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Abstract

Due to the enormous benefits of education on the lives of individuals and its contribution in the overall development of a nation, all the developed and developing countries along with international organizations are giving dominant priority to education in their development agenda. Immediately after its independence, India starts working for the universal elementary education for all. The country remains quite proactive in educational policy planning to realize the goal of free and compulsory elementary education for all. However, under the impact of globalization, the educational policy planning in India has observed a change. This paper is an attempt to highlight that change through the study of growth and development of national education policies for universalization of elementary education in India. The analysis of these policies has indicated that considerable progress has been registered in universalization of elementary education in India, but even today, there are significant gender and social gaps in the access of education in the country. The recent National Education Policy has pointed out these gaps and suggested many reforms to eliminate such gaps in the provision of education. However, like National Policy on Education (1986), the new policy has also been criticized for promoting alternative forms of schooling for different kinds of students.

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