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)  

Source :- http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report-international-literacy-day-how-far-has-india-come-since-independence-2123021

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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.

raviranjan@mydigitalfc.com

Source :- http://www.mydigitalfc.com/news/funding-education-dreams-and-making-money-381
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Smriti Irani invites suggestions on new education policy

NEW DELHI: HRD minister Smriti Irani today invited suggestions from teachers and students of CBSE schools on the new national education policy, the draft of which is expected to be prepared by the year end.

download (7)Presenting the CBSE awards to teachers ahead of the national teacher’s day celebrations on September 5, the minister also favoured introduction of three new award categories including a category that recognises a teacher’s achievement in promoting education in rural areas.

“CBSE should also be involved in drafting the new national education policy and should ask the students and teachers about their views, the inputs of which should be collected by November 15,” she said at the award function.

The new education policy seeks to involve stakeholders from cross sections of the society including the teachers and students, the consultation process of which has began from January this year.

Hailing the achievements of the teachers who were felicitated at the event, she asked CBSE to constitute three award categories, felicitating teachers who promote performing arts, who venture beyond the classrooms and promote innovation and those who promote teaching in rural areas.

Thirty-four teachers from across the country and abroad were conferred the CBSE award for their innovations in classroom teaching.

The selection of the awardees is based on the academic efficiency and desire for improvement, genuine interest and reputation in the community, love for children, perseverance and commitment towards the field of education.

Sixteen mentors were also awarded for collaboration and handholding through regular visits to clusters of schools for promoting quality.

The Mentors awards recognise principals who go an extra mile in their endeavour to promote excellence.

Mentors are selected on the basis of their training experience, professional guidance, positive role-modelling, collaboration with mentee schools and initiating innovative practices.

These awards consist of a Merit certificate, a shawl and a cash prize of Rs 50,000.

The process of selection is both rigorous and transparent.

 

Source :- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/education/news/Smriti-Irani-invites-suggestions-on-new-education-policy/articleshow/48790573.cms

 

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India’s teachers think pupils need more industry experience, survey finds

Teachers from various parts of the country have voiced their opinions on the current state of India’s learning environment through the ‘Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey 2015’.

Most academicians feel that the restructuring of the curriculum is the need of the hour. The survey, fielded in July-August 2015, represents the views of 5,387 teachers from schools and higher education institutes across 527 cities and towns in India.

As many as 75 per cent of the teachers feel that the curriculum should be restructured in a way that includes industry exposure.

The Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey 2015 found that many educators believe students are not adequately prepared for employment. (Picture for representation)
The Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey 2015 found that many educators believe students are not adequately prepared for employment. (Picture for representation)

Around 57 per cent of the teachers believe that students are not adequately prepared for employment.

“Indian government has shown the intent to build greater industry-academia partnership by proposing a consultative theme in the National Education Policy framework. We are glad that the teachers have not only collectively validated this idea of industry-academia collaboration but offered a specific solution of curriculum restructuring,” Deepak Mehrotra, managing director of Pearson India, said.

Moreover, high costs and lack of infrastructure and maintenance pose the biggest hurdles to technology adoption in educational institutions.

As many as 52 per cent of the respondents believed that India’s education assessment framework  lacks specific action points for teachers and parents to enable holistic education.

“Assessments play an important role in giving teachers and parents the right benchmark for personalised learning and better learning outcome. In the new education policy, teachers expect a more robust assessment framework.” added Mehrotra.

 

Source :- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-3220257/India-s-teachers-think-pupils-need-industry-experience-survey-finds.html

 

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Muslims want education, jobs and development

BHAGALPUR: The tone and tenor of minority community members present in good number at the PM Narendra Modi’s rally was different. They talked about education, enhancing technical skill, employment opportunities and development in Bihar.

At the same time, they didn’t feel comfortable talking about infamous 1989 Bhagalpur riots after nearly 26 years. They, instead, dismissed the riots as a non-issue which the political parties should not raise to bully any community. Communal harmony and peaceful coexistence with state’s development was the buzz word for them, now.

They were seen discussing ‘vikas, vishwash, vichar aur pradesh mey kaisi sarkar (development, trust, understanding and what kind of government in the state needed). TOI talked to a cross-section of the minorities to elicit their points of view vis-a-vis assembly election in the state.

Md Manjoor Ali, a Bhagalpur local, said “aman-chaain aur vikas hi mudda hai aur hum log bacchon ko acchi shiksha dena chahte hain (communal harmony and development are the issues and we want good education for our children)”.

MBA graduate Syed Zeejah Hussain, who works in a private company and is a social activist, said development is very important for every section of the society, including minorities. Communal feeling fades away with education and development. It is a heartwarming situation that every politician now talks about development, he added.

Dr Imtiyazur Rehman, a leading neurosurgeon, said 1989 riots memories have faded away and new generation has come up. “We all want development and education. We want quality education for our children, he said.

Md Arif said earlier people used to vote on different counts, but now the focus is on development, employment, electricity, roads, law and order, etc. It is for sure that developmental issues are on the forefront and other issues have taken a back seat, echoed Hasnain Ali.

Md Jumman, an old man sitting at the meeting ground, said, “Hum gareeb hain kya bolen, lekin tarakki hogi, aman chain hoga toh sabka bhala hoga. Abhi tak toh sirf log bewakoof banatey aaye hain.”

 

Source :- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/Muslims-want-education-jobs-and-development/articleshow/48764841.cms

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KSOU Still Dragging Its Feet on Recognition Proposal

BENGALURU:The board of management of Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) is meeting on Monday amidst uncertainty among thousands of candidates about the validity of its degrees.

The varsity was derecognised on July 16 after it failed to send a proposal to the University Grants Commission (UGC) in the prescribed format to renew its recognition. The UGC first issued a notice to the university, but since it found the KSOU response unsatisfactory, it slapped a second notice on August 17.

“It is requested that the university may submit an affidavit on a non-judicial stamp paper” stating that “the university has closed its franchisee with private establishments and study centres outside the territorial jurisdiction of Karnataka,” the notice reads.

UGC has also demanded that the varsity affirm in the said affidavit that it has also discontinued its franchisee/private collaboration to offer its open and distance learning (ODL) programmes even within Karnataka. The steps to continue the recognition of ODL programmes of KSOU will be taken only after the affidavits are received by the UGC, the notice said.

When contacted, M G Krishnan, KSOU vice-chancellor, played down the UGC notice. He said all required documents have already been submitted, and “they have only sought some clarifications.”

He said he had submitted the application for recognition to UGC in Delhi on July 16. “UGC authorities have convened a meeting on August 27 regarding the issue. I am hopeful that the issue will be sorted out on that day.”

 

Source:- http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/KSOU-Still-Dragging-Its-Feet-on-Recognition-Proposal/2015/08/24/article2990505.ece

 

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India, Australia education ties: Recognition of VET by India is a big step for Indian students

That Australia has emerged as one of the most-favoured overseas destinations for higher studies was once again highlighted during the visit of the country’s minister for education and training, Christopher Pyne, and ambassador for Australian education in India, cricketer Adam Gilchris.

That Australia has emerged as one of the most-favoured overseas destinations for Indian students for higher studies was once again highlighted during the visit of the country’s minister for education and training, Christopher Pyne, and the first ambassador for Australian education in India, cricketer Adam Gilchrist, last week.

Announcing to reporters in Delhi that 48,500 Indian students had already gone to Australia from India this year for higher education, minister Pyne said that his government was looking at expanding educational ties with India to research collaborations between top institutions in both the countries as well as linking schools in India and Australia.

“While the number of Indian students in Australia is growing at around 15% annually, we would also like to build a stronger relationship between educational institutions in both the countries,” the minister said. A significant development during minister Pyne’s visit was the announcement that the Indian government will soon recognise pathways and foundation courses offered by Australian colleges.

The memorandum of understanding signed between Pyne and human resource development minister Smriti Irani will now facilitate credit transfers and mutual recognition of qualifications between the two countries.

The recognition of Australian pathways and foundation courses in the vocational education & training (VET) sector by India is a big step for Indian students who choose to return to work in India or take up further studies.

“Recognition of qualifications from Australia in the pathways and technical and further education (TAFE) streams will provide flexibility to both Indian students as well as Australian institutions,” Pyne said.

The providers of VET in Australia include TAFE institutes, adult and community education providers and agricultural colleges as well as private providers, community organisations, industry skill centres, and commercial and enterprise training providers.

In addition, some universities and schools also provide VET. The sector, which is crucial to Australia both for the development of the national workforce and as a major export industry, is supported through a network of eight state and territory governments and the Australian government, along with industry, public and private training providers.

These organisations work together to provide nationally consistent training across Australia. Significantly, of the total number of Indian students who enrolled in Australian institutions between January and June 2015, a sizeable percentage joined vocational education & training courses.

In fact, 20,189 Indian students chose to join VET courses. Most sought-after subjects for VET among Indian students in Australia were management and commerce; food, hospitality and personal services; engineering and related technologies; information technology and health. “About half the cohort of Indian students in Australia join vocational courses.

The Australian VET system is very strong and is designed to address workplacespecific skills requirement of different industries. There is a strong connect between the Australia’s VET and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of building a skilled workforce in India,” minister Pyne said. He added that the number of Indian students in Australia was growing and was now second only to China.

“We welcome Indian students to Australia and feel that international students are the best ambassadors for our country. Besides providing a channel for soft diplomacy, Indian students also add to the multicultural mix in our classrooms,” he said.

The Australian government’s post-study work visas for international students who complete university degrees in Australia enables international graduates to gain practical work experience after they graduate and enhance their overall international study experience.

On completion of studies, a student can, under the subclass 485 visa category, work in Australia fulltime for a period of 18 months to four years (depending on their level of studies) along with an option of applying for permanent residency.

“While this programme is a big incentive for Indian and other international students after they complete their masters, bachelors or doctorate degrees in Australia, they are also allowed to work 20 hours a week during their courses,” the minister said.

During minister Pyne’s visit, Australia’s Group of Eight (G8) universities had also sent their representatives to India as part of the education delegation. Under a new agreement, the G8 universities will work towards attracting more top students from India.

 

Source :-  http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/education/india-australia-education-ties-recognition-of-vet-by-india-is-a-big-step-for-indian-students/articleshow/48737732.cms

 

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Awaiting UGC nod, KSOU puts off admission process

MYSURU: The Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), whose courses have been derecognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC), has postponed its admission process. It wants to get the UGC recognition for its courses before admitting students.
download
The admissions were supposed to start in July.

On June 16, UGC secretary Jaspal S Sandhu sent a public notice saying KSOU had blatantly flouted its norms, guidelines and directives and that the courses offered by the university after 2012-13 were not recognized.

After the news broke, lakhs of students who had got admission to courses in KSOU rushed to the university seeking explanations.

Subsequently, KSOU vice-chancellor MG Krishnan visited the UGC headquarters in New Delhi to clear their doubts. He also met SP Goyal, joint secretary, department of higher education, union ministry of human resources development, and explained the situation.

“While the KSOU used to update the state higher education minister and the governor about its admission process, courses, students and other details, it failed to submit any details to UGC in the past three years,” source said.

The UGC has now called for a meeting with vice chancellors and registrars of all recognised universities in the state, including KSOU, University of Mysore, Kuvempu University and Gulbarga University to discuss various issues including recognition for courses. It has demanded that KSOU submit all the details pertaining to its admission process, courses and others by August end.

“We are expecting a positive response from the UGC after the meeting. We hope to start the admissions by September 20. Students will be given time till the end of January, 2016 to join our courses,” sources said adding that around 5 lakh students are already pursuing various courses in KSOU.

Source:- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mysuru/Awaiting-UGC-nod-KSOU-puts-off-admission-process/articleshow/48615258.cms
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More educational opportunities for foreigners in India!

The government is planning to open its education and legal services to foreigners and liberalizing education, which is a move aimed at boosting the country’s services sector. Explaining the country’s approach to open education sector, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia suggested opening online courses to make it better accessible across communities and countries.

About opening legal services for foreign players, she said the Commerce Ministry’s intention is to work with Bar Council of India (BCI) to move in a direction which is in tandem with the policies of both. The government is also in consultation with the Society for Indian Law Firms for this. The Department of Commerce built with stakeholders aims at allowing multi-professional firms to come in, and to allow them to increase size of the firms. “So, these could be early stage reforms. Once we do that, in the next stage we can have consultation with the BCI,” said Rita in a statement to PTI.

Opening up of these two sectors is under discussion of the Committee of Secretaries. The UK and the US have been pushing India to open up the sector to foreign firms.

The Advocates Act, which is administered by the BCI, provides for foreign lawyers or law firms to visit India on a reciprocal basis for temporary periods to advise their clients on foreign law and diverse international legal issues.

 

source :- http://indiatoday.intoday.in/education/story/educational-legal-services-foreigners/1/460584.html

 

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