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Ancient India -
In ancient India, we have had the tradition of social education which was
aimed at a well-planned, happy prosperous and developing society. Gurus,
Rishi-Munis, Story Tellers, Orators etc. created awareness among people. The
awareness was created towards social organization, morality and social
responsibilities by various methods, discourses debates, religious songs and
some constructive work models in our society.
Social reformers like Mahatma Jotirao Phule, Mahatma Gandhi, Sant Gadge
Maharaj, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar etc. made significant contributions in the
domain of social awareness leading to important reforms.
At the end of the British rule, the popular interim Governments in various
states developed the concept of social education which emerged to widen the
scope of Adult Education to give it a social base to broaden dimensions of
citizenship and nationalism.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first Education Minister of independent India
“By social education, we mean education for the complete masses. It will
give them literacy, so that knowledge of the world may become accessible to
them. It will teach them how to harmonize themselves with the environment in
which they subsist:” (1949).
After independence, a new beginning was made for a balanced and
multi-dimensional development of the nation. Sufficient stress was laid on
community development in order to achieve the desired objectives. Special
emphasis was on the active public co-operation. In the “community
development programmes”, literacy was a major component at block level.
Efforts were made to spread literacy with local resources.
The National Board of Adult Education was set up under the Chairmanship of
Dr. V.K.R.V. Rao, the then Union Minister of Education. Education was
brought closer to the life of communities. The youth were motivated to
participate in such programmes for National Development.
Domain of Higher Education -
Bombay University -The Bombay University was one of the oldest Universities
in our country which was set up by the British Government in 1857 as per the
model of London University.
The area of Bombay University was so vast that it was not possible to give
importance to Regional Culture. Therefore, many new Universities came into
existence during the period 1947 to 1955. Poona University was established
during 1949 at Pune.
Barrister Jayakar, the first Vice-Chancellor of Poona University has made
the following observations about the vital role of our University in Social
Since its inception in 1949, the Poona University considered its social
responsibility towards community through Social Education. Extra Mural Board
was established for having a link between the University and community
through various extension activities.
Commitment of Higher Education-
Changing Needs and Changing Programmes through years –
Continuing Education –
During 1970-71, University Grants Commission convened three National
Seminars in three Universities. The theme of these Seminars was “Social
Commitment of Higher Education for Betterment of Community”. These seminars
became the foundation for the establishment of Centers for Continuing
Education in some Universities. The University of Pune was at the fore-front
to start the Centre for Continuing Education in 1972.
Different types of Education Programmes were introduced in 1972 for the
betterment of Students, Teachers, Community Leaders, and Social Workers with
an emphasis upon self-reliance, income generation, personality development
and social transformation.
Plan for Continuing Education -
During 1973 a comprehensive course was organized by the University Grants
Commission, at Madras University, for the experts and faculty working in the
Centers for Continuing Education in various Universities. This resulted in
an Action Plan for Continuing Education Programmes for Universities in the
The Centre for Continuing Education at University of Pune undertook a
special programme for Rural Education. This special programme was
implemented with the help of College students who came from rural areas.
University Grants Commission’s policy (1977) –
The University Grants Commission’s policy 1977 states that-
“If the University system has to discharge adequately its responsibility to
the entire educational system and to the society as a whole, it must assume
Extension as the third important responsibility and give it the same status
as Research and Teaching”.
During 1977, when the UGC policy was declared, Continuing Education was the
major programme implemented by the Non-Agricultural Universities in the
Extension: Concept and Features –
The role of Extension in Higher Education is very important. The University
Grants Commission had initially visualized ‘Teaching’ and ‘Research’ as the
prime objectives of Higher Education. However, after realizing the role and
responsibilities of the educated people towards the society, the University
Grants Commission has included ‘Extension’ as the third and an important
dimension, equal to ‘Teaching’ and ‘Research’. Extension involves
transmission of knowledge, skills and values to individuals, groups or the
community at large.
distinct features of extension are as follows :
Participation of students, teachers, colleges/universities in Community
Strengthening of higher education with realization of social realities.
Personality development of students for better achievements in life.
Enrichment of quality higher education institutions, which are imparting
Increasing cordial rapport between society and higher education.
Bridging the gaps between higher education and society.
Extension Activities :
In view of
achieving the noble objective of ‘Extension’, co-ordination and
collaboration is necessary with various Institutes and Departments.
at Different Level –
The Department has developed linkages with several Government,
Non-Government and Developmental Organizations at various levels –
International – UNESCO, UNICEF, UNFPA, Canadian International
Development Agency, FAO, WHO, COADY International Institute, Canada,
World Literacy, Canada.
National – University Grants Commission, National Literacy Mission,
Directorate of Adult Education, Ministry of Women and Child Welfare,
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
State – State Resource Centre, Directorate of Continuing Education,
Department of Social Welfare, Department of Education.
Others – All Universities in the State, Non-Governmental Organizations,
Social Organizations, Affiliated Colleges & Recognized Institutions.
The University of Pune had planned a low cost alternative in upgrading
knowledge level, employable skills and attitudes conducive to people’s
participation in development. The colleges were engaged at grass root level
as representatives of higher education, for undertaking meaningful field
work within the context of this programme. It was expected that these
villages with Village Planning Committees should develop a programme as per
their expectations. This programme has been very much popular in the area of
Integrated Village Development Programme –
The University had tried linkages with International Agencies. The
Department had submitted a project proposal on the theme ‘Integrated Village
Development’ to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) through
COADY International Institute, Canada.
A regular Training Programme was conducted for College Principals, Faculty
and Village Leaders, by the department in collaboration with the experts
from COADY Institute. Each College had adopted minimum two villages / a
cluster of villages for overall development. There was a very good response
to this programme from the Villages as well as Colleges.
Adult Education Programme -
The National Adult Education Programme was taken up by the Universities
after it was launched by the Government of India during 1978-79. Department
of Adult, Continuing Education and Extension, University of Pune implemented
this programme in 1,000 centres thereby reaching 30,000 people per year. All
these centers were in the selected communities that were adopted by the
colleges affiliated to Pune University.
University Grants Commission’s Guidelines (1982) -
As per the University Grants Commission’s guidelines in 1982, the Department
of Adult, Continuing Education implemented the following programmes:
for Functional Literacy (1986) -
With the introduction of Mass Programme for Functional Literacy in 1986,
there was a shift from Centre based approach to individual based-voluntary
approach. With this shift, there was an increase in the involvement of
students and youth. The special feature of this programme was
Each one – Teach One’ or
Each one – Teach a small group of five illiterates’
The training package including resource material was developed and used by
the University Department. The resource material was distributed to the
colleges for use by the Adult learners in their centers.
The University Grants Commission initiated the establishment of planning
forums during 1985. These Planning forums were established in Universities
and affiliated colleges. The basic objective of planning forums was to
create awareness among the students, about the relationship between Planning
Population Education in Higher Education System –
Population Education Clubs:
The University Grants Commission, in collaboration with United Nations
Population Fund (UNFPA), launched the programme of Population Education
during 1985. This programme was launched through the Adult Continuing
Education Departments in various Universities.
The basic objective of establishment of Population Education Clubs at
College level was to create awareness among students and community about the
relation between population, development and quality of life. There was an
over- -whelming response to the Population Education Club activities in
Population Education Resource Centres:
In order to assist the Population Education Clubs, with technical and
academic support, the University Grants Commission, in collaboration with
the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) initiated the establishment of
Population Education Resource Centres in the Departments of Adult Continuing
Education in selected Universities during 1986-87. One such Population
Education Resource Centre has been established in the Department of Adult,
Continuing Education sat University of Pune.
Development Programme – 1989-90:
According to the guidelines from the University Grants Commission, an
integrated one umbrella approach was to be adopted by the Department while
implementing various extension activities such as -
Campaign - 1993:
The Department of Adult, Continuing Education at University of Pune has
played an important role in the success of the Total Literacy Campaign
Programme in Pune District (1993). It is noteworthy that in the Total
Literacy Campaign for Pune District, instead of the District Collector, the
Vice-Chancellor, University of Pune was the Chairman of the Total Literacy
During the Xth Plan period, the University Grants Commission has given
thrust upon need-based e-learning programmes through the Adult, Continuing
Education Departments. At present the Department has taken up various
activities on the following themes:
XIth Plan and
Department would continue its march-
To help the society- to be ‘a learning society ‘- in the era of
During the XI th Plan, the University Grants Commission
Has taken a decision to change the nomenclature of the Adult Education
Departments, in all the Universities in India. In the near future, the name
of these departments will be- ‘Department of Life-long Learning & Extension