Roots of education in India have been dated back to ancient times. Education in India falls under the control of both the Union Government and the states, with some responsibilities lying with the Union and the states having autonomy for others. Indian constitution has bestowed the citizens with school education as the fundamental right.
The main contributors to economic growth in India have been cited to increased rate of literacy approximated to almost two thirds of the population. According to industry sources, the private education market in India is estimated to be worth $40 billion in 2008 and will increase to $68 billion by 2012. Despite growing investment in education, 35% of the population is illiterate and only 15% of the students reach high school. Among the engineering and polytechnic institutions about 57% of college professors lack either a master’s or PhD degree. Shortage of trained and quality faculty is becoming an increasing concern for institutions.
The Indian government lays emphasis to primary education up to the age of fourteen years referred to as -Elementary Education in India. The Indian government has also prohibited child labour in order, to ensure that the children do not enter unsafe working conditions. 80% of all recognized schools in India at the Elementary Stage are government run or supported, making it the largest provider of education in the Country. “Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009” bestows children from six to 14 years of age or up to class VIII free education. However, due to shortage of resources and lack of political will, this system suffers from massive gaps including high pupil teacher ratios, shortage of infrastructure and poor level of teacher training. The current scheme for universalization of Education for All the “Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan” is one of the largest education initiatives in the world. Although the enrollment has been enhanced, the levels of quality still remain low.
A special Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC) programme was started in 1974 with a focus on primary education. Along side also came a special programme, the Kendriya Vidyalaya project, started for the employees of the central government of India, who are distributed throughout the country.
India’s higher education seems to be the third largest in the world, as of 2009, India has 20 central universities, 215 state universities, 100 deemed universities, 5 institutions established and functioning under the State Act, and 13 institutes which are of national importance. Tertiary level of education in Science, technology and medicine are by and large been given immense importance.
The Union Budget 2010-11 announced a major allocation increment of 16 per cent for school education. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said, “I propose to increase the plan allocation for school education from Rs 26,800 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 31,036 crore in 2010-11″. This accounts for an increase of Rs 4,236 crore from the 2009-10 fiscal.
According to the Census of 2001, “every person above the age of 7 years who can read and write in any language is said to be literate”. There is a wide gender disparity in the literacy rate in India, an adult (15+ years) the literacy rates in 2009 were 76.9% for men and 54.5% for women. According to a study by industry sources, estimates of 80% of all schools in India are government schools making the Government the major provider of education. However, because of poor quality of public education, 27% of Indian children are privately educated.
India viewed education as an effective tool for bringing social change through rural community development and hence came up several initiatives. Nursery schools, elementary schools, secondary school, and schools for adult education for women were set up through the “Gandhigram Rural Institute” for rural education.
Come join hands in the continuum of learning and enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their potential and knowledge. In this way we can participate in contributing to the wider society and increasing the literacy rate of our country.