• Literacy Rate has been improved from 16.67% in 1951 to 63.60% in 2004-05.
• Percentage of Girls Enrolment to Total Enrolment has been increased from 28.1% to 46.7% at Primary level (I-V), 16.1% to 44.4% at Upper Primary level (VI-VIII), 13.3% to 41.5% at Sec. / Sr. Sec./ Intermediate (IX-XII) and 10% to 39.4% at Higher Education (Degree and above) level from 1950-51 to 2004-05.
• Drop-out Rates has been decreased from 64.9% to 29% at Primary level (I-V) and 78.3% to 50.84% at Elementary (I-VIII) Stages from 1960-61 to 2004-05.
• With the vigorous implementation of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and the cooked Mid Day Meal (MDM Scheme), the number of out of school children has come down to less than 5% of the total population in the age group of 6 to 14 years i.e. from 4.4 crores in 2001-02 to 70 lakhs in 2006.
• Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Scheme, under which 1000 new schools have been approved in the year 2006, besides the 1180 approved earlier, provides residential education to girls predominantly belonging to the SC, ST, OBC and minority communities.
• In the field of adult education and literacy, out of 600 districts in the country 597 have since been covered under various programmes – 101 under total literacy campaigns, 171 under post literacy programme and 325 under continuing education programme. About 120.39 million persons have been covered under literacy programmes as on 31.3.2006. About 60% of the beneficiaries are women while 22% and 12% belong to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes respectively.
• Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs), and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) have been recognized as setting the standards for the secondary education in the country. 50 new KVs and 28 new JNVs have been approved in 2006-07, in addition to the 919 existing KVs and 539 JNVs.
• 23 Central Universities have been established so far including four new Central Universities created during 2006 through Acts of Parliament.. Now all States in the North East have one Central University each.
• The seven IITs and six IIMs have served the country extremely well and have done us proud. It is now proposed to establish 3 new IITs in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan. It has also been decided to establish a 7th IIM at Shillong in the North East. Two new Schools of Planning and Architecture are also proposed to be started at Vijayawada and Bhopal. In addition to the existing Indian Institute of Information Technology at Gwalior, Allahabad and Jabalpur under the Government of India, a new IIIT (Design and Manufacturing) has been approved to be established at Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu. Proposals have been submitted to the Planning Commission for starting 20 new IIITs so as to cover each major State. Planning Commission has suggested that these could be considered under the Public-Private Participation mode.
• Two Indian Institutes of Scientific Education and Research (IISERs) have been set up at Kolkata and Pune. A third IISER is being set up at Mohali (Punjab) and two more have been proposed at Bhopal and Thiruvanathapuram. It is hoped that over a period of time, IISERs will attain the eminence of IISc, Bangalore and put India in the forefront of scientific research in the world.
• Erstwhile Regional Engineering Colleges/Government Engineering Colleges have been converted into National Institutes of Technology (NITs) with changes in their governance structure. There are 20 NITs at present. In order to bring all of them under umbrella legislation, the NIT Bill had been introduced in Parliament.
• Access to education is of utmost importance for educational advancement of disadvantaged sections. The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act has, therefore, been enacted and has been notified in January, 2007 in pursuance of the 93rd Amendment to the Constitution of India, to provide statutory reservations to SCs, STs and OBCs in Central Educational Institutions. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has in its interim order stated that it would be desirable to keep in hold the operation of this Act so far as it relates to Section 6 thereof for the OBCs. The Government is examining all legal options to resolve this issue at the earliest.
• “Sakshat,” a free one-stop portal for education has been launched by His Excellency, the President of India in October 2006, to address education and learning needs of students, scholars, teachers and lifelong learners.
• Access to education through the Open and Distance Learning system is expanding rapidly. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) now has a cumulative enrollment of about 15 lakh.
• A statutory National Commission on Minority Educational Institutions has been established, which is also empowered to adjudicate on complaints relating to denial of minority status to educational institutions.
• A Committee headed by Shri M.A.A. Fatmi, Union Minister of State in the Ministry of HRD has given its recommendations for giving a boost to Minority Education in the light of the Sachar Committee Report. These recommendations are under consideration.
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