Higher education in India begins after the completion of Secondary education i.e. after the completion of 12th standard. A student opting for a particular specialization as higher education has to take admission in a college or institute offering the desired courses. It takes 3 years to complete a B.A, B.Sc and B.Com pass or honors degree from a college in India. The selection of students and his admission into the college is purely on merit basis going on his overall performance in the 12th standard examinations. For pursuing an engineering course, the student needs to qualify the engineering entrance tests that are held annually. The AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Examination) and JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) are conducted on a national basis and are gateways for students to get admitted into premier institutes of national importance like IITS while the State Level Engineering Entrance Examinations (SLEEE) help in securing one a coveted berth in the state recognized engineering colleges and institutes. All engineering institutes in India are affiliated to the All India Council of Technical Education(AICTE) and normally offer courses in various specializations for a duration of four to five years((with six months of additional compulsory internship).On a similar basis, admission into the medical exams are done after the students qualify the medical entrance tests. Duration for completing a MBBS course is 4.5 years.
As a rule the Postgraduate courses are generally of two years duration. There are however exceptions here as well with courses like the MCA(Master of Computer Applications) that take three years to complete. For those who cannot afford to attend regular classes for various preoccupations can pursue correspondence courses from various Open Universities and distance learning institutes in India.