Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Friday asked all the states to prepare a vision document within the next three months on the targets to be achieved in the higher education sector by 2020.
"All state governments must prepare a vision document for higher education. This document must contain the state's targets for higher education till 2020, including the current state of affairs, such as number of universities and colleges and how the state perceives the quality of these institutes," Sibal said during a meeting in New Delhi with higher and technical education secretaries from states.
This vision must also outline the states' budgetary outlay for this sector.
"This paper must then propose how the state plans to increase its Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER)," he said, adding that such vision documents will help the central government plug existing holes and further boost the sector.
The minister urged the states to increase their budgetary allocations for higher education that is showing a disturbing downward trend.
While the central government's contribution in education, as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), has been steadily increasing to 0.91 percent in 2009 from 0.53 percent in 2000-01, the allocation of the states has shown an average decline from 3.76 percent to 2.73 percent in the corresponding period.
Sibal also asked the officials to have a quality controller to assess and inform the people about the institute, college or the university.
The minister said the states should also have an "accreditation system for their colleges".
The accrediting agency would benchmark the institutes in the respective states, informing students about the quality and resources of the institution they are going to attend.
"This would help create competition among institutions leading to their improvement," said Sibal, adding that state governments should also fill up faculty vacancies.