Only 28.84% schools in Telangana have internet

HYDERABAD: At a time when the Centre is rooting for a digital India, a report by Ministry of Human Resource Development says that only 28.84% schools in Telangana have computer and internet facility, leaving more than one crore students across the state unexposed to the World Wide Web.

The recently-released report as part of the Flash Statistics 2014-15 for Secondary Education in India highlights the poor condition of schools across the state in terms of basic facilities.

In Telangana, only 30.09% secondary schools and 23.17% higher secondary schools have computer and internet facility. Adding to the woes, less than 40% schools in the state have fully-equipped physics, chemistry, biology and computer labs. Apart from this, only 24.96% secondary schools have integrated science laboratory. “For subjects like science, chemistry and physics, practicals are must as they develop a permanent image of concepts in a students’ mind,” said G Dakshinamurthy, convenor of Forum for Protection of Values in Education.

Although 91.39% schools have library facility, only 8.86% have librarians. Apart from this, 24.29% schools in the state do not have playgrounds.As far as health and hygiene is concerned, a measly 34.09% schools have hand-washing facility near toilets and only 67.56% schools have done medical check-ups during the previous academic year.

Lack of facilities in schools clearly reflect the results as the transition rate from secondary to higher secondary has dropped from 76.80% between 2012-13 to 69.21% in 2013-14. While GO Ms. 246 issued by the erstwhile government of Andhra Pradesh mandates constitution of parent-teachers association , the data reveals that only 27.16% schools in the state have adhered to the norms. “Every school needs to consult PTAs before taking any major decisions. However, schools are clearly flouting norms, due to which issues such as fee hike and poor development have come to the fore,” said Ashish Naredi, executive member of the Hyderabad School Parents Association. While 99% schools in the state have buildings, only 46.04% schools have ramps and are accessible to students with special needs.


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UGC announces master’s degree in vocational education

AURANGABAD: Students can now opt for a Masters degree in Vocational education after completing their B.Voc degree. In a major boost to vocational education, the University Grants Commission (UGC), after introducing an undergraduate degree in the stream, has now specified a Master’s degree for it.

Eligibility for M.Voc will be B.Voc. The UGC, around three years ago, had introduced B.Voc in higher education as a part of the National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF). The vocational education was made part of college/university education, leading to award of Degree/Advanced Diploma/Diploma in the stream.The scheme was formulated on the guidelines spelt out in the NVEQF and the stipulations of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) later superseded NVEQF.

The UGC recently in exercise of its powers under section 22 (3) of the UGC Act, 1956 has specified M.Voc.

Reacting on the development, K V Kale, director of Board of College and University Development at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, said introducing Master’s degree in vocational education would increase the level of certification at top level.

“After seeking Bachelor’s degree, choice for doing Master’s degree becomes obvious for candidates. The UGC specifying M.Voc would increase the level of certification in vocational education and create more expertise,” he said.

Ravi Bhardwaj, educational lawyer, said the UGC move would strengthen the vocational education sector

“Students can now achieve a Master’s degree in vocational sector to have further specialization in their chosen trade. This is a kind of a specialization hierarchy, which is very common in our education system, like MD after MBBS, MBA after BBA. This step also recognizes the need and importance of vocational education in transforming an economy,” he said.

Considered as a ‘judicious mix’ of skills relating to a profession and appropriate content of general education, B.Voc courses have been started in many educational institutes in Maharashtra from the academic year 2014-15.

These course offer students the option to opt for a three-year B.Voc courses with multiple exit provisions — a diploma at the end of first year and an advanced diploma after two years and Bachelor’s degree after completing complete course.

As per UGC directives, institutes offering B.Voc courses receive a financial allocation of Rs 1.85 crore for a period of three years. It includes a one-time start-up assistance of Rs. 50 lakh for setting up of laboratories/workshops facilities, procurement of teaching and learning materials, machinery/equipment and renovation. Besides, institutes will receive Rs 75 lakh towards appointment of one associate professor and two assistant professors among other expenses.

Such guidelines for running M.Voc courses are expected to be out soon.

Speaking with ToI, S V Birajdar, principal of S B Science College, said vocational courses have been finding growing takers among student community, and therefore M.Voc has become a need of the hour. “These are job-oriented courses, which are preferred by students who cannot pursue professional courses such as engineering due to many constraints ,” he said.


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Google launches online IT degrees in India

BANGALORE, India – Search engine giant Google and online education company Udacity on Monday launched IT courses in India, branching outside the US to tap the country’s millions of software developers scrambling for jobs.


The pair teamed with Indian conglomerate Tata to offer online technical training courses, focusing on teaching software developers to build apps for Android, the Google-backed mobile operating system.

Costing 9,800 rupees (US$148) a month, the degrees will take between six and nine months to complete, with lessons from Google instructors based in the United States. Students will get 50 percent of tuition costs back on graduation.

Google is looking to cash in on skilling up many of India’s 3.6 million developers, the second largest number worldwide, while at the same time seeking more developers who can programme for Android devices.

“While India has millions of software developers, we still lag behind in creating world-class apps,” Google India managing director Rajan Anandan told reporters in India’s IT hub of Bangalore.

The companies will also offer 1,000 scholarships and all graduates will be invited to a job fair next year hosted by Google in India.

The launch comes as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to Silicon Valley this weekend as part of a visit to the US, seeking foreign investment in India’s plethora of start-ups as well as financial tieups with US tech giants.

Modi, who will meet Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, is expected to reassure IT CEOs of efforts to reduce red tape and make it easier to do business in India, a massive market of 1.26 billion people.

India also boasts a large number of engineering and IT specialists who have left the country to rise to the top of the US corporate world, including Google’s new chief executive Sundar Pichai and Microsoft boss Satya Nadella.

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PhD students applying for peon jobs in UP: The real problem is with the Indian education system

In the USA, a PhD scholar, researching on pure sciences, has to sweat it out with the committee before which she has to defend her thesis, having to undergo severe challenges spanning more than five years. Publication of papers related to the area of research in reputed journals is part of the requirement before a candidate is proudly allowed to take the ‘walk’ — a bantering and light hearted Americanese for convocation.

It is not only the patent regime that insists on novelty but also the fastidious regime obtaining for making the grade for the coveted doctorate though the US patent regime has come for criticism for granting patents too readily and too easily even for marginal improvements to an existing product or service. Be that as it may.

Against this backdrop, the collective mourning by the Indian media for the sorry plight of some 250 PhD scholars who are among the 23 lac applicants for 368 vacancies for the peon job in the Uttar Pradesh government misses the woods for trees.

Narayanamurthy, one of the founders of the India iconic IT Company Infosys, bemoaned the employability of our engineering graduates. His grievance, shared by many of his peers, was they required a prolonged induction training spanning six months at considerable expenses to the employer before they learnt the ropes and tricks of trade.

Representative image. Agencies

PhDs languishing without jobs is only a heightened manifestation of the same festering problem which has been addressed only half-heartedly, if at all, by a few companies like L&T by setting up their own vocational training schools.

The deemed universities that have mushroomed all over the country are more at fault. Academic rigor is sorely absent in the entire process culminating in awarding of PhD degrees. In fact, many of their teaching staff insidiously complete their doctorates on laughably simple issues sans novelty value — thesis on double entry system of accounting to wit. These universities oblige their own staff more because it serves their purpose as well as education regulators in India insist on PhD degree for professors.

The lucky ones soldier on in the universities and academia sans academic rigor but many not able to land teaching jobs, seek employment as generalists like the ones applying for the peon jobs in UP.

The malaise indeed has deep roots in the system of education in the country. Small wonder boys and girls going abroad for higher education are viewed as prized possessions by Indian companies when they return home armed with a foreign PhD degree on an esoteric subject.

The UP government would do well not to indulge the psycho-babbling of the PhD scholars by giving them the peon jobs which while giving them immediate succor would see them sulking in the long run with the resultant shoddy performance coming to haunt the government sooner than later besides affecting the overall morale of the establishment.

The universities that gave them PhD degrees at the drop of the hat must be taken to task by the education regulators so that in future they don’t trivialize with such coveted degrees. Benign guides with winking universities have been the bane of our PhD dispensation. It is not difficult to set right this malady because PhD is not a regular classroom course but the one where the candidate and guide are supposed to think out of the box. The UGC must mandate that the committee before whom a candidate presents his research paper must be drawn from the who’s who of the experts on the field, and as far as possible be the ones with whom the candidate cannot curry favor or cozy up to.

It is time our employers, while prescribing the minimum qualifications, also prescribe the maximum qualifications so that the supposedly overqualified do not apply. Meanwhile the PhD scholars who have applied for peon’s position with the UP government must seek solace elsewhere.

To be addressed as ‘Doctor Sahib’ is ego-boosting but it can cause incalculable harm if it dawns later on that the appellation was not earned but gotten thanks to the indulgent education system.


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Oracle Introduces Cloud Platform Services for Higher Education Institutes In India

BANGALORE: The higher education system in India is facing an unprecedented transformation, driven by economic and demographic change. Experts believe by 2020, India will be the third largest economy. Currently, more than 50 percent of India’s population is under 25 years old. But as opposed to developed countries, where the percentage of skilled workforce is between 60 percent and 90 percent of the total workforce, India records a low 5 percent of workforce (20 to 25 years) with formal vocational skills. There is a pressing need for accelerated reform in the higher education ecosystem to equip India’s youth with skillsets that enhance their employability in a digital economy.

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Oracle has introduced three Cloud Platform Services for higher education institutes to support this endeavor. The offerings – Oracle Document Cloud Service, Oracle Database Cloud Service, and Oracle Java Cloud Service  are designed to meet the industry’s demand for a cloud-ready workforce. They will address the need of an always plugged-in generation of millennial wanting to access these services anytime, anywhere and on any-device. The solution will help students and faculty to collaborate on projects, across disparate campuses and geographies. Additionally, they will provide an easy, secure, and agile environment for the incubation of student start-ups at campuses by enabling easy access to compute resources for application development.

Oracle Cloud Platform Services will enable India’s higher education institutes to:

Minimize the financial burden of deploying new technologies for curriculum updates

Ensure agility to develop and deploy complex solutions for academic projects as per curriculum

Realize a drastic reduction in capital expenditure (owing to reduced IT infrastructure and manpower requirement)

Ensure flexibility to dynamically scale services to address fluctuating demands (without any additional investment in infrastructure)

Oracle Cloud Platform Services to Power Modern Campuses

Oracle Cloud Platform Services will be useful for students who study IT in some form or other in their curriculum, such as mechanical or computer science or electronic fields of engineering. These services can be accessed by all students—day scholars or residential students staying in college hostels. These cloud services can be accessed by students via the internet or their internet dongle connections—anytime, anywhere, on any device. For the university, these solutions offer complete audit logs for the administration to monitor access of students based on IP.

Oracle Document Cloud Service enables sharing of files between staff and students or between project teams (e.g., at the time of third year and final year project submissions). The documents can be accessed on mobile or on desktop/laptop; online or offline.  Since access to documents are rule-based, only appropriate faculty or students gain access to documents, depending on sensitivity of information included. The documents can be customized with the college logo to maintain legitimacy.

Oracle Database Cloud Service allows students full access to features and operations that are available with an already familiar Oracle Database, without the hassle of managing its underlying infrastructure. Students can perform database management and development operations in a cloud model. They will also gain access to a suite of simplified tools for backup and recovery commands, software upgrades and patching, and to spin up or tear down additional database instances. This will ultimately grow their skills on Oracle Database, India’s most preferred relational database that powers a majority of industries in the private and public sectors.

Oracle Java Cloud Service provides students with an environment to build, deploy, and manage Java applications. Java continues to be the most popular programming language among developers[4]. With Oracle Java Cloud Service, students can rapidly provision an application environment (conducive to incubate student start-ups) in the cloud. This provisioning ensures authentication and authorization to instances, so students do not have to worry about other users gaining access to their environment in the cloud. This service is enterprise-class, quick and easy, portable, and secure.

“Today’s higher education institutions across the private and public sectors face unique challenges, one of which includes devising appropriate curriculum to help develop an industry ready workforce. The millennial generation is far advanced in their IT consumption and work collaboratively with their teachers and fellow students. Having served some of the globally renowned universities, Oracle wants to ensure that universities in India have access to the most modern technologies. We want to enable those universities and their students to be better prepared for tomorrow. We believe cloud has a major role to play here,” said Mitesh Agarwal, CTO and vice president, Sales Consulting, Oracle India.



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Education, Skill Development impact on Economic Growth in India

Education is a process of facilitating learning – knowledge, skills, values, beliefs etc. So, education determines the country’s future as it is having all the powers to change everything. We have come across  so many philosophies like naturalism, realism, idealism, modern philosophies and philosophers like Jhon Dewey, Arbinto Gosh, Rabindranath Tagore, MK Gandhi who believed in traditional way of learning along with modern concepts and also Nehru had strong believe in Rationalism.

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Apart from these, we had older way of educational methodology like Gurukuls, where students have to stay and learn the mantras, Upanishad by storytelling, games, managing the battles, moral values, leadership skills etc taught by gurus. But the drawback of this methodology was it is only applicable for certain group of people like those who are from Shatriyas and other forward castes.

The difficulties and struggle were felt from the olden period onwards, but still we did not achieve 100% in that. It should reach all people irrespective of age, sex, economic status, religion, language, cultures etc. “Education for All” Initiative must be initiated soon. “A high rate of education is essential for countries to be able to achieve high levels of economic growth so that the developing countries should grow faster than rich countries because they can adopt cutting edge technologies already tried and tested by rich countries”.

Strong Review Argument  

Education contributes to economic growth by imparting basic attitudes, moral values and specific skills, which are necessary for variety of places. It contributes economic growth by improving health, reducing fertility, and political stability. Importance of educational system is to produce a literate, disciplined, flexible labour force via high-quality education. Musiban Adelunji et al (2005), the paper investigates the long run relationship between the education and growth in Nigeria by Johansen co-integration technique and the vector error correction methodology.

The results showed that long run relationships between enrolments in primary and tertiary level as well the average years of schooling with output of workers. The results revealed that a well-educated labour force possessed a positive and significant impact on economic growth through factors accumulation and on the evaluation of total factors productivity. P Aghion et al (2009) conducted a study on casual impact of education on Economic growth’s evidence from U.S. The hypothesis tested some investments in education raise growth. They find that exogenous shocks to research type education have positive effects in states fairly close to the technological frontier.

Denise Hawkes et al(2012) a meta analysis was done on relationship between education, skill and economic growth in low– income countries(LICs). Objective of the study was to address the impact of education, skill on economic growth to the direct effect on human capital investments on growth in LICs. The search based on 43 LICs, 3,842 unique studies were screened. The results showed that investing in education skills promotes economic growth in LICs correct in general. Also, some gaps like improper measurements in education and skills were found.

The principle finding suggests that those national and transnational organizations who have invested heavily in human capital development in LICs are likely to see a return on this investment in terms of economic growth.


What countries stand to gain? OECD (2015), the analysis shows that growth is directly and significantly related to the skills of the population. The key is to measure the skills properly. Skills are measured by the aggregate test scores on international mathematics and science tests. Concluded that population’s knowledge, capital, or collective cognitive skills, is by far the most important determinant of a country’s economic growth.

Hanushek and Woessmann (2008), a study conducted on the role of cognitive skills in educational development shows that school attainment alone has not guaranteed economic conditions and they assessed the International Achievement test across the countries. The findings in Singapore, Taiwan, and Korea showed scores above 555. But India is in between the score of 400-450 and the assessment of grades the school dropouts between grades 5 – 9 and never enrolled school are more in south Asia particularly in India.

The study concluded that cognitive skill of the population is powerfully related to individual earnings to the distribution, to economic growth and also much larger skill deficits are there in developing countries. The main objectives of this article was to assess the existing level of education and skill development that will help find solution to fill the gap between the existing and future education, skill development in India.

Present Educational System in India

The Indian educational system is producing more graduates every year. But the graduates havelack of basic communication and problem solving skills. Those are essential for even the elementary level jobs. Today’s education is seen only in earning money. Education is offered to earn good money and also the educational institutions have become more commercialised.

When we talk about present curriculum in India, it is out dated nearly 30 years old. Some institution sticks on an old curriculum. Few want the change and fight a long futile battle trying to change it. So there is a need of massive change in present and development of new curriculum along with administering the planned one. Vocational training should be mandatory alongside lots of practical work, as more importance has been given to theoretical classes rather than practical classes due to many issues like lack of facilities, lack of trainers etc.

The present day education system in India comprises of about 600,000 primary, 150,000 upperprimary, 70,000 secondary school and higher secondary schools. The network of institution of higher education includes more than 7000 colleges of general education about 1000 professional colleges and number of specialised institutions in industrial, scientific, technical, social sciences and research. There are 150 million students who are enrolled with an employment of about 4 million teachers.

Creating more schools and allowing hundreds of colleges and universities to mushroom is not going to solve the crisis of education and economic growth in India. Parents are spending more money for education, even though not getting standard education and struggling to find employment of their choice. There are millions of students who are the victims of unrealistic, pointless, mindless rat race. The mind numbing competition is not only crushing the creativity and originality of millions of Indian students but also drives students to commit suicide.

Significance of Education, Skill and its Impacts on Employability 

Education is the backbone of each family that too women’s education is very essential. Nowadays, the value of education is just earning a degree without a goal, why this happens? The reason islack of reinforcement, loss of hope on employment. “Nation does not need pointless, goalless youngsters, instead need mindful, talented, skilful youth to compromise the dynamic society and improve the status of our country among others”. So the government has the responsibility to bring the hope and set stage for the youngsters of India.

Each individual has to think and answer these questions like where we stand? What we have? Where has to go? What is our life time goal? How to bring the status in the society? This is not only for the people and also for the nation. The Nation also should set the goals on what we have? What must be taken initiative to improve the economic growth? What are all the sectors that need attention to improve the economic growth? So select that kind of areas and plan the strategies to implement the methodology which should contain need based education and skill development and plan for periodic monitoring.

Education alone is not needed. For proper execution, skill is necessary. In India, importance of skill is an unattended aspect except in few areas like Medicine, Engineering etc that too not everywhere. What about other areas of studies? The graduates are still struggling in communication, lack of boldness to present the presentations. India is composed by demographic dividend with multiple languages, cultures, religion etc. So teaching in common language is not possible like other countries, if we do it, other issues crop up.


Skill Learning

Having knowledge alone is not adequate to bring the changes, the need of skill to execute properly is important. Now the new ministry introduced “Skill India Mission” for the youth to meet their domestic demands and also for the betterment of economic growth of our nation. Through this mission, Jobless, school dropouts, graduated, uneducated, and women will be given training based on their knowledge and ability which will certify them to get the jobs. For the students it will be starting from the school to provide communication skill, entrepreneurship, problem-solving skills, etc.

The skill India mission has been introduced all over the India. It is not only for the schools, “SKILL FOR ALL” irrespective their education, sex, age etc. The central government has many vocational and professional skill-based training programmes. Apart from the courses the mission is planning to reach the rural India also. So the main aim of the mission is reach the outreach population. Training will be given to carpenters, black smith, masons, nurses, cobblers, welders, tailors, weavers etc. Importance will be given to the area where the government can improve the economic growth like real estate, construction, jewellery designing, tourism, banking, transportation, gem industry, textile etc. It will improve the individual earnings and which directly influence economic growth of the nation.


The mission also plans to bring the courses for specific age groups on language and communication skills, personality development skills, behavioural skills, life and positive thinking skills, including job and employability skills which will be conducted by group discussion, games, brainstorming, simulation, practical experiences and case studies etc. This will be managed by academic institutions, public and private sectors, Nongovernmental organizations etc.

Quality of schooling institutions and Economic Growth

Micro economic evidence of productivity increasing the effects of education and skills, it is naturally extending the view to the macroeconomic perspective of long run economic growth of countries. It is same like education earning relationships. There are three mechanisms through which the education may affect economic growth.

First, education increases the human capital inherent in the labour force, which increases labour productivity and transitional growth towards equilibrium level of outputs. Secondly, education may increase the innovation capacity of the economy and the knowledge on new technologies, products, processes, promotes growth. Thirdly, education may facilitate the diffusion and transmission of knowledge needed to understand the process new information and to implement successfully new technologies devised by others, which again promotes economic growth.

Problems and Policies

Today, problems of identification are too high in India. For example, concentrating on teacher’s salaries, class size, and institution benefits etc., secondary schooling literacy rates are low. Thereare encounter sporadic or nonexistent assessment of student education which is are important issues.

The shift of focus of focus from year of schooling to cognitive skills has important policy implications because policies that extend schooling may be very different from best policies to improve skills. The policy conundrum is that student achievement has been relatively impervious to a number of interventions that has been tried by countries around the world.

1. Improve and revise the health and nutrition policy which directly influences children’s ability to concentrate and leads to gain in basic achievements.

2. Create awareness about people involvement for support their children and provide path todevelop their skills.

3. Strongly need to change the structural changes in curriculum and school institutions.

4. Recover school resources and skill-based education.

5. Improve incentives for student’s performance and strong accountability system that accurately measures a student’s performance.

6. Local autonomy that allows schools to make appropriate educational choices and competition in schools, so that parents can enter into determining the incentives that schools fare.

7. The student autonomy also considered because parents should not impose to select the path.

Cognitive skills have powerful effects on individual earnings on the distribution of income and on economic growth. Changes in curriculum structure and measurements of tools which assess cognitive skill are needed to bring the better impact on economic growth, because economic growth is strongly influenced by the skills of labour force in India.

By A Mahendran

RGNIYD- Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.


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KV Pattom best government school in the country

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pattom, here has been adjudged the best government day school in the country in the Education World India School Rankings 2015. The hitherto unranked school, trumped last year’s list topper KV-IIT Madras in the category.

A number of schools from the state figured in the top ten list in various categories.

Education World has been publishing the annual Education World India School Rankings with C fore, a Delhi-based market research and opinion polls agency for the past seven years.

Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom
Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom

“The objective of the annual EW India School Rankings is to track and proclaim the country’s best schools as role models for the entire community of educators, and inspire top-ranked schools themselves to improve from good to great,” said Dilip Thakore, founder-editor of EducationWorld.

The awards will be presented at a function scheduled to be held on September 25 in New Delhi. In the last four months 120 field personnel of C fore interviewed 11,660 people including parents, principals, teachers and students in 27 cities and persuaded them to rate schools in their region on a ten-point scale across 14 parameters of educational excellence. They rate and rank over 800 of India’s high-profile schools.

Established in 1964, Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom is amongst the oldest KVs and has been widely accepted as one of the best schools in the country. The school recently celebrated its golden jubilee and was in the news for getting the top rank in CBSE class XII 2015 examination.

“The award hasn’t come really as a surprise as the who is who in the alumni list of the school stand proof to the meritorious service the school has done to the country,” said principal of Pattom K V S Ajayakumar. “Top rated on the parameters of competence and commitment of teachers and sports education, and rated highly on parental involvement and value for money, KV Pattom has beat other government schools by a comfortable margin,” he added.


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International Literacy Day: Here are some of the greatest Indian educators

downloadSeptember 8 is celebrated as International Literacy Day every year since 1965, when it was first proclaimed by UNESCO.

There were several pioneers who strove to make bring quality education in the country. Let’s take a look at some of the greatest educators in India.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan

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Sir Syed Ahmad Khan

It may be blasphemy in today’s times to name Sir Syed Ahmad Khan as one of India’s greatest educators, but one cannot ignore his contribution to the education of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent. The Aligarh Muslim University, founded by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan is ranked among the top universities in India. Khan saw the need of modern education amongst Muslims, and started a movement to create awareness about education amongst fellow Islamists. He first started a school in Muradabad and then followed it up with many more. Muhammedan Anglo Oriental College was founded in 1875 in Aligarh, and Sir Syed Ahmad Khan wanted it to become a Muslim university on par with Cambridge. He literally started a movement called the Aligarh Movement and stirred up an educational revolution amongst Muslims.

Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil

Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil
Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil

While Mahatma Jyotirao Phule and his wife Savitribai can be credited for the spread of mass education in Maharashtra, Bhaurao Patil took this legacy forward by setting up schools and colleges throughout the state from 1920 onwards. He was the pioneer of the ‘earn while you learn’ system in Maharashtra and set up numerous hostels and boarding houses for needy kids. Patil’s contribution seems larger when we consider the caste system predominant in Maharashtra and he insisted that his institutions will be open to all. His wife Laxmibai was equally supportive in his cause and reportedly offered him all her ornaments, including her mangalsutra, to ensure there was no paucity of funds for his schools. Patil turned the Rayat Shikshan Sanstha into a mass movement as he sought contributions as little as a few paise from the rayat i.e. the common people.

Savitribai Phule

Savitribai Phule
Savitribai Phule

It may be a sweet dilemma – is her contribution to women’s education greater than her husband Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, who was one of the greatest social reformers in Maharashtra? Savitribai followed up with every cause that her husband took up and surpassed him. While Jyotirao took up the women’s cause, she made him open schools for girls, unheard of in the middle of the 19th century. People threw cow dung at them in conservative Pune, as the couple opened the first school for women. Jyotirao supported widow remarriage, adopted a boy from a widowed Brahmin lady who was going to commit suicide and opened a care home for orphans. Savitribai took care of the kids like her own. Her death too was in tune with her life. As she took bubonic plague victims from Pune to her son’s clinic, she contracted the disease herself and died. Today, Pune University is named after her.

Dr RM Alagappa Chettiar

Dr RM Alagappa Chettiar
Dr RM Alagappa Chettiar

Born in Kottaiyur in the Sivaganga district, Dr RM Alagappa Chettiyar was a model teacher who was friends with Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the former President of India. He strongly believed in education and donated generously for the cause. Dr RM Alagappa Chettiyar is said to have revolutionised education in Karaikaudi. The Alagappa Arts College was started at Karaikudi thanks to his donation in 1947 and 11 educational institutions were built subsequently in the Alagappa name thanks to his foundation and donations. These include the Alagappa College of Technology Campus (Anna University) and Alagappa Chettiar Government College of Engineering & Technology (ACCET), Karaikudi.



Dr Mrs YG Parthasarathy

Dr Mrs YG Parthasarathy
Dr Mrs YG Parthasarathy

In 1958, a group of housewives, including a former journalist Mrs YG Parthasarathy from the Nungambakkam Ladies Recreation Club, came together to set up the Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan School (PSBB) in Nungambakan, Chennai. Today, the group of institutions headed by Padmashri Awardee Dr Mrs YGP (as she is popularly known) has branches in Chennai, Coimbatore, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The PSBB Group schools were ranked first in the south zone in the Day Schools category by a survey conducted by Education World in 2011. 90-year-old Mrs YGP still looks after the schools.

Dr Tonse Madhav Ananth Pai

Dr Tonse Madhav Ananth Pai
Dr Tonse Madhav Ananth Pai

Manipal in Karnataka flourished into a university city thanks to educationist and banker Padma Shri Dr Tonse Madhav Ananth Pai or Dr TMA Pai. Born in 1898, Dr TMA Pai was the first person in India to start a private, self-financing medical college that offered the MBBS course. Before he passed away in 1979, DR TMA Pai went on to set up numerous other institutions in Manipal like Kasturba Medical College (1953), Manipal Institute of Technology (1957), Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore.




K Kamaraj

K Kamaraj
K Kamaraj

This politician from Tamil Nadu was hailed as a ‘kingmaker’. In 1954, Kamaraj became Chief Minister and made significant changes to the education system in the state. He removed the family vocation-based Hereditary Education Policy and opened new schools in rural areas to provide access to education for students there.

As Chief Minister, he made sure every village and panchayat had at least one school and introduced free and compulsory education till 11th standard. The Midday Meal Scheme that provides one meal a day to students in government schools in Tamil Nadu today, was introduced by him. Education in the state rose from 7% to 37% post the education reforms he introduced. A lesser known fact is that it was thanks to his efforts and that of Governor Medhi, that IIT Madras was established in 1959.



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International Literacy Day: How far has India come since Independence?

Right to education is one of the important mandates for the Narendra Modi-led government. Under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, all Indian private unaided primary schools have been mandated to reserve 25% free seats for children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups. In particular, Section 12 (1)(c) of the RTE  Act stipulates that the 25% reservation be implemented while admitting students  to Class 1. According to the mandate, No child from class one to eight can be detained in the same class; all of them have to be promoted. Representational image

September 8 is celebrated as International Literacy Day every year since 1965, when it was first proclaimed by UNESCO. While millions are yet to come under the literacy bracket, and the government battles for a digitised, literate, and a financially-able India, let’s take a look at how far the country has come in terms of literacy rate since independence.

Crude literacy rate

India’s crude literacy rate, calculated by taking the entire population in consideration, i.e. including persons of ages 0-4 years or 0-6 years too, has grown consistently since 1901, continuing the growth streak post Independence too – overall, in males and females. The improvement in crude literacy rate has been phenomenal (48.22 percentage points) in post-independent India. The corresponding increase in case of males has been of 46.32 percentage points and among females it is of 49.69 percentage points.  


Overall literacy rate

Since 1951, overall literacy rate has gone up from a mere 18.33% to 74.04%. On an average, literacy rates have went up by atleast 9-10% every decade. With the highest jump seen from 1991 to 2001 – a 12.62% climb. It is important to note that in 1951, 1961 and 1971 censuses, ages 5 and above were considered for the literacy ratio calculation, while after that – in 1981, 1991, 2001, and 2011 – ages seven and above were considered for the calculation.

Literacy in males

The rate of literacy in makes grew from 1951’s 27.16% to a whooping 82.14% in 2011.

Literacy in females

Literacy among women rose from a puny 8.86% in 1951 to 65.46% in 2011. Gender gap

The gap in the number of literate Indian males and females was 18.30% in 1951. What is interesting is that it stayed well above 20%, averaging near 24.4%, between 1961 and 2001, dropping 4.91% to 16.68% from 2001 to 2011.  

2012-13 (provisional)

40% of the literate population took Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the under graduate level in 2012-13, as against 16.34 takers for Engineering & Technology, 14.53% for Commerce, and only 4.11% for IT & Computer-related fields.

(All data from National Commission on Population)  

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Funding education dreams and making money

Education loan in India is still a modern concept, opted for by students with proven academic record

With rising cost of higher education, loans are becoming a key source of funding for those who want to get into top-notch institutes in India and abroad. Higher education is a Rs 80,000 crore market. And education loans for them is a Rs 13,000 crore space that’s growing at a fast clip. While the majority of courses opted by aspirants are the usual MBA and medicine degrees, students are increasingly showing propensity to try out new vistas.

Education loan in India, unlike abroad, is still a very modern concept and is opted for by students who have a proven academic track record. These students are very confident of paying back the loan once they are employed after completing their course in India or abroad.

Indian students are the second largest group of international students in the worldwide higher education market today. Combined with this, the rising costs of higher education and the Indian rupee’s slump in global markets have resulted in expanding the demand for education loans for especially foreign studies.

Rising cost of higher education in INDIA

Specialised players

All the public and private sector banks are providing education loans. A few education loan specialists have also emerged — Avanse promoted by Dewan Housing Finance (DHFL) and Credila promoted by HDFC. Among the banks, State Bank of India is a major player in funding education loans along with other large PSU banks. Neeraj Saxena, CEO, Avanse education loans said, “Every year spending on education is rising at 10 per cent to 15 per cent, higher education spending in India is around Rs 80,000 crore, at present, of which 15 per cent to 16 per cent is funded through loans.”

Education loan is becoming crucial for funding studies abroad as well as for highly sought after courses in India. As per latest data, 3.5 lakh students go abroad for higher studies every year. Of this, 2.5 lakh go to the US alone. “The total spend on pursuing masters degree in the US for an exceptionally bright student is around Rs 25 lakh ($37,593 at current rupee-dollar rate of 66.5), and the cost for MBA course in India is around Rs 16 lakh to Rs 17 lakh. “The education finance business in India has grown at the rate of 30 per cent CAGR over the past five years from Rs 15,200 crore in 2006-07 to Rs 50,300 crore in 2011-12,” Saxena said.

With India’s youth showing high degree of maturity in terms of what they would like to pursue as a career and how they would like to finance their higher studies towards that goal, students themselves are involved in loan application and processing these days, thanks to information available on line and growing role of education consultants in guiding students to a right course and university, Saxena added.

Specialist education loan providers like Avanse are also prospecting students who would need loans from them in future by forging a relationship with around 400 educational institutions and 600 education consultants within the country as well as abroad.

“The number of students pursuing higher education in India and overseas has been growing year on year despite uncertainties in the economy and the rupee’s depreciation against the dollar, pushing costs up by 20 per cent to 30 per cent,” said an official from Credila.

New vistas

Students are no more interested only in traditional courses for higher education, but are foraying into new areas. “Credila has noticed a growing preference towards unconventional courses like sports management, acoustics & music technology, sports therapy and sometimes courses as specific as cardio-respiratory physiotherapy in place of the popular engineering or traditional MBA programmes,” Credila official said.

With growing education loan demand, specialised education loan companies are seeing high growth in the range of 30 per cent to 50 per cent year after year.

As per provided data, Credila has disbursed a total of over Rs 2,300 crore of education loan at the close of May, funding thousands of students studying over 900 unique courses in more than 2,100 institutes across 35 countries.

Relatively new in education loan finance, Avanse has financed close to 3,000 students and had a loan book of Rs 375 crore as on March 31. Loans covering the full cost of the undergraduate education are available through many banks and NBFCS — sometimes the amount being disbursed is as high as Rs 1 crore or more.

The loan covers the entire cost of education for 3 or 4 years, including lodging – boarding and travel expenses. This allows students to choose a loan that suits their study needs completely. During loan processing, the student is required to bring a parent as a co-borrower and a collateral security is also required to guarantee the loan.

Bank on us

Most banks provide unsecured lending up to Rs 7.5 lakh as no collateral is required for loans up to that amount. Banks like HDFC Bank provide wider collateral options for securing a loan of a higher amount than Rs 7.5 lakh like residential property, bank’s fixed deposit, LIC policy, national saving certificates (NSC) or a kisan vikas patra (KVP) issued by India Post.

Some financial institutions may waive off the collateral for certain courses or for meritorious candidates where job is guaranteed. Also, the value of the collateral can be less than the loan amount requested. Normally, lenders require collateral covering 100 per cent or more of the education loan amount.

Processing of education loan for courses starting in the July-September period every year starts in December of the previous year, allowing a gestation period of around seven months.

There are several benefits of an education loan. First, for exceptionally bright students, the repayment of the loan which happens after the completion of the course opted for is not difficult, as they get a job and payments are allowed over a period of 10 to 15 years. During the period of study, students and parent as their co-borrower are asked to pay simple interest or partial interest.

There are some tax advantages also provided by the Union government on interest paid on the education loan. Under Section 80 E of the Income-Tax Act, a person gets income-tax exemption on the amount paid against the interest of the education loan — either for self or for his/her spouse or children — for eight years from the year (s) he starts to repay the loan or for the duration the loan is in effect, whichever is more.

The above tax exemption is on loan taken for the purpose of pursuing higher studies of individual, spouse, children of individual. Hence, parents are also eligible to claim deduction of interest paid by them on loan taken for their children’s education.

With effect from assessment year 2010-11, the income-tax department has added additional fields of studies (including vocational studies) pursued after passing the senior secondary examination or its equivalent from any school, board or university recognised by the central or state governments. These are now covered under deduction in respect of interest paid on loan taken for higher education.

The Union government also provides interest subsidy from the ministry of human resource for students from economically weaker sections with annual gross parental/family income up to Rs 4.50 lakh per annum from the academic year 2009-10. The scheme is applicable only for studies in recognised technical/professional courses in India in educational institutions established by Acts of Parliament, other institutions recognised by the concerned statutory bodies, Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other institutions set up by the central/state government. The limit under this loan scheme is Rs10 lakh.

The subsidy is provided for the period of moratorium i.e., 12 months after completion of the course or six months after getting the job, whichever is earlier.

Education loans allow a student to focus on pursuing the course of his or her choice and securing a great education. For example, a student pursuing a master’s course in the US with the help of an education loan finds it’s easier to repay, as he or she gets a job in the US or in a multinational company easily. Their salaries in dollars make it easier for them to pay back the loan in a short span of time.

In top US campuses like Princeton University, University of California (Berkeley) or Yale, the tuition fee is in the range of $37000 to $60,000, at present, according to education experts tracking course fees. While education loan in India is in a nascent stage, both lenders and borrowers need to exercise caution to avoid large NPAs.

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