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NEW DELHI : The majority of colleges in India—in excess of 31,000—are run by the private sector, the Union education ministry informed the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

According to the All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE), the total number of private colleges in the country, the details of which are available, is 31,390. Besides, there are 388 private universities and 88 private deemed to be universities functioning in the country, the ministry said.

According to AISHE data, overall there are 1,043 Universities and 42,343 colleges in the country as of 2019-20. It means more than 70% of the colleges are managed by private players.

The fee structure in these private educational Institutions is either decided by the state government concerned, or by the university or institutions concerned, the ministry told the parliament.

“All universities are autonomous in nature, hence, they can decide their own curriculum, subject to the approval of respective statutory councils. However, the UGC (university grants commission) has framed model curriculum for various courses, which is followed by private universities with certain freedom. Private deemed to be universities are required to adopt learning outcome based curriculum framework (LOCF) and revise curriculum at regular intervals," the ministry said in a written reply.

It said, private colleges are affiliated to universities and the degrees are awarded only by their affiliating University. Private universities and deemed to be universities are empowered to award degrees which are specified by the UGC under Section 22 of the UGC Act, 1956. Courses can be offered under regular mode at their main campuses with the prior approval of the statutory council(s) concerned. These universities can also offer courses under distance or online mode in accordance with the UGC regulations, education minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in his written reply.

According to official data, at least 60.5% of the colleges are located in rural area and 10.75% colleges among the overall list, are exclusively for female students.

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