2.1 DPEP financing would be covered as per parameters set out below:

Additionality of DPEP Resources

1. As DPEP is externally funded it is subject to the parameters of external assistance approved by CABE at its 46th meeting held on March 8-9, 1991 and reiterated by its 47th meeting held on August 5-6, 1992. One of these parameters is that external funding should be additional to the resources for education. This would, in operational terms, mean that DPEP cannot finance:

(i) Salaries of sanctioned but unfilled posts.

(ii) Salaries of posts that should have been created as per the State Government norms such as teacher posts that ought to be created as per the teacher-pupil ratio.

(iii) Salaries of posts transferred to DPEP, e.g., if some of the functions relating to textbook development are transferred along with posts to a Textbook Development Board to be financed by DPEP, the posts transferred would not be financed.

DPEP would finance coverage under State Government schemes only over and above the level that the state would itself cover each year.

Safeguard of Investment in Elementary Education

2. Inextricably linked to and flowing from the principle of additionality, is the need to safeguard existing expenditure on elementary education. This would help enable DPEP resources to remain an additionality. It is therefore a basic requirement of DPEP that at least 1991-92 levels of expenditure on elementary education are maintained in real terms.

Utmost Parsimony in Expenditure

3. The DPEP seeks to operationalise Para 7.4.6 of the programme of Action 1992 which enjoins that an ethos of cost effectiveness and accountability should permeate every part of the education system. This ethos is all the more necessary for DPEP as it is largely financed by external debt. In operational terms this would mean, inter-alia, that administrative overheads should be a bare minimum (the 6% ceiling on administrative cost is a ceiling and not an entitlement). DPEP would not finance expansion of supervisory cadres, or activities having no proven direct educational salience.

4. The cardinal principle is that every proposal has to be appraised and found to conform to the criteria of relevance, feasibility and sustainability.


5. DPEP would not finance non-educational incentives such as free uniforms, incentives for attendance, nutrition, etc. Only provision of free textbooks to girls, SC/STs would be financed in project districts in States which do not have such a scheme.


6. A central concern of the POA of 1992 is the convergence of the services such as primary education, health, ECCE etc. DPEP would prefer measures to promote convergence wherever such services exist rather than replicating the services. Thus DPEP would not finance setting up of ECCE Centres in villages covered under ICDS. Instead, it would seek to bring together the ICDS and the primary school. Likewise it would not seek to replicate medical services or supplies in schools but would facilitate diagnosis of learning disabilities through medical check-up of students and better linkages between PHCs and the schools. Activities and process which would promote these convergence would be financed.

7. At another level convergence would be attempted amongst the various DPEP programme components and processes. An example is the convergence of reduction of academic burden (cf. Yashpal Committee); MLL, multi-grade teaching, gender sensitivity, training, development of instructional materials and learners evaluation. Another is involvement of VECs in the setting-up, facilitation and supervision of NFE centres.

Phasing and Innovation

8. Basic to the DPEP is the premise that there are large “unknown” areas that are crucial to the achievement of UEE. Innovation, which is critical to DPEP, entails systematic trial, evaluation, scaling and phasing. It would be expedient to move systematically and in a phased manner. Programme implementation can begin with core known programme components and progressively add on more and more components. All new programmes and strategies that have been either untested or are still at a nascent stage need to be systematically planned and their implementation staggered.

Local Area Planning

9. DPEP stresses participative process whereby the local community would play an active role in promoting enrolment, retention, achievement and school effectiveness. This process would be institutionalized through the Village Education Committee and bodies like Mother-Teacher Association. In line with this approach of participative decentralized planning DPEP would not fund supply of standardized packages of teaching-learning equipment, furniture and other materials to schools. Instead VEC and the school would be facilitated to improve the school facilities according to locally felt needs and priorities, through provision of an amount of Rs 2000 per school per annum to be jointly operated by the VEC and school. In addition the school will be provided an amount of Rs 500 per teacher to procure consumables and to develop, prepare and acquire low cost teaching aids.

State and District Component

10. The State Component is intended to provide the resource and management up for the implementation of the district components. The state component should therefore comprise activities having direct relevance to the district components. As already spelt out the state component would comprise, inter-alia, development of MIS, training modules and instructional material. The financing of the end-products of these developments would be limited to DPEP districts.

Inter-District Disparities

11. The basic premise of DPEP is contextuality. Therefore the relative emphasis on access, equity, quality and achievement would vary from district to district. Therefore in appraisal the DPEP National Management Structure expects inter-district variations in programme components and investment patterns.

Systematic Preparation

12. The first year of implementation would focus on putting systems in place and setting processes in motion. This would include:formation of bodies like VECs, Mother Teacher Association;

awareness building campaigns for providing the necessary institutional infrastructure for stepping up enrolment, retention and for facilitating performance of schools and NFE centres;

building up the training infrastructure by strengthening capacity of DIETs, setting up Block Resource Centres and school clusters;

setting in motion processes such as development of training modules and materials, reduction of academic burden and improving the efficiency in production and distribution of learning materials.

National Components

13. Greater clarity has emerged on the national component and on the overall programme design. The national components are now perceived to comprise:

(i) setting up of management structure at the National level

(ii) Development of MIS

(iii) Technical assistance to DPEP States in Project Planning and Management

(iv) Technical assistance in Pedagogy. This will include among other thingsrationalization of academic burden (as per Yashpal Committee)development of prototype training modules,programme for teaching numeracy and reading skills, etc.

(v) Programme Evaluation and Research

(vi) Appraisal, Supervision and Monitoring arrangements for DPEP.

Programme Design

14. The programme design broadly encompasses the following inter-related and mutually reinforcing areas:

(i) Building institutional infrastructure for action research, training and academic supervision through augmenting/network/setting up of institutions at the national, state, district and sub-district levels;

(ii) Building community support for primary education through institutions like VEC, MTA and setting in processes such as awareness campaigns, micro-planning and training of the functionaries of VEC, MTA;

(iii) Enhancing school effectiveness in terms of its reach (enrolment), grasp (retention), classroom transaction and learning achievement;

(iv) NFE systems to reach out to those who would be still left in spite of efforts to enhance school effectiveness;

(v) Convergence of ECCE, primary schooling and health;

(vi) Programmes and process with a focus on girls, SCs and STs.


15. DPEP would finance expansion of ECCE through establishment of ECCE centres in villages not eligible to be covered by ICDS. In states with limited experience of ECCE, new ECCE centres would be financed initially on a limited scale only, in one district, or in one block per district, where inter-district variations are substantial. The activity could be scaled up gradually over the project period. The DPEP would not finance nutrition.

16. In order to improve the quality of ECCE, DPEP would finance development of pre-school materials and training of functionaries in the ECCE centres set up under DPEP. It would also finance the training of ICDS Anganwadi/Balwadi workers in forging linkage with schools.


17. DPEP would strive for the development of an effective NFE system which can meet the diverse educational needs of children whom the school, in spite of all the measures designed to improve its effectiveness, would not reach. To this end, DPEP would finance:

(i) to begin with, NFE centres as per the GOI scheme in states which are not covered by that scheme.

(ii) development of a variety of NFE models;

(iii) extension coverage of viable and scalable NFE models and instructional materials;

(iv) production and distribution of material for NFE programmes financed by DPEP in project districts.

(v) training related to NFE financed by DPEP.


“To provide for the Integrated Education of the Disabled Children DPEP will fund interventions for the Integrated Education of primary school going children with integrable and mild to moderate disabilities. Towards this end DPEP will support:

1. Community Mobilization and Early Detection

i) interventions for community mobilization and parent contact so as to identify type, degree and extent of disabilities amongst the primary level age group. As far as possible these efforts will be integrated with on-going environment building and micro-planning activities. Relevant data from the available sources and surveys will also be tapped.

ii) early detention of disabilities amongst pre-scholars and provision for necessary skill building for the parents and the children in ECCE and school readiness programmes started under DPEP. In areas covered by other similar programmes, DPEP will coordinate with that programme to provide support for the above purpose, where necessary.

2. In-Service Teacher Training

iii) development of skills and competencies for early detection of disabilities, functional assessment, use of aids and appliances, implementation of individualized education plans and monitoring of progress in all primary school teachers through in-service teacher training programmes. This training should be recursive at block and cluster level and integrated with on going in-service teacher training schedules and all training modules at SCERT, DIET & BRC level should include a suitable component on integrated education.

3. Resource Support

iv) garnering resource support for integrated education at block/district level through arrangements with NGOs and other organizations having expertise in this field. Wherever necessary, DPEP will resource technical support with requisite personnel and equipment at block level in order to provide guidance and technical assistance to primary school teachers, the community, the parents and children of that area. Such a facility will need to be supported by the State Govt. after the project period is over.

v) Strengthening of DIETs in the field of Integrated Education to facilitate development of suitable in-service training modules, providing training to master trainers and continuous resource support to BRCs and CRCs for integrated education.

vi) A Programme Officer for Integrated Education at the DPEP district project office.

vii) the setting up of an advisory State Resource Group for integrated education in DPEP with at least three experts in this field.

viii) an apex level resource group at the national level to provide guidance, technical and academic support to Integrated Education under DPEP.

4. Educational Aids and Appliances

ix) provision of essential rehabilitation and educational aids and appliances to primary school children, as per an approved list. Such items may be purchased through DPEP funds subject to first assessing available aids and appliances under existing schemes of the Department of Education, The Ministry of Welfare, Govt. of India, etc.

5. Architectural Designs

x) development of innovative designs for primary schools and removal of architectural barriers in existing schools to provide an enabling environment for children with disabilities”.

Educational Planning and Management

18. DPEP would finance, subject to a ceiling of Rs 3 crores, strengthening of state capacities in the area of educational planning and management which could include inter-alia, setting up of a separate SIEMT, augmenting state level structures such as SCERTs by creation of additional units for this purpose or contracting services of existing resource institutes in the state such as IIMS for training, research and related activities.


19. Financing of salaries would be on a declining basis, that is to say beginning with 90% in the first two years, declining to 80% for the third, fourth and fifth year, and 65% in the sixth and seventh year of the project. The average works out to 75% of the salaries. In terms of these guidelines DPEP would finance teachers’ posts in new schools being financed by DPEP. Depending on the practice in a State, construction of school building can either precede or follow the opening of a school. It is expected that as a result of the interventions in DPEP, there would be substantial improvement in enrolment. Therefore, with effect from third year of the project, teachers’ posts would be financed on a school to school basis where the extra enrolment and the teacher-pupil ratio (with reference to the first year of the project) warrant such appointment.

20. DPEP would finance new posts created in institutions set up under DPEP such as ECCE centres, Block Resource Centres, school clusters and State Institutes of Education and Management, and in the State level societies and their units in the districts.

21. DPEP would also finance extra posts created in existing institutions such as DIET, SCERT for assisting DPEP.

22. However the salaries of existing state government officials holding positions in DPEP on an ex-officio basis and salaries of supervisory and administrative staff at secretariat, district and sub-district level, will not be financed by the DPEP. Wherever amalgamation or up-gradation of existing structures is proposed, state government’s commitment towards meeting salaries of existing posts would be carried over so that DPEP finances salaries of only additional staff.

Civil Works

23. DPEP will finance civil works (limited to 24% of project cost) such as construction of new primary schools, new class rooms, major repairs and rehabilitation’s of schools, construction of toilets, residential schools, rooms at ECCE centres, water supply and electrification, SIEMT, and other state educational facilities as approved by DPEP. Maintenance would be financed as per state norms and be within the 24% ceiling.

24. DPEP would not finance construction activities in aided or private schools, NGOs, other associations or groups.

25. Constructions of offices would not be funded under DPEP barring office space for the State Society on a small scale within the SIEMT or SCERT only.

26. DPEP would finance construction of residential schools for Scheduled Tribes from the second year of the project onwards following proven evidence of demand from the community and independent evaluation of similar schools.

School Facilities

27. Grants of Rs.500 per teacher per annum would be provided to the schools for teaching learning aids and consumables. Further, a grant of Rs 2000 per annum would be provided jointly to each school and VEC for improving school facilities such as books and journals (other than textbooks), furniture health check up, and bettering school environment, etc. No other financing would be provided to schools for equipment.

28. All new schools constructed under DPEP in the first instance would be provided with furniture as per state norms. Once established and functioning, they would also qualify for the grant for teaching learning aids and facilities as above.

Furniture and Equipment for Other Institutions

29. DPEP will finance equipment needed for state society offices, the district units of the societies, MIS cells in state and project district, in SIEMT, SCERT, BRC, school clusters and other educational facilities as justified in the proposals and approved by the DPEP.

30. Procurement procedures for all equipment to be acquired under DPEP have to conform to approved procedures, which would be spelt out shortly.

Improvement and Up-gradation of Learning Content, Process and Materials

31. DPEP will finance a design for learning processes and materials based on rationalization and reduction of academic burden (as recommended by Yashpal Committee Report); principles of minimum Levels of Learning; and multi-grade teaching concepts. DPEP financing for this purpose would be limited to development of a design up to camera ready stage, only. Financing of printing of learning materials would be for the purpose of field trials only. Costs of distribution of learning materials would not be borne by DPEP. DPEP would also finance :

¾ improving efficiency in the processes of production and distribution of teaching/learning materials.

¾ provision of free learning materials to SCs/STs and girls in project district (if not already financed by State Government).

¾ printing and distribution (in project districts) of teachers’ handbooks and student workbooks (if not already financed by State Government).

Awards/Incentives, etc.

32. DPEP would not finance non-educational incentives for improving school attendance and retention such as midday means, nutrition, free uniforms. It would also not finance cash scholarships/awards except an awards programme for schools that could be organized at block level with a view to promote competition amongst schools in area such as enrolment and retention of girls, SCs/STs. The award winning school can use the award for acquiring educational material or facilities in the schools.


33. Vehicles can be provided under the project as follows:

State level : One vehicle for State Project Director, two vehicles for common pool, one for Director of SIEMT and one for common pool of SIEMT.

District level : One vehicle for District Programme Coordinator and vehicles for common pool calculated at the rate of one vehicle for every four blocks; One vehicle for DIET for academic supervision through BRCs and school clusters.

Procurement of vehicles should be staggered as per need.

Teacher Training
34. DPEP would finance in project districts training of :teachers of primary schools including private and aided schools; pre-primary teachers/workers other than those under ICDS; administrative staff; VEC/MTA members and NGOs.

35. It would also finance, for use in DPEP districts, development and printing of training materials, development of training modules for teacher training, ECCE and educational management.

36. All pedagogic training modules should integrate as far as possible the MLL, multi-grade teaching, gender sensitivity, environmental and other relevant concerns.


“DPEP will fund a National level Distance Education Programme as support to the on-going effort for training teachers and other personnel in primary education.

DPEP will support :

Core project staff at the national level for designing, developing, producing and delivering distance learning inputs and materials.

Strengthening institutions at national, state, district and sub-district levels in designing, development, producing and delivering learning inputs and material through recruitment of personnel, their training and acquisition of equipment and materials.

Development of materials an training inputs for the client group.

Strengthening of DIETs as contact/study centres for the Distance Education Programme.

Audio-visual equipment at BRC/CRC levels”.

37. In order to encourage innovations at all levels, innovation funds would be set up at the district, state and national level. Innovation fund would be provided according to the following scale:

In each DPEP district level, a fund of Rs 1 lakh per annum. The cost of a single project should not exceed Rs 1 lakh; its duration should not exceed one year. This fund would be administered by the district unit of the State society. At the state level, a fund of Rs 20 lakh would be provided per annum. The cost of a single innovative project should not exceed Rs 5 lakhs and its duration should not exceed two years.

at the national level, a fund of Rs 100 lakh would be provided per annum. Each individual project should not cost more than Rs 20 lakhs.

38. No diversion from these funds to other activities would be permissible. Innovative projects could be taken up from the second year onwards. NGOs, institutions like SCERTs, SIEMT, DIETs, BRCs, school clusters can be financed.

Other Programme Costs

39. DPEP would also finance other programme costs, such as Consultant services, professional fees; Grants to NGOs and institutions like IIMs for support to programme activities

Research, evaluation studies, impact studies;



40. The above list is not exhaustive. As programme evolves and new activities come up, the eligibility for DPEP financing will be decided by the Project Approval Board at the national level.

Forty Years of Arun C Mehta at NIEPA: 1980 to 2019 (e-Book)

Forty years of Arun C Mehta at NIEPA: 1980 to 2019

Times of India, New Delhi, 21st September 2021

UDISE, Interview of Prof. Arun C Mehta in Times of India, New Delhi, 21st September 2021