Enrolment of SC/ST Students

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Enrolment of SC/ST Students 
As per All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education of Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) students over the last four years is as under:-

GER in Higher Education (18-23 Years)
SC Students
ST Students
P – Provisional.          (Source – AISHE, MHRD)

It can be seen from the above table that there is an increasing trend in GER of SC/ST students in higher education over the last four years.

Government has taken several measures to increase the enrollment of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in higher education. The University Grants Commission implements several schemes/measures such as Rajiv Gandhi National fellowships for SC/ST students, post-graduate scholarships for SC/ST students, post-doctoral fellowships for SC/ST students, coaching schemes for SC/ST students, establishment of Equal Opportunity Cells in universities and establishment of centres in universities for study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Ministry of Tribal Affairs have also scholarship schemes for SC/ST students like Post Matric scholarship for SC/ST students, Central Sector Scholarship Scheme of Top class Education for SC/ST students and National Overseas Scholarship for SC/ST students.

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.

Fellowship for Research Degrees 
As per the information furnished by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the number of students pursuing research degrees, including M. Phil and Ph.D who received fellowships, under their schemes, year-wise since 2013, is the following:

Number of students
2015-16 (till 8th March, 2016)

The UGC is implementing several fellowship schemes for students pursuing research degrees, namely:
(i)     Junior/ Senior Research Fellowship
(ii)   Maulana Azad National Fellowship
(iii) Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for Scheduled Caste (SC) students
(iv) Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for Scheduled Tribe (ST) students
(v)   Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for students with disabilities
(vi) National Fellowship for Other Backward Classes
(vii)           Swami Vivekanand Single Girl Child Fellowship
(viii)         Basic Scientific Research (BSR) Fellowship
(ix) Non-National Eligibility Test (NET) fellowship.

The UGC has informed that its fellowship amount, under these schemes, for students pursuing research degrees is Rs. 25,000/- per month for the initial two years and Rs. 28,000/- for the remaining tenure, as per the fellowship scheme. The students are also eligible for matching allowances, as per the fellowship scheme. The fellowships awarded under the Non-National Eligibility Test fellowships , through the UGC grants, are Rs. 8,000 per month for Ph.D course and Rs. 5,000 per month for M.Phil course. The details of these UGC fellowships are at http://www.ugc.ac.in/page/XII-Plan-Guidelines.aspx#quality.

The AICTE has informed that the scholarship given to the teachers sponsored under Ph.D[Quality Improvement Programme(QIP)] is Rs.9000 per month, along with Rs. 10,000 per annum as contingency, and the scholarship is in addition to their regular salary and allowances to be paid by the parent institutions.
The UGC has informed that there is no fixed allocation for fellowships and scholarships in its fund. The Central Government releases block grants to the UGC for promotion, determination and maintenance of standards of education. The year-wise fellowship amount released by the UGC and AICTE on fellowship schemes for students pursuing research degrees, since 2013, is the following:
Grants released by the UGC & AICTE (in Rs.crores)
2015-16 (till 8th March, 2016)

As per information made available by the UGCa total of nearly 30000 students are selected every year under its research promotion fellowship schemes, namely:
(i)     Post-Doctoral Fellowships for students in professional courses.
(ii)   Post-Doctoral Fellowship for women.
(iii) Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Post-Doctoral Fellowship for women in humanities and social sciences, including languages.
(iv) Dr. D.S. Kothari Post-Doctoral Fellowship.
(v)   UGC-BSR Faculty Fellowship.
(vi) Emeritus Fellowship.
(vii)           Junior/ Senior Research Fellowship.
(viii)         Maulana Azad National Fellowship for students belonging to minorities.
(ix) Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for SC students.
(x)   Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for ST students.
(xi) Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for students with disabilities.
(xii)           National Fellowship for Other Backward Classes.
(xiii)         Swami Vivekanand Single Girl Child Fellowship.
(xiv)         BSR Fellowship.
(xv)           Non-NET fellowship. The AICTE is currently supporting 382 PhD students under its QIP scheme.
This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.
Free English Tuition for SC/ST Students of IITs 
Some students who have had schooling in local language sometimes face difficulty in adjusting to higher conceptual learning in IITs transacted in English language. In order to alleviate this problem, it has been decided to operationalise a Peer-group Assisted Learning (PAL) Programme for socially and educationally disadvantaged students. Under this, senior students mentor fresh students especially from socially and educationally disadvantaged sections and help to cope with the academic pressures of IIT.

Apart from this, many IITs have taken steps such as:

a) Operationalising a basic English language course to improve English competency,

b) Offering two-non-graded courses in language and writing skills using professional software for English language instruction,

c) Conducting formal and informal English language remedial sessions by Student Mentors,

d) Holding special English classes on weekends or evening tutorials and

e) Provision of additional help through Teaching Assistants.

The above support is provided by IITs without charging any fee.

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question. 
Restructuring of Curriculum in Higher Education 
India is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 62% of its population in the working age group (15-59 years), and more than 54% of its total population below 25 years of age. A skill gap study conducted by National Skill Development Corporation over 2010-2014, indicates that there is an additional net incremental requirement of 109.73 million skilled manpower by 2022 in twenty-four key sectors.

As per the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2014-15(Provisional), the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher Education is 23.6% which in absolute figures is 33.3 million. The GER target is 25.2% at the end of Twelfth Five Year Plan in 2017 and 30% by 2020. As per AISHE 2014-2015 (P), the data of enrolled students for various streams are as follows: Ph. D- 112456, M. Phil- 32371, PG- 3578587, UG- 24257984, PG Diploma- 160244, Diploma- 559541, Certificate- 91810 and Integrated programmes – 131736. Further, enrollment in stand-alone institutions indicates: Polytechnics- 1391775, PGDM- 30500, Nursing- 146704, Teacher Training- 246795 and within Institutions under Ministries- 17752.
During the 12th Plan  period, though the thrust is on consolidation of higher education, several new Central Universities, Indian Institutes of Management, Indian Institutes of Technology, National Institutes of Technology, Polytechnics and other Institutions of Higher learning have been established. A new scheme ‘Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)’ has been launched which aims to assist States to open new institutions, consolidate old ones and take appropriate steps to achieve the aims of equity, access and excellence.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) is providing General Development Assistance (GDA) to Universities and Colleges declared fit to receive grants under section 12B of the UGC Act, 1956. This assistance is provided to these institutions for their overall development covering aspects like enhancing access, ensuring equity, etc. 

Since ‘Education’ is a Concurrent subject, State Governments are also taking various initiatives to increase access to higher education in the States. Besides, Private Universities/Institutions are also catering to the educational aspirations of the youth. 

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has initiated several steps to include innovation and improvement in course- curricula, introduction of paradigm shift in learning and teaching pedagogy, examination and education system. With a view to allow the flexibility in education system, so that students depending upon their interests and aims can choose interdisciplinary, intra-disciplinary and skill-based courses, choice based credit system (CBCS), is adopted. The choice based credit system not only offers opportunities and avenues to learn core subjects but also explore additional avenues of learning beyond the core subjects for holistic development.The UGC has prepared mainline and specialised model syllabi for undergraduate programmes and made it available to the universities to facilitate the implementation of CBCS.

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has constituted various Academic Boards for Engineering/ Management/ Pharmacy/ Architecture programmes consisting of eminent educationists for restructuring the curriculum for all AICTE approved institutions, as per the need of industry/academia. Based on the recommendations of these Academic Boards, AICTE has designed “Model Curriculum” for PG/UG and Diploma programmes in Engineering/Technology, Pharmacy, Architecture, Management and Hotel Management & Catering Technology, which is available at AICTE web-portal link http://www.aicte-india.org/modelsyllabus.php.

The Government is in the process of framing a New Education Policy (NEP) for meeting  the  changing  dynamics  of  the  population’s  requirement  with  regard  to  quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping  its  students  with  the  necessary  skills  and  knowledge  and  to  eliminate  the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry, for which it has carried out nearly a year-long consultations, which included online, grassroots and national level thematic deliberations on 33 identified themes.
Three themes under Higher Education are relevant to policy initiative for restructuring of the curriculum. The theme “Integrating skill development in higher education” on integrating skills within the higher education; theme “Linking higher education to society” regarding re-establishing and strengthening of higher education’s close linkages with the society and the theme “New Knowledge” relating to higher education institutions identifying the new domains of knowledge in the global scenario.

The Government of India has constituted a Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy which consists of Shri T.S.R. Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary as the Chairman and Smt. Shailaja Chandra, former Chief Secretary, NCT of Delhi, Shri Sevaram Sharma, former Home Secretary, NCT of Delhi, Shri Sudhir Mankad, former Chief Secretary, Gujarat & Prof. J.S. Rajput, former Director, NCERT as members. The Committee is expected to examine the outcome documents, recommendations and suggestions received and formulate a draft National Education Policy as well as a Framework for Action (FFA).

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.

Steps Taken to Improve Standard of Primary and Secondary Schools 
Department of School Education and Literacy has two centrally sponsored schemes viz. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) to assist States in universalization of elementary education and the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) for universal access to secondary education.

The Central Government through SSA, supports States/UTs on early grade reading, writing & comprehension, and early Mathematics programmes through a sub-programme namely ‘Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat’ (PBBB) in classes I and II. Further the Government has launched Rashtriya Aavishkar Abhiyan (RAA) programme on 09.07.2015, inter alia, as a sub-component of SSA and RMSA, to motivate and engage children of the age group from 6-18 years in Science, Mathematics and Technology through observation, experimentation, inference drawing, model building, etc. both through inside and outside classroom activities.

Additionally, under SSA, the State Governments and UT Administrations are supported on several interventions to improve teaching standards, including regular in-service teachers’ training, induction training for newly recruited teachers, training of all untrained teachers to acquire professional qualifications through Open Distance Learning (ODL) mode, recruitment of additional teachers for improving pupil-teacher ratios, academic support for teachers through block and cluster resource centres, continuous and comprehensive evaluation system to equip the teacher to measure pupil performance and provide remedial action wherever required, and teacher and school grants for development of appropriate teaching-learning materials, etc.

The Central Government has launched the ‘Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching’ in December, 2014 with a vision to comprehensively address all issues related to teachers, teaching, teacher preparation, professional development, curriculum design, research in pedagogy and developing effective pedagogy.

The NCERT has developed Performance Indicators for Elementary Education (PINDICS) to track teacher performance and attendance in Government schools. PINDICS have been shared with State Governments/UTs to assess teacher’s performance.

In the recent Meeting of Education Ministers on Teachers’ Education held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on 8.2.2016 several steps for improvement of the quality of education were discussed. These include; internship for Teacher Education Programmes in Government Schools; development of an accreditation framework for Teacher Education Institutions and volunteerism involving retired teachers.

In order to provide quality education to students at the secondary level, various interventions are funded under the RMSA. These include provisions for: (i) additional teachers to improve Pupil Teacher Ratio, (ii) induction and in-service training for Principals, Teachers, Master Trainers and Key Resource Persons, (iii) Maths and Science kits, (iv) Lab equipments, (v) Special teaching for learning enhancement, (vi) ICT facilities in schools, (vii) introduction of vocational education component at the secondary level.

Further, for improving the quality of school education, the School Standards & Evaluation framework, known as ‘Shaala Siddhi’ has been developed by National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), to enable schools to evaluate their performance in a more focused and strategic manner and to facilitate them to make professional judgments for improvement.

Under SSA programme, approval was given to projects worth Rs. 37516.71 crore & Rs. 48693.52 crore during 2014-15 & 2015-16 respectively for improving the quality. Further, amounts of Rs. 456.00 crore & Rs. 525.00 crore have been approved for Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat during the same period.

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question. 

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