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DocumentWelfare programs

  1. 1. 1. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana(PMGSY): Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was launched on 25th December 2000. It is anationwide plan in India to provide good all-weather road connectivity to unconnectedvillages of more than 500 persons in the rural areas (250 persons in the hilly and desertareas).ü It is a 100% Centrally Sponsored Scheme.ü Allocations under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) increased by 59 per toRs.12,000 crore in the Union Budget 2009-10.2. Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY):ü It was launched on 4th April 2005 for attaining the National Common MinimumProgramme (NCMP) goal of providing access to electricity to all households in the countryin five years by merging “Accelerated Electrification of one lakh Villages and one croreHouseholds” and the “Minimum Needs Programme (MNP)”.ü Under the programme, 90% grant is provided by Govt. of India and 10% as loan by RuralElectrification Corporation (REC) to the State Governments.ü Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) is the nodal agency for the programme.ü The scheme aims at electrification of over 1 lakh un-electrified villages and providingelectricity connections to 2.34 crore rural households. The estimated cost of the scheme isapproximately Rs. 51,000 crore.ü All the BPL families are eligible for free connections under the scheme.ü Allocation under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) increased by 27%to Rs.7000cr in the Union Budget 2009-10.3. Indira Awaas Yojana(IAY):ü Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) was launched during 1985-86 as a sub-scheme of RuralLandless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP) and continued as a sub-scheme ofJawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY) since its launching from April, 1989.ü It has been delinked from the JRY and has been made an independent scheme with effectfrom January 1, 1996.ü The objective of IAY is primarily to provide grant for construction of houses to membersof Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, freed bonded labourers and also to non-SC/ST ruralpeople living below poverty line.ü Funding of IAY is shared between the Centre & State in the ratio of 75:25.ü The financial assistance provided for new construction under IAY is Rs.35,000/- per unit
  2. 2. for the plain areas & Rs.38,500/- for the hilly/difficult areas.ü Allocation under Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) increased by 63% to 8,800 cr in the UnionBudget 2009-10.4. Bharat Nirman:ü Bharat Nirman, a programme to build rural infrastructure, was launched by theGovernment of India in 2005.ü Phase I of the programme was implemented in the period 2005-06 to 2008-09. Phase II isbeing implemented from 2009-10 to 2011-12.ü Bharat Nirman comprises of six components:i)Irrigationii)Rural Roadsiii)Rural Housingiv)Rural Drinking Water Supplyv)Rural Electrificationvi)Telephone Connectivity.ü Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana(PMGSY) for Rural Roads , Rajiv Gandhi VidyutikaranYojana(RGVY) for Rural Electrification & Indira Awas Yojana(IWY) for Rural Housing comeunder Bharat Nirman.ü Bharat Nirman programme of six schemes for the development of rural infrastructure isbeing stepped up by 45% in Union Budget 2009-10.5. Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana(PMAGY):ü It is a new scheme launched in the Union Budget 2009-10 by the Union Government on apilot basis for integrated development 0f 1,000 villages, each having more than 50% SCpopulation.ü There are about 44,000 villages in which the population of scheduled castes is above 50per cent.ü If the pilot scheme is successful the scheme will be expanded to remaining villages.ü An amount of Rs.100 crore has been allocated for this Scheme in the Union Budget 2009-10.6. National Rural Health Mission (NRHM):
  3. 3. ü The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), launched in 2006 as the central governmentflagship project that would dramatically change the healthcare system in rural India.ü The objective of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) is to provide accessible,affordable, accountable, effective and reliable health care, especially to the poor and thevulnerable sections of the population in rural areas.ü The NRHM covers the entire country, with special focus on 18 States where the challengeof strengthening poor public health systems and thereby improving key health indicators isthe greatest.ü Allocation under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) increased by Rs.2,057 croreamounting to 14,064 crore in the Union Budget 2009-10.7. Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA):ü One of the key components of the National Rural Health Mission is to provide everyvillage in the country with a trained female community health activist – ‘ASHA’ orAccredited Social Health Activist for every village with a population of 1000.ü ASHA will take steps to create awareness and she will counsel women on birthpreparedness, importance of safe delivery, breastfeeding and complementary feeding,immunization, contraception and prevention of common infections including ReproductiveTract infection/Sexually Transmitted Infection (RTIs/STIs) and care of the young child.ü The ASHA will be trained to work as an interface between the community and the publichealth system.ü ASHA must primarily be a woman resident of the village – married/ widowed/ divorced,preferably in the age group of 25 to 45 years.8. National Rural Employment Guarantee Act(NREGA):ü The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act or NREGA is an Indian job guaranteescheme, enacted by legislation on August 25, 2005.ü This act was introduced with an aim of improving the purchasing power of the ruralpeople, primarily semi or un-skilled work to people living in rural India, whether or notthey are below the poverty line.ü The scheme provides a legal guarantee for one hundred days of employment in everyfinancial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-relatedunskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage of Rs.100 per day.ü The NREGA achieves twin objectives of rural development and employment.ü Around one-third of the stipulated work force must be women.
  4. 4. ü The scheme started from February 2, 2006 in 200 districts, was expanded to coveranother 130 districts in 2007-2008 and eventually covered all 593 districts in India in 2008.ü It has been renamed as Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act on 2ndOctober, 2009.ü Allocation under NREGS increased by 144% to 39,100 cr in the Union Budget 2009-10.9. Sarva Siksha Abhiyan(SSA):ü The scheme of SSA was launched in 2001.ü It is a flagship programme of the Government of India pioneered by Atal Bihari Vajpayeefor achievement of universalization of elementary education in a time bound manner.ü The Abhiyan is to provide useful and relevant elementary education for children in the 6-14 age group by 2010.ü The assistance under the programme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was on a 85:15 sharingarrangement during the Ninth Plan, 75:25 sharing arrangement during the Tenth Plan, and50:50 sharing thereafter between the Central Government and the State Government exceptfor 8 NE states.ü The programme covers the entire country with special focus on educational needs ofgirls, SCs/STs and other children in difficult circumstances.ü The programme seeks to open new schools in those places which do not have schoolingfacilities and strengthen existing school infrastructure through provision of additional classrooms, toilets, drinking water, maintenance grant and school improvement grant.10. Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan(RMSA):ü Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) which is the most recent initiative ofGovernment of India to achieve the goal of universalisation of secondary education (USE) -classes VIII to X.ü The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan program set up by the government to bring elementaryeducation to millions of children has been successful to a large extent, and has thus createda need for strengthening secondary education infrastructure across the country.ü In Jan 2009 CCEA (Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs) approved theimplementation.ü It is announced in 2007 and it is proposed to implement during 11th Five Year planü Rs.20,120 crore has been allocated for the Scheme during the 11th Five Year Plan.
  5. 5. Note: This is only Part-1.Part-2 will be published soon with more Schemes. Highlightedwords are important and it may be used for quick reference & also asked in many Bank Poexams. Try to understand the concept behind it and remember. It will be useful to your only.1. Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY): (Go for Part-1)ü The Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) was launched as an integratedprogramme for self-employment of the rural poor with effect from 1 April 1999.ü Under the SGSY, assistance is given to the poor families living below the poverty line inrural areas for taking up self employment. The persons taking up Self-Employment arecalled swarozgaris.ü They may take up the activity either individually or in Groups, called the Self-HelpGroups.ü The SGSY aims at providing self-employment to villagers through the establishment ofSelf-help groups.ü There are over 22 lakh Women’s Self Help Groups linked with banks. Reach of SHGs to bewidened to enrol at least 50 per cent of all rural women in India as members of SHGs overthe next five years.ü A Self- Help Group (SHG) may generally consist of 10-20 persons.ü In Union Budget 2009-10, The Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)restructured as National Rural Livelihood Mission to make it universal in application,focused in approach and time bound for poverty eradication by 2014-15.2. Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY):ü It was formally launched on October 1, 2007.ü It is a new health insurance scheme for the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in theunorganized sector.ü The objective of RSBY is to provide the insurance cover to below poverty line (BPL)households from major health shocks that involve hospitalization.ü The RSBY is being implemented in 20 States/Union Territories.ü By the end of the year, 2009-10, 1.2 crore BPL families ( a unit of five) are expected to becovered and all the estimated 6 crore BPL families are proposed to be covered in the nextfour years.ü In the Union Budget 2009-10, It is proposed that All BPL families to be covered underRashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY).ü Allocation under RSBY increased by 40 per cent over previous allocation to Rs.350 crore
  6. 6. in Budget 2009-10.3. Rajiv Awas Yojana:ü It is a new scheme announced in the Union Budget 2009-10 for the slum dwellers and theurban poor in an effort to promote a slum-free India in five years.ü Rajiv Awas Yojana comes under JNNURM on the lines of Indira Awas Yojana for rural poor.4. Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission(JNNUM):ü The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), launched onü December 3rd 2005 is the largest national urban initiative to encourage reforms and fastü track planned development of 63 identified cities.ü JNNURM comprises two Sub-Missions:o Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG) (Sub-mission I)o Basic Services to the Urban Poor Urban (BSUP) (Sub-mission II)Objectives:ü Focused attention to integrated development of basic services to the urban poor.ü Security of tenre at affordable price, improved housing, water supply, sanitation.ü Convergence of services in fields of education, health and social security.ü Ensuring adequate investment of funds to fulfill deficiencies in the basic services to theurban poor.ü In simple JNNURM is designed to support: Provision of basic service to urban poor, watersupply, Road Network, Urban transport, Street lighting, Sewerage & Sanitation and etc.ü In the Union Budget 2009-10, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission(JNNURM) stepped up by 87% to Rs.12, 887 cr.5. Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY):ü It is introduced in 1997 sponsored by Central Government.ü The Union Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ministry in November 2009comprehensively revamped the Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) with a viewto providing gainful employment to the urban unemployed and underemployed.ü The new scheme will commence with financial year 2009-2010.ü The Swarna Jayanthi Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) shall sheek to provide gainful
  7. 7. employment to the Urban unemployed or underemployed poor through encouraging thesetting up of self-employment ventures or provision of wage employment.ü The programme shall target the urban poor, defined as those living below the urbanpoverty line, as defined from time to time.ü The Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana shall consist of two special schemes, namely-ü i)The Urban Self-Employment Programme (USEP)ü ii)The Urban Wage Employment Programme (UWEP)6. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana:ü Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana was launched by Govt. of India during 2007-08 toincentives states to draw up plans for their agriculture sector more comprehensively, takingagro-climatic conditions, natural resource and technology into account and integratinglivestock, poultry and fisheries fully.ü The RKVY aims at achieving 4% annual growth in the agriculture sector during the XIPlan period, by ensuring a holistic development of Agriculture and Allied Sectors.ü Allocation under Rashtriya Krishi Yojana (RKVY) stepped up by 30% in the Union Budget2009-10.7. National Social Assistance Programme:The programme was launched with effect from 15th August 1985 and under thisprogramme three sub-schemes are under implementation. They are.1. National Old Age Pension(NOAP)2. National Family Benefit Scheme (NEBS)3. Annapurna SchemeNational Old Age pension (NOAP):ü The Scheme is implemented to the Old Age persons who are living above 65 Years.Physically Handicapped persons and Leprosy destitute (Irrespective of Age) who comesunder Below Poverty line.ü The National Old Age Pension Scheme has been renamed as Indira Gandhi National OldAge Pension Scheme (IGNOPS) and formally launched on 19th November, 2007.ü The central contribution of pension under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age PensionScheme (IGNOAPS) is Rs. 200/- per month per beneficiary and the State Governments maycontribute over and above to this amount. At present old age beneficiaries are gettinganywhere between Rs. 200/- to Rs. 1000/- depending on the State Contribution.
  8. 8. National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS)ü Under this scheme, in the death of primary breadwinner, the head of household isuntitled to get the benefit of Rs.10000/- in case normal deaths.ü The deceased persons should have been primary bread winner and in the age group ofmore or less than 65 Years and who comes under Below poverty line and residing in thedistrict preceding 3 years.ü In case of accidental deaths. The benefit shall be extruded under "APADBANDHU" schemewhich covers carton incidents as prescribed by the Government. The deceased family willget Rs. 50000/- or 10000/- depending upon their age.Annapurna Schemeü The Annapurna scheme has been launched with effect from 1st April, 2000.ü It aims at providing food security to meet the requirement of those Senior Citizens whothough eligible have remained uncovered under the National Old Age Pension Scheme(NOAPS).ü Under the Annapurna Scheme, 10 Kg. of food grains per month are to be provided free ofcost to the Beneficiary.ü The age of the applicant ( male or female) should be 65 years or above.Two new schemes have been introduced in the Interim Budget 2009-10:· Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme to provide pension of Rs.200 towidows between age groups of 40-64 years and· Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme to provide pension for severelydisabled persons. Widows in the age group of 18-40 years to be given priority in admissionto ITIs, Women ITIs and National/Regional ITIs for women. Government to bear cost oftheir training and provide stipend of Rs.500 per month.8. Aam Admi Bima Yojna (AABY):ü It was launched in 2nd October 2007.ü It is an Insurance Scheme. It covers the death and permanent disability for the benefit ofrural landless households between the age group of 18 to 59 years.ü The Scheme is being implemented through the LIC of India and inter alias.ü The scheme provides for insurance of head of the family or an earning member of thefamily of rural landless household.ü 50% will be contributed by the central Govt. and the rest 50% will be contributed by the
  9. 9. state Government.General OverviewThe National Policy on Education - 1986 (External website that opens in a new window)envisaged setting up of model school, one in each district of the Country. Accordingly, ascheme was formulated under which it was decided to set-up co-educational residentialschools (now called Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas).Navodaya Vidyalayas (External website that opens in a new window) are fully residentialco-educational institutions providing education up to senior secondary stage. The scheme,which started with only two schools on experimental basis in 1985-86, has grown to 565schools (as on 31 March 2007) covering as many districts in 34 States/UTs, with over 1.93lakh students on rolls as on 31 March 2007. More than 30,000 new students are admittedevery year.Migration is a unique feature of Navodaya Vidyalayas scheme whereby 30 per cent ofstudents of Class IX from a Vidyalaya located in Hindi speaking area spend one academicyear in a Vidyalaya located in Non-Hindi speaking area and vice-versa to promote nationalintegration through understanding of the diversity and plurality of countrys people, theirlanguage and culture.Kendriya Vidyalaya SangathanThe Government approved the scheme of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan in 1962, on therecommendations of the Second Pay Commission. Initially, 20 regimental schools indifferent States were taken over as Central Schools. In 1965, an Autonomous Body calledKendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan was established with the primary objective of setting-up andmonitoring Kendriya Vidyalayas to cater to the educational needs of the children oftransferable Central Government Employees including Defence Personnel and Para-Militaryforces by providing common programme of education. At present, there are 931 KendriyaVidyalayas (as on 17 June 2005) out of which three Kendriya Vidyalayas are based abroadi.e., one each in Kathmandu, Moscow and Tehran. All Kendriya Vidyalayas follow a uniformsyllabus.Mid-Day Meal SchemeWith a view to enhancing enrollment, retention and attendance and simultaneouslyimproving nutritional levels among children, the National Programme of NutritionalSupport to Primary Education (NP-NSPE) was launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme on15th August 1995, initially in 2408 blocks in the country. By the year 1997-98 the NP-NSPE
  10. 10. was introduced in all blocks of the country. It was further extended in 2002 to cover notonly children in classes I-V of government, government aided and local body schools, butalso children studying in EGS and AIE centres. Central Assistance under the schemeconsisted of free supply of food grains @ 100 grams per child per school day, and subsidyfor transportation of food grains up to a maximum of Rs.50 per quintal.In September 2004 the scheme was revised to provide cooked mid day meal with 300calories and 8-12 grams of protein to all children studying in classes I-V in Government andThe Finance Minister has announced in the Union Budget 2007-08 that the Mid-Day MealScheme will be extended to cover children in Upper Primary Classes in 3427 EducationallyBackwards Blocks (EBBs) in 2007-08. A Budget provision of Rs.7324 crores has been madefor this purpose, representing 37% increase over the budget for 2006-he Scheme of SSA a national flagship programme, is being implemented in all districts of thecountry. The aim of SSA is to provide useful and relevant elementary education for allchildren in the 6-14 age groups by 2010. The scheme of SSA was launched in 2001. TheMahila SamakhyaPursuant to the objectives of the NPE, 1986, the Mahila Samakhya Scheme was started in1989 to translate the goals enshrined in the NPE into a concrete programme for theeducation and empowerment of women in rural areas particularly those from socially andeconomically marginalized groups. The MS scheme recognizes the centrality of education inempowering women to achieve equality. The Mahila Sanghas or womens collectives at thevillage level provide the women a space to meet, reflect, ask questions and articulate theirthoughts and needs and make informed choices.The Mahila Sanghas though various programmes and awareness campaigns have broughtabout a change in the outlook of rural women and the effects can how be seen in variousfacets of life at home within the family, the community and at the block and Panchayatlevels. The programme has also focused on awareness of the need to educate the children,especially girls, to give the equal status and opportunities which has resulted in a directimpact on enrolment and retention of girls in schools.The Mahila Samakhya Scheme is currently being implemented in nine States viz., AndhraPradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh andUttarakhand spread over 83 districts and covering more than 21,000 villages. From thecurrent financial year the programme is being extended to two new States i.e. Madhya
  11. 11. Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The budgetary allocation for the Scheme forth current financialyear i.e. 2007-08 is Rs.34.00 crores.Commitment in NCMP: The UPA government has set six basic principles for governance.One of them is "To provide for full equality of opportunity, particularly in education andemployment for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, OBCs and religious minorities". Besides,the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) of the UPA Government containsfollowing provisions aimed at the welfare and empowerment of these communities:UPA Government will take immediate steps to reverse the trend of communalisation ofeducation that had set in the past five-years.Steps will be taken to remove the communalisation of the school syllabus that has takenplace in the past five-years. A review committee of experts will be set up for this purpose.The UPA will ensure that nobody is denied professional education because he or she is poor.All reservation quotas, including those relating to promotions, will be fulfilled in a timebound manner. To codify all reservations, a Reservation Act will be enacted.The UPA Government is very sensitive to the issue of affirmative action, includingreservations, in the private sector.Special provisions: After independence, the Government of India has taken number of stepsto strengthen the educational base of the persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes andScheduled Tribes. Pursuant to the National Policy on Education-1986 and the Programme ofAction (POA)-1992, the following special provisions for SCs and STs have been incorporatedin the existing schemes of the Departments of Elementary Education and Literacy andSecondary and Higher Education (External website that opens in a new window):relaxed norms for opening of primary/middle schools; a primary school within one kmwalking distance from habitations of population up to 200 instead of habitations of up to300 population.Abolition of tuition fee in all States in Government Schools at least up to the upper primarylevel. In fact, most of the states have abolished tuition fees for SC/ST students up to thesenior secondary level.Incentives like free textbooks, uniforms, stationery, schools bags, etc., for these students.The Constitutional (86th Amendment) Bill, notified on 13 December 2002, provides for freeand compulsory elementary education as a Fundamental Right, for all children in the agegroup of 6-14 years.Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA):Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) (External website that opens in anew window) is a historic stride towards achieving the long cherished goal of
  12. 12. Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE) through a time bound integrated approach,in partnership with States. SSA, which promises to change the face of elementary educationsector of the country, aims to provide useful and quality elementary education to allchildren in the 6-14 age group by 2010.The main features of the programme are:Focus on girls, especially belonging to SC/ST communities and minority groups.Back to school campus for out of school girls.Free textbooks for girls.Special coaching remedial classes for girls and a congenial learning environment.Teachers sensitisation programmes to promote equitable learning opportunities.Special focus for innovative projects related to girls education.cRecruitment of 50 per cent female teachers.The University Grants Commission (UGC) (File referring to external site opens in a newwindow) which came into existence on 28 December 1953 became a statutory organisationby an Act of Parliament in 1956. It is a national body for the coordination, determinationand maintenance of standards of university education. It serves as a coordinating bodybetween the Union and State Governments and the institutions of higher learning. It alsoacts as an advisory body to these Governments and institutions on issues relating to highereducation.Section 12 of the UGC Act provides that the Commission shall, in consultation with theuniversities concerned, take all such steps as it may think fit for the promotion andcoordination of university education and for the maintenance of standards in teaching,examination and research. To teaching and research, extension was added as the thirddimension of education by the Commission. For the purpose of performing its functions, theCommission may allocate and disburse, out of the Fund of the Commission, grants touniversities and colleges for their maintenance and development; advise the UnionGovernment, State Governments and Institutions of higher learning on the measuresnecessary for the promotion of university education and make Rules and Regulationsconsistent with the Act, etc. The Commission consists of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and10 other members appointed by the Government of India. The executive head is Secretary.The University Grants Commission (UGC) has its Regional Offices at Hyderabad, Pune,
  13. 13. Bhopal, Kolkata, Guwahati and Bangalore. The Northern Regional Office which was earlierlocated at Ghaziabad has now been functioning from the UGC Head Quarters as NorthernRegional Colleges Bureau (NRCB). The UGC has taken up some new initiatives, viz.Promotion of Entrepreneurship and knowledge based enterprises.Protection of Intellectual Property Rights.Promotion of Indian Higher Education abroad.Training and development of Academic Administrators.Comprehensive Computerisation Initiative.The Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) (External website that opens in a newwindow), New Delhi, set-up in 1972, reviews the progress of historical research andencourages scientific writing of history. It operates research projects, finances researchprojects by individual scholars, awards fellowships and undertakes publication andtranslation work.The Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR) (External website that opens in a newwindow), functioning from 1977 with offices in New Delhi and Lucknow, reviews theprogress, sponsors or assists projects and programmes of research in philosophy, and givesfinancial assistance to institutions and individuals to conduct research in philosophy andallied disciplines.The Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) (External website that opens in a newwindow), Shimla set up in 1965 is a residential centre for advanced research in humanities,social sciences and natural sciences. It is a community of scholars engaged in exploring newfrontiers of knowledge aimed at conceptual development and offering interdisciplinaryperspectives on questions of contemporary relevance.The Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) (External website that opens in a newwindow), New Delhi, is an autonomous body for promoting and coordinating social scienceresearch. Its main functioning are to review the progress of social science research, giveadvice on research activities in government or outside, sponsor research programmes andgive grants to institutions and individuals for research in social sciences. The NationalCouncil of Rural Institute (NCRI) was set up in 1995 as a autonomous organisation fullyfunded by the Central Government to promote rural higher education on the lines of
  14. 14. Mahatma Gandhis revolutionary and voluntary agencies in accordance with GandhianPhilosophy of education and promote research as tool of social and rural development.The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) (External website that opens in a newwindow) established in September 1985, is responsible for the promotion of OpenUniversity and distance education system in the educational pattern of the country and forcoordination and determination of standards in such systems. The major objectives of theUniversity include widening access to higher education to larger segments of thepopulation, organising programmes of continuing education and initiating specialprogrammes of higher education for specific target groups like women, physicallychallenged and people living in backward regions and hilly areas, such as NE, KBK, andthose predominantly inhibited by tribals and SCs.The IGNOU provide an innovative system for tertiary education and training. The system isflexible and open in regard to methods and pace of learning, combination of courses,eligibility for enrolment, age of entry, method of evaluation, etc. The University has adoptedan integrated multimedia instructional strategy consisting of printed materials, audio-visualaids, educational radio and TV, teleconferencing and video conferencing supported by face-to-face counselling sessions through a network of study centres throughout the country. Itconducts both continuous evaluation as well as term-end examinations.The IGNOU introduced its programmes in 1987 and has so far launched 117 programmesconsisting of more than 900 courses consisting of Ph.D., Masters Degree Programmes,Advanced/Post Graduate Diploma, Diploma Programmes and Certificate Programmes, etc.During 2005 over 4.60 lakh students were registered for various programmes of study.The University has established an extensive student support services network consisting of60 regional centres, 7 sub-regional centres and 1298 study centres situated in differentparts of the country. IGNOU has established 269 study centres for women, SC/ST andphysically challenged persons. On 26 January 2001, IGNOU launched an education channelGyandarshan which is now a 24-hour channel and has capacity for six simultaneoustelecasts. In November 2001, IGNOU launched FM Radio Network for providing additionalstudent support. As of now, 17 FM radio stations are functional and this number shouldincrease to 40 FM stations in course of time. The launch of an exclusive educational satelliteEdusat is an historic opportunity for the growth and development of distance education tocreate Educated India and meet the aspirations of our people and empower them throughquality education. In the year 2005, the university established 100 Edusat supportedSatellite Interactive Terminals (SITs) in its regional/study centres all over the country.Distance Education Council, established by the University as a statutory authority, is an
  15. 15. apex body for coordination and determination of standards in distance education in thecountry.