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A Sneak Peek Into India's Top Performing State in Higher Education System

Kavya is a certified educator. She likes reading and writing on contemporary issues.



As academics, student and teacher organizations, experts and media enthusiasts across the country debate on the New Education Policy, one aspect which needs amplification is why everyone needs to look at Tamil Nadu’s higher educational formula as a cue for success in reaching NEP 2020 objectives.

Where all the states of the country are now looking upon improving their respective education stature, Tamil Nadu has emerged as the leading state in Indian higher education arena with maximum number of institutes in the Top 50 ranking as per National Institutional Ranking Framework,2020.


Enfolding the State’s higher education model can be seen as a great precedent in terms of achieving the targets as mentioned in the latest educational policy.

The NEP provides us with the tool which aims in revolutionizing India into a vibrant knowledge society. It acknowledges the 21st century need for mobility, flexibility, alternate pathways to learning, and self- actualization. It does have all the ingredients and the right recipe; what we make of it depends on us.

Therefore, it is need of the hour to constantly observe and learn from educational models across the globe.


New Education Policy: HIGHLIGHTS

NEP 2020 proposes a multi-disciplinary higher education framework with an ambitious Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) of 50% to be envisaged by 2035.

In other words, the government wants to ensure that 50% of the youth aged between 17 and 24 years should be studying in higher educational institutions in next 15 years, thereby rising of GER from present 26.3% (2018-19) to 50% by 2035.

It may also be said that in the coming years, we have to add same number of seats that India has had in the last 70 years.


As per the All India Survey on Higher Education conducted in 2011-12, GER of Tamil Nadu stood at 40% in the year 2011 only. In 2018, the GER reached at a new height of 49.2%.

Clearly, the state of Tamil Nadu is 16 years ahead of rest in the country, thereby construed as a top performer state in Higher Education.


Tamil Nadu's Education Model: INSIGHTS

The advanced ratio of gross enrollment is a result of state’s dedicated policies in terms of nutritious meals scheme for all school children, understanding of early education and childhood care, development of technological infrastructure, and reflection of diversity and demography in their policies.


The reservation policy across the country stands at 50%, but in Tamil Nadu, it has rose to 69% as majority of its population belongs to backward sections.

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However, the reservation depends on how many non-reserved category students are admitted through Supernumerary Quota.

Accordingly, if 100 seats are available, then two merit lists are drawn up, one for 31 and a second for 50 seats, corresponding to 69% and 50% reservation respectively.

In case a student is placed in the possible 50 list but is not present in 31 seat list, then vacancy for those left out students are further added to the 100 available seats.

Hence it is ensured that every child even from the most remote and vulnerable section of the society has the access to the school and aspires for higher education, at the same time non reserved category students get their fair share in the form of supplement vacancies created.

Additionally, dedicated implementation of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan scheme by the State secures universalisation of education at the preliminary level, leading to more number of children completing Senior Secondary Education.


Further, a large number of available government and private aided colleges assures higher Gross Enrollment Ratio resulting in the inspirational success of the State’s Educational model.

Domino Effect

As per the ranking of National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Tamil Nadu stood first with the state having 4 of the top 25 engineering colleges and 3 of the top 25 management colleges of the country.

The state is also in top 3, among institutions with high grading under the quality parameters of the autonomous body under UGC.


As a result of extensive investment in the education sector, the state has attributed to its low unemployment rate of 1.8% and has contributed in GDP of over INR 18.54 lakh crore (2019-20). Primary Sector contributes about 13% of GDP, whereas Manufacturing and Tertiary Sector contributes 34% and 53% respectively.

What is noteworthy is that this land’s figure of 8.17% (2018) is advanced than the average national growth rate of 6.8% (2018).

Despite all the macro shock that Indian economy is facing, the state is still proving to be immune and is doing well on the economic front.



It can be said that a State’s calculated and reasoned experiments in social justice, reservation and welfare policies, and high quality strategic expenditure transforms it to a knowledge led economy which constantly flourishes.

Marking golden statement of NEP, “there is no better investment towards a society’s future than the high-quality education of our young people”.

So, with the present day investment and anticipation of futuristic demands, the country can certainly build a strong foundation for following generations, what is vital is that we need to look around and continually observe the finest educational systems and learn and grow from them.

The document of 2020 has already set for itself the goal of being a radical change and hopefully it will accomplish the placed targets pertinently and timely.



Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 09, 2020:

I have not read anything as this about India. You have enlightened me with the education and an informative hub. I learned lots from this hub.

Anmol on August 13, 2020:

I hope with NEP more colleges, universities will be established as government has nearly doubled the expenditure in sector. With more colleges, GER will definitely increase which will give a boost to higher education in India.

SMILEY on August 13, 2020:

The content shows great accuracy and reliability with respect to facts mentioned. Also, different aspects shared implies being well versed with the scenario.

Priya Aggarwal on August 11, 2020:

Very well explained. Tamil Nadu is going well in this and with the upcoming new policy I believe that it will banefit the rest of the states as well. Keep up the spirit and keep letting us know more about the current facts like this. Your efforts are highly appreciated.

Devyani on August 11, 2020:

Tamil Nadu could lead because it was already doing lot of investment. It has maximum number of colleges and universities. So, with easy access people can join colleges without much problem. Whereas in other parts of India for one seat 4 students compete with each other as a result only 1 can join the college. Hopefully, NEP states in creating more number of seats and investing 6% of GDP in education, which is excellent move. I wish if people realised it earlier, than many people would have been in better condition. India has to invest a lot because even after 15 years we are targeting 50% of GER in colleges, it just reflects that how much we have to work in this sector.

Nishtha on August 11, 2020:

Very informative and detailed research.Also beautifully potrayed the Tamil Nadu’s Education Model.

Garima on August 11, 2020:

Tamil Nadu's education standard on relative scale is far better but on absolute scale TN is low.

Except in Tamil nadu, in all other 28 states and 9 union territories, they follow three language formula where a student have opportunity to take the state language either under first part or third part but there is an option to study their mother tongue either in first or third part.

But in Tamil Nadu, all students in every school including CBSE or ICSE have only option to study only Tamil under part one as there is no part three. There is no opportunity to study in one's mother tongue. This because of Tamil Learning Act 13/2006 g. O. M. S. No. 21.

Tamil Nadu education standard is pretty much decent. But, there is a need for overall change to take TN board to Global level.

Hope, TN school education system progess to these levels too.

Prashant Khanna on August 10, 2020:

Really informative and very well written.

Mrunal Goel on August 10, 2020:

Well said! in order to implement it successfully, different education models should be scrutinized. Tamil Nadu is a great example. Delhi is also doing good in education. We can learn so many good things from other countries like Finland and other Nordic countries also, who have finest education system. You can write about them too.

Simrah on August 10, 2020:

A very well researched article. I wasn't aware about Tamil nadu's progress in the education sector until now. I really enjoyed reading such informative piece of work.

Hazel cooper on August 10, 2020:

Very informative article, as i am learning about Indian education Policy, this piece of writing is very helpful for me :)

thank you to the writer.

Suhasini on August 10, 2020:

A very well written and informative article. I was honestly under the impression that it was Kerala which was at the top in terms of education systems in India. This one's an eye opener

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