India's National Policy on Education (NPE) provisioned for an apex body for regulation and development of higher technical education, which came into being as theAll India Council for Technical Education(AICTE) in 1987 through an act of the Indian parliament. At the federal level, theIndian Institutes of Technology, theIndian Institute of Space Science and Technology, theNational Institutes of Technologyand theIndian Institutes of Information Technologyare deemed of national importance. TheIndian Institutes of Technology(IITs) andNational Institutes of Technology(NITs) are among the nation's premier education facilities.
The UGC has inter-university centres at a number of locations throughout India to promote common research, e.g. the Nuclear Science Centre at theJawaharlal Nehru University,New Delhi. Besides there are some British established colleges such as Harcourt Butler Technological Institute situated in Kanpur and King George Medical University situated in Lucknow which are important centre of higher education. Some institutions of India, such as theIndian Institutes of Technology(IITs),Indian Institute of ScienceandNational Institutes of Technology(NITs) have been globally acclaimed for their standard of under-graduate education in engineering. Several other institutes of fundamental research such as theIndian Association for the Cultivation of Science(IACS),Indian Institute of Science(IISc),Tata Institute of Fundamental Research(TIFR),Harish-Chandra Research Institute(HRI),Indian Institute of Science Education and Research(IISER) are also acclaimed for their standard of research in basic sciences and mathematics. However, India has failed to produce world class universities both in the private sector or the public sector. After passing theHigher Secondary Examination(the Standard 12 examination), students may enrol in general degree programmes such asbachelor's degreein arts, commerce or science, or professional degree programme such as engineering, medicine, pharmacy, and lawgraduates.India's higher education system is the third largest in the world, afterChinaand the United States.
The main governing body at the tertiary level is theUniversity Grants Commission , which enforces its standards, advises the government about changes or modifications, and helps coordinate between the centre and the state up to Post graduation andDoctorate(Ph.D). Accreditation for higher learning and better education is overseen by 12 autonomous institutions established by theUniversity Grants Commission.