What is the state of education after Independence in India?
1. Technical Education:
Taking into consideration the need for technical education so that skill is acquired, the government took steps to open, Industrial Training Institutes, Polytechnics, Engineering Colleges and Medical Colleges. In 1951 there were only 747 technical and professional institutions and at present we have 1500 such institutions.
600 polytechnics (with 88,000 seats) and 62 women polytechnics (5900 students' intake) have been set-up during planning period. At present there are 230 recognized engineering colleges with 36,000 seats, 146 medical colleges (with 14045 intake) and 40 dental colleges.
2. Adult Education:
The literacy rate has increased from 18.3 per cent in 1951 to 52.2 per cent in 1991 and 62 percent as per NSSO estimates and 63.1 per cent according to National Family Health Surrey of 1998. The National Adult Education Programme was taken up in 1978. The aim was to reach 100 per cent literacy (age group 15-35), by the year 1990.
Central Government gave assistance to states, voluntary organizations and 39 Universities for adult education programme. The target was revised to cover 40 million in 1985-90 and balance 60 million in 1990-95. By the close of 1990-91, about 2.7 lakh adult education centers were set up.
They enrolled about 80 lakh adults every year. As a result, the overall percentage of literacy has increased from 52.2 per cent of 1991-92 to 63.1 per cent in 2000-01.
3. Vocationalisation of Secondary Education:
As a result of announcement of National Policy on Education (NPE) priority is given to vocationalisation of secondary education to make education relevant to work. They cover large number of trades/occupations in agriculture, industry, trade and services.
Central Government introduced the scheme from February, 1988 for giving financial assistance to states/U.T.s. Till 2000-01 sanction has been granted to 10,316 schools with 4 lakh student's strength. The Ninth plan ad laid stress on the revision of curricula to work opportunities.
4. Improvement in Science Education:
It was in 1988 that Central Government started a scheme for the improvement of science education in schools. Financial assistance is given to provide science kits, up gradation of science laboratories, development of teaching material and training of science and mathematics teachers.
A Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET) was set up in NCERT to purchase equipment for State Institutes of Educational Technology.
5. National Policy on Education:
On the recommendation of Kothari Commission, first policy on education was adopted in 1968. It recommended:
(i) Free and compulsory education to boys and girls up to the age of 14 years;
(ii) Application of three language formula and development of Indian languages;
(iii) Development of agriculture and industrial education and
(iv) Six per cent of National income to be spent on education.
In May 1986 Government prepared and issued National Policy on Education in the name of "New Policy of Education." It aims at evolving pattern of education which may achieve the objectives of value based democratic, liberal and secular society. The government has kept the target of removing illiteracy in the age group of 15-35 years, by the end of the year 1995.
6. Higher Education:
From the table 1 it was clear that higher education has expanded very fast in India. Efforts are made to make the courses more flexible and relevant to the development needs of the country particularly the post graduate education, multi disciplinary studies and research.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) was set up in 1956 for coordination and determination of standards. UGC has taken steps to implement the recommendations of New Policy on Education such as establishment of Autonomous Colleges, Centers of Advanced Studies in Universities, resurrecting of courses, regular use of media for higher education, establishment of Education Media Research Centers and Audio Visual Research Centers for the use of media and setting up of Academic Staff Colleges for training and orientation of college teachers.
Other steps taken in higher education are: establishment of 10 central universities, establishment of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and assistance to other institutions of higher learning's like Indian Council of Social Science Research etc.
During 2000-01 there are 254 universities, 42 deemed universities and 7,926 colleges in the country.
7. Encouragement to Indian Languages and Culture:
Government is promoting Indian languages as medium of instruction and examinations. Scientific and technical terminology, science and technical books, dictionaries, encyclopedia are being translated in Indian languages.
Greater attention is paid to Indian history, culture and traditions and there has been a revival of interest in music, dance, yoga, folk art and Indian literature.
8. Non-formal Education (6-14 age groups):
In order to achieve universal elementary education, this scheme was started on experimental basis in Sixth Plan but on regular basis in the Seventh Plan. It is meant for those children who cannot go to full time schools.
From the year 1987-88, central assistance was made available to states and voluntary organizations for setting up non-formal education centers in rural, tribal, hilly and remote areas and urban slums. By the end of 1991, 2.7 lakh centers have been set up with 68 lakh enrollment.
10. Education for All:
A Summit of Nine High Population Countries on "Education for All" (EFA) was held on Dec. 16, 1993. According to 93rd Amendment, education for all has been compulsory, free elementary education, a fundamental right for all children in the age of 6-14 years. In order to fulfill this obligation, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has been launched.