Education in Karnataka – An Introduction
Karnataka – as it came to be known after the passage of the States Reorganisation
Act in 1973 was earlier the state of Mysore. It is located in the south west part
of the country. The state has a rich historic past and a rapidly progressive present.
Bengaluru is its capital which is also called the Silicon Valley of India. Karnataka
has emerged as the de facto pan-Indian leader in the field of information technology.
As per 2011 census the population of Karnataka was 61.13 million, of which the male
population was 31.06 million and female population was 30.07 million. The literacy
rate of Karnataka was 75.6%, of which the male literacy is 82.85% and female literacy
is 68.13%. The sex ratio of Karnataka was 968 females per 1000 males, which is much
above the national average of 940.
School Education in Karnataka
As of March 2013, Karnataka had 60,036 elementary schools with 3.13,008 teachers
and 8.39 million students, and 14,195 secondary schools with 1,14,350 teachers with
2.09 million students. There are three kinds of schools in the state, viz., government-run,
private aided and private unaided. The primary languages of instruction in most
schools are Kannada apart from English, Urdu and Other languages. The syllabus taught
in the schools is by and large the state syllabus (SSLC) defined by the Department
of Public Instruction of the Government of Karnataka, and the CBSE, ICSE in case
of certain private unaided and KV schools. In order to provide supplementary nutrition
and maximize attendance in schools, the Karnataka Government has launched a mid-day
meal scheme in government and aided schools in which free lunch is provided to the
students. A pair of uniforms and all text books is given to children; free bicycles
are given to 8th standard children. Statewide board examinations are conducted at
the end of the period of X standard and students who qualify are allowed to pursue
a two-year pre-university course; after which students become eligible to pursue
under-graduate degrees. There are two separate Boards of Examination for class X
and class XII.
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Higher Education in Karnataka
Karnataka is the higher educational hub of India. There are 652 degree colleges
(March 2011) affiliated with one of the universities in the state, viz. Bangalore
University, Gulbarga University, Karnataka University, Kuvempu University, Mangalore
University and University of Mysore . In 1998, the engineering colleges in the state
were brought under the newly-formed Visvesvaraya Technological University headquartered
at Belgaum, whereas the medical colleges are run under the jurisdiction of the Rajiv
Gandhi University of Health Sciences. Some of these baccalaureate colleges are accredited
with the status of a deemed university. There are 187 engineering, 289 Polytechnic,
39 medical and 44 dental colleges in the state. Udupi, Sringeri, Gokarna and Melkote
are well-known places of Sanskrit and Vedic learning. There is a women’s university
as well as a Kannada University in the state, apart from 3 agricultural universities.
A veterinary university has been set up during 2009-10. Due to the presence of numerous
institutions and industries the prospects of industry interface and employment is
very promising in the state.
Education in Karnataka – Future
The first engineering college in Karnataka was started by the then Diwan of Mysore
Sir M. Visvesvaraya in 1917 in Bengaluru and ever since Karnataka has always been
in the forefront of education in India. Karnataka is the most favored destination
for education aspirants of the country.