The challenge of self-reliant development after Independence necessitated growth with equity and social justice, and modernization of the inherited socio-economic structures so that they formed the basis of development planning in India. Education was considered as a critical input in development to achieve the goals of social and economic development. It was in this context that, soon after Independence, considerable emphasis was placed not only on the expansion of infrastructure at different levels of education but also on strengthening the scientific and technological component therein so as to meet the requirements of skilled and high level manpower.
A quick perusal of development in education indicates that inspire of various inadequacies and limitations of higher education, the country has by now produced a stock of scientific and technical manpower which is one of the largest in the world. There are still miles to go however. Many reforms have not yet been fully implemented. It would therefore be appropriate and instructive to make a general survey of the policies and programmes of higher education aimed at bringing about qualitative improvements so as to make the system more responsive to the changing demands.
OBJECTIVES OF THE LEARNING
After going through the unit, you would be able to
Identify the major landmarks in the evolution of policy in higher education
Understand some of the prevailing policies and thrust areas in higher education
Understand the problems of implementation of these policies and
Identify the gaps between the policy pronouncements and realized goals and to
.pinpoint the areas which require critical intervention so that the country is able
to face the challenges of the future.
EDUCATIONAL PLANNING IN INDIA
In the field of education the country was faced with the task of providing a minimum level of education to all and at the same time restructure higher education to meet the manpower requirements of a growing economy. A multi pronged strategy was adopted for this purpose. First, to provide education to all children up to the age of 14 years; second, to eradicate adult illiteracy; third, linking education to the world of work; and finally, to strengthen the research and development role of higher education in the structural transformation of the economy.
Till 1976, with the exception of higher education, education was exclusively a State subject. However, the 42nd amendment to the Constitution of India has placed education on the Concurrent List. In addition to the State governments, the Parliament is also authorized to legislate on matters related to education, and its legislation would have precedence over that of the States. However, in the case of higher education, as discussed in the previous unit, the Central government has been entrusted with: a the responsibility of coordination; a of determining and maintaining standards in the institutions of higher education, one research, scientific and technological institutions, union agencies and institutions of professional and vocational training; a promotion of special studies or research, central universities and any other institution declared by the Parliament as institutions of national importance.
POLICY PERSPECTIVES IN HIGHER EDUCATION
It may be observed that while the UGC has been an apex body essentially concerned with the setting up and maintenance of standards in higher education throughout the country on a uniform basis, the Central government has been playing a key role in providing overall policy directions. The UGC thus acts as a vital link between the policy-making bodies of the government and institutions of higher education. The task of arriving at a set of policies to be pursued in the development of education is usually entrusted to Commissions and Committees set up for specific purposes. The development of higher education in India has been significantly affected by the various policy pronouncements and the consequent programmes undertaken to operational is & them. The important landmarks in the evolution of policy in higher education are:
University Education commission, 1948-49.
Education Commission, 1964-66.
National Policy on Education, 1968.
Draft Policy on Education, 1978.
National Commission Teachers-11, 1984. .
Challenge of Education: A Policy Perspective, 1985.
National Policy on Education, 1986.
National Policy on Education: A Programme of Action, 1986.
National Policy on Education: A Programme of Action, 1992
In the following discussion, a brief analysis of the historical background and important recommendation of various Commissions and Policy statements aimed at the improving system of higher education in India would be undertaken.
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