National Policy on Education
The National Policy on Education (NPE) is a policy formulated by the Government of India to promote education amongst India's people. The policy covers elementary education to colleges in both rural and urban India. The first NPE was promulgated in 1968 by the government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and the second by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1986. It emphasizes three aspects in relation to elementary education:
- universal access and enrolment,
- universal retention of children up to 14 years of age, and
- a substantial improvement in the quality of education to enable all children to achieve
- Revival of Sanskrit and other classical languages for contemporary use
Since the nation's independence in 1947, the Indian government sponsored a variety of programmes to address the problems of illiteracy in both rural and urban India. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, India's first Minister of Education, envisaged strong central government control over education throughout the country, with a uniform educational system. The Union government established the University Education Commission (1948–1949) and the Secondary Education Commission (1952–1953) to develop proposals to modernise India's education system. The Resolution on Scientific Policy was adopted by the government of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister. The Nehru government sponsored the development of high-quality scientific education institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology. In 1961, the Union government formed the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) as an autonomous organisation that would advise both the Union and state governments on formulating and implementing education policies.
Based on the report and recommendations of the Education Commission (1964–1966), the government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi announced the first National Policy on Education in 1968, which called for a "radical restructuring" and equalise educational opportunities in order to achieve national integration and greater cultural and economic development. The policy called for fulfilling compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14, as stipulated by the Constitution of India, and the better training and qualification of teachers. The policy called for focus on learning of regional languages, outlining the "three language formula" to be implemented in secondary education - the instruction of the English language, the official language of the state where the school was based, and Hindi, the national language. Language education was seen as essential to reduce the gulf between the intelligentsia and the masses. Although the decision to adopt Hindi as the national language had proven controversial, the policy called for use and learning of Hindi to be encouraged uniformly to promote a common language for all Indians. The policy also encouraged the teaching of the ancient Sanskrit language, which was considered an essential part of India's culture and heritage. The NPE of 1968 called for education spending to increase to six percent of the national income. As of 2013, the NPE 1968 has moved location on the national website. 
Having announced that a new policy was in development in January, 1985, the government of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi introduced a new National Policy on Education in May, 1986. The new policy called for "special emphasis on the removal of disparities and to equalise educational opportunity," especially for Indian women, Scheduled Tribes (ST) and the Scheduled Caste (SC) communities. To achieve these, the policy called for expanding scholarships, adult education, recruiting more teachers from the SCs, incentives for poor families to send their children to school regularly, development of new institutions and providing housing and services. The NPE called for a "child-centred approach" in primary education, and launched "Operation Blackboard" to improve primary schools nationwide. The policy expanded the open university system with the Indira Gandhi National Open University, which had been created in 1985. The policy also called for the creation of the "rural university" model, based on the philosophy of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, to promote economic and social development at the grassroots level in rural India.
The 1986 National Policy on Education was modified in 1992 by the P.V. Narasimha Rao government. In 2005, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh adopted a new policy based on the "Common Minimum Programme" of his United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. Programme of Action (PoA), 1992 under the National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986 envisaged conduct of a common entrance examination on all India basis for admission to professional and technical programmes in the country. For admission to Engineering and Architecture/Planning programmes, Government of India vide Resolution dated 18 October 2001 has laid down a Three – Exam Scheme (JEE and AIEEE at the National Level and the State Level Engineering Entrance Examinations (SLEEE) for State Level Institutions – with an option to join AIEEE). This takes care of varying admission standards in these programmes and helps in maintenance of professional standards. This also solves problems of overlaps and reduces physical, mental and financial burden on students and their parents due to multiplicity of entrance examinations.
- Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)/Right to Education (RTE)
- National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL)
- Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) for development of secondary education, launched in 2009.
- Inclusive Education for the Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS IEDSS)
- Saakshar Bharat (Saakshar Bharat)/Adult Education 
- Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) for development of higher education, laucnhed in 2013.
- (PDF). National Council of Educational Research and Training http://www.ncert.nic.in/html/pdf/FinalNCERT_ProfileBrochures.pdf. Retrieved 2009-07-12. Missing or empty
- . National Informatics Centre. pp. 38–45 http://www.education.nic.in/policy/npe-1968.pdf. Retrieved 2009-07-12. Missing or empty
- "National Education Policy 1986". National Informatics Centre. pp. 38–45. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
- "National Education Policy 1986". National Informatics Centre. pp. 38–45. Retrieved 2009-07-12.[dead link]
- "National Policy on Education, 1986 (As modified in 1992)". HRD Ministry. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
- "AIEEE". HRD Ministry. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- Ministry of Human Resource Development. "Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan". National Informatics Centre. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan". EdCIL (India) Limited. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Saakshar Bharat". Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- Nitin (13 November 2013). "What is Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyaan (RUSA)?". One India Education. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- Joshee, Reva (2008). "Citizenship Education in India: From Colonial Subjugation to Radical Possibilities". In James Arthur; Ian Davies; Carole Hahn. SAGE Handbook of Education for Citizenship and Democracy. SAGE. pp. 175–188. ISBN 1412936209.