The history of imparting formal technical education in India can be traced back to mid 19th century, although it got momentum in 20th century with the set up of Constitution of Technical Education Committee of the Central University Board of Education (CABE) in 1943; Preparation of Sergeant Report in 1944 and Formation of All India Council of technical Education (AICTE) in 1945. With the country gaining independence in 1947, the development of technical education had become a major concern for the government of India to face the new challenges and move the country forward.
The set up of Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Management and Indian Institutes of Science was a major step in the development of technical education in the country. The quality of education of these institutes have managed to change the outlook of India so much that this ancient country which was earlier known for yoga and mediation is now known for computer engineers. However, it does not mean that the challenge of making technical education accessible to the rural populace and other under developed sections of the society has been overcome.
In order to maintain the standard of technical education, a statutory authority- The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)- was set up in 1945. AICTE is responsible for planning, formulation and maintenance of norms and standards, quality assurance through accreditation, funding in priority areas, monitoring and evaluation, maintaining parity of certification and awards and ensuring coordinated and integrated development and management of technical education in the country.
Technical Education Courses in India: The courses, which are known as 'technical' in India and therefore come under the purview of All India Council of Technical Education are - degree and diploma courses in Engineering, Master degree Courses in Engineering, Master of Computer Application (MCA), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Pharmacy Courses, Courses in Architecture and Applied Arts and Hotel Management and Catering Technology Courses.
Institutes offering Technical Education in India: As the technical education courses in India are quite diverse, the number of institutes providing technical courses in India is also huge. The number of AICTE approved institutes that offer engineering degree courses in India is - 4,39,689. There are around 1244 institutes in India that offer diploma courses in engineering, 415 institutes offer diploma courses in Pharmacy, 63 institutes offer diploma courses in Hotel Management and Catering Technology Courses and 25 AICTE approved institutes that offer diploma courses in Architecture. The number of AICTE approved institutes that offer master of Computer Application courses in India is 1012.
Likewise the AICTE also approves institutes from time to time institutes that offer MBA courses, M.E./M.Tech, Architecture and Applied Arts Courses, Hotel Management and Catering Technology Courses.
Conclusion: Given the importance of technical education in the further development of the nation, the Government of India is keen on developing some more institutes in the line of IITs, IIMs and IISCs. The Prime Minister of India has unleashed a plan to establish 8 IITs, 7 IIMs and 5 IISCs to improve the spread and quality of technical education in the country. These institutes along with various private institutes and foreign technical colleges have the potential of making technical education accessible to all sections of society in India without compromising on the quality of education.