Education in India


Education in India

History

For information about education in India in past centuries, see History of education in India

Recent developments

NPE 1986 and revised PoA 1992 envisioned that free and compulsory education should be provided for all children up to 14 years of age before the commencement of 21st century. Government of India made a commitment that by 2000, 6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be spent on education, out of which half would be spent on the Primary education.

The 86th Amendment of the Indian constitution makes education a fundamental right for all children aged 6-14 years. The access to preschool education for children under 6 years of age was excluded from the provisions, and the supporting legislation has not yet been passed.

In November 1998, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced setting up of "Vidya Vahini" Network to link up universities, UGC and CSIR.

The Indian Education System is generally marks-based. However, some experiments have been made to do away with the marks-based system which has led to cases of depression and suicides among students. In 2005, the Kerala government introduced a grades-based system in the hope that it will help students to move away from the cut-throat competition and rote-learning and will be able to focus on creative aspects and personality development as well. [http://www.idiscoverischools.com iDiscoveri education] started by Alumni of Harvard, XLRI is a pioneer in this field. This organization has already developed 5 model schools.

Outdoor Education in India

Outdoor education is relatively new to schools in rural areas of India, though it is quite well established in urban areas. These trips are conducted to enhance personal growth through experiential learning and increase awareness about various subjects like the environment, ecology, wildlife, history, archaeology, geography and adventure sports.

Expenditure on Education in India

The Government expenditure on Education has greatly increased since the First five-year plan. The Government of India has highly subsidized higher education. Nearly 97% of the Central Government expenditure on elementary education goes towards the payment of teachers' salaries.

Initiatives

Non-Formal Education

In 1979-80, the Government of India, Department of Education launched a program of "Non-Formal Education" (NFE) for children of 6-14 years age group, who cannot join regular schools. These children include school drop-outs, working children, children from areas without easy access to schools etc. The initial focus of the scheme was on ten educationally backward states. Later, it was extended to urban slums as well as hilly, tribal and desert areas in other states. The program is now functional in 25 states/UTs. 100% assistance is given to voluntary organizations for running NFE centers.

Bal Bhavans

"Bal Bhavans" centers, which are operational all over India, aim to enhance creative and sports skills of children in the age group 5-16 years. There are various State and District Bal Bhavans, which conduct programs in fine-arts, aeromodeling, computer-education, sports, martial arts, performing arts etc. They are also equipped with libraries with books for children. New Delhi alone has 52 Bal Bhavan centers. The National Bal Bhavan is an autonomous institution under the Department of Education. It provides general guidance, training facility and transfer of information to State and District Bal Bhavans situated all over India.

Distance education

India has a large number of Distance education programmes in Undergraduate and Post-Graduate levels. The trend was started originally by private institutions that offered distance education at certificate and diploma level. By 1985 many of the larger Universities recognized the need and potential of distance education in a poor and populous country like India and launched degree level programs through distance education. The trend caught up, and today many prestigious Indian Universities offer distance programs. Indira Gandhi National Open University, one of the largest in student enrollment, has only distance programs with numerous local centers that offer supplementary contact classes.

Education for special sections of society

Women

Under Non-Formal Education programme, about 40% of the centers in states and 10% of the centers in UTs are exclusively for girls. As of 2000, about 0.3 million NFE centers were catering to about 7.42 million children, out of which about 0.12 million were exclusively for girls.

In engineering, medical and other colleges, 30% of the seats have been reserved for women.

C/STs and OBCs

The Government has reserved seats for SC/STs in all areas of education. Special scholarships and other incentives are provided for SC/ST candidates. Many State Governments have completely waived fees for SC/ST students. The IITs have a special coaching program for the SC/ST candidates who fail in the entrance exams marginally. Seats have been reserved for candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes as well in some states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The struggle for reserving seats for students from OBC categories in elite institutions like IITs, IIMs and AIIMS and Central Universities is still going on. The Supreme Court of India is obstructing this reservation for the reason that there has been no caste-wise census since 1931 and the population share of OBCs cannot be based on 1931 census. The Department for the Welfare of SC/ST/OBC/Minorities introduced the SC/ST tuition-fee reimbursement scheme in 2003-2004. The scheme applies to SC and ST students of Delhi who are enrolled in recognized unaided private schools andwho have an annual family income of less than Rs. 1 lakh. Itprovides a 100% reimbursement of the tuition fees, sports fee,science fee, lab fee, admission fee and the co-curricular fee ifthe student's family income falls below Rs. 48, 000 per annumand a reimbursement of 75% if the family income is greaterthan Rs. 48, 000 per annum but less than Rs. 1 lakh. Thesubsidy provided by the scheme covers between 85% and 90%of the beneficiary's total running expenses in studying in aprivate school.

Post Graduate Classes at Correctional Homes

The Government of West Bengal has started the Post Graduate teaching facilities for the convicts at the Correctional Homes in West Bengal.

Contemporary education issues

Modern education in India is often criticized for being based on rote learning. Emphasis is laid on passing examinations with high percentage. Very few institutes give importance to developing personality and creativity among students. Recently, the country has seen a rise in instances of student suicides due to low marks and failures, especially in metropolitan cities, even though such cases are very rare. The boards are recently trying to improve quality of education by increasing percentage of practical and project marks.

Many people also criticize the caste, language and religion-based reservations in education system. Many allege that very few of the weaker castes get the benefit of reservations and that forged caste certificates abound. Educational institutions also can seek "religious minority" (non-Hindu) or "linguistic minority" status. In such institutions, 50% of the seats are reserved for students belonging to a particular religion or having particular mother-tongue(s). For example, many colleges run by the Jesuits and Salesians have 50% seats reserved for Roman Catholics. In case of languages, an institution can declare itself linguistic minority only in states in which the language is not official language. For example, an engineering college can declare itself as linguistic-minority (Hindi) institution in the state of Maharashtra (where official state language is Marathi), but not in Madhya Pradesh or Uttar Pradesh (where the official state language is Hindi). These reservations are said to be a cause of heartbreak among many. Many students with poor marks manage to get admissions, while meritorious students are left out. Critics say that such reservations may eventually create rifts in the society.

Ragging has been a major problem in colleges and students have died due to ragging. However, ragging is now a criminal offense, and all universities and colleges are obliged to publicize the penalties for ragging and monitor hostels to prevent ragging.

Expenditure on education is also an issue which comes under the scanner. According to the Kothari commission led by Dr Vijay Kothari in 1966, expenditure on education has to be minimum 6% of the GDP. Whereas in 2004 expenditure on education stood at 3.52% of the GDP and in the eleventh plan it is estimated to be around 4%. The "sarva shikshan abhyan" has to receive sufficient funds from the central government to impart quality education.

ee also

* Literacy in India
* NCERT controversy

Further reading

* Marie Lall, "The Challenges for India's Education System", Chatham House: London, 2005 (ASP BP 05/03)
*Meenakshi Jain et al. (2003) History in the New NCERT Textbooks Fallacies in the IHC Report, National Council of Educational Research and Training, ISBN 81-7450-227-0
*Rosser, Yvette. Curriculum as Destiny: Forging National Identity in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh (2003) University of Texas at Austin. [http://www.lib.utexas.edu/etd/d/2003/rosseryc036/rosseryc036.pdf PDF link]

Notes

External links

* [http://edufirst.co.cc Statewise listing of Colleges with contact info, courses, seats and other info]
* [http://educationforfree.org The Education For Free Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization based in Hyderabad, India, dedicated in making quality education reachable to all.]
* [http://vidyasoochika.co.in Higher Education Opportunities in India]
* [http://www.way2college.com Complete information for all colleges in India]
* [http://www.indiaeducationdiay.in Latest infomation on Indian Education Sctor]
* [http://www.indiaresults.com/notifications/default.aspx Admission Notifications and Examination Alerts from Boards & Universities across India]
* [http://www.education.nic.in/ Government official education website]
* [http://www.educationindiainfo.com/ Education India & Entrance Exams]
* [http://www.educationinfoindia.com/ education in india and career guidance for students]
* [http://www.extramarks.com/ education community site in India]
* [http://www.e-gurukul.com/ Indian Knowledge Networking]
* [http://www.indiaeducationdiary.com India Education Diary - The Eden of Education]
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sainik_School/ Sainik Schools in India]
* [http://www.indiaeduinfo.co.in/ Education and Careers in India]
* [http://www.shemford.com/ resources/]


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