Sargent Scheme

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The Sargent Scheme, formally known as the Report of the Sargent Commission on Post-War Education Development in India, was a 1944 memorandum prepared at the behest of the British-run Government of India that outlined the future development of racy and education in India.[1]

Universal literacy[edit]

A central goal of the Sargent Scheme was the educational reconstruction of India.[2] It recommended the introduction of free and compulsory education for all Indian children in the 6-11 years age group.[2] The plan aimed to bring about universal literacy in India within 40 years of its introduction, i.e. by 1984.[3] The scheme went as follows:

1. Establishment of elementary schools and high school.
2. High schools of 2 types :

  A. Academic.
  B. Technical and Vocational

3. Intermediate courses were to be abolished.

Although the 40 year time-frame was derided at the time by leaders of the Indian independence movement as being too long a period to achieve universal literacy,[3] average literacy levels in post-independence India had only reached about 65% in 2008 (64 years after the scheme would have been launched) and were increasing only "sluggishly" at 1.5% per year.[4]


  1. ^ Ram Nath Sharma, Rajendra Kumar Sharma (1996), History Of Education In India, Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, ISBN 81-7156-599-9, ... John Sargent was the Educational Advisor to the Government of India. John Sargent was deputed to draw up a memorandum for the development of Indian education in the post-war reconstruction period. He submitted his memorandum before the Central Advisory Board of Education in 1944. The board accepted it in to and recommended its enforcement ... 
  2. ^ a b Indian Educational Acts, Jupiter Infomedia Pvt Ltd, ... named after Sir John Sargent, who was the educational Advisor to the Government of India ... envisaged the introduction of universal free and compulsory education for the children between the ages of 6 to 11 years ... 
  3. ^ a b India Talks - Amartya Sen, MediaWeb India, retrieved 2009-09-20, ... would make India literate in 40 years, and the nationalist leaders rightly laughed it out of court, on the grounds that India did not have the patience to remain for 40 years without Universal Literacy. Now 50 years have gone by, and the country is still half illiterate, two-thirds of the women are illiterate ... 
  4. ^ "India's literacy rate increase sluggish",, 2008-02-01, retrieved 2009-09-20, ... Literacy in India is increasing at a sluggish rate of 1.5 percent per year, says a recent report of the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) ... India's average literacy rate is pegged at 65.38 percent ...