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 Table of Contents  
EDITORIAL
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 135-137

The role of higher education in empowering Indian women


1 Quality Division, Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeshwara University, Mysuru, Karnataka, India
2 Registrar, Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeshwara University, Mysuru, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication5-Aug-2016

Correspondence Address:
Nilani Packianathan
Quality Division, Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeshwara University, Mysuru, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2278-344X.187791

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How to cite this article:
Packianathan N, Anushree S M, Manjunatha B. The role of higher education in empowering Indian women. Int J Health Allied Sci 2016;5:135-7

How to cite this URL:
Packianathan N, Anushree S M, Manjunatha B. The role of higher education in empowering Indian women. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Sep 20];5:135-7. Available from: http://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2016/5/3/135/187791

Knowledge is a distinguishing characteristic of human beings with a tremendous capacity to acquire and transfer knowledge from one generation to another, gaining prominence with advanced science and technology. Higher education is the gateway to economic security and opportunity particularly for women in India. Women are part of socio-economic system and they up hold rich cultural and traditional values. Their progress is equated with the progress of the nation. From 2000, many Indian women play a major role in Knowledge Societies as leaders, addressing issues on creating and adapting information and ideas at an accelerating speed to support economical growth and improved quality of life in India addressing issues such as Equity, Quality, Relevance and Access, proving that Indian women with any background becomes a contributing member of society through learning. The Indian Government has introduced policies and procedures with the goal of sensitizing the higher education system, recognize gender equity and increasing the number of women enrolling for higher education. Higher education for women in India has witnessed an impressive growth over the years and the Government is pooling resources needed to promote female education at all levels.

Higher education- "A Boon to Woman"

Knowledge is life of every Indian woman. It results with the experience that she gains from environment and the supporting world around her, which allow her to live as knowledgeable productive members of the society.

The homely environment with mother's love is the first source of learning for the child a and an educated mother would create an environment, allowing her children to gather and analyse information , which helps in adapting to bigger society in future. Critical thinking and analysis will make the children better members of society. To educate someone is to deliberately teach them something new and higher education for women is most powerful means to evolve through/beyond current economical and social crisis in India and to teach her children the art of thinking and analysis before entering the school for education.

Higher education leads a woman to "Complete living" with:

  1. Self-confidence

    Higher Education helps the women not only in gaining knowledge but also enables her to earn a living.
  2. Necessity of life

    Money is necessity in maintaining life and education helps in preserving life.
  3. Family welfare

    An educated woman plays an important role in a family, dealing with both Health care and financial support to the family.
  4. Involvement in Social and political activities

    Higher education helps women to have a better understanding of social and political processes beyond the home in far-reaching social structure and makes her a wise citizen with effective social and political action.
  5. Complete Living

    Complete living includes, being physically strong, earning a living, being a responsible parent and an earnest citizen.

    All these are not sufficient for a complete living if a woman does not consider:

    1. Ethical Value
    2. Spiritual value
    3. Social Value
    4. Intellectual Values.




The higher education helps women to be mentally and emotionally stronger and to face challenges and overcome obstacles in life and to be a complete woman.

Role of Indian Government in promoting gender equity in education [1]

Women constitute around 48% of the total population of India. Equity in education especially gender equity was one of the major issue in India and there has been a tremendous growth in women enrolling for higher education since independence (risen to 42%) , reducing the gender gap in higher education. 14.72% women have enrolled in professional courses and the highest being in Goa and the lowest in Bihar .

After independence various commissions and committees set up in India advocated its need for gender parity in all the stages of education. Kothari commission and the national policy on education and the programme of Action in 1992 put enormous emphasis on promotion of gender equity in education by reducing the gender gap in access, retention and transition from one stage to other. The national policy on education stressed that education will be used as an agent of basic change in the status of women. In order to neutralized the accumulated disadvantages of the past. The national policy for empowerment of women has been a remarkable achievement for women. The year 2001 was celebrated as women's empowerment year, which recognized women as agents of socio-economic change and development in the country.

Indian Government continues to encourage higher education for women through programmes like, Indira Gandhi scholarship for single girl child for pursuing higher and in order to support higher education through scholarships and by constructing women hostels and by capacity building for women managers in higher education.

Women Leader Women appointed as Chairpersons, Board of Governors of apex technical education institutes and in National Institutes of Technology (Nits). For the first time in the history of IITs, two women scientist nominated on the IIT council.

The following approached have been made during XI Plan,

  • To offer training programmes focused on increasing sensitivity to gender issues in respect of women managers
  • To make capacity building a women's movement.
  • To involve Vice-chancellors of the Universities or Principals of the concerned

    Colleges in the development of the programme with capacity building is through activities like sensitization, awareness, motivation workshops, development and distribution of resource material, research stimulation workshops, management skill workshops etc.



To improve the Social Group Equity, Government of India had Established Equal Opportunity Cells (EOC) for SC/ST/ OBC/Minorities. The UGC has assisted institutions to establish "Equal opportunity Cells" to oversee the effective implementation of policies and programmes for disadvantaged groups and to provide guidance and counselling in academic, financial, social and other matters. The Cell would also take up programmes to sensitize University/ Colleges on problems faced by Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) categories in higher education.

Government has also established Residential Coaching Academy for SC/ST/ Minorities and Women in Universities and Colleges and the aim of these schemes is to prepare students for NET and All India & State Civil Services examinations and UG/ PG level examinations.

Indian Government has also introduced Post-Doctoral Fellowship for SC/ST and Women and Post-Graduate Scholarships for SC/ST students in professional courses.

The Udaan program of the CBSE is dedicated to the development of girl child education, so as to promote the admission of girl students. About 951 students have been selected by the CBSE. The aim is to address the teaching gap between school education and engineering entrance examinations. It seeks to enhance the enrolment of girl students in prestigious technical education institutions through incentives & academic support. It offers free online supplementary lessons in physics, chemistry and maths specially prepared in the form of videos, text and practice tests on a tablet.

PRAGATI - Scholarships for Girl Child for Technical education aims at providing encouragement and support to girl child to pursue technical education. The scheme envisages providing a scholarship of Rs. 30000 and tuition fees Rs. 2000 for 10 months until the duration of the course. 4000 girls will be benefited every year with the restriction that only one girl per family with income less than 6 lakhs/annum will be considered. The Candidates will be selected on merit through the qualifying examination of the State.

The dropout ratio at various levels of education for girls is much higher than that of boys. Keeping Swami Vivekananda's ideas of women education and to promote girls education, UGC has introduced the Swami Vivekananda Scholarship for Single Girl Child for research in Social Sciences with an aim to compensate direct costs of higher education especially for such girls who happen to be the only girl child in their family.

Possible reasons for Indian women opting for Higher Education:

  • Encouragement by Government and Society
  • Ability to combine studies and work with family life
  • Decreasing discrimination against girls in families
  • Higher preparation for higher education, (evidenced by the scores in secondary education)
  • Higher aspirations to obtain tertiary degrees.
  • The feminisation of the teaching profession and a learning environment more conducive to girls' social and cognitive dispositions.



  Conclusion Top


In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, "If you educate the man, you educate the person but if you educate the woman, you educate the nation". One of the most significant transformations in education in India over the past several decades is the drastic increase in women's access to colleges and universities. Formulating and implementing stringent and powerful laws and policies have addressed the malice of gender discrimination of Higher Education. Most Indian women, with the possibility of economic independence, through respectable employment, have becomes an important earning member of the family. An educated woman has the skills, the self-confidence and the power to be a better citizen. Women have all the power and capacity as that of men and they are manifesting themselves amongst different opportunities provided through higher education.

 
  References Top

1.
MHRD Annual Report on Higher Education in India- 2014-15. Available from: http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/document-reports/Part1.pdf. [Last accessed on 2016 Jun 20].  Back to cited text no. 1
    




 

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