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Global Initiative for Academic Networks

The Ministry of Human Resources Development has launched this initiative to allow an interface between institutions of higher learning of India and Institutes of academic excellence abroad. The professors from foreign universities shall visit these institutes an take courses. These shall be available to the students of these institutes free-of-cost and students of other institutes at nominal charge.

These courses shall also be uploaded on SWAYAM, Massive open-online-courses portal of India and National Knowledge Library, IIT Kharagpur.


Initiative by IIT's and IISC to do research in 10 high impact areas that affect Indian society and measure the outcomes of this research.

Inactivated Polio vaccine [IPV]

Inactivated Polio vaccine [IPV] to be given with the Oral polio vaccine [OPV] in India as a part of its strategy to end polio from the world. IPV is administered as an injection and has no risk unlike OPV.

Transforming School Education

The Nation after independence has focused on changing the nature of colonial education into a form which is mass based and ensures social justice and equality. Right to Education Act, 2009 made education a fundamental right. The country also wants to make secondary education universal and higher education accessible to all. Achieving a near universal enrollment ratio was a great step. Now the focus should be on ensuring quality education but without harming equity [Right to education for all].

Solutions for improving quality of education:

  • Consolidation:

Governments at center and state have believed in a supply based approach for locating schools. Hence governments have opened schools near village fringes or forest areas for tribal children. This was done for ensuring universal enrollment. But such schools are economically un-viable. This has led to under utilization of resources and can be corrected by consolidation of certain schools which cater to limited students to make them economically feasible.

Instead of this top down approach where a school has to be located within every 1.5 sq km area a new strategy of ensuring universal access needs to be investigated like improving access by transportation or by building hostels for students.

  • Pre school education

Early childhood care and nutrition is important in shaping the future of the child. A child who has access to nutrition and healthcare prior to his entering a formal school has a better chance of success. The nation needs to focus on provide pre school facilities along with nutrition and healthcare at early childhood phase to ensure that by the time children enter schools he is prepared to take best advantage of education. A pre school ensures school readiness for the child, facilitates socialization and self control.

However the Integrated Child development scheme for 0-6 year olds is inadequate in this and an independent scheme needs to be formulated.

  • Working children
Poverty ensures that families have to force their children into labor to ease the family burden. This is due to a debt trap that most families find themselves in throughout their life.

Education is seen as a means to break from this cycle. And it has been observed that the poorest of poor families would prefer sending their children to schools rather than make them work if they can afford it. Thus governments should focus on creating conditions that enable parents to send their children to school rather using the legislative option of banning child labor.

  • Investing in Teacher

Teacher eligibility tests were conducted to screen applicants seeking to enter this profession but the failure ratio in them reveals the poor quality of aspirants seeking to enter this profession. To resolve this it is necessary to combine various approaches like:

  1. Improve pre-service teacher education programs,
  2. promote life long learning for professional development of a teacher,
  3. incentivize participation in skill upgradation programs with improved career prospects.

To instill a sense of ownership and institutional commitment in teachers by appointing them to schools and not the system as is currently done. However the centralized control over appointment and transfer is politically important tool and won't be relinquished. The practice of changing the attitude of the system towards a teacher is also important as currently a teacher is viewed only as a passive entity that implements decisions made by the education board.

  • ICT

As we move towards an information society we have to recognize that lack of utilization of ICT tools in transformation of education shall create a rift between elite and marginalized. ICT has already grown and touched many areas and if the schools aren't able to adopt these practices then their students shall not be able to participate in the information society and this may marginalize them further.

  • Other strategies

  1. Involving professionals from elite institutions of India have to be involved in imparting science education to schools in their zones.
  2. Change focus of system from emphasis on higher marks, grades, pass percentage to impart holistic education.
  3. Consolidating efforts of Corporate sector, government and civil society in improving school education.
  4. Need to evaluate the credibility of testing methods, validity of quantifying learning, nature of assessment indicators used.
  5. School management committees, parent teachers associations etc. need to be empowered, engaged actively.

Funding Education

Historically and even in present, Education has been funded by State institutions in developing as well as advanced countries. Public funding ensures that education remains a public good, ensures equitable expansion, promotes common interest of citizens, serves national development needs.

A 6% of GDP spending target was envisioned but not followed at both central and state level. Flow of funding to educational institutions is important to ensure they have adequate resources. Their own needs have to considered in funding them. Funding should adequately rewards institutions that are performing well.

A trend in advanced countries is of funding elementary educations by State funds and higher institutions by a combination of State, Philanthropists, Alumni, Civil society and Corporate donations. Student contribution in terms of fees is a minority in this. In India the philanthropic source of funding is not considered and a framework needs to be worked out to take advantage of this section.

Inclusive Education [Girls and Children with special needs]

The interplay of socio economic inequalities and gender relations creates a complex system that impedes a girls ability to go to school. The gender gap studies focused on mapping supply i.e. provision of schooling with the demand i.e. readiness of families to send children to school. But it was found that supply and demand were interlinked so where there were functioning schools the parents would send their children to it. But where schools were dysfunctional parents would refrain from sending children to it.

Another reason that affected dropout rates was the teacher attitude, reinforcing of prejudices and social biases by curriculum and attitudes of children from forward social communities.

Geographical isolation has lead to marginalization of certain sections of India. Recent programs have improved their access and enrollment but when checked in terms of average years of schooling this has been a negative. This could be due to hostility from teachers as well as other children.


  • Meaningful access: Access to education should not be limited to getting admission only but the student irrespective of his background should get the best facility available from the institution.

  • Safe non discriminatory access: Teachers should be sensitized towards students so that they don't bring prejudices in schools.

  • Cooperative learning: Students are taught to built social skills and peer relationships instead of focusing on outshining others. Students explain concepts to each other and use team work to solve problems.

  • Physical accessibility: Modifying existing infrastructure to make it disability friendly. Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan [Accessiblity India campaign under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment] was launched to make universal accessibility for persons with disabilities.

  • Displacement and Age: Displacement may occur due to environmental stress, calamities etc which causes economically weaker sections to migrate to other places. The children loose out on education due to this. One solution for this problem could be seasonal hostels for such students. People who were never enrolled might face a humiliation of enrolling with students of lesser age. This can be solved by having an accelerated curriculum and special training for them.


  • e -gyankosh - IGNOU

  • NPTEL - Massive Online Open Courses on engineering and technology

  • National Repository of Open Educational Resources - TIFR, Mumbai

  • Department of Electronics and Information Technology, the Indian Language Initiatives.

  • Kasturba gandhi Balika vidyalaya - Under sarva shikshan abhiyaan to provide residential facility to dropped out girls of upper primary.

  • India's first research park - IIT Madras

  • ‘Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds' SWAYAM - India's e-learning platform

  • Education development index - Presented every year by UNESCO in its report "Education for all global monitoring report". It is between 0-1 and 1 means best. It has 4 indicators.
                    1. Universal Primary Education (UPE)
                    2.Adult Literacy
                    3.Quality of Education and
                    4.Gender Parity

  • SARANSH: Self review and analysis of student's performance and progress. MHRD project.
  • Global innovation index - World intellectual property organization.