9th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)
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Human and Social Development
Sectoral Overview || Basic Minimum Services || Education || Health || Family Welfare || Indian System of Medicine and Homoepathy || Housing, Urban Development, Water Supply and Civic Amenities || Empowerment of Women and Development of Children || Empowerment of the Socially Disadvantaged Groups || Social Welfare || Labour and Labour Welfare || Art and Culture || Youth Affairs and Sports




3.3.1 Education is the most crucial investment in human development. Education strongly influences improvement in health, hygiene, demographic profile, productivity and practically all that is connected with the quality of life. The policies and approach to investment in the Education sector and its development in the next decade assume critical significance from this standpoint.

The Ninth Plan treats education as the most crucial investment in human development. The Prime Minister’s Special Action Plan (SAP) has identified the expansion and improvement of social infrastructure in education as a critical area.

3.3.2 The Prime Minister's Special Action Plan (SAP) has stressed the need for expansion and improvement of social infrastructure in the field of education. This goal has been further elaborated in the National Agenda for Governance (NAG) which states: "We are committed to a total eradication of illiteracy. We will formulate and implement plans to gradually increase the governmental and non-governmental spending on education upto 6% of the GDP; this to provide education for all. We will implement the constitutional provision of making primary education free and compulsory up to 5th standard. Our aim is to move towards equal access to and opportunity of educational standards upto the school-leaving stage. We shall strive to improve the quality of education at all levels - from primary schools to our universities." The approach to the 9th Plan has been formulated in the light of these objectives.

Elementary Education

3.3.3 The strategy of educational development during the next decade of planning takes into account various emerging factors like (i) the national goal of providing primary education as a universal basic service, (ii) the Supreme Court judgement declaring education to be a fundamental right for children upto 14 years of age, (iii) the need to operationalise programmes through Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), (iv) the legal embargo on child-labour, (v) the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995, and (vi) heightened awareness of human rights violations in respect of women, children and persons from disadvantaged sections of society. It is also realized that a large number of out-of- school children, who figure neither in school enrolments nor in the calculations of identifiable child-labour, are to be provided access to schooling.

3.3.4 It is equally necessary that the problem of universal elementary education and literacy is tackled through a strong social movement with clearly perceived goals and involving the State and Central Governments, Panchayati Raj Institutions, Urban Local Bodies, voluntary agencies, social action groups, the media and every supportive element in society.

Adult Education

3.3.5 Adult literacy and further education of the literates, being as vital an area of concern as universal elementary education, more intensive efforts will be made to spread literacy in the rural and tribal areas which are lagging behind, with special attention to women and such marginalised groups as small and marginal farmers, landless labourers and educationally neglected tribal groups. For this purpose, a disaggregated and decentralised mode of planning and implementation will be adopted. Interlinkage of the adult education programme with income generation, better health and nutrition, women's empowerment and overall rural development will be focussed upon. At the grass-roots level, people's participation will be ensured in planning and implementation of local programmes.

Secondary Education

3.3.6 In spite of increased enrolment in secondary and higher secondary schools, the age-cohort percentage continues to be low. More importantly, there are disparities in educational access as between the urban, rural and tribal areas. Gender disparities also exist. Secondary education curricula continue to be liberal and oriented to the first degree courses, in spite of the strong advocacy in favour of vocationalisation and investments made to divert students to vocational courses.

3.3.7 The Ninth Plan will lay emphasis on the revision of curricula so as to relate these to work opportunities. Girls and members of disadvantaged groups will be provided with scholarships, hostels and other incentives, for facilitating their participation in secondary education. Compensatory education will be provided, where necessary, for meeting the equity criteria.

3.3.8 Pre-vocational training at the secondary level and employment-oriented courses at the higher secondary level, suited both to industrial and agricultural development, will be provided along with hands-on training. The Open Learning system will be expanded and a wide variety of courses offered. Different types of further education will be made available. In view of the proposed changes in the educational policies and programmes at all levels, the pre-service and in-service training of teachers will be reorganised. The use of new educational technologies made available through Internet and computer facilities will be emphasised for all educational activities.

University and Higher Education

3.3.9 The excellence of our university products and professionals is well acknowledged both at home and aid. Thecompetitive advantage of the country can be maintained andimproved only if the university and higher education sectorsperform well. Their contribution to improving our capability tointeract effectively with the fast expanding global techno-economic systems has been significant and their potential needsto be harnessed to the full.

3.3.10 A critical overview of higher education in India has brought out a number of issues. Chief among them are the deterioration in quality, the resource crunch leading to poor infrastructure and the serious problems of governance brought about by the influence of factors and forces extraneous to educational objectives.

3.3.11 The priority for the Ninth Plan will be the expansion of education mainly in the unserved areas and with a focus on improving the coverage of women and the disadvantaged groups, using financial assistance as a leverage to secure better performance of the system, updating of syllabi to enhance their relevance, improvement in internal resource generation and implementation of a model code of governance to reduce non- academic influence in the higher education system.


Post-Independence Achievements

3.3.12 Right from the inception of planning, the crucial role of education in economic and social development has been recognised and emphasised. Efforts to increase people's participation in education and to diversify educational programmes in order to promote knowledge and skills required for nation-building have characterised successive Five Year Plans. Despite a series of problems that the country faced soon after independence, it has been possible to create a vast educational infrastructure in terms of large enrolments and teaching force and massive capabilities for management, research and development.


3.3.13 In the fifty years since independence the number of institutions has increased several fold as indicated in Table 3.3.1.

                            Table 3.3.1
    Category of Institutions      1950-1951  1996-1997   
Primary Schools   ('000)            210        598     
Upper Primary Schools ('000)         13        177    
Secondary Schools  ('000)            NA         73      
Higher Secondary Schools  ('000)     17(1961)   25    
Pre Degree/Junior Colleges('000)     -           4
Universities                         27        228*     
Colleges :
General  (Nos.)                     370       6759     
Professional (Nos.)                 208       1770      
Teacher Training (Nos.)
Schools                             782       1234       
Colleges                             53        697     
* Includes Deemed Universities and  Institutions  of  National Importance.


3.3.14 Enrolments in different types of institutions have recorded a substantial growth. The primary stage enrolment increased from 19.2 million in 1950-51 to 110.40 million in 1996- 97 and that of upper primary stage from 3.1 million to 41.06 million. Taking these together, the enrolment in the two stages increased about sevenfold from 22.3 million to 151.45 million. At the high/higher secondary stage, the enrolment increased from 1.5 million in 1950-51 to 24.27 million in 1996-97. There has been a significant increase in the enrolment of girls over this period.


3.3.15 The number of teachers working in elementary and secondary schools recorded a six-fold increase from 7.5 lakh in 1951 to 45.28 lakh in 1996, with female teachers constituting 34.3 per cent of the total number in 1996. The budgeted expenditure on education increased from Rs. 644.6 crore, in 1951-52 to Rs. 36,529.29 crore in 1996-97.

3.3.16 As a consequence of the growth that has taken place, educational facilities are now available closer to the homes of children. The Sixth All India Education Survey (1993) has indicated that 83.4 per cent of the rural habitations had a primary education facility within the habitation or within a walking distance of 1 km. In the case of middle school education, 76.15 per cent of the habitations had this facility within the habitation or within a walking distance of 3 kms. Table 3.3.2 sums up the data :

                        Table 3.3.2
  Educational Facilities within the Rural Habitations 
Facility               Habitations with facility of  Percentage
                           ('000)                    Increase
                             1986      1993               
i)  Primary Stage            502.3     528.0          5.1
ii) Upper Primary Stage      129.0     147.1         14.0
iii)Secondary Stage           43.5      53.2         22.3
iv) Higher Secondary Stage     8.9      12.0         34.8
 v) Total Number of Habita-  981.9    1060.6          8.0

3.3.17 The increase in the availability of educational facilities within the habitation has been particularly high in the case of secondary and higher secondary stages considering that the number of habitations itself had increased by 8 per cent during this period.

3.3.18 Given the constitutional directive that the State should provide free, compulsory and universal education for children upto the age of 14, universalisation of elementary education has become a major goal of educational policy and programmes. The progress in the achievement of this objective has been considerable. The total enrolment at primary stage during the period 1950-51 to 1996-97 increased by 5.75 times, while for girls the increase is nine times. At the upper primary stage, the increase during this period is more than 13 times, while for girls the increase is more than 32 times which is quite commendable. At the secondary and senior secondary stage the total increase is 18 times and that of girls 49 times.

Adult Literacy

3.3.19 Considerable progress has been made in making India's population literate, as indicated in Table 3.3.3.

                           Table 3.3.3
                   Literacy Rates (In Percentages)
                        Rural         Urban          Total

1951 (Total Population)
       Male              19.0         45.1           24.9
       Female             4.9         22.3            7.9
       Total             12.1         34.6           16.7

1991 (7 years and above)
       Male              57.9         81.1           64.1
       Female            30.6         64.1           39.3
       Total             44.7         73.1           52.2

3.3.20 As in other cases, there are wide variations in literacy levels among the States, from a low of 38.6 per cent to a high of 89.8 per cent (1991 Census) The variations for sex- wise literacy rates were between 55 per cent and 93 per cent for males and 20.4 per cent and 86.1 per cent for females. Within the States, there are substantial variations according to area and sex.

University and Higher Education

3.3.21 There has been a tremendous expansion of facilities at the higher education stage. At the dawn of independence, the number of universities and colleges of all types stood at 27 and 370 respectively. In 1996-97 there were 228 universities and 6759 affliated colleges. Besides, there is one Central open university (IGNOU) and 3 open universities in the States, in addition to departments of correspondence courses in different universities. The total enrolment through the distance mode of learning is about 15 lakh.

3.3.22 There has been a sizeable expansion in student enrolment during the last 50 years. The number of students at the university stage, which stood at 0.2 million in 1950-51 rose to over 6 million by the end of the Eighth Plan. There has been a significant increase in the proportion of girls. From a modest 13.7 per cent in 1950-51, the percentage rose to about 34 by 1996-97. Special efforts have been made to promote the enrolment of special groups, including reserved categories and the minorities.

3.3.23 Various steps have been taken to improve the quality of higher education. These include regulations prescribing minimum qualifications of teachers and schemes for enabling teachers to improve their academic and professional competencies through Academic Staff Colleges, teacher fellowships, travel grants, etc. For promoting research, Special Assistance Programmes were initiated. The scheme of Centres of Advanced Studies (CAS) was introduced in order to promote research in various university disciplines. Assistance was provided to universities for major research projects. In order to improve quality, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) was set up to evolve a process of systematic assessment.

3.3.24 With a view to enhancing the relevance of higher education, the University Grants Commission initiated a scheme of career orientation for students at the first degree level by equipping them with competencies for moving into job markets and self-employment. The scheme has been introduced in 31 universities and about 1000 colleges covering about 40,000 students. Restructuring of courses was also taken up in order to relate the course content to the needs of society.

3.3.25 The schemes of Adult and Continuing Education and Women's Studies were initiated in order to promote greater involvement of institutions of higher education in socio-economic and cultural development. As many as 104 universities have set up departments of adult and continuing education. In addition, more than 2600 colleges have set up Adult Education Units, while 22 universities and 11 colleges have set up centres for women's studies.

Open University System

3.3.26 The Open University System is offering a broad-based curricular content in humanities, social sciences, physical and natural sciences as well as in professional disciplines like agriculture, computer applications, education, engineering, management, nursing, nutrition, etc. The institutes of correspondence education of the dual mode universities registered an enrolment of about 7 lakhs. In addition, the four open universities had an aggregate enrolment of over 8 lakhs. In order to provide support to the open universities in the States, the Distance Education Council has been set up under the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). Emphasis is laid on establishing a common pool of programmes that can be shared by all the open universities. The IGNOU has a state-of-the-art production facility in electronic media and a Staff Training and Research Institute in Distance Education (STRIDE), which constitutes a national resource for the Open Learning System.

Technical Education

3.3.27 There has been substantial growth of technical education during the post-Independence period. The number of technical institutions at the first degree level increased from 49 in 1950-51 to 418 in 1996-97. The output of technical graduates increased from a level of 2200 in 1951 to about one lakh per annum. For diploma courses, the increase was from 2480 to 1.7 lakh annually. Postgraduate and Doctoral programmes in engineering are now available in 150 institutions. About 60 polytechnics offer advanced and post- diploma courses, most of them initiated during the Eighth Plan under the Technical Education Project assisted by the World Bank. The four Technical Teachers Training Institutions have assisted in the development of more than 500 polytechnics under this scheme.

3.3.28 The Indian Institutes of Technology have been pursuing the aim of creating excellence in academic work and research. A fifth institute was established in Assam in 1994. The 17 Regional Engineering Colleges (REC's) tended gradually to focus more on post-graduate education and research programmes. A Centrally funded scheme was initiated in all the RECs to develop them as centres of excellence and to augment their facilities in computing, library resources and infrastructure for taking up industrial projects. The number of Community Polytechnics increased to 375 during the Eighth Plan.

3.3.29 The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has been reorganised and strengthened. The Council has developed an evaluation system for regulating the opening of new institutions. The National Accreditation Board set up by the AICTE finalised proposals from 92 institutions covering 570 programmes. The Board is also finalising the criteria for accreditation of institutions of management education.



Elementary Education


3.3.30 Elementary education, especially universalisation of free and compulsory education up to the age of 14, received a high priority in the Plan. The major effort was in the direction of reducing the dispaities in access existed among various States and within States, between boys and girls and among different segments of the population and in improving the retention and achievement of children of the relevant age-group. A major effort was to provide alternative channels for education to children of deprived sections and working children who, for various reasons, could not be enrolled and stay for the entire period in full-time schools. The reduction of drop-out rates, which have continued to be high, particularly among girls and children belonging to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other economically and socially disadvantaged communities, was an important objective of the elementary education plan. A national programme of mid-day meals was started in August, 1995 to promote access, retention and nutritional care of primary school children. Improvement in the quality of schooling and achievement levels of children enrolled in schools was attempted through the introduction of minimum levels of learning (MLL) and enhancement of infrastructural facilities. A number of innovative programmes were implemented to improve the management of schools, with emphasis on the involvement of people and voluntary organisations.

Major Achievements

3.3.31 Between 1992-93 and 1996-97, the number of primary schools increased from 5.73 lakh to 5.98 lakh and middle schools from 1.54 lakh to 1.77 lakh, indicating a percentage increase of 4.5 and 14.8 respectively. The growth in enrolment was significant, the increase being 4.8 per cent in the case of grades I-V and 6.1 per cent in grades VI-VIII. There was an appreciable decline in the drop-out rates from 42 per cent to 34.5 per cent in classes I-V and from 58.7 per cent to 51.6 per cent in classes VI-VIII. It is estimated that additional enrolment in classes I - VIII would have reached 73.79 lakhs between 1992-93 and 1996-97.

3.3.32 The following Centrally Sponsored Schemes were implemented:

  1. Operation Black Board : Launched in 1987, the scheme was intended to improve the school infrastructure by providing essential facilities like an additional teacher in single-teacher schools, construction of classrooms and provision of books and teaching equipment. As many as 5.23 lakh schools have been provided with books and teaching equipment worth Rs. 10,000 each, 1.47 lakh single teacher schools a second teacher and the construction of 1.74 lakh classrooms undertaken. The scheme was extended to cover upper primary schools and, with Central assistance, 47,000 schools have been allowed to purchase teaching-learning materials worth Rs. 40,000 each ( Rs. 50,000 for schools in tribal areas) and 33,600 posts have been created for adding a third teacher in schools with enrolment exceeding 100. In the Eighth Plan, the expenditure on Operation Blackboard is likely to be Rs. 816.26 crore against the outlay of Rs. 279 crore. About 4.5 lakh teachers have undergone special orientation for the use of teaching materials provided under the Operation Blackboard Scheme. This training programme was called the Special Orientation of Primary Teachers (SOPT) during the Eighth Plan.
  2. National Programme of Nutritional Support: Launched in August 1995, the programme provides three Kgs. of foodgrains per month to each primary school student. The programme is being implemented in all the States. The scheme is expected to cover 5.54 crore children by 1996-97. The total expenditure is estimated to be of the order of Rs. 1050 crore.
  3. Minimum Levels of Learning (MLL) : The programme was introduced with the objective of specifying competencies which all primary school students should attain at mastery level in Language, Mathematics and Environmental studies and to develop curricula and text-books in relation to these. The first phase was implemented through voluntary organisations, research institutions, SCERTs and DIETs. At present, the programme is being implemented in 12 States through 200 DIETs. The MLL approach has been introduced in 50,000 schools in different States. It is now possible to direct effort and resources to schools where the levels of learning have fallen below the prescribed ones.
  4. District Primary Education Programme : The programme, partially funded by the World Bank in the form of a loan, was initiated in November, 1994. The programme aims at operationalising strategies required for achieving the goal of universal elementary education through specific planning and target setting at the district level. The intervention is based on the concept of decentralised management, community mobilisation and contextual and research-based inputs. The first phase was launched in 42 districts of Assam, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. The programme was extended to 17 more districts of Orissa, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. It was planned to cover 120 districts by the end of the Eighth Plan.
  5. Bihar Education Project : The programme was launched in 1991 with a sharing of costs among the UNICEF, the Government of India and the Government of Bihar. The project is being implemented in 7 districts for bringing about quantitative and qualitative improvement of primary education. A mid-term review in 1994 recommended consolidation of the programme, establishing linkages between the project and the Education Department of Bihar Government, more emphasis on MLL and teacher training etc.
  6. U.P. Basic Education Project: Assisted with a soft loan from International Development Agency the project involves construction of classrooms and Block Resource Centres and training of teachers. About 40,000 teachers have been trained.
  7. Mahila Samakhya : The project aims at empowerment of women through their mobilisation and a change in their perception about themselves and society. The programme was launched in 1991 in 10 districts of U.P., Gujarat and Karnataka. It now covers 5000 villages in 35 districts of seven States. An evaluation, conducted in 1993, indicated that the project had laid the foundation for empowerment of women at grass-roots level.
  8. Non-formal Education : In pursuance of the National Policy on Education 1986, the Central Government provides help for the establishment of non-formal education centres. Assistance is given to the extent of 60 per cent of the expenditure incurred on Centres established by State Governments and 100 per cent for Centres established by voluntary organisations. Centres run by the State Government and exclusively meant for girls are eligible for 90 per cent assistance. At present 2.79 lakh Centres - 2.40 lakh of the State Governments and 39000 run by voluntary agencies are functioning. The enrolment during 1996-97 is estimated to be 70 lakh. The Centres provide education through condensed courses of 2 to 2-1/2 years' duration.
  9. Teacher Education: The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of reorganisation of teacher education continued in the Eighth Plan. The major programmes for which assistance was given included establishment of District Institutes of Education and Training, upgradation of selected training colleges into Colleges of Teacher Education/ Institutes of Advanced Study, strengthening and establishment of university departments of education and strengthening of State Councils for Educational Research and Training. So far, 425 DIETs have been established, 108 training colleges upgraded and 5 university departments selected for assistance. A special orientation programme covering 4.5 lakh primary teachers was organised for Operation Blackboard and introduction of MLL. A satellite-based interactive teacher orientation programme was implemented in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh on an experimental basis.

3.3.33 The National Council for Teacher Education was established as a statutory body to promote planned and coordinated development of teacher education. The Council has developed norms and criteria on the basis of which applications are processed. It has organised a number of programmes and brought out useful publications dealing with different aspects of teacher education.

3.3.34 During the Eighth Plan, a number of innovative projects like Lok Jumbish and Shiksha Karmi were implemented by non-governmental organisations, Government of India and the State Governments.

Secondary Education


3.3.35 The thrust in the Plan was on consolidation and improvement. The Plan proposed to regulate expansion, with new facilities being created for deprived sections like girls, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and in rural areas. In order to meet the educational needs of those who were unable to enrol themselves in the formal system, opportunities were provided through the National and State Open Schools, utilising multi-media packages and contact centres. For those who intended to discontinue education after ten years of schooling, vocational courses with strong linkages to the world of work were recommended. Improvements in the quality of education, particularly in science, mathematics and computer literacy, were emphasized with Central support being provided for the purpose.

Major Achievements:

3.3.36 During the Eighth Plan the number of secondary stage institutions (Classes IX-XII) increased from 84,076 in 1992-93 to 1,02,183 in 1996-97. The enrolment increased over the period from 20.71 million to 27.04 million. Girls constituted 36.2 per cent of the total students in 1996.97

3.3.37 There were 697 teachers' training colleges in 1996-97 with an enrolment of 1.16 lakh. Girls numbered 50,023 or about 43 per cent of the enrolment. The percentage of trained teachers was 88 in secondary schools and 89 in higher secondary schools.

3.3.38 By the end of 1995-96, the programme of vocationalisation had been extended to 6476 schools with intake capacity of 9.35 lakh students, indicating that 11.5 per cent of the students were in vocational streams. Inspite of creating capacity for diversion of 11.5 per cent secondary pass students to vocational courses, only 4.8 per cent students could be diverted. A programme to provide pre-vocational training to students enrolled at the secondary stage was initiated in 1993-94.

3.3.39 For the improvement of science education, assistance was provided to 14,734 secondary/higher secondary schools for improvement of libraries and to 15,775 schools for strengthening of laboratories. The scheme of Computer Literacy and Studies in Schools (CLASS) continued to be implemented and an amount of Rs. 146 crore was provided for maintaining the programme in 1,598 schools and covering an additional 2,290 schools.

3.3.40 The National Open School, which was set up in 1979 and converted into an autonomous organisation in 1989, offered foundation courses, secondary and senior secondary level courses,vocational and life enrichment courses. The number of subjects offered included 51 foundation courses and 23 secondary courses including vocational courses in the areas of Agriculture, Commerce and Business, Technology, Para-medical and Home Science. The number of study centres increased from 161 in 1990-91 to 666 in 1996-97. Of the latter, 105 are vocational study centres.

Adult Education


3.3.41. The thrust in the Eighth Plan was on sustainability of literacy skills and on remediation. Learning of useful skills and their application in actual living and working situations was emphasised in the programmes. The main strategy emphasised an area-specific approach along with the campaign mode, with particular attention to women, the disadvantaged groups and backward rural areas. The National Literacy Mission along with the State Literacy Missions, provided the main mechanisms for the implementation of literacy and post-literacy programmes. The services of non-governmental organisations were utilised for various literacy and post-literacy activities, including skill development among the adults.

Major Achievements:

3.3.42 During the Eighth Plan, the organisation of campaigns and adoption of areas for intensive work constituted the two elements of the strategy. The strategy of total literacy campaign was reviewed in 1993 which envisaged funding the Tribal Area Sub-Plan between the Centre and the State Governments in the ratio of 4:1, instead of the earlier ratio of 2:1; launching of an Operation Restoration Programme in those districts where total literacy compaign had not taken off due to various causes. During the Eighth Plan about 75.66 million have been enrolled out of which 40.96 million are estimated to have been made literate.

3.3.43 The scheme of Shramik Vidyapeeths, which offers specially designed non-formal programmes by integrating literacy, general education and skill training for identified groups, was expanded by establishing 25 new Vidyapeeths during the Plan period. The Centre provided assistance to State Governments for strengthening of administration and to voluntary organisations for various activities.

University and Higher Education


3.3.44 The major emphasis in higher education during the Eighth Plan was on (i) integrated approach to higher education , (ii) excellence and equity, (iii) relevance of higher education, (iv) promotion of value education and (v) strengthening of management system in university institutions.

3.3.45 In order to provide facilities for higher education, particularly to the deprived sections of the population and neglected regions of the country, several new universities and colleges were opened, particularly in the North-Eastern region. Special efforts were made to provide facilities for specialised groups like SCs, STs and women. The new facilities include increased intake and greater utilisation of distance education mode. Mobility of the faculty and students has been facilitated by expanding the schemes of staff quarters and student hostels.

Major Achievements:

Quality of Higher Education

3.3.46 Several programmes were initiated to improve the quality of higher education. These included faculty development through Academic Staff Colleges, prescribing minimum qualifications for teachers, teacher fellowships, travel grants and career awards. Special efforts were made to enhance the library facilities and network (INFLIBNET).

3.3.47 Research facilities were upgraded through a special assistance programme for universities. The Centres of Advanced Studies were continued in a number of universities. Major and minor research projects were continued. The scheme of University Science Instrumentation Centres was expanded. Model curricula were produced in the Curriculum Development Cells in different subjects. For quality improvement through a systematic assessment procedure the National Assessment and Acreditations Council was set up. Relevance

3.3.48 Concerted efforts were made to make higher education relevant by introducing career-oriented courses as a part of the first degree programme. Further restructuring of courses was undertaken to provide an application component to university education. A study was undertaken to examine the concept of community colleges.

3.3.49 The schemes of adult and continuing education and women's studies were further expanded. At the end of the Plan, there were 104 Centres of Adult Education, 22 Centres of Women's Studies in addition to 11 colleges which had Cells for Women's Studies.

Management of Higher Education

3.3.50 The Gnanam Committee Report entitled "Towards New Educational Management" was accepted and formed the basis for action taken by the UGC.

Technical Education


3.3.51 The thrust areas in Technical Education during the Eighth Plan were : modernisation and upgradation of infrastructure; quality improvement; responding to new industrial policy and consequent interaction between institutions, industry and R and D organisations; resource mobilisation and institutional development.

Major Achievements

3.3.52 The Eighth Plan concentrated on allowing the system to expand and ensuring that regulatory and support infrastructures were provided. To achieve these objectives, more than 800 laboratories were modernised, about 550 projects were undertaken for strengthening the crucial technology areas, and training was imparted to more than 50,000 working professionals from industry. Further, the schemes of resource mobilisation and rationalisation of fee-structure in technical institutions were operationalised. The targets of admissions to post-graduate courses were exceeded. The IITs took up consultancies and programmes under Technology Development Missions. The RECs were empowered under the scheme of Centres of Excellence and Indo-UK RECs' Project. At the end of the Plan, 60 polytechnics offered advanced and post-diploma programmes under the Technician Education Project. The AICTE sponsored and managed a substantial number of development programmes.

Management Education


3.3.53 The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is entrusted with the responsibility of regulating, controlling and ensuring the quality of Management Education in the country. The formation of a National Board of Accreditation (NBA) and organisation of a number of workshops contributed substantially to widespread awareness and concern for quality in Management Education. For regulating the entry of new instituions, the AICTE developed an effective and transparent evaluation system based on certain norms and standards which were developed in active collaboration with the leading management academicians. The critical norms related to curriculum development, academic standards, admission process, number and quality of faculty members and the governance system.

Major Achievements

3.3.54 Two new Indian Institutes of Management were set up, besides the 422 institutions recognised by the AICTE. The annual intake of these institutions is 38,500, of which 25,600 are in full-time, 6,600 in part-time and 6,300 in distance education programmes.


Ninth Five Year Plan

3.3.55 In view of its significance for human resource development and economic and social transformation, education needs to be given a high priority in the allocation of resources. Considering that the present share of education in GDP is around 3.9 per cent, raising it to any substantially higher level would require a substantial enhancement of expenditures on education. The system's capacity to absorb financial resources of a large magnitude and use them productively and efficiently would also require careful consideration. As regards the convergence of Basic Minimum Services for contributing to educational development, emphasis will be laid on providing all primary schools with clean drinking water, sanitary facilities, better nutrition for the pupils through mid-day meals, health check-up and primary health-care facilities and a network of roads for making the schools easily accessible.

Early Childhood Education

3.3.56 Early Childhood Education (ECE) in the Ninth Plan requires attention for the following issues:

  1. Strengthening the educational component of ICDS.
  2. Its linkage, as pre-school education, with universalisation of primary education and consequential steps in that connection.
  3. The promotion and management of ECE under the decentralised system of Panchayati Raj institutions and Urban Local Bodies.
  4. The role of the private sector and NGOs in ECE.
  5. Convergence of health education and other services at the local level in the interest of ECE.
  6. Social mobilisation for ECE, through mass media and other activities.

3.3.57 The issues that will be addressed in the Ninth Plan are as follows;

  1. Combining pre-school and primary level methodologies, along with health and nutritional concerns, in teacher-training programmes, pre-service as well as in-service.
  2. Encouraging the adaptation of ECE to the environment and home-conditions of the children through innovative alternatives.
  3. Orienting PRIs and ULBs to provision of community-supported creches and day-care centres attached to Anganwadis/Primary schools.
  4. Mobilisation of local women's groups to set up and manage ECE centres.
  5. Production of inexpensive play materials for children by using local materials and talents of local artisans and school children engaged in socially useful productive work and social service activities according to their curriculum.
  6. Strengthening resource groups for ECE at the NCERT and SCERTs as also research institutes, NGOs and other such organisations to conduct research, training, materials production and extension activities for ECE.

Primary/Elementary Education

3.3.58 The Indian Constitution attaches high priority to education. Article 45 declares "The State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of 10 years from the commencement of the Constitution, for free and compulsory education of all children until they complete the age of 14 years." The Constitution also guarantees educational rights for minorities and calls for the educational development of weaker sections of society. Through the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution, the subject of education has been brought to the Concurrent List in the Constitution for fulfilment of nationally accepted goals. The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments further empowered the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) to render their contribution to the development of education at the grass-root level. The Judgement of the Supreme Court in Unnikrishnan J.P. Vs. Andhra Pradesh (1993) states : "The citizens of the country have a fundamental right to education. The said right flows from Article 21 of the Constitution. This right is, however, not an absolute right. Its contents and parameters have to be determined in the light of Articles 45 and 41. In other words, every child/citizen of this country has a right to free education until he completes the age of 14 years. Thereafter his right to education is subject to the limits of economic capacity and development of the State."

3.3.59 Critical Issues at Primary/Elementary Stage:-

(i) Backlog of unenrolled children :

In order to achieve Universalisation of Primary Education (UPE), it had been estimated for the year 1993-94 that approximately 142 million children in the age-group 6-11 years would have to be provided primary schooling, out of which 69 million would be girls.

(ii) Drop-outs

The problem is further accentuated by high drop-out rates. Among those who are enrolled, it is estimated that large number of children in Classes I-V drop out in between, before completing their class V. The latest available data on drop-out rates for Classes I-V for the year 1996-97 reveal that the drop- out rate for the country as a whole was 38.95 per cent. It was 39.37 per cent among boys and 38.35 per cent among girls. Further, there were wide inter-State disparities. The major problem of drop- outs as well as access to schooling is in the educationally backward States of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, J and K, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, U.P. and West Bengal.

(iii) Unserved Habitations with Primary/Upper Primary Schools/Sections

According to the Sixth All India Educational Survey* out of 10.60 lakh rural habitations, 8.84 lakh (83.4%) were served within the national norm of one-km distance. Thus about 16.6 per cent of habitations were not served by primary schools within a distance of 1 km. The survey results also revealed that about 41,198 primary schools were being run in thatched huts, tents and open space.In case of upper primary schools, about 23.85 % habitations were not served within the official distance norm of 3 km. 5,638 upper primary schools were being run in thatched huts, tents and open space.

(iv) Lack of other Physical Infrastructure

Apart from availability of access to primary school within a walking distance of habitations there are other problems which have to be addressed on an urgent basis. These relate to lack of physical infrastructure like toilet facilities for girls, drinking water facilities in schools, teaching-learning equipment etc.

(v) Availability of Teachers

With regard to availability of teachers, the Survey further pointed out that about 4000 schools were without teachers and 1.15 lakh primary schools were being run by single teachers. However, the position has improved since then, as additional teachers have been provided under Operation Blackboard (OB).

(vi) Low Levels of Achievement

It is not only physical infrastructure that is inadequate to achieve UPE, there is the equally important dimension of quality which needs attention. For instance, evaluation studies on children's achievement show low levels in language and mathematics.

(vii) Equity and Regional Disparities

Then, there are regional disparities. Some States (like Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu) have done well in providing physical access to schooling facilities as well as in improving quality of education.

  • Primary education will be a major thrust area during the 9th Plan. There will be an additional enrolment of 2.5 crore children at the lower primary stage and 1.6 crore children at the upper primary level. 75000 additional rooms /buildings will be constructed at the elementary stage. 2,36,000 teachers will be appointed additionally at the lower primary level and 1,75,000 teachers at the upper primary level.

Some others (like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan) have still a long way to go. There are equity concerns like low enrolment of girls, educational requirements of special need groups, like SCs/STs, OBCs, minorities, disabled children, working children, children from disadvantaged locations like deserts, hilly, coastal and deep forest areas, children from migratory families etc.

3.3.60 Action Plan:-

(i) Broad Approach : The action plan needed to address the critical issues and achieve the desired objectives will be based upon ground realities. It will resort to a multi-pronged strategy which is both imaginative and innovative and also carries with it the attributes of flexibility, decentralisation, improvement of quality, cost-effectiveness, result-oriented and time-bound commitment. This can be achieved through micro- planning with a focus on `area approach' and `target population' It will also mean community involvement, monitoring, supervision and academic support at all levels. The existing schemes will be examined with respect to these parameters and those found suitable will be promoted.

(ii) Phasing: Under the Constitutional obligation, Government is to provide free and compulsory education upto Class VIII. Greater emphasis will naturally have to be laid on achieving UPE at the lower primary stage, in the first phase.

(iii) Mobilisation of Community Support for School Improvement Programme

  • Panchayati Raj Institutions will be empowered to serve as the nucleus in programme implementation. Non-governmental organisations will be encouraged to supplement the governmental efforts, while the private sector will also be facilitated to grow particularly in higher and technical education.

The 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments have further empowered the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) to make a positive contribution for development of education at the grass- root level. Village Education Committees (VECs) will be actively involved in School Improvement Programme (SIP).

Training will be imparted to VEC members wherever such committees have been constituted. Arrangements for this will be made through District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs), Block and Cluster Resource Centres and through the Distance Mode.

Areas of concern of VECs in the development of SIP will be -

  1. door-to-door survey of children of school-going age and help in enrolment, particularly of girls;
  2. planning and execution of civil works of school buildings;
  3. mobilisation of physical and financial resources;
  4. provision of free accommodation to teachers, wherever possible;
  5. improvement in children's attendance;
  6. institutional capacity building for sustainability of schools;
  7. Community ownership of the School Improvement Programme;
  8. to help in implementation of the Scheme of National Nutritional Support to Primary School Children.
  9. Other functions delegated by the State Governments.

(iv) Strengthening Teacher Education Programme

(a) Curriculum Development:

The draft curriculum framework developed by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) will be finalised and made the basis for curriculum change in institutions for teacher education. This will help to improve the quality of Teacher Education Programme.

(b) Initiative for North-Eastern States

The North-Eastern States, which have a larger percentage of untrained teachers in elementary schools will launch programmes to cover this gap by adopting the following measures :

  • A Diploma Programme for Primary Education developed by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will be launched in collaboration with the State Governments.
  • NCTE will establish a Regional Committee for North- Eastern States to provide the necessary fillip to the teacher training institutions.
  • Induction programmes of 4 to 6 weeks' duration by DIETs will enrich the capabilities of freshly appointed teachers.

(c) Upgradation of Infrastructure:

The process of strengthening Teacher Education Programme will be given a further impetus by upgrading the physical and academic infrastructure of :

  • State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs)
  • Colleges of Teacher Education (CTEs)
  • Institutes of Advanced Studies in Education (IASEs)
  • District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs)
  • Block Resource Centres/Cluster Resource Centres (on a pilot basis).
  • National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE)
  • Departments of Education in Universities

(d) Reaching out to Primary School Teachers in Remote Areas

To supplement the efforts to improve school effectiveness, an institutional mechanism will be put in place to provide on-the-spot counselling and guidance to teachers located in remote areas. This will be in the form of Mobile Teams of Resource Persons (MTRPs). Logistic arrangements will be location- specific, based upon felt needs and environment.

(v) Alternative Education

In order to provide access to drop-outs, working children, girls, migratory population and other similar categories, alternative education will be provided through institutional arrangements.

Non-formal Education centres for such categories of children as are unable to avail themselves of the formal system of schooling in hilly, desert and forest areas, or due to the migratory nature of the population will be expanded. The expansion will be based upon a `cluster approach', so as to make the scheme cost-effective.

It has been found by experience that NFE centres achieve more meaningful results when these are run by NGOs. Accordingly, the number of centres run by NGOs will be enhanced significantly. Where NGO participation is not forthcoming, State-run NFE centres will be established.

The scope of the National and State Open Schools will be expanded by bringing elementary education within their fold for the purpose of providing a lateral entry to NFE children as well as to neo-literates for certification.

Private initiative will be tapped in industrial project sites to run "project schools". Incentives like allotment of land on a subsidised basis and other concessions under the Companies Act or the Income Tax Act will be provided.

(vi) Education of Working Children

According to the 1991 census, there were 11.28 million working children in the country. More than 90 per cent of them were engaged in agricultural labour, rearing of livestock, forestry and fisheries.

Ministry of Labour has a direct responsibility at the Centre for the following:

  1. to lay down policies and programmes for elimination of child labour, particularly in hazardous trades,
  2. to monitor the progress of implementation of programmes, projects and schemes for elimination of child labour; and
  3. to coordinate implementation of child labour-related projects of the various sister Ministries of the Government of India in order to ensure convergence of services for the benefit of the families which have child labour. Ministry of HRD will extend all support to the Ministry of Labour in the setting up of `education-related projects'. These will be `area-specific' and focussed particularly in States of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, where there is a large concentration of child labour.

Adult Education

3.3.61 Literacy, the key to most of India's development programmes, is the catalyst to accelerate initiatives in health care, agriculture, primary education and in all critical areas of development.

3.3.62 In the light of the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments, literacy has assumed even greater significance. If power for local self-governance is to devolve to the panchayats and nagar palikas, literacy is an essential prerequisite for these institutions to be effective.

Critical issues in Adult Education:

3.3.63 Despite this key role, much still needs to be done. India has the largest number of non-literate people in the world - about a third of the world's total of around 900 million.

Although literacy levels have increased from 16.67 per cent to 52.21 per cent since independence, unrestrained population growth has proved to be a serious impediment.

3.3.64 The literacy levels of women are low - 39.29 per cent as compared to 64.13 per cent for men. The fact that female literacy is acknowledged as being one of the most significant indicators of development makes this all the more alarming. With one third of the seats in panchayats and nagar palikas reserved for women, the need for them to become literate is vital.

3.3.65 There are large regional disparities in literacy rates - between urban and rural areas, as well as between states. While about three quarters of the urban population is literate, the literacy rate in rural areas is less than 45 per cent. The literacy rate of women in rural areas is even lower at 31 per cent.

3.3.66 Seven states - Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra - account for around 70% of India's non-literate population. The first four of these states alone, are home to around half of India's non- literate people.

3.3.67 In its endeavour to achieve the goals it has set for itself in adult education, India faces several challenges. Studies by expert groups and the constant evaluation of the programme, indicate several principal challenges.

3.3.68 The four Hindi speaking states - Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan - account for half of India's non- literate population. The large number of non-literate people, and therefore the relatively small number of educated people from whom volunteers can be drawn, as well as the overall socio- economic backwardness of these states, combine to make the achievement of literacy particularly difficult in these areas.

3.3.69 There are large regional disparities - between states, between districts in a state, between males and females and between tribal and non-tribal areas.

3.3.70 Campaigns have sometimes been launched without adequate planning, and quality has suffered in certain places in the preoccupation with total literacy. This preoccupation has also sometimes led to overestimation of achievements, with some districts being prematurely declared totally literate.

3.3.71 The vital importance of post-literacy efforts to prevent a relapse into illiteracy has already been mentioned. Post Literacy Campaigns have often not been implemented adequately or in time, even in districts where TLCs have been successful. There have often been unnecessarily long time gaps between the completion of a TLC and the beginning of a PLC in a district. To ensure that the gains of TLCs are realized, post literacy needs far greater attention and emphasis, to sustain the interest of the neo-literates, and to make them 'functionally literate' in the true sense.

3.3.72 Greater community involvement is required to convert literacy into a people's movement.

3.3.73 Action Plan:

  1. Literacy campaigns have already covered 447 districts, of which 215 are in Total Literacy Campaigns, 173 are in Post Literacy Campaigns and 59 are in Continuing Education Phase.

    • Eradication of illiteracy is a top priority in the National Agenda for Governance. A major dent would be made by making 10 crore adults literate in the 9th and 10th plan periods.

  2. In addition, 38 districts have been covered under Rural Functional Literacy Projects. Hence the total coverage comes to 485 districts. Efforts would be made to bring the remaining 40 odd districts under the coverage of literacy.
  3. Gradually, all districts will be brought under the Continuing Education programme which will be further strengthened as well as linked to other socio-economic programmes such as health and hygiene, nutrition and sanitation, skill upgradation and capacity building, culture, sports, etc.
  4. For such neo-literates who wish to pursue further education, an equivalency programme is being developed to enable neo-literates to enroll in courses at the national/ state open schools.
  5. Efforts have been set in motion to decentralise and devolve administrative and financial powers to State Literacy Mission Authorities. The sanctioning of projects will largely be done by these authorities.
  6. Sensitisation and orientation workshops are proposed to be conducted for functionaries of panchayati raj institutions so as to involve local government bodies in the literacy programme.
  7. It is proposed to further strengthen and revitalise State Resource Centres and Shramik Vidyapeeths (proposed to be renamed as Jana Shiksha Sansthans). This will provide additional fillip in the areas of training, skill upgradation, capacity building and preparation of materials.
  8. The stress on awareness generation among women and their empowerment is proposed to be continued as one of the major planks of the programme.

Secondary Education

3.3.74 Conceptually, secondary education is meant to prepare young persons both for the world of work and entry into higher education. But traditionally, it has come to be looked upon as a bridge between the elementary and higher education stages. This process has to be reversed

3.3.75 Critical Issues in Secondary Education

(i) Revision of Curricula

After the formulation of the New Policy on Education in 1986 (revised in 1992) the need for change of curriculum has arisen. The change will take into account the areas of scientific development, environmental education, computer education and social issues in the context of economic liberalisation.

(ii) Vocationalisation of Education

The scheme of Vocationalisation of Education at 10+2 stage was introduced to regulate admissions at College level. The purpose was to divert at least 25% students of 10+2 stage to self-employment or wage-employment, while providing them with vocational competence in a field of their choice. However, the scheme has not taken off due to logistic and academic constraints which require streamlining and strong industry-institution linkages. At present, only 4.8% students are opting for vocational stream, against a target of 25%.

(iii) Distance Education

Distance Education is an alternative approach for providing secondary education. With the tremendous expansion of elementary education in the country, the demand for secondary education is likely to grow enormously in the next decade. This challenge has to be met by providing distance mode of education through the Open Learning System (OLS) in the country.

(iv) Quality Improvement of Teaching in Mathematics, Science and Computer Education

The quality of teaching in Science and Mathematics has deteriorated so much that it has started having adverse effects at under-graduate and post-graduate levels. Further, with the fast development of Information Technology, the need for quality education in computers at school stage has become imperative.

(v) Hostel Facilities for Girls

In remote and tribal areas, secondary schools do not have adequate hostel facilities for girls, and this results in failure to attract girls to them.

(vi) Minority Education

In spite of adequate facilities at secondary stage, children from minority groups are not taking full advantage of these.

(vii) Integrated Education for the Disabled

After the enactment of the Disabled Act 1995, the education of the disabled upto age 18 has become a legal obligation. Though efforts have been made to provide educational facilities to this special group, these are not commensurate with the tremendous needs.

3.3.76 Action Plan

(i) Revision of Curricula

  1. National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in collaboration with State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs) will revise curricula and a National Draft will be prepared for discussion and adoption. New areas of concern will be included in the curriculum. After the draft is adopted, the same organisations will upgrade the text-books so as to keep pace with international standards.
  2. Simultaneously, NCERT and SCERTs will review the training needs of in-service teachers and take steps to meet the new challenges.
  3. National Council for Teacher Education will prepare a framework for pre-service teacher education, so that the standards are upgraded.

(ii) Vocationalisation of Education (VE)

The Scheme of Vocationalisation of Education at 10+2 stage will be restructured so as to provide employability to the target group. An Empowered Committee representing the Government, industry and trade will be constituted to promote a meaningful partnership and better inter-departmental coordination. Vocational courses with strong linkages with industrial units will be encouraged.

(iii) Distance Education

Distance Education will be broad-based by providing wider responsibilities to National Open School (NOS) and the State Open Schools (SOSs). These will be in the areas of elementary education, vocationalisation of education for neo- literates, drop-outs, secondary students and adult population, including working women. Special initiatives will be taken to derive full advantage from the state-of-art Information Technology (IT).

(iv) Teaching of Mathematics, Science and Computer Education

  1. Special measures will be taken to promote teaching of Mathematics and Science at the secondary stage by devising new popular source-books. A Science Talent Research Scheme will be promoted.
  2. Science and Mathematics will be linked to the immediate environment of the child. Efforts will be made to avoid the unnecessary load of a crowded curriculum.
  3. The recommendations made by the Task Force on Computer Education will be implemented in a time-bound manner.

(v) Hostel Facilities for Girls

Additional hostel facilities for girls will be provided, particularly in tribal and remote areas, so that the attendance rate of girls improves. MHRD will coordinate its programmes with those of the Ministry of Welfare.

(vi) Minority Education

  1. The Scheme of Modernisation of Madarasas will receive all possible attention, so as to cover more Madarasas and improve the access of Muslim children to education.
  2. Area Intensive Programme for Educationally Backward Minorities will be strengthened by allocating a higher outlay. A vigorous publicity drive will be undertaken to generate necessary awareness among the minority communities so that they come forward to take full advantage of the scheme. The cooperation of the leaders of the minority communities will be elicited for the fulfilment of the same objective.

(vii) Integrated Education for the Disabled

A composite area approach will be adopted and additional blocks covered under the programme. Training of teachers for these special groups will be organised in universities.

Technical Education

3.3.77 Despite efforts in the past, only a few technical institutions have managed to achieve high academic standards. Major qualitative reforms are necessary to upgrade the Regional Engineering Colleges (RECs). While the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have enjoyed autonomy, flexibility and responsive governance, there is an urgent need to enhance their output and quality.

3.3.78 Critical Issues in Technical Education

(i) Quality Improvement

The areas which need specific attention are adequacy and quality of faculty, modernisation of institutional resources, upgradation of educational technology, relevance and flexibility of curricula, interaction with industry etc.

(ii) Infrastructure Development and Innovations

Over the years, regional imbalances have emerged in respect of infrastructure development. Further, paradigm shifts are needed across the board from knowledge-based education to skill and competence development and from classroom learning to workplace learning.

(iii) Flexibility, Mobility, and Curricula

Economic liberalisation and industrial expansion have brought in new institutions and programmes. Hi-tech programmes, curriculum development, flexibility and mobility assume special significance in this rapidly changing scenario.

(iv) Governance of Institutions

Governing and management structures at the Central and State levels need to be strengthened, so as to manage the manifold changes described above.

(v) Excellence in Polytechnic Education

Technical staff produced through polytechnics form the backbone of middle level management and technical manpower and demand for them is steadily growing. There is need for greater flexibility and autonomy to these institutions, which have also to forge close linkages with technical institutions of higher level on the one hand and industry on the other.

3.3.79 Action Plan

(i) Quality Improvement

  • The intake capacity of the IITs, other reputed engineering institutions and IIMs will be doubled, particularly in high-demand areas like software engineering and information technology. Vocational education at the secondary and undergraduate levels will be expanded and restricted so as to have strong linkages with industry and improve employability.
  1. To meet the growing manpower needs as well as improve the quality of technical education, the intake capacity of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and other reputed institutions will be doubled, particularly in high-demand areas like software engineering.
  2. There will be an attempt at quality improvement in RECs and other technical institutions. They will be given greater functional autonomy and their performance would be closely watched. RECs will be integrated into the academic and faculty improvement programmes of IITs.

(ii) Infrastructure Development and Innovations

  1. To promote innovations and help meet gaps in infrastructure, institutions of technical education will be encouraged to create a corpus of funds by suitably remodelling and restructuring their tuition fees and development charges. Necessary autonomy will be allowed to these institutions so that they can adopt innovative practices for institution building. Training of staff will be paid more attention.

(iii) Flexibility, Mobility and Curricula

  1. To cope with the globalisation of the economy and rapid industrial expansion in the country, hi-tech and new technology programmes will be promoted. All possible steps will be taken to devise in-built flexibility in course structure, credit transfer and upward vertical mobility through modular design of the curriculum.
  2. To meet the shortage of faculty for post-graduate teaching, special incentive schemes for M.tech, M.Phil and Ph.D programmes will be devised.

(iv) Governance of Institutions

  1. Autonomy and deemed university status will be granted to identified technical institutions. The style of management will be more responsive and accountable through induction of eminent academicians, technologists, industrialists and other men of stature. These bodies will focus on vision, goals, objectives and policies for the institutions and not meddle with issues of micro-management.

(v) Excellence in Polytechnic Education

  1. The implementation of the Technician Education Project during the 8th Plan attempted to bring Polytechnics closer to industrial establishments, other technical institutions of higher education and industrial training institutes. This process will be further facilitated in the times to come.
  2. The scheme of Community Polytechnics will be brought closer to target groups' requirements by transfer of appropriate technology to the community and training in such technology to rural folk.

University and Higher Education

3.3.80 The country is going through major economic and technological changes. The system of higher education has to prepare its products for participation in the emerging social, economic and cultural environment. Universities are witnessing a sea change in their outlook and perspective. Information technology is leading to fundamental changes in the structure, management and mode of delivery of the entire educational system.

3.3.81 Critical Issues

(i) Relevance and Quality

Today, the relevance and quality of education is the most critical issue in higher education. The delivery system is under tremendous pressure.

(ii) Use of Media and Educational Technology

Information technology has changed the educational systems throughout the world. India is at the cross-roads and can easily use this opportunity, as she has a major potential for

supplying software to the world.

(iii) Structure of Curriculum

It is widely argued that the structural arrangement of the curriculum is rigid and fails to respond to the emerging needs of the student community.

(iv) Access and Equity

Although there has been massive development and expansion of University and higher education in the country, we are faced with the issue of regional imbalances. There are numerous institutions without adequate physical infrastructure and academic climate. The representation of women is also much lower than that of men.

(v) Management of Education

Management of education is being done on traditional lines with rigid structures, high wastage and low efficiency.

(vi) Resource Utilisation

There is a problem of under-utilisation of the existing physical infrastructure due to proliferation of institutions of higher education.

3.3.82 Action Plan

(i) Relevance and Quality

  1. Vocational Education: At the under-graduate level, vocational education will be expanded in disciplines which have strong linkages with industry and improve employability. UGC, in collaboration with the universities, will re-structure the under-graduate courses and actively involve industrial houses in the development of curriculum, on-the- job training etc.
  2. Higher Education: Teaching in post-graduate and doctoral programmes and research will be oriented towards applied fields so as to establish relevance, need-based specialisation and market-driven skill generation.
  3. Faculty Improvement: Faculty improvement scheme will be strengthened through incentives, self-development, sponsored research, in-service training through distance mode etc. Academic staff colleges will be re-structured accordingly.
  4. Faculty Exchange: Faculty exchange between industrial houses and universities will be promoted in technical disciplines so as to enrich the content of education.

(ii) Use of Media and Educational Technology

A purposeful action plan will be formulated in consultation with the field agencies in order to impart a multi- media approach to teaching. Quality will be ensured through Internal Quality Assessment Cells and accreditation through the National Assessment and Accreditation Council.

(iii) Structural Arrangement of Curriculum

Universities will be asked to develop a system of credit and credit transfers. This will help in shifting from rigid, structured, unidisciplinary programmes to the credit-based cafeteria system with core, optional and extra-developmental courses at under-graduate and post-graduate levels.

(iv) Access and Equity

  1. Unserved Areas: Unserved areas will be brought into the fold by providing additional educational facilities. College mapping will be done on an area-based approach so that there is optimal utilisation of existing resources and regional imbalances are removed.
  2. Distance Education: Since resources for expanding physical facilities are limited, Distance Education in conventional as well as open universities will be strengthened and promoted.

(v) Linkage Changes

Necessary changes will be made in the legislation pertaining to the UGC and the Universities so as to cope with newly emerging requirements and challenges.

(vi) Resource Utilisation

  1. Fiscal Discipline: Fiscal discipline will be strongly enforced in institutions of higher education.
  2. Resource-Sharing: Adoption of a cluster approach to sharing of resources by neighbouring institutions and setting up of inter-university centres will help in achieving economies of scale.

(vii) Resource Mobilisation

Additional Resources will be mobilised by :

  1. Fee Restructuring: Restructuring of fees based upon the criteria of Unit Cost and the socio-economic background of the student.
  2. Public Funding: Widening the public funding resource-base by attracting contributions from various departments of the Government and the community, in order to support basic infrastructure such as laboratories, libraries and new courses.
  3. Industrial Funding: Encouraging contributions from industrial establishments for sponsored research projects.

(viii) Performance and Accountability

UGC will work out a concrete programme of action for ensuring better accountability. This will be done by:

  1. Leveraging UGC Funds: Using UGC's plan and non-plan financial assistance as a leverage to encourage better performance.
  2. Evaluation: Utilising the UGC's evaluation machinery much more vigorously to rank universities and publicising evaluation reports as widely as possible.
  3. Model Code: Developing a model code of governance which would minimise political interference and improve standards.

(ix) Extension Education

  1. Continuing Education: Adult and continuing education programmes will be targetted for those who have had the benefit of university education but need to return, for updating or acquiring knowledge or skills.
  2. Skill-based Courses: Extension education programmes will be aimed at the needs of specific groups who would not otherwise be entrants to the university system. Such courses could be based on skills for income generation, entrepreneurship, para-legal work, etc.
  3. Community Education: Community education programmes will be focussed on transfer of skills which require upgradation due to technological progress.

Women's Empowerment

3.3.83 The National Agenda for Governance also states: "We will institute plans for providing free education for girls up to college level, i.e. under-graduate level including professional courses would be made free". An adequate provision will be made for the scheme for this purpose during the 9th Five Year Plan. On a long-term basis and in close collaboration with State and local governments, the financial implications of making education free for girls upto the graduation level will be worked out, in so far as these relate to the Department of Education.

3.3.84 Critical Issues

Free Education for Girls:

The concept of free education has to be defined explicitly in terms of its coverage. The components could be:

  1. tuition fees;
  2. basic text books;
  3. maintenance expenditures in hostels; and
  4. library books

3.3.85 Action Plan

Free Education for Girls:

  • Education will be free for girls upto college level. The contours of the scheme are being worked out. A new scheme will be launched shortly.

(a) Financial Requirements: The financial requirements for implementation of the concept of free education to girls upto college level will be worked out by Ministry of Human Development (MHRD).

(b) New Scheme: A new scheme called "Free Education for Girls" will be devised and implemented in a time-bound manner.

Management Education

Critical Issues

3.3.86 In view of the emerging needs of Indian economy, the new dimensions of management education and research have necessitated technology upgradation to achieve quality control, use of information technology for overall improvement in output and performance as well as competitiveness. There is an imperative need for networking and linkages between leading management institutes, university departments of management and centres of management education, especially in private sector on the one hand and industrial establishments and user organisations on the other.

Action Plan

3.3.87 In view of the acute shortage of teachers in management education, particularly in areas like marketing and finance, programmes will be restructured to meet the demands for managerial cadres for the growing infrastructural and service sectors and in areas like International Business, Environment, Technology Management, Entrepreneurship, Material Management, etc. Institutes-industry linkages will be strengthened through consultancy, faculty/professional exchange programmes.

Language Development and Book Promotion

3.3.88 Language is a potent instrument of artistic expresion and literary creativity. India has inherited a multiplicity of languages, which are at various stages of development. During the successive Plans, the endeavour had been to help the different languages develop to their optimum level. Emphasis was also laid on the promotion of literature in various languages.

3.3.89 Since Independence various programmes have been formulated and implemented for the promotion of Hindi, as a link language, and modern Indian Languages, as provided in the National Policy on Education besides giving equal stress to Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Sindhi, Urdu, English and other languages, both spoken as well as written.

Review of Eighth Plan

3.3.90 During the Eighth Plan period, the schemes for the promotion of Hindi as a link language were further strengthened. As many as 1521 posts of Hindi teachers were created and assistance was provided to 19 Hindi teachers' training colleges. Besides this, 160 voluntary organisations working for the promotion of Hindi were provided financial assistance for publication of 54 Hindi manuscripts. Fifty scholorships were given to foreign nationals for studying Hindi. Books in Hindi were supplied to the Missions/Embassies abroad.

3.3.91 The Central Hindi Directorate published 6 dictionaries and 30 bilingual and trilingual dictionaries and organised 37 book exhibitions. It also gave awards to 48 writers, organised 32 camps of new Hindi writers and conducted 8 study tours. Twelve lakh books were distributed in non-Hindi speaking areas free of cost. As many as 51,932 students were enrolled in the correspondence course for teaching Hindi language and 66 personal contact programmes were organised for these students.

3.3.92 The Kendriya Hindi Shikshan Mandal, Agra continued the extension programmes for Hindi teachers in tribal areas and conducted training courses for them. It also developed text books and infrastructural materials for teaching Hindi in Non-Hindi speaking areas. The Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology continued the job of evolving a uniform format of scientific and technical terminology in Hindi and other Modern Indian languages. It also developed Glossaries of technical terms of all discipline ranging from basic Sciences to Medicine, Engineering, Social Sciences and Humanities.A revised enlarged edition of a comprehensive glossary of about 50,000 technical terms of Medical Sciences, Pharmacology, and Physical Anthropology was published. Similarly, an enlarged Comprehensive Agriculture Glossary was brought out. As many as 2.5 lakh technical terms were keyed into the data base of computer-based National Terminology Bank towards the modernisation of lexicography and facilitating instant dissemination of updated technical terms to the users. It also organised terminology associated workshops.

3.3.93 The Central Institute of Indian Languages in Mysore assisted 40 NGOs for the development and promotion of Modern Indian Languages, besides continuing its regular programmes. It assisted in the publication of 23 manuscripts in Modern Indian Lanugages. During 1993-94, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Appointment and Training of Modern Indian Language teachers, other than Hindi, was launched for enabling the implementation of the three language formula. Eleven State and Regional Institutes of English were provided financial assistance, 30 District Centres for English were sanctioned in different States/UTs and about 4015 teachers received training at these centres. Twenty five NGOs were assisted every year for promotion and development of English language. Twenty one manuscripts in English language were published and 75 books were purchased.

3.3.94 The National Council for Promotion of Urdu (formerly known as Bureau for Promotion of Urdu) assisted 48 voluntary organisations and academic institutions for running of Calligraphy Training Centres and for undertaking various activities for promotion of Urdu language. Academic literature was also prepared and made available to Urdu speaking people of the country. During 1993-94, the Scheme of Modernisation of Madarsas was introduced to provide assistance to madarsas to introduce science, mathematics, social science, Hindi and English as part of their curriculum. The National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language was established in 1994 to help in the development, promotion and propagation of Sindhi language.

3.3.95 Two more Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapithas were started during the Eighth Plan, in addition to the seven already functioning. Two new Adarsh Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya/Shodh Sansathan were also recognised. The construction of the building of the headquarters of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansathan and Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapitha at Trichur was also taken up during the Eighth Plan. For the promotion and development of Sanskrit language, 750 registered voluntary organisations were assisted and the services of 125 retired scholars availed of. The Allahabad Sanskrit Vidyapitha took the work of correction and preservation of Sanskrit manuscripts. The Janapitha Sanskrit Vidyalaya corrected and edited the Kashmir Shaiv Darshan Kosha.

3.3.96 The National Book Trust increased its net sale considerably during the Eighth Plan. The National Centre for Children's Literature organised eight extension programmes and workshops and participated in 15 international book fairs, besides organising 13 book exhibitions abroad. The main focus of NBT was on promotion of books for export to South Asia and African countries.

Action Plan

3.3.97 During the IX Plan, emphasis will be laid on enhancing access to tribal languages through various activities. Schemes dealing with development of Sanskrit education and for its promotion will be strengthened with an emphasis on promoting use of Sanskrit in conversation. Sanskrit is also well suited for Computer-based natural language processing activities. It is, therefore, proposed to give a thrust to this area under the scheme for the development of Sanskrit language. New programmes are proposed to be initiated for developing Hindi as a link language, particularly in non-Hindi States. Due emphasis will be given to the promotion of Urdu and Sindhi languages, modernisation of madarsas and development and promotion of English and modern Indian languages. The publication programmes of the National Book Trust will be strengthened further. Special thrust will be given to the effective implementation of the Copy Right Amendment Act by initiating new schemes.


3.3.98 For the promotion and preservation of tribal languages, a programme of publication of tribal oral literature, their translation into major Indian languages and provision of training to people to preserve tribal oral literature, etc. will be undertaken. For the promotion of Sanskrit, seminars, symposia and workshops on different topics, particularly relating to science and technology and study of Sanskrit indology by exchange of scholars with other centres/ universities within the country and abroad will be organised.

3.3.99 For the documentation of available Sanskrit treasures, a library with a documentation and computer centre is proposed to be attached with Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansathan. A new scheme will be initiated for the production of suitable teaching material and for starting new correspondence courses. Activities relating to production of simplified Sanskrit learning material along with computer-aided teaching of shastras will be given due emphasis. The Maharishi Sandipani Rashtriya Ved Pratishthan will be helped to expand its activities of preservation, conservation and development of the oral tradition of vedic knowledge and studies.

3.3.100 Schemes for promoting Hindi as an effective link language, particularly in the non-Hindi speaking States, will be expanded /extended further. Teaching of Hindi will be taken up in two more regional languages, Telugu and Kannada, through correspondence courses. New centres of Kendriya Hindi Shikshan Mandal will be established in the States of Orissa, Gujarat and West Bengal and a computer laboratory will be established at the Kendriya Shikshan Mandal at Agra. An audio-visual laboratory will be established under the Commission for Promotion of Scientific and Technical Terminology. Awards will be given to the users of scientific and technical terminology in Hindi. In order to enable faster translation of technical books and manuals using computers, computer assisted translation from English to Hindi of technical books will be undertaken.

3.3.101 For the promotion of Urdu language, the activities of the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language will be further extended by providing additional funds for the production and publication of books, for conducting correspondence courses in Urdu, calligraphy etc. A Central Urdu Language and Documentation Centre will be established for conservation and preservation of Urdu manuscripts and books.

3.3.102 The activities of the National Council for Promotion of Sindhi language will be promoted by initiating new schemes for the production of technical terminology, learning through correspondence courses, preparation of Sindhi- Hindi-English dictionaries, encyclopaedia etc.

3.3.103 The Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore will initiate new schemes for developing models for translation among Indian languages, development of common core grammar for machine translation and for setting up a facility for information on Indian languages, etc. The Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (CIEFL), Hyderabad will focus on improving the standard of teaching of English language and translation of literature from one language to another. For speedy translation of technical books from English to Hindi by using computers, a new scheme will be initiated by CIEFL.

3.3.104 The National Book Trust will be strengthened to give thrust to production of reference material for children. Comprehensive data base of published books will also be prepared. For promoting books and reading habits, special programmes over the mass media will be promoted.

3.3.105 The Copyright Amendment Act will be enforced effectively. The Copyright Cells will also be established for documentation and information on Copyright Rules, related issues etc., besides promoting formation of Copyright Societies in various areas.


3.3.106 The basic agenda for the Ninth Plan is to fulfil the objectives of Article 45 of the Constitution by charting out a clear course of action to make primary education free and compulsory upto Vth standard, though the ultimate object is to universalise upto VIIIth Standard. This phasing is necessary because of the resource constraint on the one side and enormous complexity of the problem on the other.

3.3.107 Bulk of the Plan Outlay will be spent on elementary education. Physical targets for the education sector are at Annexure-3.3.1. The IX Plan will aim at :

  1. Additional enrolment at lower primary stage       - 250 lakh
  2. Additional enrolment at upper primary stage      - 160 lakh
  3. Construction of school buildings/additional         - 75 thousand
    rooms at the elementary stage
  4. Appointment of primary school teachers            - 236 thousand
  5. Appointment of upper-primary school teachers   -175 thousand

3.3.108 In addition, there is a target of making 5 crore adults in the age group (15-35) literate during the plan period.

A Perspective for Education During the Next Decade

3.3.109 Since the task of Universalisation of Elementary Education will remain unfulfilled in States like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, J and K, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, particularly at upper primary stage, it is obvious that there is need for a longer time horizon. The Xth Plan will continue to lay emphasis on a higher allocation for primary education so as to complete the unfinished task.

3.3.110 The details of the proposed physical targets are at Annexure – 3.3.2. The Xth Plan will aim at :

  1. Additional enrolment at lower primary stage - 300 lakh
  2. Additional enrolment at upper primary stage - 250 lakh
  3. Construction of school buildings/additional - 125 thousand rooms at the elementary stage.
  4. Appointment of primary school teachers - 275 thousand
  5. Appointment of upper-primary school teachers -250 thousand.

The Xth plan will make another 5 crore adults population in the age-group 15-35 literate

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