Education is the most important lever for social, economic and political transformation. A well-educated population, equipped with the relevant knowledge, attitudes and skills is essential for economic and social development in the twenty-first century. Education is the most potent tool for socio-economic mobility and a key instrument for building an equitable and just society. Education provides skills and competencies for economic well-being. Education strengthens democracy by imparting to citizens the tools needed to fully participate in the governance process. Education also acts as an integrative force in society, imparting values that foster social cohesion and national identity.
Before 1976, education was the exclusive responsibility of the States. The Constitutional Amendment of 1976, which included education in the concurrent List, was a far-reaching step. The substantive, financial and administrative implication required a new sharing of responsibility between the Union Government and the States. While the role and responsibility of the States in education remained largely unchanged, the Union Government accepted a larger responsibility of reinforcing the national and integrated character of education, maintaining quality and standard including those of the teaching profession at all levels, and the study and monitoring of the educational requirements of the country.
In order to achieve UEE (Universalisation of Elementary Education, the Government of India has initiated a number of programmes and projects. The Government adopts an integrated approach in the implementation of the various centrally sponsored schemes, in keeping with principles of the National Policy on Education, to ensure that the education of equitable quality for all to fully harness the nation‟s human resource potential. The common objectives are to enhance access through the expansion of quality school education; to promote equity through the inclusion of disadvantaged groups and weaker sections, and to improve the quality of education.
The following Centrally sponsored programmes are being implemented in the Education Sector under Ministry of Human Resource Development:
1. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA)
2. Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya
3. National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL)
4. Mid Day Meal Scheme(MDMS)
5. Mahila Samakhya
6. Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan(RMSA)
7. Scheme for setting up of 6000 Model Schools at Block level as Benchmark of Excellence
8. Scheme for construction and running of Girl’s Hostel for Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools
9. 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.
Hence, it is important and would be implemented from class IX onwards, unlike the present provision for its implementation from class XI, and would be subsumed under RMSA. Vocational Education courses will be based on national occupation standard brought out by the Sector kill Councils (SSCs) that determine the minimum levels of competencies for various vocations. Academic qualifications would be assessed and certified by educational bodies and vocational skills would be assessed and certified by respective SSCs.
In the Twelfth Plan, a mechanism would be created for convergence of vocational courses offered by various ministries, private initiatives and vocational education institutions, and use schools as the outlet for vocational education of young people. A comprehensive repertoire of vocational courses, duration of each course, equipment and facilities, costs and agencies will be developed.
10.Scheme of ICT @ School
11. Inclusive Education for the Disabled at Secondary School (IEDSS):
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.
12. Quality Improvement in School:
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.
13. Strengthening of Teachers Training Institutions:
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 poses major challenges for improving the quality of teachers and for expanding institutional capacity in States to prepare professionally trained persons for becoming school teachers. Government has initiated steps to revise the existing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Restructuring and Reorganisation of Teacher Education. This Scheme was initiated in 1987 pursuant to the formulation of the National Policy on Education, 1986 which emphasised the significance and need for a decentralised system for the professional preparation of teachers, and it was in this context that District Institutes of Teacher Education (DIETs), Colleges of Teacher Education (CTEs) and Institutes of Advanced Study in Education (IASEs) were established.
Analysis shows that there are 5.23 lakh vacancies of school teachers at the elementary level and the provisions under the RTE Act would lead to additional requirement of around 5.1 lakh teachers. Moreover, around 7.74 lakh teachers are untrained, i.e. they do not possess the prescribed qualification.
14. Adult Education and Skill Development Scheme:
Adult Education aims at extending educational options to those adults, who have lost the opportunity and have crossed the age of formal education, but now feel a need for learning of any type, including, basis education (literacy), skill development (Vocational Education) etc. 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 Scheme encompasses three components, namely, State Resource Centres, Jan Shikshan Sansthans and Assistance to Voluntary Agencies.
15. Scheme for Providing a Quality Education in Madarsas (SPQEM):
SPQEM seeks to bring about qualitative improvement in madrsas to enable Muslim children attain standards of the national education system in formal education subjects. The salient features of SPQEM scheme are:
i) To strengthen capacities in Madrsas for teaching of the formal curriculum subjects like Science, Mathematics, Language, Social Studies etc through enhanced payment of teacher honorarium.
ii) Training of such teachers every two years in new pedagogical practices.
iii) The unique feature of this modified scheme is that it encourages linkage of madarsas with National Institute for Open Schooling (NIOS), as accredited centres for providing formal education, which will enable children studying in such madarsas to get certification for class 5,8,10 and 12. This will enable them to transit to higher studies and also ensure that quality standards akin to the national education system. Registration & examination fees to the NIOS will be covered under this scheme as also the teaching learning materials to be used.
iv) The NIOS linkage will be extended under this scheme for Vocational Education at the secondary and higher secondary stage of madarsas.
16. National Means cum Merit Scholarship Scheme
17. Scheme for Infrastructure Development in Minority Institutions (IDMI):
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 salient features of IDMI scheme are:-
i) The scheme would facilitate education of minorities by augmenting and strengthening school infrastructure in Minority Institutions in order to expand facilities for formal education to children of minority communities.
ii) The scheme will cover the entire country but, preference will be given to minority institutions (private aided / unaided schools) located in districts, blocks and towns having a minority population above 20%.
iii) The scheme will, inter alia, encourage educational facilities for girls, children with special needs and those who are most deprived educationally amongst.
18.National Scheme for Incentive to the Girl Child for Secondary Education
19.Appointment of Language Teachers
20. Setting up of New Polytechnics and Strengthening of Existing Polytechnics:
There are 3716 Polytechnics in the country at present. A scheme “Sub-Mission on Polytechnics under Coordinated Action for Skill Development” has been launched during the 11th Plan. Under the scheme, this Ministry provides one-time financial assistance upto Rs.12.30 crores per polytechnic to the State/UT Governments for setting up of new polytechnics in 300 un-served and under-served districts of the country. The polytechnics are at various stages of construction and in provisioning of land. Central Government has sought progress report from the State Governments from time to time. Based on the progress reports further installment of grant is released. However, no time limit has been fixed for it.
Under the “Sub-Mission on Polytechnics under Coordinated Action for Skill Development”, financial assistance is provided to the existing Government and Government aided polytechnics in the country for construction of Women‟s Hostel in the country including states of North-East region and Arunachal Pradesh. The number of institutions provided assistance under the scheme in the country including North-East region and Arunachal Pradesh.
21. Pre-matric Scholarship Scheme:
Pre-matric is the Scholarship for students from Minorities Communities. The Scholarship at Pre-matric level will encourage parents from minority communities to send their school going children to school, lighten their financial burden on school education and sustain their efforts to support their children to complete school education. The scheme will form the foundation for their educational attainment and provide a level playing field in the competitive employment arena. Empowerment through education, which is one of the objectives of this scheme, has the potential to lead to upliftment of the socio economic conditions of the minority communities.
22. Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS):
These schools are funded by the Government for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes. Proposals for setting of EMRS are received from the State Government. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs administers special area programme of grant under Art 275 (1) of the Constitution of India. Under this programme State wise allocation to 26 States including 9 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) States is made on the basis of percentage of Scheduled Tribes population in the State with reference to total ST population in the Country. A part of the grant can be used for setting up of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS). Priority for the development schemes including setting up of EMRS is fixed and executed by the State Government within the allocation depending on the felt need of the local area and its people in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry in June 2010.