1.The scheme of Assistance to Voluntary Agencies in the field of Adult Education was designated and started in the First Five Year Plan and was continued with the expanded scope in the subsequent plans. The National Policy of Education (NPE) 1986 has stipulated that non- governmental and voluntary organization including social activist groups, would be encouraged and financial assistance provided to them subject to proper management. The programme of action (POA) to operationalise NPE, 1986, inter-alia envisaged relationship of genuine partnership between the Government and Non-governmental Organization (NGOs) and stipulated that Govt. would take positive steps to promote their wider involvement by providing facilities to participate for selection of NGOs and grant of financial assistance to them.

2.Keeping the above back-drop in view, National Literacy Mission (NLM) visualized that diverse methods would be employed for identification of suitable NGOs, procedures of granting financial assistance to them streamlines and the NGOs may be involved on a massive scale for spread of the programmed by taking responsibility for eradication of illiteracy in well defined areas through field projects. The Scheme of Grants-in-Aid formulated in 1978 and 1982 was therefore modified with a view to bringing it closer to the objectives and strategies of NLM. The modified schemed described as "Central Scheme of Assistance to Voluntary Agencies-Partners in Literacy Action ", was put into operation in 1988 under NLM. Simultaneously steps were initiated by the Department of Education to make the scheme result-oriented, time-bound and cost-effective.

In view of widening horizon of association of NGOs with Adult Literacy Programme over the period of time , the scheme is now named `Scheme of Support to Non-Governmental Organisations in the Field of Adult Education’


The objective of the Scheme is to secure extensive involvement of NGOs in National Literacy Mission. The approach and process of providing financial assistance to NGOs is based on objectives and characteristics of NLM strategy.

NLM Objective

NML envisages imparting of functional literacy to non-literate persons particularly in 15-35 age group. NLM document defines functional literacy to include:

a) Achieving self-reliance in literacy and numeracy b) Becoming aware of the causes of their deprivation and moving towards amelioration of their condition through organization and participation in the process of development; c) Acquiring skills to improve the economic status and general well-being; d) Imbibing the values of national integration, conservation of the environment, women's equality, observance of the small family norms etc.,

3(2)The Main Characteristics of the NLM Strategy are:

  • Designing of functional literacy programmers with a view to increasing motivation
  • Securing peoples' participation
  • A significant increase in involvement of voluntary agencies
  • Improvement of ongoing programmers among other things by application of science and technology inputs better supervision, suitable training, pedagogical innovations, etc,
  • Launching of mass movement of functional literacy
  • Provisions of post-literacy and continuing education facilities particularly through establishment of Nodal and other CE centers and betters us of existing instructional facilities.
  • Ensuring availability of standard learning material and
  • Universalisation of outreach

    4. Activities Funded

    The activities funded under the Scheme will include:

  • Taking responsibility in well defined areas for eradication of illiteracy and running of post literacy and continuing education programmes
  • Organization of functional literacy component in developmental programmes such as health care women's development, environmental conservation, SC/ST development, poverty alleviation programmes etc
  • Undertake recourse development activities including curriculum development, production of teaching and learning materials, training of adult education functionaries, audio visual and other instructional training aids including establishment of Resource Centers
  • Innovation, experimentation, learner evaluation and action research including application of science and technology and pedagogic inputs for improvement of functional literacy and adult education programme
  • Programme evaluation including support to institutions of social science and research and of higher education for external evaluation
  • Help in creation of environment through support to the mass media fold and traditional media organization of jathas etc.,
  • Training of youth and other animators to facilitate implementation of NLM
  • Taking unvaried and comprehensive programmes for women’s development and eradication of female illiteracy.
  • Organisation of symposia seminars and conferences and publication of books, periodicals, newspapers wallpapers etc. for furtherance of objectives of NLM.
  • Any other activity as may be the appropriate for achievement of the objectives.
5. Components of the scheme

The above activities fall under the following broad categories:

Grants to NGOs for undertaking projects of basic literacy, post-literacy continuing education and other projects, including evaluation of literacy/adult education programmes Grants to Resource Centers

5.1The Projects to be implemented for eradication of illiteracy would include:

I.Total Literacy Campaigns (TLCs): These would primarily aim at providing basic literacy to enrolled learners in about 200 hours spread over about 6 months and would basically be a guided learning program. II. Post Literacy Campaigns (PLCs): Followed by basic literacy
programme of one-year duration. This would include guided learning of about 50 hours spread over 2-3 months culminating into self learning by making the learners self reliant.
III. Self directed continuing education in the perspective of lifelong learning through establishment of continuing education centers and launching of target specific need based and innovative programmes such as Equivalency Programmes (EPs) Income generating programmes (IGPs) Quality of life Improvement Programmes (QLIPs) and Individual Interest Promotion Programmes (IIPP)

6. Eligibility Criteria:

a) Registered voluntary societies, public trust and non-profit making companies would be eligible for assistance under the scheme. Ordinarily agencies, which are not legal entities, would not be eligible. However, agencies, which are not legal entities, may be considered for assistance provided the Collector/deputy Commissioner certifies regarding the practical difficulties owing to which they could not be registered and regarding the bona-fides of such organizations.

b) In order to be eligible for financial assistance under this scheme, an organization (NGO) should:

i. Have a proper constitution, Memorandum of Articles of Association
ii. Have a properly constituted Managing/Governing Body with its powers and duties clearly defined in its Constitution
iii. Be in a position to secure the involvement on a voluntary basis of knowledgeable persons for furtherance of its programmes
iv. Not be run for the benefit of an individual or body of individuals
v. Not discriminate against any person or group of persons on grounds of sex, religion caste or creed
vi. Be secular and democratic in character and should do nothing which may incite communal disharmony
vii. Not directly function for the furtherance of interest of any political party
viii. Non-proselytic
ix. Eschew violence and
x. Not have been set up by State Government/UT Administration including State Social welfare Advisory Board, Municipalities, Panchayat Raj Institutions, Government Corporations/ Committees
c)A registered society or public trust fulfilling requirements as eligible, spelt out in (b) above may be given assistance for mobilization involvement and for provision of financial support to other voluntary agencies, Social Activist groups and individuals. The Grants-in-aid Committee should carefully examine the credentials of the "lead organization" and satisfy itself about its reliability and capability. The criteria for assistance by the "Lead Organization" to other agencies, its responsibility for proper utilization of funds by the implementing agency and the nature of its accountability should be clearly laid down.
d) Only those eligible agencies, which have been in existence for 3 years or more, would be considered for assistance under this scheme. This requirement may be waived-off in respect of agencies with specially qualified workers or which can otherwise justify a special consideration The resource Center will be funded centrally. Innovative projects and projects of Al India Level NGOs will be sanctioned at national level which regional level projects will be sanctioned at State level by State Literacy Mission authorities;


Assistance given under the Scheme will be institution based and released to the head of the Institution/Organisation.

The Institution/Organisation eligible and desirous of undertaking a project will apply in the prescribed form along with the project proposal giving plan of action in accordance with Guidelines.

7. 1 The Proposal should contain the following:

a) Objectives: The focus and orientation as well as specific objective spelt out in detail.
b) Justification : A precise identification of the target group and the problem to be tackled.
c) Relevance of action programme : A statement in concrete terms as to how the results of the project will contribute to achievement of objectives of NLM.
d) Approach and methodology : Area of operation the number of illiterates in each village/block, the details phasing of the project and time schedule for completing each activity.

The plan formulation should clearly indicate implementation strategy, the management structure, monitoring and evaluation, mechanism and financial estimates

e) Project duration: Time required for completing the project and submission of reports. Project proposals should be formulated with minimum possible duration, which should not normally exceed two years though in exceptional cases involving difficult areas the duration of project upto 3 years is permissible.

f) Staffing Pattern : The number and type of supporting staff, the period for which required and remuneration
g) Budget/Financial requirements : Broken down under different items like remuneration for staff, office expenditure, program expenditure purchase of ready material etc.,
h) Institutions contributions ; The extent of contribution proposed by the institution/organization towards the cost of the project

7.2.Application: Two sets of application alongwith the project proposal will be submitted to:

The Under Secretary (Voluntary Agencies)
Department of Education
Ministry of Human Resource Development
C- Wing Shastri Bhavan
New Delhi 110 001

8.Screening of Proposals:

8.1.The application will be screened. Innovative projects and project of All India Level Non Government Organizations will be considered by Central Grant in-Aids Committee constituted by the Ministry of HRD, Chaired by Jt. Secretary (AE) and DG (NLM)

The composition of the committee will be as follows :

*Joint Secretary (Adult Education) and DG (NLM) ----Chairman
*FA (HRD)Member
*Director CAPART Member
*DS/Director Voluntary Agencies Member Secretary
1.(X) Other members representing, States, NGOs working in the social sector and adult educationists.

8.2.Application in respect of projects to be executed at State/District level will be forwarded by the Ministry to the Secretary SLMA of the state concerned At state level the Executive Committee of SLMA will consider the proposals

9.Pattern and Extent of Assistance:

The eligible institutions will be given 100% financial assistance towards the Program Costs as well as Administration Costs. In respect of projects for eradication of illiteracy, pattern of funding will be at the rates adopted for the Scheme of Literacy campaigns and scheme of continuing education

For other projects grant-in-aids committee/EC SLMA will determine the financial patter keeping in view such guidelines, as may be evolved for this purpose from time to time .

10.Release of Grants:

On approval of the project, grant will be released to the agency in two installments (or on annual basis for projects of duration more than one year)

10.1 The first installment shall be released immediately after issue of the sanction Subsequent installment will be released on request by the NGOs after utilization of 75% of first installment alongwith a progress report and statement of expenditure. Release of grants in second and subsequent years will be made on a similar basis provided that before release of the second installment in a particular financial year (beginning with the second year) the utilization certificate and audited statement in respect of grants released till the end of the proceeding yea shall be furnished.

10.2 Release of grants to NGOs implementing projects for eradication of illiteracy shall be further regulated on the basis of number of persons proposed to be made literate in each year/cycle taking into account the approved per learners cost.

The first installment of admissible grant limited to 50% of the projected number of persons will be released immediately after sanction of the project

The second and subsequent installments of the grant will be regulated with regard to number of persons actually enrolled and expenditure actually incurred during the proceeding phase/cycle

For this purpose expenditure incurred by the NGO in respect of all items of Program Costs excepting expenditure in respect of Basic teaching learning materials may be admitted.

Expenditure under the sub-item of Basic Teaching-learning Materials will be restricted to the number of persons actually enrolled

11.Withholding of Grants: Release of grant to NGOs may be withheld at any stage, if the NGOs:

*fails to furnish prescribed progress reports (MIS) in time or *if the reports indicate unsatisfactory implementation of project by NGO

12. Disbursement

On receipt of the Sanction Letter the NGO will submit to the Secretary SLMA/or to the Ministry as the case may be in original

*A bond executed in the prescribed form *A pre-stamped receipt for the grant proposed to be released in the sanction letter *A resolution adopted by the Executive Committee of the organization accepting the terms and conditions of the sanction and also undertaking to implement the program as per norms.

Grant will be remitted tot the NGO public trusts, non-profit making company directly by the Demand Draft.

13.Extension of the Project

Normally no extension of project will be given. In exceptional cases, the NGO may apply for extension alongwith Modified Operational Plan, income expenditure statement, receipt and payment account and Balance Sheet of the organization as a whole for last year and the report of work done to the authority who sanctioned the project.

14.Terms and Conditions

The following general conditions will be complied with by any institution/organization receiving assistance under the scheme:

1) The institution/organization will maintain the account and get the final account accounts for the year audited by Govt. auditors in case of institutes whose accounts are audited by Govt. auditors or by a Chartered Accountant as the case may be and submit these in original to the Ministry /SLMA alongwith the utilization certificates on completion of the project or within 6 months from the close of the financial year whichever is earlier.

2) The institute organization will not accept or apply for any financial aid from any other source towards the project approved under this scheme except with prior approval of the Ministry.

3) The final Progress Report in respect of completes project should be sent alongwith the final audited accounts. Audited accounts should always be prepared item-wise according to the sanction.

4) The grantee agency will be required to prepare quarterly progress report on the project or as prescribed and submit to the Ministry/SLMA alongwith a statement of expenditure actually incurred during the quarter. It will also be required to record a certificate to the effect that the expenditure has been incurred in accordance with sanctioned grant.

5) Separate account will be kept of the project/seminar receipts and expenses even though some of the items of expenditure may be common with that incurred by the institution/organization on other activities.

6) The account equipment etc related to the project for which assistance is received under this scheme will be made available for inspection by an officer authorized by the Ministry/SLMA. The accounts relating to the project shall be open to check also by the Controller and Auditor General of India or his nominees at his discretion.

7) The institution/organization shall prepare and maintain a record of all assets acquired wholly or substantially out of grants received under the scheme. Such assets shall not be disposed of encumbered or utilized for other purposes without prior sanction of the Ministry.

8) The grantee agency will be required to complete the study and submit the final report to the Ministry/SLMA within the stipulated duration of the project.

9) The project may be externally evaluated after completion by an agency nominated by the Ministry/SLMA

10) The grantee shall be liable to refund the entire grant amount together with damages at the rate of 6% p.a. interest there on for any violation of the terms and conditions mentioned in the scheme/govt. sanction from the date of enactment of the check/bank draft for the amount sanctioned for the project provided that the Govt. in its discretion may relax the date for the purpose of calculation of interest to provide for such interest to be charged on a subsequent date.

11) The decision of the Secretary to the Govt. of India in the Ministry of HRD, Department of Education or the Head of the Department administratively concerned with the matter on question whether there has been breach or violation of any of the terms and conditions mentioned in the sanction letter shall be final and binding on the grantee.

15.Grants to Resource Centers

The Resource Centers provide academic and technical resources support to the adult education program. Establishment of Resource Centers started in 1976-77. These are functioning with the Non-Governmental Organization and Universities. Every state of the country is catered by one or two resource centers.

16.Principal Functions

Principal functions of these Resource Centers are:

Preparation of teaching learning and training material for literacy programs

Training literacy functionaries
*Action research
*Evaluation & monitoring of literacy projects
*Undertaking innovative projects to identify future needs of literacy programs

17.Setting up of New SRCs

With the gradual expansion of total literacy, post literacy and continuing education programs new resource centers will be opened keeping in view the need to provide adequate and good quality technical resource support to the field programs. New resource centers will be opened under the aegis of NGOs or University.

Following factors will be considered for setting up new Resource Centers

*Size of the adult education/literacy programs in the states
*Number of projects in progress
*Projects proposed to be taken up during IX five-year Plan period under various schemes of Adult Education e.g. Scheme of literacy campaigns and schema of continuing education.
*Density of population one resource center to serve 3 to 5 million learners.


The Resource Centers will be graded into two categories depending upon the workload and the size of the program in the area of jurisdiction The quantum of assistance has been appropriately fixed for each grade of Resource center.

19.Financial Pattern

The Resource Centers are eligible for two kinds of financial assistance:

19.1 Annual maintenance grant: Broadly clubbed under three items of expenditure: Emoluments, office and programs expenditure.
S.I .No ITEM A Category B Category
1 Emolument 35 23
2 Program Expenditure 18 12
3 Office Expenditure 7 5
Total 60 40

19.2 One time grant of RS .50 lakhs for A Category SRCs and .40 lakhs for B Category SRCs to cover all requirements of infrastructure facilities viz. Accommodation, vehicle, teaching learning and training equipment.


The SRC will engage staff as per requirements on lump-sum emoluments on contract.

21.Re-appropriation of funds:

Generally the ceiling imposed under each broad category of expenditure should be adhered to. The general principles governing the re-appropriation under each item of expenditure would be as under

21.1 Salaries

As in the initial years, the provision under this item may not be utilized in full; the savings may be appropriated to Program Expenditure, if required.

21.2 Office Expenditure:

It is expected that the provision made under this item should be adequate. However, if excess expenditure is anticipated on account of purchase/replacement of certain office equipment on account of any unforeseen/unavoidable expenditure, this re-appropriation may be allowed from the saving under ‘salaries’ with the prior approval of the Governing Body of the SRC.

21.3Program Expenditure

While the Governing Body of the SRC may allow re-appropriation into the allocation made for Programs it shall not make any re-appropriation out of the allocations made for Programs’ for augmenting allocations for Administrative Expenses.

It would be desirable that approval of the Governing Body for re-appropriation is obtained when the representative of the Central Government is also present


Proposal for setting up a RC will be submitted to the Director (Voluntary Agencies), Adult Education Bureau, Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development. Including: Two copies of application in the form appended alongwith * Project Proposal
* An undertaking by the NGO to register the Resource Center separately under the Societies Registrations Act under the aegis of the Parent NGO.


1. One copy of the application will be sent to the Govt. of the State in which the Resource Center is proposed to be established for comments.

2. A pre appraisal will be done to examine feasibility and justification of the project


The proposal will be placed before project approval Committee of NLMA for approval Sanction will be issued as in case of other projects on approval of PAC.

25.Annual Maintenance Grant

Before the commencement of financial year Annual Action Plan with budget proposal will be submitted to the Ministry. The annual grant approved will be released in 2 to 3 installments. Terms and conditions will be same as for other NGOs.

26.Settlement of accounts:

Accounts in respect of all grants will be settled annually for maintenance grant and on completion of activity duration for lump sum grant.

27.One Time Grant SRCs may be provided one time financial assistance to cover all requirements of infrastructure facilities, viz. accommodation, vehicle and teaching learning equipment, subject to a ceiling of RS .50 lakhs for A Category Resource Center and RS .40 lakhs for B Category Center. The one time assistance approved would ordinarily be required to be utilized within a period of one year from the date of release of first installment. The grant would be released in three installments as follows:

* Installment - 50% to be released immediately after issue of the letter of sanction
*Installment - 40% to be released upon receipt of intimation regarding utilisation of 75% of the first installment.
*Installment - 10% last and final installments which may be released only after all documents in respect of the work to be done/material to be purchased are received in the Ministry. In the case of construction of building a ‘certificate of completion’ from the Architect duly endorsed by the Executive Engineer of the Central Public Works, Department, wherever the same exists or the state Public Works Department having jurisdiction over the area

Audited statement of accounts in respect of a building grant should be received within six months after release of the third installment.


The NGOs should ensure that the program becomes a project of community involving all sections of the population. For this purpose, it will be necessary to set up a committee for the project as a whole, with sub-committees separately in charge of materials, monitoring, post-literacy, finance, etc. The personnel appointed in the project should report to these sub-committees regularly. Similarly master trainers and volunteers should report with details of progress achieved to village committees which in turn will report to the project co-ordinators. The project co-ordinators should in turn report to the concerned sub-committee at the block level. Monitoring of the project will be done through computerized Management Information System (MIS) as per prescribed format, which will be supplied alongwith, the sanction letter.

NGOs are required to send an initial report of the project soon after commencing of the project and thereafter Quarterly Progress Reports to the following authorities:

*Under Secretary (VA), Department of Education, Ministry of HRD, ‘C’ Wing Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi.
*Secretary SLMA of the State in which functioning.

NGOs are also expected to send an annual Project Report (APR)/Final Report soon after the project is over. Initial progress report/quarterly progress report/any other report may be sent through a single letter addressed to the sanctioning authority with a copy endorsed to the other authority mentioned above. Resource centers will also send quarterly Progress Report (MIS-I) and annual progress report (MIS-II)


Every project sanctioned to the NGO including the Resource Centers will be liable to be evaluated by agency/institute nominated by the project sanctioning authority. I.e. Govt. of India or State Literacy Mission Authority. A system of self evaluation shall be a part of the programmed organized by each NGO Evaluation shall include

*Review regarding fulfillment of objectives *Feedback for the improvement of the program particularly curriculum, methods, cost an organization *Impact of the programmed on beneficiaries,

Jan Shikshan Sansthans - District Repositories

The earlier scheme of Shramik Vidyapeeth will continue with a modified approach and the new nomenclature of Jan Shikshan Sansthan. Under the Ninth Plan, the activities of the Jan Shikshan Sansthan have been enlarged and infrastructure strengthened to enable them to function as a district repository of vocational/technical skills in both urban and rural areas.Jan Shikshan Sansthans, will be classified into three categories depending on the nature of the city/town and the quantum of work. The performance of the Jan Shikshan Sansthan will be appraised by reputed institutions and accordingly upgraded or downgraded on the basis of the evaluation reports. The revised parameters of the scheme are:

Name Shramik Vidyapeeth Jan Shikshan Sansthan
Classification Two Categories(A & B) Three categories(A&B)
Financial pattern Recurring Rs.12.30 lakh to cat.A
Rs.8.00 lakh to cat.B
Rs.35 lakh to category A
Rs.25 lakh to category C
Non-recurring Not existing(one-time grant for equipment,vehicle,etc.) Rs.15 lakh to category A
Rs.10 lakh to category B & C
Building grant Not existing Rs.20 lakh to old as well as new JSSs
Opening of new JSSs 5 per annum 1999-2000 20
2000-2001 15
2001-2002 15

The challenge of creating a learning society is a formidable one, more so for a nation of one billion people that began its nation-building efforts with such great disadvantages. The National Literacy Mission has been making a modest contribution to the whole process by involving the community in the educational advancement of the people.