Indian Education Commission 1964-66

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 The Education Commission under the Chairmanship of Dr.D.S. Kothari, the then Chairman, University Grants Commission, began its task on October 2,1964. It consisted of sixteen members, eleven being Indians and five foreign experts. In addition, the Commission had the benefit of discussion with a number of internationally known consultants in the educational as well as scientific field. 

The main task of the Commission was to advise the Government on the national pattern of education and on the general policies for the development of education at all stages-ranging from the primary to post-graduate stage and in all its aspects besides examining a host of educational problems in their social and economic context.

 "This House is of opinion that a Committee of Members of Parliament be appointed to go into the question on National Policy on education in all its aspects and to prepare a plan accordingly for the next three plan periods, and also to suggest suitable machinery for its implementation." (L.S. Deb. May 1, 1964 c.13989)

Government Resolution setting up the Education Commission, July 14, 1964

The Commission submitted its report to the Government on June 29,1966. It was laid on the Table of the House on August 29, 1966.The principal recommendations of the Commission are given in Appendix I. The main features of the Commission's report were as follows:

(i) Introduction of work-experience which includes manual work, production experience, etc. and social service as integral part of general education at more or less all level of education.

(ii) Stress on moral education and inculcation of a sense of social responsibility. Schools should recognize their responsibility in facilitating the transition of youth from the work of school to the world of work and life.

(iii) Vocationalization of secondary education.

(iv) Strengthening of the centres of advance study and setting up of a small number of major universities which would aim at achieving highest international standards.

(v) Special emphasis on the training and quality of teachers for schools

(vi) Education for agriculture and research in agriculture and allied sciences should be given a high priority in the scheme of educational reconstruction. Energetic and imaginative steps are required to draw a reasonable proportion of talent to go in for advance study and research in agriculture science.

(vii) Development of quality or pace-setting institutions at all stages and in all sectors.

The Commission observed that mother-tongue had a pre-eminent claim as the medium of education at the school and college stages. Moreover, the medium of education in school and higher education should generally be the same. The regional languages should, therefore, be adopted as the media of education in higher education.

The Commission further observed that the public demand for secondary and higher education had increased and would continue to increase in future. It was, therefore, necessary to adopt a policy of selective admissions to higher secondary and university education in order to bridge the gap between the public demand and available facilities.

The Commission was of the view that the social segregation in schools should be eliminated by the adoption of the neighbourhood social concept at the lower primary stage under which all children in the neighbourhood will be required to attend the school in the locality. 


 A Committee of Members of Parliament on Education was constituted by the Government of India on April 5, 1967, with the following terms of reference: 

(i) to consider the report of the Education Commission;

(ii) to prepare the draft of a statement on the National Policy on Education for the consideration of Government of India;and

(iii) to identify the programme for immediate action.

The Committee scrutinized only the major recommendations of the Education Commission along with the comments of the State Government and others thereon.

The Committee's general approach to the problem differed from that of the Commission in three important ways. First, the Committee did not accept the recommendations of the Commission for the creation of five or six 'major' universities or for upgrading 10 per cent of the institutions at all levels to optimum standards. The committee believed that better results could be obtained if efforts were made to maintain at least the minimum standards in all institutions and special additional assistance was offered, on the basis of proper criteria, to those institutions which showed high level of performance and promise. Secondly, they placed a greater emphasis on expansion of facilities than the Commission had done,especially at the school stage. The Committee, therefore, did not agree with the Commission's proposal that a system of selective admission should be adopted at the higher secondary and undergraduate stages. They suggested methods for diverting a large proportion of students into different walks of life at the end of the higher secondary stage which would necessarily reduce pressure on access to higher education. The committee further desired that every effort should be made to provide admission to institutions of higher education to all eligible students who desired to study further. Thirdly the Committee did not favour several recommendations of the Commission whose main objective was to create certain new administrative structure or changes in the existing ones. In the opinion of the Committee, such programmes would lead to increasing bureaucratisation and increase in unproductive expenditure.

Subject to the above observations, the Committee accepted several of the major recommendations of the Commission, some with modifications or changes in priority. They also added new recommendations in certain areas where the ground was not fully covered by the report of the Commission. The report of the members of Parliament was laid on the Table of the Lok Sabha on July 25, 1967.

The salient recommendations of the Committee are:

(i) The unhealthy social segregation that now takes place between the schools for the rich and those for the poor should be ended; and the primary schools should be made the common schools of the nation by making it obligatory on all children, irrespective of cast, creed, community, religion, economic condition or social status,to attend the primary school in their neighbourhood.

(ii) The development of a proper language policy can greatly assist in strengthening national unity. The key programme will be to develop all Indian languages and to adopt them as media of education at all stages.

(iii) At the secondary stage (classes I-X) the regional language should ordinarily be the medium of education. Adequate safeguards should be provided for linguistic minorities. In class XI_XII, a pupil should study at least one language of his choice in addition to the medium of education. While facilities to study languages , on an optional basis, should be adequately provided at the university-level, the study of no language should be made compulsory unless such study is an essential part of a prescribed course.

(iv) Hindi is already largely in use as a link language. The educational system should contribute to the acceleration of this progress in order to facilitate the movement of students and teachers and to strengthen national unity.

(v) Science education and research should be developed on priority basis. Great emphasis should be placed on the development of education for agriculture and industry. In technical education programmes of qualitive improvement should be stressed.

(vi) Work experience should be an integral part of general education at the school stage. Work with hands will help the young to develop insights into productive processes and use of science and inculcate in them respect for manual labour and habits of hard and responsible work.

(vii) There should be a broadly uniform educational structure in all parts of the country. The first step is to create the Ten Year School providing a common pattern of general education for all children. The national policy should be to ultimately make this period of ten years free and compulsory for all children. The next stage, the higher secondary should be uniformally raised to two years in all parts of the country under a phased programme. The duration of the course for the first degree in arts, commerce and science should be three years after the higher secondary stage.

(ix) Plans to accelerate the spread of literacy should be prepared and intensively implemented.

(x) Educational expansion should be accompanied by simultaneous efforts to raise substantially the standards of education and to keep them continuously rising.

(xi) There is an urgent need to upgrade and improve school curricula, to increase their knowledge content and to provide adequately for the development of skills,and the inculcation of right interests, attitudes and values. Similar steps are also needed at the university stage.

(xii) Regarding examination reform, attention should be concentrated on three major areas: reduction of the dominance of external examination; introduction of reforms which would make them more valid and realistic; and the adoption of a good system of internal evaluation.


 As a result of discussions on the recommendations of the Education Commission and the report of the Committee of Members of Parliament, a Resolution on National Policy on Education was formally issued by the Government of India on July 24,1966 (Appendix II). The Resolutions enumerated seventeen principles to guide the development of education in the years ahead. These are: 

(i)Free and compulsory Education: Free and Compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14 sho

(ii) Status, Emoluments and Education of Teachers: Teacher education, particularly in service education, should received high priority. Teachers must be accorded an honoured place in society, their emoluments, and other service conditions should be adequate, and their academic freedom should be guaranteed.

(iii) Development of Language: The energetic development of Indian Language and literature is a sine qua non for education and cultural development. Unless this is done, the creative energies of the people would not be released; standards of education will not improve; knowledge will not be spread to the people and the gulf between the intelligentsia and the masses will remain, if not widen further. The regional language already used as media of education at the primary and secondary stages, should be urgently adopted at the university state. At the secondary stage every child should learn three languages; the languages of his region, Hindi or another Indian language if the language of his region is Hindi and English. Hindi should become the link language, a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India. For its cultural value the study of Sanskrit should be specially encouraged. Special emphasis needs to be laid on the study of English and other international languages. World knowledge is growing at a tremendous pace,especially in science and technology. India must not only keep up this growth but should also make her own significant contributions to it.

(iv) Equalisation of Education Opportunity: Regional imbalances should be corrected and good educational facilities should be provided in rural and other backward areas. To promote social cohesion and national integration, a common school system should be adopted; this should not, however, affect the minority rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The education of girls should receive emphasis, as should education among the backward classes.

 (v) Identification of Talent: For the cultivation of excellence, it is necessary that talent in diverse fields should be identified at as early an age as possible and every stimulus and opportunity given for its full development.

(vi) Work-experience and National Service: The school and the community should be brought closer through suitable programmes of mutual service and support. Work- experience and national service including participation in meaningful and challenging programme of community service and national reconstruction should accordingly become an integral part of education.

(vii) Science Education and Research: These should receive high priority, and science and mathematics should be an integral part of general education till the end of the school stage.

(viii) Education for Agriculture and industry: This requires special emphasis. There should be at least one agricultural university in every State and the other universities selected departments may be strengthened for the study of one or more aspects of agriculture. Technical education and research should be related closely to industry. There should be continuous review of the agricultural, industrial,and other technical manpower need and a proper balance should be maintained between the output of the educational institutions and employment opportunities.

(ix) Production of Books: The quality of books should be improved and immediate steps should be taken for the production of high quality text-books for schools and universities. Efforts should be made to have a few basic text-books throughout the country. Special attention should be given to books for children and to university level books in Indian languages.

(x) Examination: A major goal of examination reform should be to improve the reliability and validity of examinations and to make evaluation a continuous process.

(xi) Secondary Education: Facilities for secondary education should be extended expeditiously to areas and classes which have been denied these in the past. Facilities for technical and vocational education needs to be increased, diversified and related closely to employment opportunities.

 (xii) University Education: (a) The number of whole time students admitted to a college or university departments should be determined with reference to the laboratory, library and other facilities and to the strength of the staff. (b) New universities should be established only in case of proved necessity after adequate provisions of funds and with due care for ensuring proper standards. (c) The organisation of post-graduate courses and their standards of training and research need to be improved.(d) Centres of advanced study should be strengthened and a small number of clusters of centres aiming at the highest possible standards in research and training should be established. (e) Research in universities requires increased support,and the research institutions should, as far as possible, function within the fold of universities of in intimate association with them.

(xiii) Part-time education and Correspondence Courses: These should be developed on a large scale at the university stage and also be provided for secondary school students, teachers, and agricultural, industrial and other workers.

(xiv) Spread of Literacy and Adult Education: (a) The liquidation of mass illiteracy is necessary not only for promoting people's participation in the working of democratic institutions and for accelerating programmes of production, especially in agriculture, but also for quickening the tempo of national development in general. Employees in large commercial, industrial and other concerns should be made functionally literate as early as possible.....Teachers and students should be actively involved in organising literacy campaigns, especially as part of the Social and national Service Programme. (b) The education of young farmers and the training of youth for self-employment should have high priority.

(xv) Games and Sports: Playing fields and other facilities for developing a nation wide programme of physical education should be provided on a priority basis.

(xvi) Education of minorities: Every effort should be made not only to protect the rights of minorities but actively to promote their educational interests.

(xvii) The Educational Structure: A broadly uniform educational structure of ten years' general education in schools, followed by two years of higher secondary stage

three years ' course for the first degree should be adopted in all parts of the country.

2.3  The Resolution on National Policy on Education further stated:

"The reconstruction of education on these lines will need additional outlay. The aim should be gradually to increase the investment in education so as to reach a level of expenditure of six per cent of the national income as early as possible".

The national policy on education, 1968 has been accepted by the Government as guiding principle for all educational development in the country supplemented by the guidelines adopted in the Sixth plan document.

The programmes spelt out in the national policy on education are being implemented by the Central and the state governments with such modifications and adjustments as are warranted from time to time by the socio-economic conditions in the country. Most significant of these programmes are universalisation of elementary education and eradication of adult illiteracy. Both these from part of Centre's minimum needs programme as well as the Revised 20-Point Programme.

For the discharge of its specific responsibility, the Union Ministry of Education has been acting directly by itself and through its institutions like the University Grants Commission, National Council of Educational Research and Training, etc. The aims and objectives of these institutions have been, by and large, to bring about improvement of standards of education and training at various levels or to promote specific areas of education like languages, production of books etc.

Priority has been given by the Government to the programme of universalisation of elementary education with emphasis on programmes for the weaker sections including girls, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, etc. Another important priority area in education is promotion of adult education. In regard to other sectors, stress is being laid on qualitative improvement of education. Especially the technical and higher education, development of youth activities, vocationalisation of secondly education, development of regional languages, strengthening of the monitoring and evaluation machinery for the effective implementation of plan programmes, etc.

India, 1983; Publications Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Government of India, New Delhi pp.4

The then Minister of Education (Dr. Triguna Sen) on November,14 1967 moved Government Motions for discussion in Lok Sabha of the report of the Education Commission and the report of the committee of Members of Parliament.7 Participating in the discussion members stressed that the natural talent of the student could be unfolded only through his mother-tongue which had been recognised by the Commission. The concept of the neighbourhood schools was also welcomed by some members. The emphasis laid by the Commission on work experience and compulsory service scheme was also commended. They considered it advisable that in the case of primary and secondary education the medium should be regional language all over the country. Members suggested that higher education should also be imparted through the regional language. For raising the quality of education, they pleaded for improving the quality of teachers. Promising people, they felt, would be attracted to the profession if the emoluments and the status of teachers were raised.

Replying to the discussion on December 6, 1967, the Minister said that one of the major recommendations of the Education Commission was that the Government should issue a statement on the national policy on education which should provide guidance to the State Governments and local authorities in preparing and implementing educational plans in their areas. He informed the House that the Government had decided to give the widest possible opportunity to all concerned to express their views and opinions and after examining them critically to issue a comprehensive statement on the 'National Policy on Education'.8


A. Education and National Objectives

Education and National Development: The most important and urgent reform needed in education is to related it to the life, needs and aspirations of the people and thereby make it a powerful instrument of social, economic and cultural transformation necessary for realisation of the national goal. For this purpose the following five-fold programme has been suggested;

(a) Relating education to productivity;

(b) Strengthening social and national integration through educational programmes;

(c) Consolidation of democracy through education;

(d) Modernisation of society through awakening of curiosity,development of attitudes and values and building up certain essential skills.

(a) Education and productivity: The following programmes are needed to relate productivity to education:

(i) Science education should be an integral part of school education and ultimately become a part of all courses at University stage;

(ii) Work experience to become an integral part of all education;

(iii) Every effort should be made to orient work experience to technology and industrialisation and the application of science to productive processes, including agriculture; and

(iv) Vocationalisation of secondary education and agricultural and technical education to be emphasised.

(b) Social and national integration: The following steps have been suggested to strengthen national consciousness and unity:

(i) Adoption of a common school system of public education as the national goal and its effective implementation in a phased programme spread over 20 years.

(ii) Organisation of social and national service programmes concurrently with academic studies in schools and colleges and to make them obligatory for all students at all stages;

(iii) Participation in programmes of community development and national reconstruction should be an integral part of all education from the primary to the under-graduate stage;

(iv) Continuance of N.C.C. on its present basis till the end of the Fourth Five Year Plan;

(v) Development of an appropriate language policy for the education system;

(vi) Adoption of regional language as the medium of instructions;

(vii) Energetic action for production of books and literature, particularly scientific and technical, in regional languages. This should be the responsibility of universities assisted by U.G.C.

(viii) Continuance of the use of English as the medium of instructions in the All-India institutions. The eventual adoption of Hindi to be considered in due course subject to certain safeguards;

(ix) Regional languages to be made language of administration for the regions concerned at the earliest possible time .

(x) Continuation of the promotion of the teaching and study of English right from the stage. Special attention to be given to the study of Russian;

(xi) English language to serve as a link-language in higher education for academic work and intellectual inter-communication. Hindi to serve as the link language of the majority of our people and also adoption of all measures for the spread of Hindi in non-Hindi areas;

(xii) Combining two modern Indian languages at the B.A and M.A level; and

(xiii) Promotion of national consciousness through the promotion of understanding and re-valuation of our cultural heritage and the creation of a strong driving faith in the future towards which we aspire.

(c) Education for Democracy: The following Programme has been suggested for consolidation of democracy:

(i) Provision of free and compulsory education of good quality for all children up to the age of 14 years as envisaged in Art. 45 of the Constitution;

(ii) Promotion of programmes of adult education aiming not only at liquidation of illiteracy, but also at raising the civic and vocational efficiency and general cultural level of the citizens;

(iii) Training of efficient leadership at all levels by expanding secondary and higher education and providing equal opportunities for all children of merit and promise, irrespective of economic status, caste, religion, sex or place of residence;

(iv) Development of a scientific mind and outlook, tolerance, concern for public interest and public service, self -discipline, self reliance, initiative and a positive attitude to work.

(d) Social Moral and Spiritual Values: The education system should emphasise the development of fundamental social, moral and spiritual values. From this point of view the Centre and State Governments should adopt measures to introduce education in moral, social and spiritual values in all institutions under their(or local authority) control on the lines recommended by the University Education Commission and the Committee on Religious and Moral Instruction.

(e) Education and Modernisation: The following has been suggested in this regard:

(i) Awakening of curiosity, the development of proper interest, attitudes and values and the building up of such essential skills as independent study and capacity to think and judge for oneself; and

(ii) Creation of an inteligentsia of adequate sie and competence.

B. The educational system: Structure and Standard

(1) Stages in Education and their Inter-relationship: In this regard the following has been suggested:

(i) The new educational system should consist of (a) one to three years of pre-school education; (b) a primary stage of 7 to 8 years divided into lower primary stage of 4 to 5 years and a higher primary stage of 3 or 2 years; (c) a lower secondary stage of 3 or 2 years ; (d) a higher secondary stage of two years of vocational education (e) a higher education stage having a course of 3 years or more for the first degree and followed by course for the second or research degree of varying durations;

(ii) Age of admission to Class 1 ordinarily not to be less than 6

(iii) First public examination to come at the end of 10 years of schooling;

(iv) Secondary schools should be of two types -a high schools providing a ten-year course and higher secondary schools providing a course of 11 to 12 years.

(v) New Higher Secondary course beginning in Class XI and XII to provide specialised subjects; and

(vi) Transfer of the Pre-University course from the Universities and affiliated colleges to secondary schools by 1975-76 and the duration of the course to be lengthened to two years by 1985-86 . The University Grants Commission should be responsible for effecting the transfer of all pre-university or intermediate work from university and affiliated colleges to schools.

(2) Reorganisation of the University stage: The following has been recommended in this respect:

(i) Duration of the first degree should not be less than three years and the duration of the second degree to be 2 to 3 years;

(ii) Some universities should start graduate schools with 3 years Master Degree courses in certain subjects; and

(iii) Three year special courses for the first degree which begin at the end of the first year of the present 3 year degree courses should be started in selected subjects and in selected institutions.

(3) Utilisation of Facilities: The following methods have been suggested to make full utilisation of available facilities:

(i) Instruction days in the year to be increased to about 39 weeks for schools and 35 weeks for colleges and pre-primary schools; and

 (ii) Standard calendar in the worked out by the Ministry of Education and the University Grants Commission in consultation with State Governments and Universities respectively. Other holidays to be cut down to 10 in a year.

C. Teacher Status

The Commission has emphasised that the most urgent need was to upgrade the remuneration of teacher substantially, particularly at the school stages, and recommended that the Government of India should lay dawn for the school stage, minimum scales of pay for teachers and assist the States and Union Territories-to adopt equivalent or higher scales to suit their conditions. Scales of pay of schools teachers belonging to the same category but working under different managements such as Government, Local bodies or private managements should be the same.

D. Teacher Education

The Professional preparedness of teachers being crucial for the qualitative improvement of education, the Commission has urged that this should be treated as a key-area in educational development and adequate financial provisions should be made for it. It further recommended:

(i) In order to make the professional preparation of teachers effective, teacher education must be brought into the mainstream of the academic life of the Universities. On the one hand, and of the school life and educational development , on the other;

(ii) The quality of the programme of teacher education should be improved;

(iii) New professional courses should be developed to orientate headmasters, teachers, educators. and educational administrators to their special field of work;

(iv) The post -graduate courses in education should be flexible and be planned to promote an academic and scientific study of education and to prepare personnel for special fields of education, requiring special knowledge and initiation, and

(v) Improvement of teacher education institutions and expansion of training facilities should be undertaken.


E. Towards Equalisation of educational Opportunity

Observing that every attempt should be made to equalise educational opportunities or at least to reduce some of the most glaring inequalities which now exist, the Commission has stressed the need for the following programmes:

(i) The development of a common school system of public education in which no fees would be charged, where access to good schools will be open to all children on the basis of merit, and where the standard maintained would be high enough to make the average parent feel no need to send his child to an independent institution;

(ii) The development of adequate programmes of student-service at all stages which will include free supply of books and writing materials at the primary stage, the provision of book banks and textbooks, libraries in all institutions of secondary and higher education, the provision of transport, day study centres or hostels, and the institution of guidance facilities and health services;

(iii) The development of a large programme of scholarships at all stages and in all sectors combined with a programme of placement and maintenance of quality institutions, to ensure that the brighter children at least will have access to good education and that their further education will not be handicapped on economic grounds.

(iv) Special encouragement to the education of girls and the backward classes;

(v) The reduction of imbalances in educational development between the different parts of the country -districts and States; and

(vi) The development of a comparatively small but effective programme for the education of the handicapped children.

F. School Education Curriculum

(1) Essentials of Curricular Improvement: For the improvement and upgrading of school curricula. the following measures have been suggested.

(i) Essential of Curricular Improvement of school curricula research should be undertaken by University Departments of Education, Training Colleges, State Institutes of Education and Boards of School

Education ; Revision of curricula should be based on such research; (c) Basic to the success of any attempt at curriculum improvement is the preparation of text books and teaching-learning materials; and (d) the orientation of teachers to the revised curricula through in-service be achieved through seminars and refresher courses;

(ii) Schools should be given the freedom to devise and experiment with new curricula suited to their needs. A lead should be given in the matter of training colleges and universities through their experimental schools;

(iii) Advanced curricula should be prepared by State Board of School Education in all subjects and introduced in phased manner in schools which fulfil certain conditions of Staff and facilities;

(iv) The formation of Subject Teachers Associations for the different schools subjects will help to stimulate experimentation and in upgrading of curricula.

(2) Study of Languages: The following has been suggested for the study of languages at school stage:

(i) The language study at the school stage needs review and a new policy requires to be formulated particularly in view of the fact that English has been mostly used as an associated official language of the country for an indefinite period;

(ii) The modification of the language formula should be guided by the following principles:

(a) Hindi as the official language of the Union enjoys an importance next only to that mother tongue.

(b) A workable knowledge of English will continue to be an asset to students.

(c) The proficiency gained in a language depends as much upon the types of teachers and facilities as upon the length of time in which it is learned.

(d) The most suitable stage for learning these languages is the lower secondary ( Classes VIII-X)

(e) The introduction of the additional language should be staggered.

 (f) Hindi or English should be introduced at a point where there is greatest motivation and need.

(g) At no stage should the learning of four languages be made compulsory.

(3) Three Languages Formula: The modified Three Language Formula should include the following:

(i) The mother tongue or the regional languages;

(ii) The official language of the Union or the associate official language of the Union so long as it exist; and

(iii) A modern Indian or Foreign Language not covered under (a) and (b) and other than that used as the medium of instruction.


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