India has a very long tradition of educational institutions dating from the very ancient times. Numerous were the ancient schools and hermitages which taught and trained people in languages, literature, religion, warfare, physical culture and arts. The ancient universities of Nalanda, Taxila and Vikramshila were the golden links in the long chain of India’s educational history and tradition. It was the British rule over India that introduced modern systems of education in the country. In India today, the educational policies and programs are drafted and executed jointly by the central and the state government.
Until 1976, education was exclusively under the state governments. By an amendment to the constitutional provisions, the financial and administrative functions, for education of its people, was shared between the central and state governments. There are 20 central universities and 215 state universities and 100 deemed universities to cater to the needs of higher education and research. The Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Management, and the Indian Institutes of Sciences are rated highly in the world. There are more than 17,000 colleges in the country.
The University Grants Commission, functioning from New Delhi is the co-ordinating agency for the universities in the country. Indian Council of Historical Research, Indira Gandhi Open University, Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Indian Institutes of Advanced Studies, Indian Council of Social Sciences Research, National Council of Rural Institutes are some of the national institutions spearheading higher studies and research in the country. The National Council of Educational Research is looking after the technical aspects for the school education. The Government of India and its states have chalked out plans and programs for the removal of illiteracy.