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Thus, the University Grants Commission (UGC) came into existence by an Act of Parliament in 1956.

In the last five half decades, the growth of higher education presents a very impressive picture.

The first section presents briefly the present profile of higher education in India.

Role of ICTs in higher education and the areas in which they can be integrated to play prominent role are discussed in the second section.

Different states are at different stages of development.

There are states wherein the access ratio to higher education is much lower than the national average of about 20%.

It is evident from the available statistics that of the total enrolment in higher education, 86% students are enrolled in undergraduate programs, 12% in postgraduate programs, 1% in diploma / certificate programs and 1% are enrolled in research programs.

The situations of diploma and certificate level programs, which constitute only 1% of the higher education, leave much to be desired.

Faculty-wise Enrolment The distribution of students, across various faculties, during the academic year 2009-10 had been as under: Out of the total enrolment of students (146.25 lakhs), 42.01% students had been in the faculty of Arts, followed by 19.30% in Science and 17.83% in Commerce / Management.

In order to increase the access to higher education and improving its reach to the remotest parts of the country contribution of open and distance learning facilities is on the increase.

In addition, it is catering to life-long learning aspirations and that too at affordable cost.

This transition is highly influenced by the swift developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) all over the world.

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