The Ministry of Human Resource Development has taken a number of initiatives including various Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) to enhance access of quality education at affordable rates:
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA): To meet the objectives of the RTE Act, 47488 schools, 753733 additional classrooms, 583748 toilets, 40161 drinking water facilities & 7.02 lakh teachers have been sanctioned under the scheme since 2009-10. The progress under the RTE, Act, 2009 indicates that 19.88 crore children have been enrolled in elementary school, with a Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 96.5% as per unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) 2013-14. The annual average dropout rate has come down from 6.8% (2009-10) to 4.7% (2013-14) at primary level.
Rashtriya Madhymik Shiksha Abhiyan was launched in March, 2009 with the objective to universalize access to secondary education and to improve its quality. This programme now subsumes the earlier independent Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) in the Secondary Education sector i.e. ICT @ Schools, Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS), Vocational Education (VE) and Girls Hostel (GH). Under RMSA, till date 10,337 new Secondary educational schools have opened and 34,891 existing schools have been strengthened. Under the ICT @ Schools, around 88,236 schools have been covered to be equipped for computer teaching and computer enabled learning. Under the IEDSS – 5,65,683 children’s have been covered till date. Under the Girls Hostel – 2,160 hostels in which 39,745 girls are residing have approved till date.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 has been enacted which envisages significant reforms in the Elementary Education sector. The Act makes it incumbent on Government to provide free and compulsory education to all children of 6-14 years of age; ensure compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by every child of the age of six to fourteen years.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has taken various measures for educational reforms, such as the introduction of a semester system, the regular updating of Curricula and Choice Based Credit Systems (CBSC), etc. The UGC has also issued the Mandatory Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Educational Institutions, Regulations, 2012 whereby all eligible higher Educational institutions are required to get themselves accredited.
Apart from strengthening the on-going schemes of the Ministry, the following new initiatives have been included in the Budget 2014-15 -
- Setting up of 5 IITs and 5 IIMs
- Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya New Teachers Training Program.
- Setting up of Virtual Classrooms and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
- Creation of National e-library.
- Establishing Lok Nayak Jayaprakash National Centre for excellence in humanities in Madhya Pradesh.
- Provision for toilets and drinking water in all the girls’ schools.
- Schools Assessment Program.
- Simplification of norms for education.
This information was given by the Union Minister of HRD, Smt. Smriti Irani in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question today.