Secondary Education: India

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Secondary Education

Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan

Launched in March, 2009, this Scheme with the objective to enhance access to secondary education and improve its quality, envisages to achieve an enrolment rate of 75 per cent from 52.26 per cent in 2005-06 in secondary stage within five years by providing a secondary school within a reasonable distance of any habitation.

The other objectives include improving quality of education imparted at secondary level through making all secondary schools conform to prescribed norms, removing gender, socio-economic and disability barriers, providing universal access to secondary level education by 2017 and achieving universal retention by 2020.

Broad physical targets include providing facilities for estimated additional enrolment of more than 32 lakh students by 2011-12. The Central Government shall bear 75 per cent and State Governments will bear the 25 per cent of the project expenditure during the 11th Plan. Sharing pattern will be 50:50 for the 12th Plan. For both the plan periods sharing pattern will be 90:10 for the North Eastern States.

The Scheme is to be implemented by the State Government societies established for implementation of the scheme. The Central share is released to the implementing agency directly. The applicable state share is also released to the implementing agency by the respective state governments.

Scheme for Setting up of 6000 Model Schools at Block Level

This is a Scheme to provide quality education to talented rural children through setting up 6000 model schools as benchmarks of excellence at block level at the rate of one school per block. The Scheme was launched in 2008-09 and is being implemented from 2009-10.

The Scheme will have two models, one for 3500 educationally backward blocks in government sector and another for remaining 2500 blocks. The Scheme is to be implemented by the State Government Societies established for implementation of the Scheme. The sharing pattern would be 75:25 for both recurring and non-recurring costs for schools with two sections of class VI to XII. The sharing pattern would be 90:10 for special category states. The central share is released to the implementing agency directly. The applicable State share is also released to the implementing agency by the respective State governments.

==Scheme for construction and running of Girl's Hostel for Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools== This is a new centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2008-09 and being implemented from 2009-10 to set up Girl's Hostels with 100 seats in about 35000 educationally backward blocks. The Scheme has replaced the earlier NGO driven Scheme for construction and running of Girls' Hostels for students of Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools, under which assistance was provided to voluntary organizations for running Girl' Hostels.

The main objective of the revised Scheme is to retain girl child in secondary school so that the girl students are not denied the opportunity to continue their study due to distance to school, parents' financial affordability and other connected societal factors.

The girl students in the age group 14-18 studying in classes IX to XII and belonging to SC, ST, OBC, Minority communities and BPL families will form the target group of the Scheme. Students passing out of KGBV will be given preference in admission in hostels. At least 50 per cent of girls admitted will belong to SC, ST, OBC and Minority communites. Central Government will bear 90 per cent of the recurring and non-recurring project cost and the remining 10 per cent to be borne by the state governments. The Scheme is to be implemented by the state government societies established for implementation of the Scheme.

Scheme of Vocationalisation of Secondary Education at +2 level

Initiated in 1988, this centrally sponsored scheme of Vocationalisation of Secondary Education provides for diversification of educational opportunities so as to enhance individual employability, reduce the mismatch between demand and supply of skilled manpower and provides an alternative for those pursuing higher education.

The revised Scheme is in operation since 1992-93. It provides for financial assistance to the states to set up administrative structure, area vocational surveys, preparation of curriculum, text book, work book, curriculum guides, training manual, teacher training programme, etc. It also provides financial assistance to NGOs and voluntary organizations towards implementation of specific innovative projects for conducting short-term courses.

The Scheme, so far, has created a massive infrastructure of 21000 sections in around 9619 schools thus providing for diversion of about 10 lakh students at +2 level. The grants released so far since inception of the Scheme is Rs 765 crore. Based on the recommendations of various committees/review groups, the existing scheme is being revamped.

Scheme of ICT @ School

The Information and Communication Technology in School Scheme was launched in December 2004 to provide opportunities to secondary stage students to mainly build their capacity of ICT skills and make them learn through computer aided learning process. The Scheme provides support to States/Union Territories to establish enabling ICT infrastructure in Government and Government aided secondary and higher secondary schools. It also aims to set up Smart schools in KVs and Navodaya Vidyalayas which are pace setting institutions of the Government of India to act as "Technology Demonstrators" and to lead in propagating ICT skills among students of neighbourhood schools.

The Scheme currently covers both government and government-aided Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools. Under the Scheme, financial assistance is provided for procurement of computers and peripherals, educational software, training of teachers, computer stationery, internet connectivity and for monitoring purposes. The unit cost per school has been revised from Rs 6.7 lakh to Rs 6.4 lakh as non-reviewing expenditure, whereas recovering cost has ben revised from Rs 1.64 lakh to Rs 2.70 lakh. Central assistance both recurring and non-recurring is provided in the ratio of 75:25 between centre and the states, except for the Special Category states where it is 90:10.

Based on experience gained, so far, the Scheme has been revised with the approval of CCEA on 9 January 2010 during the 11th Plan. The elements of the revised proposal are to increase outreach to all government and government aided secondary and higher secondary schools, strengthen teacher, provision of broadband connectivity and e-content development. The preparation of the guidelines of the revised ICT in schools scheme is under process.

Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage

The Scheme of Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS) has been launched from the year 2009-10. This Scheme replaces the earlier scheme of Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC) and would provide assistance for the inclusive education of the disabled children in classes IX-XII.

The aim of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of IEDSS is to enable all students with disabilities, after completing eight years of elementary schooling, to pursue further four years of secondary schooling (classes IX to XII) in an inclusive and enabling environment.

The scheme will cover all children passing out of elementary schools and studying at secondary stage in Government, local body and Government-aided schools, with one or more disabilities as defined under the Persons with Disabilities Act (1995) and the National Trust Act (1999) in the age group 14+ to 18+ (classes IX to XII) namely (i) Blindness, ii) Low vision, iii) Leproosy cured, iv) Hearing impairment, v) Locomotor disabilities, vi) Mental retardation, vii) Mental Illness, viii) Autism, and ix) Cerebral Palsy, and eventually cover Speech impairment, Learning Disabilities, etc.

Girls with disabilities will receive special focus and efforts would be made under the scheme to help them gain access to secondary schools, as also to information and guidance for developing their potential. There is a provision of a monthly stipend of Rs 200/- for the disabled girls.

Central assistance for all items covered in the scheme is on 100 per cent basis. The School Education Department of the State Governments/Union Territory (UT) Administrations would be the implementing agency. They may involve NGOs having experience, in the field of education of the disabled, in the implementation of the scheme.

Assistance is admissible for two major components, viz.

i) Student-oriented components, such as, medical and educational assessment, books and stationery, uniforms, transport allowance, reader allowance, stipend for girls, support services, assistive devices, boarding and lodging facility, therapeutic services, teaching/learning materials, etc. For this Rs 3000/- per child per annum is provided as Central Assistance to be topped by the States by a Scholarship of Rs 600/- per child per annum.

ii) Other components include appointment of special education teachers, allowances for general teachers for teaching such children, teacher training, orientation of school administrators, establishment of resource room, providing barrier free environment, etc.

Appropriate structure should be established at the Central, State, District, and block and city level to ensure reporting from functionaries at different levels. Selection of NGOs should be done by the State Governments through a Grant-inaid Committee consisting of reputed educationalists, practitioners, Central Government representatives and others. Steering committees at Central, State and District level should also be constituted.

State Governments should set up Administrative Cells in the Education Department in States to implement the programme.

At the central level, a Project Monitoring and Evaluation Group has been established to appraise the proposals from the state governments and also for monitoring and evaluation. This has several experts in the filed of inclusive education.


During the 10th Five Year Plan, ‘‘Quality Improvement in Schools’’ was introduced as a composite centrally sponsored scheme having the following components :

(i) National Population Education Project, (ii) Environmental Orientation to School Education, (iii) Improvement of Science Education in Schools, (iv) Introduction of Yoga in Schools, and (v) International Science Olympiads. A decision was taken to transfer four of these components to National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) w.e.f. April 2006, except the component of improvement of Science Education in school that was transferred to states.

National Population Education Project

The National Population Education Project was launched in April 1980 with the overarching objective of institutionalizing population education in the school education and teacher education systems to contribute to the attainment of population and development goals of the country. Up to 2002, this was implemented as externally aided Project which was fully funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). It was being implemented in the University education and adult education sector as well. In view of the achievements and significance of the Project, Government of India decided to continue it in the 10th Five Year Plan with a more focused objective of integrating the elements of reconceptualised framework of population education in school curriculum.

Moreover, UNFPA decided to support a concomitant Project focused on adolescent reproductive and sexual health (ARSH) from 2004. During 2006-07, the NPEP was implemented as an integral part of Adolescence Education Programme, launched by Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2005 in collaboration with National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).

Environmental Orientation to School Education

The National Policy on Education (NPE)-1986 provides that the protection of environment is a value which, along with certain other values, must form an integral part of curriculum at all stages of education. To operationalise this noble objective, the mind and intellect of the students must be sensitised to the hazards inherent in upsetting the ecological balance in nature. This step inculcates awareness and respect among students for basic concepts relating to the conservation of environment.

To this end, a Centrally-sponsored Scheme ‘‘Environment Orientation to School Education’’ was initiated in 1988-89. The scheme envisages assistance to voluntary agencies for conduct of experimental and innovative programmes aimed at promoting integration of educational programmes in schools with local environmental conditions.


To improve the quality of science education and to promote the scientific temper, as envisaged in the National Policy on Education, 1986, a Centrally sponsored Scheme, ‘‘Improvement of Science Education in Schools’’ was initiated during 1987-88. Under the scheme financial assistance was being provided to States/UTs and voluntary agencies.

While voluntary agencies were provided assistance for conducting experimental and innovative programmes, States/Union Territories were assisted for provision of science kits to Upper Primary Schools, setting up/upgradation of science laboratories in Secondary/Senior Secondary Schools, Library facilities in Secondary/Senior Secondary Schools and Training of Science and Mathematics teachers.

One of the important components of this scheme was participation of Indian Students at school level in the International Science Olympiads, viz. International Mathematical Olympiad (since 1989), International Physics Olympiad (since 1998), International Chemistry Olympiad (since 1999) and International Biology Olympiad (since 2000).


Introduction of Yoga in Schools was launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme during 1989-90 to provide financial assistance to States/Union Territories/Non- Governmental Organisations. It aimed at giving central assistance for training and research, enrichment of library and construction/expansion of hostels for teacher trainees. It was being implemented through the concerned Departments of Education of States/UTs. It was transferred to NCERT w.e.f. April 2007. NCERT has initiated to review the Scheme in the light of National Curriculum Framework 2005.


The Scheme of Kendriya Vidayalaya Sangathan (KVS) was approved by Government of India in November 1962 to provide uninterrupted education to the wards of the transferable central government employees. Initially, 20 regimental schools were taken over as central schools during the academic session 1963-64. This number has now gone up to 1067 functional schools including 3 abroad (Kathmandu, Moscow and Tehran) as on 1-2-2011. 39 KVs are running in double shift.

The salient features of the KVs are: primarily cater to the educational needs of the wards of transferable central government employees; all KVs are co-educational; all KVs are affiliated to CBSE; in case of girl students, tuition fee is not charged; tuition fee is also not charged for boys up to class VIII, the wards of KVs staff and SC/ST students upto class XII.

31 KVs have been identified to be developed as Smart Schools. All the 31 KVs have been sanctioned Rs 25 lakh each to enrich their infrastructure and enhance the quality of education through the optimum use of IT and Multimedia.

The KVs are fully funded by the Government of India. KVs also provide hostel facility to their boys and girls who need it. There are 9 KVs having this facility. There are 100 KVs functioning in the North-Eastern Region of India.


Set up in 1929, the second oldest Board of the country, Central Board of Secondary Education is an autonomous body working under the aegis of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The main objectives of the CBSE include: affiliating institutions in and outside the country, conduct annual examinations at the end of Class X and XII, conducting entrance examinations to professional courses for admission into medical and engineering colleges, updating and designing curriculum and empowering the teachers and heads of institutions. There are 10,599 schools affiliated with CBSE as on 31 December 2009.

The Board conducts various examinations viz. Senior School Certificate Examination (Class XII), Secondary School Examination (Class X), All India Pre- Medical/Pre-Dental Entrance Examination, All India Engineering Entrance Examination and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Selection Test.

The Board has extended the concept of continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) in class IX with effect from October 2009 to be continued in class X for the year 2010 onwards. For this purpose, syllabus has been split up over two terms. Each term will have two formative tests of 10 per cent weightage each and one summative test of weightage 20 per cent and 40 per cent respectively. The emphasis on conceptual clarification through experiential learning in the classroom will increase since there will be more time available for transaction of curriculum. It will help students with life skills especially creative and critical thinking skills. CBSE offers vocational education. At present, 32 packages comprising 100 subjects under vocational stream are offered.


Initiated as a project in 1979 under the Central Board of Secondary Education, the Open Schooling Programmes have now taken shape as an independent system of education in India. The NIOS, with international recognition and presence, provides access to sustainable and learner-centric quality school education, skill upgrading and training through open and distance learning and ensures convergence of open schooling organisations, resulting in an inclusive learning society, human resource development, national integration and global understanding. The NIOS formerly National Open School, with approximately 1.6 million learners on roll, has emerged as the largest Open schooling organization in the world.

NIOS works through its five departments and two units at headquarters and 11 regional centres located at Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Delhi, Allahabad, Patna, Jaipur, Kochi and Bhopal. Three sub-centres of the regional centres of NIOS have been set up at Bhubaneswar, Dehardun and Darbhanga. The Institute provides opportunities to interested learners by making available various courses/programmes through open and distance learning mode. It offers 27 subjects at the Secondary level and 21 subjects at Senior Secondary level.

From the Academic year 2007-08, NIOS has introduced the facility of online admission. 30,000 admissions took place during this initial phase. NIOS was also able to provide payment gateway facility for online admissions to learners and is the first educational institution at school level in India to achieve this landmark. ==NATIONAL COUNCIL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH AND TRAINING (NCERT)== Established in 1961, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is an apex resource organization of Government of India in the field of school education. It is an autonomous organization registered under Societies Registration Act to advise and assist the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India and Departments of Education in States/Union Territories in formulation and implementation of their policies and major programmes in the field of education, particularly for qualitative improvement of school education.

NCERT undertakes programmes related to research, development, training, extension, international cooperation, publication and dissemination of educational information. Besides, NCERT acts as major agency for implementing the bilateral cultural exchange programmes with other countries in the field of school education. The agency also interacts and works in collaboration with international organizations, visiting foreign experts and delegations and offers various training facilities to educational personnel from developing countries.

Some of the major ongoing programmes of the NCERT include: innovative pre-service teacher education and counselling courses, All India School survey, survey of research in education, transmission of educational video programmes on DD and AIR educational channels 'Gyan Darshan' and 'Gyan Vani', and teachers training on new textbooks through teleco teleconferencing using EDUSAT facility etc


The National Policy on Education – 1986 envisaged setting up of model schools, one in each district of the country. Accordingly, a scheme was formulated under which it was decided to set up co-educational residential schools (now called Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas).

Navodaya Vidyalayas are fully residential co-educational institutions providing education up to senior secondary stage. The scheme, which started with only two schools on experimental basis in 1985-86, has grown to 576 schools in 2009 covering as many districts in 34 States/UTs, with over 2 lakh students on rolls as on 30 September 2009.

The Vidyalayas envisaged a new style of growth with identification and development of talented, bright and gifted children predominantly from rural areas who may otherwise be denied good educational opportunities. Efforts are made to ensure that at least 33 per cent of the students enrolled are girls.

Migration is a unique feature of Navodaya Vidyalaya scheme whereby 30 per cent of students of Class IX from a Vidyalaya located in Hindi speaking area spend one academic year in a Vidyalaya located in Non-Hindi speaking area and viceversa to promote national integration through understanding of the diversity and plurality of the country’s people, their language and culture.


Adult Education aims at extending educational options to those adults, who have lost the opportunity and have crossed the age of formal education, ut now feel a need for learning of any type, including, basic education (literacy), skill development (Vocational Education) and equivalency. With the objective of promoting literacy and adult education, a series of programmes have been introduced since the First Five Year Plan period, the most prominent being the National Literacy Mission (NLM) that was launched in 1988 to impart functional literacy to non literates in the age group of 15-35 years in a time bound manner.

By the end of the 10th Plan period, NLM had made 127-45 million persons literate, of which, 60% were females, 23% belonged to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 12% to Scheduled Tribes (STs). 597 districts were covered under Total Literacy stage and 328 reached Continuing Education stage. At the end of the programme, 95 districts were under Total Literacy Campaign, 174 under Post-Literacy Programme and 328 Districts under Continuing Education Programme. It led to an increase of 12.63% in literacy the highest increase in any decade. Female literacy increased by 14.38%. SC literacy by 17.28% and ST literacy by 17.50%.

Despite significant accomplishments illiteracy continues to be a grave concern. 2001 Census recorded male literacy at 75.26%, while female literacy remained at an 300 India 2012 unacceptable level of 53.67%. Census of 2001 also revealed that gender and regional disparities in literacy continued to persist. Therefore, to bolster Adult Education and Skill Development, Government introduced two new schemes, namely Saakshar Bharat and Scheme for Support to Voluntary Agencies for Adult Education and Skill Development, during the 11th Plan.

Launch of Saakshar Bharat

The campaign for total literacy that began with the launching of National Literacy Mission (NLM) in 1988 has now completed two decades. During this period, literacy rates have moved up from 43.57 per cent in 1981 to 64.84 per cent in 2001. A new Census is to take place in 2011 when the current status of literacy would be known. 2001 Census shows male literacy as over 75 per cent while female literacy remains at an unacceptable level of 54 per cent. The literacy rate among adult females is all the more alarming as merely 47.82 per cent women in this age group are literate.

The President, in her address to the Parliament, which articulated the agenda for the government for the period from 2009-2014, made an important policy announcement that "government will recast the National Literacy Mission as a National Mission for Female Literacy to make every woman literate in the next five years".

In the context of government's overall policy aimed at empowerment of women and in recognition of the fact that literacy is a pre-requisite for socio-economic development, the National Literacy Mission has been recast as "SAAKSHAR BHARAT" with prime focus on female literacy. The flagship programme of the Government will cover all adults in the age group of 15 and beyond though its primary focus will be on women. The scheme has not only been relieved of the shortcomings noted in its preceding editions, but also, several new features added to it. Basic Literacy, Post literacy and continuing Education programmes will now form a continuum, rather than sequential segments.

Besides the volunteer based mass campaign approach, provision has been made for alternative approaches to adult eduation. Lok Shiksha Kendras (Adult Education Centres) (AECs), will be set up to coordinate and manage all programmes, within their territorial jurisdiction. State Governments, as against the districts in the earlier versions, and Panchayati Raj institutions, along with communities, will be valued stakeholders. Vigorous monitoring and evaluation systems will be installed. Last, but not the least, budgetary support has been enhanced substantially.

The Mission has four broad objectives, namely:

i. Impact functional literacy and numeracy to non-literate and nonnumerate adults.

ii. Enable the neo-literate adults specially younger adults to continue their learning beyond basic literacy and acquire equivalency to formal educational system.

iii. Impart non and neo-literates relevant skill development programmes to improve their earning and living conditions.

iv. Promote a learning society by providing opportunities to neo literate adults and other potential learners for continuing education.

The principal target of the mission is to impart functional literacy to 70 million adults in the age group of 15 years and beyond. Auxiliary target of the mission is to cover 1.5 million adults under basic education programme and equal number under vocational (skill development) programme. Within these targets, the Mission will primarily focus on, but not limited to, women. Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Minorities, other disadvantaged groups and adolescents in rural areas in low literacy States will be other focused groups. For each focused group and area, there will be a specific target and for each target, an eplicit approach and strategy.

In its first phase, that is during the 11th Plan period (31 March 2012) the Saakshar Bharat programme will remain confined to districts with adult female literacy rate of 50 per cent or less as per 2001 Census. There are 365 districts in 25 States and one UT, having adult female literacy rate of 50 per cent or less. Out of the 11th Plan outlay of Rs 6000 crore for the Adult Education Schemes, Rs 5257 crore have been allocated for the scheme of Adult Education and Skill Development, i.e. Saakshar Bharat. In the current financial year, i.e. 2010-11, out of the total outlay of Rs 1300 crore for Adult Education an amount of Rs 1167 crore has been allocated for Saakshar Bharat.

Fund Management System : A fund flow mechanism, based on the concept of a single bank account for each State Literacy Mission Authority and empowering the District Panchayat, Block Panchayat and Gram Panchayat to draw cheques against the single bank account with online monitoring of progress of expenditure, has been put in place. SLMAs have been advised to open separate bank accounts as envisaged under this mechanism. Sanctions for fund release were issued by December 2009 and funds have been transferred to these bank accounts within the quarter ending 31 March 2010. This would enable physical implementation of the scheme to start at the State level.

Web based planning and monitoring: Module-I of the web based planning and monitoring application developed by NIC has been operationalised. This Project Planning System, on one hand enables States to prepare their interim action plans, district wise, and their submission online and on the other hand enables NLMA to calculate financial sanctions up to the Gram Panchayat levels. Besides, the Module will also facilitate uploading of the information on learners, preraks and volunteer teachers, as collected through survey of the households.

Adult and Continuing Education

The programme has been rolled out in 167 districts in 19 States, to cover 3.83 crore non literates in over 80,000 Gram Panchayats under basic literacy programme and to establish 81,007 adult education centres, one each in a Gram Panchayat, under the Continuing Education component. Grant-in-aid of Rs 325.98 crore has been released to 19 States as the first instalment of the Central share. To make the implementation effective the fund management system has been reformed, web based planning and monitoring undertaken, workshops and orientation programmes were organized during 2009-10. It is proposed to implement Saakshar

Bharat programme in 43 more districts during 2010-11 to cover 49.86 lakh nonliterates in over 11,996 Gram Panchayats under basic literacy programme and to establish 11,996 Adult Education Centres, one each in a Gram Panchayat, under the Continuing Education component. Task Forces have been constituted to consider and deliberate upon different aspects of Saakshar Bharat and to devise target specific strategies for effective implementation of the programme.

==Scheme of Assistance to Voluntary Agencies for Adult Education and Skill Development== In order to promote adult education and skill development through the voluntary sector, support to Voluntary Agencies (VAs) was so far being extended through two schemes, namely, (i) Assistance to Voluntary Agencies in the field of Adult Education and (ii) Jan Shikshan Sansthans. With effect from 1 April 2009 both these schemes have been merged and a modified scheme, named as "Scheme of Support to Voluntary Agencies for Adult Education and Skill Development" has been put up in place.

The main objective of this Scheme is to secure extensive as well as intensive involvement of the voluntary sector in the endeavours of the Government to promote functional literacy, skill development and continuing education among adults, under the overall umbrella of Saakshar Bharat. The Scheme encompasses three components, namely, State Resource Centres, Jan Shikshan Sansthans and Assistance to Voluntary Agencies.

State Resource Centres (SRCs)

The State Resource Centres (SRCs) are mandated to provide academic and technical resource support to adult and continuing education through the development and production of material and training modules. The main functions of State Resource Centres are as follows:

• Development of teaching/learning and training materials for literacy programmes.

• Production and dissemination (including translation) of literature for adult education.

• Training of literacy functionaries.

• Undertaking motivational and environment building activities for adult education.

• Multimedia works.

• Running of field programmes.

• Action research, evaluation and monitoring of literacy projects.

• Undertaking innovative projects to identify future need of literacy programmes. Currently, there are 30 SRCs in different parts of the country.

Jan Shikshan Sansthans

Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSSs) are established to provide vocational training to nonliterate, neo-literate, as well as school dropouts by identifying skills as would have a market in the region of their establishment. They are categorized into Category 'A', 'B' and 'C' and are entitled to an annual grant upto Rs 40 lakh, Rs 35 lakh and Rs 30 lakh respectively. JSSs impart skill development training in nearly 394 vocational courses in Cutting and Tailoring, Beauty Culture and Health Care, Fashion Design, Electrical and Electronics, Automobiles Repairs, Soft Toys Making, Agriculture Allied Courses, Cottage Industry Courses, Handicrafts, Bakery and Confectionery, Textile Technology, Leather Technology and Building Technology. In selection of beneficiaries, priority is given to women, SCs, STs, OBCs, minorities and other economically weaker sections.

A number of steps such as fund release rationalization, standardisation of curriculum, capacity building of Directors of JSSs were initiated to improve the functioning of JSS during 2009-10. Web based monitoring of projects was undertaken by National Informatics Centre (NIC) and will be made operational during 2010-11.

Saakshar Bharat: Enhancing Opportunities for Lifelong Learning

Saakshar Bharat envisages to provide an impetus to achieving the goal of a fully literate society engaged in lifelong learning through:

• Development of quality human resource to meet the demands of Bharat, in transition.

• Empowerment, transformation and application of literacy skills.

• Use of ICT, Media and innovatively designed cultural and library based activities in specially designed Continuing Education Programmes.

• A uniform pattern of Equivalency framework across the country to open avenues for further education through Open and distance Learning Systems.

The government to meet the entire cost of teaching-learning including materials and assessment.

• To prepare a specially designed programme for neo-literates of about 200 hours, the completion of which will merit a learner literacy level equivalent to Standard V.

• Given the diversity of contexts, needs and target groups, diverse strategies like arrangement for resident camps, resident instructor mode and theme based literacy interventions, etc. as per the needs and requirements of the learners is ensured.

• A specially designed Basic Education Programme to facilitate neoliterates and school dropouts to continue their learning beyond basic literacy and acquire equivalency to formal education system up to class XII.

• Special importance to skill development programme to equip the neoliterates and non-literates with skills to improve their livelihood opportunities.

• Jan Shikshan Sansthans to be institutionally networked with the Adult Education Centres in the villages for imparting vocational training programmes.

Strategies for promoting universal female literacy and lifelong learning The literacy movement cannot succeed without the targeted approach to effectively include all persons in the age group 15 years and above into it. Their empowerment as literate persons would help them to contribute towards achieving universal education as well as overall development, including health. Experience shows that literacy movement has the potential to enhance the productive capacities of persons in this age group through literacy movement by providing them with appropriate education and training.

In fact, the programme components have been appropriately designed to achieve this goal. The adult education, accordingly, encompasses skill development to improve economic status and well being, imbibing values of national integration, conservation of environment, women's equality and observance of small family norms. Thus, the programme looks beyond mere imparting of basic literacy.

It is felt that the mission will have a positive impact on re-energising the literacy movement. Hence the national goal will no longer remain confined merely to promoting literacy in the conventional sense of enabling every adult to read or write or compute but to generate a literate environment that promotes and sustains a Literate Society and provides ample opportunities for continuous improvement in the levels of adult literacy especially for those belonging to marginalised groups and women.

It is also envisaged that Adult and Continuing Education will be carried forward by all the stake holders along with the Government, and the Government is committed to enriching and empowering the human resource potentials of the country through this programme.

Female Literacy and Women Empowerment

The correlation between female literacy and women's empowerment are globally recognized. As female education rises, fertility, population growth, infant mortality falls and family health improves. Literate women are more politically active and better informed about their legal rights and how to exercise them.

The Government, on assumption of office in May 2009, had announced that literacy would be its key programme instrument for emancipation and empowerment of women. Efforts of the Government to give impetus to school education, health, nutrition, skill development and women empowerment in general are impeded by the continuance of female illiteracy. Government expects increase in female literacy to become a force multiplier for all other social development programmes,

However, this is only the instrumental value of female literacy. Its intrinsic value is in emancipating the Indian woman through the creation of critical consciousness to take charge of her environment where she faces multiple deprivations and disabilities on the basis of class, caste and gender. In the context of Government's overall policy aimed at empowerment of women and in recognition of the fact that literacy, especially female literacy, is a pre-requisite to socio-economic development, it was considered imperative that the National Literacy Mission (NLM), as a programme instrument, be recast with an enhanced focus on female literacy.

Government also wished the new mission to take cognizance of considerable demand for female literacy generated on account of large scale changes at the grassroots level and the new opportunities that have been created over the past several years, most notably, the increasing vibrancy of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), post 73rd Constitution Amendment, the shift to the model of Self-Help-Groups (SHGs) that operate through collectivities for self -employment programmes, the massive new organisational capital being forged again through work collectives such as National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), Joint Forest Management Groups etc. The articulated shift to inclusive development with substantial public investment in the 11th Plan makes it imperative that female literacy is focused upon to derive multiplier effects for inclusive development.


Constitutional provisions : Article 46 of the Constitution states that, ‘‘The State shall promote, with special care, the education and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of social exploitation.’’ Articles 330, 332, 335, 338 to 342 and the entire Fifth and Sixth Schedules of the Constitution deal with special provisions for implementation of the objectives set forth in Article 46 15 to, 7.5 to 27 to reservations for SCs, STs & OBCs respectively in the admissions in Central Educational Institutions (Reservations in Admission) Act, 2006. These provisions need to be fully utilised for the benefit of these weaker sections in our society.

Special provisions : After independence, the Government of India has taken a number of steps to strengthen the educational base of the persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Pursuant to the National Policy on Education-1986 and the Programme of Action (POA)-1992, the following special provisions for SCs and STs have been incorporated in the existing schemes of the Departments of Elementary Education and Literacy and Secondary and Higher Education :

(a) relaxed norms for opening of primary/middle schools; a primary school within one km walking distance from habitations of population up to 200 instead of habitations of up to 300 population.

(b) Abolition of tuition fee in all States in Government Schools at least up to the upper primary level. In fact, most of the states have abolished tuition fees for SC/ST students up to the senior secondary level.

(c) Incentives like free textbooks, uniforms, stationery, school bags, etc. for these students.

(d) The Constitutional (86th Amendment) Bill, notified on 13 December 2002, provides for free and compulsory elementary education as a Fundamental Right, for all children in the age group of 6-14 years.

The reservation as per government policy to the students of SC/ST communities is given to various schemes at School Education Sector, viz. SSA, Mahila Samakhya, NPEGEL, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Mid Day Meal Scheme, NIOS etc.

At the University and Higher Education, the University Grants Commission issues guidelines/directives/instructions from time to time for implementation of reservation policy of the Government of India. UGC implements the career orientation programme for graduates for gainful employment for all including SCs/ STs and OBCs. UGC has created a central pool database of eligible SC/ST/OBC candidates and recommends their candidature for teaching positions in universities and colleges. UGC introduced the scheme of establishment of SC/ST cells in universities in the year 1983. The main objective of the Scheme is to improve the status of SC/ST who are socially and educationally backward so that they can have their rightful place in the mainstream of the society.

The UCG has introduced various schemes for the benefit of the students of SC/ST communities like coaching classes for SC/ST candidates for preparation for National Eligibility Test, residental coaching at UG/PG level for SC/ST students, and postgraduate scholarships for students belonging to SCs/STs. As per the order of the Government of India 15 per cent and 7.5 per cent seats are reserved for SC/ ST students respectively in all the technical education programmes.

In National Institute of Open Schooling, SCs/STs students are given 55 per cent concession in admission fee at Secondary level and 54 per cent concession at Senior Secondary level.

Minority Education

Article 30 (1) of the Constitution provides for the rights of the minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. The HRD Ministry has taken several steps to implement the recommendations of the Prime Minister's High Level Committee on Social, Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim Community of India-Sachar Committee. All the State Governments and Union Territories administrations have been advised for using the existing school buildings and community buildings as study centres for students of the minority communities lacking in facilities so that they can spend a few hours to concentrate on their studies.

Under Teacher Education Scheme, there is a proposal to establish 196 block institutes of Teacher Education in minority and SC/ST concentration areas to offer pre-service and in-service education courses.

UGC is working out modalities so that all universities could be encouraged to recognize qualifications from Madrasas for the purpose of enrolment on the pattern followed by the Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University, Maulana Azad National Urdu University and Jamia Hamdard in appropriate courses and programmes.

National Commission for Minorities Educational Institutions (NCMI) was established on 11 November 2004 to advise the Central Government or any State Government on protection of the Constitutional right of the minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice and other allied matters. The Commission has issued Minority Status Certificates to 3598 educational institutions till November 2010.

The Area Intensive and Madrasa Modernisation Programme (AIMMP) had two components namely Madrasa Modernisation and Infrastructure Development. With a view to giving greater thrust to each of the two components, the Scheme has been revised as two distinct schemes from November 2008 namely (i) Scheme for providing quality edcuation in Madrasas and (ii) Scheme for Infrastructure Development in Minority Institutions/Schools.

Scheme for providing Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM) seeks to bring about qualitative improvement in Madrasas to enable Muslim children attain standards of the national education system in formal education subjects. The unique feature of this modified scheme is that it encourages linking of madrasas with National Institute for Open Schooling as accredited centres for providing formal education, which will enable children studying in such madrasas to get certification for classes V, VIII, X and XII. The NIOS linkage will be extended under this Scheme for Vocational Education at the secondary and higher secondary stage of madrasas.

The Scheme of Infrastructure Development in Minority Institutions (IDMI)has been operationalised to augment infrastructure in private aided/unaided minority schools/institutions in order to enhance quality of education to minority children. The Scheme will cover the entire country but, preference will be given to minority institutions located in districts, blocks and towns having a minority population above 20 per cent.


There is special emphasis on socio-economic development of the North-Eastern Region comprising eight states. As per the Government orders, 10 percent Gross Budgetary Support of the HRD Ministry has been earmarked for implementing development schemes in the region. The shortfall in utilization of this 10 per cent is automatically transferred to the Non-lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) administered by the Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region, for funding specific infrastructure development projects in the region.

Out of 40 Central Universities of the country, there are nine Central Universities in the North-East Region. The UGC has been providing plan/non-plan grants since the inception of Universities for general as well as specific development of NE region as per the provisions available in the respetive guideline of UGC.

IGNOU has established a network of Open and Distance Learning institutes and centres in the region. At present, there are 8 regional centres and 433 learners support centres functioning in the region. National Book Trust under its special scheme titled "Development Project for North-Eastern Region" organized several book promotional activities during 2009-10. Several Central Technical Institutes like IIT, Guwahati, Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Management, Shillong, Central Institute of Technology, Kokrajhar, Assam, etc. are taking care of the higher technical education in the North-East region.

Out of 10 new NITs proposed to be opened in the country during 11th plan, 6 NITs are proposed to be opened in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim. It is proposed to establish 1000 polytechnics in the country in unserved and underserved districts including 66 districts of NE region. Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore has been working on various tribal languages of the North-Eastern Region. The Institute is committed to the empowerment of tribal groups.

The Planning Commission has approved the Plan outlay of Rs 8636.30 crore for 2009-10 for the Department of Higher Education. Out of this, an outlay of Rs 796 crore has been earmarked for the North-Eastern Region and as on 12 February 2010 Rs 514.22 crore have been certified to release.


A centrally sponsored scheme called National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship was launched in 2008-09. The objective of the scheme is to award scholarships to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to arrest their dropout at class VIII and encourage them to continue in the secondary stage that is up to class XII. As per the scheme, one lakh scholarships of Rs 6,000/- per annum (Rs 500 per month) per student will be awarded to the selected students each year for study in classes IX to XII.

There is reservation as per norms.The scholarships are meant for students of government aided and local body having annual arental income from all sources of not more than Rs 1,50,000. There is reservation as per State norms. 54579 scholarships were sanctioned to the selected students of 34 States/UTs for 2008-09, 24536 scholarships wre sanctioned to the selected students of 28 States/UTs for 2009-10 and 6920 scholarships were sanctioned to selected students of 20 States/ UTs for 2010-11. The awardees are required to open an account in a nearby bank. The scholarship is credited to the Bank account of the awardees on quarterly basis on the basis of the information provided by the States/UTs.

In 2008-09, another scheme called 'Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education' was launched. As per the scheme a sum of Rs 3000/- will be deposited in the name of eligible girls as fixed deposit and she would be entitled to withdraw it along with interest thereon on reaching 18 years of age and she would have already passed 10th class examination.

The scheme will cover all girls belonging to SC/ST communities, who pass class VII and all girls who pass class VIII examination from Kasturba Gandhi Vidyalayas and enrol in class XII in Government, Government-aided and local body schools. The objective of the Scheme is to establish an enabling environment to reduce the drop-outs and to promote the enrolment of girl child belonging to SC/ST communities in secondary schools and ensure their retention till 18 years of age.

Rs 122.87 crore was sanctioned for grant of incentive to 4,09,580 eligible girls of 25 States/UTs for 2008-09. For 2009-10 Rs 63.17 crore was sanctioned for grant of incentive to 210576 eligible girls. For the year 2010-11, Rs 3.72 crores has been sanctioned for grant of incentive to 12402 eligible girls.

A centrally sponsored Sector Scholarship Scheme for college and university students was introduced in 2008. The aim of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to meritorious students from poor families to meet their day-to-day expenses while pursuing higher studies and professional courses. Students securing 80 per cent and above marks in the class XII or equivalent exams and not belonging to the 'Creamy layer' pursuing higher studies or professional courses from recognized institutions as regular candidates, are eligible under the Scheme. Every year 8200 fresh scholarships are awarded, of which 50 per cent are reserved for girls. There will also be reservation as per reservation policy of the Government subject to internal earmarking.

The rate of scholarship is Rs 10,000 per annum for the first three years of graduate level studies and Rs 20000 per annum for post-graduate level studies and 4th and 5th year of professional courses. The scholarship is given for 10 months in an academic year and is remitted directly into the bank accounts of the selected students.

Started in 1992, Dr. Ambedkar National Scholarship Scheme envisages recognizing, promoting and assisting meritorious students belonging to SCs/STs and whose family income from all sources is less than Rs 1 lakh in the preceding financial year for enabling them to pursue higher studies. This is an one time cash award and is given to 3 students scoring highest marks in class X level examination conducted by the Educational Board/Council. This is separate for SC and ST. In case none of the first three eligible students are girls, the girl student scoring the highest mark gets a special award. This Scheme is applicable to National Institute of Open Schooling learners.

A Scheme of scholarship to students from non-Hindi speaking states for postmatric studies in Hindi was started in 1955-56 with the objective to encourage the study of Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states and to make available to the Government of these states, suitable personnel to man teaching and other posts where knowledge of Hindi is essential.

The Scheme was revised from 2004-05. Under the revised Scheme, 2500 scholarships are provided to meritorious students studying at post-matric to Ph.D level, for recognized full time courses of education for study of Hindi as one of the subjects on the basis of the results of "examination next below" conducted by a Board of Education or a University or a Voluntary Hindi Organization. The rate of scholarship ranges from Rs. 300 to Rs. 1000 per month depending upon the course/state of study. The Scheme is implemented through the state governments/UT administrations.

The Ministry of HRD also processes scholarships offered by various foreign countries under cultural/educational exchange programmes, for Indian students to study in the respective countries at the level of post-graduate/Ph.D./ Post- Doctoral Research.


Language being the most important medium of communication and education, its development occupies an important place in the ‘National Policy on Education and Programme of Action'. Therefore, the promotion and development of Hindi and other 22 Languages listed in schedule VIII of the Constitution of India have received due attention. These programmes have been implemented through three subordinate offices i.e. Central Hindi Directorate, Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology and Central Institute of Indian Languages, and six autonomous organisations.


In order to assist non-Hindi speaking States/UTs to effectively implement the threelanguage formula, support for teaching of Hindi in these States/UTs is provided by sanctioning financial assistance to appoint Hindi teachers in schools under a Centrally-sponsored scheme. Assistance is also given to Voluntary Organisations for enabling them to hold Hindi-teaching classes. Through the Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, the Government promotes development of improved methodology for teaching Hindi to non-Hindi speaking students.

A special course for teaching Hindi to foreigners is being conducted by the Sansthan, on regular basis annually. The Central Hindi Directorate runs programmes relating to purchase and publication of books and its free distribution to non-Hindi speaking States and to Indian missions. It extends financial support to NGOs engaged in development and promotion of Hindi. The Directorate has been teaching as a second language to non- Hindi speaking Indians and foreigners through the medium of English, Tamil, Malayalam, and Bangla languages.

The Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology, New Delhi, prepares and publishes definition dictionaries and terminology in various disciplines in Hindi and in other languages.


Financial assistance is given to voluntary organisations and individuals to bring out publications like encyclopedias, dictionaries, books of knowledge, original writings on linguistics, literacy, ideological, social, anthropological and cultural themes, critical edition of old manuscripts, etc., for the development of Modern Indian Languages. States are given special help for the production of Universitylevel books in regional languages. The National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) has been functioning since April 1996 as an autonomous body for the promotion of Urdu language and also Arabic and Persian languages.

One of the outstanding areas of operation of NCPUL has been transfer of information of Urdu speaking population into productive human resource and making them part of the employable technological workforce in the emerging information technological scenario and penetration of computer education to the grass-root level in minority concentration blocks. The Government has also set up National Council for

Promotion of Sindhi

The Government also provides facilities for study of all Indian languages. For this the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore conducts research in the areas of language analysis, languages, pedagogy, language technology and language use. It runs Regional Language Centres to help in meeting the demand for training of teachers to implement the three-language formula. The Regional Language Centre also provides training for mother- tongue teachers in different Indian languages at various levels.


The Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (CIEFL), Hyderabad, an Institution of Higher Learning deemed to be a University, is an autonomous organisation under this Ministry, which undertakes teacher education programme to improve the professional competence of teachers of English as the secondary language. It offers several courses like post graduate certificate and diploma courses in teaching of English and Ph.D courses in English through the distance mode.

It also offers teaching of major foreign languages like Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. It has regional centres at Shillong and Lucknow. The CIEFL also implements two Government of India schemes of English Language Teaching Institute (ELTI) and District Centres for English to bring about substantial improvements in the standard of teaching/learning of English in the country for which grants are given by CIEFL to various State Governments.


The National Policy on Education, 1986 (revised in 1992) and its Programme of Action-1992 has laid considerable emphasis on value education by highlighting the need to make education a forceful tool for social and moral values.

To fulfil the objectives of the National Policy on Education, a Central Sector Scheme of Assistance for Strengthening of Culture and Values in Education is being implemented. Under this Scheme, financial assistance is given to Governmental and non-Governmental organisations, Panchayati Raj Institutions, etc. to the extent of 100 per cent of grant for the project proposals approved subject to a ceiling of Rs10 lakh for strengthening cultural and value education from pre-primary education system to higher education including technical and management education.


Sanskrit has played a vital role in the development of all Indian Languages and in the preservation of the cultural heritage of India. The Government of India gives 100 per cent financial assistance through State Governments for: a) Eminent Sanskrit scholars in Indigent Circumstances; b) Modernisation of Sanskrit Pathshalas; c) Providing facilities for teaching Sanskrit in High/Higher Secondary Schools; d) Scholarships to students studying Sanskrit in High and Higher Secondary schools; e) Various schemes for the promotion of Sanskrit; and f) improving the methodology of teaching Sanskrit in schools, Sanskrit Colleges/Vidyapeeths. Presently the Scheme is under revision.

Presidential Award of the Certificate of Honour is conferred on eminent scholars of Sanskrit, Pali, Arabic, and Persian in recognition of their lifetime outstanding contribution towards the propagation of these languages, every year on Independence Day. Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman has also been introduced for young scholars in the age group of 30-40 years who have made a breakthrough in interdisciplinary studies involving contribution of Sanskrit or ancient Indian wisdom, to the process of synergy between modernity and tradition.

The Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Veda Vidya Prathisthan, Ujjain is an autonomous organisation, which promotes: a) Preservation, conservation and development of the oral tradition of Vedic studies; b) Study of the Vedas through Pathshalas as well as through other means and institutions; c) Creation and promotion of research facilities; and d) Creation of infrastructure and other conditions for the collection of information and storage of relevant material.

Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi is an autonomous organisation established by the Government of India in the year 1970. It is the nodal agency for the propagation, promotion and development of Sanskrit Education in the country. It is fully funded by the Government of India in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Secondary and Higher Education. Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan has been granted the status of a Deemed to be University.

Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati, provides courses of study from Prashasti (Intermediate) to Vidya Vardhi (Ph.D.). The Vidyapeetha has upgraded the Department of Pedagogy to an Institute of Advanced Studies in Education (IASE). Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, New Delhi provides courses of study from Shastri to Vidya Vachaspati (D.Lit.). From 1997-98 the Vidyapeetha started diploma in Vedic and refresher courses. Two degrees, namely, Vidya Vardhi (Ph.D) and Manad Upaadhi (Honorary D.Lit.) are also given by Vidyapeetha.

See also

Education, annual reports on the status of: India

Education: India (covers issues common to all categories of Education) <> Education: India, 1911 <> Engineering education: India <> Higher Education, India: 1 <> Medical education and research: India <> Primary Education: India <> School education: India (covers issues common to Primary and Secondary Education) <> Secondary Education: India <> Indian universities: global ranking <> Caste-based reservations, India (history) …and many more.

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