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Education Sector in India
India is the second largest market for E-learning after the US. The sector is expected to reach US$ 1.96 billion by 2021 with around 9.5 million users.

Education & Training Industry in India

    Last updated on Feb, 28 2021

Indian Education Sector in India Industry Report  (Size: 598.7 KB ) (November, 2020)


India holds an important place in the global education industry. India has one of the largest networks of higher education institutions in the world. However, there is still a lot of potential for further development in the education system.

Moreover, the aim of the Government to raise its current gross enrolment ratio to 30% by 2020 will also boost the growth of distance education in India.

Market Size

India has the world’s largest population of about 500 million in the age bracket of 5-24 years, which provides a great opportunity for the education sector. The education sector in India was estimated at US$ 91.7 billion in FY18 and is expected to reach US$ 101.1 billion in FY19.

Number of colleges and universities in India reached 39,931 and 993, respectively, in FY19. India had 37.4 million students enrolled in higher education in FY19. Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education reached 26.3% in FY19.

In 2020-21, there were 9,700 total AICTE approved institutes. Of the total, there were 4,100 undergraduate, 4,951 postgraduate and 4,514 diploma courses in AICTE approved institutes.

The country has become the second largest market for E-learning after the US. The sector is expected to reach US$ 1.96 billion by 2021 with around 9.5 million users. In India, the online education market is forecast to reach ~US$ 8.6 billion by 2026.


Investments/ Recent Developments

From April 2000 to September 2020, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity inflows stood at US$ 3,849.20 million according to the data released by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

The education and training sector in India witnessed some major investments and developments in the recent past. Some of them are:

  • In December 2020, Gamma Skills Automation Training introduced a unique robotics & automation career launch programme for engineers, an ‘Industry 4.0 Hands-on Skill Learning Centre’ located at IMT Manesar, Gurgaon in Haryana.
  • In December 2020, Hyundai Motor India Foundation, the CSR arm of Hyundai Motor India, announced its skill development initiative ‘SAKSHAM’ to boost employment opportunities in diverse sectors.
  • In December 2020, the 'IGnITE’ programme to encourage high-quality training and technical education was initiated by Siemens, BMZ and MSDE. 'IGnITE' aims at developing highly trained technicians with an emphasis on getting them ready for the industry and future, based on the German Dual Vocational Educational Training (DVET) model. By 2024, this programme aims to upskill ~40,000 employees.
  • In December 2020, to build a stronger research ecosystem, the IIT Alumni Council will launch the ‘India Empowerment Fund’ to invest up to Rs. 50,000 crore (US$ 6.80 billion) over the next 10 years.

Government Initiatives

Some of the other major initiatives taken by the Government are:

  • In November 2020, the Indian Central Medicine Council (CCIM), which governs medical study and practise of Ayurveda, amended the 2016 regulations of the Indian Medicine Central Council (postgraduate Ayurveda education) to allow Ayurveda PG students to practise general surgery.
  • In November 2020, Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi dedicated two future-ready Ayurveda institutions—the Institute of Teaching & Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), Jamnagar, and the National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA), Jaipur, to forge interdisciplinary collaborations to give a contemporary boost to Ayurveda.
  • In November 2020, Digital Skills Academy, by IIT Madras, launched training courses for banking, financial services and insurance sector.
  • In November 2020, All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) inaugured 46 online AICTE training and learning (ATAL) academy faculty development programmes (FDPs) on ‘molecular manufacturing’ in a drive to develop and train its faculty worldwide.
  • On November 4, 2020, India’s public broadcaster Prasar Bharati entered into an MoU with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to launch 51 direct-to-home (DTH) education TV channels.
  • According to Union Budget 2020-21, Government allocated Rs. 59,845 crore (US$ 8.56 billion) for Department of School Education and Literacy.
  • Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) by 2022 was announced in Union Budget 2020-21 with a proposed outlay of Rs. 3,000 crore (US$ 429.55 million).
  • Under Union Budget 2020-21, Government proposed apprenticeship embedded degree/diploma courses by March 2021 in about 150 higher educational institutions.

Road Ahead

In 2030, it is estimated that India’s higher education will:

  • combine training methods that involve online learning and games, and is expected to grow 38% in the next 2-4 years.
  • adopt transformative and innovative approaches in Higher education.
  • have an augmented Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 50%.
  • reduce state-wise, gender based and social disparity in GER to 5%.
  • emerge as the single largest provider of global talent with one in four graduates in the world being a product of the Indian higher education system.
  • be among the top five countries in the world in terms of research output with an annual R&D spend of US$ 140 billion.
  • have more than 20 universities among the global top 200 universities.

Various Government initiatives are being adopted to boost the growth of distance education market besides focusing on new education techniques, such as E-learning and M-learning.

Education sector has seen a host of reform and improved financial outlays in recent years that could possibly transform the country into a knowledge haven. With human resource increasingly gaining significance in the overall development of the country, development of education infrastructure is expected to remain the key focus in the current decade. In this scenario, infrastructure investment in the education sector is likely to see a considerable increase in the current decade.

The Government of India has taken several steps including opening of IIT’s and IIM’s in new locations as well as allocating educational grant for research scholars in most Government institutions. Furthermore, with online mode of education being used by several educational organisations, the higher education sector in India is set for major change and development in the years to come.

Note: Conversion rate used for December 2020 is Rs. 1 = US$ 0.014

References: Media Reports, Press Releases, Press Information Bureau, RNCOS Report, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Union Budget 2020-21

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.


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