Education in India is provided by the public sector as well as the private sector, with control and funding coming from three levels: central,state, and local. Takshasila was the earliest recorded centre of higher learning in India from at least 5th century BCE and it is debatable whether it could be regarded a university or not. The Nalanda University was the oldest university-system of education in the world in the modern sense of university. Western education became ingrained into Indian society with the establishment of the British Raj.
Education in India falls under the control of both the Union Government and the State Governments, with some responsibilities lying with the Union and the states having autonomy for others. The various articles of the Indian Constitution provide for education as a fundamental right. Most universities in India are controlled by the Union or the State Government.
India has made progress in terms of increasing the primary education attendance rate and expanding literacy to approximately three quarters of the population. India's improved education system is often cited as one of the main contributors to the economic rise of India Much of the progress, especially in higher education and scientific research, has been credited to various public institutions. The private education market in India is merely 5% although in terms of value was estimated to be worth US$40 billion in 2008 and had increased to US$68–70 billion by 2012.
However, there are still many issues for India to overcome. Despite the growing investment in education, 25% of its population is still illiterate; only 15% of Indian students reach high school, and just 7% graduate. The quality of education whether at primary or higher education is significantly poor as compared with major developing nations. As of 2008, India's post-secondary institutions offer only enough seats for 7% of India's college-age population, 25% of teaching positions nationwide are vacant, and 57% of college professors lack either a master's or PhD degree.
As of 2011, there are 1522 degree-granting engineering colleges in India with an annual student intake of 582,000, plus 1,244 polytechnics with an annual intake of 265,000. However, these institutions face shortage of faculty and concerns have been raised over the quality of education. In India education system, a significant number of seats are reserved under affirmative action policies for the historically disadvantaged Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. In universities/Colleges/Institutions affiliated to federal government there is minimum 50% of reservations applicable to these disadvantaged groups. At state level it varies. State of Andhra Pradesh has minimum 83.33% of reservations as on 2012, which is highest percentage of reservations in India.