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With Special reference to Policy legislations, Curricula,

ICT, ODL

(A compilation of Published Articles)

By Sadaket Ali Malik


MA Education, B.Ed

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Preface
Current Education for All (EFA) global monitoring report 2009 is an eye
opener for the Policy makers in general and educational administrators in
particular. India needs to have a consensus among the strong academic
community to achieve the gender parity and universal enrolment.

I had been attempting since long to focus on the critical analysis of the
policies and programmes of several ministries of Government of India
regarding Policy issues by way of plethora of articles published in several
national, International and local print and online media.

This book policy issues in Education encompasses in a single volume the


important legislations that have taken place and suggestions for the people at
the helm of affair.

This book is just a collection of my published articles on educational policy


parameters. These articles and columns on the latest happenings in the
educational canvas of the country have been featured in National and local
dailies, also on the web logs and blogs on education.

The book intends to cover issues like Open and Distance Learning (ODL),
Information and communication technologies (ICTs), Digital learning,
Vocational education, Curricula, Education for All (EFA), to look at the
problems at national context.

I am sure this book on my articles will acquaint the readers, students,


and people at the helm, about policy issues to work cooperatively and
responsibly for education for all to achieve inclusive growth.

If this work meets the needs of even a small fraction of the educationists
at several levels who are keen on updating their knowledge bank on the
policy of education, I would feel the purpose of my work is served.

I am thankful to the Chief Editor, The Daily Excelsior Jammu Respected S


D Rohmetra, Chairman The Kashmir Times Jammu, Sh Ved Bhasin, Editor The
Employment News New Delhi, Web Editor The Meri News, Editor, Article base,
Editor The Job Quest Jammu, Editor Indiaedunews.com for giving a full page
space to my work.

I am also indebted to my Parents, my wife Fozia Fabyaan owing to thier


inspiration this work saw a light of the day. I am thankful to my learned guru
Dr. Arshad Ahmed of Jamia Millia Islamia University. Commerade Krishan Dev

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Sethi, (freedom fighter of freedom struggle. Sh. Balraj puri, K K Bhat, lokesh
Verma, for their encouragement for completing this little bit piece of work.

Sadaket A Malik

Author

List of the Articles Published

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1. Distance education: Indian Context

2. Effective decentralization needed in Education

3. Holistic education: A UNESCO Experience

4. Rehabilitation of Disabled

5. Gender enrolment ratio in secondary education

6. Diversifying Open schooling


7. Failure in regulations of education

8. Nutritional Value of Midday Meals


9. E-governance- A new way to reach the unreached

10. Originality in Thinking for Education

11. Tears of children!


12. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: A true educationist

13. State Knowledge Commission needs fleeting attention

14. Education for human Values

15. E-learning in India: The electronic way to learning

16. Pro-active bid to bring education on right track

17. Indian universities lack placement services

18. Open and distance Learning: A global view

19. Education for All Report 2008-an Eye Opener for Policy Makers

20. Revitalizing secondary education21. Streamlining Vocational Training

21. Streamlining Vocational Training

22. Flexible educational curricula

23. Government Policies and International Voluntary Sector

24. Needed a reflective youth policy

25. Placement facility in technical education

26. A Poet cannot become a Chemical Engineer'

27. ICTs and capacity building in Open Learning

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28. Career in NGO Management

29. Public Relations as a Career

30. Career in Real Estate Management

31. Advertising- A Glamorous Career

32. State Youth Policies-The need of hour

33. Value based Education”

34. Technologising Learning in Schools”

35. Needed a reflective Youth Policy”

36. Accountability for NGOs”

37. It’s a rising tide irreversible tide in educational picture”

38. India’s unmanned moon mission-A stepping Stone”

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Distance education: Indian Context

“There must be a State level Distance education regulating body in every state at the
pattern of Distance education council (DEC) at the centre to ensure quality
assurance”

The concept of Distance education in Indian context started by the establishment of


Nalanda Open University. Distance Education is an important field of Education.

Distance education plays a vital role for the socio educational development and
democratisation of any society. In Distance Education, students may not be required
to be present in a classroom, but that also may be a question of option. As for an
electronic classroom or Virtual Learning Environment, it may or not be a part of a
distance education set up. Electronic classrooms can be both on campus, and off
campus. We would call such institutions as using a 'flexible' delivery mode.

Distance Education may also use all forms of technology, from print to the computer.
This range will include radio, television, audio video conferencing, computer aided
instruction, e-learning/on-line learning et al. (E-learning/online-learning are largely
synonymous). A distinction is also made between open learning and distance
learning. To clarify our thinking we can say that 'open' education is the system in
which the student is free to choose the time and place, but distance education is a
teaching methodology used when the student and teacher are separated by time and
place. Thus it follows that not all open-learning institutions use distance education
and not all organizations that use distance education are open learning institutions.
Indeed there are many cases in which students are in traditional classrooms,
connected via a video-conferencing link to a teacher in a distant classroom. This
method is typical in geographically dispersed institutions. Conversely, the term
virtual university is sometimes used to describe an open-learning institution that
uses the Internet to create an imaginary university environment, in which the
students, faculty, and staff can communicate and share information at any time,
regardless of location.

` In India there are several institutions offering open and distance programmes
to the wide number of target groups viz, women folk, unemployed youth, engineers,
medical professionals, managers and houseviews.

The setting up of an Indira Gandhi National Open university (IGNOU) has not only
covered the huge populace but has helped a lot for the social and educational
empowerment of the masses of the country. This institution of national importance
has made a remarkable progress in Open and distance learning in India.Women
world wide increasingly opts for distance education. The secondary source of data
reveals that 40 to 50 percent of the students of the majority of the open and distance

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education institutions are women. In India, the percentage of women in distance
education is 30 to 40%.

It was observed from the sample study that 70% of the women were highly
motivated by self interest, friends, members of the family, the changing environment
in the society, media etc., and 30% of the respondents replied that their motivation
level was low. The highly motivated group mostly belonged to urban and working
sector, while the less motivated group belonged to rural areas and was less educated
group with poor socio economic background. Candidates with high motivation level
had the persistence to continue and proved successful in their examinations while
the persistence and success rate among the less motivated group was not
appreciable.

The following are the common technologies available for the instructional delivery of
distance education courses.

Video technologies: Two-way video with two-way audio (also referred to as two-way
interactive video).

Audio technologies: Two-way audio transmission

Internet-based technologies: Internet courses using synchronous (i.e. simultaneous


or `real time') computer-based instruction (e.g. interactive computer conferencing
or Interactive Relay Chat), and Internet course using asynchronous (i.e. not
simultaneous) computer-based instruction (e.g. email, list-serves, and most World
Wide Web-based courses).Other technologies: CD-ROM, mixed mode packages (i.e. a
mix of technologies that cannot be assigned to a primary mode) and an open-ended
`other, specify' category.

Resource persons pointed out that more powerful satellite, improved designs,
innovations and advancements in ground reception technology are likely to lead to a
considerable reduction in the overall cost of satellite technology; it is simple to
install direct reception community sets for the benefit of schools and colleges.

Technology has come to stay as the backbone of communication in distance teaching


methodology. Communication technology has found a client in the distance education
system. That is, distance education represents the transformations of education from
stage of craft to the stage of technology, thereby making room for increased
productivity.

The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry plans to create an


independent distance education regulator to monitor and maintain the standards of
open learning in the country. Though India already has a Distance Education Council
(DEC) functioning under the aegis of the Indira Gandhi National Open University
(IGNOU), the Ministry wants to make it an entity independent of the central
university.The existing DEC was set up with Parliament's approval under the IGNOU
Act to promote the open university and distance education systems in the country,
and determine standards of teaching, evaluation and research in such systems.
However, its umbilical chord with IGNOU proved to be an irritant. Delinking DEC from

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IGNOU has been a long-pending demand of universities offering correspondence
courses. Attempts by the DEC in the past to set norms and standards have attracted
opposition from such universities on the premise that it was not autonomous and
was part of another university that offers similar distance education programmes.

A Cabinet note to this effect is already in circulation. According to the proposal, the
DEC will be an independent statutory body to promote, coordinate and regulate the
standards of all distance education programmes offered in the country. The entire
range of open learning will be covered from correspondence courses to programmes
offered through satellite channels and the Internet.

What we need, we need to maintain the standard of this education by letter and
sprit, The university Institutions offering the distance education must bear in mind
that their study centres must br recognised and approved by the concerned statutary
body like DEC, AICTE, NCTE, MCI, and of the state govts where the university owe to
establish its learning centre. the approval of the cencerned state govt should be
made compalsory for the opening of a study centre in a particular state.There must
be a Stae level Distance education regulating body at the pattern of Distance
education council at the centre so as to access the system the most leadership
manner so as to acheieve the object of this education at large.

2. Effective decentralization needed in Education

The constitutional legal and national policies be upheld and funding pattern of
different projects of education should be revised by government to achieve the
target.

September 24, 2008

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Although much has been talked by the Government agencies for
achieving the gender parity and universal enrollment by 2010, but
it has been revealed that Indian educational region as a UN
member is facing a grim picture of literary situation.

The very recent survey monitored by UNESCO on 'Education for All'


in March 2008 is an eye opener for the statesmen and policy
makers of educational system in India.

The global monitoring report 2008 on 'Education for All' by the UN body speaks
highly on the grim educational affairs of children belonging to the remote and
disadvantaged areas of the country.

I mean to focus that besides the launch of national flagship programmes like Sarva
Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), India has missed its 2005 target of achieving gender parity
and as per the report will miss the target of 2015 for attaining total literacy.

Another matter of concern for policy makers is that the adult Literacy programmes of
the Government have fallen off its priority list and the National Knowledge
Commission (NKC) is in the process of finalizing its recommendations on this as well.

UNESCO, as a technical support agency made a recent assessment and stressed


increased involvement of children to learn by the year 2015 for achieving the vision
of Education for All (EFA).

The organisation highlighted innovative projects and strategies and underscored the
urgency of pushing forward with a common agenda for action but the question
remains: Which educational programmes and policies have been successful? What is
the relevance of the programmes at the regional level? Who remained the target
beneficiary of the milestones of the Government, and what should be the
decentralized procedure to put the policies into practice?

The current analysis of UN on India's Education for All commended India's efforts in
bringing children back to schools who are dropouts by way of the formal or informal
means.

The National Institute of Open schooling (NIOS), with its headquarters at Noida,
formed by the HRD Ministry offering academic and vocational training courses, can
prove fruitful if every district is made as a main centre of decentralization, means
thereby to set up NIOS centres in every district to reach the unreached.

The SSA which is being implemented throughout the country is a major movement to
achieve the Universal elementary Education (UEE).

The educational think-tank National University of Educational Planning and


administration, (NUEPA) has developed an Educational Development Index (EDI) to
track the progress of the states towards UEE.

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NUEPA has developed a school report card system of more then 1.05 million primary
and upper primary schools. The SSA is a historic stride towards achieving UEE
through a time bound integral approach, in partnership with the states.

Operation blackboard (OBB) started in 1987 gave impetus to the large scale
infrastructural facilities to avoid wastage and stagnation. The EFA report marks the
midway in the great zealous movement to expand learning opportunities to every
child by 2015.

In this context, the findings of the report causes concern for Indian educational
region because it has pledged to put all the children in the 6-14 age group in school
by that time and attain over 85 percent literacy rate.

The report highly endorses the country's efforts in bringing revolution in Distance
Education by using technological means like EDUSAT and Digital learning schemes.

The replacement of more then 10,000 schools into virtual classrooms is a significant
achievement.

Besides Governmental initiation of the programmes, the efforts are not enough to
achieve a big target within the stipulated period, since it is a fact that education
especially in Government-funded schools remains neglected most of the time. It may
be due to the least remuneration of the literacy workers or lack of community
intervention.

The successive governments launched several policies and made several declarations
on this issue right from the Constitutional Mandate of 1950.

Be it the National policy on Education 1986, Unnikrishnan Judgment of 1993,


Education Ministers Resolve of 1998, National Committees report on UEE in mission
mode of 1999 or the programme of Action of 2001, all promised to change the face of
elementary education by 2010, but the gender and social gap seems to have become
a part of the country.

As far as the national SSA project is concerned, the programme remained confined to
the educational officers and administrators only and the community was not made
familiar of the real object.

The reasons for this are many. Firstly, the SSA failed on the grounds that the
programme has not taken care of the community mobilization in rural and deprived
areas and educationally and economically backward blocks (EEBB).

Secondly, the SSA as a project in mission mode attached the teachers of


mainstreaming schools as district zonal and cluster resource persons thereby
resulting in the erosion of mainstream classroom. This deployment of the
mainstream formal school functionaries in SSA has paralyzed the system of both
formal and non formal funded projects of the Government.

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The SSA needs to improve indicators by way of recruiting the staff of its own and can
seek healthy collaboration of the formal functionaries of the system vis-à-vis
community mobilization.

The collaboration of SSA with NGOs in some states like Rajasthan is appreciable and
proven result oriented. The Education for All being a call for every citizen for learning
basic skills at minimum level be projected with the intervention of local NGOs and
community.

This may help in getting information from the community for the effective
decentralization of the programme. Ironically, the local level community
participation in any of the projects is not encouraging, which is the core factor of
SSA.

The local level awareness camping and increase of the remuneration of the literacy
workers is utmost importance to stem the root. The Education for All reports of 2008
demands effective decentralization. Consequent to the several efforts at national and
state level by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the country has made
good progress by increasing institutions, teachers, and students in elementary
education.

In January 2008, Mr. Arjun Singh, HRD Minister released flash statistics. According to
the statistics brought out by NUEPA New Delhi, there has been addition of minority
enrollment both at primary and upper primary levels of education which has been
attempted for the first time in the country.

The Eklavya schools for tribals in September 2007 by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for
class VI to VIII in different states is also a credit to the mission.

The extension of the Mid Day Meal Scheme from class VI to VII in 3479 educationally
backward Blocks in 2007-08 is another feather to its cap.

The efforts are revolutionary at the national level and the Government at the top
level is keen to achieve the target of EFA by 2015.

The Government of India Plan of 2012, in which it has been felt worth that the fund
sharing pattern between the centre and state will be 50:50 under the manifold of
SSA.

The constitutional legal and national policies be upheld and funding pattern of
different projects of education should be revised by government to achieve the
target.

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3. Holistic education: A UNESCO Experience

Is it enough having mere peace concepts in the curriculum?

The very recent UNICEF report says 1 billion denied a childhood. I repeat.. more than
one billion children, half of the world’s population of children, suffer from poverty,
violent conflict and the scourge of AIDS, UNICEF says in its annual report.

Education for peace, values, culture and traditions is the only way to overcome the
menace. This refers to educating the child for peace. The concept of this type of
education has been generated form UN, the United Nations focused that peace
education must be the core objective of every member country so as to imbibe the
social, cultural and traditional and intellectual values among the students across the
nations. The Education is for the sake of peace, so it was felt worthwhile by the
international community to incorporate the same in the modal curriculum globally
and locally. Peace education should not mean the education of the peace of mind
only but for the resolution of the issues of conflict and preparing the young minds for
the mutual dialogue and understanding in intellectual arena. Peace education is more
effective and meaningful when it is adopted according to the social and cultural
context and the needs of a country. It should be enriched by its cultural and spiritual
values together with the universal human values. It should also be globally relevant.

On seeing this guide a teacher might wonder 'Is it really necessary to teach peace as
such? Whole education is for peace. Isn't it already in the curriculum?' She may be
right in a sense. But the questions remain: Are we giving adequate attention today to
teach peace? Are our schools really interested in producing a peaceful young
generation? Is it enough having mere peace concepts in the curriculum? is a matter
of debate. Is Govt. of India as a member of United Nation striving towards peace in
schools, colleges and universities and how the UN bodies are making efforts to
incorporate the Peace education as an integral part of the curriculum?

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Therefore, The UNESCO has instituted Peace education prize. The purpose of the
UNESCO Prize for Peace Education is to promote all forms of action designed to
construct the defences of peace in the minds of men by rewarding a particularly
outstanding example of activity designed to alert public opinion and mobilize the
conscience of humankind in the cause of peace, in accordance with the spirit of the
Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
and the United Nations Charter.

The UNESCO is committed to the education of the peace, is publishing a lot of


resource material and circulating worldwide for mass awareness. The Library and
Documentation centre in India is a catalyst for the publication for material for the
teachers and resourse persons. UNESCO as a technical support agency is imparting
skill based training to the resourse persons and preparing them for the good of the
society. On the other hand, National Curriculum framework (NCF) (2005) by NCERT
asserts that education must be able to promote values that foster peace, humanness
and tolerance in a multicultural society.

The NCERT has launched a Training programme for the teachers on peace education
in the country in which the objective is to build the peace for self and empowerment.

Bahá'í Academy of higher learning is contributing its bit for the peace education for
universal human values in the country. The National Council for Rural Institutions
(NCRI) a body under HRD Ministry of Govt of India is providing assistance tot the
training institutions in the field of peace and conflict studies. The Union Ministry of
HRD ( Deptt. Of Secondary and Higher Education Govt of India is hureculean in
strengthening the education in Human value. The scheme for the strengthening
education in Human Values launched in 2002 is credit to the ministry.

NCERT is all set to train teachers in conflict resolution techniques and ways to
undermine violence and aggression. Globalisation and technology brought the people
so close that we started feeling that nothing is impossible. Knowledge is just a click
away. When the Devathas and Asuras did the samundra manthan halahal was also
produced. Like wise Globalisation brought competition which must be replaced by co-
operation in every field.

Nevertheless, efforts at national and International level are hureculean for the
sustainable development, but more need to be done in the field.

It is only when we develop love for the children all our teaching –languages, religion,
science, social, art , craft, service activities whatever it is will result in working for
peace and that will be the peace education. teachers need to be provided training
even at local level. There should be an Institution of national Importance for this
purpose leading to the masters Degree in Peace education so that teachers need to
be taught.

Peace education requires all of us to understand, to experience and feel the


seriousness, and work with hope for the World peace. Total absence of war only can
bring total peace. and education is the only way for elimination of conflict and
violence.

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4. Rehabilitation of Disabled

There is a need to set up information cells rather digital repository centres in every
district to ensure the success of the schemes launched by the government

There is an increased skepticism about the efficacy of community based


rehabilitation in India, there has in the last decade or so, been a shift to community
based rehabilitation (CBR) in India, as elsewhere in the developing world. But the
implementation and monitoring of the disability action schemes is absurdly poor.
Various schemes have been offered for the welfare of the disabled population, but
lack of adequate information about them ensures that stakeholders, their families
and organisations that work for them are either unaware or cannot avail of the
provisions therein. At times the process of availing of the benefits of schemes is so
cumbersome and time-consuming that most people prefer to by-pass them.
The rural disabled are at a disadvantage when compared with their access to
resources, employment opportunities and rehabilitation is severely restricted. They
often comprise the most neglected, marginalized and unlettered of their community.
They are usually denied education and the right to enjoy normal social interactions
and relationships. Families rarely take the trouble to educate their disabled
daughters and disabled women are not given a change to find fulfillment in marriage
and motherhood. Employment opportunities for the uneducated and untrained
disabled are so limited that the disabled person is considered a burden on the family,
a drain on their meager finances. The launch of governments gignatic institutions
were closed in majortiy of the rural india.
Besides island of progress in initiating schemes, there is a severe absence of a single
window process ensures that PWDs are often unaware of what benefits and schemes
are available to them. Community based rehabilitation movement through
community has by and large motivated and provided inputs- be it medical, technical
or social-to the community to take care of its disabled.
The activities of the Society will include accessing and raising resources from local,
state, national and international agencies, Govt. and NGOs. Resources are available
in various departments and schemes such as Rural Development NPRPD, SSA, IEDC,
and grant in aid schemes for special schools, pension schemes, UNDP programs,
CAPART, NHFDC, and international funding organizations such as NORAD, Action Aid,
SIDA, DANIDA and others. but lack of single window information system has led to
nothing but sufferings and implementations at all areas.
Some estimates say that almost 70-80% of Indians with disabilities live in rural
areas while most of the country's rehabilitation centers are situated in urban areas.
To transport the disabled person to these centers for appraisal, treatment or training
is an expensive process, involving not only the cost of travel but also the loss of daily
wage for the escort.
It has now been established that segregation of the disabled into protected

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environments and special institution is not only dehumanizing but also prohibitively
expensive, allowing only a very small percentage to avail of the facilities.
Another major bottleneck in the implementation process of governmental aided
schemes is that, most of the modern rehabilitation aids and mobility appliances are
totally unsuitable for rural Indian conditions. Wheelchairs and tricycles are a legacy
of a totally alien table-and-chair culture of the western world. Rural India has a
totally different social milieu as does most of rural India.
Nevertheless, Governement of India has set a stage for improving the condition of
the disabled in the country, The Government offers various schemes to encourage
voluntary action for rehabilitation of the disabled. Through these schemes NGOs can
access government support. Prominent among these schemes are provision for
grants-in-aid to special schools, vocational training, employment, community-based
rehabilitation projects, residential homes, and leisure and recreation centres etc. The
NGO should be a registered society/public trust existing for at least two years prior
to applying for financial aid. There are more than 3,000 special schools in India
today. Of them, 900 are schools for the hearing impaired, 400 for children with visual
impairment, 700 for those with locomotor disabilities, and 1,000 for the intellectually
disabled.
Interestingly, the last decade of the 20th century saw the enactment of three
legislations for the rehabilitation and welfare of people with disabilities. The Persons
with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act
was passed in 1995. This is an important legislation that provides for both preventive
and promotional aspects of rehabilitation such as education, employment and
vocational training, reservation, research and human resource development, creation
of barrier-free environment, inclusion and independent living.
However, the Rehabilitation Council of India Act 1992 led to the establishment of the
Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). The RCI is responsible for standardising and
monitoring training courses for rehabilitation professionals, granting recognition to
institutions running courses, and maintaining a Central Rehabilitation Register of
rehabilitation professionals. The RCI Act was amended in 2000 to give the RCI the
additional responsibility of promoting research in rehabilitation and special
education.Furthermore, the National Trust Act 1999 provides for the constitution of a
national body for the welfare of people with autism, cerebral palsy, mental
retardation, and multiple disabilities. The Act mandates promotion of measures for
the care and protection of persons with these disabilities in the event of the death of
their parents, procedures for appointment of guardians and trustees for persons in
need of such protection, and support to registered organisations to provide need-
based services in times of crisis to the families of the disabled. The three legislations
are comprehensive in spirit and together deal with all aspects pertaining to
rehabilitation, from prevention, training, employment, long-term settlement, human
resource development and research and documentation.
As things stand, persons with disability encounter huge difficulties in interacting
with government officials and making out applications. Although laws exist, they lack
teeth. Very few organisations are penalised for not providing barrier-free
environments. In fact, this basic requirement is seen more as a voluntary gesture --
if an organisation provides a ramp it's touted as a praiseworthy achievement. No one
considers the fact that, according to the 1995 Persons with Disability Act, the
provision is mandatory by law.

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There is a need to set up an information cells rather digital repository centres in
every district to ensure the success of the schemes launched by the government

5. Gender enrolment ratio in secondary education

Whatever is seen in government approvals is not being practiced at ground level,


thereby the schemes meant for rural poor remained all on papers.

By Sadaket Malik
Secondary education has been till now one of the most neglected areas of
government interventions in education. Besides enabling framework by the country's
big banner Ministry of human resource development, The country is yet to achieve a
General Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 75 per cent for classes IX-X by providing a
secondary school within a reasonable distance of every habitation.
Although efforts are being made by the States for expansion and quality
improvement of secondary education, there is little information available on the
current status and development concerns. It is, therefore, necessary to undertake
diagnostic exercises for assessing the current status and to identify priority areas for
planned intervention to improve access, participation and quality of learning.
In addition, the need is to create sustainable competencies and institutional
arrangements at the sub-national levels required for planning and implementation of
development initiatives in the secondary education sector. It may be reiterated that
the States are yet to adopt a sector-wide approach for planning for expansion and
quality improvement of secondary education.
However, given the strategy of decentralization, the development of district level
secondary education plan is essential for identifying and addressing issues and
problems of expansion and quality improvement.
Until now, the role of the Central Government in the development of secondary
education has been relatively limited. It was financing the national level bodies like
NCERT, NIOS, KVS, NVS, etc. and assisting States through select centrally-sponsored
schemes. On an average, the Central Government was spending around 12% of the
total expenditure on secondary education.
Now, in order to address the emerging challenges, the Ministry of Human Resource
Development, Government of India is envisaging playing a larger role in the
development and universalization of secondary education in the country. It has
proposed to introduce a centrally-assisted programme called the Scheme for
Universal Access and Quality at the Secondary Stage (SUCCESS) during the Eleventh
Five-Year Plan period.

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Moreover, a significant progress is made in all the spheres of secondary education.
on January 2, 2009,the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a
centrally-sponsored scheme called the 'Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan
(RMSA)'. The RMSA aims at achieving a Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 75 percent
for classes IX-X within 5 years by providing a secondary school within a reasonable
distance of every habitation.
Ironically, more than 84 per cent habitations had secondary school section within a
distance of 8 km as compared to 70 per cent within 5 km. The number of unserved
habitations declined from 21 per cent in 1986-87 to 15 per cent in 1993-94. During
1950-51 to 1999-2000, the number of secondary and higher secondary schools
increased from 7 thousand to 117 thousand. The increase (16 times) is much more
rapid than the corresponding increase in the primary (3 times) and upper primary
(14 times) schools. In the latest decade (1990 to 99), more than 37 thousand
secondary and higher secondary schools were opened.
The ratio of upper primary to secondary schools also improved from 1.83 in 1950-51
to 1.69 in 1999-2000.
The number of secondary/higher secondary teachers increased from 127 thousand in
1950-51 to 1,720 thousand in 1999-2000. Despite the increase in number of
teachers, the pupil-teacher ratio increased from 21:1 in 1950-51 to 32:1 in 1999-
2000; thus indicating significant increase in enrolment at this level. From a low 1.5
million in 1950-51, it has now been increased by more than 19 times to 28.2 million
in 1999-2000.
The percentage of girls enrolment increased from 13 per cent in 1950-51 to about 38
per cent in 1999-2000. Enrolment in secondary/higher secondary level increased by
almost doubles the rate than the increase in the primary enrolment. The GER, though
low but improved from 19.3 per cent in 1990-91 to 30.0 per cent in 1993-94 and
further to 41.2 per cent in 1998-99. Almost 50 per cent children of age group 14-17
year were attending schools in 1995-96. The retention rate (I to IX) is also improved
but still it is low at 27 per cent. The transition rate from upper primary to secondary
level is as high as 85 per cent.
If the goal of universal secondary enrolment (Grades IX-X) is achieved by 2015,
enrolment in Grade IX can also be projected accordingly. But one has to first define
the meaning of universalizing secondary education.
However, initially it may not be possible to achieve hundred percent net enrolment
and retention in the secondary classes. This is more so specific keeping in view the
present status of elementary education in the country. Even, in developing countries
that have achieved the goal of universal enrolment, it is not hundred percent. Then,
what should be the goal in the Indian context? May be it is 85, 90 or 95 per cent.
Achieving universalisation of secondary education in 2015; thus means that 85/90
per cent children those who take admission in Grade I in 2007 will reach Grade IX in
2015.
Impressive progress has also been made at the primary and upper primary levels of
education. But despite all these significant achievements, the goal to achieve
universal elementary enrolment still remains far out of the sight. The goal of
universal secondary education cannot be achieved unless the goal of universal
elementary enrolment is achieved.
Of late, the quality of education imparted at secondary level through making all
secondary schools conform to prescribed norms, and remove gender, socio-economic

17
and disability barriers, Universal access to secondary level education by 2017 by the
end of 12th Five Year Plan and Universal retention by 2020 are the targets to be
reached by the ministry within a stipulated period. The question here i apt to ask is
that will india reach the beneficiaries within its plan to cover the target populace?
Would the schemes and funds allocated be implemented as per the aspirations of the
learners? Or is the strategy of the government functionaries fruitful to achieve the
object? These questions need transparent answer from our strong academic
community veering to universalise the whole system.
The government seems to have taken the first concrete step. In its final lap, the UPA
government set in motion the process to ensure that children in the 15 to 16 years
age group have access to affordable secondary (classes IX and X) education. RMSA is
a reworked version of an existing centrally sponsored scheme for universalisation of
access to and improvement of quality of education at secondary stage (SUCCESS). In
doing so, it will subsume all existing central schemes geared for the secondary
segment such as ICT in schools, IEDC, girls hostel scheme, and vocational education.
The programme of RMSA has targeted universal access by 2017 and universal
retention by 2020 as goals. At present the gross enrolment ratio (GER), that is the
percentage of children in the relevant age group who are in secondary school is
merely 52.26%. While the GER for classes XI and XII is a mere 28.54% and for the
four years of secondary and senior secondary (Classes IX to XII) is 40.49%. As per
2001 Census, estimated population in the 14-18 age group as on March 1, 2007 was
9.69 crore. There seemed certain bottlenecks while implementation of the schemes
meant to universalise the middle school education. The linkage of Government
functionaries implementing the schemes of secondary education and the people on
wheelchairs are absurdly poor. Whatever is seen in government approvals is not
being practiced at ground level, thereby the schemes meant for rural poor remained
all on papers.
sadaketmalik@rediffmail.com

6. Diversifying Open schooling

Other curricular areas required to be included in the curriculum for academic courses
up to secondary level.The Open school centres be set up in every state taking into
account the district as a mian centre of decentralisation so as to achieve the
objective of universal enrolement.

By Sadaket Malik
The government school system in India is shackled in many ways (quality of
teaching, infrastructure, access, discrimination) and more. Each year, millions of
children from poor and low-income families are left out completely, or drop out
before they see high school. Some of this is changing, but too slowly.
At the current pace of change, it could take anywhere between 15 and 50 years for
government-run schools to be fixed. The sheer number of children in need of
schooling means that even after decades, millions will be left out.
Ironically, the tardiness in ensuring universal education comes at a time when most
observers feel that India is likely to face a substantive shortage of skilled workers
soon, if not already. Without the necessary education, the workforce of the future

18
will face limited opportunities.
The question is, Should children of poor parents be destined to face this chasm of
access to opportunities, merely because of the slow pace of reform? How can we
ensure that reforms in education are quick as well as comprehensive?
The present Indian Education system does not cover the needs of society. In rural
area the existing Govt.schools are out dated infrastructures with well paid teachers
and lesst teaching aids does not attract the students to meet out their requirments
on free of cost. Where as private owned schools attract the students on cost by
providing modern methods of teaching learning environments with proper closed
supervision.Can we expect these facilities from Govt run schools? Unless we have
reform in education policy to equalizes the pattern of providing free and compulsory
Basic education to all,we can't attain the national goal.
Nevertheless, Open schooling is a big hit. FROM THE gurukul of the ancient times to
the online streaming in of video, the Indian education scenario has undergone a
change that no one anticipated there was a program in Open Schooling that every
student has to literate one person in their locality in order to pass. Thats an excellent
example of spreading literacy. We need more strategies like this.
The Government estavblished National Open School (NOS) in 1989 to reach those
who had dropped out of school or never been to school and who wished to study but
were for a variety of reasons not studying in regular schools. Over the years, the role
of NOS expanded beyond the provision of bridging courses, an alternative
secondary/higher secondary curriculum and life-enhancing courses, to include from
vocational education.
Meanwhile, a number of State Open Schools were established, all with a similar pro-
poor mandate to that of NOS. In 2002, NOS was re-mandated to act as the national
apex body for open schooling, and re-designated The National Institute of Open
Schooling (NIOS). NIOS is both a teaching and an examining and accrediting
organization. There are currently close to 300,000 students enrolled in NIOS
Accredited Institutions in the length and breadth of the country.
The government is moving in the direction of greater focus and emphasis on the
improving learning levels of school children. There are debates on how this is to be
done, strategies to be used, and the measurements to be used. Last year's annual
survey of education was an important in put to this process.
Today, powerful new tools are making it easier than ever to disseminate knowledge
and expand educational opportunities this change means education is the most
important investment that governments make. To thrive in this new world,
developed and developing countries alike need to focus on building the creative and
productive capacities of their workforce. In an increasingly globalised economy,
knowledge and skills are the key differentiators of nations as well as individuals.
India is a great example of the power of this approach. An emphasis on education
has been the catalyst for the rise of an information technology industry that has
created new opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people and established India
as an important global centre for innovation. Today, powerful new tools are making it
easier than ever to disseminate knowledge and expand educational
opportunitiesWith massive expansion of open schooling and open basic education in
the world, a strong need has been felt to continuously orient, train and upgrade a
variety of functionaries involved in these areas. The Ministry of Human Resource
Development, Government of India and the National Institute of Open Schooling,

19
India have, in collaboration with and or the support from the Commonwealth of
Learning, Canada, have established an International Centre for Training in Open
Schooling (ICTOS) at NOS to address to the training needs of the functionaries
involved in open schooling and open basic education. The certificate and diploma
programmes mentioned below are part of this effort of the ICTOS.
NIOS operates through a network of five Departments at its Headquarters,
elevenRegional Centres, more than 3100 study centres (2067 for Academic Courses
and 1063 for Vocational Education Courses). It has a current enrolment of about 1.5
million students at Secondary and Senior Secondary levels which makes it the largest
Open Schooling system in the world. For implementation of the Open Basic Education
Programme, NIOS has partnership with 350 Voluntary Agencies in 27 States
providing facilities of Elementary Education at their study centres.
The NIOS has been attempting to utilize applications of Information and
Communication Technology in the management of open schooling. The NIOS has a
large computer set up with latest in hardware and software. There is a Local Area
Network environment with Advanced Novel NetWare 3.12 and Windows NT as basic
Operating System and a powerful Pentium based file server and fifteen PC(AT) 486
based terminals connected to it as nodes. Besides, all the officers and branches have
been provided with Pentium based machine with network connection to enhance
their working efficiency with great accuracy and quality output. Internet access is
available to all staff members.
Recent progress towards the achievement of the second U.N. Millennium
Development Goal, Universal Primary Education (UPE), means that many more
children are completing primary education and looking for opportunities to enter
secondary education. There is little likelihood that governments facing the challenges
of meeting the UPE target will be able to meet a further challenge of providing vastly
increased access to opportunities for secondary education.
Rapid expansion of secondary provision to meet frustrated demand from primary
school leavers and the needs of young adults previously denied secondary education
opportunities will likely require investment in approaches that are less tied to
traditional methods of schooling. For this purpose, NIOS enjoys strong government
support.NIOS has well-defined processes for curriculum development, and approval
of courses and subjects are approved prior to the development of the materials by
subject experts. Administrative and academic support is provided to the learners
through the Accredited Institutes, which are selected, against strict criteria.
Activities that take place at these Institutes, including teaching and assignment
marking, is monitored by academic facilitators attached to the Regional Centres.
However, there is some doubt as to whether the monitoring processes at Accredited
Institutes are adequate, and there is no current means of planning and reviewing a
system-wide process of evaluation and quality assurance. The last ten years have
seen an increase in the use of open and distance learning particularly in developing
countries and in countries in post-conflict situations, prompting UNESCO to renew its
strategy, mobilize greater resources, and reinforce international co-operation in this
field. The transition to knowledge societies, largely driven by information and
communication technologies (ICTs), holds the promise that the right to the free flow
of, and equitable access to, knowledge, information, data and best practices across
all sectors and disciplines is basically ensured.
In UNESCO's Medium-Term Strategy (2002-2007), the third thrust of the overall

20
priority for education for all focuses on promoting experimentation, innovation and
the diffusion and sharing of information and best practices as well as policy dialogue
in education. The objective of harnessing information and communication
technologies (ICTs) for education has the expected outcome of promoting
international debate and reflection on the development of internationally compatible
descriptors and standards for distance and e learning courseware, and for e-learning
institutions.
The problems that the country faces are with regard to reaching the unreached in the
nook and corner of the country.The access of these unreached to the media is a
question mark. While the television is the most effective media to reach them, its
logistics are fraught with problems that are not generally appreciated in very many
countries. For instance the power shortage in the town and villages is chronic
problem. Many a times it is just not available for days together. The Internet
facilities are purely urban phenomena and are not available to the type of clientele
that we seek to reach.
In order to reach the affiliated centres of NIOS, the institute have tried the video-
conferencing technology with two way audio and one way video techniques. Due to
limited down linking facilities this has remained an experimental exercise and has
not been used as a normal and regular mode of interaction. So far, NIOS have to
reach the Accreditated Institutions in advance through mail to intimate them of the
program, arrange for their assembly at the appointed day and time at a place where
the video conferencing and Subscriber Trunk Dialing (STD) facilities are available and
then make them participate in the process. It also involves, though only at the initial
stages, removal of the inhibitions and fear of the advanced technology.
A large number of youth and adults now aspire for learning while working or working
while learning. A rigid system of formal education is fraught with certain road blocks
for reaching the unreached and life long education unless it moulds itself to the
flexibilities of the Open Learning System. It is now high time that the developing
countries may give impetus to the open learning system, along with expansion of the
formal system of education, for reaching the unreached and for opening ample
avenues for life long education.
Another novelty that has been launched by NIOS is the On Demand Examination
system (ODES), wherein a learner can walk into any of the identified Testing Centres
of NIOS on a day of his/her choice and appear for the examination in any subject
that one has taken up. The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) with current
enrolment of about 13 lakh students at Secondary and Senior Secondary stage is the
largest open schooling organization in the world. However, it is not possible for NIOS
alone to cater to the needs and variations of all regions of a multilingual multicultural
country like India. It is difficult for one organisation at the national level to extend
its functions and coverage and increase its enrolment beyond certain limits. For
reaching the unreached, the Open Schooling System is required to be promoted and
strengthened in the country. The NGOs should enter into the collaboration with NIOS
for the achievement of the objectives.
No doubt, Government started State Open schools in education boards of respective
states to meet the regional diversity, but the boards failed in the popularizing the
same.
For meeting these challenges, the educational planners and administrators are
already planning to upscale the formal schooling system at an unprecedented scale.

21
They are, however, worried as to how large scale finances may be mobilized for
making provision of additional schools, additional teachers and requisite equipments
and other infrastructural facilities.
The challenge that remains, and will continue to remain, is how to reach the child in
remote rural and tribal areas directly? Because of uneven development in almost all
spheres we have to operate with different types of technologies suitable for various
techno-economic development level of the community concerned. The multi-channel
instructional system adopted by NIOS has come in handy for the students. They also
become self-learners with the help of the SLM provided. Classes are also conducted
for the benefit of the learners who can get information from the study centres and
the counsellors attached to them.
What we need is that, the Curriculum Framework for academic subjects like
language, mathematics, science and social science should emphasise on softening of
subject boundaries thereby enabling the students to get a taste of integrated
knowledge and joy of understanding. The teaching of science should inter alia
emphasise on examining and analyzing every day experience. Concerns related to
environment may pervade through different subjects with emphasis on activities.
The teaching of social science may be discipline based mainly while emphasizing
integration on significant themes such as water. Certain other curricular areas
required to be included in the curriculum for academic courses up to secondary
level.The Open school centres be set up in every state taking into account the district
as a mian centre of decentralisation so as to achive the objective of universal
enrolement.

7. Failure in regulations of education

Only an independent regulation authority be manadated for monitoring and


regulation otherwise owing to routine exercise the uthopia we search for will remain
illusive.....!

Sadaket Malik
One may get disappointed and sometimes confused over the way the Indian
education system operates. The regulation bodies are being set up, legislation being
enacted, plan being envisaged day by day. we should'nt oppose the same but the
question remain; why day and afer the Government of India is doing so. Monitoring
mechanism of the institutions of higher learning especially open and distance
learning remained a major concern for government for effective functioning,quality
assurance and decentralisation in accreditation procedures. The things being planned
at central level by the perspective governments remained all along undecided and
proved unbiased and non scholarly as the decisions and legislations being made were
not enacted in action. There is no unanimous legislation on educational monitoring.
The accreditation system is absurdly poor. A license permit raj by the statutory
bodies without teeths prevailed in the sub continent without knowing the needs and
procedures of the institutions and stakeholders. I am not opposing here the All India
Council for technical education which is likely to be scrapped by the Government of
India. My point is that why the whole system of monitoring, accreditation and
regulation is poor. I am speaking of the apex organisations like National Knowledge
Commission (NKC) New Delhi, HRD Ministry, Councils and commissions at national

22
level like UGC, NCTE, DEC and many other. Why regulations are being changed day
and after ? why not the ministry of education is formulating its legislations at once in
hand to maintain the standard and quality ? Is this legislation which is being
envisaged every week ? Why day by day alterations ? Is there not a unanimous
declaration of all the people in the system ? Why not an independent body which is
acceptable to all at once. Of late, On the one week the Ministry is granting powers to
Distance Education Council (DEC) to monitor and regulate the system of open
learning and on the same issue the ministry is planning to set up national level
Distance education regulator in the country to maintain and monitor the standards of
open and distance learning in the country. Similarly, recommendations on the part of
National Knowledge Commission on scrapping of AICTE and formulation of
Independent Regulatory Authority on Higher Education (IRAHE). Secondly, the union
cabinet very recently referred HRD ministrys proposed legislation (distance
education bill) to set up Independent regulatory body at national level. The proposed
legislation was opposed by maximum people in governance like commerce and
Industry Minister Kamal Nath besides others. If the ministry or government at
central level is deciding to replace the traditional atmosphere then why too late ?
Infact, there is a mismatch among the countrys policy makers and other people in
governance to regulate the whole system. Some people who are in governance but
not in the system dont want to replace the existing system and some who are not in
the system are favoring the immediate legislations,replacement and amendments in
the existing laws. There is a crisis in the field and overregulation of the open and
distance education. The country is lacking regulated colleges and universities located
in small suburbs or hamlet.If private colleges are providing a poor quality of
education, who is to be held responsible? Multiple regulatory agencies exist for
different streams of education in the country. Technical education is regulated by the
All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE). It is the authority that licenses
technical institutions. The AICTE has constituted another body, the National Board of
Accreditation (NBA), to certify quality of technical institutions. Medical education is
regulated by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and nursing education by the Nursing
Council of India. These institutions look after all aspects of education in their spheres
including quality. All the regulatory agencies have been set up by the Central
Government. The blame for the mushrooming of poor quality institutions and their
concentration in a few areas must squarely rest with the regulatory bodies. The NKC
agrees. The NKC working groups also comment on the reasons for this. the
regulatory framework evolved over many years presents a number of procedural
hurdles. Permissions and approvals are needed from the University that an
institution wishes to be attached to, the government of the state where it will be
located and regulatory bodies like the AICTE and MCI. The educational bureaucracy
itself can be typically negotiated only with political influence, as is reflected in the
large number of politicians associated with or promoting educational trusts. I apt to
ask that if we are living a knowledge based economy and are not having any
regulation system on several modes of education at higher level. I wander why this
happens? I am in fear why not the accountability in the system besides several
policies and paper work done by the policy making bodies and the successive
governments. Is education at higher level being commercialized ? or is this really a
License raj being perpetuated by the accreditation agencies ? This question needs to
answer immediately the people at the helm of affairs.At this moment, Privatisation of

23
higher education is rapidly progressing in the country and the Planning Commission
reports that in the period 2002-2007, the share of private institutions in higher
education increased from a third to over half of all enrolment. And this trend, by all
accounts, will continue into the future. but the sorry state of affairs is overregulation
in the system.Furthermore, the 11th Plan objectives of the HRD ministry are aimed at
increasing the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education from the present 10
per cent to 15 per cent by 2012 by esteblishing several institutions of excellence. For
reaching the target we must change the accreditation process and decentralise the
procedure of accreditation viz a viz monitoring.Suggesting a solution is rather an
impossible task, for a person of my stature at least. But, I definitely feel that the new
Single regulation body is need of the hour to guage the system rather then day by
day legislation by the perspective governments. Only an independent regulation
authority be manadated for monitoring and regulation otherwise owing to routine
exercise the uthopia we search for will remain illusive.....!

8. Nutritional Value of Midday Meals

There is a need to enhance the nutritional value of the scheme in a more efficient
manner

Sadaket Malik
The very recent decision of Central government for setting up of National
Commission for Elementary Education will not only monitor all aspects of elementary
education including quality but maintain the accountability of the programmes
operating in papers of this tattering education stage in major part of rural India. The
stage of education is lacking the quality, access, and social mobalisation rather
expert staff in the so called mid day meal schemes in major rural parts. The
commission shall be a cornerstone for assessing the so called programmes in the
field of education. The countrys keen eye educationists expect that the commission
may ensure effective use of resources and co-operation with unions in these sectors.
It is interesting that in 2008-09 out of Rs. 7324 crores allocated under Mid Day Meal
Scheme, the Central Government has released so far Rs. 4095 crore to States/UTs
under Mid-Day Meal Scheme. The Government has also released 24786 crore MTs of
foodgrains to the States/UTs. recently and on the other hand, it is irony that mid day
meal scheme being implemented in major parts remained only in papers and the
indicators remained elusive. Governenment "Feel good" remained all along and the
beneficiaries continue to suffer. The functionaries are not regular in providing lunch
to their students under the scheme. The scheme lacks good diet. There is some
interesting evidence on the value of midday meals in schools as a means of
nutritional supplementation. It is a fact that mid day meals certainly help to protect
children frem classroom hunger, they may or may not lead to a sustained
improvement in their notritional status, infact a poor midday meal (Rice and Salt)

24
can be counter productive. If it kills students appetite and reduce their intake of
richer food at home. In this connection, it is interesting to note that such meals
reduces the daily calorie deficiency of the average primary school going child by
almost 35 percent, the daily iron deficiency by 25 percent and meets almost their
entire daily protein deficiency.
The programme covers nearly 9.70 crore children studying at the primary stage of
education in classes I-V in 9.50 lakh Government (including local body) and
Government aided schools, and the centres run under Education Guarantee Scheme
(EGS) and Alternative & Innovative Education (AIE). The programme was extended,
with effect from 1.10.2007, to children in the upper primary stage of education
(classes VI-VIII) in 3,479 Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs). Approximately 1.7
crore additional children in classes VI-VIII in EBBs are expected to be included. The
programme cover all areas across the country from 2008-09. In the Union Budget
2007-08, Rs.7324 Crores was provided for the Scheme, representing 37% increase
over the budget for 2006-07. In the XI plan, SSA has a funding pattern between
Centre and States in the ratio of 65:25 for the first two years of the XI plan i.e. 2007-
08 and 2008-09; 60:40 for the third year i.e. 2009-10; 55:45 for the fourth year i.e.
2010-11 and 50:50 thereafter i.e. from 2011-12 onwards. For the North Eastern
States the fund sharing pattern between Centre and States shall be 90:10 under the
programme with the Centres share resource from the 10% earmarked funds for the
NE Region in the SSA Central Budget. The outlay approved for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
for the XI plan is Rs. 71,000 crores. The has been a great scarcity of Information,
Education and Communication (IEC) activities as a component of Management,
Monitoring and Evaluation costs during past and the same is of urget nee to be
incorporated. The scheme failed on the grounds that there has been misappropriation
of funds and lack of directions, information synthesis and collaboration of the so-
called administrators of elementary education. There seemed communal tones and
caste tones in majority of parts. The present research reveals that Dalit students
were supposed to sit separates in the school with a saparate cook and kicthen. It is
irony on the part of our so-called national builders for encouraging the same.
Research further emenate that the scheme has eroded the existing academic
activities, as the teachers are being found busy in making statements. For this
purpose the recruitment of one additional accountant is needed inspite of assigning
the task of accountant to a teacher who is supposed to make learning more effective
in the class.
Neveretheless, there is one good news - India, along with Bhutan and Nepal, has
achieved gender parity in primary education. According to the recently introduced
right to education bill, every child between the age of 6 to 14 years has the right to
free and compulsory education. This is stated as per the 86th Constitution
Amendment Act added Article 21A. The right to education bill seeks to give effect to
this amendment recently by the Ministry of Human Resource Development Govt. Of
India with the decision of Parliament. It was stressed in the bill that all government
schools provide free education to all the children and school management
committees (SMC) will manage the schools. Private schools will admit at least 25 per
cent of the children in their schools without any fee.
Of late, the Bill is the enabling legislation to notify the 86th Constitutional
amendment, which gives every child between the age of 6 and 14 years the right to
free and compulsory education. India is on track to achieve net enrollment rate

25
(NER) of more than 97 percent by 2015, the Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring
Report of the UNESCO-2008 released recently. Research reveal that of the 17
countries with most children out of school, just three - Bangladesh, Brazil and India -
are on track to achieve NER in excess of 97 percent by 2015.As per the global
educational and cultural body, India had 7.2 million out-of-school children in 2006
and it will be reduced to just 600,000 in 2015. The enrolment in secondary education
in India has increased from 39 percent in 1999 to 43 percent in 2006.With 7.6 million
out-of-school children, Nigeria will be worst off, followed by Pakistan (3.7 million),
Burkina Faso and Ethiopia with 1.1 million are at joint third spot. In terms of
absolute numbers, 80 percent of adult illiterates worldwide live only in 20 countries,
50 percent of them live in India, China and Bangladesh. The report also emphasises
that with the share of government expenditure on education dropping between 1999
and 2006 in 40 countries including India, low fee private primary schools were filling
the slot.
The target of equity will be achieved only if the national level scheme like of midday
meals is operationalised and decentralised in each and every school of rural hamlet.
There is a need to enhance the nutritional value of the scheme in a more efficient
manner. The recent decision of mandating a National Commission on elementary
education is an effective instrument for gauging the roadblocks in the field of
educational schemes at national level.
sadaketmalik@rediffmail.com

9. E-goverenance- A new way to reach the unreached

There is a need touse of electronic data processing in the day-to-day operations of


government departments

By Sadaket Malik
If one look at the last two decades, one may reveal that Information and
Communication Technologies have evolved and developed in terms of e-Governance
and digital convas of the country. The country has only a few achievements such as
the Indian Railways System and a few others. Does this imply an imbalanced
development of e-Governance services? Information and Communication Technology
(ICT) Vouches to change our lives for the better if not the best. The master player in
India for the same is the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). Implemented in 2006,
the plan is two year old now. One may ask, what has been the progress so far? Some
of the services such as Railway Ticket Booking have shown tremendous success and
the Passport Service is following suit. Ministry of Company Affairs takes away the
credit of implementing path-breaking e-Governance services as well. Inspite of such
success stories, Indias rank in the e-Readiness has dropped significantly according to
the United Nations e-Government Survey 2008.
However, the overall, though uneven success of NeGP is credible in such a short span
of time. The report card and assessment of NeGP speaks about such implementation
so far. Looking at e-Governance at the next level, one may observe that some of the
states and union territories are ahead of the others. Technology is central in e-
Governance thus making delivery of services faster and efficient. Radio Frequency
Identification (RFID) technologies are widely used across the industry in healthcare,
transportation as well as parts of retail and in the information technology field. RFID

26
technologies in governance play a significant role for monitoring movement and
access control. The use of smart cards are common in our day to day transactions
which can play a vital role in bridging the digital divide. Extending the usage of smart
cards to the under privileged and the marginalized can streamline the usage of
technology across different sections, thus making their lives change for the better as
well.
Very recently, On 21st October 2008, Ministry of communication claimed that major
Schemes are being implemented by the Department of Information Technology are
the State Wide Area Network (SWAN) Scheme, the Common service Centre Scheme
(CSC), the State Data Centre (SDC), Scheme the Capacity Building (CB) Scheme and
the e-District Scheme, for that the State Governments are responsible for the
implementation of these Schemes under the overall supervision of the Department of
Information Technology. National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), comprising of 27
Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) and 8 components was approved on May 18, 2006.
The plan has covered quite a journey so far in making government services
accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery
outlets for ensuring efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at
affordable costs. The questions remain for all of us as a people? Have we as a nation
achieved the target so far? And how many geographical locations have been covered
under the manifold of ventures of the Ministry? What are the problems and
roadblocks in the implementation of e-Readiness for e-Governance in India?
We have to accept the fact that India is a developing nation faced with various socio-
economic problems. Inspite of all these drawbacks, we have been able to come this
far quite satisfactorily. The Governments initiation and ground level initiatives are
healthy owing to which India is globally recognized as an Information Technology
(IT) expert. However, many benefits of IT have not percolated to the rural poor. Now
the country is moving into that direction of providing services to the rural poor.
Today, land records in all the states are being computerized and a person can get all
the details within a day by paying a nominal fee. In the past this process used to take
many months for getting such details and the person was always at the mercy of the
local records keeping agents such as the Patwaris. Today, one can easily access
these records from a e-Kiosk. E-Governance has been implemented in various states
and departments across India. Providing government services to the common man in
their local areas and in a very cost-efficient manner.
Of late, question arises about how to provide these services? For this to happen, we
need to put the infrastructure in place. There are two kinds of infrastructure one is
the physical infrastructure which is the hardware under which we have State Data
Centres (SDCs), State Wide Area Network (SWAN) and the Common Service Centres
(CSCs). CSCs act as the front end machines. In addition to this, we have computing
infrastructure which provides the processing of the physical infrastructure. Then
there is also a need for connectivity at the back end which is provided horizontally
and vertically across all the departments. Computing and connectivity infrastructure
is generally provided by the state governments. The second part of the infrastructure
is the digital software infrastructure. This comprises of the national portal, standards
and e-Forms. The third part is the service part. Today we have a number of services.
There may be instances of changes, modifications and addition of services. These
services are provided by both the state and the central governments and there are
some integrated services both provided by the state and the centre jointly. For

27
example, in the integrated services, we have the Mission Mode Projects (MMPs)
which are implemented by both centre and the state. The state governments should
look into their operations and do re-engineering and therefore come up with new
ideas and processes. These services are delivered in a bundled manner. Apart from
this, we have another aspect which is known as the capacity building.
Unfortunately, the non-availability of connectivity has been a major roadblock in
making India e-Ready for e-Governance. All the e-Governance services are to be
delivered through the front end CSCs. These CSCs needs to be connected with a
network and we have found that out of the one lakh CSCs, about 25,000 CSCs will
have connectivity through Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). Another 25,000
villages are to be connected by BSNL through their existing towers. They will be
using wireless solutions for connecting these 25,000 villages. Therefore, the total
number of CSCs which will be connected will be about 50,000. For the remaining
50,000 CSCs, we have a plan to utilize the funds available through Universal Service
Obligation (USO) Fund. By using these funds we will be able to motivate the private
sector to provide connectivity to these villages. Allocation of spectrum is another
issue which has been a roadblock in terms of connectivity. Yet another issue is that
the states are not yet ready for implementation of the MMPs. The reasons for the
same are many. India is a democratic country and we have different national and
regional parties in power in different states. These MMPs will come to fruition when
the state governments are taken on board. We are in the process of enabling and
educating them for making the mechanisms ready for e-Governance. There is also
the issue of non-availability of IT personnels. The attrition rate in the IT sector has
been very high. It is very diffi cult for the state and the central governments to get
qualified IT professionals as the salary structure in the private sector was extremely
high. Therefore, we are trying to develop a mechanism by which we can hire
professionals at market remuneration. It is expected that in about three months time
we will be able to put the mechanism in place and therefore, we will be able to
attract a large number of IT professionals for taking these MMPs forward both in the
state and the central level. Most of the e-Governance strategies are hardware centric
and there is not much emphasis on building up applications. Since you have taken
charge, do we see any improvements? The answer lies in the fact that it is a cost of
learning. Initially, it was thought that if we buy some computers and do the
computerisation of the departments that will suffice everything. However, this was
not enough. Now the focus is on the delivery of the services which can be
Government to Citizen (G2C), Government to Business (G2B) and Business to
Business (B2B). These services can be available only when applications are available.
Therefore, our focus is to build infrastructure on one side and to develop all these
applications and databases on the other. Hence, bundled architecture is important.
We can only purchase equipments when services are being identified and re-
engineering has been done and we have ensured that our mechanisms have evolved
for delivering these services.
However, I believe that IT has a tremendous role to play when it comes to providing
good quality education and health care services to the poor and the marginalised.
Thus, my objective would be to bring all the 27 MMPs to fruition in a cost efficient
manner and in the quickest possible time. I would personally feel glad if we can
provide people living in rural areas with good quality education and health care.
Intrestingly, on October 13th 2008, Tata Consultancy Services announced that it has

28
a signed a deal with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India, for
the Passport Automation Project - the largest mission-critical e-Governance project
valued at over INR 10,000 million. The good news for common man is that apart from
the information of the progress of the passport applications on web they would also
be receiving alerts on their mobile numbers that have been provided during filling of
application about the status of their application.
At present, there is a greater stress on Information and Communications Technology
(ICT), almost all the government departments; subordinate offices and government
funded autonomous organisations have their own web display. The government has
an inventory of more than a million different types of forms in different languages
used for various transactions meant for improved efficiency and citizen services.
Most of the government operations are isolated and processes are paperbound and
finding a piece of information involves either searching a directory or employing a
particular application. Also this information lead to redundancy, inefficiency and
unnecessary expense the integration of multiple pieces of personal information can
only be done manually in this case. Also citizens are required to stand in long queues
and seek assistance at multiple government offices.
There is a need touse of electronic data processing in the day-to-day operations of
government departments. The electronic form of this information is needed to
distribute and share among Government departments and its agencies for efficiency
and transparency, particularly in case of personal information. This cans be done
through data integration; it can be defined as the process in which dissimilar data,
devices, and systems are joined to allow for operations less than one similar
framework. Data, integration is performed for many reasons, including improving
operations efficiency, decreasing resources required to maintain a number of
dissimilar systems, and providing data to end-users through one interface.
In order to provide efficient services or information to the citizens through multiple
channels under single window, there is a need to integrate the Citizens Personal
Information among the public and private sector departments/agencies for efficiency
and transparency. There is no doubt that investments in ICT could bring major
economic benefits to local authorities and help the masses inhibiting in rural areas
due to one or the other reason have no access to urban information centres.
sadaketmalik@rediffmail.com

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10. Originality in Thinking for Education

The entire country needs to adopt the concept of Originality in Thinking for India to
become a true superpower.

By Sadaket Malik
The Asian Development Bank noted in January 2008 that education in India was
lagging seriously behind its rapid economic growth with only 12,000 training and
vocational institutes, compared to half a million in China.Short-term turbulences
aside (just as we are witnessing now), India has entered an era of high economic
growth. The fourth consecutive fiscal when India has witnessed over 8% growth, we
find India's manpower shortages aggravate even further. Just as growth has been
multi-sectoral, so have the manpower deficiencies.
There is a growing demand that the government should increase the outlays on
education and do other things to motivate and encourage education. It is true that
for India to have consistent rate of growth; Greater levels of Research
&Development, combined with extensive investment in workforce can make a
significant contribution. Part of the solution lies in forging strong partnerships
between the private sector and the academia. They should be developed in tandem
with the government to ensure that courses like computer science especially
hardware are nurtured and developed as a discipline in schools.
In India; on the one hand, we have world-class institutions of higher education such
as IITs and IITMs and on the other hand, we have mushrooming private
institutions/universities which function more as coaching centers, rather than as
centers of achieving innovative excellence. Lack of university capacity has resulted in
a lower proportion of youth ages 17 to 23 enrolled in higher education in India than
in China, the Philippines or Malaysia. This could have an impact on the IT industry,
unless immediately rectified.
There is scarcity of skilled manpower in every industry, from good carpenters and
plumbers to factory workers, doctors and scientists. The banking industry, which
employs 900,000 people, is expected to add 600,000 more over the next three to
four years. Similarly, the IT and ITeS industry will need around 850,000 additional
skilled manpower by 2010. And, the retail industry will need nearly 2.5 million skilled
professionals by 2012. Not only are jobs within India on the rise, the developed
world too is facing manpower shortages, which are expected to rise to 40 million by
2020. This shortfall can be met by India, where both educated unemployment and
the number of people joining the workforce are on the rise. In short, the
opportunities before India are huge, provided our education sector gears up to take
these on. Manpower shortages are both quantitative and qualitative in nature.India
needs more universities. While Japan has 4,000 universities for its 127 million people
and the US has 3,650 universities for its 301 million, India has only 348 universities
for its 1.2 billion people.
The Economic Survey released by the Government of India on 28th February 2008 is
significant for what it does not say, than what it does. The Survey glosses over the
UPA government's failure to keep its common minimum program pledge of raising
public expenditure on education to 6% of GDP. Public spend on education as a
percentage of GDP has slipped below the high of 2.9 % achieved by the NDA

30
government in 2002-03. For the first time, the government has acknowledged that
the 86th Constitutional amendment - mankind education a fundamental right for all 6
to 14 year olds-has not been enforced because the enabling Right to Education Act is
yet to be enacted. The Survey is also silent on the number of school dropouts,
learning outcomes and low enrollment rates for higher education. These issues are
part of the reality check that the Survey provides. In the Union Budget 2008, the
Government has allocated Rs. 34,400 crores for education. It also announced its
decision to establish one Central University in each of the hitherto uncovered states
in the country. Besides, three new IITs are proposed to be set up in Andhra Pradesh,
Bihar and Rajasthan. Two Schools of Planning and Architecture will come up at
Bhopal and Vijayawada.
The government through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the flagship project of the HRD
ministry, is geared towards achieving useful and relevant elementary education for
all children by 2010. This movement is showing results. The number of out-of-school
children in the 6-14 years age group has dropped from 13.4 million in 2005 to 7.06
million in March-end 2006. In the Union Budget 2008; the project received an
allocation of Rs. 13,100 crores which would be spent in enhancing retention, a shift
from the earlier focus on access and infrastructure.
India needs curricular reforms. In today's world, where technological knowhow is
evolving with each day, educational institutions need to be granted the freedom to
engage with the industry and change the curricula as and when required. Educational
institutions must teach what the industry needs.
It is essential to realize that learning needs to continue after formal education. Cap
Gemini in India employs almost 15,000 people in six cities and recognizes that
industry must continue the training that they left after graduating; all new recruits
participate in a six-week intensive course before induction, developing their business
and behavioral skills. Offering expert training on the job is the responsibility of the
industry and is essential for a developing economy.
In 2002, India's Chhatisgarh state launched a Private Sector University Act to
encourage private universities to start up in the region. But as 100 or so private
schools sprang up-some with offices in Chhatisgarh but campuses elsewhere-
regulators realized that lax rules were allowing many of the schools as diploma mills.
The Supreme Court knocked down the Act in February 2005. This episode emphasizes
why just private investment in education will not solve the problem; a public-private
partnership is necessary in education to combine the agility of the private sector with
the social responsibility obligation of the public sector. Examples which come to mind
include the Cisco Development program and Microsoft's University program. The
latter include the Imagine Cup competition, run in universities worldwide to
encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, and in which students from Eastern
Europe and South-East Asia regularly outperform their western counterparts in both
the volume and quality of their entries. The regulations on the part of Ministry of
HRD associated autonomous bodies need to take care of quality while putting
legislations into practice.
Of late, India's Distance Education Council (DEC) is doing its bit for regulation, but
thie practice need to be evolued at state level.
Quite a few of the present courses taught in India lack originality. Students should
not be studying computer science only for its core programming content. Courses
should equip the students with the relevant skills, so they can make a significant

31
contribution to the knowledge economy. Merely studying for the sake of getting a
good job is very superficial education. Students are taught job-specific skills, but
they don't know how their skills can contribute to the world knowledge economy, or
even to the business model of the company for whom they intend to work for or are
working, as the case may be.
The initiatives that are born out of such alliances between the government and
private sector for cooperation in education gives students access to the biggest
technology players and offer real-world insight, thereby easing the transition from
university to employment. Companies can also keep universities up-to-date as
technology changes and customer preferences and requirements change, and they
can plug gaps in expertise or facilities.
Such partnerships also help business. Graduate programs are valuable but they also
signal how important it is for companies to take greater responsibility for developing
business training.
But one should bear in mind that these companies are trying to assist themselves by
training their new recruits. For there to be training for one and all; in a setup as in
India, Government cooperation and partnership is the key. The quality indeed is
imperative on the part of Private sector.
There are apprehensions that MNC's are outsourcing work to India because Indians
are good at effectively completing the designated tasks in a timely manner without
asking any further questions. MNC's confidence in our ability to improvise the
existing product and come up with high quality cost effective product seems to be
the motivating factor behind the outsourcing of work to India.
The entire country needs to adopt the concept of Originality in Thinking for India to
become a true superpower. This concept of originality has to be ingrained in the
minds of every India right from the time he commences his preliminary education,
for India to emerge as a truly powerful economic force on the world scene, and this
is possible when the work is done at all levels of education in a most collaborative
manner.
sadaketmalik@rediffmail.com

11. Tears of children!

What is being done to stop violence against children? Are government run
institutions and schemes working well? If yes, then why there isnt the any
expectation to end the tears of children?

By Sadaket Malik
On November 14, 2008. Childrens Day was observed across the country, seminars,
debates and elocution programmes were organised on the one hand, and on the
countries policy makers continued to evolue new Policy for India's runaway children,
who roam on the streets, sleep on pavements and railway platforms.
They (Children) face and are facing all kinds of abuse including physical, often by
men in uniform.For around six decades UNICEF, along with the Government of India
and other partners, has worked in India to ensure that each child gets the best start
in life, thrives and develops his or her full potential. Over the last two decades, India
has borne the brunt of several major natural disasters including the Latur

32
Earthquake in 1993; the Orissa super-cyclone in October 1999, the Bhuj earthquake
in January 2001, the Tsunami in December 2004, the earthquake in Jammu &
Kashmir in October 2005 and major flooding in Bihar and other states in 2007. This
disaster compelled the government to provide solace to the benificiry children.
In addition, a number of relatively smaller-scale emergencies, primarily floods, but
also droughts, landslides, cholera and avian flu outbreaks have occurred. Tens of
millions people are affected annually in India, most of them from the poorest strata
of the population, a high proportion of whom are children. Childrens vulnerabilities
and exposure to violations of their protection rights remain spread and multiple in
nature. The manifestations of these violations are various, ranging from child labour,
child trafficking, to commercial sexual exploitation and many other forms of violence
and abuse. With an estimated 12.6 million children engaged in hazardous
occupations (2001 Census), for instance, India has the largest number of child
labourers under the age of 14 in the world.climate change experts also predict that
warming and shifting rains could impact crop production, which could reduce food
availability. In 2006, some 36 per cent of children globally were either moderately or
severely underweight, this remained a challenge for the successive governments and
its affilaited autonomous outfits.
Ironically, part of the problem is that the odds against a child surviving just being
born are high i.e, 63 infants per every 1,000 of those born alive die before the age of
one. The reason for this high rate of infant mortality is closely tied up with the
equally high rate of maternal deaths: few women have access to skilled birth
attendants, fewer still to quality, emergency obstetric care.
I owe to question to countrys scholarly policy makers and legislators that what is
being done to stop violence against children? Are government run institutions and
schemes working well? If yes, then why there isnt the any expectation to end the
tears of children? Or are our laws and central legislations richy for the empowerment
of the strata?
It is a matter of sorry state affairs that the laws that do exist remain a challenge. As
a result, violence against children goes unpunished. There is much to be done to
train and support law enforcement and judicial personnel to understand the key role
they play in protecting children against violence.
Recently, the Government of India and UNICEF's decleration on joint commitment to
tackling the most pressing problems impacting the survival and well-being of the
children of India with the signing of a new five-year action plan is a great step to
stem the rot. According to the UNICEF, around one fifth of all the worlds children live
in India. If the world is to achieve the Millinium Development Goals (MDGs), it is
imperative that India achieves the MDGs. The new GOI-UNICEF Country Programme
Action Plan for 2008 to 2012, is a joint plan designed to help India achieve its goals
and to ensure that no child is left behind as India moves forward. The Country
Programme Action Plan 2008-2012 may reduce infant mortality and maternal
mortality rates (IMR and MMR), fighting undernutrition, tackling HIV, providing
quality education, ensuring safe water and environmental sanitation, as well as
progress on child protection issues.It is expected that the Reproductive and Child
Health programme may reduce maternal mortality rates (MMR) from 301 to 100 per
100,000 live births. The main interventions will revolve around enhancing child
survival and maternal care. The programmes need interrvention by Programme
implementing agencies at work to make is successful.

33
On the other hand, Government of India has several schemes to end ditertation,
include, a scheme named Integrated Programme for Street Children and extends
financial support in co-ordination with Department of Social Defence upto a
maximum of Rs.15 lakhs for Non Governmental Organisations for providing services
upto 300 children.
Furthermore, the Government of India in 1974 adopted the National Policy for
Children. This Policy declares that children are a supremely important asset of the
Nation and that their nurture and solicitude are the resposibility of the nation. The
National Policy for Children stressed that it shall be the state to provide adequate
services for children both before and after birth and during the period of growth to
ensure their full physical, mental and social development. The Government of India
has had for consideration the question of adopting a National Charter for Children to
reiterate its commitment to the cause of the children in order to see that no child
remains hungry, illiterate or sick. After the consideration, it has been decided to
adopt the National Charter for Children.Tale is that, a large number of children are
abandoned or orphaned, these days for various socio-economic reasons viz., due to
the changes in the traditional social structures and community support systems, on
account of the pressures of modern day living or due to urbanization and
industrialization. The children are thus left to fend for themselves in greater
numbers. Therefore, the need for creating and setting up alternative support system
in the community is very urgent. In order to encourage voluntary organizations to
take on the responsibility for providing care, protection, nurture to the children and
to find placement for them in families for ensuring their proper growth and
development, In this connection Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) was set
up by the Governemnt to strengthen the scheme for setting up Homes (Shishu Greh)
for children in the age group of 0-6 in rural areas.
Enthusiastically, The Governemnt strengthened policies, budgets, laws, norms,
guidelines and tracking systems on children in need of care and protection and
children in conflict with the law including establishment of child protection units at
the state level, mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS prevention education into the curricula
and teaching of all government secondary schools. The Social Policy, Advocacy and
Behaviour Change Communication programmes.In view of the fact that almost 80 per
cent of India is vulnerable of natural disasters, which cause extensive damage to
lives and livelihoods every year, the Emergency Preparedness and Response
programme will ensure the fulfilment of rights of children and women in
humanitarian crises.
Besides island of progress by the Government in recent years, especially in the field
of education, the target is still illusive. The lack of available services, as well as the
gaps persisting in law enforcement and in rehabilitation schemes also constitutes a
major cause of concern.
The irony is that governemt schemes are not concentrated in geographical areas nor
there is any sort of effort to behaviour change, and programmatic interventions,
innovations and convergence.
Let the policy makers evolue to work in close partnership with other United Nations
agencies as outlined in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework. The
World Bank, bilateral partners such as the UKs Department for International
Development, the private sector, and international and national non-governmental
organisations to end violance confronting the countries revered children. The

34
childrens tears would disappear only when violence against children in the region
was brought to an end.

12. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad:

A true educationist

His greatest contribution, however, is that in spite of being an eminent scholar of


Urdu, Persian and Arabic he stood for the retention of English language for
educational advantages and national and international needs.

Sadaket Malik
A normal human tendency is to forget the past and march ahead. If one looks down
upon those who had helped them when they confronted challenges, an educational
reformer proved to be different. He had to face challenges in advocating National
System of Education.
Infact, a recent circular of Government of India to commemorate the birthday of
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad on November 11, as National Education Day has raised
many eyebrows in the country to re-organise the grim educational situation.But if we
look back to the historical developments of education in India, a man of enormous
tastes, rated high in the realm of education, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad has all along
played a prominent role in keeping the movement of education alive in this country.
Packed with several achievements, Maulana Azad oversaw the establishment of a
national education system with free primary education and modern institutions of
higher learning.
The very recent decision of Union Ministry of HRD Government of India to declare his
birthday as National Education Day is a treatise on the live, struggle, and
contribution of the great educationist of the country. It would, hopefully, be of
immense interest and inspiration for all the citizens, scholars, students, teachers,
and academicians, to imbibe his sprit of educational ideas among the current
posterity of the nation. The countrys educationist has to learn from his outstanding
contributions and policies. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was the first to raise the issue
of the National System of Education which is today the bed-rock of the National
Policy on Education (1986) updated in 1992. The concept implies that, upto a given
level, all students, irrespective of caste, creed, location or sex have access to
education of a comparable quality. All educational programmes, he stressed, must be
carried out in strict conformity with secular values and constitutional framework. He
stood for a common educational structure of 10+2+3 throughout India.
If Maulana Azad were alive today he would have been the happiest to see the Right
to Free Education Bill and national flagship mission mode projects getting cabinet
approval for the approval of Parliament.The Right to Education Bill seeks to make
free and compulsory education a fundamental right. The wealth of the nation,
according to Maulana Azad, was not in the countrys banks but in primary schools.
The Maulana was also a great votary of the concept of Neighborhood schools and the

35
Common School System. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad is one of those rare personalities
through whom the distinctions of the 20th century can be recognized and
possibilities of the 21st century determined. He stood for a learning society through
liberal, modern and universal education combining the humanism of Indian arts, a
society where the strong are just and the weak secure, where the youth is disciplined
and the women lead a life of dignity - a non-violent, non-exploiting social and
economic order. He was free Indias first Education Minister and guided the destinies
of the Nation for eleven years.
At the age of 20 he went on a tour of Iraq, Syria and Egypt and met the young Turks
and Arab nationalists including Christians. The tour proved very useful to Azad to
crystallize his thoughts on the neo-colonialists who were exploiting those countries
and how India could help them. On return he started a journal in Urdu named Al Hilal
in 1912. It was this journal where he aired his liberal views, Rationalist in outlook
and profoundly versed in Islamic lore and history. Writes Nehru in his Discovery of
India. The Maulana interpreted scriptures from the rationalist point of view. Soaked
in Islamic tradition and with many personal contacts with prominent Muslim leaders
of Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Iraq and Iran, he was profoundly affected by
political and cultural developments in these countries. He was known in Islamic
countries probably more than any other Indian Muslim. The journal Al-Hilal became
extremely popular and in two years its circulation rose to 30,000. The inevitable
happened when in 1914 the British Government confiscated the press and banned
the journal under the Defence of India Act. Azad was arrested and sent to Ranchi jail
where he suffered untold hardships. Released from jail he resumed his educational
writings. He spoke in a new language, writes Nehru. It was not only a new language
in thought and approach, even its texture was different, for Azads style was tense
and virile though sometimes a little difficult because of its Persian background. He
used new phrases for new ideas and was a definite influence in giving shape to Urdu
language as it is today. The older conservative Muslims did not react favourably to all
this and criticized Azads opinion and approach. Yet not even the most learned of
them could meet Azad in debate and argument, even on the basis of scriptures and
tradition, for Azads knowledge of these happened to be greater than theirs. He was a
strange mixture of medieval scholasticism, eighteenth century rationalism and
modern outlook. There were a few among the older generation who approved of
Azads writings, among them being Shibli and Sir Sayyaid of Aligarh University.
Among the new institutions he established were the three National Academies viz the
Sangeet Natak Academy (1953), Sahitya Academy (1954) and Lalit Kala Academy
(1954), the Indian Council for Cultural Relations having been established by him
earlier in 1950. The Maulana felt that the cultural content in Indian Education was
very low during the British rule and needs to be strengthened through curriculum. As
Chairman of the Central Advisory Board of Education, an apex body to recommend to
the Government educational reform both at the center and the states including
universities, he advocated, in particular, universal primary education, free and
compulsory for all children upto the age of 14, girls education, vocational training,
agricultural education and technical education. He established University Grants
Commission (UGC) in 1956 by an Act of Parliament for disbursement of grants and
maintainence of standards in Indian universities.
His greatest contribution, however, is that in spite of being an eminent scholar of
Urdu, Persian and Arabic he stood for the retention of English language for

36
educational advantages and national and international needs. However primary
education should be imparted in the mother-tongue. On the technical education side
he strengthened All Indian Council for Technical Education. The Indian Institute of
Technology, Kharagpur was established in 1951 followed by a chain of IITs at
Bombay, Madras and Kanpur and Delhi. School of Planning and Architecture came
into existence at Delhi in 1955. Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, a Muslim theologian of
international repute, was one of the earliest to join the nationalist movement and to
lead it steadfastly, arousing the ire of his communal-minded co-religionists. He was
perhaps the only one among our leaders who was jailed during both World Wars I
(1914-1918) and II (1939-45) for campaigning for Swaraj. During the most fateful
days of the national struggle, he was the President of the Indian National Congress.
Personally unwilling to accept the principle of the two-nation theory, he too, like
Gandhiji, reluctantly reconciled himself to India's partition in 1947. He took active
part in the agitation, joined the secret societies and revolutionary organization, and
came in contact with Sri Aurobindo Ghosh and Shyam Sundar Chakravarty.
Maulana Azad was a prolific writer with books in Urdu, Persian and Arabic notably
amongst which is India Wins Freedom, his political biography, translated from Urdu
to English. Maulanas translation of Quran from Arabic into Urdu in six volumes
published by Sahitya Akademy in 1977 is indeed his Magnum Opus". Since then
several editions of Tarjaman-e-Quran have come out. His other books include Gubar-
e-Khatir, Hijr-o-Vasal, Khatbat-I-Azad, Hamari Azadi, Tazkara. He gave a new life to
Anjamane-Tarrqui-e-Urdu-e-Hind. During the partition riots when the Anjamane-
Tarrqui-Urdu suffered, its Secretary Maulvi Abdul Haqq decided to leave for Pakistan
alongwith the books of the Anjaman. Abdul Haqq had packed the books but Maulana
Azad got them retrieved and thus saved a national treasure being lost to Pakistan. He
also helped the Anjaman to revive by sanctioning a grant of Rs. 48,000 per month
from the Ministry of Education. Likewise he increased the grants of Jamia Millia
Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University in their days of financial crisis and formulated
several central legislations in education.
I do not mean to say that everybody has to be like Maulana Azad to represent that
composite culture. There are many representatives of it in various parts of India; but
he, in his own venue, in Delhi or in Bengal or Calcutta, where he spent the greater
part of his life, represented this synthesis of various cultures which have come one
after another to India, rivers that had flowed in and lost themselves in the ocean of
Indian life, Indias humanity, affecting them, changing them, and being changed
themselves by them, So spoke Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru at the 1st Maulana
Azad memorial lecture on 11th November, 1959. The Maulana was a great religious
scholar, journalist, writer, poet, philosopher and above all, a great political leader
whose services and sacrifices in the freedom struggle will be long remembered
alongwith his matchless contribution as free Indias first Education Minister.
He used to read late into the night in dim candle-light, early in the morning, and
sometimes even missed his meals. He often spent his money on books. He
mentioned: "People pass their childhood in playing but I, at the age of twelve or
thirteen, used to pick up a book and slip into a remote corner trying to hide myself
from peoples looks." As for his writing, a great scholar wrote : "Like Somerset
Maugham (an eminent English writer) Maulana Azad learnt writing as a fish learns
swimming or a child learns breathing." A unique quality about him was that he
always remained much ahead of his age, in years, in many fields. He was running a

37
library, a reading room, a debating society before he was twelve! He was teaching a
class of students, most of whom were twice his age, when he was merely fifteen. He
edited a number of magazines between thirteen and eighteen years of age and
himself brought out a magazine of high standard at the age of sixteen. The power of
his writings shaped in no small measure, the pattern of thought and political values
of the Indian youth of his day. Maulanas Tarjuman-al-Quran is a classic in Muslim
religious literature. According to one of his biographers, S.G. Haider, Urdu-speaking
people once invited a learned scholar, whose writings they had read with admiration,
to address a national-level conference in 1904. Throughout his life he stood for the
chords of cordiality between Hindus and Muslims and the composite culture of India.
He stood for modern India with secular credentials, a cosmopolitan character and
international outlook. A man like Maulana Azad is born rarely. Throughout his life he
stood for the unity of India and its composite culture. His opposition to partition of
India has created a niche in the hearts of all patriotic Indians.There he stands with
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, his senior an Ashfaqullah his junior. In the words of Iqbal :
Hazaron sall Nargis apni benoori par roti hai,
Bari Mushkil sey hota hai chaman mein deeda var paida.
( For a thousand years the Narcissus weeps for her blindness, With great difficulty is
born in the garden a man with vision).
Apart from his countless contributions in the field of education, Azad rose to
prominence through his work as a journalist, publishing works critical of the British
Raj and espousing the causes of Indian Nationalism Azad became a leader of the
Khilafat Movement during which he came into close contact with Indian leader
Mahatma Gandhi, Azad became an enthusiastic supporter of Gandhi's ideas of non-
violent civil disobedience, and worked actively to organise the Non cooperation
Movement in protest of the 1919 Rowalts Acts. Azad committed himself to Gandhi's
ideals, including promoting Swadeshi (Indigenous) products and the cause of Swaraj
(Self-rule) for India. He would become the youngest person to serve as the President
of the Indian National Congress in 1923. Abul Kalam Azad was one of those geniuses
whose names are written with golden letters in the pages of history. All of them
contributed their energies in various ways. They not only structured the syllabi but
also formulated the policies in order to carry the light of education in the remotest
rural areas. They also chalked out programmes for the training of teachers to make
them abreast of the developments taking place in the world of education.
The 'National Education Day' is of course a day to pledge to work on various
initiatives taken under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in setting up model schools
in secondary education; on the various initiatives taken in higher secondary
education; and in vocational and higher education sectors by the Central Government
on its own; and in partnership with state governments, as well as through private
public partnership.for the reorganisation of present system of education in the
country. The questions remains which, the educational strata has to answer, Are we
as a Nation achieved our Universal enrolment as the half of the century has cross
over ? have we as a nation achieved the Universal education besides advocating
policies and central legislation at th centre.
The National Education day is a goodwill gesture for our policy makers to re-thing of
change in Indias present system of education which is not at par with the desires of
its children. At this moment, the nation is in need of vital agenda to reach the
hitherto uncovered populace with a new education policy with thrust on Values and

38
skills. The countries policy makers need to wake up and pledge on this day for the
revolutionary changes in the system.
sadaketmalik@rediffmail.com

13. State Knowledge Commission needs fleeting attention

Overwhelmingly, the concept and approach of the states dedicated educationists


must be praised by the people in educational governance so as to enable them for
transforming state into knowledge based economy…

Sadaket Malik

Despite political upheaval and trauma, the pro-active educationists of the state are
veering to formulate a Platform that claims transform the state into knowledge
based society. The educational programmes under the pretext of so called politically
legislated reforms has led to the tattering educational affairs, which inturn compelled
the local educationists to come up with vital agenda to set up a state level committee
under the style of J&K State Knowledge Commission (SKC).
The point here I want to post is that a major change is needed in the current system
of higher education and research.
However, the commission is expected to make the right recommendations, need to
know the real causes of past failures. The past record of knowledge management in
state is crying need of hour. According to my studies, the single central cause of the
failure of knowledge management in the state was that ignorant people attempted to
manage knowledge. Certainly, these peoplepoliticians, bureaucrats etcwanted
control for obvious reasons. But the single biggest problem was their ignorance.
The education system is caught in a social geometry of complex power structures.
Situated within a political-economy in which patronage and patrimonalism play key
roles and in which corruption (in all its various forms and shades) remains the key
source of rent-racking, the system continues to get more layered and convoluted in
the state. The government school system is not a rationally driven and coherent
apparatus of state policy. Instead, its everyday work is continuously and varyingly
reshaped. The Setting Up of State Knowledge Commission under the patronage of
National Knowledge Commission can act as a key advisor to the state education

39
Department to fulfil the long pending needs of education system. In seeking to
deliver and institute mass education in the state, The State Education Department
has grown in size and complexity to become one of the largest employers at the state
level. The department itself functions within a highly differentiated education
system. At least nine different types of schools (based on differences in
management, board of exams and medium of instruction, and which range from the
very basic Ashramshalas that cater to Advise children in remote areas to the upscale,
five star 'international public' schools) cater to varied socio-economic classes. And
within this differentiated educational system, the department is primarily focused on
the delivery and management of 'government' schools, the basic structure of the
education department is hierarchical. However, this hierarchy has become more
complex with the advent of large scale programmes such as the TLM (Total Literacy
Mission) District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
(SSA), which have introduced structures parallel to those already existing at various
levels. The major consequence of such a move has been, for education officials, a
blurring of reporting relationships and primary accountabilities across administrative
tasks, programme monitoring, and academic responsibilities. The state education
department gives attention to the related organizations in educational governance,
reforms of the system have largely remained piece-meal and reactive, failing to have
any significant impact.In the last two decades or so the interface of the department
with various other structures has increased substantially. This has ultimately led to
work and its understanding being refracted in terms of these multiple spheres of
influence. At one level are the elected local bodies that play a crucial role in
channeling the large amount of funding through programmatic interventions, but
have still not been able to engage substantively with qualitative aspects of all levels
of education. It is worth to note that When a state which is unable to provide even
primary education to all its citizens
after nearly 53 years of independence, embarks on a curriculum-making exercise on
behalf of a much fissured and fractured national community, the political nature of
the exercise necessarily causes anxiety.Depending on what is the current flavor of
reform zeal, some part of the system is targeted for alteration; sometimes it is the
curricula and textbooks. Mostly it is the teachers, and sometimes it is the children
themselves who become subject to various tests and measurements by the recently
state Knowledge Commission. No significant effort has been directed to altering the
very orientation and structures of the system/department itself and its interlinkages
to the various institutions and its imprint on the multiple agents who constitute it.
The curriculum, which is needed to be changed in the state, has not changed yet. The
curricula need sea changes to delete the traditional concepts and introduce newer
one taking into account the language, mother tongue, society and culture. Besides
the hidden political agenda by the NCERT stressing that the medium of instruction
ideally, ought to be the mother tongue at all the stages of school education. In case
where mother tongue and the regional language are one and the same for the
learners it should be the medium at all the levels or up to the end of the elementary
stage. And in case of the learners whose mother tongue and the regional languages
are different, the regional language may be adopted as the medium of instruction
from the third standard. The State Knowledge Commission (SKC) must look the
problem of the system at local and village level taking into account the needs of the
day before giving recommendations for reforming education in the state. It may

40
advise the state education department in matters of institutions of knowledge
production, knowledge use and knowledge dissemination.
However, It is expected by the state educational feternity that the group may offer
advice on how the state can promote excellence to meet the knowledge challenges of
the 21st century. Promote knowledge creation in science and technology
laboratories, and promote knowledge applications in agriculture and industry.
The commission must suggest how the Government's knowledge capabilities can be
made more effective, making the Government more transparent and accountable as a
service provider to the citizen to explore ways in which knowledge can be made
more widely accessible. The Committee may suggest for vital reforms at school and
higher education, which needed to change. With a multitude of problems and the
diversity of languages, the medium of instruction remains a topic of impassioned
debate in the state. Teaching in the mother tongue fuels pride, Fostering
multilingualism in our schools, however, is far from smooth sailing. The change in
the sphere of curriculum development is expected from the pro-active educationists
of the state. Instead of glamorizing a formula that eludes effective implementation of
programmes and curriculum, a formula that has proven to be non-practicable, a
viable alternative school curriculum should be worked out by introducing vocational
training subjects at all level. The Commission indeed is a holistic step on the part of
educationists of the state and the immediate patronage by the National Knowledge
commission at New Delhi. I hope the commission will prove helpful in suggesting
regarding the policy legislation to concerned quarters. The commission is an effort to
collate and distribute the fruits of these experiences, which will enhance the quality
of teaching and learning in crucial areas. Curricular plans without constructive
instructional components tend to muddy the waters. With equal emphasis on
curriculum and instruction, we can better serve student community of the state.
Moreover, the Open and distance learning system, which need to be regulated by the
government and problems in terms of quality ought to be sternly dealt with. There is
indeed a need of fleeting attention on the part of newly constituted state knowledge
commission to face the challenge.
Overwhelmingly, the concept and approach of the states dedicated educationists
must be praised by the people in educational governance so as to enable them for
transforming state into knowledge based economy…

14. Education for human Values

Unfortunately, the scheme of strengthening education in human values (EHV)


appears to have very little planned the picture seemed different in the countrys
educational institutions besides launch of policies and programmes.

Sadaket Malik

41
Shri sathya Sai Baba has beautifully quoted, If human values take root in the
educational system, the emerging individuals will have the following attributes: they
will want peace & justice in a world that acknowledges the rule of law and in which
no nation or individual need live in fear; freedom and self reliance to be available to
all; the dignity & work of every person to be recognised & safeguarded; all people to
be given an opportunity to achieve their best in life; and they will seek equality
before the law and the equality of opportunity for all.
Unfortunately, the scheme of strengthening education in human values (EHV)
appears to have very little planned the picture seemed different in the countrys
educational institutions besides launch of policies and programmes. The central
legislations has failed at the very beginning. The NCERT as a central resource centre
for value education resulted futile, as the agency has failed at the very essence to
reach the target. Mere publications on the part of National resource centre on value
education by the NCERT at the centre will not serve the purpose. The organization of
teacher training seminars at national level is not a remedy to re-exhibit the values
among so called teachers and people in governance. The teachers need to be taught
the basic ethics as to how to talk and act with the learning posterity. The monitoring
and training resource centres at local level may prove herculean for inculcation of
value among all the people. Moreover, A draft curriculum for teacher training
acknowledges several problems in preparing teachers properly for the classroom and
imbibe in them values.
Historically. Education about Indias common cultural heritage has been identified in
para 3.4 of National Policy on Education as one of the core areas under the National
System of Education. The common core will include the history of Indias freedom
movement, the constitutional obligations and other content essential to nurture
national identity. These elements will cut across subject areas and will be designed
to promote values such as Indias common cultural heritage, egalitarianism,
democracy and secularism, equality of the sexes, protection of the environment,
removal of social barriers, and observance of the small family norm and inculcation
of the scientific temper.The National Policy on Education (para 8.4 and 8.5) has
laidconsiderable emphasis on value education by highlighting the need to
makeeducation a forceful tool for cultivation of social and moral values.
A Central Sector- Scheme of Assistance to Agencies for Strengthening Culture/Art/
Values in Education and for Assistance to Educational Institutions implementing
Innovative Programme was formulated in 1987-88. It provided for financial
assistance on 100% basis to projects/proposals screened by duly constituted
Grants-in-Aid Committee of the Ministry. In July 1990, a decision was taken in the
Ministry to set up a working group to review the scheme to make it more purposeful.
Accordingly, a working group was constituted with the officers
Of the Ministry and experts from premier resource institutions of the countryengaged
in strengthening cultural and artistic inputs in education.
The recommendations made by the working group were examined in the Ministry
carefully and a decision was taken that the process of strengthening cultural and
value inputs in education should be extended to the non-formal sector also. The
Scheme was revised and reformulated in 1992 which is known as the Scheme of
Financial Assistance for Strengthening Culture and Values inEducation.
Nevertheless, In January 1997, the Government of India entrusted to Tata Institute
of Social Science, Bombay (TISS) a project of an evaluation study of the working of

42
the scheme. TISS submitted a report in April, 1999 which recommended for
continuation of the scheme which should have essential components like
involvement of community and evolving teaching strategies for a lasting impact on
students. The scheme was given adequate publicity. Services of District Institute of
Education and Training (DIETs), State Council of Educational Research and training,
(SCERT) Panchayat etc was effectively utilized. The report was examined in the
Department and it was agreed that the scheme can be continued.
The Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee in its 81st Report under
Shri S. B. Chavan has also recommended that Education should highlight
multifaceted development of human beings and the programme of Education in
Human Values (EHV) should be built around core universal human values like Truth,
Love, Peace, Righteous Conduct and Non-Violence. The focus of value education
should be more at primary stage through stories/folk songs/folklores/skits/flip
charts/film strips National Cadet Corps (NCC), Scouts and Guides need to be
promoted. The committee stressed that the teacher who has an important role
should be encouraged to initiate innovative methods of values education to students.
Interestingly, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)
functioning as National Resource Centre for the programme of Education in Human
Values. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), National Council for Teacher
Education (NCTE), National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration
(NIEPA), University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical
Education (AICTE), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of
Management (IIM), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), National
Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and other autonomous organizations and other
institutions collaborated with and assisted NCERT in development of the National
Resource Centres In the present times of unprecedented changes dislocating
traditional values and creating conflict between traditional and new values there is a
universal concern in respect of erosion of values, promoting values and culture which
fit in with the needs of the modern times. This concern is universal but is more acute
for our country which has leads its own distinct culture, worked view and a living
value tradition.
The process of developing in to a modern nation, with new social, political and
economic institutions, and with emphasis on science and technology, has thrown up
many new values ? Challenges in all areas of our national life. It is important that we
examine these challenges and prepare our youth to face and resolve them.
In this regard, Government agreed that SCERTs will function as value Education
Centre for training of in-service teachers. In those States where the work of SCERT is
performed by the State Board of Education, the later will be designated as Value
Education Centers for training of in-Service teachers in Value Education. Reputed
NGOs, which have proven track record of working in the area of education, culture,
values and transmission of culture. The assistance under this scheme was 100 per
cent for all project/ programme taken up for implementation subject to a ceiling of
Rs. 10.00 lakhs per annum for a project. Resource Centres and Value Education. It
was decided by the government that recource Centres may be sanctioned more than
Rs. 10.00 lakhs with the approval of Grant-in-aid Committee (GIAC). Resource
Centres for Value Education may be given a grant upto Rs. 30.00 lakhs for
augmentation of their functional resources and pedagogic infrastructure. Besides
islands of initiatives by Government Of India, the Scheme for strengthening has

43
concentrated only in few locations thereby failed to achieve the desired objective.
The researchers observed that teachers would be more effective if they balance love
and care more judiciously while interacting with students. While firmness is
necessary, love must play a dominant role in handling students; love and sub-values
like sympathy and kindness must get precedence over maintaining silence and order
in the class. In this context, there is a school that practices such an approach
successfully; the SVV School at Vandalur, Chennai, run by the old students of the Sri
Sathya Sai Women's College at Anantapur. The confidence displayed by these under
privileged rural children testifies to the success of their EHV programme. Department
of Education, Government of India had announced that value education would be
introduced in schools and colleges starting with IIT, Delhi. A lot has happened
thereafter, and governments have changed; a war has been fought; and that resolve
seems to have been forgotten! We are now quarrelling over quixotic issues like text
errata. Inculcating human values in children is the crying need of the hour. The rest
of the world is making quiet strides by following the lead shown by Indian
educationists. One wonders when our government will wake up.
But you know, as in the Sathya Sai School in Thailand, many teachers come from
many places. They are not devotees. But then, when they come close to the children
who are full of love, they become transformed. And when children go back home,
they transform the parents. So, in this way, the society is getting transformed. That's
why it is very important that we work hard to set up Sathya Sai schools as model
schools in the country like ours.
The country’s educationists and policy makers should learn the lesson from Sathya
Sai School system to re-imbibe human values among her children.
sadaketmalik@rediffmail.com

15. E-learning in India: The electronic way to learning

Interestingly, many companies are booming up here in India for providing e-classes.
Places like Mumbai and Bangalore are becoming prominent centres for providing e-
tutorials.

Sadaket Malik

INDIA IS embracing e-learning in a big way. India has learned lessons from the
success of the e-way in the West and today the grim educational picture is being
replaced by e-governance’s-classroom, e-tutorials. It is a matter of pride for the
country in general and agencies in particular for the popularisation of the mission
mode programmes on e-governance.

The major advantage of e-learning is that it is self-paced and learning is done at the

44
learner’s pace. The content can be repeated until the trainee understands it. E
learning is interactive too. With the growth of e-learning, more and more pupils will
opt for it, as there would be no worry that the maths teacher will beat them for a
sum gone wrong. Also, there will also be no fear of coming late to class and then
standing outside the classroom waiting for permission to enter.

More and more working professionals would be interested in learning the e-way
because of flexibility that e-learning offers. E-learning will soon become a great tool
to enhance qualifications and getting promotions in the job market. So, to sum up,
the future of e-learning is bright.

However, one of the problems with e-learning in India is the lack of course content,
especially outside the mainstream focus areas of IT education, English-language
content and tutorial-like courses. There will be high demand for people who can
develop multi-lingual courseware that addresses various topics. Statistics reveal that
one of the top 10 positions among Global 1000 companies of the future will be that of
an online learning designer.

However, there is significant knowledge retention. High quality e-learning solutions


are being developed in India with the right technology and industry support in
sectors as distinct as steel, IT, automobiles, cement and telecom. Industry watchers
estimate that because of its advantages, India is bound to grow in stature as the hub
for e-learning programmes.

Interestingly, many companies are booming up here in India for providing e-classes.
Places like Mumbai and Bangalore are becoming prominent centres for providing e-
tutorials. It's booming but the big question is what is the future of e-learning?
Everyone be it educators, parents or students has this question in mind but no one is
able to answer. To check it out, its imperative to look to the trends concerned with e-
learning, which are already taking control in our world.

It seems imperative that e-learning would coexist with other technologies and ways
of acquiring knowledge. And as soon as low cost PCs would be made available and
broadband will penetrate deeper, particularly in rural areas, there are chances that
e-learning will strengthen.

Over the past five years, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has
been busy attaining the goal of making education accessible to every child,
particularly among the marginalised sections in the rural areas. Also addressing the
gap that exists between the market demands and the available skill sets among
professionals through the participation of private sector in the curriculum
framework.

Furthermore, the government is roping in as many colleges as possible under the

45
ambit of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to upgrade their quality. The UGC
and AICTE are also pursuing various measures to lure fresh graduates into research
and teaching professions.

The government launched the National Mission on Education through Information


and Communication Technology (ICT). An amount of Rs 4612 crore is being incurred
during the 11th Five Year Plan for the scheme. There was a budget provision of Rs
502 crore for the financial year 2008-09.

However, the 11th Five-Year Plan has kept a target of raising the gross enrollment
ratio to 15 per cent by the end of the plan year. This is where ICT steps in.
Integration of ICT in education will give an impetus to our efforts to attain our target
of increasing our gross enrollment ratio by widening the reach of education to the
remote and marginalised areas of our country. The role of Open and Distance
Learning (ODL) systems, which have accepted and integrated ICT in their functioning
and outreach, particularly finds mention here.

In 2002, deliberations of various committees were held that led to the setting up of
the UGC-INFONET towards the end of 2004. UGC also joined this crusade of
introducing e-learning. Wholly funded by UGC, UGC-INFONET provides electronic
access to scholarly literature available over the Internet in all areas of learning to
the university sector in India.

Yet another project to provide web based training is the National Programme on
Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), which is being funded by the Ministry of
Human Resource Development (MHRD.) This was first conceived in 1999, to pave the
way for introducing multimedia and web technology to enhance learning of basic
science and engineering concepts, was launched in September 2006.

Significant infrastructure has been set up for production of video-based teaching


material by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), the Bangalore based Indian
Institutes of Sciences (IISc) and Technical Teacher Training Institutes (TTTI.) Gyan
Darshan, which was launched on January 26, 2000, as an exclusive higher education
TV channel to provide quality distance education by IGNOU, can be considered as an
effective effort in India.

At the institutional level many institutes, mainly private as of now, have entered into
online distance education and the much talked about NIIT Varsity offers training to
500,000 students annually across 33 countries. One of the world's leading
management schools, the Indian Institute of Management at Calcutta (IIM-C),
amongst others, entered into a strategic alliance with NIIT, to offer executive
development programmes through virtual classrooms.

46
Researchers, academics, teachers, and students worldwide are excitedly embracing
blogs (web logs.

) Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu, a state in South India played host to a bloggers'
conference held at the TIDEL Park. CDAC and IGNOU are two of India's most
esteemed organizations in their respective fields, which have held conferences in the
field of e-learning every year.

It is very difficult for a person of my stature to issue a declaration on the issue but I
suggest that higher educational institutions in India, which plan to venture into e-
learning should take a lesson from this and must first follow the education and
communication strategy of organisational change where the stakeholders should be
informed as to how the change will affect them.

The government needs to stimulate a learning culture and e-learning must become a
policy issue. Government must recognise the e-learning industry as a separate forum
and not treat it as part of the IT enabled services (ITeS) or a sub sector of the IT
industry.

16. Pro-active bid to bring education on right track

Sadaket Malik

DESPITE POLITICAL upheaval and trauma, the pro-active educationists of the state
are veering to formulate a platform that claims to transform the state into knowledge
based society. The educational programmes so far have not had the desired impact.
This has propelled the local educationists to come up with vital agenda to set up a
state level committee on the style of Jammu and Kasmir (J&K) state knowledge
commission (SKC).

A major change is needed in the current system of higher education and research.
The commission is expected to make the right recommendations and focus on the
real causes of past failures. The past record of knowledge management in state
needs urgent attention. According to studies, the single central cause of the failure of
knowledge management in the state is that ignorant people have attempted to
manage knowledge. Certainly, these people -- politicians, bureaucrats etc -- wanted
control for obvious reasons but their ignorance came as a big hurdle.

47
The education system is caught in a social geometry of complex power structures.
Situated within a political-economy, in which patronage plays a key role and in which
corruption, in all forms and shades remains the key source of rent-racking, the
system continues to get more layered and convoluted in the state.

The government school system is not a rationally driven. Instead, its everyday work
is continuously and varyingly reshaped. State knowledge commission under the
patronage of national knowledge commission can act as a key advisor to the state
education department to fulfill the long pending needs of education system.

In seeking to deliver and institute mass education in the state, the department has
grown in size and complexity. It has largest number of employers at the state level.
The department itself functions within a highly differentiated education system. At
least nine different types of schools, based on differences in management, board of
exams and medium of instruction, which range from the very basic ashramshalas
that cater to advise children in remote areas to the upscale, five star ’international
public’ schools, cater to varied socio-economic classes.

And within this differentiated educational system, the department is primarily


focused on the delivery and management of ’government’ schools, the basic
structure of the education department is hierarchical. However, this hierarchy has
become more complex with the advent of large scale programmes such as the total
literacy mission (TLM) district primary education programme (DPEP), sarva shiksha
abhiyan (SSA), which have introduced structures parallel to those already existing at
various levels. The major consequence of such a move has been, for education
officials, a blurring of relationships and primary accountabilities across
administrative tasks, programme monitoring and academic responsibilities. The state
education department gives attention to the related organisations in educational
governance, reforms of the system have largely remained piece-meal and reactive,
failing to have any significant impact.

In the last two decades or so, the interface of the department with various other
structures has increased substantially. This has ultimately led to work and its
understanding being refracted in terms of these multiple spheres of influence. At one
level are the elected local bodies that play a crucial role in channeling the large
amount of funding through programmatic interventions, but have still not been able
to engage substantively with qualitative aspects of all levels of education. It is worth
noting that when a state which is unable to provide even primary education to all its
citizens after decades of independence embarks on a curriculum-making exercise on
behalf of a much fissured and fractured national community, the political nature of
the exercise necessarily causes anxiety.

48
Depending on what is the current flavour of reform zeal, some part of the system is
targeted for alteration; sometimes it is the curricula and textbooks. Mostly it is the
teachers and sometimes it is the children themselves who become subject to various
tests and measurements by these commissions. No significant effort has been
directed to altering the very orientation and structures of the system/department
itself and it’s inter linkages to the various institutions and its imprint on the multiple
agents who constitute it.

The curriculum, which is needed to be changed in the state, has not changed yet. It
needs sea changes to delete the traditional concepts and introduce newer ones,
taking into account the language, mother tongue, society and culture. Besides the
hidden political agenda by the NCERT stressing that the medium of instruction
ideally, ought to be the mother tongue at all the stages of school education. In case
where mother tongue and the regional language are one and the same for the
learners it should be the medium at all the levels or up to the end of the elementary
stage. And in case of the learners whose mother tongue and the regional languages
are different, the regional language may be adopted as the medium of instruction
from the third standard.

The SKC must look into the problem of the system at local and village level, taking
into account the needs of the day before giving recommendations for reforming
education in the state. It may advise the state education department in matters of
institutions of knowledge production, knowledge use and knowledge dissemination.

However, it is expected by the state educational fraternity that the group may offer
advice on how the state can promote excellence to meet the knowledge challenges of
the 21st century. Promote knowledge creation in science and technology laboratories
and promote knowledge applications in agriculture and industry.

The commission must suggest how the government’s knowledge capabilities can be
made more effective, making the government more transparent and accountable as a
service provider to the citizen to explore ways in which knowledge can be made
more widely accessible. The committee may suggest for vital reforms at school and
higher education which needs change.

With a multitude of problems and the diversity of languages, the medium of


instruction remains a topic of impassioned debate in the state.

49
Teaching in the mother tongue fuels pride, fostering multilingualism in our schools,
however, is far from smooth sailing. The change in the sphere of curriculum
development is expected from the pro-active educationists of the state. Instead of
glamourising a formula that eludes effective implementation of programmes and
curriculum, a formula that has proven to be non-practicable, a viable alternative
school curriculum should be worked out by introducing vocational training subjects
at all level.

The Commission indeed is a holistic step on the part of educationists of the state and
the immediate patronage by the NKC at New Delhi. The commission is an effort to
collate and distribute the fruits of these experiences, which will enhance the quality
of teaching and learning in crucial areas. With equal emphasis on curriculum and
instruction, we can better serve student community of the state. Moreover, the Open
and distance learning system, which needs to be regulated by the government and
problems in terms of quality, ought to be sternly dealt with.

17. Indian universities lack placement services

By Sadaket Malik

IN THE current scenario, technical education determines the development and socio-
economic condition of a nation. There is a greater need of quality technical education
to produce technically skilled manpower. The process of liberlisation has changed the
rules of the game for the business and policy leaders around the world.

The era of globalisation is not only inviting foreign capital but also foreign technology
in India. Since the early eighties, due to rapid industrialisation and economic growth,
engineering and technical education has been developing in India at a faster pace
than anywhere else in the world. India now has the second largest number of
engineering students in the world.

The most important economic challenge that India is facing low per capita income. In
this environment, the lure of better growth policy is compelling. In addition, it is
believed that the rapid change of technological renovation was fostered by an
education system that provided the essential input and steady flow of people trained
in the state-of-the-art scientific methods in their area of specialisation. If this
interpretation of our recent past is correct, it is not wrong to say that industry relies
heavily on polished diamonds coming out of various varsities.

It is not wrong to say that in the last five or six years, the innovation policy in India
has completely ignored the structure of institutions especially with regard to
government institutions. The top down direction of the curriculum is a blot upon our

50
public education system. University education does not necessarily prepare the youth
for life. Also, there is no guarantee of a job after a university degree. We require an
entire spectrum of skilled man power.

In this process, India is also killing budding entrepreneurs who can bring significant
shift in the economic stance of the country in Asia and the world at large.

The point here is that performance regarding placement cell is different between
government-run institutions and private institutions. Despite so many students
looking for jobs, the placement scenario is is absurdly poor. Part of the problem is
that most educational institutions in the state have no placement cell to keep track of
placement statistics.

Though it is a matter of pride that private institutes have also started churning out
industry moulded graduates. Private institutions usually have tie-ups with big
companies and often industry experts are called upon to deliver lecture to students.
It’s a fact that rich people can only afford private institutes, and jobs simply fly into
their arms. But the fact is more than half of India is comprised of the middle class
and poor section. The cost of studying in such colleges is a nightmare for them.
Besides, they get subsidised rates in government higher education institutes. The
superficiality of impartiality and non-permanence of teaching staff is quite evident in
government-run institutes. So, expecting a placement cell seems a far-fetched
dream.

Not everybody has the capacity to go outside their state to study or get loads of
dollar bills to fund their education. Providing students with facilities of faculty and
placement cells has become an important measure of giving quality education. In
such a case, it is important to know the desires and demands of students that are
expected out of good professional colleges. The need of the hour for any institution is
to produce industry groomed manpower. Who will regulate the entire spectrum ?
Who will do this ? Who will bell the cat? And who will be the responsible to monitor
the arena? These questions need to be answered.

In order to meet the demands of the changing labour market, IDA supported India’s
long-term program of reforms in the middle level technical education system dealing
with training of technicians/supervisors. The policy reforms exhorted increased
participation of women, tribal communities, handicapped, rural youth and other
disadvantaged groups in technical education through formal and non-formal
education and training.

The IDA’s total investment in the three projects has been about US $700 million with
IDA funding of about US $530 million. The rest was contributed by the states and the
Government of India. IDA support played a catalytic role in expediting
implementation of National Policy of Education reforms. In particular, IDA promoted
introduction of new relevant programs, and increased women’s participation by
supporting the establishment of 33 women’s polytechnics, hostel facilities for
women, and appointment of women faculty.

51
Institutions need to make their syllabus more vocationally oriented so as to groom,
nurture and develop the talent in a proper fashion, catering to the needs of the
industries. A dynamic and pro-active placement cell needs to be created in every
institution to keep a track of all the placings of its students and to attract good
industries. The student engineers should be encouraged to attend technical
seminars, workshops leadership training and should be made aware of the latest
developments in technologies and its impact on business. Equal importance should
be given to the communication skills of students for clear expresion of ideas.

With private sector institutions leaving no stones unturned in providing the best
possible openings to their products, it becomes all the more important for the
government aided institutions to reinvigorate themselves to meet the added
challenge of better placement. A student placed according to his area of interest will
automatically ensure the growth of the industry and his institution. The need of the
hour is that the educational institutes take to the training and placement facilities
more seriously and scientifically. Liberalisation of the Indian economy, its gradual
integration with the world economy and rapid transformation into a knowledge-
based society will be increased only when we master workforce that is not only
literate and has mastered specific skills. The government run institutions should be
monitored and regulated by advisory committees like University Grant Commission
(UGC), National Board of Accreditation (NBA), Medical Council of India (MCI),
Distance Education Council (DEC) and other apex bodies of the government of India.

18. Open and distance Learning: A global view

Sadaket Malik

The open and distance learning has not only provided


assess to information to the needy areas, but has enriched
the life of millions of rural poor inhibiting in developing
countries of Asia.
The phenomenal growth of distance and open learning
systems all over the world has drastically changed the
educational scenario everywhere today. The
conventional notions about teaching-learning are being
replaced very fast by new ideas and strategies, thanks to
the revolutionary changes continuously taking place in
the media and communication. Since the concept of education as investment is also
steadily gaining ground, even the poorest countries are slowly turning their attention
to the educational needs of their respective populations in order to survive and
develop. Distance education has been viewed by many as a viable strategy to achieve
the national educational goals quickly and at low costs. The subsidied education at
the poor steps of student has by and large bridged the gap between rural and urban,
conventional and non conventional university system.
At present, there are 1300 distance and open learning institutions of different types

52
and sizes located in 127 countries. The number of distance learners is approximately
90 million at the higher education level. It was expected to reach 90 million by 2000
AD and 120 million by 2025 AD (Dhanarajan 1996), but the available data pertains
mostly to institutions funded and/or recognized by the Governments and the public
bodies.
In India alone as per the latest data available in 2001, there are about 70 distance
teaching units called Correspondence /Distance Education Departments located
within conventional universities, 9 State Open Universities and 1 National Open
University (AIU Handbook 2001). Over 1,000,000 students would be on the rolls of
these institutions, and the number of State open universities would have gone up. At
the school level, the National Open School offered education to about 60,000
students spread across the country (Chakraborty K, 1994). But now if offers
education to more than 500,000 students at the secondary school level throughout
India. Besides these, distance teaching programmes are offered by some private
institutions and television companies (e.g ZED programmes by Zee TV, the
management programmes offered by Jain TV, Sun TV and others). Roughly about 20
percent of the student population at the higher education level is already taken care
of by the correspondence/distance / open learning systems in India.
The distance and open learning system in other countries both developed and
developing, has established beyond any doubt the fact that this system is going to
play a very important role in the 21st century. The success of the British Open
University in the seventies obviously acted as the inspiration for policy makers in
many developing countries to establish their own open universities or distance
teaching units. In India, for example, the thinking of establishing an open university
at the national level had been there for a decade before it actually materialized in
1985 with the establishment of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)
(Parthasarthy Committee Report 1974). Although the Andhra Pradesh Open-
University (now Dr B R Ambedkar Open University) was established in 1982, the blue
print prepared for a full fledged open university was given some kind of practical
shape only in the establishment of IGNOU which is broadly modeled after the Open
University, UK. In 1974, i.e five years after the OUUK came into existence, Pakistan
established the Allama Iqbal University (AIOU) at Islamabad. The AIOU has been
guided by the consultants from the UK from its inception.
Upto what extent the ODL institutions can play an important role for the
dessimination of the information in disadvantages areas ? The open and distance
learning centres of excellence must identify the need bases and priority areas to
reach the unreachable populace. The societal need based courses be introduced in
their curriculum keeping in mind the language as a medium of instruction by the
Institutions, as far as developing countries other then India are concerned. The
Common Wealth Of Learning should adapt a mechanism to guage the need for
introducing societial based courses keeping in mind the local regional language. The
Govt of India should adapt such an approach that the every village might be brought
under the preview of the national policies. There is a need to set up a consortium of
libraries and book banks even at village level so as to achieve the slogan of
democratic governance.

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19. Education for All Report 2008-an Eye Opener for Policy Makers

By sadaket Malik

ALTHOUGH MUCH has been talked by the government agencies for achieving the
gender parity and universal enrollment by 2010, it has been revealed that Indian
educational region as a United Nations (UN) member is facing a grim literary
scenario.
The very recent survey monitored by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organisation) on ’Education for All’ (EFA) in March, 2008 is an eye-
opener for the statesmen and policy-makers of the educational system in India.
The global monitoring report 2008 on EFA by the UN body speaks highly of the grim
educational affairs of children belonging to the remote and disadvantaged areas of
the country.
I mean to focus that besides the launch of national flagship programmes like ’Sarva
Shiksha Abhiyan’ (SSA), India has missed its 2005 target of achieving gender parity
and as per the report will miss the target of 2015 for attaining total literacy.
Another matter of concern for policy-makers is that the adult literacy programmes of
the government have fallen off its priority list and the National Knowledge
Commission (NKC) is in the process of finalising its recommendations on this as well.

UNESCO, as a technical support agency made a recent assessment and stressed


increased involvement of children to learn by the year 2015 for achieving the vision
of EFA.
The organisation highlighted innovative projects and strategies and underscored the
urgency of pushing forward a common agenda for action but the question remains:
Which educational programmes and policies have been successful? What is the
relevance of the programmes at the regional level? Who remained the target
beneficiary of the milestones of the government and what should be the
decentralised procedure to put the policies into practice?
The current analysis of UN on India’s EFA commended India’s efforts in bringing
children back to schools, who are drop-outs by way of the formal or informal means.
The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), with its headquarters at Noida,
formed by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development offering academic and
vocational training courses, can prove fruitful if every district is made a main centre
of decentralisation. This means setting up NIOS centres in every district to reach the
unreached.
The SSA, which is being implemented throughout the country, is a major movement
to achieve the universal elementary education (UEE).
The educational think-tank, National University of Educational Planning and
Administration (NUEPA), has developed an Educational Development Index (EDI) to
track the progress of the states towards UEE.
NUEPA has developed a school report card system of more then 1.05 million primary
and upper primary schools. The SSA is a historic stride towards achieving UEE
through a time-bound integral approach, in partnership with the states.
Operation Blackboard (OBB) started in 1987 gave impetus to the large scale
infrastructural facilities to avoid wastage and stagnation. The EFA report marks the

54
midway in the great zealous movement to expand learning opportunities to every
child by 2015.
In this context, the findings of the report causes concern for Indian educational
region because it has pledged to put all the children in the 6-14 age group in school
by that time and attain over 85 per cent literacy rate.
The report highly endorses the country’s efforts in bringing revolution in distance
education by using technological means like EDUSAT and digital learning schemes.
The replacement of more then 10,000 schools into virtual classrooms is a significant
achievement.
Besides governmental initiation of the programmes, the efforts are not enough to
achieve a big target within the stipulated period, since it is a fact that education
especially in government-funded schools remains neglected most of the time. It may
be due to the least remuneration of the literacy workers or lack of community
intervention.
The successive governments launched several policies and made several declarations
on this issue right from the Constitutional Mandate of 1950.
Be it the National Policy on Education 1986, Unnikrishnan Judgment of 1993,
Education Ministers Resolve of 1998, National Committees Report on UEE in Mission
Mode of 1999 or the Programme of Action of 2001, all promised to change the face of
elementary education by 2010, but the gender and social gap seems to have become
a part of the country.
As far as the National SSA Project is concerned, the programme remained confined to
the educational officers and administrators only and the community was not made
familiar of the real object.
The reasons for this are many. Firstly, the SSA failed on the grounds that the
programme has not taken care of the community mobilisation in rural and deprived
areas and Educationally and Economically Backward Blocks (EEBB).
Secondly, the SSA as a project in mission mode attached the teachers of
mainstreaming schools as district zonal and cluster resource persons thereby
resulting in the erosion of mainstream classroom. This deployment of the
mainstream formal school functionaries in SSA has paralysed the system of both
formal and non formal funded projects of the government.
The SSA needs to improve indicators by way of recruiting the staff of its own and can
seek healthy collaboration of the formal functionaries of the system vis-à-vis
community mobilisation.
The collaboration of SSA with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in some
states like Rajasthan is appreciable and proven result oriented. The EFA, being a call
for every citizen for learning basic skills at minimum level, should be projected with
the intervention of local NGOs and community.
This may help in getting information from the community for the effective
decentralisation of the programme. Ironically, the local level community participation
in any of the projects is not encouraging, which is the core factor of SSA.
The local level awareness camping and increase of the remuneration of the literacy
workers is utmost importance to stem the root. The EFA reports of 2008 demands
effective decentralisation. Consequent to several efforts at national and state level
by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the country has made good
progress by increasing institutions, teachers and students in elementary education.
In January 2008, Arjun Singh, HRD minister released flash statistics. According to

55
the statistics brought out by NUEPA New Delhi, there has been addition of minority
enrollment both at primary and upper primary levels of education, which has been
attempted for the first time in the country.
The Eklavya schools for tribals in September 2007 by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for
class VI to VIII in different states is also a credit to the mission.
The extension of the mid-day meal scheme from class VI to VII in 3,479
educationally backward blocks in 2007-08 is another feather to its cap.
The efforts are revolutionary at the national level and the government at the top
level is keen to achieve the target of EFA by 2015.
The government of India Plan of 2012, in which it has been felt worth that the fund
sharing pattern between the Centre and state will be 50:50, under the manifold of
SSA.
The constitutional legal and national policies will be upheld and funding pattern of
different projects of education should be revised by government to achieve the
target.

20. Revitalizing secondary education

By Sadaket Malik

With the central government lobbing its ball to the state governments for the
implementation of the several schemes for the revitalization of the system of the
secondary education in the country, the schemes of the access, equity, Mahila
Samakhya, and quality in the field of secondary education has lost its very essence.
Basic issues of quality, equity and access to secondary education in India still
unresolved besides the central legislations by the Ministry of Human Resource
development Govt of India. The expert committees were formulated by the Govt. to
gauge the system and suggest the measures to universalize the whole system. The
central governments own figures indicate that many as two-thirds of those eligible
for secondary education remain outside the school system today. A Central Advisory
Board of Education (CABE) committee estimates that 88,562 additional classrooms
will be required in 2007-08 and over 1.3 lakh additional teachers. The CABE is the
highest advisory body relating to policy making in education in India. Figures put out
by the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Department of School Education
and Literacy indicate that as many as two-thirds of those eligible for secondary and
senior secondary education remain outside the school system today. While noting
that adequate number of elementary schools is to be found at a reasonable distance
from habitations, the ministry admits in its website that this is not the case with
regard to secondary schools and colleges. The gross enrolment rate for elementary
education in 2003-04 was 85 percent, but for secondary education, the enrolment
figure stood at 39 percent.

Pertinently, the CABE report also notes that the benefits of India’s reservation policy

56
in higher education are unlikely to reach those it’s intended for in the absence of a
strong secondary education system. A large majority of children and youth belonging
to SC and ST community do not have access to secondary education; less than 10
percent of the girls among SCs and STs have access to the plus two stage. Without
secondary or senior secondary education, benefits of reservation to SCs/STs will
remain elusive,” the report says. These are questions that the CABE report tries to
address. School systems, the report says, should strive for equality and social
justice, transcending discrimination that may arise because of gender, economic
disparity, societal norms on caste and community, location (urban area or rural),
disabilities (physical and mental) and cultural or linguistic differences. However,
these inequities seem bound to remain given the current circumstances, where the
government involvement in secondary education is much less than what is expected
of it. The Committee report says that almost 25 percent of the secondary schools
today are private, unaided schools whose clientele comes only from the privileged
sections of society. Expert opines that Private education has always played an
important role we have different types of private secondary schools, such as private
unrecognized, private recognized but unaided schools, and private, recognized and
aided schools. In Kerala and West Bengal, it’s common to see private aided schools,
which are schools run by private managements that receive government grants.
Going by the Sixth All India Survey Data, the CABE report notes that private aided
schools account for over 46 percent of all secondary school students. The
overwhelming participation of the private sector in secondary education, however, in
no way absolves the government of its many responsibilities. To improve access to
secondary education, experts agree that the government should invest more money.
Unfortunately, the Centre has baulked at involving itself even in primary education,
more so when it has to be on a collision. course with private schools.

Similarly, though the CABE committee report advocates a common school system, the
government seems to have already shown its disinterest.The CABE report was
accepted in principle, but soon after, the Planning Commission diluted our
recommendation that the typical secondary school should be like a Kendriya
Vidyalaya. The Commission started saying that instead of Kendriya Vidyalaya norms,
SSA norms could be extended to secondary schools. Such a move would result in
parallel streams of education with poor quality being accepted as a part of secondary
education. The CABE committee, incidentally, had worked out the expenditure that
will be incurred if all secondary schools are managed like Kendriya Vidyalayas. The
total costs in such a scenario do not exceed six percent of the GDP but that does not
seem to have been enough to convince the government. The report does not mention
how many additional schools will be needed to meet the future demand. However, it
presents two estimates, one projection based on the 100 percent success of SSA and
the other, the 75 percent success of the programme. In the case of the former, the
report estimates that 88,562 additional classrooms will be required in 2007-08 and
over 1.3 lakh additional teachers

A worrisome trend in government schools, undoubtedly a factor contributing to their


poor performance, is the fact that almost 95 percent of the government grants go
into paying staff salaries. There is no money for buying teaching learning materials,
for cleaning or blackboards,” he explains. The ratio should be at least 80:20, with 20

57
percent of the grant being used for improving or creating infrastructure, he adds. To
ensure that government schools are more efficiently managed, a committee
comprising members from the neighborhood could be asked to take decisions
concerning the school, suggests several experts of CABE Committee. Experts opines
that there are several examples of successful private-public partnerships. “There
have been initiatives like DPS Delhi Public School being given the responsibility to
run two-three government schools in Gurgaon in Haryana In this way, the private
schools can manage the schools for a while and use their expertise to train teachers.

The educationists have a consensus that the children are actually walking out
because there is no quality education. Poor children can ill-afford to spend their time
in classes that are taken badly, or in schools that have no infrastructure or teachers.
Instead of looking for the reasons that are behind the problem, the government
appears to be trying to implicate parents or children for the ‘drop-out’ rates. The
CABE committee report has already set down comprehensive norms that secondary
schools should follow, ranging from having one classroom for 30 students, ensuring
safe drinking water facilities and separate toilets for girls and boys to computer labs.
Experts also suggest granting free ships or scholarships to those from disadvantaged
backgrounds to encourage enrolment in secondary and senior secondary schools. The
CABE report notes that expansion of secondary education can be achieved by setting
up new schools, upgrading existing elementary schools into high schools by
providing more infrastructure and adding to the facilities in existing secondary
schools to accommodate more students.

In view of this, the Central and the State/UT governments must jointly initiate
planning to implement the agenda of universal and free secondary education in the
first phase by the year 2015 and then extend it to senior secondary education in the
second phase by the year 2020. The conventional expectation from secondary/senior
secondary education lies in its role in creating the necessary base for generating
technical person power, raising the potential of a society in contributing to the
growth of knowledge and skills and thereby enhancing the nation’s capacity to face
the challenge of global competitiveness.

The no of higher secondary schools has been raised to 50,273 with 1000112
teachers, and figure of secondary schools is 101,777 with 1082878 teachers. Official
statistics reveal that the enrolment of secondary and higher secondary school level
is 3.70 crore and the gross enrolment ratio is 39.91. The total dropout rate up to
matric is 61.92 as on September 2004. The population of children in this age group
has been estimated to be 88.5 million as per Census, 2001.Enrolment figures show
that only 31 million of these children were attending schools in 2001-02,

However, Para 5.13 –5.15 of the National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986 (as
modified in 1992) deal with Secondary Education. Para 5.13. of the NPE, inter alia
states that access to Secondary Education will be widened with emphasis on
enrolment of girls, SCs and STs, particularly in science, commerce and vocational
streams. The disparity between boys’ and girls’ enrollment is particularly marked at
the secondary stage. As per the latest data available, out of the total enrollment of
21.2 millions n 1991-92 (as on 30.9.91) at the secondary stage (Classes IX and

58
above), the girls account for 7 millions only, i.e. mere 33 per cent of the total
enrollment, whereas boy’s enrollment at this stage of education is 67 per cent of the
total enrollment.

Nevertheless, a significant progress is also made in all spheres of secondary


education. More than 84 per cent habitations in 1993-94 had a secondary
school/section within a distance of 8 km as compared to 70 per cent within 5 km.
The number of unserved habitations declined from 21 per cent in 1986-87 to 15 per
cent in 1993-94. During 1950-51 to 1999-2000, number of secondary & higher
secondary schools increased from 7 thousand to 117 thousand. The increase (16
times) is much more rapid than the corresponding increase in primary (3 times) and
upper primary (14 times) schools. In the latest decade (1990 to 99), more than 37
thousand secondary & higher secondary schools were opened. The ratio of upper
primary to secondary schools also improved from 1.83 in 1950-51 to 1.69 in 1999-
2000.

Keeping in view the dismal statistics of secondary education in the country, Ministry
of HRD launched several schemes, like scheme for strengthening of boarding and
hostel facilities for girl students of secondary and higher secondary schools. The
scheme is being implemented by NGOs and of the state governments. A one-time
grant non recurring grant @Rs.1500/- per girl boarder for purchase of furniture
(including beds)and utensils and provision of basic recreational aids, particularly
material for sports and games, reading room equipments and books. And recurring
Rs.5000/- per annum per girl boarder for food and salary of cook. Finally, The CABE
Committee in June 2005 recommended that “there is no alternative acceptable to
regular schooling of good quality to all the girls”. The Committee also felt that
“incentives offered for promotion of girls education need to be revisited and
measures taken need to be of such nature, force and magnitude that they are able to
overcome the obstacles posed by factors such as poverty, domestic/sibling
responsibilities, girl child labour, low preference to girl’s education, preference to
marriage over the education of girl child, etc.” The key issues relating to secondary
education highlighted in the Tenth Plan are: greater focus on improving access;
reducing disparities by emphasizing the Common School System; renewal of curricula
with emphasis on vocationalisation and employment-oriented courses; expansion
and diversification of the Open Learning System; reorganization of teacher training
and greater use of ICT. After merging several schemes like ET & CLASS scheme, a
new Scheme called ICT Schools was launched for which the Annual Plan Outlay for
2006-07 was Rs. 67 crore. The intervention of the Central Government in Secondary
Education has primarily been in two areas, (i) through apex level bodies and (ii)
through various Centrally Sponsored Schemes. Central Government supports
autonomous organizations like NCERT, CBSE, KVS and NVS and CTSA, the first named
body for providing research and policy support to the Central and State
Governments; CBSE for affiliating Secondary Schools and the remaining three for
their own school systems. There are 929 Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVS) and 507
Navodaya Vidyalayas (NVS), and 69 Central Schools for Tibetans (CTSA). Scheme of
Vocationalistion of Secondary Education at secondary level to enhance individual
Employability. Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) launched in 2007 is a
mission-mode exercise to universalize secondary education in which the centre is all

59
set to universalize the secondary education till 2020.

The irony is that the arguments on the part of HRD ministry on community
participation in implementing such schemes are not encouraging. Government should
initiate evaluation mechanism and core commission to evaluate the progress of the
schemes and policies to support the education sector by community mobilization to
revitalize the schemes and put the policies into practice.

21. Streamlining Vocational Training

By Sadaket Malik

For vocational education and training in India, some 17 ministries and departments
are involved in the provision and financing of vocational education and training with
total annual training capacity of about 28 lakh (2,800,000) students. But as with
many matters managed by our governments, the vocational training system is full of
superlatives and potential on the one hand, and inefficiency on the other. The so
called agencies has put their slogens only in their printed guidelines and handouts
without taking into the account the real target populace. In this age of liberalisation
india is still away to train the people in different specialisations. vocational training
is to impart specialised skills and knowledge, and instilling social and political
attitudes and behaviour patterns essential for successful economic activities by
people engaged in dependent employment, self-employment or subsistence
work.Vocational training can be of various types depending on the way it has been
acquired. 'Formal training' refers to all training courses held in state or private (but
state-certified) institutions and regulated by state guidelines. 'Non-formal training'
covers all forms of training which takes place without being subject to state
guidelines. In-company apprenticeships, both in formal or informal sector
enterprises, is one of the most common forms of non-formal training. This kind of
training also includes all programmes and projects offering skills-upgrading for those
already active on the labour market, but who wish to extend their competencies by
attending evening or weekend courses. There are no prerequisites for anyone to
acquire vocational training. Both men and women can get trained at any time during
their life. Studies have already proven that formal education is not a prerequisite for
acquiring practical skills for income-generation, especially in the context of the
informal sector. However, India's formal vocational training system often creates
minimum educational prerequisites leading to exclusion of those with lower levels of
education.

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In India, vocational education falls under the charge of the Ministry of Human
Resources Development (MHRD). The Ministry oversees vocational courses being
offered in school Grades 11 and 12 under a Centrally Sponsored Scheme called
'Vocationalisation of Secondary Education' since 1988. Only the schools affiliated to
Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) offer the courses in accordance with
the Board's Scheme of Studies and the course structure. The courses are of two-
years duration and span 6 major disciplines. like dairying, farm machinery &
equipment (Agriculture), accounting and auditing (Business and Commerce),
electrical technology, air conditioning and refrigeration (Engineering and
Technology), X-Ray technician, health care and beauty culture (Health and Para
Medical), and preservation of fruits and vegetables, food services and management
(Home Sciences and Humanities).

Vocational training on the other hand broadly refers to certificate level crafts training
(in India) and is open to students who leave school after completing anywhere from
grades 8-12. Programmes administered under the Craftsmen Training Scheme (CTS)
are operated by Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Industrial Training Centres
(ITCs). This scheme falls within the purview of the Directorate General of
Employment and Training (DGET), under the Ministry of Labour and Employment
(MOLE).

At a higher level, the technical education and vocational training system in India
produces a labour force through a three-tier system: Graduate and post-graduate
level specialists (e.g. Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and engineering colleges)
trained as engineers and technologists. Diploma-level graduates who are trained in
polytechnics as technicians and supervisors. Certificate-level craft people trained in
ITIs as well as through formal apprenticeships as semi-skilled and skilled workers.

The Govt. of India in recent years has laid a lot of emphasis on streamlining
vocational education so that it fulfils the emerging need of the market by focusing on
employability skills. In consonance with this thrust the CBSE has introduced a course
in Financial Market Management(FMM) under vocational stream which is likely to be
renamed as Professional Education & Training.]In the Budget Speech 2007-08 Union
Finance Minister announced a scheme for upgradation of 1396 Government ITIs into
centres of excellence in specific trades and skills through Public Private Partnership.
In pursuance of this announcement wide/ranging discussions were held with State
Governments, Industry Associations and other stakeholders and a Scheme named
"Upgradation of 1396 Government ITIs through Public Private Partnership" was
formulated. The Cabinet Committee for Economic Affairs (CCEA) of the Union Cabinet
in its meeting held on 25.10.2007 has approved this Scheme ‘in principle’ for the XI
Five Year Plan period and has given financial approval for one year for upgradation of
the first batch of 300 ITIs at a cost of Rs. 774.5 cr.The Directorate General of
Employment & Training (DGE&T) in the Ministry of Labour, Government of India
initiated Craftsmen Training Scheme (CTS) in 1950 by establishing about 50
Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) for imparting skills in various vocational trades
to meet the skilled manpower requirements for technology and industrial growth of
the country. One of the main reasons for the lack of market responsiveness among
vocational training courses is the limited or no participation of the industry in

61
contributing to curricula development. It is the industry which has to finally employ
the training graduates. Hence, their mandate in determining what their future
employees need to be taught can hardly be overemphasized. There are some rare
cases of industry participation as members of Institute Management Committees
(IMCs) for ITIs. But even such participation has been found to namesake, at best.

Studies have only reinforced the fact that the majority of workers in the unorganised
economy of India have never been to vocational training institutions and/or school.
On the other hand, the formal skills training system, because of its educational entry
requirements and long duration of courses, is designed to exclude the
underprivileged informal sector workers. Yet, given the vast size of India's informal
workforce, the need to address the skills of informal sector workers is more pressing
than any other.

One of the weaknesses of Indian education system is that it does not gives due
importance to vocational education. As a result there is a mismatch between the
skilled manpower required and skilled manpower available. Every year we churn out
millions of graduates who do not have the specific skill sets required by the market.
If this trend continues it would hurt our economic growth in the long run. To change
this situation first we need to change our mindset. In India, people are obsessed
with attaining a graduation degree and generally look down upon vocational
education. This has resulted in a situation where on the one hand there are scores of
unemployed graduates and on the other hand there is a huge shortage of skilled
workers such as plumbers, electricians to earn their living.

http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/web1/08oct07/edit.htm#5

22. Flexible educational curricula

By Sadaket Malik

62
There is an emerging consensus within India’s 5 million-strong academic community
that the nation’s moribund, mouth-eaten education system fashioned by Lord
Macaulay over a century ago, needs an urgent makeover. Textbooks and tests have
long been the two words that defined the Indian education system, but now the
National Curriculum Framework 2005 is doing its utmost to change that perception.
The 124-page document, prepared by the National Council for Educational Research
and Training (NCERT), emphasises the words learning without burden and child-
centered education repeatedly. Its volley of suggestions, already reflected in the new
NCERT syllabus for classes one to twelve, includes cutting down on the number of
textbooks, making assessment methods flexible, and promoting more inclusive
learning.

More dramatically, it makes a case for doing away with stereotypes based on gender
and caste. By breaking away from established notions and prevalent teaching
practices, the framework has laid the ground for making learning a more exciting
experience. As NCERT Director Krishna Kumar explains, the NCF is "sensitive" to the
needs of children and understands that the ultimate goal of education is to
"motivate". And even its critics agree that this NCF takes a step forward by
recognizing the importance of the child in the school education system. The new
NCERT syllabus shows a "marked departure from earlier ones", according to Kumar.

The starkest evidence of the rising tide of anxiety about the quantity and quality of
education being provided to genext is indicated by the unprecedented provision
made in the Union budget 2008 presented to Parliament, to impose a 2 percent cess
on all Central taxes to raise additional resources for elementary education. Moreover
in his budget speech Union finance minister P. Chidambaram committed the 100-
days-old United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre to raising the national
outlay for education from the current 3.5-4 percent of GDP (gross domestic product)
to 6 percent in the near future.

Inevitably, A fresh look at syllabi is certainly required in many states in the country,
where changes in curricula sometimes occur only every 10 years. "Central boards of
education, such as the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and the ICSE
(Indian School Certificate Examinations), revise textbooks more frequently. States
are more conservative, and revisions of curriculum happen slowly

Therefore the newly emergent consensus that reform of India’s Macaulayan system
of education based on rote learning and memorisation rather than development of
problem-solving, conflict-resolution skills and Information technology schemes
requires urgent attention. And even as several specialist committees constituted by
the Union ministry of human resource development are currently engaged in the
process, the public interest demands a wider ambit for the national debate on
syllabus and curriculum reform. We deemed it incumbent upon ourselves to ask
several educationists and industry leaders with proven commitment to improving the
education system by implementing the milestones and initiate multi pronged
strategy.

To a greater or lesser degree all the educationist and policy makers are in favour of
addressing the supply side of education to eliminate capacity shortages which are

63
the root cause of the overwhelming majority of the hundreds, if not thousands, of
rackets which plague post-independence India’s education system. The National
Curriculum NCF-2005 has devoted a chapter to School and Classroom Environment,
mentioning that not enough attention is paid to the importance of physical
environment for learning. It says that classrooms are overcrowded and unattractive,
despite the fact that children want to be in a colorful, friendly and playful space. The
framework suggests ways to make school buildings and classrooms attractive, and
says that heads of school and block functionaries should focus on ensuring that at
least minimum infrastructural requirements are met. It also mentions that the ideal
number of students in a class should be around 30.

The education sector urgently needs to be set free. Let every child learn by its own
environment, and let every body should have a right to be a torch bearer for
spreading education in any mean. This will facilitate entry of private firms offering
short courses that equip young people for vocations and professions — be it
plumbing, or banking into the education sector. The three R’s can also be easily
taught by them using computers. There is a general consensus that having failed
miserably during the past half century to upgrade education standards, the Central
and state governments themselves should exit from syllabus design and mandate
school examination boards to design syllabuses which test more than memory and
rote learning ability. The New Education Policy should mandate free-fall curriculums
from nursery to class VIII and direct all school examination boards to revise their
syllabuses to test research, analysis, memory, comprehension and expression
capabilities of students. Government must retreat from syllabus design. Central and
state governments have to dissociate from dictating syllabi and curriculums to
ascertaining whether or not government schools and institutions of higher education
are delivering learning in their classrooms.

If there is one question that we need to ask now, it is this: have we as a nation
reflected on the policy choices that we are faced with now? If we are unable to
answer this question with enough conviction, we may end up losing another
generation to poor quality education.

http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/web1/08oct16/edit.htm#3

23. Government Policies and International Voluntary Sector

By Sadaket Malik

64
There is an urgent need to put an end to distortions in social development and
evolving institutionalised mechanisms of collaboration between the government and
the NGOs and the people’s institutions.
CJ: SADAKET MALIK , 14 Oct 2008 Views:482 Comments:0
VOLUNTARY SOCIAL work, voluntarism, voluntary organisations, non governmental
organisations (NGOs) not profit making organizations, religion based social
development organisations, individual donors, philanthropy and corporate social
development organisations have grown tremendously in the 21st century.

Similarly international developmental organisation like the World Bank, United


Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations International Children
Education Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United
Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), World Trade Organisation
(WTO), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Asian Development Bank (ADB),
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JAICA), Department Fund for International
Development (DFID), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Swedish
International Development Agency (SIDA), United Nations Economic, Social
Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) and many other organisations are
relentlessly campaigning for the cause of the social development.

Under United Nations systems several international conventions are being held,
several laws are being promoted, several policies are being evolved and several
projects are being implemented in various areas like the human rights, education,
health, natural resources, development and environment.

The government of India and many governments of various nations of the world like
South Africa, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines,
Uganda, Zambia and Mexico have enacted several laws, established various
government departments, evolved policies, and created schemes for the cause of
social development.

Though social development has emerged as a very important sector in 21st century
there are no institutionalised mechanisms of collaboration of the government and the
NGOs. The need of the hour is to evolve long term, sustainable and institutionalised
collaboration between the government and NGOs.

The government of India has prepared and released a draft national policy on NGOs,
incorporating the areas of collaboration of the government and NGOs. The Planning
Commission of India and various ministries of the government of India are working
on the modalities of collaboration between the government and the NGOs.

Similarly the government of Andhra Pradesh on an inn


ovative approach given by us has formed a state level coordination committee of
government officials and NGOs headed by the chief minister for promoting the
coordination between the government and the NGOs. On the same lines district level
coordination cells have been formed headed by the district in-charge ministers with
collectors, officials and NGOs as members. Government orders are issued for
frequent meeting of the committees and evolving the mechanisms of collaboration

65
between the government and the NGOs. (GOMS No 28 of government of AP enclosed)

There is imminent need for the government of India and various state governments
to release the national policy as well as the state policies for institutionalised
mechanisms of collaboration between the government and the NGOs, on the lines of
the National Policy of the government of India.

The government of India is promoting the work, projects and involvement of NGOs in
a big way. The Union Ministry of Rural Development has established Council for
Advancement of Peoples Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) and is promoting the
NGO sector in a big way.

Rural Development Department in many schemes like the Integrated Rural


Development Programme (IRDP). Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP),
Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA), Swarna Jayanti
Swarajgor Yojana (SJSGY) National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS),
Watershed Development and in many other schemes has elaborately issued
guidelines, with specific reference to involvement of the NGOs in implementation of
various schemes.

Rural development department through National Waste Lands Development Board


have issued guidelines, focusing on the importance of participation of the people and
involvement of NGOs in implementation of the schemes.

Similarly, several Ministries like Ministry of Human Resources Development, Ministry


of Environment and Forest, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of
Women and Child Welfare, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of
Agriculture among others have issued guidelines for implementation of the schemes,
with focus on peoples participation and participation of NGOs in implementation of
thousands of schemes of the government of India.

On the same lines, various state governments have issued government orders and
guidelines for people’s participation and participation of NGOs in implementation of
various schemes.

The government of India through various ministries has been funding the NGOs to a
tune of Rs. 10,000 corers per annum for implementation of various schemes. CAPART
and various ministries have evolved schemes to be funded to the NGOs for
implementation in various areas concerning human and social development of
people. Similarly several schemes are also being funded in natural resources
development and environment.

Various ministries of the government of India have evolved formats, prescribed


procedures, and evolved inspection and monitoring mechanisms for effective
implementation of the schemes being funded in the NGOs sector. All the details of
grants in aid being sanctioned to the project of the NGOs are being made available on
the websites of the respective ministries of the government of India.

66
Similarly World Bank, DFID and various funding agencies have also evolved
mechanisms, procedures for inspection, assessment, sanction, monitoring and
evaluation of grant in aid projects to the NGOs.

In addition to the above, International Development Agencies like Action Aid, Plan
International, Oxfam, CCF, Leonard Chesire, CARE and several other international
donor agencies have also evolved mechanisms and guidelines for assessment,
sanction, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects which require
grants in aid. They have also prescribed formats for donor service reporting and
displaying on websites.

While the international scenario, and national scenarios are very encouraging all is
not well in collaboration of the government and the NGOs in social development.

Some of the distortions and recent trends in a few states of India are to implement
the projects of social development with-out any collaboration between the
government and the NGOs. People’s participation and participatory development is a
distant dream which is yet to be realized.

There is an urgent need to put an end to distortions in social development and


evolving the institutionalised mechanisms of collaboration between the government
and the NGOs and the people’s institutions. There is the malaise among some
organisations to be excessively dependent on foreign aid. This can be somewhat
offset if our business houses start contributing more to the voluntary sector than
they do now. Some voluntary organisations also tend to be individual-centric with
little internal democracy and sometimes transparency. Such organisations find it
difficult to outlast their founder. There is also a need for greater cooperation among
NGOs themselves. Together, they can achieve much more than if they choose to
operate in their own small autonomous area.

http://www.articlesbase.com/news-and-society-articles/government-policies-and-
international-voluntary-sector-644543.html

67
24. Needed a reflective youth policy

By Sadaket Malik

Once Ali Adil shah who built a biggest Jamia masjid named Gol Gumbad exhorted
"Life is a gift of all the gifts given by God, and it does not lost long and one has to
prove the life by doing good deeds that remain forever." Ali Adil shah in his young
career made it clear that youth must involue themselves in the national
reconstruction activities and channeallise their life for the good of the society. Youth
consists of the people between the age group of 15-35 years in the scheme of Govt.
of India. Are the strata realy a part of national reconstruction? is he/she contributing
to the world of science and society at large, Is our rural youth part of National and
the global forum being envisaged by the national and International agencies? Is
youth participated in the India’s democratic setup? Is he a part of good goverenance
and so called programmes of self employment launched by the agencies under
Minisitries and Departments ? Is he a memebr of global assess ? Never. Youth still is
under agony, unable to manage their own affairs aprt from the policies and
provisions.The National Youth policy of 2003 by the ministry was appreciable for
those participated in International and global cereminies, not only benificial for the
sports persons who paved a way for representing the country in global forum, but for
the childerns of the influential union ministers who were in the union and state
cabenit as well. there are hundreds of unemployed youth in state,

No doubt, the scheme for providing Self-employment to Educated Unemployed Youth


was started in 1983 with an annual target of 2.5 lakh beneficiaries. Unemployed
Youth in the age group of 19-35 years who are Matriculates and above are eligible for
assistance under this scheme.struggling in the same boat and are finding it difficult
to even find a meager source of income to fulfill their daily needs.

The National Youth policy 2003 gave a clear mendate for all the rural youth populace
to participate in the game, represent the country in all the social, educational and
political fields, the policy enisaged a strong rather increased involuement of the
youth of rural india in all fronts, there is lack of any e-governance initiative in major
part of rural india under NEGP (National E-governance Project) and of the (Every
village knowledge centre) of National Knowledge commission (KNC)of Govt of India
to make rural youth part of recent technology besides the schemes being
implemented through Ministry.

68
Nevertheless, The agencies at the helm of affairs has had contribted richy for the
empowerment of the strata in capital cities, but there has been misapproperation of
the central Govt. funds in corores meant of the Rural youth empowerment and
leadership training, the agencies in the field of youth afiars in the country has failed
in implementing the countours of the national Youth policy of 2003. It is clear from
the working of the agencies who had little impect on the development of the rural
youth in the country. About 33% of rural households that depend on self-
employment is in non-agricultural occupations. And of the rural self-employed more
than 40% is in non-agricultural activities. However although almost half the
workforce is self-employed, less than half the households depend on the incomes
generated from self-employment. is there any agecy of the Govt. to familiar them
about self employment ventures.This is a matter of sorry state affairs on the part of
the Govt. of India agencies for initiating the hollow slogans of democratic
goverenance, reach India initiative, reaching the unreached and so on, whatever is
decided by the cabenit in desk is not being implemented at local level, the target
benificiries of the national youth policy are still under agony, unable to manage their
own affiars on account of the lack of familiarization programmes and awareness
camping on the part of agencies at the helm of affairs.Why is our educational system
urban-centric and rural -specific? It teaches us Occidental history, but does not
impart vocational education that would help the youth find employment, to earn their
living.

The three most important changes required in our youth policy are to add value-
orientation based on our ancient shastras and other religious scriptures in our
curriculum and make it samskar-centric, to include appropriate vocational
components in education and make in nirdhan-centric, and to promote "service
before self" opportunities and make it sewa-centric. The education system need to be
vocationalised by introducting need besed subjects. The rural youth is disconnected
from the Indian reality. This disconnection can be reduced through a programme that
postulates a feeling of service before self. Can the rural educational system not
develop the National Social Service League into a more potent institution that
coordinates youth efforts in villages, and reduce this disconnect? Mahatma Gandhi’s
concept of shram daan is the need of the hour to make the rural youth more aware of
the needs of rural India.

The rights of the youth be taken into consideration, there should be wide publicity of
the Youth leadership programmes in rural schools and colleges, rights and duties of
them and above all the participation of the rural youth in national and international
georaphical trips so that they may fulfill their legitimate aspirations so that they are
all strong of heart and strong of body and mind in successfully accomplishing the
challenging tasks of national reconstruction and social changes that lie ahead.The
National Reconstruction Crops, Natioanl Youth Project, Nehru Yova Kendra
sangathen, Directorate of Youth servises and Employment be re-designed in working
in rural areas rahter than in papers. National youth policy envisaged by Govt Of India
under the aegis of Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in 2003 must be revised
in a reflective manner.The self employment awareness on the part of Govt. and NGos
is strongly needed to change the mindset.

69
Policy-makers, thinkers and people in governance must therefore question, what is
the Zeitgeist (the spirit of our times)? What is the mood of the people today? What
do young people want? It is important that they understand and cater to these
questions by formulating a reflective policy that become a call for youth leadership.

http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/web1/08june20/edit.htm#5

25. Placement facility in technical education

By Sadaket Malik

In the current scenario, technical education determines the development and socio-
economic condition of a nation, there is a greater need for quality technical education
to produce technically skilled manpower.The process of liberlisation has changed the
rules of the game for the business and policy leaders around the world. The era of
globalisation is not only inviting foreign capital but also foreign technology in India.
Since the early eighties, due to rapid industrialization and economic growth,
engineering and technical education has been fast developing in India than
anywhere else in the world. India now has the second largest engineering students
in the world.

70
The most important economic policy facing India is how to increase the current trend
of output per capita. In this environment, the lure of better growth policy is
compelling. In addition, it is believed that this rapid change of technological change
was fostered by an education system that provided the essential input and steady
flow of people trained in the scientific method and in the state of art in their area of
specialization. If this interpretation of our recent past is correct then it is no false to
say that industry relies heavily on polished diamonds coming out of various varsities.

It is wrong to say that in the last 5-6 years, the innovation policy in India has
completely ignored the structure of institutions especially with regard to Govt
institutions. The top down direction of the curriculum is a pox upon our public
education system. University education does not necessarily prepare the youth for
Life; also there is no guarantee of a job after a university degree. We require an
entire spectrum of skilled man power.

In this process, India is also killing budding entrepreneurs who can bring significant
shift in the economic stance of the country in Asia and the world at large.

The point here is that performance regarding placement cell is different between
Govt-run institutions and private institutions. Despite so many students looking for
jobs, the placement scenario is absurdly poor. Part of the problem is that most
educational institutions in the state have no placement cell to keep track of
placement statistics.

Though it is a matter of pride that private institutes have also started churning out
industry moulded graduates. Private institutions usually have tie-ups with big
companies and often industry experts are called upon to give lecture to students. Its
de facto that rich people can only afford private institutes and jobs simply fly into
their arms. But the fact is more than half of India lies in the heart of middle class and
poor section. The cost of studying in such colleges is a nightmare for them, besides
they get subsidized rates in Govt higher education institutes. The superficiality of
impartiality and non-permanence of teaching staff is quite evident in Govt run
institutes and so expecting a placement cell seems a far-fetched dream. Not
everybody has the capacity to go outside their state to study or get loads of dollar
bills to fund their education. Providing students with facilities of faculty and
placement cells has become an important measure of giving quality education. In
such case, it is important to know the desires and demands of students which are
expected out of good professional colleges.The need of the hour for any institution is
to produce industry groomed manpower. Who will the regulate the entire spectrum ?
Who will do this ? who will bell the cat? and who will be the resposible agent to
monitor the arena are the question need to be answered.

In order to meet the demands of the changing labor market, IDA supported India’s
long term program of reforms in the middle level technical education system dealing
with training of technicians/ supervisors. The policy reforms exhorted increased
participation of women, tribal communities, handicapped, rural youth and other
disadvantaged groups in technician education though formal and non-formal
education and training. The IDA’s total investment in the three projects has been
about USD 700 million with IDA funding of about USD 530 million. The rest was

71
contributed by the states and the Government of India. IDA support played a
catalytic role in expediting implementation of a National Policy of Education
reforms.In particular, IDA promoted introduction of new relevant programs, and
increased women’s participation by supporting the establishment of 33 women’s
polytechnics, hostel facilities for women, and appointment of women faculty.
According to the world bank broup he Third Technician Education Project in India,
will assist the industrially, and economically under-developed, in remote states of
the Northeastern region, to expand capacity, and improve the quality of technician
education, in order to meet specific economic needs of each state. It will also
increase the access of disadvantaged groups - i.e., women, and rural youth - to
technician education, and training.

In fact, institutions needs to make their syllabus more vocationally oriented so as to


groom, nurture and develop the talent in a proper fashion, catering to needs of the
industries. A dynamic and pro active placement cell needs to be created in every
institution to keep a track of all the placings of its students and to attract good
industries. The student engineers should be encouraged to attend techinical
seminars, workshops leadership training and should be made aware of the latest
develpoments in techonologies and its impact on bussiness. Equal importance should
be given to the communication skills of students for clear ex-pression of ideas, With
private sector institutions leaving no stones unturned in providing the best possible
openings to their products, it becomes all the more important for Govt. aided
institutions to reinvigorate themselves to meet the added challenge of better
placement. A student placed according to his area of interest will automatically
ensure the growth of the industry and his institution. The need of the hour is, that
the educational institutes takes to the training and placement facilities more
seriously and scientifically.

Liberalization of the Indian economy, its gradual integration with the world economy
and rapid transformation into a knowledge-based society will be increased only when
we master workforce that is not only literate and has mastered specific skills, The
Government run institutions should be monitored and regulated by advisory
committees like UGC, National Board of Accreditation (NBA) medical Council of India
(MCI) Distance Education Council (DEC) and other apex bodies of the Government of
India before according approval to an institution.

http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/web1/08sep30/edit.htm#4

72
26. 'A Poet cannot become a Chemical Engineer'

It's a rising irreversible tide. Though not a few within the political class and the
nation's powerful bureaucracy are in denial, there is an emerging consensus within
India's 5 million-strong academic community that the nation's moribund, mouth-
eaten education system fashioned by Lord Macaulay over a century ago, needs an
urgent makeover.

With 21st century India burdened with the world's largest population of illiterate
citizens, an estimated 59 million children in the 6-14 age group out of school, and the
aggregate number of names and addresses of job-seekers in the registers of
employment exchanges across the country having swollen to 41 million — not
because there aren't sufficient jobs, but because youth streaming out of the obsolete
education system are unemployable — alarm sirens are wailing in all sections of
Indian society.

This is due to the lack of diversification of subjects at common schooling. The choice
of courses is compelling in order to get a gainful employment and acquire skills and
competence at large.

The starkest evidence of the rising tide of anxiety about the quantity and quality of
education being provided to GeNext is indicated by the unprecedented provision
made in the Union budget 2008 presented to Parliament, to impose a 2 percent cess
on all Central taxes to raise additional resources for elementary education. Moreover
in his budget speech, Union finance minister P. Chidambaram committed the 100-
days-old United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre to raising the
national outlay for education from the current 3.5-4 percent of GDP (Gross Domestic
Product) to 6 percent in the near future.

73
Conterminously up gradation of the nation's languishing public education systems is
top priority on the agenda of the National Advisory Council (NAC) chaired by
Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi.

Inevitably, there is considerable scepticism about the declarations of intent and


grand pronouncements made by governments at the Centre and in the states which
are seldom followed up with policy implementation programmes. But even within the
civic society and general public, there is a never-before, new millennium awareness
that quality education is the best social leveller and passport to gainful employment,
affluence and social respect. Hence, despite the rigorous and travails of license-
permit raj which has migrated from industry to education, there's a flurry of activity
in terms of promotion of new schools, colleges and institutes of professional
education, particularly in the private sector.

This urgent flurry of activity within the hitherto somnolent education sector has
ensured that the vital importance of qualitative education has permeated down to
the lowest income groups across the subcontinent — a development accentuated by
the promotion of the country's 517 urban benchmarked Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya
residential schools in rural India.

Simultaneously, it has focussed public attention upon hitherto arcane subjects such
as syllabus design and curriculum development and shifted national attention from
ritual to real education. Suddenly paper degrees and qualifications are not as
important as professional and life skills which school leavers and college graduates
must acquire within their institutions of learning.

Therefore the newly emergent consensus that reform of India's Macaulayan system
of education based on rote learning and memorisation rather than development of
problem-solving, conflict-resolution skills and Information technology schemes
requires urgent attention.

And even as several specialist committees constituted by the Union ministry of


human resource development are currently engaged in the process, the public
interest demands a wider ambit for the national debate on syllabus and curriculum
reform.

We deemed it incumbent upon ourselves to ask several educationists and industry


leaders with proven commitment to improving the education system by
implementing the milestones and initiate multi pronged strategy.

To a greater or lesser degree, all the educationist and policy makers are in favour of
addressing the supply side of education to eliminate capacity shortages which are
the root cause of the overwhelming majority of the hundreds, if not thousands, of
rackets which plague post-independence India's education system.

The learned justices of the Supreme Court agree. In its historic 2002 judgment in the
TMA Pai Foundation Case (8 SCC 481), a full bench of the court expanded the right of

74
minorities to "establish and administer educational institutions of their choice" as
mandated by Article 30 of the Constitution of India, to all citizens.

The education sector urgently needs to be set free. Let every child learn by its own
environment, and let every body should have a right to be a torch bearer for
spreading education in any mean. This will facilitate entry of private firms offering
short courses that equip young people for vocations and professions — be it
plumbing, or banking into the education sector. The three R's can also be easily
taught by them using computers.

There is a general consensus that having failed miserably during the past half
century to upgrade education standards, the Central and state governments
themselves should exit from syllabus design and mandate school examination boards
to design syllabuses which test more than memory and rote learning ability.

Comments Kabir Mustafi, former headmaster of Bishop Cotton School, Shimla who
advocates that the Centre should promulgate a new National Education Policy: "The
NEP should mandate 'free-fall' curriculums from nursery to class VIII and direct all
school examination boards to revise their syllabuses to test research, analysis,
memory, comprehension and expression capabilities of students

Government must retreat from syllabus design. Central and state governments have
to dissociate from dictating syllabi and curriculums to ascertaining whether or not
government schools and institutions of higher education are delivering learning in
their classrooms.

A new National Education Policy needs to be written. It should: (i) Empower local
bodies such as SDMCs (School Development Monitoring Committees) and panchayats
so that teachers and boards are accountable to the public; (ii) Upgrade teacher skills
by establishing NDA (National Defence Academy) or ASCI (Administrative Staff
College of India) type academies for three-five year training and refresher courses
with stipends; (iii) Ban arbitrary teacher transfers; (iv) Draw up stringent but
transparent recognition and accreditation norms as per CISCE/ CBSE/ NAAC/ AICTE
standards while de-licensing private initiatives in education.

Revise school syllabi. The NEP should direct all school examination boards to revise
their syllabuses to test research, analysis, memory, comprehension and expression
capabilities of students.

Standardise college admissions. The new NEP needs to mandate a single SAT type
examination for college admission and a GRE/ GMAT version for postgraduate
admissions. Modifications to existing successful models are entirely feasible.

Targetted subsidies in higher education. The blanket subsidisation of tertiary


education needs to be replaced with need-based scholarships, grants and financial
aid.
Involve local communities. The upgradation of teacher salaries and infrastructure for
schools not well endowed should be entrusted to local communities including

75
corporates, against tax holidays and other fiscal benefits.

A comprehensive education policy for the country for all levels of education, taking
into account the recent changes and requirements of a globalized environment is
urgently required. It should be drafted by an expert committee drawn from India and
abroad. Central and state governments should draw up incentive and grants-in-aid
programmes to promote centres of quality education in rural areas across the
country. Education opportunities need to be spread out rather than concentrated in
isolated geographic locations.

Upgradation of tertiary level syllabuses and curriculums. Higher education should be


made relevant to meet industry requirements, so that students make a smooth
transition from academics to industry.

Industry needs employable graduates. Diverse rules and regulations prescribed by


monitoring agencies in higher education inhibit growth and excellence in educational
institutions. They should be given full autonomy for self-development while the
national accreditation process must become more stringent

If there is one question that we need to ask now, it is this: have we as a nation
reflected on the policy choices that we are faced with now? If we are unable to
answer this question with enough conviction, we may end up losing another
generation to poor quality education for the majority of the people in the country. Is
that something that we can afford? We all know that India lives in rural areas and
without making these areas literate, we can't make India a prosperous nation.

Hopefully, the central and state governments will wake up now to make the
educational schemes and funds fruitful. Last but not the least, the parents and wards
should also understand the importance of education and cooperate with the
government to make the educational schemes successful.

If we fail to make a choice of courses after senior secondary school, the following
quote stands appropriate for us - "A Poet can not become a Chemical Engineer"

By - Sadaket Malik
The author is a freelance columnist based in Jammu.

http://www.indiaedunews.net/In-
focus/October_2008/'A_Poet_cannot_become_a_Chemical_Engineer'_6343/

27. ICTs and capacity building in Open Learning


By sadaket Malik

Of late, there has been a paradigm shift from access to quality; from the broadcast to
cassette; and from information to interaction in educational picture.

The Computer made a lot of difference to the teaching-learning strategies to be


followed in the open and Distance learning systems. A very significant impact of

76
technology on education is the advent of porous transnational borders due to
electronification; globalization and commodification of education as marketable
good/service in the WTO supported GATS era.

Many leading universities from the developed world have, on their own or as a part
of consortia, not only transcended their national boundaries for offering education
abroad (on-line or off-line) but are also vying with each other for market space. It is
important to realize that such efforts should supplement the growth of local
educational institutions, particularly in small nation states by raising standards of
their offering and contextualisation of content rather than being dictated by
economic considerations.

IGNOU has its presence in more then 35 countries, as of now. The Pan-African tele-
education & tele-medicine initiative of Government of India, which shall connect all
53 African Union member states through a satellite, fibre optic and wireless
networks, should be seen as an effort towards capacity building across cultures in
the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutmbakam, the World is one family. The project is likely to
be inaugurated by the end of 2006 and Ethiopia has been selected as the first
country to benefit from the pilot phase. South Africa, Mauritius and Ghana have also
been short listed for the pilot.

The network will connect five universities two in India and three in Africa to 53
learning centres for tele-education and 10 super-speciality hospitals three in India
and seven in Africa to 53 remote hospitals for tele-medicine. The main objective of
the tele-medicine network will be to share the knowledge of Indian medical
professionals with their African counterparts through on-line training programmes
for nurses, paramedical staff and other health workers. Five universities are being
equipped with tele-education studios, including post-production facilities, data
centres, and a portal comprising delivery system software.

Recently, COMESA has shown keen interest in accelerating these efforts.

Moreover, students enrolling in tele-education programmes shall get access to e-


materials and satellite-mediated interactive support. These could be easily extended
to Pan- Commonwealth nation states as well.

The point we wish to make is that ICTs are helping us to achieve a major goal of
capacity building by integrating people, societies, cultures and nations, promoting
international understanding through bilateral and multilateral strategic
collaborations and partnerships between educational institutions and bridging the
digital divide.

We are collaborating with University of South Africa (UNISA), South Africa; Mauritius
Institute of Education (MIE) and Mauritius College of the Air (MCA), Mauritius;
Payame Noor University (PNU) Iran; National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN),
Nigeria; Tanjania Open University (TOU), Tanzania; Kenyatta University (KU), Kenya;
University of Fiji (UniFiji), Fiji; Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), UK;
Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), Pakistan; Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL),

77
Sri Lanka; Bangladesh Open University (BOU), Bangladesh; Wawasan University
College (WUC), Malaysia to mention a few.

Another dimension of the use of technology in Open Distance Learning for capacity
building is the change in the face of distance education from poor cousin of
mainstream classroom education to an independent system, endowed with
tremendous capacity and capability to cater to the needs of education for all at
reasonable cost.

That is, it has capability to address all the vectors of Nigvekar Pentagon (Daniel,
2004), provided some basic conditions are met. In India, having enrolled about three
and a half million learners, the ODL system caters to every fourth student in higher
education. In the period 2007-12, the nation targets to double its total enrolment in
higher education in order to realize Mission 2020.

To meet the challenge, ODL system is being mandated to increase its share to about
40% and accommodate the flux arising out of universalization of elementary
education. That is, we are going through a time of greater expectations and need to
give impetus to open learning based knowledge revolution.

Though catering to large numbers brings associated challenges, education for more
students from our system means greater contribution towards national development.
The fact that every tenth student seeking higher education in the country is studying
with IGNOU is a great motivating factor and source of satisfaction for us.

It is now well known that use of ICTs provides advantages of greater flexibility in the
location of educational experience (home or workplace), wide choice of market-
centric, inter-disciplinary courses/programmes, global curriculum, best practices and
experiences, on-demand admission and examination and value addition in the
education of the disadvantaged (physically, socially, economically geographically,
gender inequality).

We can educate or train even visually impaired by using speech software and
communication disabled by using visual software. We are developing MBA materials
for the visually impaired in collaboration with National Blind Association, New Delhi
and hearing impaired with All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore.

IGNOU offers 130 programmes spread over 1,100 courses using front-ended
technology like video-conferencing and Internet. Special centres have been created
(for jail inmates, minorities, females, physically challenged and rural poor) to
harness technology for imparting, assessing and accrediting skills and competencies.

With 1.43 million cumulative learner population and an annual intake of more than
four hundred twenty nine thousand, IGNOU caters to about 15% of total students
enrolled in higher education in the country through a network of 64 Regional Centres
(RCs), six Sub-Regional Centres (SRCs), 1400 Learner Centres (LCs) and Forty One
Partner Institutions (PIs) in 35 countries.

78
The RCs, SRCs and majority of the SCs have been equipped with video or
teleconferencing facilities. The University is in the process of providing broadband
connectivity to all its LCs so as to bring the vast e-resources within the easy reach of
its learners and facilitate faster interaction.

One of the most striking shifts introduced by the use of ICTs in education is the
change in the role of teachers from being 'repertoire of knowledge' to 'facilitator for
access to and comprehension of learning resources' as well as of institutions from
'ivory towers' in four walls to 'globally distributed' classrooms. In fact, campus based
institutions are likely to fast become 'obsolete and unsuited' to present day
requirements and pave way for virtual universities, which can provide rich-computer
simulated learning environment where difficult to visualise phenomena can be
demonstrated convincingly and the latest findings can be shared synchronously as
well as asynchronously with value addition.

Other important characteristic of virtual universities shall include year round


operations, inter-disciplinary market-driven courses on demand anywhere on the
globe. Moreover, the student, as customer, shall be at the focus of all operations. The
knowledge society shall create a new paradigm powered by capacity for innovations.

Though technology mediated learning has capacity to cater to vast numbers


efficiently and in-expensively without any incongruence, it is important to appreciate
that technology alone cannot ensure quality; in this 'gold rush', man behind the
machine occupies a prominent place.

Therefore, to support advances in ICTs, impart instruction and transact curriculum


meaningfully, it is absolutely necessary not only to possess a critical mass of highly
motivated and trained human capital, but also to continuously upgrade their skills.
Taking its lessons from the offer of Internet based programmes, such as Bachelors
and Masters in Computer Applications,

IGNOU puts appropriately trained personnel in place before taking the lead and
responsibility to train learners through its virtual campus initiative for national and
international markets by putting on offer its Bachelors of Information Technology
and Advanced Diploma in Information Technology programmes. Post-Graduate
Diploma in Library Automation and Networking, Post Graduate Certificate in
Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Certificate in Food Safety, Certificate in ICT
Applications in Library among others are on offer on-line for capacity building.

However, institutional culture and societal practices also influence such programmes.
There is a need to speed up the ventures in rural information centres to provide
access to the beneficiaries.

http://www.indiaedunews.net/In-
focus/December_2008/ICTs_and_capacity_building_in_Open_Learning_6924/

79
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81
32. State Youth Policies-The need of hour

By Sadaket Malik

The youth policy directs the government to ensure gainful empleyment and total
empowerment for unreached. In India there is no scarcity or dearth of welfare
policies but the problem lies in primarily to rationalise these policies in to the logical
frame work.Most these policies are top driven, lacking pro people and holistic welfare
approach.
Most importantly, policies are being made and at the same time policies
are being lost either, or need to be recovered by the researchers after a long time to
see what was there in the particular policy. National youth Policy- 2003 is one of
such policy, may be policy maker themselves has forgotten about this Policy.
I strongly feel that each and every Policies of our country should and
must have special provision for all the Northern states, in particular a backward and
trouble torn state like Jammu and kashmir. Is it really essential to mention the
situation of the youth of the state ? Drug, insurgency, ill effect of globalisation has
thrown the youth of state in to a futureless and hope less situation. There are no
employment opportunities for them, no place to breathe in the fresh air.
Ironically, The National Youth Policy 2003 has not covered any specific
aspect of the youth of the state. In this policy issue of empowerment is just touched
in a superficial manner without touching the grave situation of the state. Corruption
thy name is J&K. Issue of addressing corruption is also just touched without
mentioning the in-depth mechanism.
In the Serial no 4 under its onjectives, " it is mentioned again in a
superficial manner in the sub clause 4.5 "to facilitate access, for all sections of the
youth, to health information and services and to promote a social environment which
strongly inhibits the use of drugs and other forms of substance abuse, ensures
measures for de-addiction and mainstreaming of the affected persons and enhances
the availability of sports and recreational facilities as constructive outlets for the
abundant energy of the youth".
One may argue in a different manner regarding inclusion of special
provision for the youth of this state, J&K in particular, as it is mentioned in this policy
under clause no 3 in relation of the Defination of Youth, sub clause 3.1 mentioned
that "This Policy will cover all the youth in the country in the age group of 13 to 35
years.
It is acknowledged that since all the persons within this age group are
unlikely to be one homogenous group, but rather a conglomeration of sub-groups
with differing social roles and requirements, the age group may, therefore, be
divided into two broad sub-groups viz. 13-19 years and 20-35 years. The youth
belonging to the age group 13-19, which is a major part of the adolescent age group,
will be regarded as a separate constituency" This provision definitely included the
youth of Northern states and J&K. I once again plead that they need a special

82
provision in the policy. The youth as a whole are the the youth of hill, valley, they
are the youth of ethnic community, situation is different.
In the Preamble of the policy it is mention under sub clause 1.2 "The
socio-economic conditions in the country have since undergone a significant change
and have been shaped by wide-ranging technological advancement.
The National Youth Policy - 2003 is designed to galvanize the youth to rise
up to the new challenges, keeping in view the global scenario, and aims at
motivating them to be active and committed participants in the exciting task of
National Development." Through this statement the policy maker stated that the
Youth Policy 2003 is designed in such a manner so that the youth of India including
the youth of North may rise up to the new challenges keeping in view global so
called advancement. If we look at this statement critically the ill effect of globisation
will also be promoted. Development of the soil should include the people of the soil
not excluding them not prompting the hidden agenda of global actors.
Nevertheless, there are a few positive aspects in the National Youth
Policy 2003, but most of the clauses do not have any link with grass root reality.
Under the clause "Mental Health" it is mentioned in sub clause no 8.3.8
"Lack of proper education often leads to mental depression. In an environment that
is becoming complex and competitive by the day, the chances of young minds being
afflicted with depression are ever rising. This is particularly so, among adolescents
who are showing higher incidence of suicidal traits than even before. Against this
background, this Policy advocates a system of education which teaches the youth to
fight back rather than give in. It also recommends establishment of statesponsored
and free counselling services for the youth, particularly the adolescents". In the
context of J&K, factors leading towards mental depression is just not lack of proper
education. Significant factors are gun culture, extortion, Political trauma, corruption,
ethnic conflict and several others.
Among the positive aspect of the policy are "The Policy recognises that
children and young people are particularly vulnerable to the ill effects of
environmental degradation.NYK-Nehru Yuva Kendras in J&K has contributed a bit for
the same by formulation of local level youth clubs. The number of youth in the age
group of 13-35 years, as per the 1991 Census, was estimated at about 34 crores, and
about 38 crores in 1997, which is anticipated to increase to about 51 crores by the
year 2016. The percentage of youth in the total population, which, according to the
1996 A Census projections, is estimated to be about 37% in 1997, is also likely to
increase to about 40% by the year 2016.

A novel public - private partnership programme to impart education in


information technology (IT) to underpriviledged youth and women is being
implemented by giving basic IT tranining in areas such as data entry.

Intrestingly, after 1994 genocide in , thousands of youth were left homeless,


with no education and with no means of livelihood. It was in this situation that a
group of young IT savvy professionals, under the banner of Cyber Host, initiated a

83
project to rehabilitate the unfortunate youth of . With the assistance of NU-Vision
Ministry, Cyber Host provided these youth with basic ICT skills thus meeting part of
the requirement of for Information Centres and ICT experts.

However, what is the crying call of hours? What the youth can expect in the
years to come will depend on how well the Policy is framed viz-a-viz understand and
leverage their rights and how willingly and efficiently they are able to shoulder their
responsibilities. What then are the rights and responsibilities of the youth of India?
The National Youth Policy, 2003 be reviewed after 5 years from the date of
commencement of implementation of Five years has already been passed , but what
has happened particularly in the context of this state in particular ? a question need
to responded by the policy makers. State governments should initiate State Youth
policies under the ambit of Department of youth services and Sports as a watchdog
in youth affairs of the state.

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