The role of higher education in sustainable economic and social development increase year by year and this will continue over the next decades. Higher education can be seen as a focal point of knowledge and its application, an institution which makes a great contribution to the economic growth and development through fostering innovation and increasing higher skills.
The scope of higher education in Tripura started in 1947 with the establishment of Maharaja Bir Bikram College at Agartala. After that, three private Colleges namely – Ramakrishna Mahavidyalaya in Kailashahar, Ramthakur College in Agartala and another College in Belonia, South Tripura District were set up, which were taken over by the State Government in 1982. The students are allowed to study and perform their activities in democratic environments. For opening of new institutions, priority is given to the unserved and underserved Sub-Divisions, Districts and rural areas, where there is demand for enrolment in higher education. In due course of time different General Degree Colleges were set up in Udaipur, Sonamura, Khowai, Sabroom, Amarpur, Fatikroy, Kamalpur, Dharmanagar, LT Valley, Kanchanpur, Teliamura, Bishalgarh, Mohanpur, Santirbazar, Gandacherra, Sub-Divisions and Khumulwng to cater the need of local students. Steps have been taken to set up 7 new General Degree Colleges in Old Agartala, Jirania, Kadamtala, Panisagar, Udaipur, Salema and Karbook areas. There is plan to introduce B.Ed course in four existing General Degree Colleges viz. BBM College, Agartala, Women College, Agartala(for women candidates only), GDC, Dharmanagar and ICV College, Belonia in order to create opportunity to make the candidates eligible for the posts of school teacher.
There are 62 institutions of higher learning in the State which are registered under All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE). Out of that 34 Government institutions including one State University is under control of Higher Education Department. Besides there are one private engineering College (Techno India), Two General Degree Colleges run by Holy Cross and Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan and four private B.Ed Colleges run by Bhavans (two), Holy Cross and ICFAI University.
A good number of technical and professional institutions have come up, which include National Institute of Technology (NIT), Tripura Institute of Technology (TIT), Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), two Medical Colleges, Fishery College, Agriculture College, Veterinary College, 6 Polytechnics including one Women’s Polytechnic Institute.
The total enrolment in 34 institutions (under Higher Education Deptt.) of higher learning in the State is 49,212 for the year 2018-19. It is found that every year roughly 1,500 to 2,000 intake of students is required to be increased.
The Department of Higher Education, Tripura is responsible for the overall development of the basic infrastructure of Higher Education sector, both in terms of policy and planning under a planned development process. The Department looks after expansion of access, equity, increase of GER (at present 21.2 as per AISHE Report, 2017-18) and qualitative improvement in the Higher Education through various Universities, Colleges and other institutions. Further growth of institutions would require lot of planning to make provision for additional infrastructure including additional faculty & support staff to achieve the target of quality education.