After the partition of the country in 1947, the Punjab Education Department functioned from a camp office set up in Shimla\'s Metropole Hotel. At that time, the Education Secretary was also Director of Public Instructions. On February 15, 1959, the office was shifted to Chandigarh, the new capital of Punjab. In 1966, when the southern districts of Punjab were constituted as the new State of Haryana, the Department was reorganised with the same staff going to the new state.
The Higher Education Department, Government of Punjab provides education for undergraduate and post-graduate level in various disciplines through more than 350 Colleges functioning under the supervision and the guidance of the Education Ministrer & Principal Secretary Higher Education, Government of the Punjab.
The main aim of the DOHE is not only to enlighten the beneficiaries of the department i.e. the students but also broaden their mental horizon in order to prepare them to cope up with the challenges of the 21st century\'s world. The Department envisions the society as a society habitually capable of living with high ideals; tolerant of other\'s views and aspirations; a society whcih can co-exist with the changing times and assimilate the phenomenon of globalisation of the world; a society which knows the joy of meaningful living; a society keen to protect its younger generation and leave behind a better world. We believe in equal opportunity for all in the quest for education and are striving to impart quality education of a standard recognised at the world community level. We recognise our duty to make quality education affordable for the common man and are striving to create an environment where education would lead to prosperity and improve general standard of living for the masses.
The state has a large network of colleges which has been necessary over a period of time depending on the needs. Punjab has a well developed educational system consisting of:
- 3 Universitities (imparting general higher education namely)
a. Panjab University, Chandigarh.
b. Punjabi Univeristy, Patiala.
c. Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.
- - The following Universities are also being setup.
- 1. Central University, Bathinda
- 2. Rajiv Gandhi University of Law, Patiala
- 3. World Class University, Amritsar
- 55 Govt. Colleges (13 new being established in low GER areas of Punjab)
- 136 Govt. aided colleges
- 188 Private collages
Colleges in Punjab have relatively higher enrolment per college than the all India level. The rate of participation of women is relatively better in Punjab as compared to other states. The subject wise distribution of students reveal that, in Punjab majority of students are pursuing studies in the faculty of Arts (63.03 percent) followed by the faculty of Science (12.13 percent) and then the faculty of Commerce (11.26 percent). Under graduate students in Punjab account for a large proportion i.e. 90 percent. A very small proportion of students are enrolled for post-graduation (7.79 percent) and research(0.16 percent).
An analysis of regional distribution of students in higher education among the districts of the state shows Jallandhar as the best educational district with more than 1136 students per hundred thousand population, followed by Ludhiana, Kapurthala and Patiala. Of the total enrolment in professional education, the highest is in Ludhiana, followed by Patiala, Sangrur, Ferozepur, Jallandhar & Amritsar. Besides the students enrolled in the formal system, a good number of students are also enrolled in the distance education programmes being offered by the Universities of Punjab as well as IGNOU and other Universities of India.
Recent Intitiatives taken by the department are:
1. IISER (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali)
2. Rajiv Gandhi University of Law, Patiala
3. P-TOSS Programme
5. Setting up of 13 new govt. colleges in low GER areas.
6. Launch of GTT pilot project.
7. Initiation of Nasscom certified NAC test