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Education Policy

History of Education in India

by V.A.Ponmelil

The education in India has a rich and interesting history. It is believed that in the ancient days, the education was imparted orally by the sages and the scholars and the information was passed on from one generation to the other.

After the development of letters, it took the form of writing using the palm leaves and the barks of trees. This also helped in spreading the written literature. The temples and the community centers formed the role of schools. Later, the Gurukul system of education came into existence.

The Gurukuls were the traditional Hindu residential schools of learning which were typically in the teacher`s house or a monastery. Even though the education was free, the students from well-to-do families paid the Gurudakshina which was a voluntary contribution after the completion of their studies. At the Gurukuls, the teacher imparted knowledge on various aspects of the religion, the scriptures, the philosophy, the literature, the warfare, the statecraft, the medicine astrology and the history. This system is referred as the oldest and the most effective system of education.

In the first millennium and the few centuries preceding, there was a flourishing of higher education at Nalanda, Takshashila University, Ujjain, and Vikramshila Universities. The important subjects were mainly the art, the architecture, the painting, the logic, the grammar, the philosophy, the astronomy, the literature, the Buddhism, the Hinduism, the arthashastra, the law, and the medicine. Each university specialized in a particular field of study. For instance, the Takshila specialized in the study of medicine, while the Ujjain laid emphasis on astronomy.

The Nalanda, being the biggest centre, had all the branches of knowledge, and housed up to 10,000 students at its peak. The British records reveal that the education was widespread in the 18th century, with a school for every temple, mosque or village in most regions of the country. The main subjects were the arithmetic, the theology, the law, the astronomy, the metaphysics, the ethics, the medical science and the religion. The school had the student representatives from all classes of the society.

The present system of education was introduced and founded by the British in the 20th century, by the recommendations of Macaulay. It has western style and content. The British government did not recognize the traditional structures and so they have declined. It is said that even Gandhi described the traditional educational system as a beautiful tree which was destroyed during the British rule.

The first medical college of Kerala was started at Calicut, in 1942-43, during World War II. As there was a shortage of doctors to serve the military, the British Government opened a branch of Madras Medical College in Malabar, which was under Madras Presidency then. After independence, the education became the responsibility of the states and the Central Government coordinated the technical and higher education by specifying the standards.

In 1964, the Education Commission started functioning with 16 members of which 11 were Indian experts and 5 were foreign experts. The Commission also discussed with many international agencies, experts and consultants in the educational as well as scientific field. Later in 1976, the education became a joint responsibility of both the state and the Centre through a constitutional amendment.

The central government through the Ministry of Human Resource Development`s Department of Education and the governments at the states formulated the education policy and planning. NPE 1986 and revised PoA 1992 envisioned that free and compulsory education should be provided for all children up to 14 years of age before the commencement of 21st century. Also, the Government of India made a commitment that by 2000, 6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be spent on education, out of which half would be spent on the Primary education.

In November 1998, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee announced setting up of Vidya Vahini Network to link up universities, UGC and CSIR. The general marks-based education system is now being replaced by the grades-based system.



shOObh theme of the year 2014 is JOY.
Human welfare through creative means is at the core of shOObh group. Our programs are designed to educate the people on issues that concern humanity. Keeping with this vision, we are proud to organize shOObh Arts Competition-2014

2013 - shOObh theme of the year 2013 is WATER. Water is beautiful and we want people to love water, because when you adore something you tend to take care of it more. An all India contests open to participation of school children and teachers.

2012 - Theme: “Be the change you want to see in the world”- Gandhi in association with Gandhi Peace Foundation and supported by ONGC. For details logon to

2011 – Theme ”People `n` Animal” in association with PETA. The project aimed to introduce animal welfare in schools through extra curricular activity. The larger goal of the campaign was to lay down the seeds of compassion and kindness in early years of personality formation of a child. For details logon to

2010 –Theme “My dream sport” in sync with CWC. The Competition was billed as the largest in Asia (TOI, HT, PTI, USA Today, Qatar Tribune etc.). For details logon to


do you have a camera…do you have a photographic memory that was never developed….a scene…you feel is profound, beautiful or simply comical.. JUST CLICK & submit it to us…..The rest, as they say, will go down in history….So, if you think you are good at photography & want to prove it, just come to this event.

NIOS Konnect

NIOS Konnect is an official platform Of NIOS students, By NIOS students, For NIOS students.
{a shOObh Group initiative}

Members of the NIOS Konnect (that`s you) – Staff, Students and Alumni – are scattered across the globe & our online content reaches just as wide. The NIOS Konnect has a huge presence online and we`re keen to build a relationship with you in the spaces you`re already comfortable with, as well as trying out new spaces together.
You`ve got a Facebook profile right? So have we! Join us here and find out what students & non-students alike are saying about their NIOS experience. You may also join few online apps… shortly.

About NIOS:

The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) formerly known as National Open School (NOS) was established in November,1989 as an autonomous organisation in pursuance of National Policy on Education 1986 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India. NIOS is providing a number of Vocational, Life Enrichment and community oriented courses besides General and Academic Courses at Secondary and Senior Secondary level.

Vision : Sustainable inclusive learning with universal and flexible access to quality school education and skill development.

Mission : (i).Providing relevant, continuing and holistic education up to pre-degree level through Open and Distance Learning System. (ii). Contributing to the Universalisation of School Education. (iii). Catering to the educational needs of the prioritized target groups for equity and social justice

About shOObh:

shOObh Group Welfare Society is a non profit community based organization registered under societies registration act xxi of 1860 working in the field of community-service and action, education, health, personal growth and improvement, social welfare and self-help for the disadvantaged. Our programs are designed to educate people on human welfare issues. In all of shOObh Group projects different art forms are used to convey the message. shoobh Group has worked on different social issues.

Education Policy
History of Education in India
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