In the last 70 years, the Indian education sector has gone through a sea change from being a luxury affordable only to the elite to climbing the pioneer with 700 world-class universities. In the past few eras, the Indian education sector has gone through noteworthy progress. Today, it boasts of a global education system which has hosted more than 70 million students in less than 20 years. The country takes pride in its more than 700 world-class universities and enjoys an influx of thousands of foreign students every academic year from over 100 countries.
According to the current survey on higher education by HRD ministry, there were officially 45,424 foreign students who have enrolled in India in 2015-16. Today, our national literacy stands at 74.04 percent according to the last census in 2011. But it was not always the case.
The education system has overcome various huge battles and undergone numerous transformations over the decades to achieve this.
India has finally acquired freedom on 15th August 1947 after being ruled by the British Raj for more than 100 years. Despite the fact that the nation was making great progress in scientific and technological research, the illiteracy rate remained alarmingly high post-independence.
Some recognized chief components and freedom fighters like Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Bipin Chandra Pal were very much responsible for a new national movement in the early 20th century, from 1906 to 1918. This has brought revolution around the ideals of Purna Swaraj, Swadeshi, boycott, and national education.
From 1917 till independence, various Acts were passed and many commissions including the National Education Movement (1920-1922) were set up to impart education under the British rule. However, education was still only available to the rich and the elite regardless of so many attempts. At the end of British rule in 1947, Literacy in India was found to be 12%. This is a key indicator of India’s poor socio-economic condition at the time.
The lack of vocational and skill training programmes, inaccessibility to schools, and poor standards of technical education were some of the major challenges facing the education system of the country after Independence. India has formulated the new constitution and did not make immediate major variations in the administrative policy of the country Education remained a top agenda for the governments of the state.
By: Preeti Narula