Education Sector in India

The education sector in India is growing swiftly with large private individuals collaborating with the government to develop this sector. The government is also considering many steps to enhance the quality of education in India. Primary education is increasing and many international schools are making their presence felt in India. Parents are now willingly enrolling their children into international schools for good quality education straight from the primary level.

In India, the government expenditure in the education sector is expressed in the following two ways:

  •     Total government expenditure percentage: The total government expenditure in education shows the significance of education in the plan of things before the government. From the year 1952 to 2014, the total government education investment grew from 7.92 to 15.7.
  •     Gross domestic product (GDP) percentage: The education expenditure of GDP states the total amount of income being invested in the development of education in the country. From the year 1952 to 2014, the total GDP percentage increased from 0.64 to 4.13.
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The major share of the total education expenditure goes to the elementary education, rather than the tertiary or higher education, i.e., the least. Though, the state invests the limited amount on higher education, its investment per student is higher than that of elementary.

With the aim of promoting education, the government of India has also initiated imposing two percent of ‘education cess’ on all the union taxes. This education cess tax is spent on enhancing elementary education in the country. The government of India has also initiated various new loan schemes for students who want to pursue higher education.

Educational Achievements in India

In most of the country, the educational achievements are shown according to the adult literacy level, primary education completion rate, and youth literacy rate. The statistical comparison of the last two decades in the education sector is given as follows:


S. No. Particulars 1990

in %


in %


in %

1 Adult literacy rate (Aged 15+)      
  i. Male

ii. Female







2 Primary completion rate      
  i. Male

ii. Female







3 Youth literacy rate (Aged 15 to 24)      
  i. Male

ii. Female








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Important Questions

Q.1 What is education? What is the difference between education and literacy?


Whom do you call literate? How is literacy different from education?

(1) Education ●     It refers to the process of teaching, training, and learning (especially in schools and colleges) to improve knowledge and develop skills.
(2) Literacy ●     It refers to the ability to read and write and do simple arithmetic calculations.
(3) Difference ●     Scope: Education is a much wider concept than literacy. Education includes primary, secondary, and higher education.

●     Horizon: All educated people are literate but all literates may not always be educated.


Q.2 What is the importance of education?


What are the objectives of education?


Discuss how education is an important input for the development of the nation.


Describe how education is an important factor for a country’s development.

(1) Develop rational and scientific thinking ●     Education promotes rational and scientific thinking of the people.

●     It expands the mental horizon of the people.

(2) Facilitates adaptation to change ●     Education provides knowledge to understand changes in society and scientific advancements.

●     It facilitates inventions and innovations.

●     Similarly, the availability of an educated labour force facilitates adaptation to new technologies.

(3) Develop science and technology ●     Education helps in the development of science and technology.

●     It brings new innovations in the field of research and technology.

(4) Helps in controlling major challenges ●     It brings down birth rates that helps in reducing the population growth rate.

●     Similarly, an educated person will actively take part in various government schemes and policies.

●     They help in overcoming various challenges faced by the economy.

(5) Benefits society ●     Educated people are more concerned about the environment, cleanness, development of society, etc.

●     It produces good citizens.

●     It confers a higher earning capacity for people.


Q.3 Why is education still a challenging proposition in India?


What are the problems in the education system of India?

(1) Quality of education ●     The quality of education is still disappointing in India.

●     The education system in India is degree-oriented rather than job-oriented.

(2) Lack of infrastructure ●     There is a lack of infrastructure like proper schools, modern tools, resources, etc.

●     There is a high teacher-student ratio in most of the government schools.

(3) Gender bias ●     There is still a significant ‘gender-bias’ in offering the opportunities of education to male and female children.

●     Males are given more education than women.

●     Enrolment ratio is relatively low for the female candidates.

●     Their drop-out ratio is considerably high.

(4) Low rural access level ●     There is a high degree of disparity in access to education.

●     The education opportunities in the rural areas are less than the urban areas.

(5) Less government expenditure on education ●     According to the recommendation of the Education Commission (1964-66), at least 6% of GDP should be spent on education to increase the rate of growth in educational achievements.

●     However, the actual expenditure on education is 4.9% of GDP in 2016.

(6) Privatisation of education ●     There is a growing trend towards the privatisation of education.

●     It makes education expensive.

●     Thus, poor sections of the society cannot afford education and do not have access to education.


Q.4 Discuss the need for promoting women education in India.
(1) To reduce gender bias ●     There is still a significant ‘gender-bias’ in offering the opportunities of education to male and female children.

●     Men have more access to education


(2) Improve economic independence ●     ‘Education helps women attain economic independence and social status.

●     It enhances their earning capacity as well.

(3) Helps in solving other problems ●     Education for women makes a favourable impact on the fertility rate and health care of women and children.

●     It tends to bring down the birth rates that helps in reducing the population growth rate.


Q.5 How investment in education helps in economic growth? Explain.


Explain the role of education in the development of a country



One of the important factors in human capital formation is education. Therefore, investment in education sector activates the economic growth in the following ways:

(1) Raises efficiency and productivity ●     Investment in education increases efficiency and productivity.

●     It yields higher income to the people.

(2) Raises production ●     Skilled and knowledgeable workers can use economic resources meaningfully and sensibly.

●     It expands the economic production of a country (GDP).

(3) Positive changes in outlook and attitude ●     Educated people have a broad thinking and a different mindset.

●     They have a modern attitude and outlook.

●     They make logical choices in terms of places, jobs, situations, etc.

(4) Enhances quality of life ●     An educated person lives a better quality of life than an illiterate or uneducated.

●     Education provides them with a better job, healthy life, and high income.

●     Access to education uplifts one’s standard of living.


Q.6 Discuss the educational achievements in India.
(1) Gender equity ●     Gender equity is better than before.

●     The differences in literacy rates between males and females are narrowing.

●     It signifies a positive development in gender equity.

(2) Adult literacy rate ●     It refers to the ratio of the literate adult population to the total adult population in a country.

1. Male literacy: 1990- 61.9%, 2000-68.4% 2015-85%

2. Female literacy:1990- 37.9%, 2000- 45.4%, 2015- 63%

(3) Free and compulsory education act ●     The Government of India enacted the Right of Education Act in 2009.

●     It provides free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of 6-14 years.

●     In 2009, 96% of children in the rural areas were enrolled in schools. This percentage has increased to 96.5% in 2012.


Q.7 What are the indicators of educational achievement in a country?
The indicators of educational achievement in a country are as follows:

1. Adult literacy rate

2. Youth literacy rate

3. Primary completion rate

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