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Education in India

With the sweeping changes in global education policies, India is on the verge of a mass evolution in education. While national literacy figures show a significant increase on the one hand, there has been widespread development in diverse educational facilities on the other. Thus India is on the global economic map controlling 44 percent of the global outsourcing IT market that is proving to be a power to reckon with. With an ability to withstand the drastic effects of the recession better than some developed nations, these positive effects also project an upward surge in jobs by 1.5 million in India.

India's Intellectual Heritage

A country that is known for its ancient civilization and philosophy also holds the credit of having invented the number system. It was an Indian, Aryabhatta who invented the digit zero. The first university, Taxila in 700 B.C was founded in India. Moreover, the Nalanda University was deemed as an excellent university during the fourth century. The place value system was also developed in 100 B.C. in India. The origin of trigonometry, algebra and calculus is from India. The father of Ayurveda, the ancient school of medicine from India is 'Charaka' an Indian. The roots of the Indian Sanskrit language, are found in many modern languages.

Primary Education

Children from six to fourteen years of age in India have been offered free education up to Class VIII, according to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009. However the country's private institutions are largely responsible for the great leap achieved towards primary education in India. 92 million students benefited from Primary education in the year 2000-01.

Education Levels In India

  • Nursery: Also termed as Montessori, lower and upper kindergarten, children within the age group of 3-5 years come under this category.
  • Primary: - The harmonious development of the child with a view to value inculcation that aims at social transformation. This level includes Classes I to V.
  • Secondary: -Class VI students up to Class X study at this school. A certificate is issued by the Education School Board to the students who pass Class X
  • Higher Secondary: - Also called Junior College, at this level only students of Class National XI and XII are admitted.
  • Bachelor's Degree: - Under graduate students wishing to study specific fields in education are admitted to Colleges of Arts, Science or Commerce to attain a Bachelor's Degree. Other fields selected also are those in Professional Colleges like Medical Colleges, Engineering and Business Management Colleges, as well as Colleges of Art and Architecture. Apart from these there are Autonomous Colleges like St. Aloysius and XLC Jabalpur besides Polytechniques offering various skills as well.
  • Master's Degree: - After completing graduation a student may pursue higher education through this advanced course.
  • Doctoral Studies: Master's degree students who have specialized in a certain field further advance towards a specified research and at the end of a successful defense of their thesis backed study; they are awarded the Ph.D. Degree.

Board Of Education

  • The education policies are enforced by a central body in India viz. (NCERT) National Council of Educational Research and Training. Under this apex body there are several governing systems of education:
  • The State Government Boards, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Board,
  • The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE)
  • The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) board.
  • International schools affiliated to the International Baccalaureate Programmed and/or the Cambridge International Examinations
  • Autonomous Schools as Patha Bhavan, Woodstock Ananda Marga Gurukula and Auroville
  • Boards of Islamic Madrassas controlled by state governments or affiliated to Darul Uloom Deoband.
  • The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) board. To aid those who cannot join regular school, Distance Learning is a boon for the school drop out or earning students.

Secondary Education

Those students having passed the elementary education enter the secondary level after the primary section. With the shift in literacy rates more students have benefited from secondary education. In 2000-01 34 million students were enrolled in secondary schools.

University Education

In India degree courses are offered by 342 universities (211 State, 18 Central, 95 deemed universities) 13 institutes of national importance, 17,000 colleges and 887 polytechnics. The University Grant Commission (UGC) monitors and regulates the standard of university education in India. The Indian education system has yet to meet the challenge of offering college education facilities in villages as a whole.

Education Policies

The new education policy of the government is an open invitation for foreign universities to accept the demands of education facilities in India harboring hope for educating India's remote areas. Distance learning is a boon offered by the Education Board to those who cannot attend school

Academic Grades

While the graded system may be used in the lower classes of the primary school, at the Board Exam level, students of X AND XII obtain percentages. The GPA system is also followed by other institutes in college.

Problems Faced by Indian Education Today

'Most of our professors don't do research and more of our research scientists don't teach. So, we need to bridge that divide', says the Chairman, National Knowledge Commission. The crying need for opportunities for higher education and teachers is being addressed by the education authorities. Going by statistics we find that hardly 8 percent of children in the country enjoy higher education. Still the shortage of teachers seems to be alarmingly high. In government colleges the figures shot up to 49 percent in 2008-09 from 27 percent(398) in 2005-06.

A VISION FOR THE FUTURE

Primary education would need to look more towards the holistic development of the child keeping in view the aims of the child to meet the demands of the future. With regard to higher education, the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations, Maintenance of Quality and Prevention of Commercialisation) Bill, which was okayed by the cabinet in February 2007 has still to pass through many formalities before it gets the final go. This calls for greater participation from both the government and the private sector.
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