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The Holy GrailIndia's Quest for Universal Elementary Education$
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R.V. Vaidyanatha Ayyar

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199463473

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199463473.001.0001

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The Long Journey

The Long Journey

Early Days

(p.54) III The Long Journey
The Holy Grail

R.V. Vaidyanatha Ayyar

Oxford University Press

This chapter briefly narrates the history of India’s quest for elementary education till 1986 when the National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986, came into effect. It outlines the nationalist discourse on education, and Mahatma Gandhi’s basic education which was the regnant model for universalizing elementary education for the first 15 years after Independence. It also outlines the debates in the Constituent Assembly over elementary education and concludes that hope triumphed over reality when the Constitution laid down that elementary education should be universalized within 10 years. It also describes the recommendations of the landmark Kothari Commission and the provisions of Independent India’s first National Policy on Education (1969). It concludes with a narration of the Constitution in 1976 which shifted the provisions relating to education in the State List to the Concurrent List.

Keywords:   Basic education, Mahatma Gandhi, Indian education Commission, 1882, Sarjent Committee, Kothari Commission, National Policy on Education, 1969, Constitution Assembly, Article 45, Constitution Amendment (1976)

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