Accreditation

Aside from recognition by the UGC, there is a separate accreditation process for universities and colleges under the auspices of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). Headquartered in Bangalore, the NAAC was established in 1994 in response to concerns about deteriorating quality in India’s expanding higher education system. It is an autonomous body under the UGC tasked with the periodic evaluation and accreditation of HEIs. It evaluates and grades institutions based on a variety of criteria, including their curricula, teaching, student assessment methods, research, infrastructure, resources, student support, and institutional management. The NAAC is focused on both quantity (increased access) and quality (the relevance and excellence of academic programs).

NAAC assessment methods include institutional self-evaluations, student satisfaction surveys and onsite visits by peer review teams. Accreditation is granted for five-year periods and institutions need to apply for reaccreditation six months prior to the expiration of each accreditation cycle. The NAAC reevaluation after five years may result in changes in an institution’s grade from one accreditation cycle to the next. Institutions that achieve the highest grade for three consecutive cycles are eligible for extended accreditation periods of seven years. The current NAAC grading system is listed below. A directory of accredited institutions, including their grade, can be found on NAAC’s website.

Until recently, NAAC accreditation was voluntary, similar to accreditation in the United States. However, the UGC in late 2012 made NAAC accreditation mandatory for all universities and colleges, except for technical institutes under the purview of the AICTE. Institutions not in compliance may be barred from receiving federal grants or even have their UGC approval revoked. Yet, implementation of this policy has so far been sluggish. One reason for this is that the NAAC has been swamped with increased numbers of accreditation applications—in 2013 alone, it received more than 2,978 new accreditation applications compared with approximately 800 applications in previous years. On the other hand, many institutions are still reluctant to apply for accreditation, concerned about revealing shortcomings and subjecting themselves to what they see as burdensome periodic evaluations.

According to the latest available NAAC annual reports, the number of accredited institutions rose between 2013/14 and 2015/16, from 182 universities and 5,350 colleges to 413 universities and 8,853 colleges. However, that is still less than half of all universities and less than a quarter of all colleges. Only 39 percent of colleges in the state of Maharashtra, for example, were accredited as of 2017. In Bihar, a state with 27 universities in total, only seven universities held NAAC accreditation in 2018. It is also not unusual for some universities to delay their renewal of exiting NAAC accreditation, sometimes for years. The University of Mumbai, for example, recently allowed their accreditation to lapse for 14 months before reapplying for accreditation, thereby forgoing federal grant funding. The UGC tries to incentivize institutions to obtain NAAC accreditation, for instance by making the NAAC grade a core ranking criterion in its new graded autonomy system.

AICTE Approval and NBA Accreditation

Like the UGC, the AICTE decided in 2014 to make accreditation mandatory for all technical institutions under its purview. The AICTE is tasked with ensuring quality standards in technical education and assessing and accrediting diploma and degree programs in “Engineering and Technology, Pharmacy, Architecture, Planning, Applied Arts and Crafts, Hotel Management and Catering Technology and Management.” Technical credentials not approved by the AICTE, nor issued by institutions with degree-granting authority, are generally not recognized as official academic qualifications in India. All new technical institutions in the country need to seek approval from the AICTE before beginning operations.

The question of whether university-affiliated colleges that run technical programs, as well as university programs leading to credentials like the Master of Computer Applications or the MBA, fall under the purview of the AICTE has been a bone of contention for years. According to an aforementioned supreme court decision, the AICTE now has the authority to regulate technical programs at deemed and private universities, even though these institutions have been granted degree-awarding authority by the UGC. This will expand the regulatory reach of the AICTE with regard to university-issued credentials like the Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Technology, Master of Technology or MBA.

The AICTE sets guidelines for technical and management education in a variety of areas, including admissions criteria, student quotas, teacher recruitment, graduation requirements, and the structure and content of programs. The approval of institutions is contingent on their meeting certain funding and infrastructure requirements (teaching facilities, libraries, computers, and lab equipment) and is granted on the basis of institutional self-assessments and onsite visits by AICTE inspection teams.

In 1987, the AICTE established the National Board of Accreditation (NBA), an autonomous body that is tasked with evaluating and accrediting individual study programs. The NBA only accredits programs at AICTE-approved institutions that have had at least two graduating classes. It follows a similar approach to accreditation as other regulatory bodies, and relies on self-assessments and onsite inspections. Programs that meet all quality criteria and have a teaching staff with a sufficiently high number of PhDs are accredited for periods of five years, whereas other programs are accredited for a provisional period of two years. Institutions are expected to submit new self-assessments each year.

NBA program accreditation used to be strictly voluntary until recently, but AICTE-approved institutions are now expected to seek NBA accreditation after six years of operation, or the graduation of two consecutive student cohorts. Institutions without NBA-accredited programs are presently not allowed to offer new programs or increase their student intake. In 2017/18 there were 10,398 AICTE-approved institutions with more than 3.5 million students. Of these, 1,584 currently have NBA-accredited programs. Both the AICTE and the NBA have online directories of approved institutions and accredited programs. AICTE approval is also often indicated on academic transcripts or degree certificates.

The Quest for ‘World-Class Universities’

It is of great consternation to Indian policy makers that Indian HEIs fare comparatively poorly in international university rankings, while other Asian countries like China have made great advances in these rankings over the past decade. Only a handful of Indian institutions are presently included among the top 200 in prestigious rankings like the Times Higher Education World University Ranking, the QS ranking, or the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

The highest ranked HEIs are the Indian Institute of Science, a prestigious STEM-focused public research institute and deemed university, and the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), a group of autonomous public institutions of national importance, also focused on STEM. The Indian Institute of Science is the highest ranked Indian HEI, positioned at 251–300 in the Times ranking and the only Indian HEI among the top 500 in the current AWRU ranking, compared with 51 Chinese institutions. In the QS ranking, the standing of Indian institutions has improved notably over the past few years, and there are now three Indian HEIs among the top 200—a cause for celebration in Delhi. The IIT Bombay, the Indian Institute of Science, and the IIT Delhi are ranked at positions 162, 170, and 172 in the current 2019 ranking.

Indian authorities are determined to further advance Indian HEIs in international rankings and establish world-class universities. Aside from the UGC’s new graded autonomy system, which is designed to stimulate innovation at top institutions, the Indian government is seeking to foster a culture of quality with national university rankings. In 2015, the MHRD launched the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), which ranks institutions based on factors like teaching resources (faculty-to-student ratio, percentage of PhDs among lecturers), research output, graduation outcomes (employment rate and median salary of graduates, etc.), the extent of internationalization, and perceptions of quality among the public, employers, and academic institutions.

The ranking compares institutions in different academic categories, but the top institutions in the overall 2018 ranking are largely the same as in international rankings—the top-rated Indian Institute of Science and six IITs are among the top 10 HEIs in addition to Jawaharlal Nehru University, Banaras Hindu University, and Anna University. The NIRF ranking is being used as a criterion in the graded autonomy system and will be mandatory for public institutions as of 2019, when institutions will be penalized with funding cuts for not participating in the ranking exercise. Like many other university rankings worldwide, the NIRF has been heavily criticized for its ranking methodology by observers and universities.

In another attempt to increase India’s reputation on the world stage, the Indian government will nurture 20 hand-picked institutions to become HEIs of global importance. In 2017, the UGC formally introduced a new category of institution with degree-granting authority called “lnstitutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities.” This highly autonomous elite group will include 10 private and 10 public institutions, with the latter eligible to receive up to 10 billion Indian rupees (about USD$143 million) each in additional federal funding over a period of five years. Only institutions ranked among the top 50 in the NIRF or the top 500 in reputable international rankings were allowed to apply.

The HEIs selected so far out of the 114 institutions that applied include the Indian Institute of Science, IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi and the private Manipal Academy of Higher Education the Birla Institute of Technology (BITS), Pilani and the proposed Jio Institute, a private institution slated to be built in Mumbai. The selection process continues as of this writing, but has so far been mired in controversy. The MHRD’s unexpected decision to designate an institution that does not yet exist as an “institution of eminence” was heavily criticized, while the designation of BITS has been called into question by ongoing court proceedings between BITS and the UGC over unapproved campuses.

Education Spending

Initiatives like the eminence project reflect the commitment of the Indian government to invest more in higher education. In another high-profile fiscal venture, the MHRD recently decided to provide more than USD$280 million in funding for a newly created Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) designed to finance research and development infrastructure projects and assist top Indian HEIs to excel in global university rankings.

In 2013, the Union government also committed to increase funding for state universities, which enroll a majority of public sector students, to promote quality at these institutions, as well as establish “new model degree colleges” in underserved districts throughout the country – an initiative called Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA). Federal funding of this initiative has increased almost fourfold between 2013/14 and 2017/18.

Overall federal spending on education increased by nearly 10 percent in the 2017/18 fiscal year, following an increase of 5.3 percent in 2016/17. The current education budget stands at 796.86 billion Indian rupees (about USD$11.4 billion) with 42 percent of these funds being allocated to higher education.

However, despite these recent increases, most analysts consider spending levels in India insufficient to address the needs of its rapidly growing education system. Education expenditures of the central government make up merely 3.71 percent of its overall budget—a relatively low percentage for a developing country considering that central governments in countries like Nigeria and the Philippines allocate 7 percent and as much as 24 percent of their budgets to education.

It should be noted that central government spending is not necessarily a good measure of overall education expenditures in decentralized federal systems, however. In India, the states in 2015/16 spent about 30 percent more on education combined than did the federal government –allocations to education in the states are estimated to presently average 16 percent of governnent budgets. That said, a recent study by India’s National Institute of Public Finance and Policy on resource requirements for universalizing basic education in 11 Indian states and the Union territory of Delhi noted “that even with minimal norms, there is a vast amount of underspending by governments.” State Universities in many states have been critically underfunded for years.

Overall public expenditure on education in India as a share of GDP trails well behind average spending levels of other emerging economies. India currently spends only 2.7 percent of its GDP on education—a decrease from 3.1 percent in 2013 and less than half of what South Africa spent as a percentage of its GDP in 2016. Current spending levels in India also fall far short of the country’s longstanding goal of spending 6 percent of its GDP on education—an objective that was most recently reaffirmed as a 2014 campaign promise of the now governing BJP.

University Admissions

University admissions requirements in India are hard to generalize—they vary greatly by university and jurisdiction and range from open admissions policies at open access universities like IGNOU, to the highly selective entrance examinations at top institutions like the University of Delhi or the prestigious IITs, the latter having one of the most competitive admissions procedures in the world.

Exploding demand for education makes admission into top institutions an increasingly Darwinian selection process with only the very best students gaining entry. As in other Asian countries, this has given rise to a boom in private tutoring, which is now a multibillion dollar industry in India. The cutthroat competition in university admissions has also resulted in increasing numbers of suicides among failing candidates in recent years.

The minimum entrance requirement for bachelor’s degree programs is generally the HSC or another standard grade 12 upper-secondary school qualification, with many universities requiring set minimum grade averages, mostly in exam subjects related to the program of study. Beyond that, there are numerous types of entrance examinations, notably in the fields of engineering, medicine, and business—high-demand disciplines that Indian education prioritizes. Entrance examinations are less common in the humanities and social sciences.

Given their large and growing number of applicants, Indian universities generally rely on formal benchmark criteria like GPAs and test scores, while more holistic assessment criteria like interviews or extracurricular accomplishments are used less frequently. Depending on the jurisdiction, universities are required to reserve set quotas for applicants from disadvantaged groups and minorities. The Union government, for instance, mandates that 27 percent of seats at central universities be reserved for low income students from scheduled castes and tribes and “other backward classes,” as they’re called. Such “affirmative action” policies, however, are sometimes controversial in India, frequently contested in court, and not always fully implemented by all universities.

Aside from the different entrance examinations administered by individual universities, there is a wide variety of more centralized entrance examinations at both the state and national levels. Examples at the state level include the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examinations, or the Engineering Agriculture and Medical Common Entrance Test (EAMCET) in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State, both of which are multiple-choice examinations taken by hundreds of thousands of applicants each year. The EAMCET is used by large institutions like Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University and Osmania University. An example of a national entrance examination, on the other hand, is the Central Universities Common Entrance Test used by central universities in 10 different states.

India’s IITs have what are perhaps the most challenging admissions requirements in all of India. Applicants must first pass the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main, a nationwide test conducted by the CBSE that is only open to candidates who achieved a high grade average of 75 percent in their grade 12 board exams. Candidates who score among the top 224,000 in the JEE Main and meet other eligibility criteria (like age requirements) are then required to sit for the JEE Advanced, a central exam conducted by regional IITs under the guidance of the IIT Joint Admission Board.

Acceptance rates at India’s IITs are extremely low—in 2014, about 1.3 million students sat for the JEE Main, but only 27,152 candidates qualified for the JEE Advanced in which they competed further over just 10,000 open seats. That said, admissions at some private universities can be equally competitive. BITS Pilani, for example, had an admissions rate of merely 1.47 percent in 2012 with only about 2,600 out of more than 180,000 applicants chosen for admission. For comparison, U.S. Ivy League institutions like Harvard University and Yale University had undergraduate acceptance rates of 4.59 percent and 6.31 percent in 2018.

Aside from the extreme competitiveness of admissions at top HEIs, the large diversity of requirements and entrance examinations at institutions throughout the country makes it time-consuming and costly for applicants to apply to multiple institutions at the same time. To ease these pressures, the Indian government is seeking to centralize entrance examinations, and in 2018 established a new National Testing Agency (NTA) that will administer examinations like the JEE Main by 2019. The Medical Council of India likewise developed a unitary National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission into medical and dental programs, which will also be administered by the new NTA. Such efforts toward centralization have faced resistance from several states, however, resulting in the NEET’s initially being blocked in India’s supreme court. However, the NEET has now been reinstated, and it is likely that entrance examinations will become more standardized in the near future. The fact that exams like the JEE Main will be given online twice a year starting in 2019 will also make it easier for students to sit for the exams.

The Tertiary Degree Structure

The tertiary degree structure of India’s education system is largely patterned after the British system. At its core, it’s a three-tiered structure comprising bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and pre-doctoral (master of philosophy) and doctoral programs. That said, there are several exceptions to this overall structure, not all of which can be addressed in this article. The overwhelming majority of India’s students—79.4 percent—are enrolled in undergraduate programs. Enrollments in postgraduate programs are rising fast, but so far make up only a small fraction of overall enrollments.

Changes Resulting From the Introduction of the Choice-Based Credit System

The structure of academic degree programs in India is currently undergoing significant changes. In 2009, the UGC introduced the so-called choice-based credit system (CBCS) — a student-centric reform package that stipulates that India’s traditional system—structured around one-year academic terms concluding with annual year-end examinations—be replaced with a semester calendar akin to the U.S. system. In addition, the CBCS seeks to replace the traditional Indian marks system with credit units and a different grading system in order to measure student performance in semester GPAs and cumulative GPAs. Crucially, the reforms aim at making curricula more flexible and customizable, following a “‘cafeteria’ type approach in which the students can take courses of their choice, learn at their own pace, undergo additional courses and acquire more than the required credits, and adopt an interdisciplinary approach to learning.”

The UGC has issued several guidelines on the implementation of the CBCS and directed all central, state, and deemed universities to start adopting the reforms in the 2015/16 academic year. Funding for state universities under the RUSA initiative is contingent on compliance with UGC guidelines, including the CBCS. However, implementation is progressing only slowly. Several universities, particularly central universities, have already adopted the CBCS, but others have done so only partially, while yet other universities, teachers unions, and state governments continue to oppose the reforms altogether, so that old and new structures continue to exist side by side. States like Haryana and Bihar, for instance, did not decide to move forward with the reforms until 2018, which means that the CBCS will not become an actual reality in these states for some years to come. In the following, we will outline the traditional structure and point out areas in which the CBCS will result in major changes.

Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor’s degrees in standard academic disciplines involve three years of study after grade 12 (12+3). The most commonly awarded credentials are the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Commerce, but there are also various other three-year degrees, such as the Bachelor of Business Administration or the Bachelor of Computer Applications.

Bachelor’s programs in disciplines like engineering, agriculture, nursing or pharmacy are four years in length. Degrees awarded in these fields include the Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Technology, Bachelor of Agriculture, Bachelor of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Nursing. Alternatively, these credentials may also be called Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Bachelor of Science in Engineering. A number of credentials, such as the Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Hotel Management, may be offered as both three- or four-year programs, depending on the university. Degrees in licensed professions like medicine and dentistry are longer and will be discussed in greater detail below.

The highest number of students are enrolled in Bachelor of Arts programs, where women outnumber men at a ratio of 53 to 47. The next most popular degrees are the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Technology, and Bachelor of Engineering. Men outnumber women in all these programs, particularly in technology and engineering: In 2016/17, men made up more than 70 percent of the students.

Bachelor of Arts, Science and Commerce

Bachelor’s programs are typically taught in English, although several universities increasingly offer programs in Hindi and other Indian languages. Academic subjects are usually indicated as “papers” on the academic transcripts, known as “mark sheets” in India. Many programs can be studied part time or remotely in addition to regular full-time mode.

Three-year bachelor’s curricula vary greatly, depending on the institution and type of program. Some programs include a general education component, others don’t. There are both general and honors (or “special”) degrees. Unlike honors programs in some other countries, honors and special programs in India do not take longer to complete. These programs, rather, have a more specialized curricular focus on particular areas of the academic field and are designed to teach more advanced theory and research skills, whereas general degrees are designed to convey more broad-based foundation knowledge in the discipline. Honors programs may also have more selective admissions requirements.

That said, students in many general programs also choose areas of concentration. These subjects may be studied throughout all three years, but they are often studied with greater intensity in the final year of the program. Academic documents indicate these concentrations as the major, or in a variety of other ways, including “special subject,” “principal subject,” “core subject” or “main subject.”

While curricular specializations are common, there are also more general programs in which students don’t specialize, but rather study a number of equally weighted subjects in broader “subject groups”. Subjects in general curricula in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs may include, for example, English, Hindi, other languages, history, political science, sociology, or economics in the case of arts and chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, or computer science in the case of science. Programs in commerce incorporate subjects from fields like business administration, economics, and accounting, and include only a small, if any, general education component.

The CBCS will likely lead to significant changes in program structures and allow students to choose from a greater variety of elective subjects. The UGC guidelines call for all curricula to include compulsory core courses, elective courses, and foundation courses, which can be compulsory or elected. As mentioned, all programs are expected to be organized in semesters. It should be noted, however, that many universities already used semester-based systems before the introduction of the CBCS.

Irrespective of whether universities have semesters or annual terms, students must attend a set number of lecture hours in each of their subjects (or papers) and pass a number of internal assessments (tests, papers, presentations, etc.) at the teaching college. The main criterion for promotion, grade average, and graduation, however, are the semester- or year-end examinations administered by the degree-awarding university, which typically cover all subjects studied throughout the semester or academic year. Concrete requirements for promotion and graduation vary by university, but students who fail a set number of subjects have to repeat the year or semester, although some universities may allow them to retake the exams. In the latter case, this may be denoted as ATKT (Allowed to Keep Term) on the mark sheets.

Traditionally, student performance in university examinations has been classified and ranked in “classes” or “divisions” based on the grades earned—i.e., first class/division, second class/division, third class/division, or pass class/division. While this ranking system is still used by many Indian universities, several institutions have already replaced it with semester-based GPAs (S-GPA) and cumulative GPAs (C-GPA), as stipulated by the UGC. Examples of institutions that use the new grading systems include Guru Nanak Dev University, Mahatma Gandhi University, and the University of Mumbai.

At these institutions, final degree certificates now feature a letter grade or a C-GPA to express overall student performance. For example, a bachelor’s degree that would be awarded in the first division at another university may be awarded with a grade of “A” (Mumbai) or a C-GPA of “9.1 out of 10” (Guru Nanak Dev), whereas Mahatma Gandhi University indicates both the C-GPA and a letter grade on its certificates. There is a significant different between these new ranking systems and the traditional degree classifications – whereas degree classifications are often based on the final year of study, the C-GPA reflects performance throughout the entire program.

However, several institutions continue to convert C-GPAs into divisions or classes, using various different methods, and there is a multitude of different grading scales in use throughout India, some of which do not conform to the 10-point scale format set forth by the UGC. Below are examples of a common variation of old pre-CBCS grading patterns and the current grading scale of the University of Mumbai, which uses a seven-point scale. (For an overview of different grading practices, see also a related WENR article by Vijaya Khandavilli and Nick Clark).

Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Technology

Four-year degrees in engineering and technology are awarded in fields like mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, and information technology or computer science. While there are significant variations, newer programs usually use semester systems and tend to be more structured and consistent between institutions than other bachelor’s programs. The AICTE has developed model curricula for several engineering fields that prescribe 160 credit units consisting of mandatory basic general science courses, English, a small social science component, compulsory professional core courses, and electives. The AICTE places great emphasis on practical training and has made it mandatory for students to complete a six- to eight-week summer internship before graduation. Many courses include a lab component and a final research project may also be required.

The Growth of Online Education in India

Under its model curriculum, the AICTE gives students the option to take certain electives in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). This reflects the growing emphasis the Indian government places on online education. The MHRD in 2016 launched its own public MOOC platform called SWAYAM that offers credit-bearing courses that can be transferred into university programs. To ensure acceptance of the new online courses, the UGC issued a directive that no university shall refuse “any student for credit mobility for … courses earned through MOOCs.

In 2018, the UGC also lifted a previous ban on online degree programs – a move it deems crucial for increasing the tertiary NER to 30 percent by 2020. Beginning in the 2018/19 academic year, HEIs that have been in existence for at least five years and are rated A+ by the NAAC will be allowed to offer online programs, which means that roughly 15 percent of India’s universities can soon offer existing degree programs wholly online, as long as the programs aren’t in disciplines that require lab courses or other practical study. Overall, digital learning is expected to grow rapidly in the years ahead. Online higher education is projected to grow by 41 percent between 2016 and 2021, while the total volume of India’s digital learning market is expected to expand from USD$247 million to USD$1.96 billion. (For more on this topic, see our related WENR article on the rise of online education in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.)

Master’s Degree

Master’s degree programs are mostly two years long, although there are also some three-year programs, notably the Master of Computer Applications. In addition, there are a number of integrated bachelor’s and master’s programs in which students earn a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree, typically after five years of study.

Commonly awarded credentials include the Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Commerce, Master of Business Administration, Master of Engineering, and Master of Technology.

Admission requirements vary by institution, but the minimum requirement for programs in arts, commerce, and science is a standard three-year bachelor’s degree, usually earned in a related field of study, whereas Master of Engineering and Master of Technology programs generally require a four-year bachelor’s degree in an engineering-related discipline for admission. Beyond that, many institutions require minimum grade averages, sometimes interviews, and passing of entrance exams, particularly in engineering. As in undergraduate programs, there are admissions quotas for scheduled castes and tribes, depending on the state.

Master’s degree curricula are usually specialized and include no general education component. While thesis options exist in some programs, Indian master’s degrees generally do not involve the preparation of a thesis.

Postgraduate Diplomas

Unlike master’s degrees, which can only be awarded by institutions that have degree-granting authority, postgraduate diplomas (PGDs) are awarded by a variety of different HEIs, including stand-alone institutions. PGDs are most often awarded in disciplines like business administration, management, or technical fields like computer applications, but universities also offer PGD programs in fields like psychiatric counseling or social work. PGDs are generally designed to serve as employment-geared qualifications, but some of them also provide access to further studies. Notably, the AIU considers PGDs in management from 72 institutions formally equivalent to MBAs awarded by universities. To qualify for degree equivalency, PGDs must be at least two years in length (full-time), AICTE-approved, and NBA-accredited, and have graduated at least two cohorts of students.

Most PGD programs involve one or two years of study after the bachelor’s degree, but three-year programs also exist. As in the British system, shorter programs of one-semester’s duration usually lead to the award of a postgraduate certificate, although some institutions may also award PGDs after one semester of study.

Master of Philosophy

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is an advanced research degree only offered by a select number of institutions. Admission requires a master’s degree in a related discipline with a minimum grade average of 55 percent or B. Entrance examinations are mandatory per UGC regulations. While purely research-based programs existed until recently, the UGC now requires that students complete at least one semester of course work (8 to 16 credits) in addition to completing a dissertation. Programs are most often one year in length, but can also last two years. (An overview of MPhil programs at different institutions can be found here.)

The MPhil is considered a pre-doctoral degree and is sometimes required for admission into doctoral programs, although this is far from a universal requirement across India. For now, the MPhil qualifies for teaching positions at Indian universities, but the MHRD plans to make a doctoral degree mandatory for university instructors by 2021.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a terminal research degree. Admission is based on a master’s degree in a related discipline with a minimum grade of 55 or B, although universities often have additional requirements like the MPhil or other demonstrated research experience. Entrance examinations are mandatory. Some universities require applicants to sit for the CBSE National Eligibility Test for Lectureship, or in the case of engineering programs, the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering.

Current UGC guidelines stipulate that PhD programs must be at least three years in length, include one semester of course work, and that candidates cannot take more than six years to graduate. Holders of MPhil degrees may be exempted from the course work component, which is completed at the beginning of the program. Candidates may be required to pass comprehensive exams. Doctoral programs conclude with the defense of a dissertation.

Professional Education

Professional entry-to-practice degrees in medicine, dentistry, and other professional fields are long, single-tier bachelor’s programs students enter after completing upper-secondary school. Regulatory bodies like the Medical Council of India and the Dental Council of India regulate education in these fields. These statutory bodies set program structures, curricula, and examinations, and authorize institutions to run programs. There are almost 500 authorized medical colleges and more than 300 dental colleges offering professional programs in India. Examinations are conducted by affiliating universities, which award the final degrees.

The standard degree in medicine is the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), which usually takes 5.5 years to complete. The curriculum is divided into one year of pre-medical studies in general science subjects and 3.5 years of clinical studies, followed by a one-year rotating clinical internship. Before beginning the internship students are required to pass three examinations, the final one of which is conducted in two parts.

Medical programs are in strong demand and admissions are highly competitive. Applicants must have a grade average of at least 50 percent and are required to have taken physics, chemistry, and biology (or biotechnology) in their grade 12 board exams. In addition, they must score high in medical entrance examinations. As mentioned before, as of 2018 a new nationwide test, the NEET, has replaced previously held entrance exams like the All India Pre Medical Test or the Uttar Pradesh Combined Medical Entrance Test.

There are no further licensing requirements beyond earning an MBBS in India. In order to practice, doctors need to register with one of India’s State Medical Councils. Medical Doctors registered in one state are automatically registered in other states and can practice anywhere in the country. All registered doctors are entered into the Indian Medical Registry, which can be accessed online. A bill recently introduced in India’s parliament sought to strengthen licensing requirements by introducing nationwide licensing exams and replacing India’s Medical Council with a National Medical Commission, but it was withdrawn due to vocal opposition in the profession.

Postgraduate medical specialization training in India most commonly takes three additional years of study after the MBBS and concludes with the award of the Doctor of Medicine or Master of Surgery. Postgraduate diplomas in medical specializations may also be awarded upon completion of two-year training programs.

Academic Corruption and Quality Problems in Medical Education

While India is ranked much more favorably in the Corruption Perceptions Index of the watchdog organization Transparency International than other Asian countries like Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh or Cambodia, the country is nevertheless plagued by a high degree of academic corruption. Medical education is particularly susceptible to corruption because of an extreme gap between supply and demand for university seats in the discipline. In one prominent incident, almost 2,000 people were arrested in 2015 in connection with a medical entrance examinations fraud scheme in the state of Madhya Pradesh which the BBC summarized as follows: “Question papers were leaked, answer sheets rigged, impersonators – themselves bright, young students – were hired to sit for candidates, and seats sold to the highest bidder. Anything between 1m rupees ($15,764 £10,168) and 7m rupees was paid for a seat.”

While the Madhya Pradesh scandal caught nationwide attention, it is but one example of widespread bribery and fraud in India’s extremely competitive admissions to medical schools. Other fraudulent practices include the hiring of temporary “ghost faculty” by colleges to pad teacher-to-student ratios in order to obtain a license. An investigation by Reuters found that colleges also recruit dummy patients from nearby slums to pass muster in governmental inspections: “To demonstrate that teaching hospitals have enough patients to provide students with clinical experience, colleges round up healthy people to pretend they are sick.” Even though this practice has recently been outlawed, private institutions are said to take in millions of dollars each year by selling university seats, commonly at exorbitant prices.

Such violations of ethical norms reflect the disconcerting state of medical education in India. India has a low doctor-population ratio and is in urgent need of more physicians. The number of medical colleges has grown manifold over the past three decades – there are now 497 medical colleges, about half of them privately owned. Private institutions, in particular, have mushroomed since 1990 and are often run like businesses. Many of them charge excessive tuition fees, but produce unqualified graduates. Problems found at private colleges include understaffing, inadequate teaching materials and underqualified instructors. The sale of fake medical degrees by unscrupulous counterfeiters and flagrant plagiarism in medical publications are other problems.

Dental education is structured similarly to medical education. The standard professional degree is the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), which is earned after a five-year program that includes a one-year clinical internship. Students must pass annual examinations before beginning the internship in the fifth year of the program. As in medical programs, admission requires a grade average of at least 50 percent, a sufficient number of science subjects in the grade 12 board exams, and a passing score on the NEET entrance examinations. Licensure is open to all holders of a BDS graduate dental specialization programs take two or three years to complete and conclude with the award of the Master of Dental surgery.

Indian Medicine

Often dismissed as “pseudo medicine” in Western countries, traditional South Asian medical systems like Ayurvedic, homeopathic, Unani, and other medicines are regulated professions in India that fall under the purview of statutory bodies like the Central Council of Indian Medicine and the Central Council of Homeopathy. There is a good reason for this: The use of ancient medicinal practices like Aryuveda is widespread in the country, particularly in rural regions. India is the largest producer of medicinal plants in the world.

Regulatory oversight and overall program structures in these fields are comparable to those in other medical professions. Colleges and universities must be officially authorized by the respective councils to offer professional programs. Practitioners need to have a qualifying degree and be registered with state councils. Entry-to-practice degrees include the Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery or the Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery—credentials usually earned after completing five- or five-and-a-half-year programs after upper-secondary school. Graduation typically requires passing annual examinations and completing a final one-year internship.

There are said to be 250,000 registered Aryuveda professionals in India, with more than 70,000 Ayurveda and Unani practitioners licensed in the state of Maharashtra alone. Since curricula in these fields also include elements of modern medicine, practitioners are allowed to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs in the state.

Legal Education

Legal education in India is regulated by the Bar Council of India, a statutory body that sets minimum standards for law programs and authorizes institutions to offer these programs. Law programs are taught by several autonomous National Law Universities with degree-awarding authority and hundreds of law colleges affiliated to universities.

The entry-to-practice qualification is the Bachelor of Laws (LLB), a credential that was originally only awarded upon completing a three-year postgraduate program on top of a first bachelor degree. However, LLB degrees can now also be earned upon completion of a five-year undergraduate program directly after upper-secondary school.

In addition, there are a number of integrated programs in which students can earn a LLB in addition to a degree like the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Commerce within five years (six years in the case of an integrated Bachelor of Technology/Bachelor of Laws). These double degree courses combine a compressed arts or science etc. curriculum of two years with three years of professional study in law. Graduates of any of these programs, be it the 12+3+3 postgraduate or the 12+5 standalone or integrated undergraduate program, are eligible to sit for the All India Bar Examination, which they must pass in order to practice law.

The minimum admission requirement for postgraduate LLB programs is a bachelor’s degree in any discipline, while it is the HSC or equivalent grade 12 qualification for undergraduate programs. In addition, applicants must sit for one of several entrance examinations, which include the Common Law Admission Test (used by most National Law Universities) or several other exams, such as the Law Common Entrance Test used in places like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State.

Teacher Education

Teacher education in India is overseen by the central government and falls under the purview of the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), a statutory body that sets nationwide standards for teacher education programs, including course content, admission requirements, and duration and structure of programs. Only teachers who hold teaching qualifications earned at NCTE-approved institutions are eligible to teach at public and government-aided schools. Teacher training programs are offered by universities and affiliated colleges and various other types of institutions, such as stand-alone institutions, governmental District Institutes of Education and Training and Regional Institutes of Education. A directory of recognized institutions can be found on the NCTE’s website.

Due to growing demand, the number of teacher education institutions (TEIs) has exploded over the decades: Between 1980 and 2013 the number of TEIs grew from 1,553 to 16,181. More than 85 percent of these institutions are privately owned, and many are said to be of substandard quality.

Observers like UNICEF consider school education in India to be in disarray and beset by quality problems and unqualified teachers. To address such problems, the NCTE has made it mandatory for TEIs to obtain accreditation from the Quality Council of India and recently introduced a TEI ranking system. Before then, the NCTE had delegated this task to the NAAC, but NAAC only managed to accredit 1,522 TEIs between 2002 and 2017. In a sign of increasing oversight, the NCTE late last year asked 1,000 substandard institutions to cease operations, and further closures are likely.

The type of qualification needed to teach in India depends on the level of education. Teachers in early childhood education and elementary education (inclusive of grade eight) must have a Diploma in Preschool Education (previously called Diploma in Early Childhood education), or a Diploma in Elementary Education respectively.

Programs leading to the awarding of these credentials are entered on the basis of a grade 12 upper-secondary diploma they are two years in length, and include 20 weeks of internships in schools. Universities also award the Bachelor of Elementary Education, which qualifies those who’ve earned it to work in administrative positions in education and provides access to further education—in addition to qualifying holders to teach. It is not mandatory for elementary teachers. The program lasts four years after grade 12 and includes 20 weeks of internships four weeks in the third year of study, and 16 weeks in the fourth.

Teachers in secondary and upper-secondary education must have a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.), which is typically a postgraduate qualification earned on the basis of a first degree in another discipline. Entry into B.Ed. programs requires a three-year bachelor’s degree with minimum marks of 55 percent (or grade B), or a four-year bachelor’s or master’s degree. Until recently, these programs were mostly one year long, but are now mandated to be two years. B.Ed. degrees are awarded by universities and other select institutions and include a 16-week in-service teaching internship.

In addition, there are four-year integrated programs after upper-secondary school that lead to double awards like the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education and the Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Education. The NCTE currently plans to make these credentials the norm in India.

There are also a number of more specialized teaching qualifications like the Diploma in Physical Education and the Bachelor of Physical Education. The Master of Education, on the other hand, is designed to prepare students for teaching positions in teacher training programs and other advanced positions in the field of education. Programs are two years in length and usually require a B.Ed. and passing scores on entrance examinations for admission, although other pathways do exist. There are presently no licensing examinations for teachers in India.

Document Requirements

Secondary Education

  • Final Examination Certificate (Higher Secondary Certificate, All India Senior School Certificate or any other standard grade 12 certificate)—sent directly by the examinations board.

State Boards of Technical Education

  • Diploma (final or provisional)—submitted by the student
  • Statement of marks—sent directly by the examining board

Higher Education

  • Annual/semester-based mark sheets (official academic records)—sent directly by the degree-awarding university
  • Final or provisional degree certificate—submitted by the student.

Note: Documents must be issued by the university or autonomous college. Documents from affiliated colleges are insufficient and need to be accompanied by university-issued mark sheets.

Note: These requirements do not encompass all possible scenarios. Please visit our website for more information.

Sample Documents

Click here for a PDF file of the academic documents referred to below.

  • All India Senior School Certificate – Central Board of Secondary Education
  • Higher Secondary Certificate – Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education
  • Diploma in Electronics and Communication Engineering – State Board of Technical Education and Training, Tamil Nadu
  • Bachelor of Science – University of Delhi
  • Bachelor of Commerce – Mahatma Gandhi University
  • Bachelor of Engineering – Anna University
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery – Maharishi Markandeshwar University
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Management – Loyola Institute of Business Administration
  • Master of Arts – Osmania University
  • Master of Philosophy – Panjab University
  • Doctor of Philosophy – Punjabi University, Patiala

[1] When comparing international student numbers, it is important to note that numbers provided by different agencies and governments vary because of differences in data capture methodology, definitions of “international student,” and types of mobility captured (credit, degree, etc.). The data of the UNESCO Institute Statistics provides the most reliable point of reference for comparison since it is compiled according to one standard method. It should be pointed out, however, that it only includes students enrolled in tertiary degree programs. It does not include students on shorter study abroad exchanges, or those enrolled at the secondary level or in short-term language training programs, for instance.

[2] Indian institutions setting up branch campuses or study centers overseas is a growing trend, even though the overall number of Indian off-shore campuses is still small in comparison to those of British, Australian or U.S. institutions. The distance education provider Indira Gandhi National Open University has established study centers in Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka. However, most branch campuses are located in the United Arab Emirates, where Indian institutions like the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Symbiosis International University, Manipal University, Amity University and the Institute of Management Technology cater to the Indian expatriate population and other students.

[3] In an exception to this pattern, the union territories of Delhi and Puducherry have been granted “partial statehood” and have their own legislatures and governments, even though they remain formally designated as union territories.

[5] According to projections by the British Council from 2014.

[6] This can be either through new legislation, or by an amendment to existing legislation.

How come Week days in India match with Western system? - History


ADVENT SEASON [mid-Nov/Dec] The Christian year begins with a period of preparation for Christmas. It is time also for looking towards Jesus' second coming (Parousia). It is a season of expectation.

CHRISTMAS [25 Dec - Jan 6] Celebration of Jesus' birth (Nativity) this festival emphasizes the INCARNATION ["the Word/Logos was made flesh and lived amongst us."] The festival lasts twelve days and ends with the EPIPHANY [Jan. 6], the manifestation of God in Jesus, which celebrates Jesus' baptism, the visit of the Magi [symbolic of Gentiles] to the infant Jesus, and Jesus' first miracle when he turned water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana.

*LENT [March-April] Forty-day preparation for Easter. It corresponds to the 40 days Jesus spent fasting before beginning his ministry. This penitential season ends with:

HOLY WEEK begins with PALM SUNDAY, commemorating Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. HOLY [MAUNDY] THURSDAY commemorates the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist in Catholic, Orthodox and some Protestant churches. GOOD FRIDAY is the solemn memorial of Jesus' death by crucifixion.

*EASTER SUNDAY [April] The greatest of Christian festivals celebrates the Resurrection. [Every Sunday is also a commemoration of the Resurrection.]

*ASCENSION THURSDAY [May] Forty days after Easter, this festival celebrates Jesus' ascension to heaven.

*PENTECOST SUNDAY [WHITSUN] [May/June] Ten days after the Ascension [50 after Easter], this festival celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit to the apostles and other disciples. It marks the birth of the Church.

Days of the Week

The chart below shows the days of the week in English together with their normal abbreviations.

day of the week abbreviation
days of the week
(7 days)
(5 days)
Monday Mon. Mo.
Tuesday Tue. Tu.
Wednesday Wed. We.
Thursday Thu. Th.
Friday Fri. Fr.
(2 days)
Saturday Sat. Sa.
Sunday Sun. Su.

Notice that days of the week and weekdays and are NOT the same:

Watch the video: Indické absolutno (November 2022).

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