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No country can ignore the importance and utility of education. Although the development of education in India was started by the colonial governments. But his aim was more than to educate Indians, to create for himself a class that would be loyal to him. After independence, the work done in the field of education in India gave India a new intellectual class. In this article, we will discuss the educational reforms done in India after independence.

Development of education in India after independence

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Development of education in India after independence
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The modern education system was introduced in India during British rule in 1830 by Lord Thomas Babington, who brought the English language curriculum to the country. The curriculum was then limited to general subjects such as languages, science, and mathematics. Classroom teaching became prominent and a teacher-student relationship developed.

India and Pakistan were partitioned and gained independence in 1947, following which there was a marked improvement in scientific and technical education and research; However, illiteracy remained high. The new constitution adopted by India did not change the overall administrative policy of the country.

Education remained the prime responsibility of the state governments, and the union (central) government continued to take responsibility for the coordination of educational facilities and the maintenance of proper standards in higher education and research, and scientific and technical education.

Constitution of Planning Commission

In 1950, the Government of India appointed the Planning Commission to outline the development of various aspects of life, including education. Thereafter, successive plans (usually on a five-year basis) were drawn up and implemented. The main objectives of these plans were…

(1) to achieve universal primary education,
(2) Eradication of illiteracy,
(3) setting up vocational and skill training programs,
(4) To upgrade and modernize the standards of all stages of education, with special emphasis on technical education, science, and environmental education, ethics, and the relationship between school and work, and
(5) To provide high-quality education facilities in every district of the country.

Objectives of Planning Commission – Constitution of University Commission

In 1947, the Government of India also appointed three important commissions to suggest educational reforms.

The University Education Commission of 1949 made valuable recommendations regarding the reorganization of courses, techniques of evaluation, medium of instruction, student services, and recruitment of teachers.

The Secondary Education Commission of 1952-53 focused mainly on secondary education and teacher training.

The Education Commission of 1964-66 carried out a comprehensive review of the entire field of education. It evolved into a national policy for all stages of education. The report of the commission led to a resolution on a national policy for education formally issued by the Government of India in July 1968. This policy was revised in 1986. The new policy emphasized educational technology, ethics, and national integration. A core curriculum was introduced to provide a common scheme of study throughout the country.

National Department Ministry of Human Resource Development

The National Department of Education was a part of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, headed by a cabinet minister. A Central Advisory Board of Education advised the national and state governments. There were many independent organizations associated with the education department.

The most important body was the All India Council for Technical Education (1945),

University Grants Commission (1953) and

National Council of Educational Research and Training (1961).

The first body advised the government on technical education and maintained standards for the development of technical education.

The second body promoted and coordinated university education and set and maintained standards of teaching, examination, and research in universities. It had the authority to examine the financial resources of the universities and allocate grants.

The third body worked to upgrade the quality of school education and aided and advised the Ministry of Human Resource Development in the implementation of its policies and flagship programs in the field of education.

Kendriya Vidyalayas Operation

The central government runs and maintains about 1,000 Kendriya Vidyalayas for the children of central government employees. It also developed schools providing quality education to deserving high achievers, regardless of ability to pay or socioeconomic background.

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Educational Reforms in Seventh Five-Year Plan

The Seventh Five-Year Plan (1985–90) specified that one such school would be established in each district. State governments were responsible for all other primary and secondary education. Conditions, in general, were not satisfactory, although they differed from state to state. Higher education was imparted in universities and colleges.

Increase in the number of educational institutions

From the 1950s to the 80s, the number of educational institutions in India tripled. Primary schools, in particular, experienced rapid growth as states accorded top priority to the universalization of primary education to meet the constitutional mandate to provide universal, free, and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14.

Most, but not all, children had a primary school within 1 km (0.6 mi) of their homes. However, a large percentage of these schools were understaffed and did not have adequate facilities. The government, when it revised the National Policy for Education in 1986, resolved that by 1990 all children attaining the age of 19 years would have five years of formal schooling or its equivalent.

Plans were also made to reform or expand adult and non-formal systems of education. However, differences between political parties, industrialists, businessmen, teacher politicians, student politicians, and other groups and the resultant politicization of education hindered progress at every level.

During the 7 decades of independence, India’s education system has evolved slowly but phenomenally. From a literacy rate of 18% in 1951, we have grown to 73% by 2011. Currently, the education system in India is one of the strongest and largest in the world hosting more than 315 million students.

In later years, the education system began to be influenced by various institutions. During the late nineteenth century, the Theosophical Society of India and the Rama Krishna Mission began to mix Western ideals of education with Indian roots to inspire students and make them universally accepted. Intellectuals from different nationalities came together to help shape the education system.

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After India gained its independence from British colonial rule, the Indian education system, previously accessible only to the elite, became available to the entire society. The government’s Central Advisory Board set up two committees – one for higher education and the other for secondary education – to address the challenges of education, formulate comprehensive education policies and improve the overall education scenario of the country. Currently, the Indian school system consists of four levels – pre-primary, primary, secondary, and senior secondary.

Admissions & Educational Institutions

As of 2019, India has the largest number of students in the country. Compared to the sad situation of 1947 when there were only 400 schools in the country, 19 universities with a little over 5000 students, we have come a long way. At present, there are more than 1.5 million schools, 751 universities, and more than 35 thousand colleges in

India’s modern teaching approach

To modernize the methods of knowledge delivery as per the needs of the 21st-century generation, schools and universities are adopting various unique practices. These methods and innovative pedagogy enable educational institutions to develop the skills of the learners in such a way that they become self-reliant and aspirational achievers. Some of these new-age methods are:

Experiential Learning: Experiential learning, as the name implies, is the process of learning through doing or experience, and is specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing”. Learning gives good results only when there is a desire among the learners to imbibe the knowledge. Therefore, experiential learning involves a practical approach to education that goes beyond the theoretical aspect and a classroom and seeks to bring about a more inclusive way of learning.

Peer Learning: Peer learning has become a part of an active learning strategy in many universities and B-schools. This form of teaching encourages students to interact with their classmates/peers and learn from each other beyond the classroom without any supervisory authority. This creates an environment of open communication which is extremely important for learning. Research has shown that students engaged in an environment of free communication perform better academically.

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• Rise of Ed-Tech: Over the past decade, the new generation of learners are looking for courses that are experiential and interactive in nature and facilitate authentic skill development. This is where EdTech is making its mark. According to a report by Google and KPMG, online education has the potential to touch $1.96 billion by 2021, as everyone from school-going students to MBA aspirants to CXOs of multinational corporations and entrepreneurs is a potential learner.

Let us consider the examples of two different tech start-ups. One of the app-based companies has moved towards making learning fun for school-going children. At the other end of the spectrum, tech startups in the higher education sector are partnering with premium Indian and international B-schools, bringing quality education within reach of working professionals.

Growth in communication, affordable internet, gamification, and AI and ML-powered learning platforms are some of the reasons behind the changing face of education in the country and globally. The smartphone revolution has also given wings to fly. Teachers are now using smartphones as an important tool for imparting knowledge.

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Whatever efforts India made for agriculture, industry, and social progress after independence were definitely revolutionary efforts. We must remember that after getting freedom from British rule, India’s condition was pathetic, yet the then government/governments, understanding the importance of education, focused on a priority basis on primary to higher education.

Today, the way you have made a name for yourself in the world through the experts who have come out of the technical institutions of India is the result of those policies which were implemented after independence. Although at present the attitude of the government towards government institutions is indifferent.

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