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Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan:

  • Article 21-A of the Constitution of India and its consequent legislation, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 became operative in the country in 2010.
  • The RTE Act confers the right to elementary education on all children, in the age group of 6-14 years, on the basis of equality of opportunity in a formal school which satisfies certain essential norms and standards.
  • The centrally sponsored scheme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) supports states and UTs in their efforts to implement the RTE Act.
  • Its interventions include, inter alia, the opening of new schools, construction of schools and additional classrooms, constructing toilets and drinking water facilities, provisioning for teachers, in-service training for teachers and academic resource support, free textbooks and uniforms, support for improving learning achievement levels, research, evaluation and monitoring.
  • Section 12(1) (c) mandates all private unaided schools and special category schools to reserve a minimum of 25 per cent of seats for economically weaker sections.
  • Under the SSA, the Government of India will reimburse the state expenditure towards 25 per cent admissions to private unaided schools, based on per child cost norms notified by the state government, subject to a maximum ceiling of 20 per cent of the size of the SSA annual work plan and budget.

Sub-Programmes under SSA

The Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat

  • A sub-programme of the SSA, in classes I and II is focusing on foundational learning in early grades with an emphasis on reading, writing and comprehension and mathematics.
  • States and UTs have been implementing specific interventions like ABL in Tamil Nadu, Nalli Kali in Karnataka, Pragya in Gujarat; steps have been taken to develop specific teacher training modules for teachers teaching students in classes 1 and II.

The Rashtriya Aavishkar Abhiyan

  • Aims to motivate and engage children of the age group 6-18 years, in science, mathematics and technology by observation, experimentation, inference drawing and model building, through both inside and outside classroom activities.


  • Launched to enhance community and private sector involvement in Government run elementary schools across the country.
  • The aim of the programme is to strengthen the implementation of co-scholastic activities in government schools through the services of volunteers.

ShaGun portal

  • MHRD has developed a web portal called ShaGun.
  • It aims to capture and showcase innovations and progress in the elementary education sector by continuous monitoring.
  • ShaGun will help monitor progress by assessing the performance of states and UTs on key parameters and thereby serve as a platform for the central government for effective planning and deliver on the promise of providing quality education to all.

Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan:

  • RMSA was launched in 2009 with the objective to enhance access to secondary education and improve its quality.
  • The schemes envisage enhancing the enrolment at the secondary stage by providing a secondary school with a reasonable distance of habitation, with an aim to ensure GER of 100 per cent and universal retention by 2020.

Samagra Shiksha:

  • The Department of School Education & Literacy launched an Integrated Scheme for School Education- Samagra Shiksha from 2018-19.
  • It envisages ‘school’ as a continuum from pre-school, primary, upper primary, secondary to senior secondary levels.
  • Preference is to be given to Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs), Special Focus Districts (SFDs), border areas and the aspirational districts identified by NITI Aayog.


  • NCERT books are available free in digital version on the e-Pathshala app. 15 lakh students have downloaded the e-pathshala app. Visits in one year have crossed 30 million marks.

Implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer:

  • Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme/system was launched from 2013 under which 25 schemes across eight ministries/departments were selected for implementation of DBT system in 43 pilot districts of 16 states/UTs.
  • It envisages direct transfer of funds to the beneficiary account through the Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB). From 2015, DBT Scheme was extended in the entire country.
  • Two scholarship schemes of the Department of School Education and Literacy, viz., National Means cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme (NMMSS) and National Scheme of Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education (NSIGSE) are covered under it.

Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan:

  • The Scheme of Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVS) (Central Schools) was approved in 1962 to provide uninterrupted education to the wards of transferrable central government employees.
  • Consequently, Central School Organization was started as a unit of the Ministry of Education (now Ministry of Human Resource Development).
  • Initially, 20 regimental schools, then functioning at places having a large concentration of defence personnel, were taken over as Central Schools during the academic year 1963-64.
  • The Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan was registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act in 1965.

Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas:

  • The National Policy on Education, 1986, envisaged setting up of residential Navodaya schools with an aim of providing excellence coupled with equity and social justice.
  • Consequent to this, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti was registered as a Society, under the Society Registration Act, of 1860, with the objective to establish Navodaya Vidyalayas to provide good quality modern education.

National Council of Educational Research and Training

  • The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) provides academic and technical supports for qualitative improvement of school education.
  • The NCERT was established in 1961 as an apex national body to lead qualitative changes in school education.
  • NCERT has been playing an advisory role guiding central and state governments in formulating policies, acts and government programmes.
  • It has played a crucial role in the development of national policies on education (1968-1986) and national curriculum frameworks.

National Institute of Open Schooling:

  • National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) is “Open School” to cater to the needs of a heterogeneous group of learners up to pre-degree level.
  • It was started as a project with in-built flexibilities by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in 1979.
  • In 1986, the National Policy on Education suggested strengthening of Open School System for extending open learning facilities in a phased manner at secondary level all over the country as an independent system with its own curriculum and examination leading to certification.
  • Consequently, the Ministry of Human Resource Development set up the National Open School (NOS) in 1989.

Mid-Day Meal Scheme:

  • The Mid-Day Meal Scheme covers children of classes I-VI11 studying in government, government-aided schools, special training centres (STC) and madrasas/ mastabas supported under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
  • It is the largest school feeding programme in the world, covering 9.78 crore children in 11.40 lakh institutions across the country.
  • Apart from promoting access and retention, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme has also contributed to social and gender equity.
  • It has helped in preventing classroom hunger, promoting school participation and fostering social equality and enhancing gender equality.

Tithi Bhojan:

  • “Tithi Bhojan” is a concept designed to ensure greater public participation under the Mid-Day Meal Programme being followed in Gujarat.
  • In order to bring in greater community participation, local communities are encouraged to celebrate important family events viz., birth of a child, success in exam, the inauguration of the new house, etc., by contributing to the mid-day meal served in the local schools.
  • It is voluntarily served by the community/family among school children.

Mid-Day Meal Rules:

  • The Mid-Day Meal Rules, (MDM) were notified under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.
  • All the states/UTs have been advised to disseminate and enforce the MDM Rules 2015 in all eligible schools.
  • The salient features of Mid-Day Meal Rules include:
    • Strengthen quality by making testing of food samples mandatory
    • The enhanced role of school management committees in the supervision of MDM in school
    • Supply of foodgrains at NFSA rates of ? 3 per kg for rice and ? 2 per kg for wheat instead of BPL rates of ? 5.65 and ? 4.15 per kg respectively
    • Food security allowance to be paid by the state government

Social Audit:

  • Social audit means the process in which people collectively monitor and evaluate the planning and implementation of a programme or scheme.
  • The social audit was conducted by Society for Social Audit Accountability and Transparency (SSAAT) in two districts viz., Khammam and Chittoor of undivided Andhra Pradesh during 2012-13.
  • Encouraged by the outcome, the Department had issued guidelines in 2014 for conducting of social audit.
  • So far 13 states viz., Bihar, Maharashtra, Odisha, Karnataka, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Nagaland, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Tamil Nadu have completed the conduct of social audit.

SAKSHAM - a Scholarship for Differently-Abled Children:

  • SAKSHAM - Scholarship Scheme for differently-abled children aims at providing encouragement and support to differently-abled children to pursue technical education.
  • Scholarships amounting to ? 5 crore per annum as tuition fees and incidentals are to be provided to needy and meritorious students for pursuing technical education at AICTE approved institution.
  • This is to help them to achieve their college goals, despite learning issues, environmental challenges or medical bills.

Ishan Uday-for Students of North East Region:

  • The UGC launched a special scholarship scheme for students of the northeast region, Ishan Uday from the academic session 2014-15.
  • The Scheme envisages grant of 10,000 scholarships to students from the region whose parental income is below ? 4.5 lakh per annum and would be provided scholarship ranging from ? 3,500 to ? 5,000 per month for studying at the undergraduate level in colleges/ universities.

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 northeastern states into close contact with IITs, NITs and IISERs during their vacation periods for academic exposure.


  • Pragati (scholarship for girl students) - is a scheme of AICTE aimed at providing assistance for advancement of girls participation in technical education.


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