In India, the educational structure follows the 'Ten + Two + Three/Four (10 + 2 + 3)' pattern.
In the first 10 years, a student is provided general education, what is known as "primary - first five years, and secondary - subquent years of study" education.
Next is the +2 Stage which is divided into various academic and vocational streams. This stage is also known as the Higher Secondary or Senior Secondary Education, more popularly known as the "Intermediate" in North India and PUC (Pre-University College) in South India.
The next stage is the +3/4 Stage, in this stage a student enters the world of Higher Education. Higher Education is provided in Colleges in a chosen field of subject or subjects. Presently, there are about 60,000 Colleges of various types in India.
Colleges in India are either affiliated with Universities or are a part of the University. However, there are some Colleges that are autonomous. By being autonomous means, that the degree is awarded by the University but the name of the College is also included. There are over 175 Autonomous Colleges in India. It is the Central Government which is responsible for making major policies relating to higher education in the country. It is also responsible for giving certain deserving colleges ‘Deemed to be University’ status on the recommendation of the UGC.
University Grants Commission (UGC) is a government body which is responsible for coordination, determination and maintenance of standards, release of grants. On the other hand, State Governments are responsible for setting up State Government Colleges.
There are certain bodies which monitor and provide accreditation to Colleges in India. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) monitors and accredits engineering and business Colleges. Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) monitors agriculture education and research. Apart from these, National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) controls all the teacher training institutions in the country. Admission to all professional education colleges is done through all-India common admission tests of which the IIT-JEE, AIEEE, CAT and CPMT are the most popular ones. Most of the Colleges reserve certain seats for SC / ST / OBC (Scheduled Caste / Scheduled Tribes / Other Backward Classes) candidates and a minor set of seats for foreign students.
College education in India provides not only formal education but also develops the overall personality of a student. It is here that the student gets to know where he/she stands in terms of future employment prospects. It's just not studies, a whole lot of extra-curricular activities hone or present his skills and provide him the essential exposure.