The state of Uttar Pradesh had a small tradition of learning, although it had remained mostly confined to the elite class and the religious establishment.
Sanskrit-based education comprising the learning of Vedic to Gupta periods, coupled with the later Pali corpus of knowledge and a vast store of ancient to medieval learning in Persian/Arabic languages, had formed the edifice of Hindu-Buddhist-Muslim education, till the rise of British power. But, the system became decadent as it missed the advancements that were taking place in Europe during and after the Renaissance, resulting in large educational gaps. Measures were initiated by the British administration for making liberal, universal education available in this area through a network of schools to university system on the European pattern.
However, a real turning point came due to the efforts of educationalists like Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya and Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who championed the cause of learning and supported British efforts to spread it.
skillshop technologies also providing technical knowledge in school.
After independence, the state of U.P. has continued to make investment over the years in all sectors of education and has achieved significant success in overcoming general educational backwardness and illiteracy. The increase in overall literacy rate is due to persistent multi-pronged efforts made by the state government: to enrol and retain children, specially of weaker sections, in schools; to effectively implement the adult education programmes; and to establish centres of higher education. As a result, U.P. is ranked amongst the first few States to have successfully implemented the Education For All policy. The following is indicative of the gradual progress:
In 1981, the literacy rate in U.P. was 28% and it increased to 42% in 1991. In 1991, the adult literacy rate (per cent literates among those aged 15 and above) was 38% and increased to 49% in 1998, an increase of 11 per centage in the seven-year period. But, the differential between female and male literacy remained high: while in 1991, male literacy was 56% and female literacy 25%, eight years later in 1999, as per survey estimates, the male literacy became 73% and female literacy 43% (NFHS II).
One more notable feature in the state has been the persistence of higher levels of illiteracy in the younger age group, more so in females, especially in the rural areas. In the late 1980s, the incidence of illiteracy in the 10–14 age group was as high as 32% for rural males and 61% for rural females; and more than two-thirds of all rural girls in the 12–14 age group never went to school. Only 25% of the girls in 7+ age group were able to read and write in 1991 and this figure went down to 19% for rural areas: it was 11% for the scheduled castes, 8% for scheduled castes in rural areas and 8% for the entire rural population in the most educationally backward districts. In terms of completion of basic or essential educational attainment (the primary or the secondary education), in 1992–1993, only 50% of literate males and 40% of literate females could complete the cycle of eight years of schooling (the primary and middle stages). Possibly, Bihar is the only state in India which lags behind U.P. in education.
The problems of state's education system are complex. Due to public apathy the public schools are run inefficiently. Privately run schools (including those run by Christian missionaries) are functional, but expensive and so beyond the reach of ordinary people.
In order to make the population totally literate, steps are being taken by the government to involve public participation, including the help of NGOs and other organisations. There are also special programmes, like the World Bank aided DPEP. As a result, progress in adult education has been made and the census of 2001 indicates a male literacy rate of 70.23% and a female literacy rate of 42.98%.
Presently, there are 866,361 primary schools, 8,459 higher secondary schools, 758 degree colleges and 26 universities in the state. Some of the oldest educational institutions – founded by the British, the pioneer educationalists and other social/religious reformers – are still functional. In addition, a number of highly competitive ivy league centres of higher or technical education have been established since Independence.
Considering the size of Uttar Pradesh, it is not surprising that it has a large number of academic and research institutes. These institutes are either under the jurisdiction of the State Government, the Central Government, or are privately run. The state has two IITs – at Kanpur and Varanasi, an IIM at Lucknow, an LU at Lucknow, an NIT and an IIIT at Allahabad. A good number of State and Central Government universities are founded in Uttar Pradesh to provide Higher Education in various course works. State is also home of Asia's one of the oldest Agriculture Institute Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHUATS), formerly Allahabad Agricultural Institute Established in 1910
The Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology: The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MOP&NG), Government of India set up the institute at Jais, Rae Bareli district, Uttar Pradesh through an Act of Parliament. RGIPT has been accorded Institute of National Importance. With the status of a deemed university, the institute awards degrees in its own right. RGIPT is co-promoted as an energy domain specific institute by six oil public sector units (ONGC, IOCL, OIL, GAIL, BPCL and HPCL) in association with the Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB). The institute is associated with leading International Universities/Institutions specializing in the domain of Petroleum Technology.
Alongside above mentioned institutes of higher learning, in Uttar Pradesh, a range of Government Degree College has been set up by the Government of Uttar Pradesh for providing Higher Education to scholars who are interested in different course work (undergraduate, postgraduate and research) and program (Humanities, Science and Commerce) in higher studies. At present in Uttar Pradesh, 137 Government Degree Colleges has been established to fulfill the above criteria. The U.P. government administers and controls these colleges through Department of Higher Education, Uttar Pradesh; however, syllabus and affiliation to the universities concerned are depending upon the locality of Government Degree College. Beside government instructions, the government degree colleges also follow the norms and regulations of the University Grants Commission, New Delhi. Few private college likewise, IIMT Group of Institutions (Institute of Integrated Management and Technology) in Varanasi has been established. Uttar Pradesh Board of Technical Education is the body responsible for pre degree vocational and technical education.
Most schools in the state are affiliated to Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad (commonly referred to as U.P. board) with English or Hindi as the medium of instruction, while schools affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) with English as medium of instruction are also present.
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