After the implementation of plans, efforts were made to spread education.
Government decided to provide free and compulsory education to all children up to the age of 14. But this aim could not be achieved yet.
In First Five Year Plan 7.9% of total plan outlay was allocated for education. In Second and Third Plan, the allocations were 5.8% and 6.9% of the total plan outlay. In Ninth Plan only 3.5% of the total outlay was allocated for education.
To streamline the education, the Govt. implemented the recommendations of Kothari Commission under ‘National Policy on Education’ in 1968. The main recommendations were universal primary education. Introduction of new pattern of education, three language formula, introduction of regional language in higher education, development of agricultural and industrial education and adult education.
To combat the changing socio-economic needs of the country, Govt. of India announced a new National Policy on Education in 1986. Universalisation of primary education, vocationalisation of secondary education and specialisation of higher education were the main features of this policy.
National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) at National level and State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) at State level were established to maintain the standard of education. University Grants Commission (UGC) was instituted to determine the standard of higher education.
The following points explain the development of education in India after independence:
1. Expansion of General Education:
During the period of planning there has been expansion of general education. In 1951, the percentage of literacy was 19.3. In 2001 the literacy percentage increased to 65.4%. The enrolment ratio of children in the age group of 6-11 was 43% in 1951 and in it became 100% in 2001.
Primary education – been free and compulsory. Midday meal has been started in schools since 1995 to check drop-out rate. The number of primary schools has risen by three times from 2.10 lakh (1950-51) to 6.40 lakhs (2001-02). There were only 27 universities in 1950-51 which increased to 254 in 2000-01.
2. Development of Technical Education:
Besides general education, technical education plays important role in human capital formation. The Govt. has established several Industrial Training Institutes, Polytechnics, Engineering colleges and Medical and Dental colleges, Management institutes etc.
These are given below:
(a) Indian Institute of Technology:
For education and research in engineering and technology of international standard, seven institutes have been established at Mumbai, Delhi, Kanpur, Chennai, Khargpur, Roorkee and Gauhati, Technical education is imparted here both for graduation and post-graduation and doctorate level.
(b) National Institute of Technology (NIT):
These institutes impart education in engineering and technology. These were called Regional College of Engineering (REC). These are 17 in number throughout the country. There are other institutes in the country to teach engineering and technical education.
(c) Indian Institute of Management:
These institutes impart education in business management and administration. These institutes are located at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Lucknow, Indore and Kozhikode.
(d) Medical education:
There were only 28 medical colleges in the country in 1950-51. There were 165 medical and 40 dental colleges in the country in 1998-99.
(e) Agricultural education:
Agricultural Universities have been started in almost all States to improve production and productivity of agriculture. These universities impart education and research in agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry and veterinary sciences etc.
3. Women education:
In India, literary among women was quite low. It was 52% according to 2001 census. While the literacy among men was 75.8%. Women education was given top priority in National Policy on Education. Many State Governments have exempted the tuition fee of girl’s up to university level. Separate schools and colleges have been established to raise level of literacy among women.
4. Vocational education:
National Policy of Education, 1986, aims at vocationalisation of secondary education. Central Govt. has been giving grants to State Governments to implement the programme since 1988. Agriculture, Pisciculture, diary, poultry, typing, electronics, mechanical and carpentry etc. had been included in higher secondary curriculum.
5. Growth of higher education:
In 1951, there were 27 universities. Their number increased to 254 in 2001. In Orissa state, there was only one university in 1951. Now there are 9 universities.
6. Non-formal education:
This scheme was launched on an experimental basis from the Sixth plan and on regular basis from Seventh plan. The aim was to achieve universal elementary education to all children in the age group of 6-14 years. The scheme was meant for those children who cannot attend schools regularly and for full time due to poverty and pre-occupation with other works.
The Central Govt. is providing assistance to State Govt. and voluntary organisation to implement the scheme. Non-formal education centres have been set up in remote rural areas, hilly and tribal areas and in slums. These impart education to children of 6-14 age group.
7. Encouragement to Indian Language and Culture:
After the adoption of National Policy of Education 1968, regional language became the medium of instruction in higher education. Syllabus on science and technology, dictionaries, books, and Question Papers are translated into regional languages. Indian history and culture have been included in school and college curriculum.
8. Adult education:
Simply speaking adult education refers to the education for the illiterate people belonging to the age group of 15-35 years. The National Board of Adult Education was established in the First Five Year Plan. The village level workers were assigned the job of providing adult education. The progress remained not too good.
The National Adult Education Programme was started in 1978. The programme is considered as a part of primary education. National Literary Mission was also started in 1988 to eradicate adult illiteracy particularly in rural areas.
The Centre gives assistance to states, voluntary organisations and some selected universities to implement this programme. There were 2.7 lakh adult education centres working in the country in 1990-91. This programme helped to raise the literacy rate to 65.38% in 2001.
9. Improvement of Science education:
Central Govt. started a scheme for the improvement of science education in schools in 1988. Financial assistance is given to provide science kits, up gradation of science laboratories, development of teaching material, and training of science and mathematics teachers. A Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET) was set up in NCERT to purchase equipment for State Institutes of Educational Technology.
10. Education for all:
According to 93rd Amendment, education for all has been made compulsory. The elementary education is a fundamental right of all children in the age group of 6-14 years. It is also free. To fulfill this obligation Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has been launched.
The above discussion makes it clear that a lot of development in education has been made in India after Independence. There is wide growth in general education and higher education. Efforts have been made to spread education among all sections and all regions of the country. Still our education system is ridden with problems.