Cost Effective Technological Intervention for Blending the Conventional and Distance Learning

Tripathi, Purnendu
Mukerji, Siran
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The education system of India is one of the largest education systems in the world as it caters to the need of more than 1028 million people (as per 2001 Census). The Government of India has been focusing not only on spreading education but encouraging the people to be literate which forms the basis for universalization of education in the country. With the literacy rate of merely 18.3% in 1951, it has increased to 64.8% in 2001 and according to NSS 61st Round Survey Report No. 517, 2004-05, the literacy rate is 67.3% in 2004-05. According to the Census of India 2001, the male literacy rate was 75.26% while female literacy was 53.67% with literacy gap of 21.59%. The state of Kerala is having highest literacy rate in India with 94.24% for male and 87.72% for female with 6.52% literacy gap which happens to be the minimum in the country. On analyzing the decadal change in literacy rate from 1991, it is seen that it is 11.13% in male and 14.39% in female. During the last 10 years (1991- 2001), the maximum change in literacy for males is 20.71% in the state of Rajasthan while 24.33% for females in the state of Chhattisgarh. // On further analysis of literacy rate on rural and urban perspective, India has 58.74% literacy in rural areas and 79.92 in urban areas. The state of Kerala once again has the highest literacy in rural areas which is 90.04% and 93.63% and 86.69% for male and female respectively. However in urban areas, it is the state of Mizoram which has the highest literacy rate of 96.13%. The study of literacy rate on the basis of specific social groups i.e. Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) reveals that literacy rate in SC is 54.7% and 51.16% and 68.12% for rural and urban areas respectively. In the case of ST, it is 47.1% and for rural and urban areas, it is 45.02% and 69.09% respectively. // According to District Information System for Education (DISE) adult literacy rate in 2004 was 61%. The male adult literacy rate stands at 73% while for female it is 48%. However the youth literacy rate was 76% with male youth literacy rate as 84% and female as 68%. // The efforts of Government of India in this direction can also be appreciated by focusing on the expenditure made by the Government on this sector. In 1961, the total expenditure on education was Rs. 260.3 crores which was 11.7% of total expenditure on all other sectors and 1.52% of the GDP. In 2001-02, this stood at 3.84% of the GDP and it was 12.89% of total expenditure on all other sectors. If we look at the expenditure by level of education in India, then in 1991, the expenditure on elementary education was 1.78% of GDP and 1.24% of GDP for secondary and senior secondary education and 0.77% for higher education. As per the revised estimate of 2004-05, expenditure on elementary education is 6.57% (1.89% to GDP) to total expenditure on all sectors and 3.85% (1.11% to GDP) and 2.3% (0.66% to GDP) for secondary and senior secondary education and higher education respectively. // After having focused on the achievement so far in the context for literacy in population in India, the paper now explores the development in higher education.
Open and Distance Learning (ODL), Literacy, Higher Education