EDUCATION, IS ALL THAT MATTERS
Takshashila, off Grant Trunk Road, Province of Punjab, in Un-divided India.
On the eastern banks of Tamra Nala, a tributary of the river Sindhu, in Takshashila, the oldest temple of learning, which imparted education in Science, Mathematics, Arts, Economics, Political Science, Astronomy, Law, Medical Science and the Vedas, was razed from the ground by the barbaric invasion of the Huns around the second half of the fifth century.
At the stroke of the midnight hour, on the fifteenth day of August 1947, when India gained freedom from British misrule, the ruins of the oldest temple of learning found itself bequeathed to the newly formed nation, Pakistan.
The Indians and India lost their heritage site forever.
The Vedic system of education followed in ancient India, with the medium of instruction in Sanskrit, lost in transition to many invasions of India at large and of the invasion by the British in particular.
In 1835 Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay introduced English education in India.
English was made the official language for Government (Legislature and Executive), Courts (Judiciary) and Official Medium of Education.
The English introduced this not with an intention to improve the lot and status of the Indians, but to further their own vested interests.
Despite British misrule and the rigid doctrines of caste, culture, religion and gender in India, Mrs. Savitribai Phule with able support from her husband, started a school in Pune in the year 1848 dedicated to the education of the girls and the girl child.
As early as 1881, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, a visionary, ushered in reforms in education, the Maharaja opened eight schools for girls and a training college for lady teachers.
He was the first Indian ruler on a mission, by 1906, he introduced free and compulsory primary education in the entire state of Baroda.
In an irony of sorts, this reform was visited upon, only after 103 years of its’ introduction.
In 1887, within the compound of Saint Catherine Hospital, Amritsar, Ms. Annie Sharp founded a school, for the visually impaired children.
The school moved to Dehradun in 1903. The Sharp Memorial School, is the oldest school in India for the blind, and continues lighting up & motivating their lives to this very day.
In order to educate his son who had a hearing impairment Shri Pranshankar Lallubhai Desai founded an educational institution in 1908. The school also imparted education for the visually challenged from 1945. His institution, now known as the school for deaf-mutes society with boarding and lodging facility, still continues to impart education at Ashram Road, Ahemdabad to this very day.
Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata and Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV founded the Indian Institute of Science in 1909 for higher education and research in science, engineering and design.
It is ranked as the third best institute in India today. It is ranked as the best institute in the world on one indicator in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Rankings today.
EDUCATION SINCE INDEPENDENCE:
Literacy, the need of the hour:
Three hundred and forty million people, four hundred schools and nineteen universities with a little over five thousand students welcomed the new dawn of freedom on the fifteenth day of August 1947.
The literacy rate in India at the time of India’s Independence was hovering around 12%.
The need of the hour, was to address illiteracy in rural and urban India.
The government of India was only spending 0.6% of the gross domestic product. during Independence. It remains an irony that as of the year 2021, the government spend still remains as low as 3% of India’s gross domestic product. (GDP)+
+ In simple terms GDP (gross domestic product) is a measurement, which seeks to measure the economic performance/ output of India.
Sowing the seeds of higher education:
The union government of India formed by the first Prime Minster of India, Jawaharlal Motilal Nehru, introduced a uniform education system, by establishing,
the University Education Commission (1948–1949), the Secondary Education Commission (1952–1953) and the University Grants Commission (1964–66).
The education policy introduced the three languages formula, by imparting education in English, Hindi and the official regional language of the state where the schools were based. This was primarily done to bridge the gap in communication between the masses and the classes.
The establishment of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in India in 1949, the Indian Institute of Technology in 1951 in Kharagpur, the Indian Institute of Management in 1961 in Kolkata, the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi in 1956 and the Law commission of India in 1955, gave an impetus to improving the knowledge bank and brain gain in India.
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur was the first Institute in India to start Computer Science education in August 1963. By 1971, it conducted independent programmes that led to Ph.D. and M. Tech. degrees. This was a foundation of sorts, that is reaping rewards in the field of information and technology.
Education is primary:
The significance of universal primary education, took its’ roots in the year 1993, when the district primary education programme, got implemented in 272 districts in over 18 Indian states.
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was an educational programme initiated by the former Prime Minster, Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2001, which envisaged free and compulsory education for children between the age groups of 6 to 14 years.
However, it was not until the implementation of the Right to free and compulsory Education Act 2009 from the first day of April 2010, that the dream of the former Prime Minister gained recognition.
On the occasion of the 75th Independence Day of India, it is indeed heartening to note, that the primary and secondary education programmes have made significant strides and found its’ footprints & roots in 718 districts of 28 states and 8 union territories in India.
A new dimension:
The first ever school for transgenders is being set up in Naktanha Mishra village situated in Kushinagar district of Uttar Pradesh.
This is an initiative of Akhil Bhartiya Kinnar Shiksha Sewa Trust, to bring the third gender into the social mainstream.
A ray of hope, by all counts, that education could empower and bring them a life and world, full of opportunities.
EDUCATION, IS ALL THAT MATTERS:
The Republic and the people of India are celebrating the 75th Independence Day, today.
Despite so many invasions & tribulations, India and Indians have triumphed against all odds. It certainly is a moment to be proud of.
Education has played such a crucial role in the overall development of India , proving the adage, education, is all that matters.
The literacy rate in India today is hovering around 74 percent.
India has the world’s largest diaspora population of around 18 million people, who are running the economic engines globally, bringing in 79 billion US Dollars of foreign exchange into India, which in effect constitutes 2.9% of India’s gross domestic product. (GDP)
Brain drain from India has actually resulted in brain gain for India.
The contributions and the achievements by the people living in India dwarfs developed nations by all standards in comparison.
18% of the GDP constitutes exports of products & services from India.
India ranks 12th economically, among the top 20 countries in the world that attracts foreign direct investments into India.
India’s culture & heritage, or for that matter, Indians in the field of arts, literature, business, sports, entertainment & technological development have created a forte.
India today is on the cusp of becoming a super power, that will lead the world soon in all its glory.
Making things possible is what good education is all about, because education, is all that matters.
Mathur Village, Pin code: 577203, Shimoga District, Karnataka State, India.
August 15th 2021.
At a distance of ten Kilometres from Shivamoga city, is a village named Mathur. The official spoken language of communication of the residents of this village is Sanskrit, although the regional language of the state is Kannada.
The tradition of studying the Vedas, is still continued by the residents of this village, to this day, keeping the legacy of Takshashila alive.
Shri Gurudeva Datta!
Chai, Biscuits & Blog.
Sunday, 15th day of August 2021