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Universalisation of Elementary Education has been one of the most important and basics goals of educational development in India since Independence. Part IV of the Indian Constitution lays down the Directive Principles of State Policy. Article 41, under this Part says that “the State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to….education…” Article 45, under this Part deals with “provision for free and compulsory education for children”.

 In May, 1986, Parliament adopted a new National Policy on Education (NPE) and in August 1986, approved a detailed Program of Action (POA) for its implementation. The NPE states the goals of universalisation of elementary education and of eradication of illiteracy.

 About Teachers, the Education Commission (1964-66) had observed that “of all the factors that influence the quality of education……the quality, competence and character of teachers are undoubtedly are most significant”. But these in turn depend substantially on the quality of training and other support provided to them. Until the adoption of NPE, this support in the area of elementary education was being provided largely at the national and state levels only- by institutions like NCERT, NIEPA and SCERTs. By the time of adoption of NPE, elementary education system was already too vast to be adequately supported by national and state levels agencies alone. Provision of support to them in a decentralized manner had therefore become imperative. The NPE and POA accordingly envisaged addition of a third, i.e. district level support in the shape of District Institute of Education and Training (DIET). With this, expectation would be of wider quantitative coverage as well as qualitatively better support as these institutes would be closer to the field and therefore more alive to its problems and needs.

 Pursuant to the provision of NPE on Teacher Education, a centrally sponsored scheme of restructuring and reorganization of teacher education was approved in October 1987. One of the five components of the scheme was establishment of D.I.E.Ts

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