To promote the education in the country, the Union Government of India has cleared that the government will focus on higher and technical education in its 11th plan. This is the first time, the economic survey has equally devoted its attention to primary, secondary and higher education sector by highlighting initiatives in these sectors, which will further expand in the course of the 11 th Plan.
However, it is also surprising that the survey is silent on the manpower crisis in higher education. Promoting and expanding higher education without making teacher's job attractive can result in a big crisis. The government has also committed to provide good quality elementary education to all children in the age group of 6-14 years. In this regard, the achievement by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid-Day Meal Scheme and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya are noteworthy. According to the survey, SSA has already constructed 1.70 million schools, 7.13 additional classrooms, 1.72 million drinking water facilities, 2.18 toilets and free supply to 6.64 billion textbooks, while MDM provides free food to 9.7 billion children. In the 11th Plan, MDM will be extended to upper primary level that would result in inclusion of 1.7 billion additional children of classes VI to VIII. SSA is expecting to allocate more than INR 13000 billion and MDM will allocate approximately INR 10,000 billion. There are other two highlights; universalisation of secondary education and expansion of higher education institutes. The scheme – Universalisation of Access to Secondary Education (SUCCESS) envisages mandatory secondary education to children in the age group of 15-16 years by 2015 and universal retention by 2020. This includes work on eight new IITs, seven new IIMs, 10 new NITs, three Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, 20 IIITs and two new SPAs. Then, there is the plan for 14 world class universities, 16 central universities and 370 new degree colleges.
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