In India, we believe that education is the key to the task of nation-building. It is also a well-accepted fact that providing the right knowledge and skills to the youth can ensure the overall national progress and economic growth. The Indian education system recognizes the role of education in instilling the values of secularism, egalitarianism, respect for democratic traditions and civil liberties and quest for justice.
Combine the thought with the fact that India is a nation of young people – out of a population of above 1.1 billion, 672 million people are in the age-group 15 to 59 years, – which is usually treated as the “working age population”. It is also being predicted that India will see a sharp decline in the dependency ratio over the next 30 years, which will constitute a major ‘demographic dividend’ for India. In the year 2001, 11% of population of the country was in age group of 18-24 years which is expected to rise to 12% by the end of XI Five Year Plan. This young population should be considered as an invaluable asset which if equipped with knowledge and skills, can contribute effectively to the development of the national as well as the global economy. The vision is to realize India’s human resource potential to its fullest in the education sector, with equity and inclusion.
Our National Policy on Education(NPE) states:
1) In our national perception education is essentially for all. This is fundamental to our all-round development.
2) Education has an acculturating role. It refines sensitivities and perceptions that contribute to national cohesion, a scientific temper and independence of mind and spirit – thus furthering the goals of socialism, secularism and democracy enshrined in our Constitution.
3) Education develops manpower for different levels of the economy. It is also the substrate on which research and development flourish, being the ultimate guarantee of national self-reliance.
4) In sum, education is a unique investment in the present and the future. This cardinal principle is the key to the National Policy on Education.