|8th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)||<<
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Agricultural and Allied Activities || Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation || Irrigation, Command Area Development and Flood Control || Environment and Forests || Industry and Minerals || Village and Small Industries and Food Processing Industries || Labour and Labour Welfare || Energy || Transport || Communication, Information and Broadcasting || Education, Culture and Sports || Health and Family Welfare || Urban Development || Housing, Water Supply and Sanitation || Social Welfare || Welfare and Development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes || Special Area Development Programmes || Science and Technology || Plan Implementation and Evaluation
EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS
11.1.1 It is now universally acknowledged that the goal of Plan efforts is human development, of which human resource development is a necessary pre-requisite. Education is the catalytic factor, which leads to human resource development comprising better health and nutrition, improved socio-economic opportunities and more congenial and beneficial natural environment for all. There is already enough evidence in India to show that high literacy rates, especially high female literacy rates, are associated with low rates of population growth, infant mortality and maternal mortality besides a higher rate of life expectancy. Although the country has not so far achieved the goals of universalisation of elementary education (UEE) and eradication of adult illiteracy (EAT), the 1991 census results reveal a literacy rate of over 52 per cent, with a higher rate of growth for female literacy. This is highly encouraging and the country can hope to achieve the broader goal of 'Education for All' (EFA) by 2000 AD, which has incidentally received international recognition at the world conference on EFA held at Jomtien in March, 1990. The commitment of the Government to the National Policy on Education (NPE), implemented from 1986-87 onwards and reviewed in 1990, has been reaffirmed with revised for mutation in respect of a few paras, placed before the Parliament on 7.5.1992. On the eve of Eighth Plan, therefore, the country is poised to make a real breakthrough in achieving its long-cherished educational goals as well as in supporting the drive for higher rate of economic growth.
Plan Performance Review (1985-92):
11.1.2 The development of education in terms of institutions and enrolment from 1984-85 onwards is indicated in the Annexure 11.1.
11.1.3 The Seventh Plan gave over-riding priority for the realisation of the objective of UEE by 1990. It was estimated that for achieving the goal, over 5 crores additional children would have to be enrolled. By 1991-92, however, about 2.53 crores were actually enrolled in the formal system and even after taking account of 0.72 crores in the non-formal system, the target could not he achieved. At the end of 1991-92, the gross enrolment at the primary and upper-primary stages is likely to have reached 10.09 crores and 3.44 crores respectively. The details of enrolment at the elementary stage are given in the following table:
11.1 Enrolment in Elementary Education:
The latest data show that in 1990-91, the gross enrolment ratio (GER) had reached 101.03 per cent at the primary stage and 60.4 per cent at the upper primary stage. Considering that the number of overage and underage children in the GER data was in the range of 16-23 per cent and the dropout rate for primary stage in 1987-88 was 46.97 per cent and for elementary stage as a whole 62.29 per cent, we are clearly far away from the goal of universal enrolment and retention, much less achievement.
11.1.4 The strategies of the Seventh Plan underwent a change in the middle of the Plan period with the adoption of the NPE in 1986. The new thrust in elementary education emphasized the aspects of: (i) universal enrolment and universal retention, and (ii) substantial improvement in the quality of education. As part of implementation of NPE, the new scheme of " Operation Blackboard' (OB) was launched. Besides,the scheme of Non-Formal Education (NFE) was revised and a number of schemes for teacher education were also taken up. By March, 1992, the scheme of OB covered about 80 per cent of the blocks and 49 experimental, innovative NFE projects were sanctioned. There were 27,342 NFE centres run by 419 voluntary agencies and there were 2.72 lakh State-run NFE centres.
11.1.5 In 1987-88, a Centrally-Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for restructuring and reorganisation of teacher education was started, which included Mass Orientation of School Teachers (MOST), strengthening of Secondary Teacher Education Institutions (STEls), State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), setting up of District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) and establishment and strengthening of Institutes of Advanced Studies in Education (IASE) in Universities. Between 1987-88 and 1991-92, 12.96 lakh teachers were covered under the scheme of MOST and Central assistance was extended to set up 287 DIETs, 25 STEIs and 12 lASEs. The scheme of strengthening SCERTs did not, however, make headway.
11.1.6 The NPE and the Programme Of Action (POA) envisaged that the Adult Education Programme (AEP) would cover 4 crore illiterates by 1990 and another 6 crores by 1995. With the launching of the National Literacy Mission (NLM) in 1988, the targets were reformulated and strategies recast. Accordingly, 3 crores illiterates were expected to be covered by 1990 and 5 crores by 199.' While Rural Functional Literacy Programme (RFLP), the post-literacy the teaching-learning process were modified, new strategies like area-specific and time-bound approach to achieve 100 per cent total literacy (TL), massive participation of nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and students and effective utilisation of traditional and folk theatre forms in literacy work were evolved. By 1991-92, the post- literacy programme was institutionalised in the form of 32,000 Jan Shikshan Nilayams (JSN). Apart from the introduction of Improved Pace and Content of Learning (IPCL) method, which reduced the duration of learning from 500 to 200 hours, technology demonstration programmes were initiated in 42 selected districts. The scheme of Shramik Vidyapeeths (SVs) was reviewed, suggesting a need for expansion. The number of State Resources Centres (SRCs) increased from 19 to 20. A National Institute of Adult Education (NIAE) was set up in January, 1991 to augment the technical and academic resource support to adult education and to undertake quality research and evaluation studies.
11.1.7 Area-specific and time-hound mass campaigns for TL first launched in Kottayam town and Ernakulam district in Kerala in 1989 with the active participation of students and voluntary agencies have been extended to other districts. By March 1992, twenty-five districts had achieved total literacy (in the sense of 85 per cent literacy) and TL campaigns were' at different stages of progress in 80 districts in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Hi-machal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pardesh and West Bengal covering over 3 crore illiterates with the help of about 30 lakh volunteers .
11.1.8 As part of NPE, new CSSs for vocation-alisation of higher secondary stage, improvement of science education and environmental orientation to school education were started. The new Central schemes of Navodaya Vidyalayas (NVs) and National Open School (NOS) were also initiated. The existing schemes of Integrated Education, Educational Technology and Computer Literacy Studies (CLASS) Project were strengthened.
11.1.9 By the end of 1991-92, about 8.7 per cent of the higher secondary students (5.85 lakhs) would have been diverted to vocational stream. The Open School affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) was converted into an autonomous NOS in 1989 and by 1991-92, the total enrolment was in the neighbourhood of 1.50 lakhs. Under the CLASS Project, 2,598 schools were equipped with computers, with 60 institutes providing resource support to these schools. As many as 275 NVs designed to provide good quality school education to talented rural children have been established in 29 States/Union Territories. As on March 31, 1991, there were 64,517 students in the NVs and the pass percentage of the first batch, which took Class X examination was 95.77. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) brought out the National Curriculum Framework for all stages of education and undertook a massive revision of text books for classes I-XII on the basis of the revised syllabi designed as per the framework.
11.1.10 The Central language institutions relating to Hindi, Indian Languages, English, Urdu, Sanskrit and Foreign Languages implemented a variety of schemes relating to training of language teachers, publication of language teaching materials,assistance to voluntary organisations, support for Urdu Calligraphy Centres etc. The National Book Trust (NBT) was involved in the work relating to preparation of literature for neo-1 iterates under the NLM and preparation of a Central list of books for the libraries of 5.5 lakhs primary schools under the OB Scheme. The NBT's Nehru Bal Pustakalya and Adan-Pra-dan Schemes have also made a tnark. Besides continuing the schemes relating to national scholarships and scholarships for the talented children from the rural areas, in 1988-89 a new scheme for upgradation of merit of SC/ST students through remedial and special coaching was started as part of NPE.
Eighth Plan Thrust Areas
11.2.1 Universalisation of elementary education, eradication of illiteracy in the age group of 15 to 35 and strengthening of vocational education (VE) so as to relate it to the emerging needs in the urban and rural settings are the major thrust areas of the Eighth Plan in the Education Sector. Utilisation of formal, non-formal and open channels of learning would be the strategy for this purpose. The changed approach, improved methodology of teaching, increased participation of NGOs and student volunteers have infused a new vitality into the literacy programme and have given it a fresh momentum. The aim would be to impart a similar vitality and momentum to the universal primary education programme with a definite edge in its favour. The programmes of AE and UEE are complementary and there are situations where the Elementary Education (EE) programmes may benefit from the spin-off effect of the AE programmes. The improvement in the literacy percentage in the decade 1981-91, after allowing for statistical adjustment due to the exclusion of age group 0 to 6 is as much due to the higher literacy rate of school age cohorts and attrition of old-age cohorts with low level of literacy as to the special efforts on the AE front. The need for according the highest priority to UEE is, therefore, well-established. Within the overall school-age population, the focus would be on girls, who account for two-thirds of target, and among adults the focus would be on women's literacy which has a beneficial impact on children's literacy as well as other national objectives like population control and family welfare.
11.2.2 So far as UEE is concerned, the NPE stress on retention, participation and achievement, rather than mere enrolment, would be reinforced. Enrolment data are easily available and enrolment is a pre-condition for any further action. However, special attention would be paid to increase retention, improvement of quality, specification of minimum levels of learning (MLL) and their attainment by the learners.
11.2.3 In regard to literacy, the emphasis would be on sustainability of literacy skills gained and on the achievement of goals of remediation, continuation and application of skills to acftual living and working conditions.
11.2 Elementary Education: Projected Enrolment for Eighth Plan (1992-97)
11.2.4 In view of the employment orientation of the Plan and the need to establish meaningful linkages between the world of work and the world of learning, VE would be another priority area. This would not be confined to higher secondary stage but permeate the whole arena of secondary education and non-formal education/training. A combination of vocational and academic courses would be offered at secondary stage with open education (OE) as an important channel, preparing the students for wage employment and selt^employment. In the service sector, expansion of health-related courses having a rural orientation would be emphasised. In the rural areas, agro-based and technology-based vocational courses would be developed by combining the strengths of existing institutional structures with OE institutions.
11.3.1 It is estimated that additional enrolment to be achieved during the Eighth Plan to reach universalisation is approximately 5.61 crores children. These data are based on the assumption of 15 per cent incidence of overage/underage phenomenon both at the primary and the upper primary stages. Enrolment of about 4.38 crores would be achieved through formal schools, about 1 crore through non-formal centres and the rest through the open learning channel of upper-primary stage. These targets are much higher than the Seventh Plan achievement. They are, however, within the realm of possibility, if the requisite will and mobilisation of organisational and financial resources are brought to bear on the task and innovative schemes like voluntary primary schools and OE at the upper primary stage are introduced. The NDC Commiilee on Literacy recently appointed is expected 10 give a lead in this regard. Working targets in relation to retention and achievement based on institutional capabilties and consultations with Slate Governments need to be laid down. The details of enrolment targets are given in Table 11.2 and Slaie-wise targets of formal system in Annex -ure 11.6.
11.3.2 According to the 1991 Census, the number of illiterates in all age-groups is 33.6 crores. It is estimated that there will be 11.2 crore illiterates in the 15-35 age group of whom 70 lakhs wo'Jld have become literate by the end of March, 1992. Thus, the target to be covered during the Eighth Plan will be about 10.5 crores, compared to the achievement of 2.65 crores during the Seventh Plan. In the context of the emphasis on sustainability of literacy and on continuing education, suitable targets in this regard need to be laid down after consulting State Governments. '
11.3.3 In the VE, the target is to cover 15-20 per cent of students of higher secondary stage by the end of Eighth Plan.
11.4.1 The main strategy for achieving the targets would be: (a) adoption of the decentralised approach to educational planning and management at ali levels through Panchayat Raj (PR) institutions; (b) combining this approach with a convergence model of rural development involving integrated utilisation of all possible resources available at Panchayat, Block and District level for activities relating to elementary education/literacy, child care/development, women's socio-economic empowerment and rural health programmes; (c) large scale participation of voluntary agencies and (d) development of innovative and cost-effective complementary programmes including open learning system (OLS) supported by distance education techniques.
11.4.2 In specific terms, the following measures will be adopted:
(1) The formal school system will be expanded and improved.
(2) The non-formal system mainly catering to the needs of children working for wages, children working whole-time in domestic or household duties and children in school-less habitations will be expanded, improved and strengthened in the matter of supply of teaching-learning materials, instructional delivery and achievements.
(3) A voluntary school sclieme will be introduced. At present, elementary education is considered a responsibility of State and local bodies. However, there is scope for providing part-time non-formalised education to a large number of learners who are not able to avail of the facility of formal full-time school or non-formal education centres. Voluntary agencies would be encouraged in a big way to start non-formal part-time schools, thus catering to the learning needs of urban working children and children in the tribal, hilly and inaccessible areas.
(4) A well-defined open learning system will be developed with a network of educational oppor-tiii.itics relevant to the needs and circumstances iği :cai;.iei-s, especially girls, women, SCs/STs, and the poor, the unemployed and the untrained. The major thrust of OLS would be on the acquisition of life-skills, vocational skills, directly contributing to productivity and inculcation of habits of self-learning.
(5) The MLL with reference to class III, V and VIII will be laid down for improving learning achievement. The educational system will be required to ensure that every child who completes any of these stages of learning reaches the minimum level of achievement. Measures for improving classroom teaching like introduction of a comprehensive evaluation system and a continuous inservice training of teachers will be taken up simultaneously. The MLL approach will be decentralised, each planning unit being able to determine its present levels of achievement, adopt appropriate MLLs and define a realistic timeframe within which to achieve the mastery level, through additional efforts and inputs where necessary.
(6) District Boards of Education (DBEs) would be set up. They are conceived as the nodal agency for planning and management of education at the district level comprising formal education, AE, NFE and teacher training, vertically linked to Block/ or Mandal Education Committees and Village Education Committees (VECs) in a decentralised framework.
(7) The school complexes would be developed as the basic unit for educational planning, mobilisation and supervision, building organic linkages between educational institutions, DBEs and the Panchayati Raj Institutions.
(8) The involvement of the people in school management would be operationalised by giving VECs a more prominent role in planning and management of educational programmes at local level so that VECs, which know the micro-level problems, needs and expectations of the local community, will be accountable for the enrolment, retention and achievement of children and teachers.
(9) The methodology ofMahila Samakhya (MS) project of mobilising women's groups to voice their needs would be extended in conjunction with the involvement of local community to create a favourable environment to serve as a monitoring mechanism for promoting UEE and adult literacy.
(10) The district will be treated as a unit of educational planning in the Eighth Plan. For grant of central assistance under CSSs during Sixth and Seventh Plans, a number of States were characterised as educationally backward. The Gross Enrolment Ratio was considered as a benchmark for the identification of backwardness. It was considered that there is a need for special assistance to the educationally backward States to overcome the historically obtaining disadvantages and also for reduction of regional disparities in educational development. The district-wise data of various indicators of educational development, however, show that the inter-district variations are more significant than the inter-State variations. Moreover, the State is too large and variegated an area to serve as a homogeneous unit for educational planning. Therefore, educationally backward districts would be identified and special inputs would be provided in proportion to the degree of backwardness. The Working Group on early childhood and elementary education had ranked the districts in terms of a composite indicator giving equal weight to four parameters of general/female literacy and general/female GER - primary. Although, almost all districts in the top 200 backward districts were from backward States, there is no guarantee that assistance to backward States will necessarily flow to backward districts within them. During the Eighth Plan, accordingly, the backward districts irrespective of the State where they are located, will be targetted. A more systematic study to identify the criteria for educational backwardness of districts and the ranking of the districts in terms of the selected indices on the basis of latest Census data, as a basic tool for investment decision would also be initiated.
(11) Special efforts will be made to bring down construction cost of school buildings and other educational structures using available materials and adopting locally relevant architectural styles. Attention will be given as much to full utilisation of resources as to larger allocation e.g. more intensive use of buildings by operation of double shifts in schools and of equipment by inter-institutional sharing.
(12) In the case of teacher education, the stress will be on improving the standard ofpre-service teacher education institutions and the quality of its programmes, providing continuing education of a suitable kind to every teacher educator and to a substantial number of teachers and on creation of a system to discourage setting up of substandard institutions and phasing out of existing sub-standard ones.
(13) Time-bound, area-specific and cost-effective TL campaigns by involving all sections of society, specially students and non-governmental organisations would be expanded. While the whole adult education programme will be debu-reaucratised, the strategies of ensuring continued political commitment, strong administrative support, use of traditional and non-traditional media and cultural and art forms will be adopted. Students and teachers of universities, colleges and schools would be involved in a big way not only by awarding marks to students for their literacy work but also by making literacy work as a part of curriculum.
(14) Apart from consolidation, and expansion of secondary education increasingly through the open channel, the stress during the Eighth Plan will be on qualitative upgradation of secondary education through reorientation of its content and process, examination reform, diversification by way ofvocationalisation and modernisation by way of technological inputs.
N.B: The revised policy formulation relating to the NPE, 1986 which was placed before parliament on 7th May, 1992 should be kept in view while working out details of programmes under General Education, University and Higher Education and Technical Education.
11.5.1 The Eighth Plan is being launched in the backdrop of acceptance by the NDC of the recommendations of the Report of the Narasimha Rao Committee which has removed the uncertainties regarding the continuance of CSSs in Education Sector. All the existing CSSs will be continued. Introduction of new CSSs would require approval of full Planning Commission but they may be taken up in the priority areas when justified.
11.5.2 Early Childhood Education (ECE) would be expanded by attaching pre-primary classes to selected primary schools. Voluntary agencies and other NGOs would be encouraged and provided financial assistance by reorganising the scheme of ECE. Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) model would be supplemented by Balwadis, Creches and Vikas Wadis.
11.5.3 Primary schools or alternatives to primary schools like non-formal centres etc. would be provided to every child within a walking distance of one kilometer, with suitable adjustment for special cases. Voluntary agencies, factories, cooperatives etc. would be encouraged to set up part-time primary schools to serve several groups of children belonging to hilly, desert, marshy, forest areas and nomadic tribes, seasonal migrants, urban poor etc with freedom to adjust the number of school days, instructional hours and appoint teachers on contract basis.
11.5.4 Innovative programmes like Shiksha Karmi which have given good results in an experimental project in Rajasthan would be expanded. Besides, a range of activities that suit the requirements of specific groups of learners, who are usually left out of the ambit of large scale projects, would be taken up. Opening of night schools in urban areas, pre-primary and lower primary centres for children of 3-9 years of age, "half-time' instructors and special projects to tackle educational problems of areas with concentration of child labour would be tried out.
11.5.5 Open schools would involve themselves in the post-primary stage education on an experimental basis to provide wider access to children who are working or not in a position to attend regular schools due to socio- economic or any other reasons.
11.5.6 Special efforts will be made to increase enrolment rates and improve participation rates at the upper- primary stage especially in respect of girls. Hence, while ensuring effective universal access to all children at the primary stage, the infrastructure at the upperprimary stage will have to be considerably expanded.
11.5.7 Besides expansion of school facilities, there will be need to improve the quality of education by providing existing schools with sufficient facilities. Therefore, the "Operation Blackboard" scheme will not only be continued and completed during the Eighth Plan in relation to primary schools but also extended to upper primary schools. The eventual aim would be to move towards a situation where every class has a classroom and a teacher.
11.5.8 In order to expedite universalisation of middle stage education and increase the enrolment of girls,the ratio between primary and upper primary schools would be brought down from the existing 1:4 to at least 1:3 with the ultimate aim of 1:2.
11.5.9 Apart from expanding Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) and Special Component Plan (SCP), special measures are required for promotion of education ofSCs/STs. Certain sub-castes, tribes and communities need particular attention because literacy rates among them are extremely low. The existing scheme of residential ashram schools will be expanded to cover classes from I to X and scholarship schemes for talented children at the secondary level would be expanded.. This will be supplemented by the scheme of voluntary schools wherever possible. Suitable incentives will be provided to all educationally backward sections of society, particularly in rural areas. Hill and desert districts, remote and inaccessible areas and islands will be provided adequate institutional infrastructure. Greater attention will be paid to the educationally backward minorities keeping in view the recommendations of the Empowered Committee on Minority Education (1991).
Incentives and Support Services
11.5.10 A system of incentives to overcome social, economic and educational handicaps, which lead to high incidence ofdropout has been an integral part of educational planning for universalisation since long. A recent evaluation of these schemes has made a positive assessment but has also emphasised the need for paying adequate attention to management aspects of the system so that they yield the desired results. A comprehensive package of incentives and support services for girls, SCs, STs and children of the economically weaker sections of society will be provided. The emphasis will be on provision of facilities that have special relevance for retention of girls, such as establishment of Day Care Centres for pre-school children and infants, provision of free uniforms, textbooks and stationery, attendance allowance and coordination of support services such as drinking water, fodder and fuel to release children, especially girls as well as women from related domestic chores.
11.5.11 A National Evaluation Organisation (NEO) will be set up to undertake assessment of student learning on national scale on a sample basis to implement the strategy of MLL.
Monitoring of the Progress of UEE
11.5.12 Annual sample studies to estimate the completion rates as envisaged in NPE viz. "number of children of about 11 years of age completing five years of schooling or its equivalent through the formal/non-formal stream" will be undertaken. The data of completion rates and MLL will be used to set targets for the States under the 20- Point Programme also.
11.5.13 A comprehensive computerised institutional and related data base at the district level will be developed so that information, relevant not only to monitor the internal efficiency of the educational system, both formal and non-formal, but also to improve the planning and management at the district level, is available in time. Computerisation would be extended to all districts of the country in phases.
11.5.14 Statutory status will be accorded to the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) to lay down and maintain standards in institutions and courses. The schemes of DIETs, STEIs and lASEs would be continued and their coverage expanded with a view to strengthening the institutional infrastructure and programmes of teacher education. The scheme for strengthening of SCERTs would be sanctioned and implemented and suitable measures for selection and professional development of staff in SCERTs, DIETs and lASEs will be undertaken. A large number of teachers will be covered through in-service programmes, both institutional and distance education, and reputed professional organisations will be encouraged to conduct inservice and reresher courses for teachers. Open universities at the national and State level will be encouraged to introduce induction teacher training courses to supplement the efforts of the existing training institutions. The bulk of seats in teachers' training colleges would be reserved for rural women.
11.5.15 Literacy programmes will be launched in districts/regions which are educationally backward or have high concentration of SC/ST population or have low female literacy. By the close of the Eighth Plan, 345 districts including about two-thirds of all districts in the educationally backward States would be covered by the TL campaigns, while the centre-based approach would be gradually phased out and confined to hilly, tribal and sparsely populated regions. The strategy for backward districts would be two-fold. First, a few blocks would be selected where the literacy campaign can achieve success within a reasonable period. The demonstration effect of the blocks would influence the backward blocks which, in course of time, could develop appropriate literacy programmes. Secondly,the voluntary base in educationally backward districts being somewhat weak, ways and means of identification, strengthening and expansion of the same would be evolved in consultation with the respective State Governments. It is also necessary to develop technical comptence among voluntary agencies so that the partnership between the Government and the operating agencies becomes meaningful.
11.5.16 The possibility of further enhancing contributions from the community especially in urban areas and industrial towns would be explored so that apart from voluntary service, at least 20 per cent of the total expenditure on the campaign may be met.
11.5.17 In States, where library movement is strong, rural libraries should be integrated with the JSNs which are envisaged as innovative post-literacy and continuing education centres. Reputed NGOs, educational institutions, distinguished individuals, ex-servicemen, war widows, award winning teachers etc. will be encouraged to set up and run JSNs. Particular attention would be paid to the availability of a variety of quality materials in adequate quantity to the neo-literates. Reputed printing presses and publishers would be motivated to print grStis literacy materials, posters and charts.
11.5.18 The academic and technical support to Adult Education programmes would be provided by the newly set up NIAE, which would be involved to a greater extent in various aspects of training, action research and monitoring, so that the Directorate of Adult Education can be phased out by the end of the Eighth Plan. At the State level, the State Resource Centres will be strengthened.
11.5.19 The scheme of SVs, which provide a variety of training programme to the industrial workers and their families would be extended to cover workers in unorgnised sector and would also experiment with a variety of training models including distance education.
11.5.20 The contents of adult education would also include inculcation of values like secularism, national integration, scientific temperament, small family norm, concern for environmental conservation, cultural appreciation and so on. Even a society with a literate population is required to provide many avenues for continuing education in the context of the march towards a learning society, in which open schools and open universities would play an important role.
11.5.21 The expansion of secondary schools would be regulated and new schools opened on selective basis, particularly to cater to the needs of deprived sections like girls and SCs/STs and in rural areas generally. Quality improvement and the raising of the internal efficiency of the existing (10+2) system would be emphasised. While an increasing number of students may like to discontinue their formal studies either temporarily or permanently after 10+2, there would be provision for there re-entry into the education system at a later stage. For this purpose, education would be linked to the world of work by expanding the facilities and improving the quality of vocational education as also provision of subjectwise examination credits.
11.5.22 For widening the reach, an open channel of education would be provided to those who do not have access to regular institutions because of socio-economic and locational constraints and those who have already entered the world of work but are keen to improve their skills and income generating capacity. Open education programmes will be imparted with the help of multi-media packages and contact centres.
National Open School (NOS)
11.5.23 The NOS will continue its existing programmes and revise the syllabi and textbooks for the secondary/senior secondary courses and bring out a fresh set of instructional materials for the bridge course. It will develop and introduce vocational courses, especially in the areas of health, agriculture and rural development in collaboration with the concerned departments. The coverage is expected to increase progressively with registration of more and more ac-creditted institutions, which now number 191. It should also coordinate and standardise the work of similar State-level mechanisms. The idea of starting state level open schools in all the States as recommended by the Conference of Boards of Secondary Education should be pursued. The NOS is expected to provide programme and resource support to State-level Open Schools. The setting up of a National Consortium on Open Education to facilitate accreditation of courses and of maintenance of quality through a process of networking and evaluatiion should be pursued by NOS in cooperation with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
11.5.24 The courses which have already been started would be consolidated. Special attention will be given to paramedical vocational courses to meet the needs of health manpower in the Eighth Plan. In addition to vocational courses forming part of the higher secondary courses, efforts would be made to offer varied courses of suitable duration to women, rural and tribal students and deprived sections of society. These courses may be coordinated with the working of Krishi Vigyan Kendras/organisations which offer training for self-employment. Non-formal, flexible and need-based vocational programmes would be made available to neo-literate youth who have completed primary education, to the school dropouts, to persons engaged in work and to the unemployed or partially employed persons.Institutions of Open Education will be actively involved in this area. Suitable programmes would also be started for the handicapped.
11.5.25 Candidates who have completed vocational courses should have ample opportunities for career improvement and professional growth. For this purpose, bridge courses which would give them an opportunity to take up higher technical and professional courses should be a necessary component.
11.5.26 It is essential that experimental projects with other vocational education models are also tried out, e.g. pre-vocational education at the lower secondary level, exposure to various occupations right from the primary level for attitudinal change etc. It is also proposed to involve major industrial houses and all large projects and to prevail on them to include human resource development as part of project cost. The services of commercial agencies and NGOs will also be utilised.
11.5.27 The target for the Eighth Plan would be to cover about 200 blocks by following the composite area approach to the planning and implementation of the integrated education for the disabled. Crucial areas like health, physical and art education should be made an integral part of school curriculum and accorded parity with other subjects. It is necessary that the work of NCERT in the area of Value Education is supplemented by work at the State level by SCERTs and measures to enrich teacher education. The CSS for introduction of Yoga in schools should be implemented more effectively and comprehensively. The activities of the National Population Education Project would be directed, in addition to the formal schools, towards the non-formal sector for which the curriculum, material development and facilitator orientation would have to be specially developed. It is proposed to continue assistance to State Institutes of Educational Technology (SIET) and to extend in a phased manner facilities for Educational TV programme production. The government is committed to the establishment ofNavodaya Vidyalayas in each of the districts of the country. The construction work for the existing 275 Vidyalayas would be completed. The possibilities of reducing the cost of construction and expenditure towards infrastructure will be explored. The setting up of new NVs in all the remaining districts will be appropriately programmed keeping in view the stipulated target date. In view of the key role of computers in modernisation of Secondary Education, the CLASS Project will be continued in a modified form and would cover 15,000 higher secondary schools by 1997. The project will be implemented with the collaboration of private agencies, with the elements of accountability and monitoring built in. The physical facilities and characteristics of the selected schools will be ascertained prior to the launching of the project. Full-time teachers will be provided for computer literacy by the private organisation and this subject will be taught during the normal school hours unlike the earlier practice of teaching it beyond school hours. The existing schemes of improvement of science education and environmental orientation to school education would be stengthened by improving teacher training inputs. A new scheme for improvement of teaching of Mathematics at school level is being started. The NCERT would undertake Sixth Education Survey and a scheme for examination reforms apart from watching implementation of National Curricular Framework and MLL.
Language Development, Scholarshps and Book Promotion
11.5.28 For the implementation of the Three Language Formula in a uniform manner, 100 per cent financial assistance for appointment and training of modern Indian language teachers in Hindi-speaking States is envisaged. The Bureau for Promotion of Urdu would be accorded an autonomous status as per the recommendations of Jafri Committee. The long pending Sindhi Vikas Board would he established. The Education Department would collaborate with the Department of Electronics (DoE) in the project 'Technological Development in Indian Languages'. For promotion of classical languages, a national level body is proposed to be set up for maintaining, coordinating and improving teaching of Sanskrit and classical languages as also Arabic and Persian. The potentalities of voluntary Sanskrit organisations for promoting Sanskrit learning would be fully utilised by reorganising and developing the existing ones. Vedic learning and its linkage with modern scientific development under the Rashtriya Veda Vidya Prathisthan (Vedic Endownment) will be strengthened. The scheme of scholarships to upgrade the merit of SC/ST students would 'be revised with respect to number of awards a^id amount in consultation with State Governments. The number of awards under other schemes would be suitably enhanced so as to increase coverage and make them attractive. To foster book mindedness in the country, a Readers' Club Movement would be introduced. The National Book Trust intends to set up a National Centre for Children's Literature with the aim of producing 3,000 titles every year. Under its Adan Pradan Scheme,translations of a large number of significant books from various Indian languages would be brought out. Besides developing manuscripts for neoliterates and school dropouts by organising workshops in various States, the NBT would provide assistance to publishers and voluntary agencies for production of books. The school Library Programme under OB would continue. A National Society of Authors is envisaged to oversee the interests and needs of authors.
Planning and Management and Information and Monitoring
11.5.29 The Eighth Plan would focus on decentralisation of planning and management activities; providing autonomy to educational institutions; building capabilities for the involvement and participation of the stake-holders in the educational process and building up of capabilities and professional competence among the administrators and voluntary associations and NGOs. The State Advisory Board of Education (SABE) would provide strong advisory support for training, research and dissemination of information on methodologies of planning and management strategies appropriate to the State level and to the district-level bodies, namely the. DBEs referred to earlier. The existing bodies like Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), UGC, NCERT and NIEPA would be strengthened. The CABE needs to be reorganised and should have a number of sub-committees to continuously review and monitor the progress in specific areas of education. A standing Committee of CABE on Open Education is proposed to be set up. For streamlining the flow of information and developing the planning capacity at the district level, an Educational Management Information System (EMIS) covering all the districts in the country needs to be opera-tionalised by the end of the Eighth Plan. The National Informatic Centre (NIC) has already developed a comprehensive computer network linking all the districts with computers. There is need to coordinate the working of educational management information system with NIC network. Following steps are also necessary to improve the system of educational statistics:
(1) Compulsory registration of non-recognised educational institutions; (2) More extensive use of sample surveys to monitor the progress in respect of some critical indicators of educational development; (3) Continuation of educational surveys conducted by NCERT by clearly defining their frequency and objectives vis-a-vis other sources of data; (4) Construction of composite indicators of educational development of various States/districts and periodical monitoring of their behaviour; (5) Coordination between various sub-sectoral agencies for sharing of information; (6) Development of a comprehensive methodology and a sound data base on private costs of education to rationalise and to improve the efficiency in the use of financial resources.
Resources and Financial Allocations
11.5.30 The NPE statement that from the Eighth Plan onwards, the outlay on Education would uniformly exceed 6 per cent of the national income would be treated as a guideline for allocation of resources during the Eighth Plan. The present public sector allocation is much lower and requires to be appropriately stepped up. A conscious effort to tap various avenues for raising resources for education needs to be made. In view of the paucity of domestic resources, vigorous efforts to attract external assistance for financing educational programmes, especially priority programmes without compromising country's basic educational policies is necessary. While the external funding would be an additionality to the resources for education, the externally-aided projects would be in total conformity with the national policies, strategies and programmes and drawn up on innovative lines emphasising people's participation, improvement of quality, equality of education and substantial upgradation of facilities. The project formulation would be the responsibility of implementation agencies. At present, India is availing of bilateral assistance for Shiksha Karmi Project in Rajasthan and Mahila Samakhya Project in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka. Within the broad objectives of the Eighth Plan, it is proposed to take up externally-aided projects, both bilateral and multi-lateral in various educationally backward States for promotion of basic education which includes: primary schooling, non-formal education, adult literacy, women's education and development and post-literacy and continuing education. Such projects are at various stages of development in respect ofBihar, Rajasthan, U.P. and South Orissa.
11.5.31 The actual expenditure on general education sector in the Seventh Plan was Rs. 6549.57 crores, of which Rs. 2294.57 crores were in the Central Plan and Rs. 4255. GO crores in the State Plan. The outlays and expenditure for Seventh Plan and approved outlays for the Eighth Plan are shown in Annexures 11.3 and 11.7. The requirements of UEE, AE, Vocationalisation and OLS would be the first charge on the outlays.
UNIVERSITY and HIGHER EDUCATION
Review of the Seventh Plan and Annual Plans (1985-92)
11.6.1 Improvement of quality and consolidation continued to be the main concerns in the field of higher education during the Seventh Plan. The enrolment of students in 1991-92 was 44.25 lakhs 36.93 lakhs in affiliated colleges and 7.32 lakhs in university departments. Women students to failed 14.37 lakhs (34.2 per cent) and the enrolment, of SCs/STs was about 10 per cent. The growth of student enrolment which was 5 per cent per annuam upto 1985-86, declined from 1986-87 onwards to around 4.1 per cent. The enrolment in the Correpondence Courses and Open Universities at the end of the Seventh Plan was approximately 5 lakh students, out of which the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) alone accounted for more than one lakh students. The number of universities rose to 177, including 29 "deemed" universities. For data see Annexure 11.1.
11.6.2 The NPE had suggested: (1) creation of autonomous university departments and colleges; (2) State Councils of Higher Education (SCHE); (3) enhanced support to research; (4) strengthening of Open Universities (OUs) and Distance Education (DE); (5) consolidation of existing institutions and improvement of quality of teachers and teaching; (6) mechanism for delinking degrees from jobs; (7) establishment of a new pattern of Rural Universities; and (8) establishment of an apex body covering higher education in all areas.
11.6.3 Eleven more colleges were granted autonomous status, thus bringing the total number of such colleges to 106 till December 1991. Under the Academic Staff College Scheme for orientation of newly recruited and in- service college/university teachers, 48 academic staff colleges have been established, which organised 464 Orientation and Refresher Courses covering 12,970 teachers upto December 1991. An SCHE may be elaborated was established in Andhra Pradesh. The University Grants Commission (UGC) provided developmental grants to Central universities and 95 State universities, besides assisting more than 3000 colleges for general development programmes and for implementation of special programmes. About 295 departments received special assistance under different programmes such as Centres of Advanced Study (CAS), Departments of Special Assistance (DSAs) and Departmental Research Support. Under the Programme of Coordinated Strengthening of Infrastructure in Science and Technology (COSIST), 112 departments were assisted. To support educational broadcasts, the UGC has set up 7 audio-visual research centres and 7 education media research centres for production of softwares. As many as 2,332 programmes, popularly known as Country-wide Classroom Programmes, have already been produced. A new organisation called Inter-Univer-sity Consortium of Educational Communication (IUCEC) is being set up. Programmes like Teacher Fellowships and Research Fellowships for SC/ST candidates and remedial teaching for weaker sections including minorities were continued. The UGC provided assistance for installation of mini/macro-Computer Systems to 110 universities and 1216 colleges. In collaboration with the Department of Electronics (DoE), several courses in Computer Science were run. An information and library network called "1N-FLIBNET" has also been proposed. With a view to providing common research facilities and services of the highest quality, inter-university centres in Nuclear Science, Astronomy and Astrophysics and Atomic Energy were established. The IGNOU widened the access to higher education by providing opportunities to learners from disadvantaged groups like women, people living in backward regions and hilly areas with an enrolment of 1.64 lakhs by March, 1992. The Research Councils - Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) and Indian Council of Philosophical Research) (ICPR) -continued their activities relating to support of research in respective areas.
Thrust Areas during the Eighth Plan
11.7.1 The higher education system at present suffers from several weaknesses, such as proliferation of substandard institutions, failure to maintain academic calender, outdated curriculum, disparities in the quality of education and lack of adequate support for research. Recent consultations including the "Brain-Storming" session organised by the Planning Commission to consider future directions have underlined the following thrust areas:
(1) Integrated approach to higher education;
(2) Excellence in higher education; (3) Expansion of education in an equitable and cost-effective manner, in the process making the higher education system financially self-supporting; (4) Making higher education relevant in the context of changing socio-economic scenario; (5) Promotion of value education; and (6) Strengthening of management system in the universities.
11.7.2 The strategy for achieving the goals in these thrust areas would be as follows:
1. At present, the higher education, system comprising of general, technical, medical and agricultural streams, is fragmented in terms of structures and policies. Greater cooperation among the streams should be encouraged by promoting networking, sharing of facilities and development of manpower including teachers'training/ orientation facilities. There should be greater coherence in policy and planning. To adequately meet these requirements, the NPE had envisaged the establishment of a National Council of Higher Education (NCHE). This has, however, not made progress so far and a coordination mechanism should be constituted during the Plan period.
2. Several measures will be taken to promote excellence. The NPE/POA proposal for establishment of a National Accreditation Council (NAC) would be followed up. Apart from continuing the existing programmes of CAS/DAS, COSTST and the inter-university centres, IUCEC and the proposed INFLIBNET, new inter-university centres would be established to provide facilities in the emerging areas like Biotechnology, Atmospheric Science, Oceanography, Electronics and Computer Sciences. Facilities for computer education world be further strengthened in collaboration with the Department of Electronics. Model curricula for all disciplines have already been prepared but their implementation needs to be monitored. The suggestions of the Working Group constituted by the Planning Commission to improve undergraduate courses in science and the teaching of mathematics at Indian universities/colleges would be implemented in a phased manner.
3. The additional enrolment in higher education during the Eighth Plan is estimated to be around 10 lakhs of which 9 lakhs will be at the undergraduate level. This expansion in higher education, keeping in view the present resource crunch has to be accommodated in an equitable and cost-effective manner mainly by large-scale expansion of Distance Education system and providing opportunities to larger segments of population, particularly the disadvantaged groups like women and people living in backward and hilly areas and by measures for resource generation. The programmes of Distance Education should absorb at least 50 per cent of the additional enrolment during the Eighth Plan and their cumulative enrolment should reach 15 lakhs, including 5 lakhs adult learners beyond the normal age-group 17-23 who have left school long back. Open universities should also start innovative programmes of a vocational nature for meeting the learning needs of rural areas. Opening of new conventional universities and colleges should not be encouraged. Simultaneously, involvement of voluntary agencies and private sector participation in the opening and conduct of higher education institutions would be encouraged with proper checks to ensure maintenance of standards and facilities to make higher edu-ation as far as possible self-financing. However, the quality of education is not to be compromised at any cost. Upward revision of fee structure has to be considered but at the same time, the fees charged should not be exhorbitant and should be supplemented by the provision of scholarships and other financial assistance to SCs/STs and students below the poverty line and loans to other students.
4. The tremendous potential of 44.25 lakhs students enrolled in higher education has to be utilised by actively involving them in the programmes of adult literacy, continuing education, population education and other constructive activities. Such extension activities of the universities and colleges would be expanded to cover 95 universities and 2,500 colleges during the Eighth Plan.
5. The significance of Value Education has been highlighted by several committees and commissions on education. The Planning Commission has recently constituted a Core Group on value orientation in education. The recommendations of the Group will be considered for implementation in consultation with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, UGC, Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and NCERT.
6. Stress would also be laid on modernisation and restructuring of the management of university system which entails vigorous pursuit of the programmes of autonomous colleges and autonomous university departments. Facilities in universities and colleges, including research facilities, would be consolidated and strengthened. The schemes of redesigning and restructuring of courses to meet the developmental needs of the country, examination reforms and teachers' training would be expanded.
11.7.3 The research activities ofICSSR, ICHR, ICPR and Indian Institute of Advanced Study (HAS), Shimla will receive specific attention for promotion ofinter-disciplinary research. Action to support research in humanities which at present is neglected, would be taken up.
11.7.4 With a view to delinking degrees as a requirement for recruitment to services, the NPE visualised establishing a National Testing Service (NTS) to conduct tests on a voluntary basis and evolving norms of comparable competence across the nation to determine the suitability of candidates for specified jobs. Towards this end, the idea of setting up of an appropriate national organisation will be pursued.
11.7.5 A strong need has also been felt for providing training to personnel dealing with university administration, for which the existing infrastructure will be further strengthened rather than creating a separate organisation.
11.8.1 The Seventh Plan's actual expenditure on higher education was Rs. 1201.13 crores, of which Rs. 659.96 was in Central Sector and Rs. 541.17 crores in State Sector. The Eighth Plan outlays are shown in Annexure 11.7.
11.8.2 Strategies, thrust areas and programmes as highlighted above, represent the priorities for. implementation during the Eighth Plan. They are by no means exhaustive. Higher education is a vast sector and its significance as a source of new knowledge, research and manpower for preceding stages of education namely, elementary and secondary, should not be minimised. Adequate resources should be mobilised and provided to support the higher education sector so that the nation is fully equipped to face the challenges of the future, which is increasingly becoming information and knowledge-intensive.
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