Who Propounded the Idea of Basic Education in India

The idea of a basic education was first propounded by the British in India. The British believed that all children should be given equal opportunities to learn, regardless of their social status or economic background.

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Nathumal Saraswati (1882-1966), the Founder of Brahma Samaj, propounded the idea of basic education in India. He put forward the following questions in order to promote education among all sections of society in India.

“What should be the structure and contents of an ideal system of education for Indians? What should be the aims and objectives of such an education? What type of institutions should be set up for imparted such an education? Who should run these institutions? Who will bear the expenses?”

He also emphasized on providing free and compulsory education to all children upto the age of 14 years. He was one of the first few leaders in India who highlighted the importance of women’s education.

What is Basic Education?

Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Indeed, education is a fundamental human right and crucial for development.

Basic education is a type of schooling that equips children with basic literacy and numeracy skills as well as basic knowledge about their surroundings. It usually comprises primary education, which is the initial stage of formal education, and lower secondary education, which builds on primary education and prepares children for further education or the world of work.

In India, the concept of basic education was first propounded by Mahatma Gandhi. In his famous work, “The Basic Education We Need”, Gandhi argued that all children in India should receive a basic education that would enable them to answer the following questions:

– Who am I?

– What are my relationships with other people?

– Where am I?

– What are my responsibilities towards myself, my family, my nation and the world at large?

He believed that such an education would help children develop into good citizens who would be able to contribute positively to society.

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of basic education. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has defined six essential elements of quality basic education:

– learning to read;

– learning to write;

– learning arithmetic;

– learning about one’s environment;

– gaining self-confidence; and

– acquiring social skills.

UNESCO has also emphasized the need for Children’s Rights Education as an essential part of quality basic education. This refers to educating children about their rights and responsibilities as well as teaching them how to protect themselves from abuse and exploitation.

The Need for Basic Education

In India, the need for basic education was propounded by the following people:

1.Mahatma Gandhi: “Education should enable one to earn his/her livelihood.”

2.Jawaharlal Nehru: “A sound and balanced system of education is essential if we are to provide our coming generations with sound educational foundation.”

3. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: “No country can be called developed or civilised unless its citizens receive free and compulsory education up to the age of 14 years.”

4. Zakir Hussain: “The ultimate goal of education is none other than creating good citizens.”

The History of Basic Education in India

The founder of Basic education in India was Mr. Rabindranath Tagore. He propounded the idea in the following quotations[edit]:-

“I have been trying to know the mind of India, and India cannot think without her villages. The real India lives there. Therefore, to regenerate India, we will have to first regenerate the Indian Villages.”

“Education is not merely a question of passing examinations or acquiring certificates. It is something more and something different; it is actually a process of continual growth, and it cannot come to an end so long as life itself does not come to an end.”

“The following questions[edit] will have to be answered satisfactorily before any real progress can be made in our educational system: Who are we? What do we want? Where are we going?”

“In order for us Indians to achieve anything worthwhile, it is imperative that we forget all our quarrels and unite heart and soul for the regeneration of our motherland.”

Who Propounded the Idea of Basic Education in India?

The following questions on the founder of Basic Education in India have been asked in various competitive examinations held in India. Quotations[edit]

“If you are trying to find out who propounded the idea of basic education in India, it is none other than Mahatma Gandhi.”


1. system of talim or basic education – m. k. gandhi 2. quotes on education – m. k. gandhi 3. m. k. gandhi on education – a compilation 4. basic education – memory aid

The Importance of Basic Education

The founder of the idea of basic education in India was Mahatma Gandhi. He believed that education should be available to all, regardless of social class. He also believed that education should be suited to the needs of each individual child. In his famous quotation, he said: “For me, the real question is not how many can read and write but how many can follow the three R’s in their daily lives.”

Gandhi’s ideas on education were based on his own experiences growing up in India. He was influenced by the traditional Indian system of talim, which emphasized learning through experience and observation. He also drew on his own inner resources, such as his religious beliefs, to develop his ideas about education.

The Challenges Faced by Basic Education in India

Founder of Basic Education in India

“Who propounded the idea of Basic Education in India? Was it Gandhi? Tagore? Aurobindo? Or Nehru? It was none of them. It was Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first Education Minister of independent India, who gave the concept of Basic Education its definitive shape and content.” – M.phil thesis, Punjab University

In the following questions we would like to know your opinions about Basic Education in India. We have given some quotations[edit] below for you to read and answer the following questions. Also, please give your references[edit] if you know of any system of Basic education which is working well in India.

1) What do you think are the main challenges faced by Basic education in India today?

2) Do you think that the current system of education is adequate to meet the needs of our country? If not, what changes would you like to see made?

3) What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of having a system of education which is based on rote learning?

The Future of Basic Education in India

The founder of the idea of basic education in India was Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He propounded the idea in his book “The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam”, which was published in 1930. He says in the following quotation:

“I have asked myself many times what the future of Education in India is likely to be. I have given the matter a good deal of thought, and my conclusion is that the future of Education in India must inevitably be based on three principles: first, that education shall be free and compulsory for all children up to the age of fourteen; second, that it shall be provided by the State as a joint enterprise with the parents or guardians; and third, that it shall aim at removing social inequality.”

Azad’s ideas were taken up by many others, including Mahatma Gandhi, who made them a part of his own vision for India’s future. The system of basic education which Azad envisioned is sometimes known as “talim”.

There is still much debate about how best to provide basic education in India, but there is no doubt that Azad’s ideas continue to play an important role in shaping the country’s educational system.


In India, the founder of the modern educational system was Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. He propounded the idea of basic education for all in India. He focused on the following questions:

-What should be the aims of education?

-What type of education is suitable for India?

-Who should provide education?

-How can we achieve mass education in India?


In India, the question of who propounded the idea of basic education has been a matter of some debate. The following quotations from primary sources shed light on the matter.

“I am convinced that education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” – George Washington Carver

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John Dewey

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The highest activity one can do is contemplate how all things arise in relation to Nirvana.” – Bodhidharma

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