Table of Contents
28. Career in NGO Management
Career in NGO Management
By Sadaket Malik
NGOs or Non Government Organizations are the non-profit voluntary groups established at local, national or international level. They perform various tasks for solving problems and development of society. NGOs are connected with government or private sector firms. They deal with some social issues like women empowerment, girl child, gender issues, education, pollution, street children, slum dwellers, health, urban development, human rights, concerns of less privileged etc. NGOs bring up people's concerns and issues to the government and policy makers non-profit making, voluntary, service-oriented/development oriented organization, either for the benefit of members (a grassroots organization) or of other members of the population (an agency). It is an organization of private individuals who believe in certain basic social principles and who structure their activities to bring about development to communities that they are servicing. An independent, democratic, non-sectarian peoples organizations working for the empowerment of economic and/or socially marginalized groups. The non-profit sector is no more the side dish to the main course… what am I talking about? Even till the late 90’s, the non-profit sector has always played second fiddle to most of the other mainstream occupation profiles. As a result development of courses in the non-profit stream had also taken a back seat. However, now the scene is entirely different. Government policies, work of the existing NGOs and the media have a lot to do with bringing Non-profit management into a mainstream career option.
Graduate Program in Non-Profit Management - India
Basic qualification is not required to serve in the non-profit sector. You can do your "bit", no matter which field you are qualified in. For instance as a lawyer you can provide free legal service to the underprivileged.
However, if you are considering it as a career option you would need associated degrees. Ideally a degree in Social Welfare (MSW) degree, rural management or any masters' degree in social sciences gives you a strong foot hold in this sector.
Qualification Needed for NGO Jobs:
No basic educational qualification is required to get into the social sector. However, Master in Social Welfare (MSW), any master's degree in social sciences or rural management will be definitely helpful to get good job opportunities in NGOs . The courses offered in social work are B.S.W. or BA in Social Welfare, M.S. W. or M. A. in Social Welfare. The candidate can proceed for M. Phil or Ph.D program also if they are interested in pursuing further studies. Diploma and degree courses are offered by several institutes in India such as The Indian Institute of Social Welfare & Business Management in Kolkata, Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, University of Delhi, University of Rajasthan, Jamia Millia University etc.
In India, NGO sector is widely spread all over the country, particularly in remote and rural areas. There are different types of NGOs in India such as volunteer sector, grass root organizations, civic society, private voluntary organizations, transitional social movement organizations and self-help groups (SSG). Some of the important NGOs in India are - Child Relief and You (CRY), Red Cross Society, CARE, National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD). Some of the popular international NGOs are - World Wildlife Fund, Bread for the World, UNICEF, WHO, UNESCO, AMNESTY etc.
NGO Management Courses
NGO Management mainly focuses on the management of the organization, setting up of the goals and objectives of NGO activities, thorough understanding of the organizational framework of NGOs, and distribution of portfolios among its members. NGO Management also involves devising of strategies and operational pathways, supervision and planning of financial and other policies and various other programmes of the organization.
Qualifications: For enrolling for an NGO management course, applicants need to complete his / her graduation in any discipline. Experienced NGO professionals, social workers, and volunteers can also study these courses.
Benefits: The main areas of study in an NGO management course help an individual to understand the subject in detail from a more realistic point of view. The various benefits of NGO management course are:
Financial and Administrative Supervision
Awareness about Global Issues
Awareness about Environment
Awareness about global socio-economic scenario
Management of Information
Organization of Issue Based Campaigns
Developing Human Resource and Finance
Attainment of Socio Cultural Perspective
Institutes offering NGO Management Courses in India
The premier institutes offering a post- graduation course in NGO management in India are:
Amity Institute of NGO Management
Annamalai University Directorate of Distance Education, (Tamil Nadu) Bharathidasan University Centre for Distance Education, Tiruchrappali (Tamil Nadu)
Madurai Kamaraj University, Directorate Of Distance Education, (Tamil Nadu)
If your work foe the not-for profit sector is going to be research based then you need to have a doctoral or at least a post-graduate qualification in the domain. (A masters in Environmental Sciences if you are working on Research project for an environmental NGO)
Ideally after Class XII, take up a subject from the social science discipline, followed by a Masters in MSW or MA in social work. The best known institutes offering such courses are Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, the Xavier Institute of Social Science, Ranchi, and the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, Degrees in environment and forestry management are also offered by other institutes (the Institute of Forest Management - Bhopal). You can also obtain diplomas in specific areas like for the hearing impaired, or the physically handicapped.
Here is a list of some of the institutes and their addresses:
• National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra (W), Mumbai - 400 050
• Courses in Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Mental Retardation are offered in Cuttack, Calcutta and Secunderabad by Rehabilitation Council of India, Vishnu Digamber Marg, New Delhi - 110 002
• Diploma in Mental Retardation is offered in different States by National Institute for Mentally Handicapped, Manovikas Nagar, Secunderabad - 500 009
• PG Programme in Rural Management is offered by Institute of Rural Management, Anand - 388 001
• MA in Social Work is offered by Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Sion Trombay Road, Deonar, Mumbai - 400 088
• PG Course in Rural Development and Social Work is offered by Xavier Institute of Social Service, Purulia Road, Ranchi - 834 001
• MA in Social Work is offered by Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra - 136 119
• MA and Diploma in Social Work is offered by Lucknow University, Lucknow
Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya,
Indore 452001 MA
Ujjain 456010 MA
Varanasi 221002 M.A.
University of Lucknow,
Badshah Bagh, Lucknow 226007
Agra 282004 M.A., M.S.W.
University of Delhi,
Delhi 110007 M.A.
Jamia Millia Islamia,
Jamia Nagar, New Delhi 110025 M.A.
Kurukshetra 132119 B.A. M.A.
Patiala 147002 B.A.
Udaipur 313001 M.A.
Ahmedabad 380014 M.A. M.S.W.
Shivaji University, Vidyanagar, Kolhapur 416004 B.A.
MG Marg, Nagpur 440001 M.S.W
Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Deomar, Bombay 400088 M.A. MS University of Baroda,
Vadodhara 390002 M.S.W.
Amravati University, Near Tapowan, Amravati 446002 B.S.W. M.S.W.
University of Bombay,
MG Road, Fort, Mumbai 400032 B.S.W. M.S.W.
Nagpur University, MG Marg, Nagpur 440001 B.S.W. M.S.W.
University of Poona,
Ganeshkhind, Pune 411007 M.S.W.
Marathwada University, Aurangabad 431004 B.S.W. M.S.W.
Waltair 530003 B.A. M.A. Nagarjuna University,
Nagarjuna Nagar 522510 B.A.
Sri Venkateshwara University,
Tirupati 517502 B.A.
Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Tirupati 517502 M.A.
Karnatak University, Pavate Nagar, Dharwad 580003 B.A. M.A.
Mangalore University, Univ Campus, Mangalagangothri 574199 B.A.
Bharathidasan Palkalai Perun, Tiruchirapalli 620024 B.A. M.A.
University of Madras,
Chennai 600005 B.A. M.A. M.S.W.
Bharathiar University, Maruthamalai Road, Coimbatore 641046 M.A
Hyderabad 500007 B.S.W.
Sri Padmavathi Mahila, Vishavidyalayam, Tirupathi 517502 M.S.W.
Jnana Bharathi, Bangalore 560056 M.S.W.
Madurai Kamaraj University, Palkalai Nagar, Madurai 625021 M.A. (Social Work)
University of Kerala, University PO, Thiruvananthapuram 695034 M.S.W.
Scope of NGO sector in India: India provides wide scope in the field of NGO management. One can work as an NGO Manager, community service providers, and NGO project coordinators, Research Fellow in NGO projects, NGO human resource and finance manager. You can work with Amity Institute of NGO Management, Ministry of Youth Affairs, SOS Village, FICCI, Amarjyoti Charitable Trust, Prayas, AFARM and Chief Commissioners office. One can work in various sectors like Rural Health Care sector, AIDS Awareness Projects, Women's Emancipation Projects, Child Abuse prevention Committee, Drought or Flood Ridden areas, Drug Rehabilitation Centers, Street Children Education Campaign and Juvenile Delinquents rehabilitation centers.
Scope Abroad: Plenty of job opportunities exist abroad with renowned organizations like UNICEF, United Nations, UNESCO, OECD, NATO, World Health Organization as a Community Service Manager, Health Officer, Social Service Provider, Finance and Human Resource controller. United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, Amnesty International, World Bank, Red Cross, Green Peace, and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, provide jobs in various spheres of disaster management, human rights protection, rural welfare and environment protection
29. Public Relations as a Career
By Sadaket Malik
Public relations play a very significant role in our daily lives. If used properly it can inform, educate, reassure, arouse interest or result in the acceptance of a situation. Today, public relations affect all types of organizations. Public relations is all about communication between an organization and all those with whom it has any form of contact. So, if you are creative, analytical and good with words, then a career in public relations beckons.
In the last decade, Public Relations (PR) has gained popularity and importance. The speed of communication and the bewildering change and progress in various fields has resulted in the rise of PR as a profession. PR has a key role to play in informing the public about an organization and converting ignorance into knowledge and understanding. Generating public interest and turning hostility into acceptance in some cases is also the job of a PR manager. PR analyzes the effects of organizational policies and the reactions of the public. The public is a very important part of an organization and is essential for its survival and success.
Public relations as a separate career option has came into existence when lots of private or government companies and institution felt the need to market their product, service and facilities. Public image is important to all organisations and prominent personalities. The role of public relation specialist becomes pertinent in crisis situations when the correct and timely transmission of information can help save the face of the organisation.
In terms of career opportunities, Public relations is broadly practiced for product publicity, corporate publicity, to have better relations with the government, to publish corporate publications like newsletter, bulletins, magazines for employees etc. before starting Public Relation as a carreer one should have a big heart.
1. Soft skills required:
~ A liking for meeting people from different walks of life
~ An extrovert nature
~ The ability to absorb information about various topics
~ Good organising skills.
What's really important in a PR professional is a thirst for knowledge. Everyday, you are learning something different. Today you are talking about a certain sport, tomorrow it is a corporate, the day after it is lifestyle, on the fourth day it is about food and wine.
ii. Flair for writing:
This skill, combined with strong command over languages, adds to the skill set of an ideal candidate.
iii. Willing to put in crazy work hours:
A PR professional is generally required to be present at conferences, parties, interviews and events organised by his or her company.
This could stretch to late evenings and sometimes even nights.
If you need to hit the bed at 10.30 every night, PR is not for you; you should opt for a 9 to 5 job!
iv.Willing to travel:
Willingness to travel is another characteristic required of the PR professional because a large-scale event might drag you to different places in and outside India.
Physical attributes do matter to a certain extent as does good grooming; remember, this is a people-related job.
So scruffy hair, bohemian attire and sneakers are NOT acceptable at the workplace at all.
vi. Good at maintaining contacts:-
The ability to get in touch and stay in touch is probably the greatest skill required of a PR associate.
If you are bad at remembering names, saving telephone numbers and writing e-mails, look elsewhere.
Flexibility is an absolute prerequisite.
Academic Eligibility: Bachelors degree in any discipline preferably with social sciences, liberal arts and humanities is required to take up a course in this field.
Job prospects and Career Options : Public relation officers can find employment in the corporate sector, public sector, government agencies, tourist agencies, hotels, banks and other financial institutions, private consultancy firms etc.
Remuneration : One can start with a salary of Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000 a month, depending on the kind of organisation that one joins. One can start with a salary of Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000 a month, depending on the kind of organisation that one joins.
Thereafter, it is up to one's performance. A senior PR professional may get Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000.
The basic components of public relations, according to a monograph issued by the PRSA Foundation, include the following:
Counseling: This involves providing advice to management concerning policies, relationships and communications.
Research: Determining attitudes and behaviors of the public in order to plan public strategies.
Media Relations: Working with mass media in seeking publicity or responding to their interests in the organization.
Publicity: Disseminating planned messages through selected media to promote the organization's interests.
Employee/Member Relations: Responding to concerns, informing, and motivating an organization's employees or members.
Community Relations: Planned activity with a community to maintain an environment that benefits both the organization and the community.
Public Affairs: Developing effective involvement in public policy and helping an organization adapt to public expectations. The term is also used by government agencies to describe their public relations activities and by many corporations as an umbrella term to describe multiple public relations activities.
Government Affairs: Relating directly with legislatures and regulatory agencies on behalf of the organization. Lobbying can be a part of the government affairs program.
Issues Management: Identifying and addressing issues of public concern that affect the organization.
Financial Relations: Creating and maintaining investor confidence and building good relationships with the financial community. Also known as Investor Relations or Shareholder Relations.
Industry Relations: Relating with other firms in the industry of an organization and with trade associations.
Development/Fund-Raising: Demonstrating the need for development and encouraging the public to support an organization, primarily through financial contributions.
Special Events: Stimulating an interest in a person, product or organization by means of a focused "happening"; also, activities designed to interact with publics and listen to them.
Marketing Communications: Combination of activities designed to sell a product, service, or idea, including advertising, collateral materials, publicity, promotion, direct mail, trade shows and special events.
* The Work
If you plan on entering this field, PR provides you with a wide range of work opportunities.
o Corporations: You can work for departments who seek to protect and enhance a company's reputation. Providing information to the public as well as to special audiences such as stockholders, financial analysts and employees would be a part of your job.
o Non-profit organizations: Trade and environmental organizations, social and cultural groups, hospitals and health agencies also offer jobs to PR professionals. The job often involves fund-raising.
o Entertainment, Sports and Travel: Practitioners in these areas are often concerned with publicity for individuals and promotion of events ranging from football games to motion pictures.
o Government and the military: This area includes promotion of political issues, sometimes through lobbying, work with politicians, dissemination of information about government activities to citizens, and distribution of information about the armed forces.
o Education: At the college level, you would primarily work with alumni, faculty and administration, students, and the public to promote the school's image, recruit students and raise fund. Secondary schools often have specialists to handle community relations.
o International public relations: The immense expansion of almost instantaneous global communications has opened an intriguing new area, especially for practitioners with language skills and familiarity with other cultures.
* Personal Attributes
Ability with words, analytical skill, creative ability, an instinct for persuasion and the ability to make compelling and polished presentations are essential requirements if you are looking to become a PR professional. Common sense, first-class organizing ability, good judgement, objectivity, creativity, flexibility and the willingness to work long and inconvenient hours are also important attributes that you must posses.
Over the years, the status of PR professionals has changed and evolved. To keep pace with changes, businesses and journalists have begun to rely on PR professionals. Hence, depending on your qualification and experience, you can expect to be paid well. As a trainee, you can start with a salary of Rs.3000-Rs.7000. Eventually you can expect to be paid a salary between Rs.10000-Rs25000, depending on you individual performance.
In the government sector, you can expect to start with Rs.5000. After you are established in the profession, you can expect a salary of Rs.20000 or more. MNCs and private companies will pay you higher.
Courses and Institutes in India:
You can either do a three year course in PR at the graduate level or pursue it after the completion of your graduation in any subject. Usually people with as humanities background are preferred. A list of institutes where you can apply are mentioned below.
* Diploma in Public Relations and Corporate Communications
* Bachelor of Mass Media
St Xavier's College
Mumbai -- 400 001
Phones: (022) 2262 1366, 22621639, 2262 2877
Web site: www.xaviers.edu
Course: Post graduation in Social Communications Media (Corporate Communications)
Sophia College lane
Near Breach Candy
Mumbai -- 400 026
Phone: (022) 23631642
Web site: www.sophiacampus.com
Course: Post Graduate Diploma in Advertising & Public Relations
Indian Institute of Mass Communication
New Delhi -- 110 067
Phone: (011) 26109268
Web site: www.iimc.nic.in
Course: PG Diploma in Public Relations and Advertising
Mass Communication Research Centre
Jamia Malia Islamia
New Delhi -- 110 025
Phone: (011) 26987285, 26982263, 26986812, 26986810
Web site: www.jmi.nic.in
Course: Bachelor of Mass Communication
Noida -- 201 303
Phone: 1600.11.00.00 ( toll-free)
Web site: www.amity.edu
Course: Post-Graduate Diploma in Communication Management
Symbiosis Institute of Journalism and Communication
Senapati Bapat Marg
Pune -- 411 004
Web site: www.simc.edu
Course: Postgraduate programme in Public Relations & Event Management
Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad -- 380 058
Phones: (02717) 237946/ 47/ 48/ 49/ 50/ 51
Web site: www.mica-india.net
* Top Public Relation agencies
Communication Management Consulting Group, Ethos PR, Clea PR, Good Relations (India) Ltd, Decibel India etc.
So, if one is intelligent, communicative, sweet tongued, articulate hardworking and able to write and speak flawlessly, public relations is a promising career for them.
The Author is an Educational Consultant working in IGNOU as Coordinator, based in Jammu and can be contacted at [email protected]
30. Career in Real Estate Management
By Sadaket Malik
Real estate industry is one of the flourishing and dynamic sectors in India. This sector has witnessed several new developments in India. Activities in real estate business cover various categories such as development, appraising and selling of buildings. Real estate brokers and agents have prominent employment growth in India because of increasing housing needs.
Career in real estate development covers various areas such as residential brokerage, commercial brokerage, industrial and office brokerage, property management, land development, real estate appraising, urban planning, real estate counseling and real estate research.
Land development is one of the most significant specialties in real estate industry. The developers use the empty land to build government buildings, industrial buildings, commercial offices, residential townships, multiplexes, factories, hotels and restaurants, entertainment centers and shopping malls. The residential and commercial brokers help the people to sell and buy homes and income-producing properties. The property managers maintain the property so that to produce the highest possible financial return over the lone period of time.
Real estate agents and brokers will experience massive employment growth in the coming years due to the increasing housing needs of a growing population, as well as the perception that real estate is a good investment. Low interest rates will continue to stimulate sales of real estate, resulting in the need for more Indian Professionals in the national & international market.
Types of Careers in Real estate
Careers in Residential Brokerage
These Real estate professionals help people buy and sell homes (one of the most important and basic services a real estate agent performs). They need to have thorough knowledge of areas as real estate law, local economics, fair housing laws, types of financing, mortgages and government programs.
Careers in Commercial Brokerage
Commercial brokers specialize in income-producing properties, such as apartment and office buildings, retail stores and warehouses, shopping centers and industrial parks. Commercial brokers may also have to arrange financing.
Careers in Industrial and Office Brokerage
Industrial and office brokers specialize in the developing, selling or leasing property used for industry or manufacturing.
Careers in Property Management
The property manager's primary function is to maintain the property in order to produce the highest possible financial return over the longest period of time.
Careers in Land Development
Land development is one of the most important and challenging specialties in real estate today. Developers turn land into profitable, marketable developments - residential, commercial or industrial.
Careers in Real Estate Appraising
Real estate appraisers determine the value of properties, like, assessed value for tax purposes, investment value or present value for a potential investor, "book" value for accounting purposes, rental value for income projections and insurable value.
Careers in Urban Planning
Urban planners work with local governments and other civic groups to anticipate their city's future growth. They propose physical changes to accommodate this growth.
Careers in Real Estate Counseling
Real estate counselors are in the business of giving advice about property. They are the experts others seek when they want answers to real estate questions.
Careers in Real Estate Research
Real estate researchers contribute to the decisions of many other real estate specialists. Brokers, property managers, appraisers, financing experts and counselors all depend on data provided by research.
The real estate profession has expanded and offers one of the widest career selections in the business world today. The employers look for candidates with good academic background and prefer those with a professional degree/diploma in the field, excellent communication skills & interpersonal skills.
To start a career in Property and Real Estate Management the minimum qualification is MBA (Real Estate Management) which is offered by a number of institutes in India. There are several Post-Graduate Diploma and Certificate level courses available throughout the country. For MBA (Real Estate Management) the basic eligibility is graduation. Candidates seeking admission into this course have to go through written test, group discussion and personal interview conducted by the institute concerned. The minimum eligibility and course duration of PG Diploma and Certificate courses are different from institute to institute.
Property & Real estate Managers can work with real estate departments in banks, NBFCs and trust companies. Most of these managers prefer to work with real estate firms. Besides job options in community association management companies and national and international property management firms are also available for these managers. A Real Estate Manager also can work independently to work in daily operations, or serve as part of a real estate management team as a liaison. Some property manager may also serve on real estate management boards to work with projects concerning financial planning, asset management, and resident regulations. Besides jobs in civic groups, real estate sales and marketing firms and cooperatives are also open to these professionals.
Careers in property management are generally salaried positions that include several other allowances and benefits. Initially they can expect Rs 20,000-25,000 per month. An assistant property manager should expect to make 40,000-50,000 per month. On the top level a real estate manager can earn a salary of 70,000-1 lakh per month and also can expect an annual bonus along with other fringe benefits.
Different courses in Property and Real Estate Management are offered by many institutes in India. Some big names in this area are:
S M School of Management Technology, Noida;
Delhi Business School, Delhi;
IILM Institute for Higher Education, Gurgaon;
Akruti Institute of Real Estate Management and Research, Mumbai;
Yajnas Academy of Real Estate Management (YAREM), Hyderabad;
Institution of Estate Managers and Appraisers, Kolkata;
International Institute of Real Estate, Investment and Finance, Delhi
St Xavier College, Kolkata.
Centre for Continuing and Distance Education, Raipur
Karnataka State Open University Mysore offer distance learning courses in real estate management.
However, Anyone residing in India and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) could join this course with state specific subjects as property laws differ from one State to another in India. Realty diploma should become criteria for consumers while choosing a real estate consultant who have knowledge related to the field. While purchasing properties it is important for buyer to know whether the builders have adhered to the National Building Code, whether the flat is in an earthquake-prone zone and whether the builder has taken proper care in construction, litigation of land, inheritance laws and many other factors.
A professional realtor with education will be in a good position to help the end-buyer.
There is a continuous need for employees in private firms and government agencies concerned with developing, appraising, financing and merchandising residential, commercial and industrial real estate.
The Author is an Educational Consultant & Director ResearchCentre for Quality Assurance in Education. He can be contacted at [email protected]
31. ADVERTISING- A GLAMOROUS CAREER
By Sadaket Malik
Indian market is one of the fastest growing corporate hubs of the world. Various multi national companies prefer Indian market for their rapid progress. Careers in Advertising could be one of the career options that one can choose in the fast growing Indian economy.
It is one of the major divisions of any industry so that they can remain competitive. Advertising become all the more important for companies that have operations across the globe. The purpose behind this is that they need to communicate with peoples of various cultures. Therefore, they use this career to bridge the gap of communication.
Advertising plays a significant role in today's highly competitive world. A career in advertisement is quite glamorous and at the same time challenging with more and more agencies opening up every day. Whether it's brands, companies, personalities or even voluntary or religious organizations, all of them use some form of advertising in order to be able to communicate with the target audience. The salary structure in advertising is quite high and if you have the knack for it one can reach the top. It is an ideal profession for a creative individual who can handle work-pressure.
Today, new areas are emerging within advertising like event management, image management, internet marketing etc. Event management wherein events are marketed, Image management wherein a a particular profile of an individual or an organisation is projected. Internet marketing has also brought about a lot of changes in advertising as Internet means that one is catering to a select group of audience rather than a mass audience.
Career opportunities in advertising include placements in following:
Market Research agencies and companies
Advertising sections of radio and television
Advertising sections of newspapers
Career opportunities in advertising include openings in private advertising agencies; advertising department in private or public sector companies; in advertising sections of newspapers, journals, magazines; commercial section of radio or television; market research organisations etc. One can also do freelancing.
Advertising field offers a range of lucrative, interesting careers. The job in this field is categorised into two, executive and creative. Executive side include Client Servicing, Market Research and Media Research. Creative side consist of copywriters, scriptwriters, visualisers, photographers and typographers.
The executive department understand client needs, find new business and retain existing business, selects the appropriate media, analyses timing and placement of advertisements and negotiate the financial aspects of the deal. Creative department creates the advertisement copy. They verbalises and visualises the specific need of the client.
As ad films are also a part of film making career options of film are related to this field.
The Client Servicing department is the link between the client and the agency. It is an important part of any advertising firm like what the heart is to the body. This department is responsible for meeting prospective clients and getting business for the company. To be an effective client-servicing person, the candidate has to have a thorough knowledge of the client's business and also know his weak points so that, through advertising and communications, the gap can be minimized.
An accounts executive who works in the client servicing department takes care of all the monitory dealings. He should know the most effective way to advertise clients product or service i.e the media and their cost effectiveness. Account executives should also have an idea about market research and target audiences.
Every good ad plans, start with research. This is the department which surveys the market and analyses and studies consumer behavior about a product or service. They are involved with collection of data- information about the consumer, the market, existing competition and so on. The research studies provide basic information to the manufacturer, for planning a new product.
If you are a MBA or hold a degree in statistics/operations research, you can go for market researching jobs.
Responsibility of media planning department starts at the point when the ad is complete. Media Department is responsible for the planning, scheduling, booking and purchase of space and time (in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV, and outdoor hoardings). The media department must therefore devise the most effective use for an advertising budget to effectively and economically transmit a campaign message to the target audience. This department consists of the following:
Media Planners who decide the different media where the ads would be featured in order to get maximum viewer ship.
Media Buyer has to negotiate to buy space in the Press, or time on electronic media at the best rates for which he has to understand the buying as well as selling trends.
The Creative department designs and conceptualizes the advertisement. This consist of copywriting department and art department. Copywriting department works on text for the ad and themes for campaign. Art department visualises the campaign.
The Copywriter evolves a theme for the campaign and provides the text for advertisements. He is responsible for making the ad look attractive and delivering the message to the point. They work out the campaign slogan, jingles, scripts and promotional literature of the product or service as well as proposals, concept notes and film treatments. They are also expected to edit all textual matter for factual, syntax and typesetting discrepancies before it goes into production. Some times specialists called Typographers are appointed for making the format of textual matter who give advise on fonts, lettering etc.
Photographers should have an idea about angles and lighting effects. Good technical ability and knowledge of cameras and lenses is essential.
Eligibility & Course Areas
Eligibility for most of the advertising postgraduate courses is graduation in any discipline with a minimum of 50 percent marks. Admission to most of these courses is based on an entrance exam and/or interview. Some colleges also offers BA courses in advertising, for which they need students who have cleared class XII. Basic qualities like creativity and flair for writing or ability to translate ideas into a visual format are required for making a successful career in this field.
Remuneration in Advertising:-
Career in advertising brings attractive remuneration and perquisites. Fresh graduates can start with a salary of Rs. 9,000 - 15,000 per month. While those with MBAs and professional training in advertising can get salaries ranging from 15,000 to 20,000 per month. Salary of a successful advertising person you can be around 30,000 to 50,000 per month depending on the advertising agency or company.
Top Advertising Agencies in India:
Some of the major Advertising Agencies in India where one can think of making a good career in the Advertising are-
Lintas India Ltd, Ushak Kaal Advertising Pvt Ltd, Triton Communications Pvt Ltd, Ogilvy & Mather Ltd, Madison Advertising Pvt Ltd, Mudra Communications Ltd etc.
Institutions in India offering B.A. Integrated Courses in Advertising, Sales Promotion and Sales Management.
1. Acharya Prafulla Chandra College, 24 Parganas( West Bengal )
24 Parganas (North)
1. B.V.V. Basaveshwar Commerce College, Bagalkot( Karnataka )
Bagalkot ( Bagalkot Dist. ) – 587101
3. Bareilly College, Bareilly( Uttar Pradesh )
4. Chennai Christian College, Chennai( Tamil Nadu)
Chennai ( Chennai Dist. )
5. Cooch Behar College, Cooch( West Bengal)
Kalighat Road , Cooch ( Cooch Behar Dist. )
6. Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, New Delhi( Delhi)
Delhi College of Arts & Commerce, Netaji Nagar , New Delhi ( Delhi ) -110023.
7. Ethiraj College for Women, Chennai( Tamil Nadu)
Chennai ( Chennai Dist. )
8. G.G.D.S.D. College, Chandigarh( Chandigarh)
Chandigarh ( Chandigarh )
9. Gaya College, Gaya( Bihar)
Gaya ( Gaya Dist. )
10. Gokhale Education Society : Department of Communication and Journalism, Nashik( Maharashtra )
Gokhale Education Society , Nashik ( Nashik Dist. )
11. Gokhale Memorial Girls College, Kolkata( West Bengal )
Kolkata ( Kolkata Dist. )
12. Government College for Women, Hyderabad( Andhra Pradesh )
Begumpet , Hyderabad ( Hyderabad Dist. )
13. Government Mahakoshal Arts and Commerce, Jabalpur( Madhya Pradesh ) Jabalpur ( Jabalpur Dist. )
14. H.R. College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai( Maharashtra ) Mumbai ( Mumbai Dist. )
15. J.B. College, Jorhat( Assam )
Jorhat ( Jorhat Dist. )
16. Jai H. College of Arts and JT Lalwani College of Commerce, Mumbai( Maharashtra )
Mumbai ( Mumbai Dist. )
17. Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi( Delhi )
Maulana Mohammad Ali Johar Marg, Jamia Nagar , New Delhi ( Delhi ) – 110025
18. Janki Devi Mahavidyalaya (W), New Delhi( Delhi )
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Marg , New Delhi ( Delhi ) – 110060
19. Kamla Nehru College (W), New Delhi( Delhi )
Khel Gaon Marg , New Delhi ( Delhi ) – 110017.
20. Kerala Verma College, Thrissur( Kerala )
Thrissur ( Thrissur Dist. )
21. Laxmi Bai College for Women, New Delhi( Delhi ) Ashik Vihar, Phase III , New Delhi ( Delhi ) – 110052
22. Loyala Academy College, Sikandrabad( Uttar Pradesh )
Alwal , Sikandrabad ( Bulandshahar Dist. )
23. M.K.B. Arts and Commerce College for Women, Jabalpur( Madhya Pradesh )
Jabalpur ( Jabalpur Dist. )
24. M.L.B. Arts and Commerce (Autonomous College), Gwalior( Madhya Pradesh )
Gwalior ( Gwalior Dist. )
25. Manipur University, Imphal( Manipur )
Canchipur , Imphal ( Imphal Dist. ) – 795003
27. N.B. Gurbachan Singh Memorial College, Gurgaon( Haryana )
Sohna , Gurgaon ( Gurgaon Dist. )
28. Nizam College, Hyderabad( Andhra Pradesh )
Gunwoundry , Hyderabad ( Hyderabad Dist. )
29. P.S.G. College of Arts and Sciences, Coimbatore( Tamil Nadu )
Civil Aerodrome Post , Coimbatore ( Coimbatore Dist. ) – 641014
30. Patna Women's College, Patna( Bihar )
Bayley Road , Patna ( Patna Dist. )
31. Jai H. College of Arts and JT Lalwani College of Commerce, Mumbai( Maharashtra )
Mumbai ( Mumbai Dist. )
32. Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi( Delhi )
Maulana Mohammad Ali Johar Marg, Jamia Nagar , New Delhi ( Delhi ) – 110025
33. Janki Devi Mahavidyalaya (W), New Delhi( Delhi )
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Marg , New Delhi ( Delhi ) - 110060
34. Kamla Nehru College (W), New Delhi( Delhi )
Khel Gaon Marg , New Delhi ( Delhi ) – 110017
35. Kerala Verma College, Thrissur( Kerala )
Thrissur ( Thrissur Dist. )
36. Laxmi Bai College for Women, New Delhi( Delhi )
Ashik Vihar, Phase III , New Delhi ( Delhi ) – 110052
37. Loyala Academy College, Sikandrabad( Uttar Pradesh )
Alwal , Sikandrabad ( Bulandshahar Dist. )
38. M.K.B. Arts and Commerce College for Women, Jabalpur( Madhya Pradesh )
Jabalpur ( Jabalpur Dist. )
39. M.L.B. Arts and Commerce (Autonomous College), Gwalior( Madhya Pradesh )
Gwalior ( Gwalior Dist. )
40. Manipur University, Imphal( Manipur )
Canchipur , Imphal ( Imphal Dist. ) – 795003
41. Mumbai University, Mumbai( Maharashtra )
Anand Bhawan, Dadabhai Naoroji Road , Mumbai ( Mumbai Dist. )
42. N.B. Gurbachan Singh Memorial College, Gurgaon( Haryana )
Sohna , Gurgaon ( Gurgaon Dist. )
43. Nizam College, Hyderabad( Andhra Pradesh )
Gunwoundry , Hyderabad ( Hyderabad Dist. )
44. P.S.G. College of Arts and Sciences, Coimbatore( Tamil Nadu )
Civil Aerodrome Post , Coimbatore ( Coimbatore Dist. ) – 641014
45. Patna Women's College, Patna( Bihar )
Bayley Road , Patna ( Patna Dist. )
46. S.M.T. M.M.P. Shah College of Arts and Commerce, Mumbai( Maharashtra )
Mumbai ( Mumbai Dist. )
47. Shyam Lal College (Evening), New Delhi( Delhi )
G.T. Road, Shahdra , New Delhi ( Delhi ) – 110032
48. Somaiya College of Arts, Mumbai( Maharashtra )
Charni Road , Mumbai ( Mumbai Dist. )
49. Vinodini Mahavidyalaya, Khetri( Rajasthan )
Khetri , Khetri ( Jhunjhunu Dist. )
50. Vivekananda College, Tiruvedakam( Tamil Nadu )
Tiruvedakam West , Tiruvedakam ( Madurai Dist. )
51. Vivekananda College (W), New Delhi( Delhi )
Vivek Vihar, Shahdra , New Delhi ( Delhi ) – 110095
52. Xaviers Institute of Communication (X.I.C.), Mumbai
( Maharashtra ) St. Xaviers College Campus, Mahapalika Marg , Mumbai ( Mumbai Dist. ) - 400001
Institutions offering Certificate Course in Advertising and Public Relations
The Advertising Academy, New Delhi( Delhi )
BE-303, 1st Floor, Hari Nagar , New Delhi ( Delhi ) – 110064
Institutions offering Diploma in Advertising and Marketing
Xaviers Institute of Communication (X.I.C.), Mumbai( Maharashtra )
St. Xaviers College Campus, Mahapalika Marg , Mumbai ( Mumbai Dist. ) – 400001
Institutions offering Diploma in Advertising
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chowpatty( Maharashtra )
Kulapati K.M. Munshi Marg , Chowpatty ( Mumbai Dist. ) – 400007
Bhavan's Institute of Communications and Management, Kolkata( West Bengal )
FA/111 Saltlake City , Kolkata ( Kolkata Dist. ) – 770064
Indian Institute of Mass Communication (I.I.M.C.), New Delhi( Delhi )
JNU new campus, Aruna Asif Ali Road , New Delhi ( Delhi ) – 110067
Shri Vile Parle Kelavani Mandal's Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (S.V.K.M's N.M.I.M.S. University), Vile Parle (W)( Maharashtra
V.L. Mehta Road , Vile Parle (W) ( Mumbai Dist. ) – 400056
Siddharth College of Communications, Mumbai( Maharashtra )
D.N Road , Mumbai ( Mumbai Dist. ) – 400001
Sophia College, Mumbai( Maharashtra )
Bhulabhai Desai Road , Mumbai ( Mumbai Dist. ) - 400026
Institutions offering P G Diploma in Advertising :-
Centre for Image Management Studies, Noida( Uttar Pradesh )
Image House, D 126, Sector 40 , Noida ( Gautam Buddha Nagar Dist. )
Cochin University : School of Management Studies, Kochi( Kerala )
CUSAT, Cochin University P.O , Kochi ( Ernakulam Dist. ) – 682022
Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore( Madhya Pradesh )
Nalanda Parisar, 169, Ravindra Nath Tagore Marg , Indore ( Indore Dist. ) – 452001
Indian Institute of Journalism, New Delhi( Delhi )
Janakpuri , New Delhi ( Delhi )
Rajendra Prasad Institute of Communication and Management, Chowpatty
( Maharashtra ) Kulapati K.M. Munshi Marg , Chowpatty ( Mumbai Dist. ) – 400007
Y.W.C.A. Institute of Mass Media Studies, Mumbai( Maharashtra )
Mumbai ( Mumbai Dist. )
Y.W.C.A. Institute of Mass Media Studies, New Delhi( Delhi )
Bangla Saheb Lane , New Delhi ( Delhi )
Guru Jambheshwar University, Hisar( Haryana )
Hisar ( Hisar Dist. ) – 125001
National Institute of Advertising, New Delhi( Delhi )
No.1, Mohammadpur, Bhikaiji Cama Place , New Delhi ( Delhi ) - 110066
Institutions offering Certificate Course in Advertising and Communication:
E.M.P.I. Institute of Advertising and Communication, New Delhi( Delhi )
CSKM Educational Complex, Satbari, Mehrauli , New Delhi ( Delhi ) – 110030
If you are creative, enjoy a challenging career and like working closely with other people, you may have found yourself contemplating a career in advertising. Advertising truly can be a very satisfying career. If you are interested in a career in advertising, you need to understand the course of education that will aid you in reaching your goal. The education course that you will need to pursue is contingent upon exactly what you would like to do in the advertising profession.
With Special reference to Policy legislations, Curricula, ICT, ODL
(A compilation of Published Articles)
By Sadaket Ali Malik
MA Education, B.Ed
Current Education for All (EFA) global monitoring report 2009 is an eye opener for the Policy makers in general and educational administrators in particular. India needs to have a consensus among the strong academic community to achieve the gender parity and universal enrolment.
I had been attempting since long to focus on the critical analysis of the policies and programmes of several ministries of Government of India regarding Policy issues by way of plethora of articles published in several national, International and local print and online media.
This book policy issues in Education encompasses in a single volume the important legislations that have taken place and suggestions for the people at the helm of affair.
This book is just a collection of my published articles on educational policy parameters. These articles and columns on the latest happenings in the educational canvas of the country have been featured in National and local dailies, also on the web logs and blogs on education.
The book intends to cover issues like Open and Distance Learning (ODL), Information and communication technologies (ICTs), Digital learning, Vocational education, Curricula, Education for All (EFA), to look at the problems at national context.
I am sure this book on my articles will acquaint the readers, students, and people at the helm, about policy issues to work cooperatively and responsibly for education for all to achieve inclusive growth.
If this work meets the needs of even a small fraction of the educationists at several levels who are keen on updating their knowledge bank on the policy of education, I would feel the purpose of my work is served.
I am thankful to the Chief Editor, The Daily Excelsior Jammu Respected S D Rohmetra, Chairman The Kashmir Times Jammu, Sh Ved Bhasin, Editor The Employment News New Delhi, Web Editor The Meri News, Editor, Article base, Editor The Job Quest Jammu, Editor Indiaedunews.com for giving a full page space to my work.
I am also indebted to my Parents, my wife Fozia Fabyaan owing to thier inspiration this work saw a light of the day. I am thankful to my learned guru Dr. Arshad Ahmed of Jamia Millia Islamia University. Commerade Krishan Dev Sethi, (freedom fighter of freedom struggle. Sh. Balraj puri, K K Bhat, lokesh Verma, for their encouragement for completing this little bit piece of work.
Sadaket A Malik
List of the Articles Published
1. Distance education: Indian Context
2. Effective decentralization needed in Education
3. Holistic education: A UNESCO Experience
4. Rehabilitation of Disabled
5. Gender enrolment ratio in secondary education
6. Diversifying Open schooling
7. Failure in regulations of education
8. Nutritional Value of Midday Meals
9. E-governance- A new way to reach the unreached
10. Originality in Thinking for Education
11. Tears of children!
12. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: A true educationist
13. State Knowledge Commission needs fleeting attention
14. Education for human Values
15. E-learning in India: The electronic way to learning
16. Pro-active bid to bring education on right track
17. Indian universities lack placement services
18. Open and distance Learning: A global view
19. Education for All Report 2008-an Eye Opener for Policy Makers
20. Revitalizing secondary education21. Streamlining Vocational Training
21. Streamlining Vocational Training
22. Flexible educational curricula
23. Government Policies and International Voluntary Sector
24. Needed a reflective youth policy
25. Placement facility in technical education
26. A Poet cannot become a Chemical Engineer'
27. ICTs and capacity building in Open Learning
28. Career in NGO Management
29. Public Relations as a Career
30. Career in Real Estate Management
31. Advertising- A Glamorous Career
32. State Youth Policies-The need of hour
33. Value based Education”
34. Technologising Learning in Schools”
35. Needed a reflective Youth Policy”
36. Accountability for NGOs”
37. It’s a rising tide irreversible tide in educational picture”
38. India’s unmanned moon mission-A stepping Stone”
Distance education: Indian Context
“There must be a State level Distance education regulating body in every state at the pattern of Distance education council (DEC) at the centre to ensure quality assurance”
The concept of Distance education in Indian context started by the establishment of Nalanda Open University. Distance Education is an important field of Education.
Distance education plays a vital role for the socio educational development and democratisation of any society. In Distance Education, students may not be required to be present in a classroom, but that also may be a question of option. As for an electronic classroom or Virtual Learning Environment, it may or not be a part of a distance education set up. Electronic classrooms can be both on campus, and off campus. We would call such institutions as using a 'flexible' delivery mode.
Distance Education may also use all forms of technology, from print to the computer. This range will include radio, television, audio video conferencing, computer aided instruction, e-learning/on-line learning et al. (E-learning/online-learning are largely synonymous). A distinction is also made between open learning and distance learning. To clarify our thinking we can say that 'open' education is the system in which the student is free to choose the time and place, but distance education is a teaching methodology used when the student and teacher are separated by time and place. Thus it follows that not all open-learning institutions use distance education and not all organizations that use distance education are open learning institutions. Indeed there are many cases in which students are in traditional classrooms, connected via a video-conferencing link to a teacher in a distant classroom. This method is typical in geographically dispersed institutions. Conversely, the term virtual university is sometimes used to describe an open-learning institution that uses the Internet to create an imaginary university environment, in which the students, faculty, and staff can communicate and share information at any time, regardless of location.
` In India there are several institutions offering open and distance programmes to the wide number of target groups viz, women folk, unemployed youth, engineers, medical professionals, managers and houseviews.
The setting up of an Indira Gandhi National Open university (IGNOU) has not only covered the huge populace but has helped a lot for the social and educational empowerment of the masses of the country. This institution of national importance has made a remarkable progress in Open and distance learning in India.Women world wide increasingly opts for distance education. The secondary source of data reveals that 40 to 50 percent of the students of the majority of the open and distance education institutions are women. In India, the percentage of women in distance education is 30 to 40%.
It was observed from the sample study that 70% of the women were highly motivated by self interest, friends, members of the family, the changing environment in the society, media etc., and 30% of the respondents replied that their motivation level was low. The highly motivated group mostly belonged to urban and working sector, while the less motivated group belonged to rural areas and was less educated group with poor socio economic background. Candidates with high motivation level had the persistence to continue and proved successful in their examinations while the persistence and success rate among the less motivated group was not appreciable.
The following are the common technologies available for the instructional delivery of distance education courses.
Video technologies: Two-way video with two-way audio (also referred to as two-way interactive video).
Audio technologies: Two-way audio transmission
Internet-based technologies: Internet courses using synchronous (i.e. simultaneous or `real time') computer-based instruction (e.g. interactive computer conferencing or Interactive Relay Chat), and Internet course using asynchronous (i.e. not simultaneous) computer-based instruction (e.g. email, list-serves, and most World Wide Web-based courses).Other technologies: CD-ROM, mixed mode packages (i.e. a mix of technologies that cannot be assigned to a primary mode) and an open-ended `other, specify' category.
Resource persons pointed out that more powerful satellite, improved designs, innovations and advancements in ground reception technology are likely to lead to a considerable reduction in the overall cost of satellite technology; it is simple to install direct reception community sets for the benefit of schools and colleges.
Technology has come to stay as the backbone of communication in distance teaching methodology. Communication technology has found a client in the distance education system. That is, distance education represents the transformations of education from stage of craft to the stage of technology, thereby making room for increased productivity.
The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry plans to create an independent distance education regulator to monitor and maintain the standards of open learning in the country. Though India already has a Distance Education Council (DEC) functioning under the aegis of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), the Ministry wants to make it an entity independent of the central university.The existing DEC was set up with Parliament's approval under the IGNOU Act to promote the open university and distance education systems in the country, and determine standards of teaching, evaluation and research in such systems. However, its umbilical chord with IGNOU proved to be an irritant. Delinking DEC from IGNOU has been a long-pending demand of universities offering correspondence courses. Attempts by the DEC in the past to set norms and standards have attracted opposition from such universities on the premise that it was not autonomous and was part of another university that offers similar distance education programmes.
A Cabinet note to this effect is already in circulation. According to the proposal, the DEC will be an independent statutory body to promote, coordinate and regulate the standards of all distance education programmes offered in the country. The entire range of open learning will be covered from correspondence courses to programmes offered through satellite channels and the Internet.
What we need, we need to maintain the standard of this education by letter and sprit, The university Institutions offering the distance education must bear in mind that their study centres must br recognised and approved by the concerned statutary body like DEC, AICTE, NCTE, MCI, and of the state govts where the university owe to establish its learning centre. the approval of the cencerned state govt should be made compalsory for the opening of a study centre in a particular state.There must be a Stae level Distance education regulating body at the pattern of Distance education council at the centre so as to access the system the most leadership manner so as to acheieve the object of this education at large.
2. Effective decentralization needed in Education
The constitutional legal and national policies be upheld and funding pattern of different projects of education should be revised by government to achieve the target.
September 24, 2008
Although much has been talked by the Government agencies for achieving the gender parity and universal enrollment by 2010, but it has been revealed that Indian educational region as a UN member is facing a grim picture of literary situation.
The very recent survey monitored by UNESCO on 'Education for All' in March 2008 is an eye opener for the statesmen and policy makers of educational system in India.
The global monitoring report 2008 on 'Education for All' by the UN body speaks highly on the grim educational affairs of children belonging to the remote and disadvantaged areas of the country.
I mean to focus that besides the launch of national flagship programmes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), India has missed its 2005 target of achieving gender parity and as per the report will miss the target of 2015 for attaining total literacy.
Another matter of concern for policy makers is that the adult Literacy programmes of the Government have fallen off its priority list and the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) is in the process of finalizing its recommendations on this as well.
UNESCO, as a technical support agency made a recent assessment and stressed increased involvement of children to learn by the year 2015 for achieving the vision of Education for All (EFA).
The organisation highlighted innovative projects and strategies and underscored the urgency of pushing forward with a common agenda for action but the question remains: Which educational programmes and policies have been successful? What is the relevance of the programmes at the regional level? Who remained the target beneficiary of the milestones of the Government, and what should be the decentralized procedure to put the policies into practice?
The current analysis of UN on India's Education for All commended India's efforts in bringing children back to schools who are dropouts by way of the formal or informal means.
The National Institute of Open schooling (NIOS), with its headquarters at Noida, formed by the HRD Ministry offering academic and vocational training courses, can prove fruitful if every district is made as a main centre of decentralization, means thereby to set up NIOS centres in every district to reach the unreached.
The SSA which is being implemented throughout the country is a major movement to achieve the Universal elementary Education (UEE).
The educational think-tank National University of Educational Planning and administration, (NUEPA) has developed an Educational Development Index (EDI) to track the progress of the states towards UEE.
NUEPA has developed a school report card system of more then 1.05 million primary and upper primary schools. The SSA is a historic stride towards achieving UEE through a time bound integral approach, in partnership with the states.
Operation blackboard (OBB) started in 1987 gave impetus to the large scale infrastructural facilities to avoid wastage and stagnation. The EFA report marks the midway in the great zealous movement to expand learning opportunities to every child by 2015.
In this context, the findings of the report causes concern for Indian educational region because it has pledged to put all the children in the 6-14 age group in school by that time and attain over 85 percent literacy rate.
The report highly endorses the country's efforts in bringing revolution in Distance Education by using technological means like EDUSAT and Digital learning schemes.
The replacement of more then 10,000 schools into virtual classrooms is a significant achievement.
Besides Governmental initiation of the programmes, the efforts are not enough to achieve a big target within the stipulated period, since it is a fact that education especially in Government-funded schools remains neglected most of the time. It may be due to the least remuneration of the literacy workers or lack of community intervention.
The successive governments launched several policies and made several declarations on this issue right from the Constitutional Mandate of 1950.
Be it the National policy on Education 1986, Unnikrishnan Judgment of 1993, Education Ministers Resolve of 1998, National Committees report on UEE in mission mode of 1999 or the programme of Action of 2001, all promised to change the face of elementary education by 2010, but the gender and social gap seems to have become a part of the country.
As far as the national SSA project is concerned, the programme remained confined to the educational officers and administrators only and the community was not made familiar of the real object.
The reasons for this are many. Firstly, the SSA failed on the grounds that the programme has not taken care of the community mobilization in rural and deprived areas and educationally and economically backward blocks (EEBB).
Secondly, the SSA as a project in mission mode attached the teachers of mainstreaming schools as district zonal and cluster resource persons thereby resulting in the erosion of mainstream classroom. This deployment of the mainstream formal school functionaries in SSA has paralyzed the system of both formal and non formal funded projects of the Government.
The SSA needs to improve indicators by way of recruiting the staff of its own and can seek healthy collaboration of the formal functionaries of the system vis-à-vis community mobilization.
The collaboration of SSA with NGOs in some states like Rajasthan is appreciable and proven result oriented. The Education for All being a call for every citizen for learning basic skills at minimum level be projected with the intervention of local NGOs and community.
This may help in getting information from the community for the effective decentralization of the programme. Ironically, the local level community participation in any of the projects is not encouraging, which is the core factor of SSA.
The local level awareness camping and increase of the remuneration of the literacy workers is utmost importance to stem the root. The Education for All reports of 2008 demands effective decentralization. Consequent to the several efforts at national and state level by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the country has made good progress by increasing institutions, teachers, and students in elementary education.
In January 2008, Mr. Arjun Singh, HRD Minister released flash statistics. According to the statistics brought out by NUEPA New Delhi, there has been addition of minority enrollment both at primary and upper primary levels of education which has been attempted for the first time in the country.
The Eklavya schools for tribals in September 2007 by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for class VI to VIII in different states is also a credit to the mission.
The extension of the Mid Day Meal Scheme from class VI to VII in 3479 educationally backward Blocks in 2007-08 is another feather to its cap.
The efforts are revolutionary at the national level and the Government at the top level is keen to achieve the target of EFA by 2015.
The Government of India Plan of 2012, in which it has been felt worth that the fund sharing pattern between the centre and state will be 50:50 under the manifold of SSA.
The constitutional legal and national policies be upheld and funding pattern of different projects of education should be revised by government to achieve the target.
3. Holistic education: A UNESCO Experience
Is it enough having mere peace concepts in the curriculum?
The very recent UNICEF report says 1 billion denied a childhood. I repeat.. more than one billion children, half of the world’s population of children, suffer from poverty, violent conflict and the scourge of AIDS, UNICEF says in its annual report.
Education for peace, values, culture and traditions is the only way to overcome the menace. This refers to educating the child for peace. The concept of this type of education has been generated form UN, the United Nations focused that peace education must be the core objective of every member country so as to imbibe the social, cultural and traditional and intellectual values among the students across the nations. The Education is for the sake of peace, so it was felt worthwhile by the international community to incorporate the same in the modal curriculum globally and locally. Peace education should not mean the education of the peace of mind only but for the resolution of the issues of conflict and preparing the young minds for the mutual dialogue and understanding in intellectual arena. Peace education is more effective and meaningful when it is adopted according to the social and cultural context and the needs of a country. It should be enriched by its cultural and spiritual values together with the universal human values. It should also be globally relevant.
On seeing this guide a teacher might wonder 'Is it really necessary to teach peace as such? Whole education is for peace. Isn't it already in the curriculum?' She may be right in a sense. But the questions remain: Are we giving adequate attention today to teach peace? Are our schools really interested in producing a peaceful young generation? Is it enough having mere peace concepts in the curriculum? is a matter of debate. Is Govt. of India as a member of United Nation striving towards peace in schools, colleges and universities and how the UN bodies are making efforts to incorporate the Peace education as an integral part of the curriculum?
Therefore, The UNESCO has instituted Peace education prize. The purpose of the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education is to promote all forms of action designed to construct the defences of peace in the minds of men by rewarding a particularly outstanding example of activity designed to alert public opinion and mobilize the conscience of humankind in the cause of peace, in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the United Nations Charter.
The UNESCO is committed to the education of the peace, is publishing a lot of resource material and circulating worldwide for mass awareness. The Library and Documentation centre in India is a catalyst for the publication for material for the teachers and resourse persons. UNESCO as a technical support agency is imparting skill based training to the resourse persons and preparing them for the good of the society. On the other hand, National Curriculum framework (NCF) (2005) by NCERT asserts that education must be able to promote values that foster peace, humanness and tolerance in a multicultural society.
The NCERT has launched a Training programme for the teachers on peace education in the country in which the objective is to build the peace for self and empowerment.
Bahá'í Academy of higher learning is contributing its bit for the peace education for universal human values in the country. The National Council for Rural Institutions (NCRI) a body under HRD Ministry of Govt of India is providing assistance tot the training institutions in the field of peace and conflict studies. The Union Ministry of HRD ( Deptt. Of Secondary and Higher Education Govt of India is hureculean in strengthening the education in Human value. The scheme for the strengthening education in Human Values launched in 2002 is credit to the ministry.
NCERT is all set to train teachers in conflict resolution techniques and ways to undermine violence and aggression. Globalisation and technology brought the people so close that we started feeling that nothing is impossible. Knowledge is just a click away. When the Devathas and Asuras did the samundra manthan halahal was also produced. Like wise Globalisation brought competition which must be replaced by co-operation in every field.
Nevertheless, efforts at national and International level are hureculean for the sustainable development, but more need to be done in the field.
It is only when we develop love for the children all our teaching –languages, religion, science, social, art , craft, service activities whatever it is will result in working for peace and that will be the peace education. teachers need to be provided training even at local level. There should be an Institution of national Importance for this purpose leading to the masters Degree in Peace education so that teachers need to be taught.
Peace education requires all of us to understand, to experience and feel the seriousness, and work with hope for the World peace. Total absence of war only can bring total peace. and education is the only way for elimination of conflict and violence.
4. Rehabilitation of Disabled
There is a need to set up information cells rather digital repository centres in every district to ensure the success of the schemes launched by the government
There is an increased skepticism about the efficacy of community based rehabilitation in India, there has in the last decade or so, been a shift to community based rehabilitation (CBR) in India, as elsewhere in the developing world. But the implementation and monitoring of the disability action schemes is absurdly poor.
Various schemes have been offered for the welfare of the disabled population, but lack of adequate information about them ensures that stakeholders, their families and organisations that work for them are either unaware or cannot avail of the provisions therein. At times the process of availing of the benefits of schemes is so cumbersome and time-consuming that most people prefer to by-pass them.
The rural disabled are at a disadvantage when compared with their access to resources, employment opportunities and rehabilitation is severely restricted. They often comprise the most neglected, marginalized and unlettered of their community. They are usually denied education and the right to enjoy normal social interactions and relationships. Families rarely take the trouble to educate their disabled daughters and disabled women are not given a change to find fulfillment in marriage and motherhood. Employment opportunities for the uneducated and untrained disabled are so limited that the disabled person is considered a burden on the family, a drain on their meager finances. The launch of governments gignatic institutions were closed in majortiy of the rural india.
Besides island of progress in initiating schemes, there is a severe absence of a single window process ensures that PWDs are often unaware of what benefits and schemes are available to them. Community based rehabilitation movement through community has by and large motivated and provided inputs- be it medical, technical or social-to the community to take care of its disabled.
The activities of the Society will include accessing and raising resources from local, state, national and international agencies, Govt. and NGOs. Resources are available in various departments and schemes such as Rural Development NPRPD, SSA, IEDC, and grant in aid schemes for special schools, pension schemes, UNDP programs, CAPART, NHFDC, and international funding organizations such as NORAD, Action Aid, SIDA, DANIDA and others. but lack of single window information system has led to nothing but sufferings and implementations at all areas.
Some estimates say that almost 70-80% of Indians with disabilities live in rural areas while most of the country's rehabilitation centers are situated in urban areas. To transport the disabled person to these centers for appraisal, treatment or training is an expensive process, involving not only the cost of travel but also the loss of daily wage for the escort.
It has now been established that segregation of the disabled into protected environments and special institution is not only dehumanizing but also prohibitively expensive, allowing only a very small percentage to avail of the facilities.
Another major bottleneck in the implementation process of governmental aided schemes is that, most of the modern rehabilitation aids and mobility appliances are totally unsuitable for rural Indian conditions. Wheelchairs and tricycles are a legacy of a totally alien table-and-chair culture of the western world. Rural India has a totally different social milieu as does most of rural India.
Nevertheless, Governement of India has set a stage for improving the condition of the disabled in the country, The Government offers various schemes to encourage voluntary action for rehabilitation of the disabled. Through these schemes NGOs can access government support. Prominent among these schemes are provision for grants-in-aid to special schools, vocational training, employment, community-based rehabilitation projects, residential homes, and leisure and recreation centres etc. The NGO should be a registered society/public trust existing for at least two years prior to applying for financial aid. There are more than 3,000 special schools in India today. Of them, 900 are schools for the hearing impaired, 400 for children with visual impairment, 700 for those with locomotor disabilities, and 1,000 for the intellectually disabled.
Interestingly, the last decade of the 20th century saw the enactment of three legislations for the rehabilitation and welfare of people with disabilities. The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act was passed in 1995. This is an important legislation that provides for both preventive and promotional aspects of rehabilitation such as education, employment and vocational training, reservation, research and human resource development, creation of barrier-free environment, inclusion and independent living.
However, the Rehabilitation Council of India Act 1992 led to the establishment of the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). The RCI is responsible for standardising and monitoring training courses for rehabilitation professionals, granting recognition to institutions running courses, and maintaining a Central Rehabilitation Register of rehabilitation professionals. The RCI Act was amended in 2000 to give the RCI the additional responsibility of promoting research in rehabilitation and special education.Furthermore, the National Trust Act 1999 provides for the constitution of a national body for the welfare of people with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and multiple disabilities. The Act mandates promotion of measures for the care and protection of persons with these disabilities in the event of the death of their parents, procedures for appointment of guardians and trustees for persons in need of such protection, and support to registered organisations to provide need-based services in times of crisis to the families of the disabled. The three legislations are comprehensive in spirit and together deal with all aspects pertaining to rehabilitation, from prevention, training, employment, long-term settlement, human resource development and research and documentation.
As things stand, persons with disability encounter huge difficulties in interacting with government officials and making out applications. Although laws exist, they lack teeth. Very few organisations are penalised for not providing barrier-free environments. In fact, this basic requirement is seen more as a voluntary gesture -- if an organisation provides a ramp it's touted as a praiseworthy achievement. No one considers the fact that, according to the 1995 Persons with Disability Act, the provision is mandatory by law.
There is a need to set up an information cells rather digital repository centres in every district to ensure the success of the schemes launched by the government
5. Gender enrolment ratio in secondary education
Whatever is seen in government approvals is not being practiced at ground level, thereby the schemes meant for rural poor remained all on papers.
By Sadaket Malik
Secondary education has been till now one of the most neglected areas of government interventions in education. Besides enabling framework by the country's big banner Ministry of human resource development, The country is yet to achieve a General Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 75 per cent for classes IX-X by providing a secondary school within a reasonable distance of every habitation.
Although efforts are being made by the States for expansion and quality improvement of secondary education, there is little information available on the current status and development concerns. It is, therefore, necessary to undertake diagnostic exercises for assessing the current status and to identify priority areas for planned intervention to improve access, participation and quality of learning.
In addition, the need is to create sustainable competencies and institutional arrangements at the sub-national levels required for planning and implementation of development initiatives in the secondary education sector. It may be reiterated that the States are yet to adopt a sector-wide approach for planning for expansion and quality improvement of secondary education.
However, given the strategy of decentralization, the development of district level secondary education plan is essential for identifying and addressing issues and problems of expansion and quality improvement.
Until now, the role of the Central Government in the development of secondary education has been relatively limited. It was financing the national level bodies like NCERT, NIOS, KVS, NVS, etc. and assisting States through select centrally-sponsored schemes. On an average, the Central Government was spending around 12% of the total expenditure on secondary education.
Now, in order to address the emerging challenges, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India is envisaging playing a larger role in the development and universalization of secondary education in the country. It has proposed to introduce a centrally-assisted programme called the Scheme for Universal Access and Quality at the Secondary Stage (SUCCESS) during the Eleventh Five-Year Plan period.
Moreover, a significant progress is made in all the spheres of secondary education. on January 2, 2009,the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a centrally-sponsored scheme called the 'Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)'. The RMSA aims at achieving a Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 75 percent for classes IX-X within 5 years by providing a secondary school within a reasonable distance of every habitation.
Ironically, more than 84 per cent habitations had secondary school section within a distance of 8 km as compared to 70 per cent within 5 km. The number of unserved habitations declined from 21 per cent in 1986-87 to 15 per cent in 1993-94. During 1950-51 to 1999-2000, the number of secondary and higher secondary schools increased from 7 thousand to 117 thousand. The increase (16 times) is much more rapid than the corresponding increase in the primary (3 times) and upper primary (14 times) schools. In the latest decade (1990 to 99), more than 37 thousand secondary and higher secondary schools were opened.
The ratio of upper primary to secondary schools also improved from 1.83 in 1950-51 to 1.69 in 1999-2000.
The number of secondary/higher secondary teachers increased from 127 thousand in 1950-51 to 1,720 thousand in 1999-2000. Despite the increase in number of teachers, the pupil-teacher ratio increased from 21:1 in 1950-51 to 32:1 in 1999-2000; thus indicating significant increase in enrolment at this level. From a low 1.5 million in 1950-51, it has now been increased by more than 19 times to 28.2 million in 1999-2000.
The percentage of girls enrolment increased from 13 per cent in 1950-51 to about 38 per cent in 1999-2000. Enrolment in secondary/higher secondary level increased by almost doubles the rate than the increase in the primary enrolment. The GER, though low but improved from 19.3 per cent in 1990-91 to 30.0 per cent in 1993-94 and further to 41.2 per cent in 1998-99. Almost 50 per cent children of age group 14-17 year were attending schools in 1995-96. The retention rate (I to IX) is also improved but still it is low at 27 per cent. The transition rate from upper primary to secondary level is as high as 85 per cent.
If the goal of universal secondary enrolment (Grades IX-X) is achieved by 2015, enrolment in Grade IX can also be projected accordingly. But one has to first define the meaning of universalizing secondary education.
However, initially it may not be possible to achieve hundred percent net enrolment and retention in the secondary classes. This is more so specific keeping in view the present status of elementary education in the country. Even, in developing countries that have achieved the goal of universal enrolment, it is not hundred percent. Then, what should be the goal in the Indian context? May be it is 85, 90 or 95 per cent. Achieving universalisation of secondary education in 2015; thus means that 85/90 per cent children those who take admission in Grade I in 2007 will reach Grade IX in 2015.
Impressive progress has also been made at the primary and upper primary levels of education. But despite all these significant achievements, the goal to achieve universal elementary enrolment still remains far out of the sight. The goal of universal secondary education cannot be achieved unless the goal of universal elementary enrolment is achieved.
Of late, the quality of education imparted at secondary level through making all secondary schools conform to prescribed norms, and remove gender, socio-economic and disability barriers, Universal access to secondary level education by 2017 by the end of 12th Five Year Plan and Universal retention by 2020 are the targets to be reached by the ministry within a stipulated period. The question here i apt to ask is that will india reach the beneficiaries within its plan to cover the target populace? Would the schemes and funds allocated be implemented as per the aspirations of the learners? Or is the strategy of the government functionaries fruitful to achieve the object? These questions need transparent answer from our strong academic community veering to universalise the whole system.
The government seems to have taken the first concrete step. In its final lap, the UPA government set in motion the process to ensure that children in the 15 to 16 years age group have access to affordable secondary (classes IX and X) education. RMSA is a reworked version of an existing centrally sponsored scheme for universalisation of access to and improvement of quality of education at secondary stage (SUCCESS). In doing so, it will subsume all existing central schemes geared for the secondary segment such as ICT in schools, IEDC, girls hostel scheme, and vocational education. The programme of RMSA has targeted universal access by 2017 and universal retention by 2020 as goals. At present the gross enrolment ratio (GER), that is the percentage of children in the relevant age group who are in secondary school is merely 52.26%. While the GER for classes XI and XII is a mere 28.54% and for the four years of secondary and senior secondary (Classes IX to XII) is 40.49%. As per 2001 Census, estimated population in the 14-18 age group as on March 1, 2007 was 9.69 crore. There seemed certain bottlenecks while implementation of the schemes meant to universalise the middle school education. The linkage of Government functionaries implementing the schemes of secondary education and the people on wheelchairs are absurdly poor. Whatever is seen in government approvals is not being practiced at ground level, thereby the schemes meant for rural poor remained all on papers.
6. Diversifying Open schooling
Other curricular areas required to be included in the curriculum for academic courses up to secondary level.The Open school centres be set up in every state taking into account the district as a mian centre of decentralisation so as to achieve the objective of universal enrolement.
By Sadaket Malik
The government school system in India is shackled in many ways (quality of teaching, infrastructure, access, discrimination) and more. Each year, millions of children from poor and low-income families are left out completely, or drop out before they see high school. Some of this is changing, but too slowly.
At the current pace of change, it could take anywhere between 15 and 50 years for government-run schools to be fixed. The sheer number of children in need of schooling means that even after decades, millions will be left out.
Ironically, the tardiness in ensuring universal education comes at a time when most observers feel that India is likely to face a substantive shortage of skilled workers soon, if not already. Without the necessary education, the workforce of the future will face limited opportunities.
The question is, Should children of poor parents be destined to face this chasm of access to opportunities, merely because of the slow pace of reform? How can we ensure that reforms in education are quick as well as comprehensive?
The present Indian Education system does not cover the needs of society. In rural area the existing Govt.schools are out dated infrastructures with well paid teachers and lesst teaching aids does not attract the students to meet out their requirments on free of cost. Where as private owned schools attract the students on cost by providing modern methods of teaching learning environments with proper closed supervision.Can we expect these facilities from Govt run schools? Unless we have reform in education policy to equalizes the pattern of providing free and compulsory Basic education to all,we can't attain the national goal.
Nevertheless, Open schooling is a big hit. FROM THE gurukul of the ancient times to the online streaming in of video, the Indian education scenario has undergone a change that no one anticipated there was a program in Open Schooling that every student has to literate one person in their locality in order to pass. Thats an excellent example of spreading literacy. We need more strategies like this.
The Government estavblished National Open School (NOS) in 1989 to reach those who had dropped out of school or never been to school and who wished to study but were for a variety of reasons not studying in regular schools. Over the years, the role of NOS expanded beyond the provision of bridging courses, an alternative secondary/higher secondary curriculum and life-enhancing courses, to include from vocational education.
Meanwhile, a number of State Open Schools were established, all with a similar pro-poor mandate to that of NOS. In 2002, NOS was re-mandated to act as the national apex body for open schooling, and re-designated The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). NIOS is both a teaching and an examining and accrediting organization. There are currently close to 300,000 students enrolled in NIOS Accredited Institutions in the length and breadth of the country.
The government is moving in the direction of greater focus and emphasis on the improving learning levels of school children. There are debates on how this is to be done, strategies to be used, and the measurements to be used. Last year's annual survey of education was an important in put to this process.
Today, powerful new tools are making it easier than ever to disseminate knowledge and expand educational opportunities this change means education is the most important investment that governments make. To thrive in this new world, developed and developing countries alike need to focus on building the creative and productive capacities of their workforce. In an increasingly globalised economy, knowledge and skills are the key differentiators of nations as well as individuals.
India is a great example of the power of this approach. An emphasis on education has been the catalyst for the rise of an information technology industry that has created new opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people and established India as an important global centre for innovation. Today, powerful new tools are making it easier than ever to disseminate knowledge and expand educational opportunitiesWith massive expansion of open schooling and open basic education in the world, a strong need has been felt to continuously orient, train and upgrade a variety of functionaries involved in these areas. The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India and the National Institute of Open Schooling, India have, in collaboration with and or the support from the Commonwealth of Learning, Canada, have established an International Centre for Training in Open Schooling (ICTOS) at NOS to address to the training needs of the functionaries involved in open schooling and open basic education. The certificate and diploma programmes mentioned below are part of this effort of the ICTOS.
NIOS operates through a network of five Departments at its Headquarters, elevenRegional Centres, more than 3100 study centres (2067 for Academic Courses and 1063 for Vocational Education Courses). It has a current enrolment of about 1.5 million students at Secondary and Senior Secondary levels which makes it the largest Open Schooling system in the world. For implementation of the Open Basic Education Programme, NIOS has partnership with 350 Voluntary Agencies in 27 States providing facilities of Elementary Education at their study centres.
The NIOS has been attempting to utilize applications of Information and Communication Technology in the management of open schooling. The NIOS has a large computer set up with latest in hardware and software. There is a Local Area Network environment with Advanced Novel NetWare 3.12 and Windows NT as basic Operating System and a powerful Pentium based file server and fifteen PC(AT) 486 based terminals connected to it as nodes. Besides, all the officers and branches have been provided with Pentium based machine with network connection to enhance their working efficiency with great accuracy and quality output. Internet access is available to all staff members.
Recent progress towards the achievement of the second U.N. Millennium Development Goal, Universal Primary Education (UPE), means that many more children are completing primary education and looking for opportunities to enter secondary education. There is little likelihood that governments facing the challenges of meeting the UPE target will be able to meet a further challenge of providing vastly increased access to opportunities for secondary education.
Rapid expansion of secondary provision to meet frustrated demand from primary school leavers and the needs of young adults previously denied secondary education opportunities will likely require investment in approaches that are less tied to traditional methods of schooling. For this purpose, NIOS enjoys strong government support.NIOS has well-defined processes for curriculum development, and approval of courses and subjects are approved prior to the development of the materials by subject experts. Administrative and academic support is provided to the learners through the Accredited Institutes, which are selected, against strict criteria. Activities that take place at these Institutes, including teaching and assignment marking, is monitored by academic facilitators attached to the Regional Centres. However, there is some doubt as to whether the monitoring processes at Accredited Institutes are adequate, and there is no current means of planning and reviewing a system-wide process of evaluation and quality assurance. The last ten years have seen an increase in the use of open and distance learning particularly in developing countries and in countries in post-conflict situations, prompting UNESCO to renew its strategy, mobilize greater resources, and reinforce international co-operation in this field. The transition to knowledge societies, largely driven by information and communication technologies (ICTs), holds the promise that the right to the free flow of, and equitable access to, knowledge, information, data and best practices across all sectors and disciplines is basically ensured.
In UNESCO's Medium-Term Strategy (2002-2007), the third thrust of the overall priority for education for all focuses on promoting experimentation, innovation and the diffusion and sharing of information and best practices as well as policy dialogue in education. The objective of harnessing information and communication technologies (ICTs) for education has the expected outcome of promoting international debate and reflection on the development of internationally compatible descriptors and standards for distance and e learning courseware, and for e-learning institutions.
The problems that the country faces are with regard to reaching the unreached in the nook and corner of the country.The access of these unreached to the media is a question mark. While the television is the most effective media to reach them, its logistics are fraught with problems that are not generally appreciated in very many countries. For instance the power shortage in the town and villages is chronic problem. Many a times it is just not available for days together. The Internet facilities are purely urban phenomena and are not available to the type of clientele that we seek to reach.
In order to reach the affiliated centres of NIOS, the institute have tried the video-conferencing technology with two way audio and one way video techniques. Due to limited down linking facilities this has remained an experimental exercise and has not been used as a normal and regular mode of interaction. So far, NIOS have to reach the Accreditated Institutions in advance through mail to intimate them of the program, arrange for their assembly at the appointed day and time at a place where the video conferencing and Subscriber Trunk Dialing (STD) facilities are available and then make them participate in the process. It also involves, though only at the initial stages, removal of the inhibitions and fear of the advanced technology.
A large number of youth and adults now aspire for learning while working or working while learning. A rigid system of formal education is fraught with certain road blocks for reaching the unreached and life long education unless it moulds itself to the flexibilities of the Open Learning System. It is now high time that the developing countries may give impetus to the open learning system, along with expansion of the formal system of education, for reaching the unreached and for opening ample avenues for life long education.
Another novelty that has been launched by NIOS is the On Demand Examination system (ODES), wherein a learner can walk into any of the identified Testing Centres of NIOS on a day of his/her choice and appear for the examination in any subject that one has taken up. The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) with current enrolment of about 13 lakh students at Secondary and Senior Secondary stage is the largest open schooling organization in the world. However, it is not possible for NIOS alone to cater to the needs and variations of all regions of a multilingual multicultural country like India. It is difficult for one organisation at the national level to extend its functions and coverage and increase its enrolment beyond certain limits. For reaching the unreached, the Open Schooling System is required to be promoted and strengthened in the country. The NGOs should enter into the collaboration with NIOS for the achievement of the objectives.
No doubt, Government started State Open schools in education boards of respective states to meet the regional diversity, but the boards failed in the popularizing the same.
For meeting these challenges, the educational planners and administrators are already planning to upscale the formal schooling system at an unprecedented scale. They are, however, worried as to how large scale finances may be mobilized for making provision of additional schools, additional teachers and requisite equipments and other infrastructural facilities.
The challenge that remains, and will continue to remain, is how to reach the child in remote rural and tribal areas directly? Because of uneven development in almost all spheres we have to operate with different types of technologies suitable for various techno-economic development level of the community concerned. The multi-channel instructional system adopted by NIOS has come in handy for the students. They also become self-learners with the help of the SLM provided. Classes are also conducted for the benefit of the learners who can get information from the study centres and the counsellors attached to them.
What we need is that, the Curriculum Framework for academic subjects like language, mathematics, science and social science should emphasise on softening of subject boundaries thereby enabling the students to get a taste of integrated knowledge and joy of understanding. The teaching of science should inter alia emphasise on examining and analyzing every day experience. Concerns related to environment may pervade through different subjects with emphasis on activities. The teaching of social science may be discipline based mainly while emphasizing integration on significant themes such as water. Certain other curricular areas required to be included in the curriculum for academic courses up to secondary level.The Open school centres be set up in every state taking into account the district as a mian centre of decentralisation so as to achive the objective of universal enrolement.
7. Failure in regulations of education
Only an independent regulation authority be manadated for monitoring and regulation otherwise owing to routine exercise the uthopia we search for will remain illusive.....!
One may get disappointed and sometimes confused over the way the Indian education system operates. The regulation bodies are being set up, legislation being enacted, plan being envisaged day by day. we should'nt oppose the same but the question remain; why day and afer the Government of India is doing so. Monitoring mechanism of the institutions of higher learning especially open and distance learning remained a major concern for government for effective functioning,quality assurance and decentralisation in accreditation procedures. The things being planned at central level by the perspective governments remained all along undecided and proved unbiased and non scholarly as the decisions and legislations being made were not enacted in action. There is no unanimous legislation on educational monitoring. The accreditation system is absurdly poor. A license permit raj by the statutory bodies without teeths prevailed in the sub continent without knowing the needs and procedures of the institutions and stakeholders. I am not opposing here the All India Council for technical education which is likely to be scrapped by the Government of India. My point is that why the whole system of monitoring, accreditation and regulation is poor. I am speaking of the apex organisations like National Knowledge Commission (NKC) New Delhi, HRD Ministry, Councils and commissions at national level like UGC, NCTE, DEC and many other. Why regulations are being changed day and after ? why not the ministry of education is formulating its legislations at once in hand to maintain the standard and quality ? Is this legislation which is being envisaged every week ? Why day by day alterations ? Is there not a unanimous declaration of all the people in the system ? Why not an independent body which is acceptable to all at once. Of late, On the one week the Ministry is granting powers to Distance Education Council (DEC) to monitor and regulate the system of open learning and on the same issue the ministry is planning to set up national level Distance education regulator in the country to maintain and monitor the standards of open and distance learning in the country. Similarly, recommendations on the part of National Knowledge Commission on scrapping of AICTE and formulation of Independent Regulatory Authority on Higher Education (IRAHE). Secondly, the union cabinet very recently referred HRD ministrys proposed legislation (distance education bill) to set up Independent regulatory body at national level. The proposed legislation was opposed by maximum people in governance like commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath besides others. If the ministry or government at central level is deciding to replace the traditional atmosphere then why too late ?Infact, there is a mismatch among the countrys policy makers and other people in governance to regulate the whole system. Some people who are in governance but not in the system dont want to replace the existing system and some who are not in the system are favoring the immediate legislations,replacement and amendments in the existing laws. There is a crisis in the field and overregulation of the open and distance education. The country is lacking regulated colleges and universities located in small suburbs or hamlet.If private colleges are providing a poor quality of education, who is to be held responsible? Multiple regulatory agencies exist for different streams of education in the country. Technical education is regulated by the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE). It is the authority that licenses technical institutions. The AICTE has constituted another body, the National Board of Accreditation (NBA), to certify quality of technical institutions. Medical education is regulated by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and nursing education by the Nursing Council of India. These institutions look after all aspects of education in their spheres including quality. All the regulatory agencies have been set up by the Central Government. The blame for the mushrooming of poor quality institutions and their concentration in a few areas must squarely rest with the regulatory bodies. The NKC agrees. The NKC working groups also comment on the reasons for this. the regulatory framework evolved over many years presents a number of procedural hurdles. Permissions and approvals are needed from the University that an institution wishes to be attached to, the government of the state where it will be located and regulatory bodies like the AICTE and MCI. The educational bureaucracy itself can be typically negotiated only with political influence, as is reflected in the large number of politicians associated with or promoting educational trusts. I apt to ask that if we are living a knowledge based economy and are not having any regulation system on several modes of education at higher level. I wander why this happens? I am in fear why not the accountability in the system besides several policies and paper work done by the policy making bodies and the successive governments. Is education at higher level being commercialized ? or is this really a License raj being perpetuated by the accreditation agencies ? This question needs to answer immediately the people at the helm of affairs.At this moment, Privatisation of higher education is rapidly progressing in the country and the Planning Commission reports that in the period 2002-2007, the share of private institutions in higher education increased from a third to over half of all enrolment. And this trend, by all accounts, will continue into the future. but the sorry state of affairs is overregulation in the system.Furthermore, the 11th Plan objectives of the HRD ministry are aimed at increasing the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education from the present 10 per cent to 15 per cent by 2012 by esteblishing several institutions of excellence. For reaching the target we must change the accreditation process and decentralise the procedure of accreditation viz a viz monitoring.Suggesting a solution is rather an impossible task, for a person of my stature at least. But, I definitely feel that the new Single regulation body is need of the hour to guage the system rather then day by day legislation by the perspective governments. Only an independent regulation authority be manadated for monitoring and regulation otherwise owing to routine exercise the uthopia we search for will remain illusive.....!
8. Nutritional Value of Midday Meals
There is a need to enhance the nutritional value of the scheme in a more efficient manner
The very recent decision of Central government for setting up of National Commission for Elementary Education will not only monitor all aspects of elementary education including quality but maintain the accountability of the programmes operating in papers of this tattering education stage in major part of rural India. The stage of education is lacking the quality, access, and social mobalisation rather expert staff in the so called mid day meal schemes in major rural parts. The commission shall be a cornerstone for assessing the so called programmes in the field of education. The countrys keen eye educationists expect that the commission may ensure effective use of resources and co-operation with unions in these sectors.
It is interesting that in 2008-09 out of Rs. 7324 crores allocated under Mid Day Meal Scheme, the Central Government has released so far Rs. 4095 crore to States/UTs under Mid-Day Meal Scheme. The Government has also released 24786 crore MTs of foodgrains to the States/UTs. recently and on the other hand, it is irony that mid day meal scheme being implemented in major parts remained only in papers and the indicators remained elusive. Governenment "Feel good" remained all along and the beneficiaries continue to suffer. The functionaries are not regular in providing lunch to their students under the scheme. The scheme lacks good diet. There is some interesting evidence on the value of midday meals in schools as a means of nutritional supplementation. It is a fact that mid day meals certainly help to protect children frem classroom hunger, they may or may not lead to a sustained improvement in their notritional status, infact a poor midday meal (Rice and Salt) can be counter productive. If it kills students appetite and reduce their intake of richer food at home. In this connection, it is interesting to note that such meals reduces the daily calorie deficiency of the average primary school going child by almost 35 percent, the daily iron deficiency by 25 percent and meets almost their entire daily protein deficiency.
The programme covers nearly 9.70 crore children studying at the primary stage of education in classes I-V in 9.50 lakh Government (including local body) and Government aided schools, and the centres run under Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS) and Alternative & Innovative Education (AIE). The programme was extended, with effect from 1.10.2007, to children in the upper primary stage of education (classes VI-VIII) in 3,479 Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs). Approximately 1.7 crore additional children in classes VI-VIII in EBBs are expected to be included. The programme cover all areas across the country from 2008-09. In the Union Budget 2007-08, Rs.7324 Crores was provided for the Scheme, representing 37% increase over the budget for 2006-07. In the XI plan, SSA has a funding pattern between Centre and States in the ratio of 65:25 for the first two years of the XI plan i.e. 2007-08 and 2008-09; 60:40 for the third year i.e. 2009-10; 55:45 for the fourth year i.e. 2010-11 and 50:50 thereafter i.e. from 2011-12 onwards. For the North Eastern States the fund sharing pattern between Centre and States shall be 90:10 under the programme with the Centres share resource from the 10% earmarked funds for the NE Region in the SSA Central Budget. The outlay approved for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for the XI plan is Rs. 71,000 crores. The has been a great scarcity of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities as a component of Management, Monitoring and Evaluation costs during past and the same is of urget nee to be incorporated. The scheme failed on the grounds that there has been misappropriation of funds and lack of directions, information synthesis and collaboration of the so-called administrators of elementary education. There seemed communal tones and caste tones in majority of parts. The present research reveals that Dalit students were supposed to sit separates in the school with a saparate cook and kicthen. It is irony on the part of our so-called national builders for encouraging the same. Research further emenate that the scheme has eroded the existing academic activities, as the teachers are being found busy in making statements. For this purpose the recruitment of one additional accountant is needed inspite of assigning the task of accountant to a teacher who is supposed to make learning more effective in the class.
Neveretheless, there is one good news - India, along with Bhutan and Nepal, has achieved gender parity in primary education. According to the recently introduced right to education bill, every child between the age of 6 to 14 years has the right to free and compulsory education. This is stated as per the 86th Constitution Amendment Act added Article 21A. The right to education bill seeks to give effect to this amendment recently by the Ministry of Human Resource Development Govt. Of India with the decision of Parliament. It was stressed in the bill that all government schools provide free education to all the children and school management committees (SMC) will manage the schools. Private schools will admit at least 25 per cent of the children in their schools without any fee.
Of late, the Bill is the enabling legislation to notify the 86th Constitutional amendment, which gives every child between the age of 6 and 14 years the right to free and compulsory education. India is on track to achieve net enrollment rate (NER) of more than 97 percent by 2015, the Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report of the UNESCO-2008 released recently. Research reveal that of the 17 countries with most children out of school, just three - Bangladesh, Brazil and India - are on track to achieve NER in excess of 97 percent by 2015.As per the global educational and cultural body, India had 7.2 million out-of-school children in 2006 and it will be reduced to just 600,000 in 2015. The enrolment in secondary education in India has increased from 39 percent in 1999 to 43 percent in 2006.With 7.6 million out-of-school children, Nigeria will be worst off, followed by Pakistan (3.7 million), Burkina Faso and Ethiopia with 1.1 million are at joint third spot. In terms of absolute numbers, 80 percent of adult illiterates worldwide live only in 20 countries, 50 percent of them live in India, China and Bangladesh. The report also emphasises that with the share of government expenditure on education dropping between 1999 and 2006 in 40 countries including India, low fee private primary schools were filling the slot.
The target of equity will be achieved only if the national level scheme like of midday meals is operationalised and decentralised in each and every school of rural hamlet. There is a need to enhance the nutritional value of the scheme in a more efficient manner. The recent decision of mandating a National Commission on elementary education is an effective instrument for gauging the roadblocks in the field of educational schemes at national level.
9. E-goverenance- A new way to reach the unreached
There is a need touse of electronic data processing in the day-to-day operations of government departments
By Sadaket Malik
If one look at the last two decades, one may reveal that Information and Communication Technologies have evolved and developed in terms of e-Governance and digital convas of the country. The country has only a few achievements such as the Indian Railways System and a few others. Does this imply an imbalanced development of e-Governance services? Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Vouches to change our lives for the better if not the best. The master player in India for the same is the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). Implemented in 2006, the plan is two year old now. One may ask, what has been the progress so far? Some of the services such as Railway Ticket Booking have shown tremendous success and the Passport Service is following suit. Ministry of Company Affairs takes away the credit of implementing path-breaking e-Governance services as well. Inspite of such success stories, Indias rank in the e-Readiness has dropped significantly according to the United Nations e-Government Survey 2008.
However, the overall, though uneven success of NeGP is credible in such a short span of time. The report card and assessment of NeGP speaks about such implementation so far. Looking at e-Governance at the next level, one may observe that some of the states and union territories are ahead of the others. Technology is central in e-Governance thus making delivery of services faster and efficient. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies are widely used across the industry in healthcare, transportation as well as parts of retail and in the information technology field. RFID technologies in governance play a significant role for monitoring movement and access control. The use of smart cards are common in our day to day transactions which can play a vital role in bridging the digital divide. Extending the usage of smart cards to the under privileged and the marginalized can streamline the usage of technology across different sections, thus making their lives change for the better as well.
Very recently, On 21st October 2008, Ministry of communication claimed that major Schemes are being implemented by the Department of Information Technology are the State Wide Area Network (SWAN) Scheme, the Common service Centre Scheme (CSC), the State Data Centre (SDC), Scheme the Capacity Building (CB) Scheme and the e-District Scheme, for that the State Governments are responsible for the implementation of these Schemes under the overall supervision of the Department of Information Technology. National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), comprising of 27 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) and 8 components was approved on May 18, 2006. The plan has covered quite a journey so far in making government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets for ensuring efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs. The questions remain for all of us as a people? Have we as a nation achieved the target so far? And how many geographical locations have been covered under the manifold of ventures of the Ministry? What are the problems and roadblocks in the implementation of e-Readiness for e-Governance in India?
We have to accept the fact that India is a developing nation faced with various socio-economic problems. Inspite of all these drawbacks, we have been able to come this far quite satisfactorily. The Governments initiation and ground level initiatives are healthy owing to which India is globally recognized as an Information Technology (IT) expert. However, many benefits of IT have not percolated to the rural poor. Now the country is moving into that direction of providing services to the rural poor. Today, land records in all the states are being computerized and a person can get all the details within a day by paying a nominal fee. In the past this process used to take many months for getting such details and the person was always at the mercy of the local records keeping agents such as the Patwaris. Today, one can easily access these records from a e-Kiosk. E-Governance has been implemented in various states and departments across India. Providing government services to the common man in their local areas and in a very cost-efficient manner.
Of late, question arises about how to provide these services? For this to happen, we need to put the infrastructure in place. There are two kinds of infrastructure one is the physical infrastructure which is the hardware under which we have State Data Centres (SDCs), State Wide Area Network (SWAN) and the Common Service Centres (CSCs). CSCs act as the front end machines. In addition to this, we have computing infrastructure which provides the processing of the physical infrastructure. Then there is also a need for connectivity at the back end which is provided horizontally and vertically across all the departments. Computing and connectivity infrastructure is generally provided by the state governments. The second part of the infrastructure is the digital software infrastructure. This comprises of the national portal, standards and e-Forms. The third part is the service part. Today we have a number of services. There may be instances of changes, modifications and addition of services. These services are provided by both the state and the central governments and there are some integrated services both provided by the state and the centre jointly. For example, in the integrated services, we have the Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) which are implemented by both centre and the state. The state governments should look into their operations and do re-engineering and therefore come up with new ideas and processes. These services are delivered in a bundled manner. Apart from this, we have another aspect which is known as the capacity building.
Unfortunately, the non-availability of connectivity has been a major roadblock in making India e-Ready for e-Governance. All the e-Governance services are to be delivered through the front end CSCs. These CSCs needs to be connected with a network and we have found that out of the one lakh CSCs, about 25,000 CSCs will have connectivity through Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). Another 25,000 villages are to be connected by BSNL through their existing towers. They will be using wireless solutions for connecting these 25,000 villages. Therefore, the total number of CSCs which will be connected will be about 50,000. For the remaining 50,000 CSCs, we have a plan to utilize the funds available through Universal Service Obligation (USO) Fund. By using these funds we will be able to motivate the private sector to provide connectivity to these villages. Allocation of spectrum is another issue which has been a roadblock in terms of connectivity. Yet another issue is that the states are not yet ready for implementation of the MMPs. The reasons for the same are many. India is a democratic country and we have different national and regional parties in power in different states. These MMPs will come to fruition when the state governments are taken on board. We are in the process of enabling and educating them for making the mechanisms ready for e-Governance. There is also the issue of non-availability of IT personnels. The attrition rate in the IT sector has been very high. It is very diffi cult for the state and the central governments to get qualified IT professionals as the salary structure in the private sector was extremely high. Therefore, we are trying to develop a mechanism by which we can hire professionals at market remuneration. It is expected that in about three months time we will be able to put the mechanism in place and therefore, we will be able to attract a large number of IT professionals for taking these MMPs forward both in the state and the central level. Most of the e-Governance strategies are hardware centric and there is not much emphasis on building up applications. Since you have taken charge, do we see any improvements? The answer lies in the fact that it is a cost of learning. Initially, it was thought that if we buy some computers and do the computerisation of the departments that will suffice everything. However, this was not enough. Now the focus is on the delivery of the services which can be Government to Citizen (G2C), Government to Business (G2B) and Business to Business (B2B). These services can be available only when applications are available. Therefore, our focus is to build infrastructure on one side and to develop all these applications and databases on the other. Hence, bundled architecture is important. We can only purchase equipments when services are being identified and re-engineering has been done and we have ensured that our mechanisms have evolved for delivering these services.
However, I believe that IT has a tremendous role to play when it comes to providing good quality education and health care services to the poor and the marginalised. Thus, my objective would be to bring all the 27 MMPs to fruition in a cost efficient manner and in the quickest possible time. I would personally feel glad if we can provide people living in rural areas with good quality education and health care.
Intrestingly, on October 13th 2008, Tata Consultancy Services announced that it has a signed a deal with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India, for the Passport Automation Project - the largest mission-critical e-Governance project valued at over INR 10,000 million. The good news for common man is that apart from the information of the progress of the passport applications on web they would also be receiving alerts on their mobile numbers that have been provided during filling of application about the status of their application.
At present, there is a greater stress on Information and Communications Technology (ICT), almost all the government departments; subordinate offices and government funded autonomous organisations have their own web display. The government has an inventory of more than a million different types of forms in different languages used for various transactions meant for improved efficiency and citizen services. Most of the government operations are isolated and processes are paperbound and finding a piece of information involves either searching a directory or employing a particular application. Also this information lead to redundancy, inefficiency and unnecessary expense the integration of multiple pieces of personal information can only be done manually in this case. Also citizens are required to stand in long queues and seek assistance at multiple government offices.
There is a need touse of electronic data processing in the day-to-day operations of government departments. The electronic form of this information is needed to distribute and share among Government departments and its agencies for efficiency and transparency, particularly in case of personal information. This cans be done through data integration; it can be defined as the process in which dissimilar data, devices, and systems are joined to allow for operations less than one similar framework. Data, integration is performed for many reasons, including improving operations efficiency, decreasing resources required to maintain a number of dissimilar systems, and providing data to end-users through one interface.
In order to provide efficient services or information to the citizens through multiple channels under single window, there is a need to integrate the Citizens Personal Information among the public and private sector departments/agencies for efficiency and transparency. There is no doubt that investments in ICT could bring major economic benefits to local authorities and help the masses inhibiting in rural areas due to one or the other reason have no access to urban information centres.
10. Originality in Thinking for Education
The entire country needs to adopt the concept of Originality in Thinking for India to become a true superpower.
By Sadaket Malik
The Asian Development Bank noted in January 2008 that education in India was lagging seriously behind its rapid economic growth with only 12,000 training and vocational institutes, compared to half a million in China.Short-term turbulences aside (just as we are witnessing now), India has entered an era of high economic growth. The fourth consecutive fiscal when India has witnessed over 8% growth, we find India's manpower shortages aggravate even further. Just as growth has been multi-sectoral, so have the manpower deficiencies.
There is a growing demand that the government should increase the outlays on education and do other things to motivate and encourage education. It is true that for India to have consistent rate of growth; Greater levels of Research &Development, combined with extensive investment in workforce can make a significant contribution. Part of the solution lies in forging strong partnerships between the private sector and the academia. They should be developed in tandem with the government to ensure that courses like computer science especially hardware are nurtured and developed as a discipline in schools.
In India; on the one hand, we have world-class institutions of higher education such as IITs and IITMs and on the other hand, we have mushrooming private institutions/universities which function more as coaching centers, rather than as centers of achieving innovative excellence. Lack of university capacity has resulted in a lower proportion of youth ages 17 to 23 enrolled in higher education in India than in China, the Philippines or Malaysia. This could have an impact on the IT industry, unless immediately rectified.
There is scarcity of skilled manpower in every industry, from good carpenters and plumbers to factory workers, doctors and scientists. The banking industry, which employs 900,000 people, is expected to add 600,000 more over the next three to four years. Similarly, the IT and ITeS industry will need around 850,000 additional skilled manpower by 2010. And, the retail industry will need nearly 2.5 million skilled professionals by 2012. Not only are jobs within India on the rise, the developed world too is facing manpower shortages, which are expected to rise to 40 million by 2020. This shortfall can be met by India, where both educated unemployment and the number of people joining the workforce are on the rise. In short, the opportunities before India are huge, provided our education sector gears up to take these on. Manpower shortages are both quantitative and qualitative in nature.India needs more universities. While Japan has 4,000 universities for its 127 million people and the US has 3,650 universities for its 301 million, India has only 348 universities for its 1.2 billion people.
The Economic Survey released by the Government of India on 28th February 2008 is significant for what it does not say, than what it does. The Survey glosses over the UPA government's failure to keep its common minimum program pledge of raising public expenditure on education to 6% of GDP. Public spend on education as a percentage of GDP has slipped below the high of 2.9 % achieved by the NDA government in 2002-03. For the first time, the government has acknowledged that the 86th Constitutional amendment - mankind education a fundamental right for all 6 to 14 year olds-has not been enforced because the enabling Right to Education Act is yet to be enacted. The Survey is also silent on the number of school dropouts, learning outcomes and low enrollment rates for higher education. These issues are part of the reality check that the Survey provides. In the Union Budget 2008, the Government has allocated Rs. 34,400 crores for education. It also announced its decision to establish one Central University in each of the hitherto uncovered states in the country. Besides, three new IITs are proposed to be set up in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan. Two Schools of Planning and Architecture will come up at Bhopal and Vijayawada.
The government through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the flagship project of the HRD ministry, is geared towards achieving useful and relevant elementary education for all children by 2010. This movement is showing results. The number of out-of-school children in the 6-14 years age group has dropped from 13.4 million in 2005 to 7.06 million in March-end 2006. In the Union Budget 2008; the project received an allocation of Rs. 13,100 crores which would be spent in enhancing retention, a shift from the earlier focus on access and infrastructure.
India needs curricular reforms. In today's world, where technological knowhow is evolving with each day, educational institutions need to be granted the freedom to engage with the industry and change the curricula as and when required. Educational institutions must teach what the industry needs.
It is essential to realize that learning needs to continue after formal education. Cap Gemini in India employs almost 15,000 people in six cities and recognizes that industry must continue the training that they left after graduating; all new recruits participate in a six-week intensive course before induction, developing their business and behavioral skills. Offering expert training on the job is the responsibility of the industry and is essential for a developing economy.
In 2002, India's Chhatisgarh state launched a Private Sector University Act to encourage private universities to start up in the region. But as 100 or so private schools sprang up-some with offices in Chhatisgarh but campuses elsewhere-regulators realized that lax rules were allowing many of the schools as diploma mills. The Supreme Court knocked down the Act in February 2005. This episode emphasizes why just private investment in education will not solve the problem; a public-private partnership is necessary in education to combine the agility of the private sector with the social responsibility obligation of the public sector. Examples which come to mind include the Cisco Development program and Microsoft's University program. The latter include the Imagine Cup competition, run in universities worldwide to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, and in which students from Eastern Europe and South-East Asia regularly outperform their western counterparts in both the volume and quality of their entries. The regulations on the part of Ministry of HRD associated autonomous bodies need to take care of quality while putting legislations into practice.
Of late, India's Distance Education Council (DEC) is doing its bit for regulation, but thie practice need to be evolued at state level.
Quite a few of the present courses taught in India lack originality. Students should not be studying computer science only for its core programming content. Courses should equip the students with the relevant skills, so they can make a significant contribution to the knowledge economy. Merely studying for the sake of getting a good job is very superficial education. Students are taught job-specific skills, but they don't know how their skills can contribute to the world knowledge economy, or even to the business model of the company for whom they intend to work for or are working, as the case may be.
The initiatives that are born out of such alliances between the government and private sector for cooperation in education gives students access to the biggest technology players and offer real-world insight, thereby easing the transition from university to employment. Companies can also keep universities up-to-date as technology changes and customer preferences and requirements change, and they can plug gaps in expertise or facilities.
Such partnerships also help business. Graduate programs are valuable but they also signal how important it is for companies to take greater responsibility for developing business training.
But one should bear in mind that these companies are trying to assist themselves by training their new recruits. For there to be training for one and all; in a setup as in India, Government cooperation and partnership is the key. The quality indeed is imperative on the part of Private sector.
There are apprehensions that MNC's are outsourcing work to India because Indians are good at effectively completing the designated tasks in a timely manner without asking any further questions. MNC's confidence in our ability to improvise the existing product and come up with high quality cost effective product seems to be the motivating factor behind the outsourcing of work to India.
The entire country needs to adopt the concept of Originality in Thinking for India to become a true superpower. This concept of originality has to be ingrained in the minds of every India right from the time he commences his preliminary education, for India to emerge as a truly powerful economic force on the world scene, and this is possible when the work is done at all levels of education in a most collaborative manner.
11. Tears of children!
What is being done to stop violence against children? Are government run institutions and schemes working well? If yes, then why there isnt the any expectation to end the tears of children?
By Sadaket Malik
On November 14, 2008. Childrens Day was observed across the country, seminars, debates and elocution programmes were organised on the one hand, and on the countries policy makers continued to evolue new Policy for India's runaway children, who roam on the streets, sleep on pavements and railway platforms.
They (Children) face and are facing all kinds of abuse including physical, often by men in uniform.For around six decades UNICEF, along with the Government of India and other partners, has worked in India to ensure that each child gets the best start in life, thrives and develops his or her full potential. Over the last two decades, India has borne the brunt of several major natural disasters including the Latur Earthquake in 1993; the Orissa super-cyclone in October 1999, the Bhuj earthquake in January 2001, the Tsunami in December 2004, the earthquake in Jammu & Kashmir in October 2005 and major flooding in Bihar and other states in 2007. This disaster compelled the government to provide solace to the benificiry children.
In addition, a number of relatively smaller-scale emergencies, primarily floods, but also droughts, landslides, cholera and avian flu outbreaks have occurred. Tens of millions people are affected annually in India, most of them from the poorest strata of the population, a high proportion of whom are children. Childrens vulnerabilities and exposure to violations of their protection rights remain spread and multiple in nature. The manifestations of these violations are various, ranging from child labour, child trafficking, to commercial sexual exploitation and many other forms of violence and abuse. With an estimated 12.6 million children engaged in hazardous occupations (2001 Census), for instance, India has the largest number of child labourers under the age of 14 in the world.climate change experts also predict that warming and shifting rains could impact crop production, which could reduce food availability. In 2006, some 36 per cent of children globally were either moderately or severely underweight, this remained a challenge for the successive governments and its affilaited autonomous outfits.
Ironically, part of the problem is that the odds against a child surviving just being born are high i.e, 63 infants per every 1,000 of those born alive die before the age of one. The reason for this high rate of infant mortality is closely tied up with the equally high rate of maternal deaths: few women have access to skilled birth attendants, fewer still to quality, emergency obstetric care.
I owe to question to countrys scholarly policy makers and legislators that what is being done to stop violence against children? Are government run institutions and schemes working well? If yes, then why there isnt the any expectation to end the tears of children? Or are our laws and central legislations richy for the empowerment of the strata?
It is a matter of sorry state affairs that the laws that do exist remain a challenge. As a result, violence against children goes unpunished. There is much to be done to train and support law enforcement and judicial personnel to understand the key role they play in protecting children against violence.
Recently, the Government of India and UNICEF's decleration on joint commitment to tackling the most pressing problems impacting the survival and well-being of the children of India with the signing of a new five-year action plan is a great step to stem the rot. According to the UNICEF, around one fifth of all the worlds children live in India. If the world is to achieve the Millinium Development Goals (MDGs), it is imperative that India achieves the MDGs. The new GOI-UNICEF Country Programme Action Plan for 2008 to 2012, is a joint plan designed to help India achieve its goals and to ensure that no child is left behind as India moves forward. The Country Programme Action Plan 2008-2012 may reduce infant mortality and maternal mortality rates (IMR and MMR), fighting undernutrition, tackling HIV, providing quality education, ensuring safe water and environmental sanitation, as well as progress on child protection issues.It is expected that the Reproductive and Child Health programme may reduce maternal mortality rates (MMR) from 301 to 100 per 100,000 live births. The main interventions will revolve around enhancing child survival and maternal care. The programmes need interrvention by Programme implementing agencies at work to make is successful.
On the other hand, Government of India has several schemes to end ditertation, include, a scheme named Integrated Programme for Street Children and extends financial support in co-ordination with Department of Social Defence upto a maximum of Rs.15 lakhs for Non Governmental Organisations for providing services upto 300 children.
Furthermore, the Government of India in 1974 adopted the National Policy for Children. This Policy declares that children are a supremely important asset of the Nation and that their nurture and solicitude are the resposibility of the nation. The National Policy for Children stressed that it shall be the state to provide adequate services for children both before and after birth and during the period of growth to ensure their full physical, mental and social development. The Government of India has had for consideration the question of adopting a National Charter for Children to reiterate its commitment to the cause of the children in order to see that no child remains hungry, illiterate or sick. After the consideration, it has been decided to adopt the National Charter for Children.Tale is that, a large number of children are abandoned or orphaned, these days for various socio-economic reasons viz., due to the changes in the traditional social structures and community support systems, on account of the pressures of modern day living or due to urbanization and industrialization. The children are thus left to fend for themselves in greater numbers. Therefore, the need for creating and setting up alternative support system in the community is very urgent. In order to encourage voluntary organizations to take on the responsibility for providing care, protection, nurture to the children and to find placement for them in families for ensuring their proper growth and development, In this connection Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) was set up by the Governemnt to strengthen the scheme for setting up Homes (Shishu Greh) for children in the age group of 0-6 in rural areas.
Enthusiastically, The Governemnt strengthened policies, budgets, laws, norms, guidelines and tracking systems on children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with the law including establishment of child protection units at the state level, mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS prevention education into the curricula and teaching of all government secondary schools. The Social Policy, Advocacy and Behaviour Change Communication programmes.In view of the fact that almost 80 per cent of India is vulnerable of natural disasters, which cause extensive damage to lives and livelihoods every year, the Emergency Preparedness and Response programme will ensure the fulfilment of rights of children and women in humanitarian crises.
Besides island of progress by the Government in recent years, especially in the field of education, the target is still illusive. The lack of available services, as well as the gaps persisting in law enforcement and in rehabilitation schemes also constitutes a major cause of concern.
The irony is that governemt schemes are not concentrated in geographical areas nor there is any sort of effort to behaviour change, and programmatic interventions, innovations and convergence.
Let the policy makers evolue to work in close partnership with other United Nations agencies as outlined in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework. The World Bank, bilateral partners such as the UKs Department for International Development, the private sector, and international and national non-governmental organisations to end violance confronting the countries revered children. The childrens tears would disappear only when violence against children in the region was brought to an end.
12. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad:
A true educationist
His greatest contribution, however, is that in spite of being an eminent scholar of Urdu, Persian and Arabic he stood for the retention of English language for educational advantages and national and international needs.
A normal human tendency is to forget the past and march ahead. If one looks down upon those who had helped them when they confronted challenges, an educational reformer proved to be different. He had to face challenges in advocating National System of Education.
Infact, a recent circular of Government of India to commemorate the birthday of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad on November 11, as National Education Day has raised many eyebrows in the country to re-organise the grim educational situation.But if we look back to the historical developments of education in India, a man of enormous tastes, rated high in the realm of education, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad has all along played a prominent role in keeping the movement of education alive in this country. Packed with several achievements, Maulana Azad oversaw the establishment of a national education system with free primary education and modern institutions of higher learning.
The very recent decision of Union Ministry of HRD Government of India to declare his birthday as National Education Day is a treatise on the live, struggle, and contribution of the great educationist of the country. It would, hopefully, be of immense interest and inspiration for all the citizens, scholars, students, teachers, and academicians, to imbibe his sprit of educational ideas among the current posterity of the nation. The countrys educationist has to learn from his outstanding contributions and policies. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was the first to raise the issue of the National System of Education which is today the bed-rock of the National Policy on Education (1986) updated in 1992. The concept implies that, upto a given level, all students, irrespective of caste, creed, location or sex have access to education of a comparable quality. All educational programmes, he stressed, must be carried out in strict conformity with secular values and constitutional framework. He stood for a common educational structure of 10+2+3 throughout India.
If Maulana Azad were alive today he would have been the happiest to see the Right to Free Education Bill and national flagship mission mode projects getting cabinet approval for the approval of Parliament.The Right to Education Bill seeks to make free and compulsory education a fundamental right. The wealth of the nation, according to Maulana Azad, was not in the countrys banks but in primary schools. The Maulana was also a great votary of the concept of Neighborhood schools and the Common School System. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad is one of those rare personalities through whom the distinctions of the 20th century can be recognized and possibilities of the 21st century determined. He stood for a learning society through liberal, modern and universal education combining the humanism of Indian arts, a society where the strong are just and the weak secure, where the youth is disciplined and the women lead a life of dignity - a non-violent, non-exploiting social and economic order. He was free Indias first Education Minister and guided the destinies of the Nation for eleven years.
At the age of 20 he went on a tour of Iraq, Syria and Egypt and met the young Turks and Arab nationalists including Christians. The tour proved very useful to Azad to crystallize his thoughts on the neo-colonialists who were exploiting those countries and how India could help them. On return he started a journal in Urdu named Al Hilal in 1912. It was this journal where he aired his liberal views, Rationalist in outlook and profoundly versed in Islamic lore and history. Writes Nehru in his Discovery of India. The Maulana interpreted scriptures from the rationalist point of view. Soaked in Islamic tradition and with many personal contacts with prominent Muslim leaders of Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Iraq and Iran, he was profoundly affected by political and cultural developments in these countries. He was known in Islamic countries probably more than any other Indian Muslim. The journal Al-Hilal became extremely popular and in two years its circulation rose to 30,000. The inevitable happened when in 1914 the British Government confiscated the press and banned the journal under the Defence of India Act. Azad was arrested and sent to Ranchi jail where he suffered untold hardships. Released from jail he resumed his educational writings. He spoke in a new language, writes Nehru. It was not only a new language in thought and approach, even its texture was different, for Azads style was tense and virile though sometimes a little difficult because of its Persian background. He used new phrases for new ideas and was a definite influence in giving shape to Urdu language as it is today. The older conservative Muslims did not react favourably to all this and criticized Azads opinion and approach. Yet not even the most learned of them could meet Azad in debate and argument, even on the basis of scriptures and tradition, for Azads knowledge of these happened to be greater than theirs. He was a strange mixture of medieval scholasticism, eighteenth century rationalism and modern outlook. There were a few among the older generation who approved of Azads writings, among them being Shibli and Sir Sayyaid of Aligarh University. Among the new institutions he established were the three National Academies viz the Sangeet Natak Academy (1953), Sahitya Academy (1954) and Lalit Kala Academy (1954), the Indian Council for Cultural Relations having been established by him earlier in 1950. The Maulana felt that the cultural content in Indian Education was very low during the British rule and needs to be strengthened through curriculum. As Chairman of the Central Advisory Board of Education, an apex body to recommend to the Government educational reform both at the center and the states including universities, he advocated, in particular, universal primary education, free and compulsory for all children upto the age of 14, girls education, vocational training, agricultural education and technical education. He established University Grants Commission (UGC) in 1956 by an Act of Parliament for disbursement of grants and maintainence of standards in Indian universities.
His greatest contribution, however, is that in spite of being an eminent scholar of Urdu, Persian and Arabic he stood for the retention of English language for educational advantages and national and international needs. However primary education should be imparted in the mother-tongue. On the technical education side he strengthened All Indian Council for Technical Education. The Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur was established in 1951 followed by a chain of IITs at Bombay, Madras and Kanpur and Delhi. School of Planning and Architecture came into existence at Delhi in 1955. Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, a Muslim theologian of international repute, was one of the earliest to join the nationalist movement and to lead it steadfastly, arousing the ire of his communal-minded co-religionists. He was perhaps the only one among our leaders who was jailed during both World Wars I (1914-1918) and II (1939-45) for campaigning for Swaraj. During the most fateful days of the national struggle, he was the President of the Indian National Congress. Personally unwilling to accept the principle of the two-nation theory, he too, like Gandhiji, reluctantly reconciled himself to India's partition in 1947. He took active part in the agitation, joined the secret societies and revolutionary organization, and came in contact with Sri Aurobindo Ghosh and Shyam Sundar Chakravarty.
Maulana Azad was a prolific writer with books in Urdu, Persian and Arabic notably amongst which is India Wins Freedom, his political biography, translated from Urdu to English. Maulanas translation of Quran from Arabic into Urdu in six volumes published by Sahitya Akademy in 1977 is indeed his Magnum Opus". Since then several editions of Tarjaman-e-Quran have come out. His other books include Gubar-e-Khatir, Hijr-o-Vasal, Khatbat-I-Azad, Hamari Azadi, Tazkara. He gave a new life to Anjamane-Tarrqui-e-Urdu-e-Hind. During the partition riots when the Anjamane-Tarrqui-Urdu suffered, its Secretary Maulvi Abdul Haqq decided to leave for Pakistan alongwith the books of the Anjaman. Abdul Haqq had packed the books but Maulana Azad got them retrieved and thus saved a national treasure being lost to Pakistan. He also helped the Anjaman to revive by sanctioning a grant of Rs. 48,000 per month from the Ministry of Education. Likewise he increased the grants of Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University in their days of financial crisis and formulated several central legislations in education.
I do not mean to say that everybody has to be like Maulana Azad to represent that composite culture. There are many representatives of it in various parts of India; but he, in his own venue, in Delhi or in Bengal or Calcutta, where he spent the greater part of his life, represented this synthesis of various cultures which have come one after another to India, rivers that had flowed in and lost themselves in the ocean of Indian life, Indias humanity, affecting them, changing them, and being changed themselves by them, So spoke Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru at the 1st Maulana Azad memorial lecture on 11th November, 1959. The Maulana was a great religious scholar, journalist, writer, poet, philosopher and above all, a great political leader whose services and sacrifices in the freedom struggle will be long remembered alongwith his matchless contribution as free Indias first Education Minister.
He used to read late into the night in dim candle-light, early in the morning, and sometimes even missed his meals. He often spent his money on books. He mentioned: "People pass their childhood in playing but I, at the age of twelve or thirteen, used to pick up a book and slip into a remote corner trying to hide myself from peoples looks." As for his writing, a great scholar wrote : "Like Somerset Maugham (an eminent English writer) Maulana Azad learnt writing as a fish learns swimming or a child learns breathing." A unique quality about him was that he always remained much ahead of his age, in years, in many fields. He was running a library, a reading room, a debating society before he was twelve! He was teaching a class of students, most of whom were twice his age, when he was merely fifteen. He edited a number of magazines between thirteen and eighteen years of age and himself brought out a magazine of high standard at the age of sixteen. The power of his writings shaped in no small measure, the pattern of thought and political values of the Indian youth of his day. Maulanas Tarjuman-al-Quran is a classic in Muslim religious literature. According to one of his biographers, S.G. Haider, Urdu-speaking people once invited a learned scholar, whose writings they had read with admiration, to address a national-level conference in 1904. Throughout his life he stood for the chords of cordiality between Hindus and Muslims and the composite culture of India. He stood for modern India with secular credentials, a cosmopolitan character and international outlook. A man like Maulana Azad is born rarely. Throughout his life he stood for the unity of India and its composite culture. His opposition to partition of India has created a niche in the hearts of all patriotic Indians.There he stands with Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, his senior an Ashfaqullah his junior. In the words of Iqbal :
Hazaron sall Nargis apni benoori par roti hai,
Bari Mushkil sey hota hai chaman mein deeda var paida.
( For a thousand years the Narcissus weeps for her blindness, With great difficulty is born in the garden a man with vision).
Apart from his countless contributions in the field of education, Azad rose to prominence through his work as a journalist, publishing works critical of the British Raj and espousing the causes of Indian Nationalism Azad became a leader of the Khilafat Movement during which he came into close contact with Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, Azad became an enthusiastic supporter of Gandhi's ideas of non-violent civil disobedience, and worked actively to organise the Non cooperation Movement in protest of the 1919 Rowalts Acts. Azad committed himself to Gandhi's ideals, including promoting Swadeshi (Indigenous) products and the cause of Swaraj (Self-rule) for India. He would become the youngest person to serve as the President of the Indian National Congress in 1923. Abul Kalam Azad was one of those geniuses whose names are written with golden letters in the pages of history. All of them contributed their energies in various ways. They not only structured the syllabi but also formulated the policies in order to carry the light of education in the remotest rural areas. They also chalked out programmes for the training of teachers to make them abreast of the developments taking place in the world of education.
The 'National Education Day' is of course a day to pledge to work on various initiatives taken under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in setting up model schools in secondary education; on the various initiatives taken in higher secondary education; and in vocational and higher education sectors by the Central Government on its own; and in partnership with state governments, as well as through private public partnership.for the reorganisation of present system of education in the country. The questions remains which, the educational strata has to answer, Are we as a Nation achieved our Universal enrolment as the half of the century has cross over ? have we as a nation achieved the Universal education besides advocating policies and central legislation at th centre.
The National Education day is a goodwill gesture for our policy makers to re-thing of change in Indias present system of education which is not at par with the desires of its children. At this moment, the nation is in need of vital agenda to reach the hitherto uncovered populace with a new education policy with thrust on Values and skills. The countries policy makers need to wake up and pledge on this day for the revolutionary changes in the system.
13. State Knowledge Commission needs fleeting attention
Overwhelmingly, the concept and approach of the states dedicated educationists must be praised by the people in educational governance so as to enable them for transforming state into knowledge based economy…
Despite political upheaval and trauma, the pro-active educationists of the state are veering to formulate a Platform that claims transform the state into knowledge based society. The educational programmes under the pretext of so called politically legislated reforms has led to the tattering educational affairs, which inturn compelled the local educationists to come up with vital agenda to set up a state level committee under the style of J&K State Knowledge Commission (SKC).
The point here I want to post is that a major change is needed in the current system of higher education and research.
However, the commission is expected to make the right recommendations, need to know the real causes of past failures. The past record of knowledge management in state is crying need of hour. According to my studies, the single central cause of the failure of knowledge management in the state was that ignorant people attempted to manage knowledge. Certainly, these peoplepoliticians, bureaucrats etcwanted control for obvious reasons. But the single biggest problem was their ignorance.
The education system is caught in a social geometry of complex power structures. Situated within a political-economy in which patronage and patrimonalism play key roles and in which corruption (in all its various forms and shades) remains the key source of rent-racking, the system continues to get more layered and convoluted in the state. The government school system is not a rationally driven and coherent apparatus of state policy. Instead, its everyday work is continuously and varyingly reshaped. The Setting Up of State Knowledge Commission under the patronage of National Knowledge Commission can act as a key advisor to the state education Department to fulfil the long pending needs of education system. In seeking to deliver and institute mass education in the state, The State Education Department has grown in size and complexity to become one of the largest employers at the state level. The department itself functions within a highly differentiated education system. At least nine different types of schools (based on differences in management, board of exams and medium of instruction, and which range from the very basic Ashramshalas that cater to Advise children in remote areas to the upscale, five star 'international public' schools) cater to varied socio-economic classes. And within this differentiated educational system, the department is primarily focused on the delivery and management of 'government' schools, the basic structure of the education department is hierarchical. However, this hierarchy has become more complex with the advent of large scale programmes such as the TLM (Total Literacy Mission) District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), which have introduced structures parallel to those already existing at various levels. The major consequence of such a move has been, for education officials, a blurring of reporting relationships and primary accountabilities across administrative tasks, programme monitoring, and academic responsibilities. The state education department gives attention to the related organizations in educational governance, reforms of the system have largely remained piece-meal and reactive, failing to have any significant impact.In the last two decades or so the interface of the department with various other structures has increased substantially. This has ultimately led to work and its understanding being refracted in terms of these multiple spheres of influence. At one level are the elected local bodies that play a crucial role in channeling the large amount of funding through programmatic interventions, but have still not been able to engage substantively with qualitative aspects of all levels of education. It is worth to note that When a state which is unable to provide even primary education to all its citizens
after nearly 53 years of independence, embarks on a curriculum-making exercise on behalf of a much fissured and fractured national community, the political nature of the exercise necessarily causes anxiety.Depending on what is the current flavor of reform zeal, some part of the system is targeted for alteration; sometimes it is the curricula and textbooks. Mostly it is the teachers, and sometimes it is the children themselves who become subject to various tests and measurements by the recently state Knowledge Commission. No significant effort has been directed to altering the very orientation and structures of the system/department itself and its interlinkages to the various institutions and its imprint on the multiple agents who constitute it. The curriculum, which is needed to be changed in the state, has not changed yet. The curricula need sea changes to delete the traditional concepts and introduce newer one taking into account the language, mother tongue, society and culture. Besides the hidden political agenda by the NCERT stressing that the medium of instruction ideally, ought to be the mother tongue at all the stages of school education. In case where mother tongue and the regional language are one and the same for the learners it should be the medium at all the levels or up to the end of the elementary stage. And in case of the learners whose mother tongue and the regional languages are different, the regional language may be adopted as the medium of instruction from the third standard. The State Knowledge Commission (SKC) must look the problem of the system at local and village level taking into account the needs of the day before giving recommendations for reforming education in the state. It may advise the state education department in matters of institutions of knowledge production, knowledge use and knowledge dissemination.
However, It is expected by the state educational feternity that the group may offer advice on how the state can promote excellence to meet the knowledge challenges of the 21st century. Promote knowledge creation in science and technology laboratories, and promote knowledge applications in agriculture and industry.
The commission must suggest how the Government's knowledge capabilities can be made more effective, making the Government more transparent and accountable as a service provider to the citizen to explore ways in which knowledge can be made more widely accessible. The Committee may suggest for vital reforms at school and higher education, which needed to change. With a multitude of problems and the diversity of languages, the medium of instruction remains a topic of impassioned debate in the state. Teaching in the mother tongue fuels pride, Fostering multilingualism in our schools, however, is far from smooth sailing. The change in the sphere of curriculum development is expected from the pro-active educationists of the state. Instead of glamorizing a formula that eludes effective implementation of programmes and curriculum, a formula that has proven to be non-practicable, a viable alternative school curriculum should be worked out by introducing vocational training subjects at all level. The Commission indeed is a holistic step on the part of educationists of the state and the immediate patronage by the National Knowledge commission at New Delhi. I hope the commission will prove helpful in suggesting regarding the policy legislation to concerned quarters. The commission is an effort to collate and distribute the fruits of these experiences, which will enhance the quality of teaching and learning in crucial areas. Curricular plans without constructive instructional components tend to muddy the waters. With equal emphasis on curriculum and instruction, we can better serve student community of the state. Moreover, the Open and distance learning system, which need to be regulated by the government and problems in terms of quality ought to be sternly dealt with. There is indeed a need of fleeting attention on the part of newly constituted state knowledge commission to face the challenge.
Overwhelmingly, the concept and approach of the states dedicated educationists must be praised by the people in educational governance so as to enable them for transforming state into knowledge based economy…
14. Education for human Values
Unfortunately, the scheme of strengthening education in human values (EHV) appears to have very little planned the picture seemed different in the countrys educational institutions besides launch of policies and programmes.
Shri sathya Sai Baba has beautifully quoted, If human values take root in the educational system, the emerging individuals will have the following attributes: they will want peace & justice in a world that acknowledges the rule of law and in which no nation or individual need live in fear; freedom and self reliance to be available to all; the dignity & work of every person to be recognised & safeguarded; all people to be given an opportunity to achieve their best in life; and they will seek equality before the law and the equality of opportunity for all.
Unfortunately, the scheme of strengthening education in human values (EHV) appears to have very little planned the picture seemed different in the countrys educational institutions besides launch of policies and programmes. The central legislations has failed at the very beginning. The NCERT as a central resource centre for value education resulted futile, as the agency has failed at the very essence to reach the target. Mere publications on the part of National resource centre on value education by the NCERT at the centre will not serve the purpose. The organization of teacher training seminars at national level is not a remedy to re-exhibit the values among so called teachers and people in governance. The teachers need to be taught the basic ethics as to how to talk and act with the learning posterity. The monitoring and training resource centres at local level may prove herculean for inculcation of value among all the people. Moreover, A draft curriculum for teacher training acknowledges several problems in preparing teachers properly for the classroom and imbibe in them values.
Historically. Education about Indias common cultural heritage has been identified in para 3.4 of National Policy on Education as one of the core areas under the National System of Education. The common core will include the history of Indias freedom movement, the constitutional obligations and other content essential to nurture national identity. These elements will cut across subject areas and will be designed to promote values such as Indias common cultural heritage, egalitarianism, democracy and secularism, equality of the sexes, protection of the environment, removal of social barriers, and observance of the small family norm and inculcation of the scientific temper.The National Policy on Education (para 8.4 and 8.5) has laidconsiderable emphasis on value education by highlighting the need to makeeducation a forceful tool for cultivation of social and moral values.
A Central Sector- Scheme of Assistance to Agencies for Strengthening Culture/Art/ Values in Education and for Assistance to Educational Institutions implementing Innovative Programme was formulated in 1987-88. It provided for financial assistance on 100% basis to projects/proposals screened by duly constituted Grants-in-Aid Committee of the Ministry. In July 1990, a decision was taken in the Ministry to set up a working group to review the scheme to make it more purposeful. Accordingly, a working group was constituted with the officers
Of the Ministry and experts from premier resource institutions of the countryengaged in strengthening cultural and artistic inputs in education.
The recommendations made by the working group were examined in the Ministry carefully and a decision was taken that the process of strengthening cultural and value inputs in education should be extended to the non-formal sector also. The Scheme was revised and reformulated in 1992 which is known as the Scheme of Financial Assistance for Strengthening Culture and Values inEducation.
Nevertheless, In January 1997, the Government of India entrusted to Tata Institute of Social Science, Bombay (TISS) a project of an evaluation study of the working of the scheme. TISS submitted a report in April, 1999 which recommended for continuation of the scheme which should have essential components like involvement of community and evolving teaching strategies for a lasting impact on students. The scheme was given adequate publicity. Services of District Institute of Education and Training (DIETs), State Council of Educational Research and training, (SCERT) Panchayat etc was effectively utilized. The report was examined in the Department and it was agreed that the scheme can be continued.
The Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee in its 81st Report under Shri S. B. Chavan has also recommended that Education should highlight multifaceted development of human beings and the programme of Education in Human Values (EHV) should be built around core universal human values like Truth, Love, Peace, Righteous Conduct and Non-Violence. The focus of value education should be more at primary stage through stories/folk songs/folklores/skits/flip charts/film strips National Cadet Corps (NCC), Scouts and Guides need to be promoted. The committee stressed that the teacher who has an important role should be encouraged to initiate innovative methods of values education to students.
Interestingly, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) functioning as National Resource Centre for the programme of Education in Human Values. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and other autonomous organizations and other institutions collaborated with and assisted NCERT in development of the National Resource Centres In the present times of unprecedented changes dislocating traditional values and creating conflict between traditional and new values there is a universal concern in respect of erosion of values, promoting values and culture which fit in with the needs of the modern times. This concern is universal but is more acute for our country which has leads its own distinct culture, worked view and a living value tradition.
The process of developing in to a modern nation, with new social, political and economic institutions, and with emphasis on science and technology, has thrown up many new values ? Challenges in all areas of our national life. It is important that we examine these challenges and prepare our youth to face and resolve them.
In this regard, Government agreed that SCERTs will function as value Education Centre for training of in-service teachers. In those States where the work of SCERT is performed by the State Board of Education, the later will be designated as Value Education Centers for training of in-Service teachers in Value Education. Reputed NGOs, which have proven track record of working in the area of education, culture, values and transmission of culture. The assistance under this scheme was 100 per cent for all project/ programme taken up for implementation subject to a ceiling of Rs. 10.00 lakhs per annum for a project. Resource Centres and Value Education. It was decided by the government that recource Centres may be sanctioned more than Rs. 10.00 lakhs with the approval of Grant-in-aid Committee (GIAC). Resource Centres for Value Education may be given a grant upto Rs. 30.00 lakhs for augmentation of their functional resources and pedagogic infrastructure. Besides islands of initiatives by Government Of India, the Scheme for strengthening has concentrated only in few locations thereby failed to achieve the desired objective.
The researchers observed that teachers would be more effective if they balance love and care more judiciously while interacting with students. While firmness is necessary, love must play a dominant role in handling students; love and sub-values like sympathy and kindness must get precedence over maintaining silence and order in the class. In this context, there is a school that practices such an approach successfully; the SVV School at Vandalur, Chennai, run by the old students of the Sri Sathya Sai Women's College at Anantapur. The confidence displayed by these under privileged rural children testifies to the success of their EHV programme. Department of Education, Government of India had announced that value education would be introduced in schools and colleges starting with IIT, Delhi. A lot has happened thereafter, and governments have changed; a war has been fought; and that resolve seems to have been forgotten! We are now quarrelling over quixotic issues like text errata. Inculcating human values in children is the crying need of the hour. The rest of the world is making quiet strides by following the lead shown by Indian educationists. One wonders when our government will wake up.
But you know, as in the Sathya Sai School in Thailand, many teachers come from many places. They are not devotees. But then, when they come close to the children who are full of love, they become transformed. And when children go back home, they transform the parents. So, in this way, the society is getting transformed. That's why it is very important that we work hard to set up Sathya Sai schools as model schools in the country like ours.
The country’s educationists and policy makers should learn the lesson from Sathya Sai School system to re-imbibe human values among her children.
15. E-learning in India: The electronic way to learning
Interestingly, many companies are booming up here in India for providing e-classes. Places like Mumbai and Bangalore are becoming prominent centres for providing e-tutorials.
INDIA IS embracing e-learning in a big way. India has learned lessons from the success of the e-way in the West and today the grim educational picture is being replaced by e-governance’s-classroom, e-tutorials. It is a matter of pride for the country in general and agencies in particular for the popularisation of the mission mode programmes on e-governance.
The major advantage of e-learning is that it is self-paced and learning is done at the learner’s pace. The content can be repeated until the trainee understands it. E learning is interactive too. With the growth of e-learning, more and more pupils will opt for it, as there would be no worry that the maths teacher will beat them for a sum gone wrong. Also, there will also be no fear of coming late to class and then standing outside the classroom waiting for permission to enter.
More and more working professionals would be interested in learning the e-way because of flexibility that e-learning offers. E-learning will soon become a great tool to enhance qualifications and getting promotions in the job market. So, to sum up, the future of e-learning is bright.
However, one of the problems with e-learning in India is the lack of course content, especially outside the mainstream focus areas of IT education, English-language content and tutorial-like courses. There will be high demand for people who can develop multi-lingual courseware that addresses various topics. Statistics reveal that one of the top 10 positions among Global 1000 companies of the future will be that of an online learning designer.
However, there is significant knowledge retention. High quality e-learning solutions are being developed in India with the right technology and industry support in sectors as distinct as steel, IT, automobiles, cement and telecom. Industry watchers estimate that because of its advantages, India is bound to grow in stature as the hub for e-learning programmes.
Interestingly, many companies are booming up here in India for providing e-classes. Places like Mumbai and Bangalore are becoming prominent centres for providing e-tutorials. It's booming but the big question is what is the future of e-learning? Everyone be it educators, parents or students has this question in mind but no one is able to answer. To check it out, its imperative to look to the trends concerned with e-learning, which are already taking control in our world.
It seems imperative that e-learning would coexist with other technologies and ways of acquiring knowledge. And as soon as low cost PCs would be made available and broadband will penetrate deeper, particularly in rural areas, there are chances that e-learning will strengthen.
Over the past five years, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has been busy attaining the goal of making education accessible to every child, particularly among the marginalised sections in the rural areas. Also addressing the gap that exists between the market demands and the available skill sets among professionals through the participation of private sector in the curriculum framework.
Furthermore, the government is roping in as many colleges as possible under the ambit of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to upgrade their quality. The UGC and AICTE are also pursuing various measures to lure fresh graduates into research and teaching professions.
The government launched the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (ICT). An amount of Rs 4612 crore is being incurred during the 11th Five Year Plan for the scheme. There was a budget provision of Rs 502 crore for the financial year 2008-09.
However, the 11th Five-Year Plan has kept a target of raising the gross enrollment ratio to 15 per cent by the end of the plan year. This is where ICT steps in. Integration of ICT in education will give an impetus to our efforts to attain our target of increasing our gross enrollment ratio by widening the reach of education to the remote and marginalised areas of our country. The role of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) systems, which have accepted and integrated ICT in their functioning and outreach, particularly finds mention here.
In 2002, deliberations of various committees were held that led to the setting up of the UGC-INFONET towards the end of 2004. UGC also joined this crusade of introducing e-learning. Wholly funded by UGC, UGC-INFONET provides electronic access to scholarly literature available over the Internet in all areas of learning to the university sector in India.
Yet another project to provide web based training is the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), which is being funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD.) This was first conceived in 1999, to pave the way for introducing multimedia and web technology to enhance learning of basic science and engineering concepts, was launched in September 2006.
Significant infrastructure has been set up for production of video-based teaching material by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), the Bangalore based Indian Institutes of Sciences (IISc) and Technical Teacher Training Institutes (TTTI.) Gyan Darshan, which was launched on January 26, 2000, as an exclusive higher education TV channel to provide quality distance education by IGNOU, can be considered as an effective effort in India.
At the institutional level many institutes, mainly private as of now, have entered into online distance education and the much talked about NIIT Varsity offers training to 500,000 students annually across 33 countries. One of the world's leading management schools, the Indian Institute of Management at Calcutta (IIM-C), amongst others, entered into a strategic alliance with NIIT, to offer executive development programmes through virtual classrooms.
Researchers, academics, teachers, and students worldwide are excitedly embracing blogs (web logs.
) Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu, a state in South India played host to a bloggers' conference held at the TIDEL Park. CDAC and IGNOU are two of India's most esteemed organizations in their respective fields, which have held conferences in the field of e-learning every year.
It is very difficult for a person of my stature to issue a declaration on the issue but I suggest that higher educational institutions in India, which plan to venture into e-learning should take a lesson from this and must first follow the education and communication strategy of organisational change where the stakeholders should be informed as to how the change will affect them.
The government needs to stimulate a learning culture and e-learning must become a policy issue. Government must recognise the e-learning industry as a separate forum and not treat it as part of the IT enabled services (ITeS) or a sub sector of the IT industry.
16. Pro-active bid to bring education on right track
DESPITE POLITICAL upheaval and trauma, the pro-active educationists of the state are veering to formulate a platform that claims to transform the state into knowledge based society. The educational programmes so far have not had the desired impact. This has propelled the local educationists to come up with vital agenda to set up a state level committee on the style of Jammu and Kasmir (J&K) state knowledge commission (SKC).
A major change is needed in the current system of higher education and research. The commission is expected to make the right recommendations and focus on the real causes of past failures. The past record of knowledge management in state needs urgent attention. According to studies, the single central cause of the failure of knowledge management in the state is that ignorant people have attempted to manage knowledge. Certainly, these people -- politicians, bureaucrats etc -- wanted control for obvious reasons but their ignorance came as a big hurdle.
The education system is caught in a social geometry of complex power structures. Situated within a political-economy, in which patronage plays a key role and in which corruption, in all forms and shades remains the key source of rent-racking, the system continues to get more layered and convoluted in the state.
The government school system is not a rationally driven. Instead, its everyday work is continuously and varyingly reshaped. State knowledge commission under the patronage of national knowledge commission can act as a key advisor to the state education department to fulfill the long pending needs of education system.
In seeking to deliver and institute mass education in the state, the department has grown in size and complexity. It has largest number of employers at the state level. The department itself functions within a highly differentiated education system. At least nine different types of schools, based on differences in management, board of exams and medium of instruction, which range from the very basic ashramshalas that cater to advise children in remote areas to the upscale, five star ’international public’ schools, cater to varied socio-economic classes.
And within this differentiated educational system, the department is primarily focused on the delivery and management of ’government’ schools, the basic structure of the education department is hierarchical. However, this hierarchy has become more complex with the advent of large scale programmes such as the total literacy mission (TLM) district primary education programme (DPEP), sarva shiksha abhiyan (SSA), which have introduced structures parallel to those already existing at various levels. The major consequence of such a move has been, for education officials, a blurring of relationships and primary accountabilities across administrative tasks, programme monitoring and academic responsibilities. The state education department gives attention to the related organisations in educational governance, reforms of the system have largely remained piece-meal and reactive, failing to have any significant impact.
In the last two decades or so, the interface of the department with various other structures has increased substantially. This has ultimately led to work and its understanding being refracted in terms of these multiple spheres of influence. At one level are the elected local bodies that play a crucial role in channeling the large amount of funding through programmatic interventions, but have still not been able to engage substantively with qualitative aspects of all levels of education. It is worth noting that when a state which is unable to provide even primary education to all its citizens after decades of independence embarks on a curriculum-making exercise on behalf of a much fissured and fractured national community, the political nature of the exercise necessarily causes anxiety.
Depending on what is the current flavour of reform zeal, some part of the system is targeted for alteration; sometimes it is the curricula and textbooks. Mostly it is the teachers and sometimes it is the children themselves who become subject to various tests and measurements by these commissions. No significant effort has been directed to altering the very orientation and structures of the system/department itself and it’s inter linkages to the various institutions and its imprint on the multiple agents who constitute it.
The curriculum, which is needed to be changed in the state, has not changed yet. It needs sea changes to delete the traditional concepts and introduce newer ones, taking into account the language, mother tongue, society and culture. Besides the hidden political agenda by the NCERT stressing that the medium of instruction ideally, ought to be the mother tongue at all the stages of school education. In case where mother tongue and the regional language are one and the same for the learners it should be the medium at all the levels or up to the end of the elementary stage. And in case of the learners whose mother tongue and the regional languages are different, the regional language may be adopted as the medium of instruction from the third standard.
The SKC must look into the problem of the system at local and village level, taking into account the needs of the day before giving recommendations for reforming education in the state. It may advise the state education department in matters of institutions of knowledge production, knowledge use and knowledge dissemination.
However, it is expected by the state educational fraternity that the group may offer advice on how the state can promote excellence to meet the knowledge challenges of the 21st century. Promote knowledge creation in science and technology laboratories and promote knowledge applications in agriculture and industry.
The commission must suggest how the government’s knowledge capabilities can be made more effective, making the government more transparent and accountable as a service provider to the citizen to explore ways in which knowledge can be made more widely accessible. The committee may suggest for vital reforms at school and higher education which needs change.
With a multitude of problems and the diversity of languages, the medium of instruction remains a topic of impassioned debate in the state.
Teaching in the mother tongue fuels pride, fostering multilingualism in our schools, however, is far from smooth sailing. The change in the sphere of curriculum development is expected from the pro-active educationists of the state. Instead of glamourising a formula that eludes effective implementation of programmes and curriculum, a formula that has proven to be non-practicable, a viable alternative school curriculum should be worked out by introducing vocational training subjects at all level.
The Commission indeed is a holistic step on the part of educationists of the state and the immediate patronage by the NKC at New Delhi. The commission is an effort to collate and distribute the fruits of these experiences, which will enhance the quality of teaching and learning in crucial areas. With equal emphasis on curriculum and instruction, we can better serve student community of the state. Moreover, the Open and distance learning system, which needs to be regulated by the government and problems in terms of quality, ought to be sternly dealt with.
17. Indian universities lack placement services
By Sadaket Malik
IN THE current scenario, technical education determines the development and socio-economic condition of a nation. There is a greater need of quality technical education to produce technically skilled manpower. The process of liberlisation has changed the rules of the game for the business and policy leaders around the world.
The era of globalisation is not only inviting foreign capital but also foreign technology in India. Since the early eighties, due to rapid industrialisation and economic growth, engineering and technical education has been developing in India at a faster pace than anywhere else in the world. India now has the second largest number of engineering students in the world.
The most important economic challenge that India is facing low per capita income. In this environment, the lure of better growth policy is compelling. In addition, it is believed that the rapid change of technological renovation was fostered by an education system that provided the essential input and steady flow of people trained in the state-of-the-art scientific methods in their area of specialisation. If this interpretation of our recent past is correct, it is not wrong to say that industry relies heavily on polished diamonds coming out of various varsities.
It is not wrong to say that in the last five or six years, the innovation policy in India has completely ignored the structure of institutions especially with regard to government institutions. The top down direction of the curriculum is a blot upon our public education system. University education does not necessarily prepare the youth for life. Also, there is no guarantee of a job after a university degree. We require an entire spectrum of skilled man power.
In this process, India is also killing budding entrepreneurs who can bring significant shift in the economic stance of the country in Asia and the world at large.
The point here is that performance regarding placement cell is different between government-run institutions and private institutions. Despite so many students looking for jobs, the placement scenario is is absurdly poor. Part of the problem is that most educational institutions in the state have no placement cell to keep track of placement statistics.
Though it is a matter of pride that private institutes have also started churning out industry moulded graduates. Private institutions usually have tie-ups with big companies and often industry experts are called upon to deliver lecture to students. It’s a fact that rich people can only afford private institutes, and jobs simply fly into their arms. But the fact is more than half of India is comprised of the middle class and poor section. The cost of studying in such colleges is a nightmare for them. Besides, they get subsidised rates in government higher education institutes. The superficiality of impartiality and non-permanence of teaching staff is quite evident in government-run institutes. So, expecting a placement cell seems a far-fetched dream.
Not everybody has the capacity to go outside their state to study or get loads of dollar bills to fund their education. Providing students with facilities of faculty and placement cells has become an important measure of giving quality education. In such a case, it is important to know the desires and demands of students that are expected out of good professional colleges. The need of the hour for any institution is to produce industry groomed manpower. Who will regulate the entire spectrum ? Who will do this ? Who will bell the cat? And who will be the responsible to monitor the arena? These questions need to be answered.
In order to meet the demands of the changing labour market, IDA supported India’s long-term program of reforms in the middle level technical education system dealing with training of technicians/supervisors. The policy reforms exhorted increased participation of women, tribal communities, handicapped, rural youth and other disadvantaged groups in technical education through formal and non-formal education and training.
The IDA’s total investment in the three projects has been about US $700 million with IDA funding of about US $530 million. The rest was contributed by the states and the Government of India. IDA support played a catalytic role in expediting implementation of National Policy of Education reforms. In particular, IDA promoted introduction of new relevant programs, and increased women’s participation by supporting the establishment of 33 women’s polytechnics, hostel facilities for women, and appointment of women faculty.
Institutions need to make their syllabus more vocationally oriented so as to groom, nurture and develop the talent in a proper fashion, catering to the needs of the industries. A dynamic and pro-active placement cell needs to be created in every institution to keep a track of all the placings of its students and to attract good industries. The student engineers should be encouraged to attend technical seminars, workshops leadership training and should be made aware of the latest developments in technologies and its impact on business. Equal importance should be given to the communication skills of students for clear expresion of ideas.
With private sector institutions leaving no stones unturned in providing the best possible openings to their products, it becomes all the more important for the government aided institutions to reinvigorate themselves to meet the added challenge of better placement. A student placed according to his area of interest will automatically ensure the growth of the industry and his institution. The need of the hour is that the educational institutes take to the training and placement facilities more seriously and scientifically. Liberalisation of the Indian economy, its gradual integration with the world economy and rapid transformation into a knowledge-based society will be increased only when we master workforce that is not only literate and has mastered specific skills. The government run institutions should be monitored and regulated by advisory committees like University Grant Commission (UGC), National Board of Accreditation (NBA), Medical Council of India (MCI), Distance Education Council (DEC) and other apex bodies of the government of India.
18. Open and distance Learning: A global view
The open and distance learning has not only provided assess to information to the needy areas, but has enriched the life of millions of rural poor inhibiting in developing countries of Asia.
The phenomenal growth of distance and open learning systems all over the world has drastically changed the educational scenario everywhere today. The conventional notions about teaching-learning are being replaced very fast by new ideas and strategies, thanks to the revolutionary changes continuously taking place in the media and communication. Since the concept of education as investment is also steadily gaining ground, even the poorest countries are slowly turning their attention to the educational needs of their respective populations in order to survive and develop. Distance education has been viewed by many as a viable strategy to achieve the national educational goals quickly and at low costs. The subsidied education at the poor steps of student has by and large bridged the gap between rural and urban, conventional and non conventional university system.
At present, there are 1300 distance and open learning institutions of different types and sizes located in 127 countries. The number of distance learners is approximately 90 million at the higher education level. It was expected to reach 90 million by 2000 AD and 120 million by 2025 AD (Dhanarajan 1996), but the available data pertains mostly to institutions funded and/or recognized by the Governments and the public bodies.
In India alone as per the latest data available in 2001, there are about 70 distance teaching units called Correspondence /Distance Education Departments located within conventional universities, 9 State Open Universities and 1 National Open University (AIU Handbook 2001). Over 1,000,000 students would be on the rolls of these institutions, and the number of State open universities would have gone up. At the school level, the National Open School offered education to about 60,000 students spread across the country (Chakraborty K, 1994). But now if offers education to more than 500,000 students at the secondary school level throughout India. Besides these, distance teaching programmes are offered by some private institutions and television companies (e.g ZED programmes by Zee TV, the management programmes offered by Jain TV, Sun TV and others). Roughly about 20 percent of the student population at the higher education level is already taken care of by the correspondence/distance / open learning systems in India.
The distance and open learning system in other countries both developed and developing, has established beyond any doubt the fact that this system is going to play a very important role in the 21st century. The success of the British Open University in the seventies obviously acted as the inspiration for policy makers in many developing countries to establish their own open universities or distance teaching units. In India, for example, the thinking of establishing an open university at the national level had been there for a decade before it actually materialized in 1985 with the establishment of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) (Parthasarthy Committee Report 1974). Although the Andhra Pradesh Open-University (now Dr B R Ambedkar Open University) was established in 1982, the blue print prepared for a full fledged open university was given some kind of practical shape only in the establishment of IGNOU which is broadly modeled after the Open University, UK. In 1974, i.e five years after the OUUK came into existence, Pakistan established the Allama Iqbal University (AIOU) at Islamabad. The AIOU has been guided by the consultants from the UK from its inception.
Upto what extent the ODL institutions can play an important role for the dessimination of the information in disadvantages areas ? The open and distance learning centres of excellence must identify the need bases and priority areas to reach the unreachable populace. The societal need based courses be introduced in their curriculum keeping in mind the language as a medium of instruction by the Institutions, as far as developing countries other then India are concerned. The Common Wealth Of Learning should adapt a mechanism to guage the need for introducing societial based courses keeping in mind the local regional language. The Govt of India should adapt such an approach that the every village might be brought under the preview of the national policies. There is a need to set up a consortium of libraries and book banks even at village level so as to achieve the slogan of democratic governance.
19. Education for All Report 2008-an Eye Opener for Policy Makers
By sadaket Malik
ALTHOUGH MUCH has been talked by the government agencies for achieving the gender parity and universal enrollment by 2010, it has been revealed that Indian educational region as a United Nations (UN) member is facing a grim literary scenario.
The very recent survey monitored by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) on ’Education for All’ (EFA) in March, 2008 is an eye-opener for the statesmen and policy-makers of the educational system in India.
The global monitoring report 2008 on EFA by the UN body speaks highly of the grim educational affairs of children belonging to the remote and disadvantaged areas of the country.
I mean to focus that besides the launch of national flagship programmes like ’Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ (SSA), India has missed its 2005 target of achieving gender parity and as per the report will miss the target of 2015 for attaining total literacy.
Another matter of concern for policy-makers is that the adult literacy programmes of the government have fallen off its priority list and the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) is in the process of finalising its recommendations on this as well.
UNESCO, as a technical support agency made a recent assessment and stressed increased involvement of children to learn by the year 2015 for achieving the vision of EFA.
The organisation highlighted innovative projects and strategies and underscored the urgency of pushing forward a common agenda for action but the question remains: Which educational programmes and policies have been successful? What is the relevance of the programmes at the regional level? Who remained the target beneficiary of the milestones of the government and what should be the decentralised procedure to put the policies into practice?
The current analysis of UN on India’s EFA commended India’s efforts in bringing children back to schools, who are drop-outs by way of the formal or informal means.
The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), with its headquarters at Noida, formed by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development offering academic and vocational training courses, can prove fruitful if every district is made a main centre of decentralisation. This means setting up NIOS centres in every district to reach the unreached.
The SSA, which is being implemented throughout the country, is a major movement to achieve the universal elementary education (UEE).
The educational think-tank, National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), has developed an Educational Development Index (EDI) to track the progress of the states towards UEE.
NUEPA has developed a school report card system of more then 1.05 million primary and upper primary schools. The SSA is a historic stride towards achieving UEE through a time-bound integral approach, in partnership with the states.
Operation Blackboard (OBB) started in 1987 gave impetus to the large scale infrastructural facilities to avoid wastage and stagnation. The EFA report marks the midway in the great zealous movement to expand learning opportunities to every child by 2015.
In this context, the findings of the report causes concern for Indian educational region because it has pledged to put all the children in the 6-14 age group in school by that time and attain over 85 per cent literacy rate.
The report highly endorses the country’s efforts in bringing revolution in distance education by using technological means like EDUSAT and digital learning schemes.
The replacement of more then 10,000 schools into virtual classrooms is a significant achievement.
Besides governmental initiation of the programmes, the efforts are not enough to achieve a big target within the stipulated period, since it is a fact that education especially in government-funded schools remains neglected most of the time. It may be due to the least remuneration of the literacy workers or lack of community intervention.
The successive governments launched several policies and made several declarations on this issue right from the Constitutional Mandate of 1950.
Be it the National Policy on Education 1986, Unnikrishnan Judgment of 1993, Education Ministers Resolve of 1998, National Committees Report on UEE in Mission Mode of 1999 or the Programme of Action of 2001, all promised to change the face of elementary education by 2010, but the gender and social gap seems to have become a part of the country.
As far as the National SSA Project is concerned, the programme remained confined to the educational officers and administrators only and the community was not made familiar of the real object.
The reasons for this are many. Firstly, the SSA failed on the grounds that the programme has not taken care of the community mobilisation in rural and deprived areas and Educationally and Economically Backward Blocks (EEBB).
Secondly, the SSA as a project in mission mode attached the teachers of mainstreaming schools as district zonal and cluster resource persons thereby resulting in the erosion of mainstream classroom. This deployment of the mainstream formal school functionaries in SSA has paralysed the system of both formal and non formal funded projects of the government.
The SSA needs to improve indicators by way of recruiting the staff of its own and can seek healthy collaboration of the formal functionaries of the system vis-à-vis community mobilisation.
The collaboration of SSA with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in some states like Rajasthan is appreciable and proven result oriented. The EFA, being a call for every citizen for learning basic skills at minimum level, should be projected with the intervention of local NGOs and community.
This may help in getting information from the community for the effective decentralisation of the programme. Ironically, the local level community participation in any of the projects is not encouraging, which is the core factor of SSA.
The local level awareness camping and increase of the remuneration of the literacy workers is utmost importance to stem the root. The EFA reports of 2008 demands effective decentralisation. Consequent to several efforts at national and state level by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the country has made good progress by increasing institutions, teachers and students in elementary education.
In January 2008, Arjun Singh, HRD minister released flash statistics. According to the statistics brought out by NUEPA New Delhi, there has been addition of minority enrollment both at primary and upper primary levels of education, which has been attempted for the first time in the country.
The Eklavya schools for tribals in September 2007 by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for class VI to VIII in different states is also a credit to the mission.
The extension of the mid-day meal scheme from class VI to VII in 3,479 educationally backward blocks in 2007-08 is another feather to its cap.
The efforts are revolutionary at the national level and the government at the top level is keen to achieve the target of EFA by 2015.
The government of India Plan of 2012, in which it has been felt worth that the fund sharing pattern between the Centre and state will be 50:50, under the manifold of SSA.
The constitutional legal and national policies will be upheld and funding pattern of different projects of education should be revised by government to achieve the target.
20. Revitalizing secondary education
By Sadaket Malik
With the central government lobbing its ball to the state governments for the implementation of the several schemes for the revitalization of the system of the secondary education in the country, the schemes of the access, equity, Mahila Samakhya, and quality in the field of secondary education has lost its very essence. Basic issues of quality, equity and access to secondary education in India still unresolved besides the central legislations by the Ministry of Human Resource development Govt of India. The expert committees were formulated by the Govt. to gauge the system and suggest the measures to universalize the whole system. The central governments own figures indicate that many as two-thirds of those eligible for secondary education remain outside the school system today. A Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) committee estimates that 88,562 additional classrooms will be required in 2007-08 and over 1.3 lakh additional teachers. The CABE is the highest advisory body relating to policy making in education in India. Figures put out by the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Department of School Education and Literacy indicate that as many as two-thirds of those eligible for secondary and senior secondary education remain outside the school system today. While noting that adequate number of elementary schools is to be found at a reasonable distance from habitations, the ministry admits in its website that this is not the case with regard to secondary schools and colleges. The gross enrolment rate for elementary education in 2003-04 was 85 percent, but for secondary education, the enrolment figure stood at 39 percent.
Pertinently, the CABE report also notes that the benefits of India’s reservation policy in higher education are unlikely to reach those it’s intended for in the absence of a strong secondary education system. A large majority of children and youth belonging to SC and ST community do not have access to secondary education; less than 10 percent of the girls among SCs and STs have access to the plus two stage. Without secondary or senior secondary education, benefits of reservation to SCs/STs will remain elusive,” the report says. These are questions that the CABE report tries to address. School systems, the report says, should strive for equality and social justice, transcending discrimination that may arise because of gender, economic disparity, societal norms on caste and community, location (urban area or rural), disabilities (physical and mental) and cultural or linguistic differences. However, these inequities seem bound to remain given the current circumstances, where the government involvement in secondary education is much less than what is expected of it. The Committee report says that almost 25 percent of the secondary schools today are private, unaided schools whose clientele comes only from the privileged sections of society. Expert opines that Private education has always played an important role we have different types of private secondary schools, such as private unrecognized, private recognized but unaided schools, and private, recognized and aided schools. In Kerala and West Bengal, it’s common to see private aided schools, which are schools run by private managements that receive government grants. Going by the Sixth All India Survey Data, the CABE report notes that private aided schools account for over 46 percent of all secondary school students. The overwhelming participation of the private sector in secondary education, however, in no way absolves the government of its many responsibilities. To improve access to secondary education, experts agree that the government should invest more money. Unfortunately, the Centre has baulked at involving itself even in primary education, more so when it has to be on a collision. course with private schools.
Similarly, though the CABE committee report advocates a common school system, the government seems to have already shown its disinterest.The CABE report was accepted in principle, but soon after, the Planning Commission diluted our recommendation that the typical secondary school should be like a Kendriya Vidyalaya. The Commission started saying that instead of Kendriya Vidyalaya norms, SSA norms could be extended to secondary schools. Such a move would result in parallel streams of education with poor quality being accepted as a part of secondary education. The CABE committee, incidentally, had worked out the expenditure that will be incurred if all secondary schools are managed like Kendriya Vidyalayas. The total costs in such a scenario do not exceed six percent of the GDP but that does not seem to have been enough to convince the government. The report does not mention how many additional schools will be needed to meet the future demand. However, it presents two estimates, one projection based on the 100 percent success of SSA and the other, the 75 percent success of the programme. In the case of the former, the report estimates that 88,562 additional classrooms will be required in 2007-08 and over 1.3 lakh additional teachers
A worrisome trend in government schools, undoubtedly a factor contributing to their poor performance, is the fact that almost 95 percent of the government grants go into paying staff salaries. There is no money for buying teaching learning materials, for cleaning or blackboards,” he explains. The ratio should be at least 80:20, with 20 percent of the grant being used for improving or creating infrastructure, he adds. To ensure that government schools are more efficiently managed, a committee comprising members from the neighborhood could be asked to take decisions concerning the school, suggests several experts of CABE Committee. Experts opines that there are several examples of successful private-public partnerships. “There have been initiatives like DPS Delhi Public School being given the responsibility to run two-three government schools in Gurgaon in Haryana In this way, the private schools can manage the schools for a while and use their expertise to train teachers.
The educationists have a consensus that the children are actually walking out because there is no quality education. Poor children can ill-afford to spend their time in classes that are taken badly, or in schools that have no infrastructure or teachers. Instead of looking for the reasons that are behind the problem, the government appears to be trying to implicate parents or children for the ‘drop-out’ rates. The CABE committee report has already set down comprehensive norms that secondary schools should follow, ranging from having one classroom for 30 students, ensuring safe drinking water facilities and separate toilets for girls and boys to computer labs. Experts also suggest granting free ships or scholarships to those from disadvantaged backgrounds to encourage enrolment in secondary and senior secondary schools. The CABE report notes that expansion of secondary education can be achieved by setting up new schools, upgrading existing elementary schools into high schools by providing more infrastructure and adding to the facilities in existing secondary schools to accommodate more students.
In view of this, the Central and the State/UT governments must jointly initiate planning to implement the agenda of universal and free secondary education in the first phase by the year 2015 and then extend it to senior secondary education in the second phase by the year 2020. The conventional expectation from secondary/senior secondary education lies in its role in creating the necessary base for generating technical person power, raising the potential of a society in contributing to the growth of knowledge and skills and thereby enhancing the nation’s capacity to face the challenge of global competitiveness.
The no of higher secondary schools has been raised to 50,273 with 1000112 teachers, and figure of secondary schools is 101,777 with 1082878 teachers. Official statistics reveal that the enrolment of secondary and higher secondary school level is 3.70 crore and the gross enrolment ratio is 39.91. The total dropout rate up to matric is 61.92 as on September 2004. The population of children in this age group has been estimated to be 88.5 million as per Census, 2001.Enrolment figures show that only 31 million of these children were attending schools in 2001-02,
However, Para 5.13 –5.15 of the National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986 (as modified in 1992) deal with Secondary Education. Para 5.13. of the NPE, inter alia states that access to Secondary Education will be widened with emphasis on enrolment of girls, SCs and STs, particularly in science, commerce and vocational streams. The disparity between boys’ and girls’ enrollment is particularly marked at the secondary stage. As per the latest data available, out of the total enrollment of 21.2 millions n 1991-92 (as on 30.9.91) at the secondary stage (Classes IX and above), the girls account for 7 millions only, i.e. mere 33 per cent of the total enrollment, whereas boy’s enrollment at this stage of education is 67 per cent of the total enrollment.
Nevertheless, a significant progress is also made in all spheres of secondary education. More than 84 per cent habitations in 1993-94 had a secondary school/section within a distance of 8 km as compared to 70 per cent within 5 km. The number of unserved habitations declined from 21 per cent in 1986-87 to 15 per cent in 1993-94. During 1950-51 to 1999-2000, number of secondary & higher secondary schools increased from 7 thousand to 117 thousand. The increase (16 times) is much more rapid than the corresponding increase in primary (3 times) and upper primary (14 times) schools. In the latest decade (1990 to 99), more than 37 thousand secondary & higher secondary schools were opened. The ratio of upper primary to secondary schools also improved from 1.83 in 1950-51 to 1.69 in 1999-2000.
Keeping in view the dismal statistics of secondary education in the country, Ministry of HRD launched several schemes, like scheme for strengthening of boarding and hostel facilities for girl students of secondary and higher secondary schools. The scheme is being implemented by NGOs and of the state governments. A one-time grant non recurring grant @Rs.1500/- per girl boarder for purchase of furniture (including beds)and utensils and provision of basic recreational aids, particularly material for sports and games, reading room equipments and books. And recurring Rs.5000/- per annum per girl boarder for food and salary of cook. Finally, The CABE Committee in June 2005 recommended that “there is no alternative acceptable to regular schooling of good quality to all the girls”. The Committee also felt that “incentives offered for promotion of girls education need to be revisited and measures taken need to be of such nature, force and magnitude that they are able to overcome the obstacles posed by factors such as poverty, domestic/sibling responsibilities, girl child labour, low preference to girl’s education, preference to marriage over the education of girl child, etc.” The key issues relating to secondary education highlighted in the Tenth Plan are: greater focus on improving access; reducing disparities by emphasizing the Common School System; renewal of curricula with emphasis on vocationalisation and employment-oriented courses; expansion and diversification of the Open Learning System; reorganization of teacher training and greater use of ICT. After merging several schemes like ET & CLASS scheme, a new Scheme called ICT Schools was launched for which the Annual Plan Outlay for 2006-07 was Rs. 67 crore. The intervention of the Central Government in Secondary Education has primarily been in two areas, (i) through apex level bodies and (ii) through various Centrally Sponsored Schemes. Central Government supports autonomous organizations like NCERT, CBSE, KVS and NVS and CTSA, the first named body for providing research and policy support to the Central and State Governments; CBSE for affiliating Secondary Schools and the remaining three for their own school systems. There are 929 Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVS) and 507 Navodaya Vidyalayas (NVS), and 69 Central Schools for Tibetans (CTSA). Scheme of Vocationalistion of Secondary Education at secondary level to enhance individual Employability. Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) launched in 2007 is a mission-mode exercise to universalize secondary education in which the centre is all set to universalize the secondary education till 2020.
The irony is that the arguments on the part of HRD ministry on community participation in implementing such schemes are not encouraging. Government should initiate evaluation mechanism and core commission to evaluate the progress of the schemes and policies to support the education sector by community mobilization to revitalize the schemes and put the policies into practice.
21. Streamlining Vocational Training
By Sadaket Malik
For vocational education and training in India, some 17 ministries and departments are involved in the provision and financing of vocational education and training with total annual training capacity of about 28 lakh (2,800,000) students. But as with many matters managed by our governments, the vocational training system is full of superlatives and potential on the one hand, and inefficiency on the other. The so called agencies has put their slogens only in their printed guidelines and handouts without taking into the account the real target populace. In this age of liberalisation india is still away to train the people in different specialisations. vocational training is to impart specialised skills and knowledge, and instilling social and political attitudes and behaviour patterns essential for successful economic activities by people engaged in dependent employment, self-employment or subsistence work.Vocational training can be of various types depending on the way it has been acquired. 'Formal training' refers to all training courses held in state or private (but state-certified) institutions and regulated by state guidelines. 'Non-formal training' covers all forms of training which takes place without being subject to state guidelines. In-company apprenticeships, both in formal or informal sector enterprises, is one of the most common forms of non-formal training. This kind of training also includes all programmes and projects offering skills-upgrading for those already active on the labour market, but who wish to extend their competencies by attending evening or weekend courses. There are no prerequisites for anyone to acquire vocational training. Both men and women can get trained at any time during their life. Studies have already proven that formal education is not a prerequisite for acquiring practical skills for income-generation, especially in the context of the informal sector. However, India's formal vocational training system often creates minimum educational prerequisites leading to exclusion of those with lower levels of education.
In India, vocational education falls under the charge of the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD). The Ministry oversees vocational courses being offered in school Grades 11 and 12 under a Centrally Sponsored Scheme called 'Vocationalisation of Secondary Education' since 1988. Only the schools affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) offer the courses in accordance with the Board's Scheme of Studies and the course structure. The courses are of two-years duration and span 6 major disciplines. like dairying, farm machinery & equipment (Agriculture), accounting and auditing (Business and Commerce), electrical technology, air conditioning and refrigeration (Engineering and Technology), X-Ray technician, health care and beauty culture (Health and Para Medical), and preservation of fruits and vegetables, food services and management (Home Sciences and Humanities).
Vocational training on the other hand broadly refers to certificate level crafts training (in India) and is open to students who leave school after completing anywhere from grades 8-12. Programmes administered under the Craftsmen Training Scheme (CTS) are operated by Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Industrial Training Centres (ITCs). This scheme falls within the purview of the Directorate General of Employment and Training (DGET), under the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MOLE).
At a higher level, the technical education and vocational training system in India produces a labour force through a three-tier system: Graduate and post-graduate level specialists (e.g. Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and engineering colleges) trained as engineers and technologists. Diploma-level graduates who are trained in polytechnics as technicians and supervisors. Certificate-level craft people trained in ITIs as well as through formal apprenticeships as semi-skilled and skilled workers.
The Govt. of India in recent years has laid a lot of emphasis on streamlining vocational education so that it fulfils the emerging need of the market by focusing on employability skills. In consonance with this thrust the CBSE has introduced a course in Financial Market Management(FMM) under vocational stream which is likely to be renamed as Professional Education & Training.]In the Budget Speech 2007-08 Union Finance Minister announced a scheme for upgradation of 1396 Government ITIs into centres of excellence in specific trades and skills through Public Private Partnership. In pursuance of this announcement wide/ranging discussions were held with State Governments, Industry Associations and other stakeholders and a Scheme named "Upgradation of 1396 Government ITIs through Public Private Partnership" was formulated. The Cabinet Committee for Economic Affairs (CCEA) of the Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 25.10.2007 has approved this Scheme ‘in principle’ for the XI Five Year Plan period and has given financial approval for one year for upgradation of the first batch of 300 ITIs at a cost of Rs. 774.5 cr.The Directorate General of Employment & Training (DGE&T) in the Ministry of Labour, Government of India initiated Craftsmen Training Scheme (CTS) in 1950 by establishing about 50 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) for imparting skills in various vocational trades to meet the skilled manpower requirements for technology and industrial growth of the country. One of the main reasons for the lack of market responsiveness among vocational training courses is the limited or no participation of the industry in contributing to curricula development. It is the industry which has to finally employ the training graduates. Hence, their mandate in determining what their future employees need to be taught can hardly be overemphasized. There are some rare cases of industry participation as members of Institute Management Committees (IMCs) for ITIs. But even such participation has been found to namesake, at best.
Studies have only reinforced the fact that the majority of workers in the unorganised economy of India have never been to vocational training institutions and/or school. On the other hand, the formal skills training system, because of its educational entry requirements and long duration of courses, is designed to exclude the underprivileged informal sector workers. Yet, given the vast size of India's informal workforce, the need to address the skills of informal sector workers is more pressing than any other.
One of the weaknesses of Indian education system is that it does not gives due importance to vocational education. As a result there is a mismatch between the skilled manpower required and skilled manpower available. Every year we churn out millions of graduates who do not have the specific skill sets required by the market. If this trend continues it would hurt our economic growth in the long run. To change this situation first we need to change our mindset. In India, people are obsessed with attaining a graduation degree and generally look down upon vocational education. This has resulted in a situation where on the one hand there are scores of unemployed graduates and on the other hand there is a huge shortage of skilled workers such as plumbers, electricians to earn their living.
22. Flexible educational curricula
By Sadaket Malik
There is an emerging consensus within India’s 5 million-strong academic community that the nation’s moribund, mouth-eaten education system fashioned by Lord Macaulay over a century ago, needs an urgent makeover. Textbooks and tests have long been the two words that defined the Indian education system, but now the National Curriculum Framework 2005 is doing its utmost to change that perception. The 124-page document, prepared by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), emphasises the words learning without burden and child-centered education repeatedly. Its volley of suggestions, already reflected in the new NCERT syllabus for classes one to twelve, includes cutting down on the number of textbooks, making assessment methods flexible, and promoting more inclusive learning.
More dramatically, it makes a case for doing away with stereotypes based on gender and caste. By breaking away from established notions and prevalent teaching practices, the framework has laid the ground for making learning a more exciting experience. As NCERT Director Krishna Kumar explains, the NCF is "sensitive" to the needs of children and understands that the ultimate goal of education is to "motivate". And even its critics agree that this NCF takes a step forward by recognizing the importance of the child in the school education system. The new NCERT syllabus shows a "marked departure from earlier ones", according to Kumar.
The starkest evidence of the rising tide of anxiety about the quantity and quality of education being provided to genext is indicated by the unprecedented provision made in the Union budget 2008 presented to Parliament, to impose a 2 percent cess on all Central taxes to raise additional resources for elementary education. Moreover in his budget speech Union finance minister P. Chidambaram committed the 100-days-old United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre to raising the national outlay for education from the current 3.5-4 percent of GDP (gross domestic product) to 6 percent in the near future.
Inevitably, A fresh look at syllabi is certainly required in many states in the country, where changes in curricula sometimes occur only every 10 years. "Central boards of education, such as the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and the ICSE (Indian School Certificate Examinations), revise textbooks more frequently. States are more conservative, and revisions of curriculum happen slowly
Therefore the newly emergent consensus that reform of India’s Macaulayan system of education based on rote learning and memorisation rather than development of problem-solving, conflict-resolution skills and Information technology schemes requires urgent attention. And even as several specialist committees constituted by the Union ministry of human resource development are currently engaged in the process, the public interest demands a wider ambit for the national debate on syllabus and curriculum reform. We deemed it incumbent upon ourselves to ask several educationists and industry leaders with proven commitment to improving the education system by implementing the milestones and initiate multi pronged strategy.
To a greater or lesser degree all the educationist and policy makers are in favour of addressing the supply side of education to eliminate capacity shortages which are the root cause of the overwhelming majority of the hundreds, if not thousands, of rackets which plague post-independence India’s education system. The National Curriculum NCF-2005 has devoted a chapter to School and Classroom Environment, mentioning that not enough attention is paid to the importance of physical environment for learning. It says that classrooms are overcrowded and unattractive, despite the fact that children want to be in a colorful, friendly and playful space. The framework suggests ways to make school buildings and classrooms attractive, and says that heads of school and block functionaries should focus on ensuring that at least minimum infrastructural requirements are met. It also mentions that the ideal number of students in a class should be around 30.
The education sector urgently needs to be set free. Let every child learn by its own environment, and let every body should have a right to be a torch bearer for spreading education in any mean. This will facilitate entry of private firms offering short courses that equip young people for vocations and professions — be it plumbing, or banking into the education sector. The three R’s can also be easily taught by them using computers. There is a general consensus that having failed miserably during the past half century to upgrade education standards, the Central and state governments themselves should exit from syllabus design and mandate school examination boards to design syllabuses which test more than memory and rote learning ability. The New Education Policy should mandate free-fall curriculums from nursery to class VIII and direct all school examination boards to revise their syllabuses to test research, analysis, memory, comprehension and expression capabilities of students. Government must retreat from syllabus design. Central and state governments have to dissociate from dictating syllabi and curriculums to ascertaining whether or not government schools and institutions of higher education are delivering learning in their classrooms.
If there is one question that we need to ask now, it is this: have we as a nation reflected on the policy choices that we are faced with now? If we are unable to answer this question with enough conviction, we may end up losing another generation to poor quality education.
23. Government Policies and International Voluntary Sector
By Sadaket Malik
There is an urgent need to put an end to distortions in social development and evolving institutionalised mechanisms of collaboration between the government and the NGOs and the people’s institutions.
CJ: SADAKET MALIK , 14 Oct 2008 Views:482 Comments:0
VOLUNTARY SOCIAL work, voluntarism, voluntary organisations, non governmental organisations (NGOs) not profit making organizations, religion based social development organisations, individual donors, philanthropy and corporate social development organisations have grown tremendously in the 21st century.
Similarly international developmental organisation like the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), World Trade Organisation (WTO), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JAICA), Department Fund for International Development (DFID), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), United Nations Economic, Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) and many other organisations are relentlessly campaigning for the cause of the social development.
Under United Nations systems several international conventions are being held, several laws are being promoted, several policies are being evolved and several projects are being implemented in various areas like the human rights, education, health, natural resources, development and environment.
The government of India and many governments of various nations of the world like South Africa, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Uganda, Zambia and Mexico have enacted several laws, established various government departments, evolved policies, and created schemes for the cause of social development.
Though social development has emerged as a very important sector in 21st century there are no institutionalised mechanisms of collaboration of the government and the NGOs. The need of the hour is to evolve long term, sustainable and institutionalised collaboration between the government and NGOs.
The government of India has prepared and released a draft national policy on NGOs, incorporating the areas of collaboration of the government and NGOs. The Planning Commission of India and various ministries of the government of India are working on the modalities of collaboration between the government and the NGOs.
Similarly the government of Andhra Pradesh on an inn
ovative approach given by us has formed a state level coordination committee of government officials and NGOs headed by the chief minister for promoting the coordination between the government and the NGOs. On the same lines district level coordination cells have been formed headed by the district in-charge ministers with collectors, officials and NGOs as members. Government orders are issued for frequent meeting of the committees and evolving the mechanisms of collaboration between the government and the NGOs. (GOMS No 28 of government of AP enclosed)
There is imminent need for the government of India and various state governments to release the national policy as well as the state policies for institutionalised mechanisms of collaboration between the government and the NGOs, on the lines of the National Policy of the government of India.
The government of India is promoting the work, projects and involvement of NGOs in a big way. The Union Ministry of Rural Development has established Council for Advancement of Peoples Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) and is promoting the NGO sector in a big way.
Rural Development Department in many schemes like the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP). Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP), Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA), Swarna Jayanti Swarajgor Yojana (SJSGY) National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), Watershed Development and in many other schemes has elaborately issued guidelines, with specific reference to involvement of the NGOs in implementation of various schemes.
Rural development department through National Waste Lands Development Board have issued guidelines, focusing on the importance of participation of the people and involvement of NGOs in implementation of the schemes.
Similarly, several Ministries like Ministry of Human Resources Development, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Agriculture among others have issued guidelines for implementation of the schemes, with focus on peoples participation and participation of NGOs in implementation of thousands of schemes of the government of India.
On the same lines, various state governments have issued government orders and guidelines for people’s participation and participation of NGOs in implementation of various schemes.
The government of India through various ministries has been funding the NGOs to a tune of Rs. 10,000 corers per annum for implementation of various schemes. CAPART and various ministries have evolved schemes to be funded to the NGOs for implementation in various areas concerning human and social development of people. Similarly several schemes are also being funded in natural resources development and environment.
Various ministries of the government of India have evolved formats, prescribed procedures, and evolved inspection and monitoring mechanisms for effective implementation of the schemes being funded in the NGOs sector. All the details of grants in aid being sanctioned to the project of the NGOs are being made available on the websites of the respective ministries of the government of India.
Similarly World Bank, DFID and various funding agencies have also evolved mechanisms, procedures for inspection, assessment, sanction, monitoring and evaluation of grant in aid projects to the NGOs.
In addition to the above, International Development Agencies like Action Aid, Plan International, Oxfam, CCF, Leonard Chesire, CARE and several other international donor agencies have also evolved mechanisms and guidelines for assessment, sanction, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects which require grants in aid. They have also prescribed formats for donor service reporting and displaying on websites.
While the international scenario, and national scenarios are very encouraging all is not well in collaboration of the government and the NGOs in social development.
Some of the distortions and recent trends in a few states of India are to implement the projects of social development with-out any collaboration between the government and the NGOs. People’s participation and participatory development is a distant dream which is yet to be realized.
There is an urgent need to put an end to distortions in social development and evolving the institutionalised mechanisms of collaboration between the government and the NGOs and the people’s institutions. There is the malaise among some organisations to be excessively dependent on foreign aid. This can be somewhat offset if our business houses start contributing more to the voluntary sector than they do now. Some voluntary organisations also tend to be individual-centric with little internal democracy and sometimes transparency. Such organisations find it difficult to outlast their founder. There is also a need for greater cooperation among NGOs themselves. Together, they can achieve much more than if they choose to operate in their own small autonomous area.
24. Needed a reflective youth policy
By Sadaket Malik
Once Ali Adil shah who built a biggest Jamia masjid named Gol Gumbad exhorted "Life is a gift of all the gifts given by God, and it does not lost long and one has to prove the life by doing good deeds that remain forever." Ali Adil shah in his young career made it clear that youth must involue themselves in the national reconstruction activities and channeallise their life for the good of the society. Youth consists of the people between the age group of 15-35 years in the scheme of Govt. of India. Are the strata realy a part of national reconstruction? is he/she contributing to the world of science and society at large, Is our rural youth part of National and the global forum being envisaged by the national and International agencies? Is youth participated in the India’s democratic setup? Is he a part of good goverenance and so called programmes of self employment launched by the agencies under Minisitries and Departments ? Is he a memebr of global assess ? Never. Youth still is under agony, unable to manage their own affairs aprt from the policies and provisions.The National Youth policy of 2003 by the ministry was appreciable for those participated in International and global cereminies, not only benificial for the sports persons who paved a way for representing the country in global forum, but for the childerns of the influential union ministers who were in the union and state cabenit as well. there are hundreds of unemployed youth in state,
No doubt, the scheme for providing Self-employment to Educated Unemployed Youth was started in 1983 with an annual target of 2.5 lakh beneficiaries. Unemployed Youth in the age group of 19-35 years who are Matriculates and above are eligible for assistance under this scheme.struggling in the same boat and are finding it difficult to even find a meager source of income to fulfill their daily needs.
The National Youth policy 2003 gave a clear mendate for all the rural youth populace to participate in the game, represent the country in all the social, educational and political fields, the policy enisaged a strong rather increased involuement of the youth of rural india in all fronts, there is lack of any e-governance initiative in major part of rural india under NEGP (National E-governance Project) and of the (Every village knowledge centre) of National Knowledge commission (KNC)of Govt of India to make rural youth part of recent technology besides the schemes being implemented through Ministry.
Nevertheless, The agencies at the helm of affairs has had contribted richy for the empowerment of the strata in capital cities, but there has been misapproperation of the central Govt. funds in corores meant of the Rural youth empowerment and leadership training, the agencies in the field of youth afiars in the country has failed in implementing the countours of the national Youth policy of 2003. It is clear from the working of the agencies who had little impect on the development of the rural youth in the country. About 33% of rural households that depend on self-employment is in non-agricultural occupations. And of the rural self-employed more than 40% is in non-agricultural activities. However although almost half the workforce is self-employed, less than half the households depend on the incomes generated from self-employment. is there any agecy of the Govt. to familiar them about self employment ventures.This is a matter of sorry state affairs on the part of the Govt. of India agencies for initiating the hollow slogans of democratic goverenance, reach India initiative, reaching the unreached and so on, whatever is decided by the cabenit in desk is not being implemented at local level, the target benificiries of the national youth policy are still under agony, unable to manage their own affiars on account of the lack of familiarization programmes and awareness camping on the part of agencies at the helm of affairs.Why is our educational system urban-centric and rural -specific? It teaches us Occidental history, but does not impart vocational education that would help the youth find employment, to earn their living.
The three most important changes required in our youth policy are to add value-orientation based on our ancient shastras and other religious scriptures in our curriculum and make it samskar-centric, to include appropriate vocational components in education and make in nirdhan-centric, and to promote "service before self" opportunities and make it sewa-centric. The education system need to be vocationalised by introducting need besed subjects. The rural youth is disconnected from the Indian reality. This disconnection can be reduced through a programme that postulates a feeling of service before self. Can the rural educational system not develop the National Social Service League into a more potent institution that coordinates youth efforts in villages, and reduce this disconnect? Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of shram daan is the need of the hour to make the rural youth more aware of the needs of rural India.
The rights of the youth be taken into consideration, there should be wide publicity of the Youth leadership programmes in rural schools and colleges, rights and duties of them and above all the participation of the rural youth in national and international georaphical trips so that they may fulfill their legitimate aspirations so that they are all strong of heart and strong of body and mind in successfully accomplishing the challenging tasks of national reconstruction and social changes that lie ahead.The National Reconstruction Crops, Natioanl Youth Project, Nehru Yova Kendra sangathen, Directorate of Youth servises and Employment be re-designed in working in rural areas rahter than in papers. National youth policy envisaged by Govt Of India under the aegis of Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in 2003 must be revised in a reflective manner.The self employment awareness on the part of Govt. and NGos is strongly needed to change the mindset.
Policy-makers, thinkers and people in governance must therefore question, what is the Zeitgeist (the spirit of our times)? What is the mood of the people today? What do young people want? It is important that they understand and cater to these questions by formulating a reflective policy that become a call for youth leadership.
25. Placement facility in technical education
By Sadaket Malik
In the current scenario, technical education determines the development and socio-economic condition of a nation, there is a greater need for quality technical education to produce technically skilled manpower.The process of liberlisation has changed the rules of the game for the business and policy leaders around the world. The era of globalisation is not only inviting foreign capital but also foreign technology in India. Since the early eighties, due to rapid industrialization and economic growth, engineering and technical education has been fast developing in India than anywhere else in the world. India now has the second largest engineering students in the world.
The most important economic policy facing India is how to increase the current trend of output per capita. In this environment, the lure of better growth policy is compelling. In addition, it is believed that this rapid change of technological change was fostered by an education system that provided the essential input and steady flow of people trained in the scientific method and in the state of art in their area of specialization. If this interpretation of our recent past is correct then it is no false to say that industry relies heavily on polished diamonds coming out of various varsities.
It is wrong to say that in the last 5-6 years, the innovation policy in India has completely ignored the structure of institutions especially with regard to Govt institutions. The top down direction of the curriculum is a pox upon our public education system. University education does not necessarily prepare the youth for Life; also there is no guarantee of a job after a university degree. We require an entire spectrum of skilled man power.
In this process, India is also killing budding entrepreneurs who can bring significant shift in the economic stance of the country in Asia and the world at large.
The point here is that performance regarding placement cell is different between Govt-run institutions and private institutions. Despite so many students looking for jobs, the placement scenario is absurdly poor. Part of the problem is that most educational institutions in the state have no placement cell to keep track of placement statistics.
Though it is a matter of pride that private institutes have also started churning out industry moulded graduates. Private institutions usually have tie-ups with big companies and often industry experts are called upon to give lecture to students. Its de facto that rich people can only afford private institutes and jobs simply fly into their arms. But the fact is more than half of India lies in the heart of middle class and poor section. The cost of studying in such colleges is a nightmare for them, besides they get subsidized rates in Govt higher education institutes. The superficiality of impartiality and non-permanence of teaching staff is quite evident in Govt run institutes and so expecting a placement cell seems a far-fetched dream. Not everybody has the capacity to go outside their state to study or get loads of dollar bills to fund their education. Providing students with facilities of faculty and placement cells has become an important measure of giving quality education. In such case, it is important to know the desires and demands of students which are expected out of good professional colleges.The need of the hour for any institution is to produce industry groomed manpower. Who will the regulate the entire spectrum ? Who will do this ? who will bell the cat? and who will be the resposible agent to monitor the arena are the question need to be answered.
In order to meet the demands of the changing labor market, IDA supported India’s long term program of reforms in the middle level technical education system dealing with training of technicians/ supervisors. The policy reforms exhorted increased participation of women, tribal communities, handicapped, rural youth and other disadvantaged groups in technician education though formal and non-formal education and training. The IDA’s total investment in the three projects has been about USD 700 million with IDA funding of about USD 530 million. The rest was contributed by the states and the Government of India. IDA support played a catalytic role in expediting implementation of a National Policy of Education reforms.In particular, IDA promoted introduction of new relevant programs, and increased women’s participation by supporting the establishment of 33 women’s polytechnics, hostel facilities for women, and appointment of women faculty. According to the world bank broup he Third Technician Education Project in India, will assist the industrially, and economically under-developed, in remote states of the Northeastern region, to expand capacity, and improve the quality of technician education, in order to meet specific economic needs of each state. It will also increase the access of disadvantaged groups - i.e., women, and rural youth - to technician education, and training.
In fact, institutions needs to make their syllabus more vocationally oriented so as to groom, nurture and develop the talent in a proper fashion, catering to needs of the industries. A dynamic and pro active placement cell needs to be created in every institution to keep a track of all the placings of its students and to attract good industries. The student engineers should be encouraged to attend techinical seminars, workshops leadership training and should be made aware of the latest develpoments in techonologies and its impact on bussiness. Equal importance should be given to the communication skills of students for clear ex-pression of ideas, With private sector institutions leaving no stones unturned in providing the best possible openings to their products, it becomes all the more important for Govt. aided institutions to reinvigorate themselves to meet the added challenge of better placement. A student placed according to his area of interest will automatically ensure the growth of the industry and his institution. The need of the hour is, that the educational institutes takes to the training and placement facilities more seriously and scientifically.
Liberalization of the Indian economy, its gradual integration with the world economy and rapid transformation into a knowledge-based society will be increased only when we master workforce that is not only literate and has mastered specific skills, The Government run institutions should be monitored and regulated by advisory committees like UGC, National Board of Accreditation (NBA) medical Council of India (MCI) Distance Education Council (DEC) and other apex bodies of the Government of India before according approval to an institution.
26. 'A Poet cannot become a Chemical Engineer'
It's a rising irreversible tide. Though not a few within the political class and the nation's powerful bureaucracy are in denial, there is an emerging consensus within India's 5 million-strong academic community that the nation's moribund, mouth-eaten education system fashioned by Lord Macaulay over a century ago, needs an urgent makeover.
With 21st century India burdened with the world's largest population of illiterate citizens, an estimated 59 million children in the 6-14 age group out of school, and the aggregate number of names and addresses of job-seekers in the registers of employment exchanges across the country having swollen to 41 million — not because there aren't sufficient jobs, but because youth streaming out of the obsolete education system are unemployable — alarm sirens are wailing in all sections of Indian society.
This is due to the lack of diversification of subjects at common schooling. The choice of courses is compelling in order to get a gainful employment and acquire skills and competence at large.
The starkest evidence of the rising tide of anxiety about the quantity and quality of education being provided to GeNext is indicated by the unprecedented provision made in the Union budget 2008 presented to Parliament, to impose a 2 percent cess on all Central taxes to raise additional resources for elementary education. Moreover in his budget speech, Union finance minister P. Chidambaram committed the 100-days-old United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre to raising the national outlay for education from the current 3.5-4 percent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to 6 percent in the near future.
Conterminously up gradation of the nation's languishing public education systems is top priority on the agenda of the National Advisory Council (NAC) chaired by Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi.
Inevitably, there is considerable scepticism about the declarations of intent and grand pronouncements made by governments at the Centre and in the states which are seldom followed up with policy implementation programmes. But even within the civic society and general public, there is a never-before, new millennium awareness that quality education is the best social leveller and passport to gainful employment, affluence and social respect. Hence, despite the rigorous and travails of license-permit raj which has migrated from industry to education, there's a flurry of activity in terms of promotion of new schools, colleges and institutes of professional education, particularly in the private sector.
This urgent flurry of activity within the hitherto somnolent education sector has ensured that the vital importance of qualitative education has permeated down to the lowest income groups across the subcontinent — a development accentuated by the promotion of the country's 517 urban benchmarked Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya residential schools in rural India.
Simultaneously, it has focussed public attention upon hitherto arcane subjects such as syllabus design and curriculum development and shifted national attention from ritual to real education. Suddenly paper degrees and qualifications are not as important as professional and life skills which school leavers and college graduates must acquire within their institutions of learning.
Therefore the newly emergent consensus that reform of India's Macaulayan system of education based on rote learning and memorisation rather than development of problem-solving, conflict-resolution skills and Information technology schemes requires urgent attention.
And even as several specialist committees constituted by the Union ministry of human resource development are currently engaged in the process, the public interest demands a wider ambit for the national debate on syllabus and curriculum reform.
We deemed it incumbent upon ourselves to ask several educationists and industry leaders with proven commitment to improving the education system by implementing the milestones and initiate multi pronged strategy.
To a greater or lesser degree, all the educationist and policy makers are in favour of addressing the supply side of education to eliminate capacity shortages which are the root cause of the overwhelming majority of the hundreds, if not thousands, of rackets which plague post-independence India's education system.
The learned justices of the Supreme Court agree. In its historic 2002 judgment in the TMA Pai Foundation Case (8 SCC 481), a full bench of the court expanded the right of minorities to "establish and administer educational institutions of their choice" as mandated by Article 30 of the Constitution of India, to all citizens.
The education sector urgently needs to be set free. Let every child learn by its own environment, and let every body should have a right to be a torch bearer for spreading education in any mean. This will facilitate entry of private firms offering short courses that equip young people for vocations and professions — be it plumbing, or banking into the education sector. The three R's can also be easily taught by them using computers.
There is a general consensus that having failed miserably during the past half century to upgrade education standards, the Central and state governments themselves should exit from syllabus design and mandate school examination boards to design syllabuses which test more than memory and rote learning ability.
Comments Kabir Mustafi, former headmaster of Bishop Cotton School, Shimla who advocates that the Centre should promulgate a new National Education Policy: "The NEP should mandate 'free-fall' curriculums from nursery to class VIII and direct all school examination boards to revise their syllabuses to test research, analysis, memory, comprehension and expression capabilities of students
Government must retreat from syllabus design. Central and state governments have to dissociate from dictating syllabi and curriculums to ascertaining whether or not government schools and institutions of higher education are delivering learning in their classrooms.
A new National Education Policy needs to be written. It should: (i) Empower local bodies such as SDMCs (School Development Monitoring Committees) and panchayats so that teachers and boards are accountable to the public; (ii) Upgrade teacher skills by establishing NDA (National Defence Academy) or ASCI (Administrative Staff College of India) type academies for three-five year training and refresher courses with stipends; (iii) Ban arbitrary teacher transfers; (iv) Draw up stringent but transparent recognition and accreditation norms as per CISCE/ CBSE/ NAAC/ AICTE standards while de-licensing private initiatives in education.
Revise school syllabi. The NEP should direct all school examination boards to revise their syllabuses to test research, analysis, memory, comprehension and expression capabilities of students.
Standardise college admissions. The new NEP needs to mandate a single SAT type examination for college admission and a GRE/ GMAT version for postgraduate admissions. Modifications to existing successful models are entirely feasible.
Targetted subsidies in higher education. The blanket subsidisation of tertiary education needs to be replaced with need-based scholarships, grants and financial aid.
Involve local communities. The upgradation of teacher salaries and infrastructure for schools not well endowed should be entrusted to local communities including corporates, against tax holidays and other fiscal benefits.
A comprehensive education policy for the country for all levels of education, taking into account the recent changes and requirements of a globalized environment is urgently required. It should be drafted by an expert committee drawn from India and abroad. Central and state governments should draw up incentive and grants-in-aid programmes to promote centres of quality education in rural areas across the country. Education opportunities need to be spread out rather than concentrated in isolated geographic locations.
Upgradation of tertiary level syllabuses and curriculums. Higher education should be made relevant to meet industry requirements, so that students make a smooth transition from academics to industry.
Industry needs employable graduates. Diverse rules and regulations prescribed by monitoring agencies in higher education inhibit growth and excellence in educational institutions. They should be given full autonomy for self-development while the national accreditation process must become more stringent
If there is one question that we need to ask now, it is this: have we as a nation reflected on the policy choices that we are faced with now? If we are unable to answer this question with enough conviction, we may end up losing another generation to poor quality education for the majority of the people in the country. Is that something that we can afford? We all know that India lives in rural areas and without making these areas literate, we can't make India a prosperous nation.
Hopefully, the central and state governments will wake up now to make the educational schemes and funds fruitful. Last but not the least, the parents and wards should also understand the importance of education and cooperate with the government to make the educational schemes successful.
If we fail to make a choice of courses after senior secondary school, the following quote stands appropriate for us - "A Poet can not become a Chemical Engineer"
By - Sadaket Malik
The author is a freelance columnist based in Jammu.
27. ICTs and capacity building in Open LearningBy sadaket Malik
Of late, there has been a paradigm shift from access to quality; from the broadcast to cassette; and from information to interaction in educational picture.
The Computer made a lot of difference to the teaching-learning strategies to be followed in the open and Distance learning systems. A very significant impact of technology on education is the advent of porous transnational borders due to electronification; globalization and commodification of education as marketable good/service in the WTO supported GATS era.
Many leading universities from the developed world have, on their own or as a part of consortia, not only transcended their national boundaries for offering education abroad (on-line or off-line) but are also vying with each other for market space. It is important to realize that such efforts should supplement the growth of local educational institutions, particularly in small nation states by raising standards of their offering and contextualisation of content rather than being dictated by economic considerations.
IGNOU has its presence in more then 35 countries, as of now. The Pan-African tele-education & tele-medicine initiative of Government of India, which shall connect all 53 African Union member states through a satellite, fibre optic and wireless networks, should be seen as an effort towards capacity building across cultures in the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutmbakam, the World is one family. The project is likely to be inaugurated by the end of 2006 and Ethiopia has been selected as the first country to benefit from the pilot phase. South Africa, Mauritius and Ghana have also been short listed for the pilot.
The network will connect five universities two in India and three in Africa to 53 learning centres for tele-education and 10 super-speciality hospitals three in India and seven in Africa to 53 remote hospitals for tele-medicine. The main objective of the tele-medicine network will be to share the knowledge of Indian medical professionals with their African counterparts through on-line training programmes for nurses, paramedical staff and other health workers. Five universities are being equipped with tele-education studios, including post-production facilities, data centres, and a portal comprising delivery system software.
Recently, COMESA has shown keen interest in accelerating these efforts.
Moreover, students enrolling in tele-education programmes shall get access to e-materials and satellite-mediated interactive support. These could be easily extended to Pan- Commonwealth nation states as well.
The point we wish to make is that ICTs are helping us to achieve a major goal of capacity building by integrating people, societies, cultures and nations, promoting international understanding through bilateral and multilateral strategic collaborations and partnerships between educational institutions and bridging the digital divide.
We are collaborating with University of South Africa (UNISA), South Africa; Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE) and Mauritius College of the Air (MCA), Mauritius; Payame Noor University (PNU) Iran; National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Nigeria; Tanjania Open University (TOU), Tanzania; Kenyatta University (KU), Kenya; University of Fiji (UniFiji), Fiji; Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), UK; Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), Pakistan; Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL), Sri Lanka; Bangladesh Open University (BOU), Bangladesh; Wawasan University College (WUC), Malaysia to mention a few.
Another dimension of the use of technology in Open Distance Learning for capacity building is the change in the face of distance education from poor cousin of mainstream classroom education to an independent system, endowed with tremendous capacity and capability to cater to the needs of education for all at reasonable cost.
That is, it has capability to address all the vectors of Nigvekar Pentagon (Daniel, 2004), provided some basic conditions are met. In India, having enrolled about three and a half million learners, the ODL system caters to every fourth student in higher education. In the period 2007-12, the nation targets to double its total enrolment in higher education in order to realize Mission 2020.
To meet the challenge, ODL system is being mandated to increase its share to about 40% and accommodate the flux arising out of universalization of elementary education. That is, we are going through a time of greater expectations and need to give impetus to open learning based knowledge revolution.
Though catering to large numbers brings associated challenges, education for more students from our system means greater contribution towards national development. The fact that every tenth student seeking higher education in the country is studying with IGNOU is a great motivating factor and source of satisfaction for us.
It is now well known that use of ICTs provides advantages of greater flexibility in the location of educational experience (home or workplace), wide choice of market-centric, inter-disciplinary courses/programmes, global curriculum, best practices and experiences, on-demand admission and examination and value addition in the education of the disadvantaged (physically, socially, economically geographically, gender inequality).
We can educate or train even visually impaired by using speech software and communication disabled by using visual software. We are developing MBA materials for the visually impaired in collaboration with National Blind Association, New Delhi and hearing impaired with All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore.
IGNOU offers 130 programmes spread over 1,100 courses using front-ended technology like video-conferencing and Internet. Special centres have been created (for jail inmates, minorities, females, physically challenged and rural poor) to harness technology for imparting, assessing and accrediting skills and competencies.
With 1.43 million cumulative learner population and an annual intake of more than four hundred twenty nine thousand, IGNOU caters to about 15% of total students enrolled in higher education in the country through a network of 64 Regional Centres (RCs), six Sub-Regional Centres (SRCs), 1400 Learner Centres (LCs) and Forty One Partner Institutions (PIs) in 35 countries.
The RCs, SRCs and majority of the SCs have been equipped with video or teleconferencing facilities. The University is in the process of providing broadband connectivity to all its LCs so as to bring the vast e-resources within the easy reach of its learners and facilitate faster interaction.
One of the most striking shifts introduced by the use of ICTs in education is the change in the role of teachers from being 'repertoire of knowledge' to 'facilitator for access to and comprehension of learning resources' as well as of institutions from 'ivory towers' in four walls to 'globally distributed' classrooms. In fact, campus based institutions are likely to fast become 'obsolete and unsuited' to present day requirements and pave way for virtual universities, which can provide rich-computer simulated learning environment where difficult to visualise phenomena can be demonstrated convincingly and the latest findings can be shared synchronously as well as asynchronously with value addition.
Other important characteristic of virtual universities shall include year round operations, inter-disciplinary market-driven courses on demand anywhere on the globe. Moreover, the student, as customer, shall be at the focus of all operations. The knowledge society shall create a new paradigm powered by capacity for innovations.
Though technology mediated learning has capacity to cater to vast numbers efficiently and in-expensively without any incongruence, it is important to appreciate that technology alone cannot ensure quality; in this 'gold rush', man behind the machine occupies a prominent place.
Therefore, to support advances in ICTs, impart instruction and transact curriculum meaningfully, it is absolutely necessary not only to possess a critical mass of highly motivated and trained human capital, but also to continuously upgrade their skills. Taking its lessons from the offer of Internet based programmes, such as Bachelors and Masters in Computer Applications,
IGNOU puts appropriately trained personnel in place before taking the lead and responsibility to train learners through its virtual campus initiative for national and international markets by putting on offer its Bachelors of Information Technology and Advanced Diploma in Information Technology programmes. Post-Graduate Diploma in Library Automation and Networking, Post Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Certificate in Food Safety, Certificate in ICT Applications in Library among others are on offer on-line for capacity building.
However, institutional culture and societal practices also influence such programmes. There is a need to speed up the ventures in rural information centres to provide access to the beneficiaries.
32. State Youth Policies-The need of hour
By Sadaket Malik
The youth policy directs the government to ensure gainful empleyment and total empowerment for unreached. In India there is no scarcity or dearth of welfare policies but the problem lies in primarily to rationalise these policies in to the logical frame work.Most these policies are top driven, lacking pro people and holistic welfare approach.
Most importantly, policies are being made and at the same time policies are being lost either, or need to be recovered by the researchers after a long time to see what was there in the particular policy. National youth Policy- 2003 is one of such policy, may be policy maker themselves has forgotten about this Policy.
I strongly feel that each and every Policies of our country should and must have special provision for all the Northern states, in particular a backward and trouble torn state like Jammu and kashmir. Is it really essential to mention the situation of the youth of the state ? Drug, insurgency, ill effect of globalisation has thrown the youth of state in to a futureless and hope less situation. There are no employment opportunities for them, no place to breathe in the fresh air.
Ironically, The National Youth Policy 2003 has not covered any specific aspect of the youth of the state. In this policy issue of empowerment is just touched in a superficial manner without touching the grave situation of the state. Corruption thy name is J&K. Issue of addressing corruption is also just touched without mentioning the in-depth mechanism.
In the Serial no 4 under its onjectives, " it is mentioned again in a superficial manner in the sub clause 4.5 "to facilitate access, for all sections of the youth, to health information and services and to promote a social environment which strongly inhibits the use of drugs and other forms of substance abuse, ensures measures for de-addiction and mainstreaming of the affected persons and enhances the availability of sports and recreational facilities as constructive outlets for the abundant energy of the youth".
One may argue in a different manner regarding inclusion of special provision for the youth of this state, J&K in particular, as it is mentioned in this policy under clause no 3 in relation of the Defination of Youth, sub clause 3.1 mentioned that "This Policy will cover all the youth in the country in the age group of 13 to 35 years.
It is acknowledged that since all the persons within this age group are unlikely to be one homogenous group, but rather a conglomeration of sub-groups with differing social roles and requirements, the age group may, therefore, be divided into two broad sub-groups viz. 13-19 years and 20-35 years. The youth belonging to the age group 13-19, which is a major part of the adolescent age group, will be regarded as a separate constituency" This provision definitely included the youth of Northern states and J&K. I once again plead that they need a special provision in the policy. The youth as a whole are the the youth of hill, valley, they are the youth of ethnic community, situation is different.
In the Preamble of the policy it is mention under sub clause 1.2 "The socio-economic conditions in the country have since undergone a significant change and have been shaped by wide-ranging technological advancement.
The National Youth Policy - 2003 is designed to galvanize the youth to rise up to the new challenges, keeping in view the global scenario, and aims at motivating them to be active and committed participants in the exciting task of National Development." Through this statement the policy maker stated that the Youth Policy 2003 is designed in such a manner so that the youth of India including the youth of North may rise up to the new challenges keeping in view global so called advancement. If we look at this statement critically the ill effect of globisation will also be promoted. Development of the soil should include the people of the soil not excluding them not prompting the hidden agenda of global actors.
Nevertheless, there are a few positive aspects in the National Youth Policy 2003, but most of the clauses do not have any link with grass root reality.
Under the clause "Mental Health" it is mentioned in sub clause no 8.3.8 "Lack of proper education often leads to mental depression. In an environment that is becoming complex and competitive by the day, the chances of young minds being afflicted with depression are ever rising. This is particularly so, among adolescents who are showing higher incidence of suicidal traits than even before. Against this background, this Policy advocates a system of education which teaches the youth to fight back rather than give in. It also recommends establishment of statesponsored and free counselling services for the youth, particularly the adolescents". In the context of J&K, factors leading towards mental depression is just not lack of proper education. Significant factors are gun culture, extortion, Political trauma, corruption, ethnic conflict and several others.
Among the positive aspect of the policy are "The Policy recognises that children and young people are particularly vulnerable to the ill effects of environmental degradation.NYK-Nehru Yuva Kendras in J&K has contributed a bit for the same by formulation of local level youth clubs. The number of youth in the age group of 13-35 years, as per the 1991 Census, was estimated at about 34 crores, and about 38 crores in 1997, which is anticipated to increase to about 51 crores by the year 2016. The percentage of youth in the total population, which, according to the 1996 A Census projections, is estimated to be about 37% in 1997, is also likely to increase to about 40% by the year 2016.
A novel public - private partnership programme to impart education in information technology (IT) to underpriviledged youth and women is being implemented by giving basic IT tranining in areas such as data entry.
Intrestingly, after 1994 genocide in , thousands of youth were left homeless, with no education and with no means of livelihood. It was in this situation that a group of young IT savvy professionals, under the banner of Cyber Host, initiated a project to rehabilitate the unfortunate youth of . With the assistance of NU-Vision Ministry, Cyber Host provided these youth with basic ICT skills thus meeting part of the requirement of for Information Centres and ICT experts.
However, what is the crying call of hours? What the youth can expect in the years to come will depend on how well the Policy is framed viz-a-viz understand and leverage their rights and how willingly and efficiently they are able to shoulder their responsibilities. What then are the rights and responsibilities of the youth of India?
The National Youth Policy, 2003 be reviewed after 5 years from the date of commencement of implementation of Five years has already been passed , but what has happened particularly in the context of this state in particular ? a question need to responded by the policy makers. State governments should initiate State Youth policies under the ambit of Department of youth services and Sports as a watchdog in youth affairs of the state.