Higher Education in India

Higher education in India is imparted in recognized universities, specialized institutions and colleges affiliated to recognized universities.  The disciplines cover a wide range of subjects from literature to computer engineering to space research. Most of the universities and centres of higher learning and research are autonomous in function. A good number of universities have a federal structure composed of affiliated colleges and university departments. The affiliated colleges teach, in general, undergraduate courses, whereas the university departments conduct postgraduate teaching and advanced research. The university decides the criteria of admission into colleges and coordinates the first-degree examination in the undergraduate programs and award of degree.

Some universities teach both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in general disciplines as well as in technical and professional courses. There are no affiliated colleges attached to them.

There is a third category of specialized institutions where technical and professional courses are taught at undergraduate and postgraduate levels which include, among others, Indian Institute of Technology, Birla Institute of Technology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Indian Forest Research Institute, Indian Veterinary Research Institute. Some institutes only offer postgraduate and research courses such as Indian Agricultural Research Institute and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Research.

The distinctiveness, flexibility and the quality of higher education in India have been attracting more and more international students to come to Indian universities. In contrast to the expensive university and higher education offered in the western countries, higher education in India continues to be affordable. Students from developing countries also find a greater sense of belonging and confidence-sharing as they have many social and cultural values common with India.

Admission to undergraduate courses require candidates to complete 12 years of schooling. They should have passed in 5 subjects in the Senior Secondary or equivalent examination. Candidates are expected to obtain 60-70% marks in their qualifying examinations. For admission to undergraduate technical courses, candidates should obtain higher percentage of marks in their qualifying examinations, which should include the subjects Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and English. Admission requirements to undergraduate pass courses are not very rigid. For technical and professional courses at the undergraduate level, however, applicants can be admitted against nominated seats/paid seats according to prescribed guidelines.

The universities in India are autonomous institutions and are free to establish their own regulations for acceptance of qualifications from countries other than India. The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) has been accepted as an accredited agency at the national level for undertaking the assessment of foreign academic credentials.

The following examinations have been equated with the Senior Secondary Examination (Class XII) considered to be the minimum admission requirement for the first degree programme, including professional disciplines: 

• GCE Examination of the UK with passes in five subjects at the ordinary level (O level) and two subjects at the Advanced Level (A level). For admission to first degree professional courses, three passes at A level in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics/ Biology are essential. Knowledge of English is also compulsory for admission.

• Baccalaureate Examination of France. 

• International Baccalaureate of Geneva.

• High school graduation from the accredited institutions of the USA.

• Intermediate/ Senior Secondary/ Higher Secondary/ Certificate level Examination of the approved Board of Secondary Education in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

• Twelve years of Secondary stage qualifications of National Examination Board/ Council of the Ministries of Education of Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania.

Indian universities do not give blanket recognition to the degree/ diploma/ certificate awarded by foreign universities or educational boards. It is therefore, advisable to apply for admission along with a copy of the syllabus of the qualifying examination passed by a student in a foreign country. Foreign students wishing to study at an Indian university are advised to ascertain their eligibility from:

 Evaluation and Information Unit 

Association of Indian Universities, 

AIU House, 16 Kotla Road, 

New Delhi-110 002.


Tel : 91-011-323-0059/2305/3390/3097/2429

Fax : 91-011-3236106 


Direct Admission of Students Abroad (DASA) Scheme

DASA scheme initiated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is aimed at helping foreign nationals/Persons of Indian Origin/ Non-Resident Indians/Overseas Citizen of India become part of the high quality technical education being provided at Indian institutions. Since its inception in 2001, scores of foreign students/ NRIs/PIOs and OCIs have benefited from this scheme. Under the scheme, admissions are provided to the Engineering Programs at undergraduate and post-graduate level at NITs, IIITs and other premier technical institutions in the country. The NITs and IIITs are declared as Institutes of National Importance by an Act of Parliament and are Deemed Universities. They are autonomous institutions and a degree from any of them is among the most competitive of its kind when pursuing an international career in Architecture, Engineering or Technology. The alumni of these Institutions have excelled themselves in various fields of science, technology and management in various parts of the world.

Brochure containing details of the DASA 2015-16 is available at http://www.dasanit.org