Last Date: 30.11.2014
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Swami Vivekananda was one of the great social thinker and pioneer in social reforms in India. He was chief disciple of Saint Ramakrishna Paramhansa. In a short life span of just 39 years, he introduced Vedanta and Yoga to the western world. Swamiji stressed on different aspects of religion, education character building and social issues pertaining to India. Swami Vivekananda believed that “Education is manifestation of perfection already in men”. To him education was not mere collection of information, but is more meaningful. He stressed that education should be man-making, life giving and Character building. Education is assimilation of noble ideas. He stressed to combine dynamic and scientific attitude of west with spirituality of our country. In women education he emphasizes on fearlessness. Swami Vivekananda considered women to be incarnation of power and asked men to respect them in every way. He believed that the nation can move forward only when the women of the country secure a respectable place. He considered men and women to be equal. He was of the view that women just like men should be allowed to enjoy freedom, independence and responsibility. Swamiji stressed upon the importance of women education and believed that the main reason behind various problems of women in our country was lack of proper education. He firmly believed that if women get proper education then they will solve their problems in their own ways. The main objective in his scheme of women education was to make them strong, fearless, and conscious of their dignity.
In our country like many other developing countries of the world, girl child is discriminated against from her birth, throughout her childhood and into her adulthood. It is very much evident from the skewed sex ratio in favor of men to women (men outnumber women) as sons are preferred over daughters. In many states the sex ratio is alarmingly low. The evil of female feticide is prevalent in most part of the country. The situation is not good for the society as this may further increase crime against women. The root cause of this discrimination is lack of education, indifferent attitude and practices of the society against girl child and status of women in our society. In such circumstances education of women needs to be used and effective means for their empowerment and education will prepare them to have a control over their lives. The Govt. of India declared elementary education as a basic human right of every child. The Union Government of India has taken various steps to uplift the status of women by implementing various schemes including free education for girls.
Promotion of women education is one of the main objective of our education policy. It is observed that the dropout ratio at various levels of education for girls is much higher than that of boys. Therefore new initiatives have become necessary to give girl child equality and dignity. In order to achieve state governments, central governments and UGC have started special schemes/scholarships for girls. The government of India is giving special benefits for families having single girl child. Promotion of single girl child in the family means promoting girls in the society, increase sex ration in favor of women and promotion of small family norm in the society.
Keeping Swami Vivekananda’s ideas of women education and to achieve and promote girls education, UGC has introduced Swami Vivekananda Scholarship for Single Girl Child for research in Social Sciences with an aim to compensate direct costs of higher education especially for such girls who happen to be the only girl child in their family.