Several differences between Indian and U.S. universities exist. The major difference is the role of central or state governments in the field of higher education. Admissions, assessment, and evaluations are generally centralized in contrast to the U.S. universities where at the graduate level both admissions and evaluations are highly decentralized.
The accreditation by the two official accrediting agencies also provides some idea on the quality of an institution and its programs. For example, NAAC has a grading system in which institutions are graded on an alpha-numerical scale of 95-100 score for A++ grade to 55-60 score for C grade and seven intermittent grades. Similarly, the NBA of AICTE accredits programs for three or five years. Obviously, programs with five-year validity are better than those that have been given three-year validity.
Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India (GOI) could be the best resource to start looking at the Education System.
Information on recognized secondary and higher secondary school boards / councils can be found at www.education.nic.in/circulars/boards.asp
Following are the links of statutory bodies for higher education and their affiliate bodies which makes them accredited in India.