The higher education education system in India include both private and public universities. Public universities are supported by the Government of India and the state governments, while private universities are mostly supported by various bodies and societies. Universities in India are recognized by the University Grants Commision, which draws its power from the UGC act, 1956. In addition, 15 professional councils are established, controlling different aspects of accrediation and coordination.
The types of universities include:
Central universities, or Union universities, are established by an Act of Parliament and are under the purview of the department of higher education in the union human resource development ministry. As of 12 December 2018, The list of central universities published by the UGC includes includes 49 central universities.
State universities are run by the state government of each of the states and territories of India and are usually established by a local legilative assembly act. As of 6 October 2017, the UGC lists 367 state universities. The oldest establishment date listed by the UGC is 1857, shared by the University of Mumbai, the Universtiy of Madras and the University of Calcutta. Most State Universities are affiliating universities administering many affiliated colleges that typically offer a range of undergraduate courses, but may also offer post- graduate courses. More established colleges may even offer Ph.D. programs in some departments with the approval of the affliating university.
Deemed universities, or Deemed to be University, is a status of autonomy granted by the department of higher education on the advice of the UGC, under section 3 of the UGC act. As of 6 October 2017, the UGC listed 123 deemed universities. According to this list, the first institute to be granted deemed university status was Indian Institute Of Science, which was granted this status on 12 May 1958. In many cases, the same listing by the UGC covers several institutes. For example, the listing for Homi Bhabha National Institute covers the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, the In Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research and other institutes.
Private universities are approved by the UGC. They can grant degrees but they are not allowed to have off-campus affiliated colleges. As of October 2017, the UGC list of private universities list 282 universities.