Education in India, An introduction

by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author)

For centuries, India has been a major centre for learning and many popular universities existed here. Even today, the country has some of the best Universities in the world. Besides, it is also facing many challenges in its primary education while striving to reach 100% literacy. Through the Universal Compulsory Primary Education, maintaining the quality of education in rural areas has been difficult and Kerala is the only Indian state to achieve this goal.

All levels of education, from primary to higher education, are overseen by the Department of Higher Education and the Department of School Education and Literacy. The Indian government has also heavily subsidized the education, although there is an initiative to make the higher education partially self-financing.

The Indian Education System has many stages such as the Nursery, the Primary, the Secondary, the Higher Secondary, the Graduation, and the Post Graduation. The Preprimary or the Nursery has the Lower Kindergarten and the Upper Kindergarten, where the basic reading and writing skills are developed. The Primary school has the children between the ages of six and eleven. It has the organized classes of one to five. The Secondary school children are between the ages of eleven and fifteen and the classes are organized from six to ten. The higher secondary school students are between the ages of sixteen and seventeen and the classes are organized as eleven and twelve. In some states, the classes between six and eight are also referred as the Middle schools and those between eight and ten are referred as the high schools. There are many different streams available after secondary education. The Higher Education in India aims at providing education to specialize in a field and includes many technical schools, colleges, and universities. The schools in India are controlled by various boards such as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) board, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) board, the state government boards, the National Open School and the International schools.

There are plenty of government-funded schools in each major Indian city catering to the working classes. Even though there are many Government high schools with English as the medium of instruction, the students are usually taught in the regional language. These institutions are heavily subsidised and the study materials are also subsidised sometimes. The Government schools have the state curriculum. The secondary education is also provided by a number of private schools and these schools will either follow the national curriculum or the state curriculum.

As per the census 2001, the following represents the non-graduation market of India.

Educational level

Holders

Total

502,994,684

Unclassified

97,756

Non-technical diploma or certificate not equal to degree

386,146

Technical diploma or certificate not equal to degree

3,666,680

Higher Secondary, Intermediate, Pre-university or Senior Secondary

37,816,215

Matriculation or Secondary

79,229,721

Middle

90,226,846

Primary

146,740,047

Below Primary

144,831,273

The Higher education in India has different and divergent streams each of which is monitored by an apex body. These apex bodies are indirectly controlled by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and are funded by the state governments. There are 18 important universities called as the Central Universities, which are maintained by the Union Government. The accreditation for the universities in India is required by the law unless it was created through an act of Parliament. There are many accreditations for higher learning given by various autonomous institutions established by the University Grants Commission. Some of them are given below.

  • All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)
  • Distance Education Council (DEC)
  • Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR)
  • Bar Council of India (BCI)
  • National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NACC)
  • National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE)
  • Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI)
  • Medical Council of India (MCI)
  • Pharmacy Council of India (PCI)
  • Indian Nursing Council (INC)
  • Dentist Council of India (DCI)
  • Central Council of Homeopathy (CCH)
  • Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM)

 

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