Chapter 8 Higher Education System 10 Chapter (UGC NTA NET JRF Teaching and Research Aptitude Book)
Introduction To Higher Education
According to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (Higher Education Department), Higher Education is defi ned in two ways:
1. Education, which is obtained after completing 12 years of schooling and is pursued for a duration of at least nine months.
OR 2. After completing 10 years of schooling, it is pursued for a duration of at least 3 years.
Some examples are Ph.D., M.Phil., Post-graduation, Graduation, PG Diploma, Diploma, Certifi cate, etc., in any stream, like Arts, Commerce, Science, Engineering, Architecture, etc.
Higher education provides people with an opportunity to reflect on the critical, social, economical, cultural, moral and spiritual issues faced by humanity.
It contributes to the national development through dissemination of specialized knowledge and skills. Therefore, it is considered as a crucial factor for survival.
Being at the apex of the educational pyramid, it also has a key role in producing teachers for the educational system. Higher education is a key element in ‘demographic dividend’ and also that it intends to make optimum utilization of human resources specifically in age group from 15–59 years.
Indian higher education system, which includes technical education is one of the largest in the world, just after the United States and China.
Formal education system can be categorized into three parts, namely primary, secondary and tertiary education. Tertiary education is a wider term and it is higher education plus vocational education. According to the perspective of the NET Paper I, our focus is on higher education.
Secondary education begins to expose students to the varied roles of science, humanities and social sciences and also to vocational streams. This is also an appropriate stage to provide children with a sense of history and national perspective and give them opportunities to understand their constitutional duties and rights as citizens. The Board of Secondary Education plays a main role in imparting this education.
Elementary or primary education adopts child-centred approach. It continues up to 14 years. There are three principle levels of qualification in higher education as listed below.
1. Undergraduate level leading to bachelor’s degree.
2. Postgraduate level leading to master’s degree.
3. Research level leading to Ph.D., Fellowship or Post Doctorate.
Some higher education institutes provide diplomas as well as Chartered Accountancy, PGDBA and PGDCA.
Most undergraduate courses take three years except for certain professional courses, such as engineering and medicine. Postgraduate courses are generally of two-year duration.
Institutions of Higher Learning and Education in Ancient India
‘Education during the Vedic age was a journey from mortality to immortality, from chaos to spiritual bliss.’
Ancient education system has been very wide in India.
Here, we intend to cover the basic tenets only. In ancient times, there were two education systems, such as ‘Vedic’ and ‘Buddhist’. The Vedic system refers to Vedas, the six Vedangas (phonetics, ritualistic knowledge, grammar, exegetics, metrics and astronomy), Upanishads, the six Darshanas (Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Sankhya, Yoga, Mimamsa and Vedanta), Puranas (history), Tarka shastra (logic). There were some allied subjects also. Sanskrit was the medium of instruction in Vedic system. Vedanga was the synonym of all these subjects taken together, where it corroborates the performance of sacrifice, correct pronunciation, knowledge of prosody, etymology, grammar and Jyotishi or the science of calendar.
First of all, we can focus on Vedic education, with semblances of Sutras, Brahmanism. Knowledge was passed on orally from one generation to another in ancient India. Basically, education involved the comprehension of three basic stages involved in the process.
1. Sravana: Stage of acquiring knowledge of ‘Shrutis’ by listening.
2. Manana: Meaning pupils to think, analyse themselves about what they heard, assimilate the lessons taught by their teacher and make their own inferences.
3. Nididhyasana: Meaning comprehension of truth and apply it into real life. The main goal of life is self-realization despite all people have different inclinations. The preservation and enrichment of culture, character and cultivation of noble ideals were the main aims. There was to be holistic development of the individual by taking care of both the inner and the outer self.
Knowledge was divided into two broad streams as given below.
1. The Paravidya: The higher knowledge and the spiritual wisdom.
2. The Aparavidya: The lower knowledge and the secular sciences.
Under vedic education, special attention was paid to correct pronunciation of words, Pada or even letters.
Indian sages devoted themselves to the study of a supra-sensible world and spiritual powers and moulded their life accordingly.
Pure oral teaching (from the lips of the teacher) wasregarded as purely Vedic. The second method of teaching was ‘Chintan’ (thinking). So the primary subject of education was the mind itself. The admission criteria were moral fitness and unimpeachable conduct. The discipline of brahmacharya (celibacy) was compulsory. It was one of the sacred duties of the pupil to serve his preceptor. ‘Brahm Sangh’ was the opportunity for students to acquire higher knowledge. The society and state did not interfere much with the curriculum of studies or regulating the payment of fees.
A typical ancient Indian educational system was fully and compulsorily residential. The student had to live in the house of his teacher for learning purposes. The relationship was kind of spiritual.
Education was free most of the times, and that too to upheld the dignity of labour, even if he was at the highest intellectual course. Students used to learn through seminars, discussions and debates. The admission of students was made by the formal ceremony Upanayana (initiation). In the new home of Guru, he had a second birth and was called Dvijya or twice born. Education would start at the age of five with a ceremony called Vidyarambha, where it includes learning the alphabets and worshipping goddess Saraswathi. The Upanayana ceremony would start between the ages of eight to twelve years. He would now be called ‘Brahmacharin’. A Bramacharin after finishing his education is eligible to become a Grihasta or a householder. There was a high standard of learning for women also. In house, they might learn music and dancing. They had to undergo the Upanayana ceremony. There were two classes of educated women as stated below.
1. Sadyodwahas: They are people who prosecuted studies till their marriages.
2. Brahmavadinis: They are people who did not marry and pursued studies throughout out their lives.
Women were also taught the Vedas and Vedangas, but the extent of their study was restricted only to those hymns which were necessary for the Yajna (sacrifice) or other ritualistic operations. Women sages were called Rishikas. Here, we can name, scholarly women like Maitreyi and Gargi. The fundamental principles of social, political and economic life were combined into a comprehensive theory, which is sometimes called religion in Hindu thought also. There was a total combination of ideals, practices and conduct called into a Dharma (Religion, Virtue or Duty) here. They identified their duty with devotion to the ideal of ‘summum bonum’ of mankind.
Human soul was the material world. Sometimes, the ultimate aim of education emerged as the Chitta Vritti
Nirodha, which is the control of mental activities connected with the concrete world. The doctrine of action (Karma) occupies a very significant place. The word Veda means knowledge and are nitya
(routine). They are basic to life and four in number: Rig veda: It is the earliest work of all Indo-European languages and humanity that comprises ‘Plain Living’ and ‘High Thinking’. Gayatri mantram that is also found in Sama Veda and Yajur Veda touch the highest point of knowledge and sustain human souls to this day. The Rig Veda is a collection of 1028 hymns.
Sama veda: The Sama Veda is a collection of verses from the Rig Veda for liturgical purposes. Liturgical is the participation of people in the work of God.
Yajur veda: It is the collection of prose mantras, though the duty of chanting the hymns on the occasion of sacrifice was mainly undertaken by the Hotri, the first order of priesthood. In due course of time, the fourth Veda called the Atharva Veda was also recognized, where it is more original in contents. The majority of mantras have not been adapted from the Rig Veda. The Atharva Veda is thoroughly secular in character containing a vivid description of various arts and sciences.
Rig Veda mentions women Rais called Brahmanavadinis to denote equality between the sexes in the field of knowledge.
Chronologically, Vedas can be divided into the following two parts.
1. The early vedic (1500–1000 BCE) when most of the Rig Vedas were composed.
2. The later vedic (1000–600 BCE) when remaining vedas were composed.
Post Vedic education also continued with three types of institutions, namely Gurukulas, Parishads (Academies) and Sammelans (Conferences). The first lesson that was taught to the student was the performance of sandhya and also reciting of gayatri. The period of the Vedic literature was followed by that of Sutra literature, between 600 BC and 200 BC.
When Vedic literature spread, there was a need for some amicable institutions to take care of them. This brought Sutras (Dharam Sutras) literature with great principles of social conduct into existence. The Yoga of Patanjali, Nyaya of Gautama and Mimamsa Shastras were its products.
Besides, Smritis were written for proper guidance of life. The Sutra period was identical with that of Upanishad period.
In this way, the study of philosophy was complete in itself. It presented a correct solution to the problems of discipline, humanity and supreme knowledge.
Ramayana and the Mahabharata are the main epics of ancient India. These epics give us glimpses into the creed of militarism of that age.
A full-fledged Ashram is described as consisting of several departments, such as Agnisthana (for fire worship and prayers), Brahmasthana (Vedas), Vishnusthana (Department for teaching Raja Niti, Arthaniti, and Vartta), etc.
About Brahmic education, Mr. F. E. Keay, in his book named ‘History of Indian Education, Ancient and Later
Times’ observes that not only did Brahman education developed a system of education which survived the crumbling empires and the changes in society, but they also, through all these thousands of years, kept a glow of the torch of higher learning and numbered amongst them many great thinkers who have left their mark not only on the learning of India but upon the intellectual life of the world.
In Brahmanic education, instead of collective teaching, individual teaching prevailed. Thus, there were more opportunities to develop the inner talents of the students, where it was not only theoretical but also gave the practical knowledge to face the struggles of life. Here, the course of study was much wider than that of Vedic period. The education was based on psychological principles.
‘Buddhism involved a more liberal approach towards learning’
Lord Buddha realized the necessity of education for devotees at large. There was expansion of education.
Some monasteries and viharas were established. Later on, many of these monasteries become full-fledged centres of education, where Bhikshus, Bhikshunis and common people and foreigners were given chance to acquire education.
Consequently, Nalanda and Takshila developed into Universities of International importance. They were managed on the basis of democratic principles. Thousands of learned teachers were appointed.
Cultural relations with many Asian countries are mainly due to these educational institutions and their working system that existed hundreds of years back.
Here, a child would start his education at the age of eight after Prabrajya or Pabbajja ceremony that was open to all castes. This ceremony was open to person of all castes. After the initiation ceremony, his education would start as preceptor (monk). He was now called Sramana and used to wear a yellow robe. A Sramana was given a full status of monkhood or Bhikshu. Pali was the medium of instruction in the Buddhist system of education for vocational and religious educations. The main subjects or topics of study in Buddhist system of education were three Pitakas (Sutta, Vinaya and Abhidhamma), works of all the eighteen schools of Buddhism, Hetu-vidya, Sabda-vidya, Chikitsa-vidya, etc. The Vedas were also studied for acquiring comparative knowledge. The art of writing was known very well in India.
In Jaina, works like Samavaya Sutra and Pragnapara Sutra reference to 18 different scripts are available.
Buddhist literary works like Lalitavistara and Mahavastu mention different types of scripts in vogue.
While the former refer to 64 types of scripts and the latter to about a dozen types of scripts. Regarding the curricula of school students, the Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang says that children began by learning the alphabet and then began the study of five subjects, like grammar, arts and crafts, medicine, logic and philosophy. This was the general scheme of studies for laymen of all sects. The other subjects of study were law (dharmashastras), arithmetic, ethics, art and architecture (silpasastra), military science (dhanurvidya), performing arts, etc.
Ancient Indian literature refers to 64 professions or arts which includes weaving, dyeing, spinning, art of tanning leather, manufacture of boats, chariots, the art of training elephants and horses, the art of making jewels and so on. Young men used to work as apprentices under a trainer for a number of years and gained expertise in their respective professions. Education was free and provided with boarding and lodging by the trainer.
Knowledge was imparted orally and the different methods of learning are as follows.
1. Memorization: It mainly deals with retention of facts.
2. Critical analysis: Here, we can cite examples of Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madhvacharya.
3. Critical introspection: Sravana (listening), Manana (contemplation) and Nididhyasana (concentrated contemplation) of the truth so as to realize it was another method to study Brahma Vidya (Vedanta).
4. Story telling: Buddha mainly used this method to explain his doctrines.
5. Question and answer method: For further probe into the discussion.
6. Hands-on method: For practical and professional courses such as medical science.
7. Seminars: The students also gained knowledge through debates and discussions which were held at frequent intervals. It might take twelve years for a student to develop expertise in one Veda and thereafter, it would be twelve years, twenty years, thirty six years and so on.
A graduate was called Snataka and the graduation ceremony was called Samavartana. Itihas (history), Anviksiki (logic), Mimamsa (interpretation) Shilpashastra (architecture), Arthashastra (polity), Varta (agriculture, trade, commerce, animal husbandry) and Dhanurvidya (archery). Physical education too was an important curricular area and pupils participated in krida (games, recreational activities), vyayamaprakara (exercises), dhanurvidya (archery) for acquiring martial skills and yogasadhana (training the mind and body), shastrartha (learned debates) could be termed as the main subjects. Types of Teachers
• Acharya: A teacher to teach Vedas without charging fee from the students.
• Upadhyaya: To earn his livelihood and taught only a portion of the Veda or Vedangas.
• Charakas: Wandering scholars to visit the nation for higher knowledge, usually regarded as possible source of knowledge by Satapatha Brahmana.
Hiuen Tsang gained the knowledge this way.
• Guru used to lead a grihastha life by imparting education and by maintaining his family.
• Yaujanasatika: They were famous for their profound scholarship, students from distant places would visit them to seek education.
• Sikshaka: Instruction in arts such as dancing.
• Gurukul was the house of the teacher who was a settled house-holder.
• Parishads: Here, the students usually settle for higher education, they were originally conducted by three Brahmins. The number gradually increased, even a Parishad consisted of twenty Brahmins who were well versed in philosophy, theology and law. Sangam was also such Parishad during first century CE in Tamilnadu, here some works were submitted for criticism also. These gatherings were patronized by kings.
• Goshti or Conferences was a national gathering summoned by a great king in which representatives of various schools were invited to meet and exchange their views.
• Ashramas or hermitages were another centre where students from distant and different parts of the country flocked together for learning around famous sages and saints. For example, the Ashrama of Bharadwaj at Prayag.
• Vidyapeeta was an educational institution for spiritual aspects started by the great acharya. Sri Shankara started such institutions at Sringeri, Kanchi, Dwarka, Puri and Badri.
• Ghathikas: Here, both the teachers and the pupils met and discussed. The cultured scholars would meet, discuss and clash also.
• Agraharas were settlements of Brahmins in villages where they used to teach.
• Mathas: They were mainly for residing and receiving religious and secular instructions. These mathas belonged to both Shaiva and Vaishnava sects and were normally attached to some temple associations.
• Brahmapuri: A settlement of learned Brahmins in towns and cities or in any selected area for education purpose.
• Vihara: A Buddhist monastery where all Buddhist preaching and philosophy were taught.
Main Educational Institutions of Higher Education
During Ancient India
India enjoyed a prominent position in all spheres of life, be it social, education or economics. The following are the few prominent Buddhist institutions.
1. Taxila: Taxila was the capital of Gandhar Kingdom. Taxila has been described as the first university established across the globe in 7th century BCE. Hiuen Tsang in his records mentioned the university of Taxila to be at par with Nalanda and Vikramshila universities. Taxila was an important centre of Brahmanical education, it maintained its stature even during the Buddhism in Northern India. It had attracted many students from other nations. Taxila university was famous for medical studies.
Panini, the well known grammarian, Kautilya, the minister of Chandragupta Maurya, and Charaka, a medical teacher of repute had been part of it. There was no popularly organized institution or university. Admission of the students as per decision of the teacher, though they were taught subjects as per choice. Usually, the minimum age was more than sixteen years. There was no exam system, so there were no degrees or diplomas. The main branches were Vedatrayi (Three Vedas), Vedanta, Vyakaran, Ayurveda, eighteen Sippas (crafts), military education, astronomy, agriculture, commerce, snake bite cure, etc.
It was popular as training centre in Indian Military science. Panini was an expert in Surgery and Medicine was its main product. The same was the case for Kautilya, the famous author of Arthashastra. There was no caste distinction. Taxila had been influenced by Greek culture also.
2. Nalanda (Bihar): It is located near Rajgriha in the province of Bihar, it has been the birth place of Sariputta, a favourite disciple of Lord Buddha, who is closely linked with Mahayana.
It was a Buddhist centre of learning from 427 CE to 1197 CE. It has been known as ‘one of the first great universities’ in recorded history.
A historian writes, ‘The University of Nalanda was the educational center of international moral comparable in the universalism of its thought, the wide range of its studies, the international character of its community to the greatest universities of modern time like Oxford, Cambridge, Paris and Harvard.’
It is stated that at one time there were 10,000 monks staying at Nalanda. Of these, 1510 were teachers and the remaining 8500 were students belonging to various levels of attainments and studying various subjects.
Its real importance begins with the year 450 CE. Then it was important for three centuries. Hiuen Tsang came here in 7th century CE. It progressed a lot during Gupta dynasty. In year 2010, Nalanda University was set up in Bihar as a Central University with Japan, China, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Australia by collaborating in various manners. This university was also renowned for its cosmopolitan and catholic character, the University of Nalanda was famous for its faculty of Logic.
Dwar Pandi, a teacher was the incharge for admission to the university.
Eight big halls named as Samgharama and the three hundred study chambers have been the main attraction.
It was considered to be a great centre of learning throughout the whole of Asia. There were somewhat tough admission criteria. The minimum age limit was twenty years for admission into the university, many facilities were being offered free of cost. The Kulpati or Chancellor of the University was Shilbadra who had studied all Sutras and Shastras books. There were three methods of teaching, namely verbal and explanatory, lectures and debates and discussions. The university had a very big library corresponding to its reputation that had nine storeys. The library had three departments known as ‘Ratna Sagar’.
Nalanda made unique contributions to the evolution, expansion and refinement of Indian culture.
Bakhtiar Khilzi put the university towards destruction by the end of 12th century CE.
3. Valabhi: Hiuen Tsang, I-Tsing had found Valabhi in the western side of India as glorious as Nalanda.
It was not just a centre of religious education as of other secular subjects, such as Arthasastra (economics), Niti Shastra (law) and Chikitsa Sastra (medicine) were also taught here.
It was mainly the centre for Hinayana form of Buddhism.
Valabhi was running in good financial position till 755 CE but some portion were destroyed due to Arab invasion. It still continued till 12th century.
4. Vikramshila: It was set up and established by the Emperor Dharampala of Pal dynasty in the 8th century in Northern Magadh on the bank of the river Ganges. This university was famous for religious teachings and here 108 scholars were appointed as the incharge and Acharyas of the various temples.
It attracted a large number of scholars from Tibet, who came there for higher studies. The university was later organized into six colleges. The central building was called the Vigyan Bhawan. A Dwar pandit was appointed at the main gate.
Mahasthavir was the highest authority of the University, being known as the Kulpati of the Gurukula. The main subjects of study were Vyakaran, Logic, Philosophy, Tantra Shastra and Karamkanda. Later on Tantra Shastra gained prominence.
Degrees were conferred on the graduates and post-graduates at the time of Samavartana (Convocation) by the rulers of Bengal. It was destroyed by Bhaktiyar Khilji in 1203 CE. Thus, a mighty educational center fell. The University of Vikramasila was renowned for Tantric Buddhism.
5. Odantapuri: This university had been established long before the Kings of Pala dynasty came into power in Magadha. Odantpuri could not attain that level of fame and repute which either Nalanda or Vikramshila had accomplished. Still nearly 1000 monks and students resided and received education there. It attracted students from Tibet too.
6. Jagaddala: Pal King, Raja Ram Pal of Bengal constructed a monastery and named it as Jagaddala.
It remained as the centre of Buddhist education for about 100 years. It was again destroyed during invasion in 1203 CE.
In Jagaddala, there were many scholars notable for their knowledge. The books were translated in Tibetan language.
7. Mithila: In the Upanishadic age, Mithila became a prominent seat of Brahmanical education. It was named as Videha.
It continued with its glory from Raja Janak upto Buddhist period. Later on this place produced devotees of Lord Krishna.
Famous poet Vidyapati, who had written in Hindi and Jaideo, a prominent poet of Sanskrit literature was born here.
From 12th century to 15th century, besides literature and fine arts, scientific subjects were also taught there.
(a) There was a Nyaya Shastra and Tarka Shastra.
(b) Gangesha Upadhyaya founded a school of New Logic (Navya-Nyaya).
(c) Epoch- making work named Tattva Chintamani had been written.
Mithila produced a number of other scholars and literary celebrities.
Even upto Emperor Akbar, it continued to flourish as an important centre of education and culture.
8. Nadia: Situated at the confluence of Ganga and Jalangi rivers in Bengal, it was formerly called Navadweep. Education in Nadia University was imparted at three centres namely Navadweep, Shantipur and Gopaalpura.
(a) The lyrics of Gita Govind by Jaideva reverberated here.
(b) A school of logic owed its existence to Raghunatha Shiromani.
(c) Learning and efficiency in discussions was considered to be an essential qualification of a teacher of this university.
9. Ujjain: It was famous for its secular learning including mathematics and astronomy.
10. Salotgi in Karnataka was an important centre of learning. It had 27 hostels for its students who hailed from different provinces. This college was richly endowed in 945 CE by Narayana the minister of Krishna III with the revenues of houses, land and levies on marriages and other ceremonies.
11. Ennayiram in Tamilnadu provided free boarding and tuition to 340 students. Other important centers of learning in South India were Sringeri and Kanchi.
Decline of Ancient Education
The standard of education was so high in India that despite many hardships, students from different parts of the world used to stay in India and no student from India had to go abroad for knowledge. Indian scholars were in great demand abroad.
With the invasion of Muslim conquerors, nearly all the centres of higher learning of the Hindus and Buddhists were destroyed and were replaced by mosques. During the decline of Buddhist system, Vedic system of education moved to South. It was under the patronage of Vijayanagara rulers that the Vedic savants Sayana and Madhava wrote commentaries on the Vedas.
With regards to the vocational system of education many new crafts and skills were introduced in India after the advent of Muslim into India and till the establishment of British rule in India, many industries, like textile manufacturing, ship building, jewelry making and other allied industries flourished which shows the skill and expertise Indians had and in turn the knowledge they had received from their teachers. The products of Indian industries not only fulfilled the needs of Asian and African countries but were also in great demand in the markets of Europe.
Astronomical treatise like Brahmasiddhanta and Khanda Khadyaka of Brahmagupta and medical books of Charaka, Susruta and Vagbhatta were translated to Arabic. Buddha and Shankara (philosophy), Kautilya (political science and administration), Sushruta (surgery), Charaka (medicine), Kanada (physicist; propounder of atomic theory), Nagarjuna (Chemistry), Aryabhatta and Varahamihira (Astronomy), Baudhayana and Brahmagupta (mathematics) and Patanjali (yoga).
Muslim ruler elite promoted urban education in terms of libraries and literary societies. They founded primary schools (maktabs) in which students learned reading, writing and basic Islamic prayers, and secondary schools (madrasas) to teach and train for advanced language skills. Often attached to mosques, Islamic schools were open to the poor but were gender segregated, often only for boys. Muslim girls of affluent families studied at home.
From the beginning of the Mughal empire in India in 1526 until the end of Mughal political presence in 1848, Persian was the court language, and elite boys could attend Persian schools to learn literature, history, ethics, law, administration, and court protocol.
More intimate settings for the spread of ideas were the retreats (khanqah) of famous Sufis (Muslims who professed mystic doctrines). These new educational models did not necessarily displace older ones, although state patronage patterns shifted. Sanskrit academies continued to teach young male Brahmans literature and law; apprenticeship and commercial schools taught boys the skills needed for business. Education for girls was an exception rather than a rule.
Evolution of Higher Learning and Research in Post Independence India
Before we can discuss Indian education post independence, it’s better to get some idea about British education system. Modern education began in India under the British rule. Before the British, India had its own educational system like the Gurukulas and the Madrassas. The main three basic agents of modern education in India were as follows.
1. The British Government or East India Company 2. Christian missionaries 3. Indian intellectuals and reformers The company wanted some educated Indians who could assist them in the administration of the land. The British also wanted to understand the local customs and laws well. Warren Hastings established the Calcutta Madrassa in 1781 for the teaching of Muslim law. In 1791, a Sanskrit College was started in Varanasi by Jonathan Duncan for the study of Hindu philosophy and law system.
Many schools were started in India with the purpose of Christianising and ‘civilizing’ the native Indians. The Charter Act of 1813 was the first step towards education being made an objective of the government. There was some split in the government viewpoint about the nature of education, either it should be traditional or modern.
In 1835, under Lord Wlliam Bentick, it was decided to introduce English as the medium of instruction.
Macaulay minutes refer to his proposal of education for the Indians. It focused upon English education instead of traditional Indian learning, he told oriental culture was ‘defective’ and ‘unholy’. He believed in educating a few upper and middle class students. Ultimately, education would trickle down to the masses. This was called infiltration theory. He wished to create a class of Indians who were Indian in colour and blood but English in taste and affiliation.
In 1835, the Elphinstone College (Bombay) and the Calcutta Medical College were set and the Universities of Calcutta, Madras and Mumbai was established in 1850s. There was a huge demand for clerks and other administrative roles in the company’s functioning as it was cost effective and it was the prime motive. There was Hunter Commission (1882–83) to suggest the segregation of primary and higher education.
In 1902, Universities Commission was set up under Sir Thomas Raleigh to enquire into conditions and prospects of setting up of universities in India. As a result, Indian Universities Act was passed in 1904. In 1905, National Council of Education was set up in 1905 by Swadeshi nationalist leaders and Jadavpur University is the result of it. Shri Rabindranath Tagore started Shantiniketan in Bengal during the era.
In 1913, there was a resolution on education policy.
In 1917, Sandler Commission (popular as Calcutta University Commission) suggested the separation of intermediate education from degree colleges, it was precursor to 10+2+3 system and setting up of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) . Government of India Act made education as provincial subject.
Hartog Commission (1929) focused on quality and standards of education.
Sapru Committee (1934) focused upon unemployment issue. Abbot Wood Report (1937) recommended English as a medium of instruction at university level.
Wardha Scheme of Education (1937) recommended Nai Talim or Basic Education, as a recommendation of Mahatma Gandhi.
Sargent Report (1944) also known as Scheme of Post War Educational Development in India recommended setting up of University Grant Commission.
No doubt it spread western education among Indians, but the rate of literacy was abysmally low during British rule. The state of women education was pathetic. This was because the government did not want to displease the orthodox nature of Indians and also because women could not generally be employed as clerks. Scientific and technical education was mostly ignored by the British government.
In the new scenario after independence, education was recognized as the major element of socio-cultural, technical, political and economic changes.
Government of India took several initiatives to improve and promote higher education in the country after independence.
Radhakrishnan Commission (1948–1949)
Radhakrishnan Commission also known as University Education Commission, suggested the integration of secondary education and higher education by setting up of UGC. It also recommended the setting up of rural universities.
Mudaliar Commission (1952–1953)
It is also popular as the Secondary Education Commission. It recommended introducing a threeyear secondary and a four-year higher education system.
It also advocated the setting up of multipurpose schools and vocational training institutes.
Committee on Emotional Integration (1961)
It was set up under the chairmanship of Dr Sampurnanand to study the role of educational programmes for youth, in general, and students in schools and colleges, in particular, in order to strengthen the process of emotional integration.
Kothari Commission (1964–1966)
The commission was titled as ‘Education and National Development’ report. It is a very progressive report. It proposed a three-year degree course and a four-year honours degree course.
Establishment of Indian Education Service (IES) to improve the quality of Indian higher education with emphasis on quality teaching faculties to vocationalize secondary education was recommended. It recommended that 6% of the national income should be spent on education.
Education Subject in Concurrent List (1976)
India has a federal setup and education is the concurrent responsibility of both the centre as well of states.
Post-independence, education (including university education) was the responsibility of the states, while the centre was given the function of coordination and determination of standards.
However, in 1976, through Entry 25 (42nd Constitutional Amendment) in the Concurrent List of the Constitution of India, the centre was also given the responsibility along with the states for all levels of education.
National Policy on Education
Kothari Commission was followed by the National Policy on Education (NPE) of 1968 and 1986. These emphasized on improving the quality of higher education level and also proposed imparting higher education by distance learning mode.
Both policies suggested that 6% of our national income should be spent on education.
Note: It is ironical that though the outlay of 6% of GDP was recommended almost 50 years ago, we are still far from reaching the mark in view of the present outlay not crossing even 4% of GDP. The expenses for education in India has been lower than the world average.
Globally, 4.9% of GDP was spent on education in 2010, whereas India spent only 3.3% of GDP, according to World Bank data. In 2014–15 budget, the figure was 3.9%.
If India has to realize its potential economic growth rate of 8–10% as envisaged in budget 2016–17, then it needs a skilled, trained and educated workforce to make it possible.
Here, it is important to mention that the second generation economic reforms followed by market-oriented reforms started by the Government of India in 1991 also called for making changes in the education system of India.
Gnanam Committee (1993)
It recommended flexibility and autonomy for ensuring academic excellence and asked for restricting the unchecked growth of deemed universities. It emphasized the need for a National Commission on higher education and research to regulate the quality of education and to encourage research in university system.
Sam Pitroda Committee
It was established in 2007. It is also popularly known as National Knowledge Commission (NKC).
It recommended the restructuring of curricula to meet the demand for multidisciplinary professionals and criteria- based resource allocation to ensure maintenance of standards and strategic preferences to promote excellence in higher education. It supported the entry of foreign universities and also favoured reducing the burden of affiliation of colleges on universities.
NKC recommended increasing the number of universities to 1500 by 2015.
It suggested scrapping of all higher education, regulatory or monitoring bodies and creation of a super regulator, i.e., a seven-member Commission for Higher Education and Research (CHER). State Higher Education Councils would form the second tier of the system.
It also recommended that the deemed university status be abandoned and that all deserving deemed varsities be either converted into fullfledged universities or scrapped. The committee stressed the need for more attention to undergraduate programmes and a multidisciplinary approach to learning. Yashpal Committee also strongly recommended reducing the burden of affiliation of colleges on the universities and a GRE-like test be evolved for university education. The recommendations of Yashpal Committee and the National Knowledge Commission emanated from the realization that fragmentation of various fields of knowledge in higher education led to inadequate growth of interdisciplinary learning.
Set up under Prof. M.M. Sharma, it deliberated upon the development of science and technology education in India. The committee suggested the establishment of Indian Institute of Science, Education, and Research (IISER). It also recommended the expansion of technical education, assuring quality and providing access and affordability for technical education. The committee also recommended that `500 crores be spent on research in basic sciences every year by the UGC.
Dr Anil Kakodkar Committee
It was constituted to recommend strategies to improve technical education in the country. It recommended 2% budget in every institution to be earmarked for research.
K. B. Pawar Committee
Constituted by the UGC, the committee recommended four models of Public–Private Partnership (PPP) in higher education.
Orthodo X, Conventional And Non-Conventional Education
Efficiency of conventional and non-conventional methods of teaching is influenced by a combination of collective, group, pair and individual work. There are basically four factors that help us to decide which system to opt for and they are listed below.
1. Length of the programme 2. Technical access 3. Cost comparison 4. Location restriction
Knowledge was passed on orally from one generation to another as per orthodox education. Even now education is being imparted in orthodox manner.
Orthodox education involved three basic processes, in which it included ‘Sravana’ (stage of acquiring knowledge of ‘Shrutis’ by listening).
Two, ‘Manana’ (meaning pupils to think, analyse themselves about what they heard, assimilate the lessons taught by their teacher and make their own inferences,).
Three ‘Nidhyasana’ (meaning comprehension of truth and and apply/use it into real life).
C. Rajgopalachari had said, ‘If there is honesty in India today, any hospitality, any charity any aversion to evil, any love to be good, it is due to whatever remains of the old faith and the old culture’. Tolerance, truth, Ahimsa, peace and non-aggression are the hallmark of Indian culture. With a rational mind, raising it from ignorance, one can understand the greatness of Vedic literature.
During ancient times, much of our education system was dependent upon God, heaven and hell. God rewards us with heaven in case some justice is done and with hell in case no justice is done. Further, the existence of God is to be proved through very deep logical analysis and discussions. All the seminars and conferences in ancient India ran on single subject, as it includes the existence and nature of God. The resulting balanced society, without corruption and chaos gives immense happiness to the life of the humanity.
Sometimes ancient materials and technologies were far better for health and environmental balance of the world. Thus again, there is focus towards orthodox education even with the help from modern technologies.
In ancient India, orthodox education was confined to a very small section of Indian society. To some extent, it was due to some absence of any written material.
Priestly schools in India had devised a transferring knowledge to succeeding generations in the form of hymns, where there was extreme sanctity.
Practice and experience matter a lot in orthodox education. This type of system led the society to have more production, economic efficiency and specialization in various areas of activities like, spinning, weaving, pottery making, bead making, seal making, terracotta, handicrafts, brick-laying, metal work, etc.
But still, illiterate masses get the benefit of the knowledge of learned sages and munies. On the basis of their scholarly researches and experiences, the sages prescribed certain guidelines in the form of rituals to be followed by common men. This is still being followed to some extent in India.
Conventional vs Non-Conventional Education
Teaching activity in the system of combination of conventional and non-conventional training can be safely treated as innovative creative activity. Most of the teachers have worked for a considerable part of their teaching life in a conventional school. Thus, the system of conventional and developing training is perceived as a ‘certain innovation’. The new general-education system needs a teacher of a new type where the main goal is not to deliver knowledge to pupils but organize an independent activity of the pupils designed to master the methods of analysis and generalization of the teaching material. The combination of conventional and non-conventional education considerably enriches interpersonal communication between the students and the teacher, which positively affects the results of training and the personality of the student. Every learner is involved into training and organizing activity implemented through communication. The learners are encouraged and blamed in a benevolent atmosphere of communication.
Communication in such lessons functions primarily as mutual assistance, correction and assessment.
A good emotional contact facilitates increase in motivation to study and raises the level of communicative culture. Following is the tabled main features of combination of conventional and non-conventional methods of training.
Non-conventional education basically deals with the distance education and also with the concepts such as online education. In this chapter, distance education has been dealt with separately.
Regulatory and Policy Framework Structure of Higher Education in India
Now again we get ourselves shifted to higher learning in post independence India. Education is in concurrent list where both Central and State governments can legislate.
Regulatory Framework of Higher Education in India
While the centre coordinates and determines the standards in higher and technical education, school education is primarily the responsibility of the state. The key policy-making agencies for higher education are as follows.
1. Central government: It lays down the National Policy on Education. It provides grants to the UGC and establishes Central Universities/Institutions of national importance in the country. It is also responsible for declaring an educational institution as ‘Deemed-to-be University’ on the recommendations of the UGC.
2. State government: Many states have also set up state councils and advisory boards to provide guidelines for proper functioning of higher education institution in the states. State councils for higher education coordinates the roles of government, universities and apex regulatory agencies in higher education within the state.
3. Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) was set up for coordination and cooperation between the union and the states in the field of education, including policy making.
Apex Level Bodies
There are eight Apex Level Bodies (Regulatory Bodies/ Research Councils) under the Department of Higher Education, which are responsible for higher education in India. These bodies can be broadly divided into two categories (i) regulatory bodies and (ii) research councils.
There are three regulatory bodies—University Grants Commission, All India Council for Technical Education, and Council of Architecture to regulate higher education in India.
University Grants Commission
UGC governs universities in India and came into existence on 28 December 1953. It became a statutory organization established by an act of Parliament in 1956.
1. According to Section 12 of UGC Act, the main function of UGC is coordination, determination and maintenance of standards in universities.
2. It also disburses funds within the university education system. Most importantly, it only acts as a recommendatory body since it does not have any power to establish or derecognize any university.
3. UGC consists of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and 10 other members appointed by the Central government. Secretary is the Executive Head. It functions from New Delhi as well as its six regional offices located in Bangalore, Bhopal, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune.
4. UGC also implements various schemes aimed at improving the quality of higher education, like Universities with Potential for Excellence (UPE), Colleges with Potential for Excellence (CPE), Centre with Potential for Excellence and a Particular Area (CPEPA), Special Assistance Programme (SAP), Basic Scientific Research (BSR), etc.
5. Dr C. D. Deshmukh was the first Chairman of UGC.
Categorization of Universities
Universities can be set up only through legislation or the deemed route. At present, the main constituents of universities or university-level institutions are listed below.
In addition, there are many university level institutions. In the consolidated UGC list, there is description of 49 universities.
A central university or a union university in India is established by the Act of Parliament and is under the purview of the Department of Higher Education in the Union Human Resource Development Ministry. In general, universities in India are recognized by UGC, which draws its power from the University Grants Commission Act, 1956.
1. There are 47 central universities under the purview of MHRD. Out of them, 16 new central universities were established in 2009 by an Act of Parliament, namely, Central Universities Act, 2009.
2. IGNOU, New Delhi is funded directly by the MHRD.
3. President of India is the Visitor of all central universities.
In that capacity, he nominates some members to important committees of the university for their effective functioning. He also exercises powers in various legal matters and relevant amendments. The word ‘university’ is derived from the Latin word Universitas, which means specialized associations between students and teachers.
Universities are the seats of higher learning from where the society gets its leaders in Science, Arts and various other fields of national life. University education aims at providing knowledge and wisdom for developing personality. The functions of the university mainly include providing instruction, conducting research and postgraduate studies and giving affiliation and extension to the colleges under it.
In India, university means a university established or incorporated by or under a central act, a provincial act, or a state act and includes any such institution as may be recognized by the UGC in accordance with the regulations made under this Act.
Universities have degree-granting powers and are responsible for conducting examinations. They have autonomy in matters of fees and curriculum design. They also have affiliating powers for colleges within a particular geographical region.
On the other hand, degree-granting colleges have autonomy in admissions. However, they have to follow the fee, examination and curriculum standards of the university they are affiliated to.
Indian National Defence University (INDU) is a proposed university of defence of the Government of India, which will be established at Binola in Gurgaon, Haryana. The principle proposal was accepted by the Union Cabinet on 13 May 2010 and is expected to become functional by 2018–19.
A university established or incorporated by a Provincial Act or by a State Act is called a state university. The state universities are included in the List of 12 (B) of UGC Act, 1956 and are eligible for central assistance.
Although the development of state universities is the primary concern of State governments, development grants, including grants under special schemes, are provided to all eligible state universities. Such grants facilitate the creation, augmentation, and upgradation of infrastructural facilities that are not normally available from the State government or other sources of funds.
State universities dominate university education in India as they account for almost half the universities and also for 84% of total enrollment.
A university established through the state or central act by a sponsoring body, namely a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or any other corresponding law for the time being in force, in a state or a public trust or a company registered under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 is called a private university. The private universities are competent to award degrees as specified by UGC under Section 22 of the UGC Act with the approval of the statutory councils, wherever required through their main campus. The first private university set up in 1995 was the Sikkim Manipal University of Health, Medical and Technological Science, Gangtok.
Deemed to be University
A deemed to be university, commonly known as a deemed university, refers to a high-performing institution, as declared by the Central government under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956.
Deemed universities can be approved only by an executive order after UGC recommendation. Although they enjoy all the powers of a university, they do not have the right to affiliate colleges.
1. Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Delhi, were the first two institutes to be granted a deemed status.
IISc was granted the status in 1958 though it was set up in the year 1908.
2. Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) was the first private institution to be declared a deemed university in 1976. The following institutions of higher learning are few prominent examples of deemed to be university.
1. National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), New Delhi.
2. Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi.
3. Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, New Delhi.
4. Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati.
5. National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal.
6. Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. The top ranking states in terms of total number of universities are Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The 11th Five year plan envisaged the establishment of 14 world class central universities (renamed as innovative universities aiming at world-class standards).
Note: P. N. Tandon Committee in 2009 suggested blacklisting 44 deemed universities, saying they lacked the required quality. In 2015, UGC asked 10 deemed universities including BITS Pilani to shut their offcampus centres. In February 2016, UGC amended its regulation allowing private deemed universities to have up to six off-campuses. This ceiling won’t apply in case of government-established and managed deemed universities.
Meta University and CIC Concepts
During the 12th Plan, UGC initiated a concept of Meta University. The main purpose of the Meta University is to share learning resources by different Universities by using latest technologies available in order to enable students to benefit from learning resources available in other institutions. Meta Universities represent 2nd Generation Universities, free from physical boundary conditions and able to operate in virtual space, taking advantage of the innovation and flexibility possible in such domains.
For the first time in India, University of Delhi and Jamia Millia Islamia, the two main universities of India, under the Meta University Concept have started a 2-year joint degree program ‘Master of Mathematics Education’ (equivalent to M.Sc. Mathematics Education) from the academic session 2015.
Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC) is a Government of India funded institute established under the aegis of the University of Delhi. It was founded in 2011 and introduced innovation as a credit-based course for the first time in India.
Other Higher Level Institutions
Inter-University Centres (IUCs)
UGC has established autonomous IUCs within the university system with an objective to provide common, advanced, centralized facilities and services for universities, in order to offer the best expertise in each field to teachers and researchers across the country.
Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS), which was launched in 2013. It aims at providing strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions. The central funding (in the ratio of 65:35 for general category states and 90:10 for special category states) would be norm based and outcome dependent. The funding would flow from the central ministry through the State governments/UTs to the State Higher Education Councils before reaching the identified institutions. The funding to the states would be made on the basis of critical appraisal of State Higher Education Plans, which would describe each state’s strategy to address the issues of equity, access and excellence in higher education.
RUSA is implemented and monitored through an institutional structure comprising the National Mission Authority, Project Approval Board and the National Project Directorate at the centre, and the State Higher Education Council and State Project Directorate at the state level.
RUSA programme also seeks enhancement of intake capacity of the existing institutions of higher education. It is designed on the lines of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan with an aim to increase Gross Enrolment Ratio to 25%, which at present is just 17%. It proposes to set up 800 new colleges under central universities (40 central universities covering 20 colleges each), 400 new college cluster universities, and a set of other new universities under various categories.
According to UGC sources, the promotion of evening colleges and universities would not only help in enhancing enrolment but would also provide opportunities to working class for improving their academic and professional qualifications. This would help in making optimum use of the existing infrastructure that remains unused for an average of 16–18 hours a day. The shift system of courses in colleges would be effectively supported by separate qualified teachers.
Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) Nuclear Science Centre at New Delhi (now called Inter University Accelerator Centre) was the first such research centre established in 1994.
At present, there are six IUCs functioning within the university system and these are as follows.
1. Inter-University Accelerator Centre (IUAC), New Delhi.
2. Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astro- Physics (IUCAA), Pune.
3. UGC-DAE Consortium for Scientific Research (UGC-DAECSR), Indore.
4. Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET), Ahmedabad.
5. Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC), New Delhi.
6. National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore.
Association of Indian Universities
Association of Indian Universities (AIU) is a forum for administrators and academicians of member universities to exchange views and discuss matters of common concern. The idea originated during Vice Chancellors’ Conference at Shimla in 1924 that was convened by Lord Reading.
It got its present name in 1973. The members include traditional universities, open universities, professional universities, institutes of national importance, and deemed to be universities. In addition, there is a provision of granting associate membership to universities of neighbouring countries.
It brings out a number of useful publications, including the Universities Handbook, research papers, and a weekly journal titled University News.
Institutions of National Importance
An institution is established by an act of Parliament and is declared as an Institution of National Importance, such as IITs and IIMs among others. Some institutions are established or incorporated by the State Legislature Act.
1. Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi.
2. Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR), New Delhi.
3. Centre for Studies in Civilizations, Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture (PHISPC).
4. Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), Guwahati.
5. National Council of Rural Institutes (NCRI), Hyderabad.
India has six language universities out of which three are deemed to be universities and three are central universities. The deemed to be universities are for promotion of Sanskrit and the three central universities are, one each, for the promotion of English and foreign language, Hindi and Urdu.
UGC is funding these language universities.
1. Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, New Delhi.
2. Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati.
3. English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.
4. Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Wardha.
5. Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad.
6. Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi.
Few Important Offices or Agencies in Higher Education
Subordinate Offices Under the Bureau of Language
1. Central Hindi Directorate: New Delhi, was set up in the year 1960 to develop Hindi as a link language throughout India, in pursuance of Article 351 of the Constitution of India. Its regional offices are located in Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Guwahati.
2. Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology was constituted to evolve and define scientific and technical terms in Hindi and in all Indian languages.
3. Central Institute of Indian Languages: Mysore,
set up in 1969 to help in evolving and implementing the language policy of Government of India and to coordinate the development of Indian languages by conducting research in areas of language analysis, language pedagogy, language technology and language use in the society.
4. Regional Language Centres (RLC) located at Bhubaneswar, Pune, Mysore, Patiala, Guwahati, Solan, and Lucknow work for the implementation of the three-language formula of the government and for preparation of instructional materials.
5. National Testing Service (NTS) was approved by the MHRD in 2006–2007 and implemented by the Centre of Testing and Evaluation (CT and E) under Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore.
6. Linguistic Data Consortium for Indian Languages (LDC-IL), A central sector scheme was implemented by the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore from the financial year 2007–2008.
7. National Translation Mission: On the basis of recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission, MHRD set up the National Translation Mission (NTM) with the main objective of functioning as a clearing house for all translation activities, both theoretical and practical, in as many Indian languages as possible. Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore is the nodal organization for operation of the scheme.
8. National Book Trust was established in 1957 with the objective of promoting a culture of reading in the society by publishing good literature at affordable price in all major Indian languages including English and by undertaking book promotion activities, such as organization of seminars, workshops, book fairs and book exhibitions in India and abroad.
Accreditation In Higher Education
Higher education sector ensures quality of the educational process with the help of accreditation agencies established for the purpose.
National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC)
NAAC is an autonomous body established in 1994 by the UGC with its headquarters in Bangalore. It was established as per recommendations of NPE (1986). The prime function of NAAC is to assess and accredit institutions of higher learning, universities and colleges or their departments, schools, institutions, programmes, etc.
It regularly publishes manuals and promotion materials for assessment and accreditation.
National Board of Accreditation (NBA)
Set up in 1994, NBA is an autonomous body established by AICTE to conduct periodical evaluation of technical courses offered in India. It has the authority to recognize or derecognize institutions or programmes. The accreditation process is not linked to funding.
Accreditation Board (AB)
AB was set up by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in 1996 with a mandate to accredit agricultural institutions. Accreditation done by AB is generally valid for a period between 5–10 years and is linked to funding year wise number of institutions accredited.
It is important to note that although accreditation is voluntary in India, some states, such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have made it mandatory, especially for professional institutions. Despite this, only very few institutions are accredited. In fact, only 36% engineering and 10% management programs have been accredited by NBA.
Government is in the process of creating a single independent body to regulate various aspects of higher education. The same should be done at the earliest.
However, due care needs to be taken to ensure that it gets adequate independence and autonomy.
Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Odia are the six classical languages in India. Tamil was the first language to be assigned the status of classical language in 2004. Odia was the last one to be assigned the status in February 2014, but it is the first language from the Indo- Aryan linguistic group to be assigned the status.
Sahitya Academy’s Expert Committee gave the following four criteria for a classical language.
1. The high antiquity of early texts/recorded history of over 1500 to 2000 years.
2. A body of ancient literature/texts that is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers.
3. The literary tradition should be original and not borrowed from another speech community.
4. The classical language and literature should be distinct from the modern and there may also be a discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms of offshoots. The proposals are made by the Ministry of Culture. Once a language is declared classical, it gets financial assistance for setting up a centre of excellence for the study of that language and also opens up an avenue for two major awards for scholars of eminence. Besides, the UGC can be requested to create to begin with at least in Central Universities, a certain number of professional chairs for classical languages for scholars of eminence in that language. The fathers of the Constitution conferred Sanskrit the special status by Article 351 as it was the primary source language for many languages including Hindi.
Five languages in the world, namely Chinese, Sanskrit, Arabic, Greek and Latin have been assigned the status of Classical languages.
Open and Distance Education
Usually, we include ‘Distance Education’ as the main base of ‘Non-conventional’ education, that is mentioned under new NTA-NET syllabus. Thus, distance education here is being discussed as its part once again. Today, two terms that are being used almost interchangeably are ‘Open Learning’ and ‘Distance Education’ and they are often combined to be known as Open and Distance Learning (ODL). Open learning is a philosophy, whereas distance education is the mode used for translating it into reality as the two are complementary to each other.
Distance education (DE) is an umbrella term that describes all the teaching and learning arrangements in which the learner and the teacher are separated by space and time. In fact, it is a mode of delivering education and instruction to learners who are not physically present in a traditional classroom setting. Transaction of the curriculum is effected by means of specially prepared materials [self-study (learning) materials] which are delivered to the learners at their doorstep through various media, such as print, television, radio, satellite, audio/video tapes, CD-ROMs, Internet, etc. In addition, a technological medium replaces the interpersonal communication of conventional classroombased education that takes place between the teacher and the learners. Communication between the institution, teacher and learners is mainly through electronic media (telephone, interactive radio counselling, teleconferencing, videoconferencing, chat sessions, email, website, etc.) and also through postal correspondence and limited face-to-face contact sessions held at Study Centres that are set up by the DE institutions as close to the learners’ homes as possible.
Open learning covers a wide range of innovations and reforms in the educational sector that advocates flexibility to the learner with regard to entry and exit, pace and place of study, method of study, choice and combination of courses; assessment and course completion. The lesser the restrictions, the higher the degree of openness. The open learning system aims to redress social or educational inequality and to offer opportunities not provided by conventional colleges or universities. Educational opportunities are planned deliberately so that access to education is available to larger sections of the society. Therefore, ODL is a term that accepts the philosophy of ‘openness’ and uses the ‘distance mode’ of learning.
ODL occupies a special place in the Indian higher education system because of its major contribution in enhancing the Gross Enrollment Ratio and democratization of higher education to large segments of the Indian population particularly to reach out to the unreached and to meet the demands of lifelong learning, which has become more of a necessity in the knowledge society. The major objectives of DE system are as follows.
1. To democratize higher education to large segments of the population, in particular to the disadvantaged groups, such as those living in remote and rural areas, working people, women, etc.
2. To provide an innovative system of university-level education, which is both flexible and open in terms of methods and pace of learning, combination of courses, eligibility for enrollment, age of entry, conduct of examination and implementation of the programmes of study.
3. To provide an opportunity for upgradation of skills and qualifications.
4. To develop education as a lifelong activity to enable people to update their knowledge or acquire knowledge in new areas.
India has one of the largest DE systems in the world, second only to China. There are the following types of institutions offering DE.
1. National Open University 2. State Open Universities 3. Distance Education Institutions (DEIs) at: (a) Institutions of National Importance (b) Central Universities (c) State Universities (d) Deemed to be Universities (e) State Private Universities 4. DEIs at Stand alone Institutions (a) Professional Associations (b) Government Institutions (c) Private institutions
Historical Developments in Distance Education in India
The Expert Committee under the chairmanship of Dr D. S. Kothari in 1960s recommended the institution of correspondence courses in view of the greater flexibility, economic viability and innovative methods of imparting education. The committee also suggested that correspondence courses in India should be administered by the universities only and in the first instance, the initiative was done in the University of Delhi as a pilot project.
• Hence, in 1962, the University of Delhi’s School of Correspondence Courses and Continuing Education was started. Subsequently, the Education Commission (1964– 66) under the chairmanship of Dr. D. S. Kothari also perceived correspondence National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) has been approved by the MHRD and was launched on 29 September 2015. The first list was released in April 2016. This framework outlines a methodology to rank institutions across the country. The methodology draws from the overall recommendations and broad understanding arrived at by the Core Committee set up by MHRD, to identify the broad parameters for ranking various universities and institutions.
National Institutional Ranking Framework – IInd List – Released on April 3rd, 2017
(Continued) The following five parameters (weightages in brackets) were broadly considered.
1. Teaching and learning (0.30) 2. Research and professional practices (0.30) 3. Graduation outcomes (0.20) 4. Outreach and inclusivity (0.10) 5. Perception (0.10) The ‘India Rankings 2018’ were put together with the participation of around 2800 private and public institutions. They were ranked by National Bureau of Accreditation (NBA). All institutions were judged based on selfdisclosure of information.
Although the ranking frameworks are similar, the exact methodologies are domain specific. Ranking methods have been worked out for these categories, such as (1) Overall (2) Universities (3) Colleges, (4) Engineering (5) Management (6) Pharmaceuticals (7) Architecture and (8) Medical.
1. Indian Institute of Science 2. Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai.
3. Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.
4. Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.
5. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
1. Indian Institute of Science 2. Jawaharlal Nehru University 3. Banaras Hindu University 4. Anna University 5. University of Hyderabad Colleges
1. Miranda House, New Delhi.
2. St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi.
3. Bishop Heber College, Tiruchirapalli.
4. Hindu College, New Delhi.
5. Presidency College, Chennai.
1. Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
2. Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
3. Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.
4. Indian Institutes of Management, Lucknow.
5. Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.
1. National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Mohali.
2. Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi.
3. Punjab University, Chandigarh.
4. Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai.
5. Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani.
1. All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
2. Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.
3. Christian Medical College, Vellore.
4. Kasturba Medical College, Manipal.
5. King George’s Medical University, Lucknow.
(Continued) education as an answer to the increasing pressure of numbers as well as the growing financial pressures on the universities.
• The next decade, i.e., the 1970s saw the growth and spread of the correspondence education system in India by more conventional universities opening Correspondence Course Institutes (subsequently renamed as Directorates of Distance Education/Centres of Distance Education).
• The opportunity of access, affordability and convenience offered by the DE system contributed to its increasing popularity and growth. However, again the DE system was plagued by the rigidities of the conventional system. The only flexibility was with regard to the larger number of seats. Education was still out of reach of the marginalized and the disadvantaged. It was realized that unless we open educational opportunities to the deprived, unless we remove the structural rigidities in our educational system, and unless we integrate the educational system, with developments in communication technology, we cannot and will not make headway in realizing the uphill task of educating majority of the people and of catering to the diverse types of education that a modern society demands.
• Against this background, the government introduced the OUS system in the 1980s, with the objective to further democratize opportunities for higher education to large segment of the Indian population, particularly for those whom access was difficult or impossible such as those living in remote and rural areas, working people, women, and other adults who wish to acquire and upgrade their knowledge and skills through studies in various fields.
• The Ministry of Human Resource Development, in its National Policy on Education (NPE) 1986, gave prominence to an OU system as a means to ‘augment opportunities for higher education and as an instrument of democratizing education’.
Clearly, the vision was that OUs would be different from conventional universities.
• Therefore, a new chapter in DE system began with the establishment of Dr B. R. Ambedkar Open University in Hyderabad in 1982, followed by the establishment of Indira Gandhi National Open University at the national level by the Parliament of India in 1985. The idea was accepted by many states and 1987 saw the emergence of two more Open Universities, namely Nalanda Open University (NOU) in Patna, Bihar, and Vardhman Mahaveer Open University (VMOU) in Kota, Rajasthan.
Subsequently, Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) in Nashik, Maharashtra, was established in 1989.
• The major responsibility for the promotion and coordination of Open and DE was bestowed by the Parliament on the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), instead of the UGC, which the statutory authority for regulating higher education India. Therefore, IGNOU became a unique institution as it was entrusted with a dual role of functioning like an Open University by offering Architecture
1. Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur.
2. Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee.
3. School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.
4. College of Engineering Trivandrum, Thiruvananthapuram.
5. School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal.
1. National Law School of India University, Bengaluru.
2. National Law University, New Delhi.
3. Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad.
4. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
5. National Law University, Jodhpur.
1. Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai.
2. Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.
3. Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.
programmes of education and training through distance mode and also acting as the promoter and coordinator of the Open and Distance Education system in the country and determining standards in such systems. To fulfil this particular mandate, the Distance Education Council (DEC) was set up by IGNOU in 1991 as a statutory mechanism under IGNOU Act, which became operational in February 1992. The DEC functioned within the broad framework and the policies laid down by the Board of Management of IGNOU while enjoying a significant measure of autonomy in its operations.
• As per the mandate of the DEC and the NPE 1986, which was revised in 1992, the DEC started interacting with the state governments for establishing the SOUs in the respective states. As a result of DEC initiatives, several State governments established open universities. As emphasized in the NPE of 1986 and subsequently in the Programme of Action in 1992, the OUs adopted a radically different approach to reach the disadvantaged by adopting a variety of media and delivery channels for dissemination of information and knowledge. As a result of this, they have been able to make a definite impact on society and more Indians have access to higher education than ever before.
• The DEC took several initiatives for promotion, coordination and maintenance of standards of open and distance education system in the country. The DEC has developed guidelines for regulating the establishment and operation of ODL institutions in the country.
• In August 2010, the Ministry of Human Resource Development constituted a Committee under the chairmanship of Prof. Madhava Menon in respect of regulation of standards of education imparted through distance mode.
• The Ministry of Human Resource Development accepted the Madhava Menon Committee’s report and its recommendations for the creation of a new regulatory body for ODL system, that is, the Distance Education Council of India (DECI). The Madhava Menon Committee also decided that as an interim measure, the DEC of IGNOU may be shifted to UGC.
• Subsequently, the MHRD, in an order dated 29 December 2012, transferred the regulatory authority of distance education from IGNOU to UGC, and UGC manages this function through Distance Education Bureau. This is an interim measure till such time an independent body, namely Distance Education Council of India, is created by the Parliament.
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)
IGNOU was established in 1985 by an act of Parliament with dual responsibilities of (i) enhancing access and equity to higher education through distance mode and (ii) promoting, coordinating and determining standards in open learning and distance education systems.
Since then, IGNOU has undergone rapid expansion and emerged as an international institution in the field of open and distance learning.
IGNOU practices a flexible and open system of education with regard to methods and places of learning, combination of courses and eligibility for enrolment, age for entry and methods of evaluation, and so on. The university has adopted an integrated strategy for imparting instruction. This consists of providing print materials, audio–video, tapes, broadcast on radio and educational TV channels, teleconferencing, video conferencing and also face-to-face counselling, at its study centres located throughout the country. The university has adopted the method of continuous assessment and term-end examination for evaluation of performance of its students enrolled in various subjects.
About 10% of the Annual Plan Budget is used to extensively earmark the development of north-east region. The university has established eight regional centres in the north-east region. The university has developed a number of programmes for women, and special study centres were established in the backward areas and districts with low female literacy rate.
IGNOU makes use of Information and Communication Technologies extensively for imparting education. In addition to self-instructional printed materials, the university utilizes audio–video programme tapes, teleconferencing, Gyan Vani (FM radio), Gyan Darshan (educational TV channels), and computer networks for imparting instructions. IGNOU has a large number of programmes, ranging from purely academic to technical, professional, and vocational at various levels leading to awarding of competency certificates, diplomas, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degree to successful candidates. Many of these programmes are modular in nature.
Besides presence in many countries, IGNOU is offering distance education programmes in collaboration with UNESCO and International Institute for Capacity Building in many parts of Africa. IGNOU plays an active role in SAARC consortium for Open and Distance Learning (SACODiL) and Global Mega Universities Network (GMUNET). This one-stop education portal was launched on 30 October 2006 to facilitate lifelong learning for students, teachers and employees or for those in pursuit of knowledge, free of cost. The content development task for Sakshat was looked after by the Content Advisory Committee (CAC).
National Knowledge Network (NKN) interconnects all universities, libraries, laboratories, hospitals and agricultural institutions for sharing data and computing resources across the country over a high-speed information network having gigabyte capabilities.
State Open Universities
Presently, there are 13 state open universities in India, which are single-mode institutions. This means they provide education only in the distance mode. These universities cater to people who are unable to pursue regular courses due to various reasons. The list of the 13 SOUs is as follows.
1. Dr B. R. Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad.
2. Vardhman Mahaveer Open University, Kota, Rajasthan.
3. Nalanda Open University, Patna, Bihar.
4. Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, Nashik, Maharashtra.
5. Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is an intergovernmental organization established by the Commonwealth countries in 1988 to encourage development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.
COL was hosted in Canada by the Government of Canada. The major voluntary contributors currently are Canada, India, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa and the United Kingdom, where each are entitled to seats on COL’s Board of Governors. The following Indian organizations are partners of COL for different purposes.
1. Indira Gandhi National Open University 2. National Institute of Open Schooling 3. National Assessment and Accreditation Council Commonwealth of Learning 6. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
7. Karnataka State Open University, Mysore, Karnataka.
8. Netaji Subhas Open University, Kolkata.
9. U.P. Rajarshi Tandon Open University, Allahabad.
10. Tamil Nadu Open University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
11. Pt. Sunderlal Sharma Open University, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh.
12. Uttarakhand Open University, Haldwani, Uttarakhand.
13. Krishna Kanta Handique State Open University, Guwahati.
Professional, Technical And Skill Development Education In India
There is a huge demand for professional, technical and skill development education in the modern age of science and technology. It is quite different from what we would find in our society seventy years back. In free India, the education was thoroughly reorganized again stressing the importance of science and technology to bring about a total regeneration. Hence, quite a number of regional engineering colleges, private/ self-financial institutes of technology and centres for researches in science came into existence all over the country to provide technical education. This role of educational institutions found it necessary to redefine its goal mainly related to economic development and to ensure a place for India in the community of prosperous nations. It was not just an end, it was the dream of modern India and technical education was given the due importance with a view to realizing that dream.
Besides this, in this age of unemployment, only technical education can assure one a job and a comfortable life. Then we need to focus on exploiting ‘demographic dividend’ as well.
The profession is a vocation founded upon specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply counsel and service to others, for a direct and definite compensation, wholly apart from expectation of other business gain.
A profession arises when any trade or occupation transforms itself through ‘the development of formal qualifications based upon education, apprenticeship, and examinations, the emergence of regulatory bodies with powers to admit and discipline members, and some degree of monopoly rights.’
Other Regulators in Higher Education: Specialized Professional Bodies
The professional regulatory bodies grant approval for establishment of institutes and determine standards for the same. Some of the specialized professional bodies are as follows.
1. Medical Council of India 2. Dental Council of India 3. India Nursing Council 4. Council of Architecture 5. Bar Council of India 6. Pharmacy Council of India 7. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) 8. Rehabilitation Council of India 9. Central Council of Homeopathy 10. Central Council of Indian Medicine 11. Veterinary Council of India Thus, a significant part of the Indian higher education system is regulated. However, there are certain areas that are not.
Technical education imparts knowledge of a specific trade, craft or profession. Technical education can meet the increasing demands of expanding society and it is multiplying demands and development. The industries, mechanized systems and scientific research centers all over the world prove that our bond with the past is breaking and instead of bare hands we must use machines and technological devices for all-round development and regeneration of human society. To train our students/professionals in response to the need of the time, our education system must be reorganized to give it the necessary practical and technical bias. The Government of India is also very keen for universal recognition of our education system, and because of that all universities are trying hard to get the NBA accreditation.
We find that in a zeal to cope with the advancement of science and technology, our technical education system has become primarily skill-oriented and almost deficient or casual in the education in human values.
Technical Education Scenario in India
In India, technical education covers programmes in engineering, technology, management, architecture, town planning, pharmacy, applied arts and crafts, and hotel management and catering technology.
1. The first engineering college was established in Uttar Pradesh in 1847 for training of civil engineers at Roorkee. It conferred diplomas that were considered to be equivalent to degrees.
2. Three engineering colleges were opened by about 1856 in three presidencies, namely Calcutta, Bombay and Madras.
3. In Bengal, the leaders of the Swadeshi Movement tried to start many institutions. However, only College of Engineering and Technology at Jadavpur survived.
4. Many technical courses were started at the University of Banaras with great efforts put by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (1917).
5. Many other courses were also started at the Bengal Engineering College at Shibpur in the 1930s.
6. A number of engineering colleges started since 15 August 1947. It was due to the realization that India had to become a great industrial country and would require a large number of engineers than could be supplied by the older institutions.
All India Council for Technical Education
All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) governs technical education in India. It was set up in 1945 as an advisory body and later on in 1987, was given a statutory status by an act of Parliament. AICTE grants approval for starting new technical institutions, for the introduction of new courses, and for variation in intake capacity in technical institutions. The AICTE is headquartered in New Delhi and has seven regional offices located at Kolkata, Chennai, Kanpur, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Bhopal and Bangalore. A new regional office at Hyderabad has been set up and is yet to be operational. The council discharges its functions through an executive committee.
It is responsible for the maintenance of standards of technical education, which currently includes education research and training in the following fields.
1. Engineering 2. Technology including MCA 3. Architecture 4. Town planning 5. Management 6. Pharmacy 7. Hotel management and catering technology 8. Applied arts and crafts
Council of Architecture
The Council of Architecture (COA) was constituted by the Government of India under the provisions of the Architects Act, 1972, enacted by the Parliament which came into force on 1 September 1972. The Act provides for registration of architects and matters connected therewith.
Technical education system in the country can be broadly classified into three categories, namely central government-funded institutions, State government or state-funded institutions, and self-financed institutions. The centrally funded institution of technical and science education are as follows.
IITs 15 NITs 30
IIMs 13 IIITs 4
IISc, Bengaluru 1 NITTTRs 4
IISERs 5 Others 9
Indian Institute of Technology
These are the apex institutions for engineering education and research. At present, there are 15 Indian Institute of Technology (IITs).
IIT-Kharagpur (1951), IIT-Bombay (set up in 1958 with help from USSR and UNESCO), IIT-Madras (1959), IIT-Delhi (1963) and IIT-Guwahati (1994) are governed by the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 which has declared them as Institutions of National Importance.
In 2008, the government approved the setting up of eight new IITs in Bihar (Patna), Rajasthan (Jodhpur), Odisha (Bhubaneswar), Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad), Gujarat (Gandhinagar), Madhya Pradesh (Indore), Himachal Pradesh (Mandi) and Punjab (Ropar).
As part of the National Plan of Science and Technology, five centres of Advanced Study and Research have been set up in the IITs in Energy Studies (Delhi), Material Science (Kanpur), Cryogenic Engineering (Kharagpur), Ocean Engineering (Madras) and Resource Engineering (Bombay).
Indian Institutes of Management
Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) located at Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bangalore, Lucknow, Indore, Kozhikode and Shillong are some of the institutions of excellence, established with the objectives of imparting high-quality management education and training, conducting research and providing consultancy services in the field of management to various sectors of the Indian economy. All the IIMs are registered societies governed by their respective Board of Governors.
IIM-Ahmedabad was set up in 1961.
During the 11th Five Year Plan, six new IIMs have been set up in Haryana (Rohtak), Chhattisgarh (Raipur), Jharkhand (Ranchi), Tamil Nadu (Tiruchirappalli, Uttarakhand (Kashipur) and Rajasthan (Udaipur) in 2010.
Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore
Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, was started in 1909 through the pioneering vision of J. N. Tata. The Institute has been engaged in higher learning and advanced research in the fields of science and engineering. As discussed earlier, IISc was the first deemed university in India.
Five new institutions devoted to science education and research have been set up as Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) broadly on the pattern of IISc, Bangalore. These have been started at Kolkata, Pune, Mohali, Bhopal and Thiruvananthapuram.
National Institute of Technology
Based on the recommendations of Engineering Personnel Committee set up by the Planning Commission in 1955, eight regional engineering colleges (two each in east, west, north, and south) were set up in early sixties. Gradually, the number increased to 17.
In 2003, Regional Engineering Colleges (RECs) were rechristened as National Institute of Technology (NITs) and taken over as fully-funded institutes of the central government. They were granted a deemed university status. Over a period, the total number of NITs has gone up to 30.
Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIITs)
IIITs were specifically set up to meet the manpower requirements of the IT sector. The Central government established four IIITs at Allahabad, Gwalior, Jabalpur, and Kanchipuram. These institutions are meant to provide undergraduate as well as postgraduate education. The 11th Five Year Plan envisaged the establishment of 20 more IIITs in the country in the PPP mode.
List of IIITs
1. Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad.
2. Atal Bihari Vajpayee-Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management (ABVIIITM), Gwalior.
3. Pandit Dwarka Prasad Mishra-Indian Institute of Information, Technology, Design and Manufacturing (IIIT-D and M), Jabalpur.
4. Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing (IIIT-D and M), Kanchipuram.
National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and
Four National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research (NITTTRs) located at Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, and Kolkata were established in mid-1960s for the training of polytechnic teachers to undertake activities in the areas of education, planning, and management.
Recent Government Initiatives
The present government aims at creating more institutions of higher learning and reducing the regional disparities as far as elite institutions of advanced studies are concerned. With this objective, the government has announced new institutes of excellence, where two IIMs will come up in Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh. One IIT will come up in Karnataka, and the second will be formed by upgrading the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, in Jharkhand to an IIT. The Government has announced the setting up of new National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs) in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Jharkhand. Institutes of Sciences and Educational Research are to be set up at Odisha and Nagaland.
A Centre for Film Production, Animation and Gaming will be set up in Arunachal Pradesh.
Apprenticeship training institutes for women would come up in Haryana and Uttarakhand.
Externally Aided Projects in Technical Education
1. Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP): It was launched by MHRD in 2002 to upscale and support the ongoing efforts in improving the quality of technical education. TEQIP Phase I (2003–09) and TEQUIP Phase II were implemented with the assistance of World Bank.
2. Technician Education Project-III: It was launched with the help of World Bank for the upgradation of polytechnics in the country.
Skill Development in India
Introduction skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development for any country. Presently, the country faces a demand-supply mismatch, as the economy needs more ‘skilled’ workforce than that is available. In the higher education sphere, knowledge and skills are required for diverse forms of employment in the sector of education, health care manufacturing and other services. Potentially, the target group for skill development comprises all those in the labour force, including those entering the labour market for the first time, those employed in the organized sector and also those working in the unorganized sector. Government of India, taking note of the requirement for skill development among students launched National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF) which was later on assimilated into National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF).
Various Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) are developing Qualification Packs (QPs), National Occupational Standards (NOSs) and assessment mechanisms in their respective domains, in alignment with the needs of the industry. In view of this, the UGC implemented the scheme of Community Colleges from 2013–14 in pilot mode on the initiative of the MHRD. Thereafter, realizing the importance and the necessity for developing skills among students, and creating work ready manpower on large scale, the Commission decided to implement the scheme of Community Colleges as one of its independent schemes from the year 2014–15. The Commission also launched another scheme of B.Voc. Degree programme to expand the scope of vocational education and also to provide vertical mobility to the students admitted into Community Colleges for Diploma programmes to a degree programme in the Universities and Colleges. While these two schemes were being implemented, it was also realized that there is a need to give further push to vocational education on a even larger scale. Accordingly, ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyay Centres for Knowledge Acquisition and Upgradation of Skilled Human Abilities and Livelihood (KAUSHAL)’ was also incorporated. Since all these three provisions serve a common purpose, all these schemes are merged into a single scheme for providing skill based education under National Qualification Framework.
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE). The objective of this Skill Certification Scheme is to enable a large number of Indian youth to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood. Though the present government is aiming to skill 40 crore people by 2022 through its ‘Skill India’ program, the lack of awareness among youth about the government- run skill development programs is one of the key obstacles with about 70% of Indian youth is not aware of these schemes, according to a recent study ‘Young India and Work’ by the Observer Research Foundation and World Economic Forum (WEF).
India is one of the youngest nations in the world, with over 62% of the population in the working age group. Approximately, 250 million young people will be joining the workforce over the next decade. The government had launched the Skill India initiative, which aims to train over 40 crore people in India in different skills by 2022. Since then, various schemes have been launched like Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) to further the aim of skill development, in order to enable a large number of youths in the country to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood.
From a broader perspective, the aim of value education is linked with the fundamental question of what education itself is meant for.
1. Individual’s perspective: To enable students to achieve personal fulfilment for success in life and work.
2. Societal perspective: Education aims to prepare the youth to contribute to society, nation and the world.
Plato wrote in The Republic, ‘The mark of an educated person is the willingness to use one’s knowledge and skills to solve the problems of society’.
Key Developments in Value Education
1. National Commission of Secondary Education (1952–1953) emphasized character building as the defining goal of education.
2. University Education Commission (1962)
noted, ‘If we exclude spiritual training in our institutions, we would be untrue to our whole historical development’.
3. Education Commission of 1964–1966 put the spotlight on education and national development.
Agreeing with the Sri Prakasa Committee Report 1959, it recommended direct moral instruction for which one or two periods a week should be set aside in the school time table.
4. NPE (1986) advocated turning education into a forceful tool for the cultivation of social and moral values. Education should foster universal and eternal values, oriented toward the unity and integration of our people.
5. NPE—Programme of Action (1992) tried to integrate the various components of value education into the curriculum at all stages of school education including the secondary stage.
6. Chavan’s Committee Report (1999) provided impetus to resume work on value orientation of education.
7. The National Curriculum Framework for School Education (2000) advanced a plea to integrate value education into the curriculum.
8. National Curriculum Framework (2005) articulates the need to reaffirm our commitment to the concept of equality amidst diversity, mutual Undergraduate/Bachelor’s Level Education
The undergraduate course, i.e., the Bachelor’s degree is obtained after three years of study in the case of arts (B.A.), science (B.Sc.) and commerce (B.Com.). UG courses in professional subjects, for the Bachelor’s degree, like Engineering (B.E., B.Tech.), Medicine (M.B.B.S.), Dentistry (M.D.) and Pharmacy (B.Pharma) range from 4 to 5 and a half years.
Postgraduate/Master’s Level Education
Postgraduate courses in Arts, Science, Commerce, Engineering and Medicine are 2 year courses for the award of a Master’s degrees. Master’s program can be pursued only after completion of a bachelor’s degree.
Doctoral Studies/ Ph.D Level Education
M.Phil. Program is of one and-half year to two years in duration. Ph.D. program is for a minimum of 3 years and can take several years. These courses involve research work under a chosen/allotted guide, leading to thesis submission and viva-voce. Successful completion of Ph.D. course designates the title of ‘Doctor’ to the individual.
Certificate and Diploma Programs
In addition to the degree programs, a number of diploma and certificate programs are also available in universities. Their range is wide and they cover anything from poetics to computers. Some of them are undergraduate diploma programs and others postgraduate programs. The duration varies from course to course and program to program and usually ranges between one year and three years.
Components of Indian Education Systems
interdependence of humans to promote values that foster peace, humaneness, and tolerance in a multicultural society. The NCF, 2005 particularly emphasizes education for peace as one of the national and global concerns.
Main Issues behind the Need for Imparting Value Education
Tradition versus Modernity
Developing societies, such as India, face a conflict between tradition and modernization. It is important to make young learners develop attitudes where they do not see everything in tradition as bad or everything in modernization as good. There are many things positive about our traditional culture, which needs to be appreciated and understood, such as tolerance of dissonance, harmony rather than control over environment, collectivism and self-definition in a social context emphasizing modesty, cooperation, duty, acceptance and so on.
Globalization signifies an omnipresent culture.
Societies have become less and less mono-cultural.
Consequently, the pluricultural environment in which we live now is more complex and multiple with different cultures developing in such a way that it is no longer possible to think of adapting to a homogeneous environment.
India is a multilingual, multicultural and multi-religious country. Universality and diversity may seem incompatible, but both have to coexist in a democratic and diverse society such as ours, where values of democracy prevail along with the values of differences that are also fully recognized and respected.
A healthy, happy society is one in which all its members feel included and do not feel excluded from the processes of the society because of their colour, culture, caste, religion, gender or community.
Making children sensitive to the environment and the need for its protection is an immediate social concern. The reckless exploitation of environment, depletion of ozone layer, global warming, industrial pollution, deforestation, and soil erosion are few problems faced by humanity.
Exploding World of Science and Technology
It is very clear that the coming decades are going to see a greater explosion of science and technology, while we are still trying to cope with the present challenges of new technology. It has many good and bad unintended consequences. How science and technology are to be used is a question of values. Application of science and technology in a more humane and rationale way is related to moral and ethical responsibility.
Mass and Social Media
A major ubiquitous aspect of contemporary society is the intrusion of mass media into day-to-day life of all societies. The values and attitudes that get transmitted are rather contrary to the values desired by the family, society, or school. Propagating myths and derogatory images of women, for example, is likely to make the young learner grow up with prejudices that are injurious to women and society, rather than learning that all human beings are equal.
Values enshrined in our constitution, such as justice, liberty, equality, and fundamental duties have been discussed in the later sections.
Key Trends in Higher Education System in India
1. General courses (arts, science and commerce) account for majority (around 80%) of student enrollments. Engineering has increasingly strengthened its position as the most highly preferred professional course.
2. Degree-granting courses have seen greater enrolment with regard to diploma and certificate courses. However, the relative enrolment of students in postgraduate programmes has declined as compared to enrolment in undergraduate courses.
3. The share of unaided private higher education institutions in the country has grown significantly in the last few years. The percentage of students in unaided private higher education institutions has also increased considerably.
4. There has been a rapid growth in the number of professional private higher education institutions. This growth is reflected in the dominant share of unaided private higher education institutions in professional courses.
All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE)
MHRD initiated an AISHE in the year 2010–11 with reference date for filling up the Data Capture Format (DCF) is 30th September of the Academic Year to build a robust database and to assess the correct picture of Higher Education in the Country. Teachers Information Format (TIF) was added for the first time in 2016–17. The survey is being conducted on annual basis. The e-version of Data Capture Format (DCF) and Teacher Information Format (TIF) has been prepared for collecting the data from all the Universities, Colleges and Stand-alone Institutions registered on AISHE Portal (http://aishe.gov.in). The expectations from such surveys include the following.
1. Creation of Comprehensive database on Higher Education.
2. No time lag.
3. Complete and Reliable Educational Indicators.
(a) Student Enrolment, GER, GPI, PTR, etc.
(b) Teaching and non-teaching positions.
(c) Infrastructural facilities, examination result, number of program, student finance, etc.
(d) AISHE data are useful in making informed policy decisions and research for development of education sector.
Key Issues Facing Spread of Higher Education in India
National Policy on Higher Education translated the vision of the Radhakrishnan Commission and the Kothari Commission into an actionable policy by setting five main goals for higher education, which are enumerated as follows.
1. Access 2. Equity: Equity involves fair access to the poor and the socially disadvantaged groups to higher education.
3. Quality and excellence 4. Relevance 5. Value-based education: This involves inculcating basic moral values among the youth.
As per the UGC guidelines, the student–teacher ratio should be 30 :
1. However, in some of the states, the ratio is as high as 100 : 1.
Despite having one of the largest higher education systems in the world, few Indian institutions have earned global distinction. There is no Indian institute in the world’s top 200.
New Government Initiatives
GIAN Global Initiative for Academic Network: GIAN aims at tapping the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs, internationally, to encourage their engagement with the institutes of Higher Education in India so as to augment the country’s existing academic resources, accelerate the pace of quality reform, and elevate India’s scientific and technological capacity to global excellence. It is proposed to initiate the program under collaboration with various countries.
Skills Assessment Matrix for Vocational Advancement of Youth (SAMVAY): A credit framework— SAMVAY—is now in place which allows vertical and lateral mobility within vocational education system and between the current education systems. The strength of this framework is the seamless integration of pursuit of academic knowledge and practical vocational skills. Efforts like these will improve the employability of our educated youth.
Campus connect: The National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) Scheme aims to leverage the potential of ICT for teaching and learning processes. The mission has two major components, such as (a) content generation and (b) provide connectivity along with provision for access devices to the institutions and learners. Under the NMEICT Mission, connectivity to 419 Universities/ University level Institutions and 25,000+ colleges and polytechnics in the country has been envisaged to be provided.
National e-Library: The National Digital Library of India is envisaged as a National knowledge asset that will provide ubiquitous digital knowledge source. It will support and enhance education, research and innovation catering to the needs of all types of learner groups over the country. Developing and providing efficient access to quality e-content addressed to various learners with different backgrounds, expectations and languages.
National Ranking Framework: A committee on National Ranking Framework under the chairmanship of Secretary (HE) was constituted to evolve a ranking framework for universities and institutions. Workshops were organized in coordination with the Times Higher
Education World University Rankings (THER) and the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking agencies to address various ranking parameters. The MHRD and MHA are collaborating to address employment VISA requirements, which aims at increasing the number of foreign faculty. This will help improve the internationalization parameter in various ranking systems.
Mandatory Accreditation: National Assessment and Accreditation Council had submitted a project proposal to MHRD under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA). The major features of the National Quality Renaissance Initiative (NQRI) are (i) awareness building, popularization, and promotion of quality assurance mentoring higher education institutions, (ii) building collegium of assessors, and (iii) quality sustenance and enhancement initiatives.
Bachelor of Vocational Studies: The UGC has introduced the scheme for B.Voc degree with multiple exits at Diploma/Advanced Diploma under National Skill qualification Framework (NSQF). The objectives are (i) to enhance the employability of youth, (ii) to maintain their competitiveness through provisions of multi-entry multi-exit learning opportunities and vertical mobility, (iii) to fill the gap between educated and employable, and (iv) to reduce the dropout rate at the secondary level. Currently, 2035 schools across 25 states are implementing the scheme.
Education Sector Skill Council: Education Sector Skill Council was constituted in September 2014 to consider job roles other than academic faculties and teacher qualifications.
Kaushal Kendras: One hundred ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyay Centres’ for Knowledge Acquisition and Upgradation of Skilled Human Abilities and Livelihood’ (KAUSHAL) will be set up. These Kendras will formulate courses at postgraduate level keeping in mind the need of (i) industry in specialized areas, (ii) instructional design, curriculum design, and contents in the areas of skills development, (iii) pedagogy, assessment for skills development education and training, (iv) trained faculty in the areas of skill development, and (v) entrepreneurship.
Unnat Bharat Abhiyan: IIT, IISER and NIT to adopt villages and develop appropriate rural technologies for sustainable development through peoples’ participation. The Abhiyan will enable processes that connect institutes of higher education with local communities.
Focus on water management, organic farming, renewable energy, frugal technology, infrastructure and livelihood.
Ishan Uday—Scholarship Scheme for Students of North East Region: The UGC has launched a Special Scholarship Scheme for students of North East Region, Ishan Uday, from the academic session 2014–15.
Ishan Vikas—Academic Exposure for North Eastern Students: The programme has been launched with a plan to bring selected college and school students from the North Eastern states into close contact with IITs, NITs and IISERs during their vacation periods for academic exposure.
Saakshar Bharat—Adult Literacy and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna: Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Adult Education and Skill Development has a special focus on underprivileged groups. Four hundred and ten districts are covered under the programme.
PRAGATI—Scholarships for Girl Child for Technical education: PRAGATI aims at providing encouragement and support to girl child to pursue technical education.
Swami Vivekananda Scholarship for Single Girl Child: UGC has introduced the Swami Vivekananda Scholarship for Single Girl Child for research in Social Sciences with an aim to compensate direct costs of higher education especially for such girls who happen to be the only girl child in their family.
CIHEC (Council for Industry Higher Education Cooperation): This relates to creating linkages between the Industry and Academia. A nodal agency potentially called the Council for Industry and Higher Education Collaboration (CIHEC) would be established to promote and facilitate industry–higher education collaboration.
Nineteen New Higher Educational Institutions: Five IITs (one each in Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Goa, and Kerala); Six IIMs (one each in Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Odisha; Four New Central Universities—Andhra Pradesh (one Central University and one Tribal University), Bihar (Mahatma Gandhi Central University); One IISER in Andhra Pradesh; One NIT in Andhra Pradesh; One IIIT in Andhra Pradesh; and One Tribal University in Telangana.
Many new institutions that are in pipeline have been discussed under New Government Initiatives on page 10.14.
Governance , Polity, And Administration
The topics, such as governance, polity and administration, have their origins in the constitution of the country.
In Net Paper 1 Exam, 3–4 questions are asked from constitution.
Constitution is a living document, an instrument that makes the government system work. The constitution of the United State of America, which was promulgated way back in 1787, became the world’s first written constitution. Unlike most modern states, Britain does not have a codified constitution but an unwritten one formed of Acts of Parliament, court judgements, and conventions. Magna carta (origin UK) completed 800 years in 2015. It is considered as mother of all constitutions and fundamental rights.
Constitution is the supreme law of the land. All other laws have to conform to the constitution. It contains laws concerning the government and its relations with the people. We adopted many features from other constitutions of the world, which are as follows.
1. Nominal head of state (President in India) 2. Cabinet system of ministers 3. Prime minister as the head of the government 4. Parliamentary system of government 5. Bicameral parliament with more powerful lower house (Lok Sabha) 6. Council of ministers responsible to lower house 7. Speaker in Lok Sabha US
1. Written constitution 2. President being the supreme commander of the armed forces 3. fundamental rights 4. Supreme court—independent judiciary and judicial review 5. Preamble USSR
1. Fundamental Duties 2. Five Year Plans Australia
1. Concurrent List 2. Language of the Preamble Japan
1. Law on which the Supreme Court functions Weimar Constitution of Germany
1. Suspension of fundamental rights during emergency Canada
1. Scheme of federation with a strong centre, distribution of powers between the centre and the states and placing residuary powers with the centre.
1. Concept of Directive Principles of States Policy 2. Method of election of President 3. Nomination of members in the Rajya Sabha by the President
Development of Constitution Government of India Act (1935): It introduced provincial autonomy, i.e., a responsible government at the provinces with elected Indians in charge of the administration and responsible to the elected legislatures.
A federal government was proposed, though it did not come into effect. At the centre, diarchy was introduced.
Note: 2015 was celebrated as 800th year of magna carta.
1. The idea to have a constitution was given by M. N. Roy, a political philosopher.
2. Constituent Assembly of India (1946) to write the Constitution of India under the Cabinet Mission Plan. It took place on 9 December 1946.
Dr Sachchidananda Sinha was elected as its ad hoc Chairman.
3. On 11 December 1946, Dr Rajendra Prasad was elected as the permanent chairman of the Constituent Assembly.
4. On 13 December 1946, Objective Resolution was introduced by J. L. Nehru, which later became the basis of Preamble to our constitution.
5. Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar was elected as the Chairman of Drafting Committee.
6. Constituent Assembly approved the constitution on 11 November 1949, and the constitution came into effect on 26 January 1950. The Constituent Assembly took 2 years, 11 months and 8 days to complete the constitution.
7. India became republic on the same day.
8. Initially, it had 395 articles in 22 parts and 8 schedules, which are presently 12.
9. G. V. Mavalankar became the first speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
10. Constituent Assembly was to comprise of 389 members, of which as many as 296 of them were to be elected from British India and 93 of them were to be the representatives of the Native States.
Salient Features of the Constitution
In making the constitution, the Assembly was inspired by several sources such as the Preamble, which was inspired by the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, the Fundamental Rights by the American Bill of Rights, the Directive Principles by the Irish Constitution, and the federal setup by the American Government as well as the Act of 1935. The following are some of the prominent features of our constitution.
1. Federal (dual) polity: India has both Central and State governments. They have their separate spheres of functioning and are not subordinate to each other. For a federal setup to work, there must be a written, supreme, and a rigid constitution, with a powerful and independent Supreme Court.
India has all this. It is federal in form (in normal times) but unitary in spirit (in emergencies).
2. Lengthiest constitution in the world: Our constitution is the lengthiest in the world. It contains details of both the Central and the State governments.
3. Sovereign, socialist, and democratic republic:
India is sovereign because its government is not subject to any outside authority. It is socialist because it has mixed economy and is secular as there is no state religion. The state treats all religions equally. It is democratic as its rulers are elected by the people and are responsible to them, and it is republic as it has an elected head of state.
4. Parliamentary form of government: India has a parliamentary form of government. This means the executive (Prime Minister and his council of ministers) is responsible to the legislature (parliament). The three constituents of parliament are President, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The president of the union is the constitutional head of the state. The prime minister is considered as the head of the government.
5. Blend of flexibility and rigidity: Usually, the process of amendment of the Indian constitution is simple and it requires only a majority in the parliament.
However, in cases involving the government of the states, the process of amendment is more complicated and requires the consent of at least half the state legislatures.
6. Fundamental rights: These are contained in Part III of the constitution. The fundamental rights are in the form of restrictions on the power of the government. They are protected by the Supreme Court.
7. Directive Principles of State Policy: These principles are in the spirit of Modern Welfare State. These are contained in Part IV and it defines the aims of the government. They aim to set up a socialistic state in India, in which all the basic needs are met by the government. However, they are not enforceable by the Supreme Court. The different schemes launched by the government are actually inspired by the Directive Principles.
8. Universal adult suffrage (franchise): Franchise or suffrage means the right to vote. In India, anybody above the age of 18 years can vote without qualifications of sex, property, taxation, or literacy.
9. Independent judiciary: The Indian Supreme Court is independent and impartial. It safeguards the fundamental rights and settles disputes between the centre and the states.
10. Single citizenship: Single citizenship states that any person who voluntarily acquires the citizenship of any other country is not an Indian citizen any longer.
11. Fundamental duties: These were introduced by the 42nd Amendment in 1976. They are intended to balance the fundamental rights. However, they are also not justiciable.
Preamble to the Constitution
The draft of the Preamble was prepared by Jawaharlal Nehru and is based on the American model. The Preamble states: ‘We, the People of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic, republic, and to secure to all its citizens.
1. Justice in terms of social, economic and political.
2. Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship.
3. Equality of status and of opportunity and to promote them among all.
4. Fraternity by assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation.
In our Constituent Assembly, 26 November 1949, do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this constitution’. Through the 42nd Amendment in 1976, the words secular and socialist were added to the constitution. The 42nd amendment is termed as the Mini constitution as many amendments were effected in the constitution. The below Table 10.2 gives us a snapshot of our constitution. Table 10.2 A Snapshot of Our Constitution
Part Articles Deals in
Part I 1–4 Territory of India, admission, establishment or formation of new states
Part II 5–11 Citizenship
Part III 12–35 Fundamental Rights
Part IV 36–51 Directive Principles of State Policy
Part IV A 51A Duties of a citizen of India. It was added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976
Part V 52–151 Government at the union level
Part VI 152–237 Government at the state level
Part VII 238 States in Part B of First Schedule were repealed by 7th Amendment in 1956
Part VIII 239–241 Administration of Union Territories
Part IX 242–243 Territories in Part D of the First Schedule
Part X 244–244A Scheduled and tribal areas
Part XI 245–263 Relations between the union and states
Part XII 264–300 Finance, property, contracts, and suits
Part XIII 301–307 Trade, commerce, and travel within the territory of India
Part XIV 308–323 Services under the union and states
Part XIV A 323A–323B Added by the 42nd Amendment—administrative tribunals for settling disputes
Part XV 324–329 Election and election commission
Part XVI 330–342 Special provision to certain classes ST/SC and Anglo Indians
Part XVII 343–351 Official languages
Part XVIII 352–360 Emergency provisions
Part XIX 361–367 Miscellaneous provision—exemption of President and Governors from criminal proceedings
Part XX 368 Amendment of constitution
Part XXI 369–392 Temporary, transitional, and special provisions
Part XXII 393–395 Short title, commencement, and repeal of the constitution
Schedules in the Constitution of India
1. First Schedule: List of states and union territories 2. Second Schedule: Salaries of president, governors, chief judges, judges of high court and supreme court, comptroller and auditor general.
3. Third Schedule: Forms of oaths and affirmations.
4. Fourth Schedule: Allocation of seats for each state of India in Rajya Sabha.
5. Fifth Schedule: Administration and control of scheduled areas and tribes.
6. Sixth Schedule: Provisions for administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh.
7. Seventh Schedule: Gives allocation of powers and functions between union and states. It contains three lists.
India has no official language. The official language of the union government of Republic of India is Hindi, while English is the secondary official language. The constitution of India states that ‘The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script’, which was supported by a High Court ruling. However, languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution are sometimes referred to, without legal standing, as the National Languages of India.
Is there any official language in India
1 Union List 97 subjects
2 State List 66 subjects
3 Concurrent List 47 subjects
Both centre and states can legislate on the concurrent list.
8. Eighth Schedule: List of 22 languages of India recognized by the Constitution are as follows.
1. Assamese 2. Bengali 3. Gujarati 4. Hindi 5. Kannada 6. Kashmiri 7. Manipuri 8. Malayalam 9. Konkani 10. Marathi 11. Nepali 12. Oriya 13. Punjabi 14. Sanskrit 15. Sindhi 16. Tamil 17. Telugu 18. Urdu 19. Santhali 20. Bodo 21. Maithili 22. Dogri Sindhi was added in 1967 by the 21st Amendment.
Konkani, Manipuri, and Nepali were added in 1992 by the 71st Amendment.
Santhali, Maithili, Bodo, and Dogri were added in 2003 by the 92nd Amendment.
9. Ninth Schedule: Added by the 1st Amendment in 1951; it contains acts and orders related to land tenure, land tax, railways, industries (right to property is not a fundamental right now).
10. Tenth Schedule: Added by the 52nd Amendment in 1985; it contains provisions for disqualification on grounds of defection.
11. Eleventh Schedule: Added by the 73rd Amendment in 1992; it contains provisions for Panchayati Raj.
12. Twelfth Schedule: Added by the 74th Amend- ment in 1992; it contains provisions for municipal corporation.
The fundamental rights are in Part III of the Indian Constitution, 1949, from Article 12 to 35. The framer of the Indian constitution borrowed it from USA.
Part III of the Constitution is rightly described as the ‘Magna Carta of India’. The Fundamental Rights are guaranteed by the Constitution to all persons without any discrimination. The Fundamental Rights are named so because they are guaranteed and protected by the Constitution, which is the fundamental law of the land.
Originally, the right to property was also included in the Fundamental Rights. However, the 44th Amendment, passed in 1978, revised the status of property rights by stating that ‘No person shall be deprived of his or her property save by authority of law’. The Fundamental Rights are given below.
Right to Equality
Article 14: Equality before law and equal protection of law.
Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
Article 16: Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.
Article 17: End of untouchability.
Article 18: Abolition of titles; military and academic distinctions are, however, exempted.
Right to Freedom
Article 19: It guarantees the citizens of India the following six fundamentals freedoms.
1. Freedom of speech and expression 2. Freedom of assembly 3. Freedom to form associations 4. Freedom of movement 5. Freedom of residence and settlement 6. Freedom of profession, occupation, trade, and business Article 20: Protection in respect of conviction for offences.
Article 21: Protection of life and personal liberty.
Article 22: Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.
Right against Exploitation
Article 23: Trafficking of human beings is prohibited.
Article 24: No child below the age of 14 can be employed.
Right to Freedom of Religion
Article 25: Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion.
Article 26: Freedom to manage religious affairs.
Article 27: Prohibits taxes on religious grounds.
Article 28: Freedom as to attendance at religious ceremonies in certain educational institutions.
Cultural and Educational Rights
Article 29: Protection of interests of minorities.
Article 30: Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.
Article 31: Omitted by the 44th Amendment Act.
Note: Minority Institutions – ‘All minorities … shall have the right to establish and administer education institutions of their own’ _____ is the mandate, as per Article 30(1) of the Constitution. Government is committed to address the existing backwardness in education of minorities, especially the Muslims, constituting the major chunk of the minorities. Therefore, the Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme, interalia, aims to enhance opportunities for education of minorities ensuring an equitable share in economic activities and employment.
In January 2016, the government stated that Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh and Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi were set up by acts of Parliament. Hence, they are not minority institutions.
Right to Constitutional Remedies
Article 32: The right to move the Supreme Court in case of violation of any right (called the heart and soul of the constitution by Dr B. R. Ambedkar).
Forms of Writ
As per the Right to Constitutional Remedies (Articles 32–35), a citizen has the right to move the court for securing his or her fundamental rights. Citizens can go to the Supreme Court or the High Court for getting their fundamental rights enforced. It empowers the courts to issue directions, orders or writs for this purpose. The different forms of writs have been discussed below.
Habeas corpus means to have the body. It is in the nature of an order, calling upon a person who has unlawfully detained another person to produce the latter before the court.
Mandamus: It literally means command. It is thus an order of a superior court, commanding a person holding a public office or a public authority (including the government) to do or not to do something, in the nature of public duty.
Prohibition: A writ of prohibition is issued by a superior court to an inferior court or a tribunal to prevent it from exceeding its jurisdiction and to compel it to keep within the limits of its jurisdiction.
Certiorari: A writ of certiorari has much in common with a writ of prohibition. The only difference between the two is, whereas a writ of prohibition is issued to prevent an inferior court or tribunal to go ahead with the trial of a case in which it has assumed excess of jurisdiction, a writ of certiorari is issued to quash the order passed by an inferior court or a tribunal in excess of jurisdiction.
Quo Warranto: Quo warranto means what is your authority? A writ of quo warranto is issued against the holder of a public office in order to show the court under what authority he holds the office.
Writs can be initiated by the following institutions,
1. The Supreme and High Courts.
2. The National Human Rights Commission.
3. The State Human Rights Commissions and Human Rights Courts.
4. Non-Governmental Organizations such as People’s Union for Civil Liberties and Amnesty International.
Our constitution has explicitly laid down certain fundamental duties of its citizens in Article 51A, emphasizing that every Indian citizen would:
1. Promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood, transcending religious, linguistic, and regional or sectoral diversities.
2. Renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.
3. Value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.
4. Protect and improve the natural environment.
5. Develop scientific temper.
6. Abjure violence and strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement.
President of India
1. Qualification: Must be a citizen of India.
2. Age: Completed 35 years of age.
3. Eligibility: Eligible to be a member of Lok Sabha.
Must not hold any government post except the following posts: (a) President or Vice President (b) Governor of any state (c) Minister of the Union or of any State 4. Election: President is indirectly elected through the electoral college consisting of elected members of both the houses of the parliament and elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the states (no nominated members). The Supreme Court inquires all disputes regarding the President’s election. The elected president takes oath in the presence of the Chief Justice of India, or in his absence, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court.
5. Terms and emoluments: The terms and emoluments of the President are as follows.
(a) Five-year term (b) Article 57 says that there is no upper limit on the number of times a person can become a President.
(c) Can give his or her resignation to the Vice President before full term.
6. Impeachment: Quasi-judicial procedure can be impeached only on grounds of violation of the constitution. The impeachment procedure can be initiated in both the houses of the Parliament.
7. Vacancy: In case if the office of the President falls vacant due to death, resignation or removal, the Vice President act as President. If he is not available then the Chief Justice, if not, then the seniormost judge of the Supreme Court shall act as the President of India. The election is to be held within six months from the date of vacancy.
8. Powers: The powers of the President are given below.
(i) Appoints the PM, ministers, Chief Justice and the judges of Supreme Court and High Court, chairman and members of UPSC, Comptroller and Auditor General, Attorney General, Chief Election Commissioner and other members of Election Commission of India, Governors, members of Finance Commission, Ambassadors and so on.
(ii) Summon and prorogue the sessions of the two houses and can dissolve the Lok Sabha.
(iii) Appoints the Finance Commission (after every five years) that recommends the distribution of taxes between the union and the state governments.
(iv) Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces of India.
(v) Appoints the Chief of Army, Navy, and Air Force.
(vi) Declares wars and concludes peace to the approval of the Parliament.
(vii) No money bill or demand for grant can be introduced or moved in the Parliament unless it has been recommended by the President.
(viii) He has the power to grant pardon, reprieve, or remit punishment or commute death sentences.
9. Emergency powers: The President can promulgate three types of emergencies.
Type of emergency Article
National emergency 352
State emergency (President’s rule) 356
Financial emergency 360
Prime Minister of India
1. Prime Minister is the real executive authority.
2. He is the ex-officio Chairman of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog, erstwhile Planning Commission), National Development Council, National Integration Council and Interstate Council.
3. The President convenes and prorogues all sessions of Parliament in consultation with the Prime Minister.
4. He can recommend the dissolution of Lok Sabha before expiry.
5. He appoints the council of ministers.
6. He allocates portfolios, and he can ask a minister to resign and can get him dismissed by the President.
7. He has the power to recommend to the President to declare emergency on grounds of war, external aggression or armed rebellion.
8. He advises the President about President’s rule in the state or in case of emergency due to financial instability.
9. He is the leader of the house.
Vice President of India
1. Election: Elected by both the houses (Electoral College) in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote and the vote being secret. Nominated members also participate in his election. The Supreme Court has the final and exclusive jurisdiction for resolving disputes and doubts relating to the election of the Vice President of India.
2. Criteria: Citizen of India 3. Age: More than 35 years of age 4. Eligibility: Possesses the qualification for membership of Rajya Sabha.
Does not hold any office of profit under union, state, or local authority. However, for this purpose, the President, Vice President, Governor of a state, and a minister of the union or a state are not held to be holding an office of profit.
Holds office for five years and can be re-elected for any number of terms. Term can be cut short if he resigns or by a resolution of the Rajya Sabha, passed by a majority of all the members of the Rajya Sabha and agreed to by the Lok Sabha.
He is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
As he is not a member of Rajya Sabha, he has no right to vote.
Being the Vice President of India, he is not entitled to any salary, but is entitled to the salary and allowances payable to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
All bills, resolution and motion can be taken in Rajya Sabha after his consent.
Can discharge the functions of the President; the Vice President shall not perform the duties of the office of the Chairman of Rajya Sabha and shall not be entitled to receive to salary of the Chairman. During this period, he is entitled for the salary and privileges of the President of India.
Citizen of a nation is a person who enjoys full civil and political rights in that nation. Aliens are people who do not enjoy all these rights.
Rights Available to a Citizen
In India, the following rights are available to its citizens only.
1. The right to not be discriminated against on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.
2. The right to equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.
3. The right to the six freedoms of Article 19, namely, right to speech, assembly, association, movement, residence, and occupation.
4. Cultural and educational rights.
5. The right to vote for elections to the Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies of the states.
6. Certain offices, for example, the President, Prime Minister, Vice President, Judges of the Supreme or High Court, can be occupied only by Indian citizens. The right to equality before law and equal protection of the law, right to the protection of life and personal liberty and the right to freedom of religion are available to aliens also.
Single and Dual Citizenship
India has single citizenship. It means a person can be only a citizen of India, not of any of the states of India.
Also, the Indian constitution forbids dual citizenship, whereby a person may be a citizen of two countries at the same time, or of a country and of one of its units or state at the same time.
A person can only be a citizen of India, and claim the rights and privileges that go with citizenship.
Who are the Citizens of India?
The constitution describes the classes of people who would be considered citizens of India at the time of commencement of the constitution.
1. Citizens by domicile: Those who live in India and fulfil any one of the following conditions, namely (a) they were born in India, (b) their parents were born in India, or (c) they must have lived in India for at least five years before the commencement of the constitution are called citizens by domicile.
2. Migrants from Pakistan to India: Migrants from Pakistan to India are to be considered Indian citizens if they, or their parents, were born in undivided India.
3. Migrants from India to Pakistan: Any person who migrated to Pakistan after March 1, 1947, ceases to be a citizen of India.
4. People of Indian origin residing outside India:
Those who reside outside India, but whose parents or grandparents were born in undivided India can claim citizenship by registering as citizen with the diplomatic representatives of India.
The Parliament passed the Citizenship Act (1955) and Citizenship (Amendment) Act (2003) laying down ways in which a person may acquire or lose Indian citizenship.
According to these acts, a person may become a citizen of India,
1. By birth 2. By descent 3. By registration 4. By naturalization 5. By incorporation of territory A person who has lived in India, or has served the Government of India for at least seven years, knows one of the official languages of India, has renounced the citizenship of his country of origin and has taken the oath of allegiance of India and is of good character, can apply for citizenship through naturalization.
Loss of Citizenship
According to these acts, a person can lose his citizenship by the following.
1. Renunciation: An Indian citizen can make a declaration of renouncing his citizenship, and have this declaration registered.
2. Termination: When a person becomes a citizen of another country voluntarily, he automatically loses his citizenship of India.
3. Deprivation: A person who becomes a citizen of India by naturalization or registration can be deprived of his citizenship if found that he gained it through false means, showed disrespect to the Indian constitution, was disloyal to the country, or was convicted of an offence within five years of getting the citizenship.
Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2003 also made it possible for people to be the overseas citizens of India, if they are of Indian origin and hold the citizenship of some selected countries (West European and North American countries). This allows them to easily travel to and from India, but otherwise does not give them the privileges of people who are complete citizens of India.
The Parliament of India consists of the President and the two houses namely, the Lower House or Lok Sabha and the Upper House or Rajya Sabha.
It is the upper house of parliament. It consists of representatives of states and represents the federal character of the constitution. The membership of a state is based on the population of that state. The maximum strength of the Rajya Sabha is 250.
Of these, 238 represent the states and union territories and the remaining 12 are nominated by the President from amongst persons who have distinguished themselves in the field of literature, art, science, social service and so on.
Its members are elected by the members of state Legislative Assemblies on the basis of proportional representation through a single transferable vote. Tenure
Rajya Sabha is a permanent body and not subject to dissolution. One-third of its members retire every two years. The members are elected by the elected members of the state Legislative Assemblies for a six-year term. There are no seats reserved for scheduled castes and tribes in the Rajya Sabha.
Qualifications for Membership
To be qualified to become a member of the Rajya Sabha, a person must be
1. A citizen of India.
2. Not less than 30 years of age.
3. Registered as a voter in any parliamentary constituency.
Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha
The Vice President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. He presides over the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha. In his absence, the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha presides over. Deputy Chairman is elected by the members of the Rajya Sabha amongst themselves.
Lok Sabha is the lower house of the parliament. It consists of representatives elected by the people on the basis of universal adult franchise through a secret ballot. The constitution prescribes a membership of not more than 530 representatives of the states, not more than 20 representatives of the union territories and not more than two members of the Anglo-Indian Community nominated by the President, if in the opinion of the President the Anglo-Indian community is not adequately represented in the Lok Sabha. The constitution empowers the Parliament to readjust the seats in the Lok Sabha on the basis of population after every census. Tenure
The normal term of Lok Sabha is five years. However, it may be dissolved earlier by the President. The 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 extended the normal life of the Lok Sabha to six years. However, the 44th Amendment Act, 1978 has set it at five years as the original constitution envisaged. The life of the Lok Sabha can be extended by the Parliament beyond the five-year term, when a proclamation of emergency under Article 352 is in force. The Parliament cannot extend the normal life of Lok Sabha for more than one year at a time, but in any case, such extensions cannot continue beyond a period of six months after the proclamation comes to an end.
Qualifications for Membership to Lok Sabha
In order to be a member of the Lok Sabha, a person must have the following qualifications.
1. A citizen of India.
2. Not less than 25 years of age.
3. Registered as a voter in any parliamentary constituency.
Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha
Speaker is the Chief Presiding Officer of the Lok Sabha. Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha are elected by the members of Parliament amongst themselves.
Deputy Speaker performs the duties of Speaker in case of vacancy or absence.
Speaker and Deputy Speaker remain in office as long as they are the members of the House. Speaker continues in office even after dissolution of the House till the newly elected Lok Sabha is constituted.
Speaker and Deputy Speaker may be removed from their office by a resolution of the House after serving a 14-day notice to them. Speaker can exercise his casting vote in case of a tie, that is, in case of equality of votes on a bill.
Speaker possesses certain powers that do not belong to the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. They are as follows.
1. To preside over a joint sitting of the Houses of the Parliament.
2. Power of certification of a money bill when transmitted from the Lok Sabha to the Rajya Sabha.
3. The decision of the Speaker as to whether the money bill is final.
Special Powers of the Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha enjoys the following powers that are not available to the Rajya Sabha.
1. A confidence or no-confidence motion can be initiated and passed only in the Lok Sabha.
2. Money and financial bills can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha. It controls the purse of the government.
Rajya Sabha cannot reject or amend a money bill by virtue of its legislative powers. It can only recommend changes in the money bill and can delay it for a maximum period of 14 days only. Lok Sabha enjoys full legislative powers in this regard.
Under Article 352, Lok Sabha, in a special sitting, can disapprove the continuance in force of a national emergency proclaimed by the President. In such a case, the President shall revoke the national emergency. The Parliament generally meets in three sessions in a year. These sessions are as follows:
1. Budget session – (January – March/April) 2. Monsoon session (July–August) 3. Winter session (November–December) The President can call a joint sessions of the two houses if a bill passed by one house is rejected by the other house, if the amendments proposed to a bill by one house are not acceptable to the other house or a house does not take any action on a bill remitted to it for six months. Decision is taken by a majority of the total members present. The deadlock over a bill in a joint sitting is resolved by members present and voting.
Since the Lok Sabha has a larger membership in a joint sitting, generally the will of the Lok Sabha prevails.
After the passage of the bill in a joint sitting, it is presented to the President for his assent. However, no joint sitting can be summoned to resolve a deadlock in case of a money bill or a Constitutional Amendment Bill. With effect from year 2017, the budget is to be presented in the month of January. Railway Budget has now been merged with General Budget.
Important Terms in Parliamentary Proceedings
1. Question hour: Normally, the first hour of the business of a house is devoted to questions every day and is called the question hour.
2. Adjournment motions: An adjournment motion is an extraordinary procedure, which if admitted, leads to setting aside the normal business of the house for discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance.
3. Call-attention motion: A member of Parliament may, with prior permission of the Speaker call the attention of a minister to any matter of urgent public importance and the minister may make a brief statement or ask for time to make a statement at a later hour or date.
4. No confidence motion: A motion moved by a member to express lack of confidence in the government for any reason is called no-confidence motion. The motion if allowed, is debated upon. At the conclusion of the debate, a vote of confidence is sought by the government and if it fails to get the required majority of votes, the government has to resign.
The work done by Parliament varies not only in nature, but considerably in volume too. A good deal of its business is transacted by Parliamentary Committees.
Ad hoc and Standing Committees
As the name suggests, Ad hoc Committees are appointed for a specific purpose. They cease to exist once the task is complete and they submit a report. The main Ad hoc Committees are the Select and the Joint Committees on bills.
Apart from the Ad hoc Committees, each House of Parliament has Standing Committees such as the Business Advisory Committee, the Committee on Petitions, Committee of Privileges, and the Rules Committee.
Some committees act as Parliament’s watch dogs over the Executive. These are the Committees on Subordinate Legislation, Government Assurances, Estimates, Public Accounts and the Public Undertakings, and Departmentally Related Standing Committees (DRSCs).
Attorney General is the first law officer of the Government of India. He is the primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India. He must be a person qualified to be appointed as the Judge of the Supreme Court.
AG is appointed by the President of India under Article 76(1) of the Constitution. He/she holds office during the pleasure of the President.
His duties are to advise the government on legal matters and to perform other legal duties, which are referred to or assigned to him by the President and to discharge the functions conferred to him by the constitution. Though he is not a member of the cabinet, he has the right to speak in both the Houses of the Parliament; or any committee thereof, but has no right to vote. In performance of his official duties, the Attorney General shall have the rights of an audience in all the courts in the territory of India.
Attorney General represents the government but is allowed to take up private practice, provided the other party is not the state. Due to this, he is not paid a salary but a retainer to be determined by the President. The Attorney General gets a retainer equivalent to the salary of a judge of the Supreme Court.
Comptroller And Auditor General Of India
Comptroller and Auditor General of India is appointed by the President. He holds office until the age of 65 years or at the expiry of six-year term, whichever is earlier.
He is the guardian of the public purse. His duties are to keep the accounts of the union and the states.
CAG also ensures that no money is spent out of the Consolidated Fund of India or of the states without the sanction of the Parliament or of the state legislatures.
Constitution contains provisions to ensure impartiality of the office and to make it independent of the Executive.
He can be removed from his office only on grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity in the same manner a judge of the Supreme Court is removed, that is each House of the Parliament passes a resolution supported by two-thirds of the members present who vote and by a majority of the House.
His salary and conditions of service cannot be changed to his disadvantage during his term of office, except under a financial emergency. His salary is charged on the consolidated Fund of India and is not subject to vote of the Parliament. He is paid a salary equivalent to that of a judge of the Supreme Court.
Union Public Service Commission (Upsc)
UPSC is India’s central agency authorised to conduct the Civil Services and many other exams. The agency’s charter is granted by the Constitution of India. Articles 315 to 323 of Part XIV of the constitution, titled as Services under the Union and the States, provide for a Public Service Commission for the Union and for each state. The Royal Commission on the Superior Civil Services in India under the Chairmanship of Lord Lee, which submitted its Report in 1924, recommended the setting up of the Public Service Commission. This led to the establishment of the first Public Service Commission on 1 October 1926 under the Chairmanship of Sir Ross Barker. The limited advisory function accorded to the Public Service Commission and the continued stress on this aspect by the leaders of our freedom movement resulted in the setting up of a Federal Public Service Commission under the Government of India Act, 1935. The Federal Public Service Commission became the Union Public Service Commission after Independence, and it was given a Constitutional status with promulgation of Constitution of India on 26 January 1950. The Commission consists of a chairman and ten members. The terms and conditions of service of chairman and members of the commission are governed by the Union Public Service Commission (Members) Regulations, 1969. The chairman and other members of the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) are appointed by the President of India. Every member holds office for a term of six years or until he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier.
Executives At The State Level
The executives at the state level have been modelled on the central pattern. It consists of the Governor, the Council of ministers and the Chief Minister.
The executive power of the state is vested in the Governor and all the executive actions of the state have to be taken in the name of the Governor. Normally, there is a Governor for each state. However, it is possible to appoint the same person as a Governor for two or more states.
Appointment, Term of Office, and Qualifications
The Governor is appointed by the President. He can hold office during the pleasure of the President. The appointment is done for 5 years. He can relinquish his office earlier by tendering his resignation to the President. The President can also remove him from office before the expiry of his term. The Governor can be given charge for more than one state. To be eligible for appointment as a Governor, a person.
1. Must be a citizen of India.
2. Must have completed 35 years of age.
3. Should not be a member of either House of Parliament or the state legislature.
4. Must possess the qualifications prescribed for membership of the state legislatures.
5. Must not hold any office of profit.
Powers and Functions
The constitution vests quite extensive powers in the Governor and he is expected to exercise on the advice of the council of ministers.
The Governor is the executive head of the state and all executive actions of the state are taken in his name. He also appoints all important officials of the state including the chief minister, ministers, advocate general, chairman, and members of the state Public Service Commission.
Governor is a part of the state legislature. He has the power to prosecute the following actions.
1. Summon and dissolve state Legislature.
2. Appoint one-sixth of the members of Legislative Council.
3. Appoint one member from the Anglo-Indian community to the state Legislative Assembly.
4. Give assent to the bills passed by the state legislature.
5. Reserve certain bills passed by the legislature for the assent of the President.
6. Make laws through ordinances during the recess of the state legislatures.
1. To ensure that the budget of the state is laid before the state legislature every year.
2. All money bills can be introduced in the state legislature only on recommendation of the Governor.
3. Administers the contingency fund of the state and can advance money out of it to meet any unforeseen expenditure pending its authorization by the legislature.
1. Consulted by the President while appointing the Chief Justice and judges of the state High Court.
2. Appoints judges of courts below the High Court.
3. Power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites, or remissions of punishment to persons convicted of an offence against the state laws.
Governor has the power to make a report to the President whenever he is sure that a situation has arisen in which governance of the state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the constitution (Article 356), thereby inviting the President to assume to himself the functions of the government of the state or any of them. When the state is placed under President’s rule, the Governor acts as the representative of the President in the state and assumes extensive powers.
Governor is assisted in discharging his functions by a council of ministers headed by the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister, who is generally the leader of the majority party in the state assembly is appointed by the Governor. He enjoys a term that runs parallel to that of the state legislature. CM recommends to the Governor, the names of council of ministers and allocates portfolios to them.
Council of Ministers
Any person can be appointed as a minister but he ceases to be one if he is not elected as a member of the state legislature within six months after his appointment as a minister. The council of ministers is collectively responsible to the Vidhan Sabha.
Advocate General is the first law officer of a state. The office corresponds to the office of the Attorney General of India and enjoys similar functions within the state.
He is appointed by the Governor and holds office during the pleasure of the Governor. A person who is qualified to be appointed as a judge of a High Court can only be appointed as Advocate General. He has the right to participate in the proceedings of the houses of state legislatures without the right to vote and has the right of audience in any court in the state.
State Legislat Ure
The constitution provides for a legislature for every state. The legislature of every state consists of the Governor and one or two houses. The legislatures in the state are either bicameral (consisting of two houses) or unicameral (consisting of one house). The lower house is always known as the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) and the upper house, wherever it exists, as the Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad). At present, only five states have a bicameral legislature, namely Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. All other states have only one house. The Legislative Councils can be created or abolished in a state by the Parliament under Article 169 by a simple procedure. If the legislative assembly of the state passes a resolution by a majority of the total membership of the assembly and by a majority of not less than twothird of the members present and voting, the parliament may approve the resolution by a simple majority.
Composition of the Houses
The strength of the Legislative Assembly varies from 60 to 500 in different states according to the population.
However, the Legislative Assembly of Sikkim has only 32 members. The members of the assembly are chosen directly by the people on the basis of adult franchise from territorial constituencies in the state. Seats are reserved for STs and SCs on the basis of population.
If the Governor of a state is of the opinion that the Anglo-Indian community is not adequately represented in the Legislative Assembly, he may nominate one member of that community to the assembly as he considers appropriate.
The normal tenure of the Legislative Assembly of every state is of five years. However, it may be dissolved earlier by the Governor. Similarly, its term can be extended by one year at a time by the Parliament during national emergency.
A person can become a member of the Legislative Assembly only if he meets the following criteria.
1. Is a citizen of India.
2. Is more than 25 years of age.
3. Does not hold any office of profit under the state or central government.
4. Possesses such other qualifications as may be prescribed by law.
If any question arises as to whether a member of a house of the legislature of a state is subject to disqualification, the question shall be referred for the decision of the Governor and his decision shall be final.
A Legislative Assembly shall have its Speaker and Deputy Speaker elected from among its members.
It is the upper house of the state legislature and contains various categories of members. It is popularly known as Vidhan Parishad. The membership of the council shall not be more than one-third of the membership of the legislature, but not less than 40. Broadly speaking, 5/6 of the total members of the council shall be indirectly elected and 1/6 shall be nominated by the Governor. The Legislative Council is not subject to dissolution but after every two years, one-third of its members retire.
To be a member of the Legislative Council, a person satisfy the following criteria.
1. Must be a citizen of India.
2. Must be more than 30 years of age.
3. Must not hold any office of profit under the state or union government.
4. Must possess other qualifications as may be prescribed by the Parliament.
Sessions of the Legislature
The state legislature must meet at least twice a year and the interval between any two sessions should not be more than six months.
The legislative procedure in a state having a unicameral legislature is simple. All bills originate in the single chamber, that is, the Legislative Assembly and when duly passed, are presented to the Governor for his assent. However, in case of a bicameral legislature, the procedure is slightly different from that of the Parliament. If the Vidhan Sabha rejects a bill which originated in the Vidhan Parishad, then that is the end of the bill. In case of money bills, the procedure followed is exactly similar to that of the Parliament.
The Finance Commission is set up under Article 280 of the constitution. It is constituted by the President, once in every five years. Its main function is to recommend about the (i) distribution of financial resources between the centre and the states and also among the states themselves, (ii) the principles which govern the grants- in-aid of the revenues amongst the states out of the consolidated fund of India.
India opted for a unified and single judiciary and a single integrated system of courts for the union as well as the states, though it has opted for a federal system.
Supreme Court stands at the apex of the judicial system of India. It consists of a chief justice and 30 other judges. The Supreme Court normally sits at New Delhi.
The Chief justice of the Supreme Court is appointed by the President in consultation with other judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, as he may deem necessary for the purpose. The other judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice.
Qualification of a Judge
A person, in order to be qualified for appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court must satisy the following criteria.
1. Be a citizen of India.
2. Have been a judge of the High Court or two or more such courts in succession for at least five years or 3. Have been an advocate of a high court or two or more such courts in succession for at least 10 years or 4. A distinguished jurist in the opinion of the President.
A judge of the Supreme Court vacates his office on attaining 65 years of age or by resignation addressed to the President or on removal by the President upon a resolution passed by both the Houses of the Parliament, supported by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting on grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.
Independence of Supreme Court Judges
The constitution has made provisions to ensure independence of the judges. Some of these provisions are as follows.
1. The salaries and allowances of judges are charged on the consolidated fund of India and thus, they are not subject to a vote of Parliament. Moreover, the salaries and other service conditions of judges cannot be changed to their disadvantage during their tenure.
2. The Constitution’s Articles 124 and 217 dealt with the appointment of judges of the higher judiciary.
According to these articles, the judges could be appointed by the President of India after consulting the chief justice of India (CJI) and other judges. The present system for appointment of judges that was adopted in 1993 is also known as Collegium system.
Note: The government sought to replace the system with National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) that proposes a transparent and broadbased process of selection of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts. They were to be selected by the commission whose members were drawn from the judiciary, legislature, and civil society for future appointment of judges. The constitution was also amended for the purpose. In its 17 October, 2015, judgement, Supreme Court struck down the new laws on NJAC on the ground of encroachment into judicial independence.
3. Once appointed, a judge of the Supreme Court can only be removed from office by the President, on the basis of a resolution passed by both the Houses of the Parliament with a majority of total membership and a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting in each house, on grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity of the judge in question.
Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is five-fold and it is as follows.
1. Original jurisdiction: The original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is purely federal in character, and it has exclusive authority to decide any dispute (a) between the centre and one or more states and (b) between two or more states.
2. Writ jurisdiction: Article 32 confers jurisdiction on the Supreme Court to enforce the fundamental rights. The power to issue writs for enforcement of the fundamental rights is given by the constitution to the Supreme Court and High courts.
3. Appellate jurisdiction: Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal and its writs and decrees run throughout the country.
4. Advisory jurisdiction: Under Article 143 of the constitution, Supreme Court renders advice to the President on any matter of law or fact whenever he seeks such advice. However, the advice is not binding on the President.
5. Revisory jurisdiction: Supreme Court, under Article 137 is empowered to review any judgement or order made by it with a view to remove any mistake or error that might have crept in the judgement or order.
Supreme Court and Power of Judicial Review
Supreme Court has been vested with the power of judicial review. Judicial review can be defined as the competence of a court of law to declare the constitutionality or otherwise of a legislative enactment. It can ensure that the laws passed by the legislature and the orders issued by the Executive do not contravene any provision of the constitution. If they go against any provision of the constitution, it can declare them unconstitutional or null and void.
The judiciary in states consists of a High Court and subordinate courts. However, the Parliament can establish by law, a common High Court for two or more such states, or for one or more state and one or more union territories.
Appointment of Judges
Every High Court shall consist of a Chief Justice and such other judges as the President may appoint from time to time. As in the case of Supreme Court, there is no fixed maximum number of judges of a High Court. The decision is left on to the President. The President has the power to appoint (i) additional judges for a temporary period, not exceeding two years to clear pending cases or (ii) an acting judge, when the permanent judge of a High Court is temporarily absent or unable to perform his duties.
To qualify for appointment as a judge of the High Court, a person should meet the following criteria.
1. Must be a citizen of India.
2. Should have been an advocate of a High Court or two or more such courts in succession for at least 10 years or 3. Should have held a judicial office in Indian territory for a period of at least 10 years.
The judge of High Court holds office till he attains the age of 62 years. He can resign from his position. The removal procedure is same as is the case of a judge of the Supreme Court.
Independence of the Judges
As in the case of a judge of the Supreme Court, the constitution seeks to maintain the independence of the judges of the High Court by a number of provisions.
The constitution provides for an independent election commission to ensure free and fair elections. Election commission consists of a Chief Election Commissioner and such other commissioners as the President may decide from time to time. In October 1993, the Government promulgated an act which provided for the appointment of election commissioners. At present, there is a Chief Election Commissioner and two other Election Commissioners who are appointed by the President for a five-year term. The term can be cut short on account of resignation or removal by the President on grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity on the recommendations of the Parliament.
Functions of the Election Commission
1. To superintend, direct and control elections to the Parliament and the state legislature.
2. To conduct elections to the post of the President and Vice President.
3. To lay down general rules for elections.
4. To determine constituencies and to control the preparation of electoral rolls, allot symbols to recognized political parties.
5. To settle any disputes arising in connection with the elections.
6. To conduct counting and declare results.
7. To postpone or countermand elections for specific reasons.
Panchayati Raj Institutions
Panchayati Raj is an important feature of the Indian political system, which ensures direct participation of people at the grass root level. After independence, the framers of the constitution decided to give them importance and under Article 40 of the Directive Principles, directed the states to organize village panchayats as units of self-government. A number of committees were appointed such as the Balwantrai Mehta Committee and Ashok Mehta Committee to suggest measures for improvement of working of Panchayati Raj institutions. The constitution passed the 73rd and 74th Amendment Acts, 1992, which were related to the working of panchayats and municipalities.
Apart from mandatory provisions for reservation of SCs/STs and women, there are voluntary provisions for reservation of members from backward classes also. The Ministry of Panchayati Raj was created in the year 2004 to look after ongoing process of decentralization and local governance in the states. The constitution envisages a three-tier system of Panchayats and they are listed below.
1. The village level 2. The district panchayat at the district level.
3. The intermediate panchayat, which stands between the village and district panchayats in those states where the population is above 20 lakhs.
All the seats in a panchayat are filled by people chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the panchayat area. The electorate is named as the Gram Sabha, consisting of people registered in the electoral rolls relating to a village comprised within the area of a panchayat.
Seats are reserved for SCs and STs and also for women.
A state may, by law, make provisions for similar reservation of the offices of chairpersons in panchayats at the village and other levels. Chairperson is elected according to the law passed by the state.
Duration of a Panchayat
Each panchayat shall continue for five years from the date of its first meeting. However, it can be dissolved earlier in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the state law.
Qualifications for Membership
All people who are qualified to be chosen to the state legislature shall be qualified to be chosen as a member of the panchayat. The only difference is that a person who has attained the age of 21 years will be eligible to be a member of the panchayat.
Powers and Functions of Panchayats
State legislatures have the legislative power to confer on the panchayat, such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of self-government. They are usually entrusted with the responsibility of the following.
1. Preparing plans for economic development and social justice.
2. Implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice.
3. Matters listed in the 11th Schedule. This schedule contains 29 items, for example, land improvement, minor irrigation, animal husbandry, fisheries, education, and women and child development. A state may, by law, authorize a panchayat to levy, collect and appropriate taxes, duties, tolls and so on.
A State Election Commission consisting of a State Election Commissioner is appointed by the Governor, to conduct elections to the panchayats. Any question with respect to elections shall be referred to such authority as the state legislature may provide by law.
Courts will have no jurisdiction in this matter.
Institutions of self-government in urban areas are called municipalities. They are of three types as listed below.
1. Nagar panchayat, for a transitional area (that is being transformed from a rural area to an urban area).
2. Municipal council for a smaller urban area.
3. Municipal corporation for a larger urban area.
Composition of Municipalities
The members of a municipality are generally elected by direct election. The legislature of a state may, by law, provide for representation in a municipality.
For one or more wards comprised within the territorial area of a municipality having a population of three lakhs or more, it would be obligatory to constitute ward committees.
Duration of Municipalities
Every municipality shall continue for five years from the date of its first meeting. However, it may be dissolved earlier according to law.
Qualifications for Membership
All people who are qualified to be chosen to the state legislature shall be qualified for being a member of the municipality. There is an important difference. Persons who have attained the age of 21 years shall be eligible to be a member, while for election to the state legislature, a person should have attained the age of 25 years.
A state legislature may, by law, authorize a municipality to levy, collect, and appropriate taxes, duties, tolls, and so on. The State Election Commission shall have the power to conduct elections to municipalities.
Apart from giving constitutional recognition to municipalities, the 74th Amendment lays down that in every state two committees shall be constituted, namely,
1. At the district level, a district planning committee.
2. In every metropolitan area, a metropolitan planning committee.
Union Budget (Article 112)
A budget is the annual financial statement of the government.
It is a government bill and is classified as a Money Bill. It is presented to the Lok Sabha upon the recommendation of the President. The budget is a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditures of the government of India for the following financial year. All the expenditures approved through various demands for grants and expenses charged on the consolidated fund of India are then presented in the form of a single bill called the appropriation bill. The proposals for taxation to raise revenue are presented in the form of financial bill.
Consolidated Fund of India
It is a fund to which all the revenue, loans raised and income of the Government of India are deposited.
Charged expenditures are expenditures that do not require the approval of the Parliament to be spent out of the consolidated fund of India.
Contingency Fund of India
This fund was created in 1950 by an act of Parliament on the basis of powers provided under Article 267. It has a limit of 50 crores. It is placed at the disposal of the President to meet unforeseen expenditures where the Parliament’s approval cannot be obtained owing to time factor.
Public Account of India
It accounts for flows for those transactions where the government is merely acting as a banker. This fund was constituted under Article 266 (2) of the Constitution.
Examples of those are provident funds, small savings, and so on. These funds do not belong to the government. They have to be paid back at some time to their rightful owners. Because of this nature of the fund, expenditures from it are not required to be approved by the Parliament.
National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) is a policy think-tank of government that replaces Planning Commission and aims to involve the states in economic policy-making in India. It will be providing strategic and technical advice to the Central and the State governments. The government had announced the formation of NITI Aayog on 1 January 2015. It has the following levels.
1. Prime Minister of India will be the Chairperson.
2. Governing Council comprises the Chief Ministers of all the States and Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories.
3. Regional Councils will be formed to address specific issues and contingencies impacting more than one state or a region. These will be formed for a specified tenure.
4. Experts, specialists and practitioners with relevant domain knowledge as special invitees will be nominated by the Prime Minister.