Education For All (EFA) in India & SDG


Free and compulsory education to all children up to the age of fourteen is the constitutional commitment in India. Despite spectacular quantitative expansion in every sphere of elementary education, the goal to achieve universal enrolment is still a far distant dream in a real sense. While adopting the constitution in 1950, the goal of UEE was to be achieved in ten years i.e. 1960. Keeping in view the educational facilities available in the country at that time, the goal of UEE was far too ambitious to achieve in a short span of ten years. Hence, the target date was revised several times.

During the decade 1991-2001, a number of Centrally Sponsored Schemes, as well as, new programmes and projects were initiated across the country. The Operation Blackboard scheme initiated in 1987 also got momentum during this period so as the large number of District Institutes of Educational Training (DIETs) established across the country.

The Andhra Pradesh Primary Education Project, Bihar Education Project, UP Basic Education Project, Lok Jumbish and Shiksha Karmi projects of Rajasthan and District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) were the main state-specific programmes initiated during 1991-2001. The mid-day meal scheme was also initiated during this period. Primary education remained the focus of all these programmes. The DPEP which came to an end in 2000 was implemented in 272 districts across 18 states.

SDG 4: Education in India – Empowering the Nation’s Future 2023

One of the most recent programme, namely Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) was launched by the Government of India in 2001envisaged covering all non-DPEP districts before the end of the Ninth Five-Year Plan with a focus on the entire elementary level of education. The most recent programme launched by the Government of India is Samagra Shiksha details of each of these programme is presented in this website:

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