At the time of Independence of India
At the time of Independence of India, there were only 20 Universities and 500 Colleges in the country with 2.1 lakhs students in higher education. The numbers now have increased 44.75 times in the case of the Degree awarding Universities, 84.68 times in the case of Colleges and the students enrolment has gone up to over 140.1 times in the formal system of higher education in comparison to the figures at the time of independence.
At the end of the XI Plan (31.03.2012), there were 573 Universities (43 Central, 129 Deemed and 397 state Universities (State Public 286 and State Private 111) and 4 Institutions established under Special State Legislature Acts and 35,539 Colleges in the Country. As on 31.03.2017, the number of Universities had gone up to 795 listed by UGC – (47 Central,360 State Public, 262 State Private, 123 Deemed to be Universities, three Institutions established under State Legislation and 42338 colleges in the Higher Education sector. So far as the number of universities in states is concerned, Rajasthan tops the list with 74 universities, followed by Uttar Pradesh (72), Gujarat (59) etc. During the reporting year 2016-2017, 15 State Public and 27 State Private Universities were included in the UGC list of universities and 4 State Public Universities. 4 Deemed Universities and One State Private University were declared fit to receive Central Assistance under Section 12B of the UGC Act 1956.
As many as 903 new colleges were established in various states during 2016-2017, thus taking the total number of colleges from 41435 in 2015-16 to 42338 in 2016-2017.