Education in India flourished during the 19th century under the British rule. The capital of Himachal Pradesh, i.e. Shimla, was the summer capital of India during the British colonialism. This was somewhat beneficial for the state regarding its education. Gorton Mission School was established in Kotgarh, Shimla as the oldest school in Asia in 1843. Thereafter many other reputed convent schools were established in the state. Some of the most famous and oldest among them are listed below:

  • Lawrence School, Sanawar (1847)
  • Bishop Cotton School, Shimla (1859)
  • Convent of Jesus and Mary, Chelsea, Shimla (1864)
  • Auckland House, Shimla (1866)
  • Loreto Convent, Tara Hall, Shimla (1895)
  • Sacred Heart School, Dalhousie (1901)
  • St. Edward’s School, Shimla (1925)

After independence, there was a spurt in literacy within the state. Educational enhancement was one of the primary goals of the Government. As a result, many educational institutions have been set up in the region including a number of Kendriya Vidyalayas, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, D.A.V institutions etc. and today the statistics stand as under:

  • Primary schools- 10484
  • Middle schools- 1056
  • Secondary/higher secondary schools- 1339
  • Government Degree Colleges- 64
  • Government Universities- 3
  • Private Universities- 16
  • Government Medical Colleges- 2
  • Homeopathic Medical College- 1
  • Government Engineering Colleges- 12

Apart from the above conventional educational institutions, there are many other famous non-government educational institutions like:

  • Dear Park Institute (for classical Indian wisdom traditions)
  • Dharmalaya Institute (for earthen architecture in traditional Kangra style and eco-tourism)
  • Shantideva Homeopathic Research Institute (for healthy lifestyle training)

Famous Educational Institutions
Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry situated in Solan is another marvel of education in the allied sector. Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital in Shimla and Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital in Kumarhatti are considered pioneers of medical excellence in Himachal Pradesh. The state also possesses Himachal Dental College in Mandi as the first recognized dental institute of the region. Some of the most famous educational institutions that have sprung up in the recent times are:

IIT, Mandi

  • Institute of Bioresource technology, Palampur
  • National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur
  • Jaypee University of Information and Technology, Waknaghat (1st private university in the state)
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Government Engineering College, Sundernagar

A number of scholarships provided by the government in order to boost up the level of education in Himachal. Some of them include:

  • IRDP scholarship scheme (for students belonging to IRDP families).
  • Scholarship for the children of Armed forces Personnel killed or disabled during wars.
  • High school merit scholarship.
  • Dr. Ambedkar Medhavi Chhatervriti Yojna (for SC and OBC)
  • Thakur Sen Negi Uttkreshta Chhatervriti Yojna (for ST students)
  • Swami Vivekananda scholarship scheme (based on merit)
  • Vocational training programme (for SC-ST Youth)
  • Maharishi Balmiki Chhatervriti Yojna (for girls of Balmiki families)

Due to all the efforts made by the Government for the upliftment of education in the state, Himachal Pradesh has the second highest literacy rate next to Kerala with Hamirpur as the district with highest literacy in the country. The Sarv Shiksha Abhiyana of the Central Government has done wonders (especially in primary education) for the education system of Himachal Pradesh. Himachal has given scholars and perfectionists to the world in many fields and is continuing with the same rigorous effort towards the knowledge imparting goal of the government.