Skill education scheme for students named after APJ Abdul Kalam

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced that the government’s Higher Education and Skill Education Guarantee Scheme will be named after former President A P J Abdul Kalam, who passed away in Shillong on Monday. The scheme, under which the government will stand guarantee for student loans of up to Rs 10 lakh, will be named ‘Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Higher Education and Skill Education Guarantee Scheme’. Paying homage to Kalam, the CM said that he was known for his extraordinary teachings for the youth and for school children, and he encouraged them to make it their mission to take India ahead.

Addressing a gathering of teachers, educationists and government officers at the Delhi secretariat on July 2, Kalam had said that 25 per cent of school time, for students between class 9 to class 12, should be devoted to skill development. “That means, every year we get a skilled bank of millions of children. In such a situation, the role played by educationists has to be unique so that it will help upgrade the skill of the candidate for making him or her a member of the knowledge society,” Kalam had said. Meanwhile, the special session of the Delhi Assembly, called by the AAP government to discuss the issue of women’s safety, was adjourned till August 3 after legislators paid tribute to Kalam, who passed away on Monday. In a mark of respect for the departed leader, the Delhi government also instructed its officials to remove all its advertisements from outdoor sites. A senior government official said that the outdoor advertisements would be removed by Tuesday night and they would not be displayed till the completion of the seven-day mourning period. After the assembly session was adjourned, Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel rushed to Kalam’s residence at 10, Rajaji Marg, to pay their respects to the late President.


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Distance education needs reality check

When educational institutions lose sight of students and, instead, fall prey to profit, it means something is seriously rotten within the system. The derecognition of courses run by the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) for flouting various norms and guidelines is appalling, to say the least. The derecognition by the University Grants Commission (UGC) means that thousands of students who enrolled for these courses are now left in the lurch. After spending valuable time, hard-earned money and immense effort, each affected student is back to square one and needs to start all over again. Who is to compensate the students? That the KSOU is mired in this controversy is not a surprise given that its management is facing various charges of irregularities. Since December 2014, Justice Bhakthavatsala, a former judge of the Karnataka High Court, has been inquiring into these accusations. Virtually, the entire gamut of operations of the university is under cloud.

These include suspected fraud in construction projects, questionable agreements with private educational institutions, the issue of recruitments, promotions and the opening up of 21 regional centres, tampering of marks cards and much more. The list of suspected irregularities has the potential to destroy the credibility of the open university education system itself. It is incredulous that the KSOU had offered medical and engineering-related courses through the distance education system as these require practical work in college laboratories and in hospitals. Reports also point out how marks were given without evaluating answer sheets. The KSOU appears to have been completely unmindful of any repercussions of its actions.

If the UGC derecognition stays, the KSOU experience will drive away students from the distance learning programme. This will be extremely unfortunate as the open university method of learning has a huge potential to give students access to a high quality of education even while pursuing jobs or other vocations. Across the world, some of the open universities are rated so highly that they are routinely accessed by academics and students for reference material and getting doubts cleared. The Karnataka government has woken up to the potential damage caused by the derecognition and has promised to bring in amendments to the law on distance education. But, more needs to be done to prevent the subversion of the open university system and restore it to the position it deserves to occupy, which is that of a premier institution that students can depend on for quality education. The issue goes beyond the KSOU. The government in consultation with educationists must come up with a comprehensive strategy to tighten the open university system across the country.


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UGC may retain recognition of KSOU courses in 15 days

KSOU courses derecognized by UGCBengaluru: Students enrolled with the state-run Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) need not panic over the de-recognition stand earlier taken by UGC. KSOU Vice Chancellor M.G. Krishnan on a meeting held on 17 July, 2015 Friday at New Delhi mentioned about the positive response from UGC in renewing the recognition of KSOU’s professional & technical programs. He said that relevant documents and affidavits had been submitted to the UGC and the process of renewal would take about a fortnight.

Reacting to the recent public notice issued on 16 June, 2015, KSOU approached the UGC earlier this month pursuing the renewal of recognition on the event that the Board of Management had already decided to restrict the courses to the state. Defending the KSOU, Mysuru MP, Prathap Simha solicited PM Modi in a written letter and a copy of the same to MHRD minister Smriti Irani seeking their intervention to resolve the dilemma. He stressed on the fact that 60 per cent of KSOU students were women while 90 per cent also belonged to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward castes that could possibly have access to higher education by enrolling at the KSOU.

KSOU had recently expanded its Muktagangotri campus spending enormous amounts on fees and infrastructure and now fears the falling admissions and the inability of sustenance with the admissions being now confined to the state.  UGC had directed the 200 odd tie ups with collaborative institutions to be discontinued.

In the interest of over a lakh students Prof M G Krishnan continues to remain undeterred on the matter of de-recognition and has approached the intervention of the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court.  Addressing the media queries, he stated that students already enrolled with the course would be admitted to the second and final year, while fresh admissions to technical/engineering courses were stopped.

While it remains a controversial matter with the universities surrendering to the UGC guidelines, Prof M G Krishnan expressed his stance of student’s interest as a matter of urgency and that he would sort out legally at the court. With the meeting held with UGC officials, the KSOU Vice Chancellor is optimistic about securing recognition of the terminated courses as they have agreed to comply with the UGC guidelines on territorial jurisdiction. The admission process for the current academic year that usually begins from July and stretches till November is likely to be delayed in the backdrop of the varsities’ renewal of recognition.


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Here’s why education startups are gamechangers in India

BENGALURU: Suman Nandy, 35, returned to Bengaluru from the US after a six-year stint at investment banking firm Goldman Sachs to launch a business that would offer corporate compliance enterprise software to companies.

Among his clients was Koshys Group of Institutions, whose Executive Director Preenand Premachandran approached him and asked if his software could help in easing the processes required for the institutions’ accreditation.

This marked the first break for Nandy’s EPaathSala, which decided to focus on simplified educational compliance management.

Accreditation refers to the process of evaluation of higher institutes and colleges, a mandatory practice across the globe. An institute is graded on multiple parameters such as prevalence of infrastructure, staff training, student learning and registrar activities, and presented with a grade, or in India a cumulative grade point average out of four.

The evaluation, usually done by governmental and/or non-governmental institutions, plays a key role in student admissions, getting grants and campus placements by companies. The higher the grade or grade-point average, the better for the college and its students.

“It is the need of the hour. With thousands of colleges in the country, there is no organised and time-effective method of completing the processes for accreditation, which are crucial to both the college and its students,” said Nandy whose company counts nearly 400 colleges as clients in less than a year of its launch.

The list includes St Xaviers College, Don Bosco Institute of Technology and Pune-based College of Military Engineering.

Nandy said that while there is no dearth of autonomous bodies in India that dole out merit, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council or NAAC under the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India is the most soughtafter organisation. The NAAC accreditation is valid for five years, after which the college has to resume the processes of applying and receiving the accreditation again.

“What took close to a year can now be done in a week’s time,” said Mohammed Hanif, senior professor, placement cell coordinator and former coordinator of the Internal Quality Assessment Cell Coordinator (IQAC), in charge of preparing and submitting the report to NAAC, at St Xaviers College, Kolkata.

“The processes that a college has to follow to submit to the council are extremely time-consuming.

The Self Study Report (SSR) is the main document which involves faculty staff and students to fill in details about their progress and academic excellence, prepared automatically, as and when the details are filled, a process that was done manually so far,” said Hanif, who has helped several tier two and three colleges go about their accreditation process with the company’s software.

Often, colleges find it hard to collect data on one platform when it is done manually, given the magnitude of students and staff members.

Institutions deploy a team of professors who go about this process manually, hire a consultant, which is not entertained or use other enterprise software, capable of collating data when fed to it.




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KSOU row: students from other States can complete courses

Vice-Chancellor of Karnataka State Open University M.G. Krishnan (right) at a press conference in Mysuru on Friday.— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM
Vice-Chancellor of Karnataka State Open University M.G. Krishnan (right) at a press conference in Mysuru on Friday.— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

Nearly 1 lakh students are in the midst of KSOU courses

There is still hope for students from other States who had enrolled for various programmes (besides technical and professional programmes) run by the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) through collaborative institutions.

After a rap from the erstwhile Distance Education Council (DEC) and the University Grants Commission (UGC), KSOU had discontinued the technical programmes last year and had assured the UGC that it would never offer such programmes in future.

But, there were a large number of students who were pursuing some conventional courses.

Vice-Chancellor M.G. Krishnan on Friday said that the students who are in the midst of such programmes will be allowed to complete their courses.

“The university will award degrees to such students upon completing their courses. Some students may be in second year or final year and they shall be permitted to finish their courses,” he said.

Top brass meeting

The vice-chancellor said the issue of students in the midst of courses was raised at the meeting with the UGC’s top brass in New Delhi on July 16.

“They too were of the opinion for allowing them to finish their courses,” he said.

But, questionable courses had been discontinued and there won’t be fresh admissions for them and also conventional programmes, he clarified.

Asked whether the university had taken this stand foreseeing legal problems, he said,

“Any step is taken to protect the students’ interests. Students should not struggle for somebody’s mistake.”

To a question, the vice-chancellor said there are about 1 lakh students from various States who are in the midst of KSOU courses.

The KSOU had entered into a memorandum of understanding with over 205 institutions across the country.

The vice-chancellor said students from other States can take up admissions at the KSOU (on getting back the recognition) by attending contact classes in 23 regional centres located within Karnataka.

“The students cannot enroll through collaborative institutions or the study centres which had been opened in the past,” he said.

To another question on its move if the collaborative institutions drag KSOU to the court following termination of understanding, he said, “I don’t know the kind the legal issues that need to be addressed. But, the agreements entered with several institutions will get over soon.”

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Must to know tips for education startups in India

I worked in two education-centric startups. I know there are many issues worth solving for students, teachers, and school management. I have seen many startups doing great things in the education domain.

The education industry is more than USD 30 billion in India alone, but most of the times startup founders got this wrong. Don’t get fooled by these numbers. The education industry is very wide, and valuations seem swelling when we look at total education expenses of the Indian population. We, the founders, should only focus on valuations of niche in which our product is going to make money. Let’s take a deeper look what lies under the hidden layers of the education industry.



There are six types of education institutes.

  1. Prenursery/Kindergarten

This category was almost non-existent even a few years back. In the last 10 to 15 years the number of working mothers has increased in many folds thus the demand for the schools, taking care of early education has also increased. There was a rapid growth in the sector of early education.

I see these schools as crèche with a better business model. No wonder, big companies grabbed the opportunity and successfully built public companies like T.I.M.E Kids, EuroKids, and KidZee.

What do they sell?

The dream of homelike care at school along with basic education which is needed to get admission in top ranked branded schools.

  1. K-12 schools

This category of schools was ever present but never been that hot space as it is now. Schools are getting smarter with technology, infrastructure, curriculum and extra activities.

Parents are becoming more concerned about their children and demanding more attention from schools. Schools are cashing out this opportunity by increasing fees and providing all the facilities expected by the parents.

What do they sell?

A dream of a smart student with IQ of Einstein + Sports spirit of Tendulkar + Musical talent of A.R Rehman.

  1. Supplementary Education

It is our favorite tuition market. In early times, tuitions were for the weak students who could not keep pace with the speed of teaching in school.. Parents started sending their kids to tutors so that they can learn at their own individual speed.

Teachers started exploiting this opportunity of making extra bucks. School teachers joined the race of becoming the part-time tutor. Then they started favoring students in the school who were taking tuition from them. Soon, parents observed that the tuition going students were scoring more marks. Of course teachers were preparing their tuition students for the questions which they were going to set in the school. Illegal, but under the carpet and no one could ever rectify this corruption.

Ganda hai par Dhanda hai yeh” – today supplementary education is a big business.

What do they sell?

Extra Marks!! That is it.

  1. Extra-curricular activities

Parents want more for their children. They want their children to excel in every possible field, so they send their children to dance, music, painting and other classes.

What do they sell?

A dream of becoming a multitalented student.

  1. Competitive exam preparation

This segment of education was not popular before the trend of studying engineering burst in India. After the success of IIT-JEE preparation classes, teachers get the attention of all possible competitive exams.

Now people brand their coaching institute as “IIT coaching from the IITians.”

What do they sell?

Dream of getting into IIT/AIIMs (or similar branded institutes)

  1. Colleges

Colleges and universities are the upper segments of the education system. Businessmen exploited this segment in the name of popular brands.

Promise you won’t laugh at – “Think beyond IIMs……”, a ponytail hatching his golden eggs.

Today, higher education market in India is dominated by builders and landlords. The major investment is land and infrastructure, the rest of the things are almost free in comparison to infra cost.

What do they sell?

The sweet dream of a job.

What people are solving?

If you analyze education industry carefully, then you will observe a lot of problems. Parents are genuinely concerned about the future of their children so they are willing to spend as much money as they can. On the flip side, education providers are now businessmen who want to increase their profitability every year, they care about making more money.

In between the startups who are solving problems like

  • Platform to connect teachers & students
  • LinkedIn type of platform for teachers
  • Content sharing platform
  • Discussion portals exclusively for teachers or students
  • Content curating & aggregation
  • Zomato like portal for searching schools or pre-schools
  • Game based learning
  • E-commerce for school accessories
  • Communication channels between schools and parents
  • ERP, CRM for simplifying internal admin processes of schools

What needs more attention from startups?

You, as a startup founder has to look deeper into root issues. Do not consider education domain as a cash-cow. It may be true for school owner but definitely not for you. Tell me the name of 10 education startups who made hefty amount in past 10 years? Not much, but schools, coaching institutes & colleges are making loads of money every year.

You might be solving a valid issue but don’t just touch that issue on the surface level. Some of my suggestion for you to research further are

  1. What student wants?

Think as if you are student, what you will need? Don’t think yourself as a revolutionist who define what student should have. Students will reject your product if you are not solving his pain.

Students are fed up with supplement education. If you are passionate about supplement education, then look for a niche. For example, if you want to make science learning product then find 100-200 students who are extremely interested in your product. Keep iterating till you find your product to be-market fit.

Go into product depth then expand in width (market growth).

There are three segments within students

  1. Rockets – High-speed individuals fueled by ‘self motivation’ proponent. These are students who are hungry for knowledge. You do not have to teach them; they will figure out their own ways to excel in their favorite subject. Unfortunately percentage is very low for this segment. How many rockets have you seen in your class?
  2. Mercedes/Audi/BMW – High worth students who are excellent in studies but controlled by ground boundaries of the curriculum. They need directions; they need the motivation to break records, they feel valuable when people talk about them, they feel motivated when appreciated by masses. I don’t know the exact percentage, but can we assume top 10% students?
  3. Public Transport – These are students who are driven by public pressure. If given a chance they will not move from their station. They feel a burden in everything they are doing about studies. These are masses, you see them everywhere in metro cities, urban cities and villages. These are the students who are ignored by most of the startups.

Figure out your segment. You can not make a product to satisfy all the segments. Everyone may participate, but your focus must be on one and only one segment.

  1. What teachers want?

Teachers in India are different from teachers in US/UK. Before building something for teachers, you must understand why a teacher choose teaching as a profession. I feel sad when I see some teachers who are teaching in colleges because they have not got a job anywhere else. Very unfortunate but true in my experience. I will love to get proved wrong at this point.

This unfortunate situation happened because of crony capitalism. Education businesses need cheap labor because they don’t want to pay packages like IT companies. They hire graduates and post graduates who are rejected by other companies. Why? Because no one look at the performance of a teacher, they look at the degrees. Teacher performance should be measured by the number of students who love to attend his/her class without attendance pressure.

I have seen some teachers who are passionate about teaching. Who could have got a better paying job but they are teaching because they love to teach. Students attend their classes, not because of fear of attendance shortage but because they enjoy learning from that teacher.

Why schools and colleges need to impose minimum attendance? Because they failed in making education an enjoyable process.

Re-evaluate what you are making for teachers. Find out a target group of teachers for your product. Start with 10-20 early adopter teachers to validate what you are making.

Figure out their difficulties. Ask them what they want. Do not ask them what other teachers want.

Chip and Dan Heath explained an experiment with human psychology in their book ‘Made to Stick.’

Let’s assume that you are trying to persuade someone to take a new job in a department that is crucial to the company’s success. Here are three possible pitches for the new job.

  1. Think about how much security this job provides. It’s so important that the company will always need someone doing this job.
  2. Think about the visibility provided by this job. Because the job is so important, a lot of people will be watching your performance
  3. Think about how rewarding it will be to work in such a central job. It offers a unique opportunity to learn how the company really works.

This experiment reveals the chasm between ourselves and others. Most people say no. 3- an appeal to learning would be most motivating for them. Those same people predict that others would be most motivated by No. 1 (Security) and No. 2(Esteem)

Learn the art of taking feedback. Ask them ‘what you want?’, not “what you think your colleagues will need?”.

  1. What school/college management wants?

No Secret, they want profits. Build something that can reduce their costs or help them in making more money.

Some schools want to make money in every possible way (wrong or right) but some schools want to increase profits by taking responsible steps. Both are right in their places. Debate is not to prove someone wrong. Debate is how to add value in their life.

Some random ideas –

  • Save their money on SMS by providing them WhatsApp type simple communication platform
  • Save their money on paper printing by implementing e-library – easy to access, easy to search, easy to read
  • Help them in getting more students (highly monetizable business)
  • Give them something for which parents can pay extra – happily. Something so cool that the school can provide as optional buy for parents and 99% parents says YES.
  • Reduce school’s headache from government regulations/policy updates. Send them easy to interpret and actionable notification whenever there is any relevant update from C.B.S.E, state government or central government.
  • Reduce their existing manual cost by upgrading to technology. No bullshit. Be practical, your offer should be so simple that you pitch for sale, and they should get saving calculations in their mind.

After reading above points, if you get an idea that you will have all my suggestions as part of your product, I am sorry to say but 99% chances are you will fail.

Focus only on one thing at a time and do it with sheer excellence. Once it is done then think about including next best thing.

If you think I am imposing my shitty thoughts on you then take an example of WhatsApp. Until their acquisition by Facebook, they were simple text/image based communications platform. Recently they added voice and not yet a video calling. Do you think they lack in technology expertise or money or video was not something people wanted? They just focused on one thing.


Education seems lucrative space to build next big startup, it is big space but do not get fooled by big numbers and size of the market that analytic experts are telling you. Think about creating value for the stakeholders. Pick only one stakeholder at a time, filter out a niche, build something awesome that people love to talk about, iterate and iterate to make it next big thing.

Think big but act small. No one ever became successful in satisfying everyone’s needs. Build your product for one person and make him fall in love with it. He will do the rest of marketing for you.



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DIGITIZING INDIA : Addressing India’s education challenges through the Internet of Everything

Technology is proving to be a disruptive influence on education today. With technology as a catalyst, education is moving from a knowledge-transfer model to a collaborative, active, self-directed, and engaging model. This change couldn’t have come at a better time for India.

The urban population in India is expected to grow faster than its overall population by 2030. This will create a huge pressure on the economy and the education system. Along with this there are other challenges in our education system. First is the sheer capacity to deliver education to all sections of our society. The quality of existing educational institutions is another challenge. Technology has the capability to address all these issues. Trends such as the growing penetration of high speed broadband, low cost computing devices and a strong thrust from the Government are accelerating the transformation of India’s education system.


We’re at the dawn of the age of the Internet of Everything (IoE) enabled by network, WiFi, IT security, cloud surveillance and software applications for learning. Deploying these solutions will not only help institutes save costs, but provide connected learning experience that will make it easier for higher education institutes to collaborate on research projects.

Although these are early days, IoE is opening up a new world of educational opportunities, not limited by time and place, for students to learn more, and in new ways, by connecting to resources around the globe.

Cisco predicts that worldwide, IoE in education has a 10-year net present value of US$175 billion, which will be delivered through streamlined and personalized instruction, and through the collection of data for making better decisions and reducing expenditure on instructional resources. This value is based on the global adoption rate of IoE increasing from less than 5% in 2013 to 32% by 2022.

                               DIGITIZATION OF INDIA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on the Digital India campaign looks to increase the scope of technology across the country. The campaign aims to ensure better connectivity and maximise the potential of India’s much talked about demographic dividend.

Creating broadband highways across the length and breadth of the country would go a long way in revamping the educational space digitally. The shortage of education institutes and faculty can be addressed when content on cloud or relevant technology is made accessible to everyone.

The National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) Scheme meanwhile aims to leverage the potential of ICT for teaching and learning processes. The Mission has two major components – content generation and providing connectivity along with provision for access devices to the institutions and learners. Under the NMEICT Mission connectivity to 419 Universities/ University level Institutions and 25000+ colleges and polytechnics in the country has been envisaged to be provided.

A report titled “India E-Learning Market Outlook to FY2018 – Increasing Technology Adoption to Drive Future Growth’ estimates that Indian e-learning market will grow at CAGR of 17.4% over the period FY2013 to FY2018. Indians are among the most aggressive users of the massively open online courses (MOOCs). In March 2014, of the 2.9 million registered users of Coursera, more than 250,000 were from India. The Indian registrations are second only to those from the USA.

As richer data emerges and capabilities increase, IoE will continue to connect the formerly unconnected, close the gap in education, and develop practical solutions that improve the quality of education for all students. For Cisco, IoE is about giving students and educators new windows to the world, and new opportunities to learn without limits. Cisco can facilitate institutes by delivering a solid network infrastructure and key enabling technologies that serve as a platform for innovation.

In this new ecosystem, education in several institutes is gradually migrating fromcampusbasedlearningtoeLearning or blended learning, curriculum on Internet/cloud, learning through mobile computing devices over secure WiFi, collaborating over video, assessment through online tools and integrating all this for AnyTimeAnywhereLearning through applications like LMS (Learning Management Systems).

It is time for India to ride the technology wave since it offers many distinctive advantages.

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Punjab emerges on top in education sector development in India: study

Clocking a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% between 2007-08 and 2013-14, has ranked on top in terms of growth in the number of schools followed by Kerala (5.4%) and Jammu and Kashmir (5.3%) while the all-India growth rate remained at 2.5%, noted a recent study by apex industry body ASSOCHAM.

“Punjab has emerged as the leader with a CAGR of about 8% in terms of growth in student enrolment between 2007-08 and 2013-14 followed by Haryana (5%) and Gujarat (3%),” according to a study titled ‘States Emergence: A comparative analysis of growth & development,” conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

Student enrolment grew at just over 1% CAGR across India during the aforesaid period, the study noted.

Punjab has also registered highest growth rate of about 20% CAGR during 2007-08 and 2013-14 as the number of teachers in the state have increased from about 79,750 to over 2.36 lakh in this period.

“In terms of education development challenge remains of providing equal opportunities for quality education to ever-growing number of students, reinvigorating institutions, crossing international benchmarks of excellence and extending the frontiers of knowledge,” said D.S. Rawat, national secretary general of ASSOCHAM.

“There is an urgent need to increase investments to develop human capital needed to meet those challenges,” said Rawat.

“Merely increasing the number of higher educational institutions and their enrolment capacity will not achieve national developmental goals without concurrent attention to quality and its access to all those who desire it,” he added.

“Developing a rural education policy which is result oriented in respect of funding educational institutes and teachers, which may help in improving efficiency of teaching faculty, which would ultimately improve overall competency of rural students and provide incentives to private colleges, professional institutes, and other vocational institutions to set up facilities in rural and backward areas may result in better enrolment rates,” further said  Rawat.

“Punjab’s performance in terms of students per teacher has also improved remarkably as from a level of 32 students per teacher in 2007-08 it has improved to 17 students per teacher in 2013-14, however the state is ranked fourth in this regard after Himachal Pradesh (11 students per teacher), J&K (12 students per teacher) and Kerala (15 students per teacher),” highlighted the study prepared by the Economic Research Bureau (AERB).

While in India, there were about 26 students per teacher as of 2013-14 as against 33 students per teacher in 2007-08.

Punjab is also ranked as fourth leading state as 52% of schools in the state had computer facility in 2013-14 as against about 31% in 2007-08, while Kerala (93%), Gujarat (73%) and Tamil Nadu (54%) are top three states in this regard, the study noted.

In India, about 23% of schools had computer facility as of 2013-14 as against about 14% in 2007-08.

However, Punjab has proved to be a laggard in terms of expenditure incurred by the state on education as % of their gross state domestic product (GSDP), according to the ASSOCHAM study. “With just 4.3% of Punjab’s GSDP being incurred on education expenditure, the state is ranked only ahead of Gujarat (3.3%) in this regard amid top 20 states in India.”

While nationally 1.3% of the GDP is being incurred on related expenditures. Assam and Bihar (11%) both are ranked on top in terms education expenditure as% of their respective GSDP.




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Quality education still main challenge in India, says Kailash Satyarthi

Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi has said that quality education is still a challenge in India.

Addressing a programme on ‘child rights and issues’ in New Delhi, Satyarthi said that growth in education should not be confined to numbers.

“The enrollment rate has gone up. The retention rate has also gone up but when it comes to quality and inclusive education, when it comes to equity in education, these are vital challenges. Of course, in India, but also globally, I have been fighting for right to education since many years. But not just for right to education, but for right to quality education with equity and inclusive (ness),” said Satyarthi.

He added that the right to education was key to the development of a country.

“Right to education or education is the fundamental right which opens the doors of all rights of human being. Without education you cannot open the door of rest of the rights of life. Whatever rights, in the constitutions, guaranteed in the law, they are not going to be fulfilled without the very fundamental thing, right to education,” said Satyarthi.



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India made impressive progress in providing primary education: Report

UNITED NATIONS: India has made “impressive” progress in providing primary education to its children but it is still struggling to achieve similar results in lower secondary education and has the largest number of out-of- school adolescents, a UN study said today.

According to the study by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Education for All Global Monitoring Report (EFR GMR), 124 million children and adolescents are now out of school while international aid to education continues to remain below 2010 levels.

“India has made impressive progress in the provision of primary education but is struggling to do the same for lower secondary education,” the report said.

In 2011, the latest year with data, more than 16 million young adolescents of lower secondary school age were not enrolled in school in India. In addition, Bangladesh, Mexico, Indonesia, Niger, Pakistan and the Syrian Arab Republic each had more than 1 million out-of-school adolescents.

The report noted that India is providing financial resources to help children with disabilities attend mainstream schools and adapt school infrastructure. In addition, teachers are being trained on inclusive education, with resource centres established to support clusters of schools.

India, which has the largest number of out-of-school adolescents, has seen a reorientation of external support from basic to secondary education between 2012 and 2013: aid to basic education in India fell from USD 100 million to USD 27 million and aid to secondary education rose from USD 21 million to USD 232 million between 2012 and 2013.

According to the latest UNESCO Institute for Statistics data, there were more than 0.5 million out-of-school children of primary school age in at least 19 countries.

At least one million children were denied the right to education in India, Indonesia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan and Tanzania.

In South and West Asia alone, 80 per cent of out-of-school girls are unlikely to start school compared to just 16 per cent for their male counterparts.

UNESCO’s Director General Irina Bokova pointed to warnings that unless countries “make serious commitments” towards increasing education aid, the ambitious targets made by the international community promising 12 years of free and equitable access to quality education “could remain elusive for millions of children and youth.”

Despite a six per cent increase in aid to education, investment levels are four per cent lower today than in 2010 and risk stagnating for the next few years.

“Aid needs to be shooting upwards, not creeping up by a few percentage points,” declared Aaron Benavot, Director of the EFA GMR.

Estimates suggest that it will cost an extra USD 39 billion to provide the 12 years of education to everyone in low and lower-middle income countries.

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