(The Gist of Kurukshetra) Education in rural India [MARCH-2020]

(The Gist of Kurukshetra) Education in rural India


Education in rural India


  • There are only 230700 schools from class 1 to 12 in 1951. Today we have more than 15 lakh schools in 2020.
  • About 75 per cent schools are set up in the rural areas. In these schools, 25.1 crores children are studying from primary to higher secondary stages.
  • About 90 lakh teachers are working in these schools, out of which, 65 lakhs are working in rural areas.

Skill Development:

  • By the year 2030, India is set to have the largest working-age population in the world.
  • Not Only will they need literacy but both job and life skills. Education and sustaining skill development is instrumental to boost employment in the rural areas in both agricultural and non-agricultural sectors.
  • In the budget Rs. 3,000 crores for skill development have been allocated for achieving this endeavour and It is a good initiative by the government.

Eklavya Model Residential Schools:

  • Another initiative by the government to facilitate access of education to the tribal children is the setting of Eklavya model residential school in the rural areas.
  • The objective of the initiatives to ensure students can access quality education in remote areas.
  • The Budgetary provision for Eklavya model residential scheme is Rs.1313.23crores for the education for scheduled tribes students.

Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas:

  • Establishing Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas as residential schools was the initiative by the Ministry of Human Resource development for rural children.
  • The objective of opening these schools was to provide opportunities equivalent to the best residential school system.
  • These Schools were set up in 1985 for providing free and compulsory education to rural children from classes 6th to 12th.

Samagra Shiksha:

  • Samagra Shiksha is a flagship programme of the government to promote holistic education. It Was formulated in 2018 by bringing together three earlier centrally sponsored schemes i.e. SarvaShiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Abhiyan(RMSA) and Teacher education. Government also introduced NISHTHA (National Initiative for SchoolHeads and Teachers Holistic Advancement), an initiative to train over 4.2 million teachers across the country.

Mid-Day Meal Scheme:

  • The MDMS is a centrally sponsored scheme formulated in 1995 which is a National Programme Of Nutritional Support to Primary Education(NP-NSPE).
  • One of the main objectives of the scheme was to bring back children from rural and disadvantaged sections of society to schools. Over The period of time, it was observed that there was an improvement in enrollment, attendance and retention by providing free foodgrains to government run primary schools.

Digital Connectivity:

  • Many areas of the country, especially rural areas are lacking in education with outdated teaching methods, shortage of teachers, inadequate student teacher ratio, and insufficient teaching resources. Increasing accessibility of digital education and use of the internet is rapidly increasing in rural areas due to the availability of affordable data plans and cheaper mobile devices.

Higher Education:

  • There has been a lot of progress in higher education in terms of setting up of institutions,colleges and universities and also enrolment in these institutions over a period of time. In 1991there were only 184 universities in the country.
  • At present more than 1000 universities are functioning in the country and this has increased more than five times.
  • All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE):
  • In the budget, Rs. 5109.20 crores have been allocated to All India Council for TechnicalEducation. There is also an increase of 14 percent in the budget for NTs compared to last year.
  • The present budget has announced to provide support to various other startups and firms that are currently engaged in helping the Indian youth become employable.

Study in India:

  • The government has proposed in the budget to promote the Study in India programme for bringingforeign students and faculty to our institutions of higher learning.
  • Measures will be taken to introduceForeign Direct Investment (FDI) in the education sector and draw external commercial borrowings and make India a preferred destination for higher education. The government has proposed to open doors for foreign universities to partner withIndian universities through external borrowing and the foreign direct investment route.

Online Course:

  • According to the latest Economic Survey, 'absence of a suitable financial support system and high burden of course fee, especially in higher education, push out the poor rural girls and underprivileged children out of the education system'. Therefore, the government has announced in the budget that 150 higher educational institutions would start apprenticeship-embedded degree or diploma courses by March 2021 to increase employability of fresh graduates.
  • A full-fledged online degree-level education programme by institutions ranked within the top 100 in the National Institutional Ranking framework will also be started. Special bridge courses are designed by the Ministries of Health, Skill Development together with professional bodies to bring in equivalence with existing courses.

Medical Colleges:

  • The Budget proposes to attach a medical college to an existing district hospital in PPPmode. Special bridge courses to be designed by the Ministries of Health, and Skill Development.
  • The Government has to therefore encourage large hospitals with sufficient capacity to offer resident doctors DNB/FNB courses under the National Board of Examinations.

Way Forward:

  • The Government provided about Rs 99,300 crores for the education sector both for rural and urban areas for the year 2020-21. There is no separate allocation in the budget for rural areas. But it requires special attention, efforts and support of the government for implementing different schemes and programmes to reach rural areas.
  • The Education Budget 2020 needs to focus on education and employment generation in the rural areas. In the rural areas, adequate basic infrastructural facilities, adequate number of educational institutions, qualified teachers and faculty should be provided.
  • National Initiative for School Heads and Teacher Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) need to be planned in which 42 lakh teachers and school heads are being trained. Adequate budget should be allocated for promotion of research and innovations. Internet reach in rural areas needs to be improved.
  • The Government has made good efforts by allocating funds to various programmes and schemes for the improvement of quality of schools and higher education. But still there is a need to improve the investment allocated under different schemes of education with a focus on education of rural India. It is desired that the National Education Policy to be announced by the government soon will suggest a road map in this direction.


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Courtesy: Kurukshetra