Indian Education Sector Policies and Issues

Basic Facts about Education in India: 

  • Education, including vocational education, is in the concurrent list of Indian Constitution.
  • Education (for 6-14 years of children) is a fundamental right according to Article 21A of the Indian constitution. Right to Education act was enacted to put it into effect.
  • Other provisions, in the constitution, related to education are Article 45, 15(3), 15(4), 29, 46, 350A, Entry 63 and 66 of the union list etc.
  • The enrollment ratio is near universal with 96.7% of children registered in schools during 2014, the same as that of 2013.
  • In rural India, the proportion of all children in Class 5 who can read a Class 2 text is 48.1%(2014).
  • In 2014, 30.8% of all children between the ages of 6 and 14 were enrolled in private schools.
  • The gross enrollment ratio (GER) in higher education in India has been 23.6 per cent in 2014-15.

Problems in Education sector:

  1. Policy on Education in India is more biased towards higher education but primary education did not receive adequate attention.
  2. Poor quality of education. It results into poor learning outcomes, low employability of graduates, low productivity, and consequently low wages.
  3. Large section of population is still poor, more than 300 million. In such poverty, the instance of child labor increases which further deprives the children of much needed education at that age.
  4. Poor quality of teaching and course content, especially at Primary level. Classroom infrastructure is poor, teaching methods are poor and most of the times teachers remain absent from the school.
  5. Secondary level education suffers from a lack of adequate choice in terms of schools, courses, and content, which contribute to the high dropout levels.
  6. Although enrollment is high at primary level but it drastically comes down when reaching towards upper stages. High drop-outs are the reason for it and that is due to: Secondary and Higher education sector lack the incentive that is present at primary level. Long distance (from home to school), No Mid Day Meal, little choice in courses, no immediate benefits of education(in terms of employment) etc
  7. For majority of population, the motive of education is sustenance of livelihood and not learning. Government hasn’t provided proper incentives and ecosystem for research and development. It results into a deteriorating research environment.

National Policy on Education:

National Policy on Education is a policy formulated by Indian Government to promote education to its people.

The broad areas of focus of National Policy on Education (1986) are

  • providing quality education
  • improving basic and functional literacy
  • improving innovation and research
  • promoting skill development
  • improving education for women, Other Backward Classes, scheduled castes and Scheduled tribes
  • Improving education for minorities
  • Improving education for the disabled
  • Distance education
  • Adult education

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan:

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan aims at providing universal elementary education. It aims at fulfilling the Fundamental right of providing free and compulsory education between the age of 6 to 14 years.


SSA has updated its goals in 2015. They are

  1. It aims to open more schools in rural and remote areas that did not have schools previously
  2. It aims at improving the school infrastructure by creating new classrooms, toilets and drinking water etc.
  3. Provision of additional teachers to improve teacher-student ratio
  4. Provision of extensive training to develop the quality of teachers
  5. To impart life skills with a special focus on the education of girls and children with special needs (i.e, Disabled children)
  6. Improving computer education and learning through digital medium like Audio Visual aids

Problems in Sarva Siksha Abhiyan: 

  1. Basic infrastructure in Government schools has not been improved despite continuous measures by this programme
  2. Insufficient funds to implement the various components of the scheme
  3. Increase in dropout rates due to lack of motivation by children and parents in continuing education and a presence of a thriving child labour market

Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat:

It is a sub program under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Children who fall behind in early learning find it difficult to cope up with later learning and thus this programme is launched for children in Classes I and II. It aims at the following

  • early reading
  • early writing
  • early mathematics


  1. http://mhrd.gov.in/
  2. http://www.publishyourarticles.net/
  3. wikipedia
  4. http://forumias.com/portal/what-is-ailing-indias-education-system/
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