Full History of Guidance and Counseling In India (1947 to date)

Guidance and counseling as we understand it today did not exist in India during the pre-colonial era. However, various forms of education and guidance were available.

During the precolonial era, education in India was largely the domain of the Brahmins, who were responsible for teaching Hindu religious texts and practices to the rest of the society. 

This education was largely focused on spiritual and moral development, rather than on vocational or career guidance.

During the colonial era, the British introduced Western-style education in India, which included guidance and counseling services. 

However, these services were mainly focused on preparing Indians for administrative and clerical jobs in the colonial bureaucracy, rather than on personal or vocational counseling.

After independence, the Indian government began to develop guidance and counseling services as part of its educational and social welfare policies.

Today, several government and private agencies offer guidance and counseling services to students, job seekers, and others in need of support and guidance. 

However, access to these services remains limited, particularly in rural areas, and there is still a significant need for more resources and trained professionals in this field.

In this post, we will be covering the history of guidance and counseling in India including the major milestones and key players that brought the profession to where it is today.

We’ll also be highlighting some challenges affecting the development of guidance and counseling in India currently.

Related: What Is Guidance and Counseling? (Overview, Types, and Scope)

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Historical Development of Guidance and Counseling In India

The onset of modern-day guidance and counseling in India goes back to Calcutta University where the first set up of psychological laboratory in India was present. That was in 1915.

That same year, Baltiboi, a retired accountant working in Calcutta was inspired by the efforts of a psychologist Mr. Mukerjee from Calcutta and Batliboi set up the Batliboi Vocational Guidance Bureau in Bombay with the sole purpose of providing guidance services to the community.

In 1945, a department of psychological services and research was established at Patna University and the Guidance movement received another push forward when trustees of the pars panchayat funds and properties established the Parsi Panchayat Vocational Guidance Bureau for the Parsi community in Bombay.

Another step forward was taken by the government of Uttar Pradesh when it gave official recognition to the movement by setting up a bureau of psychology at Allahabad in 1947.

Related: The Need For Vocational Guidance and Counseling In the Nation

In 1950, the Bombay Government established the vocational guidance bureau in Bombay renamed as Institute of Vocational Guidance Bureau in Bombay in 1957. 

In 1953, Dr. W L Barnet, an American professor, held a workshop for guidance workers in the country.

It was held at the Central Bureau Institute of Education Delhi, which is now known as the Central Bureau of Educational and Vocational Guidance (CBEVG)

At present, the Bureau of Educational and Vocational Guidance (CBEVG) is set up at the CIE Delhi under the centrally sponsored scheme of the government. The department continuously updates the status of guidance services in the country.

In India guidance services in schools have for a very long time been left in the hands of school teachers who are already overloaded and without training in guidance and counseling. 

Related: 15 Importance of Guidance and Counseling In Education

Recent developments in Indian education, especially the opportunity for free and universal education, have resulted in a new scale of problems in schools and the nation at large. 

Many children go to school without knowing what they are supposed to do and leave school without any idea of what type of jobs or careers they should follow.

In addition, they have little understanding of themselves and their socioeconomic and political environment.

Challenges Affecting the Development of Guidance and Counseling In India

There are several challenges affecting guidance and counseling in India. Some of which are

Lack of awareness

Many people in India are not aware of the benefits of guidance and counseling. As a result, they may not seek out these services when they need them.

Limited availability

Guidance and counseling services are not widely available in India, particularly in rural areas. This makes it difficult for people who live in these areas to access the support they need.

Stigma and cultural barriers

There is still a significant stigma attached to seeking help for mental health and emotional issues in India. In addition, some cultural and religious beliefs may discourage people from seeking counseling.

Related: Traditional Guidance and Counseling (Characteristics, Advantages, and Limitations)

Shortage of trained professionals

There is a shortage of trained guidance and counseling professionals in India. This limits the availability and quality of available services.

Related: How To Improve Counselor Training Programs 

Insufficient funding and resources

Guidance and counseling services require funding and resources to operate effectively. In India, there are limited resources available to support these services.

Related: How To Advocate for Guidance and Counseling

Language and cultural barriers

India is a diverse country with many different languages and cultures. This can make it difficult for counselors to communicate effectively with their clients and understand their unique needs.

Addressing these challenges will require a concerted effort from the government, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to increase awareness, improve access to services, and train more professionals in the field of guidance and counseling

Related: History of Guidance and Counseling In South Africa (1961 to date)


School guidance is developing very rapidly in many countries around the world. At the secondary level, there is tough competition among students to secure good marks in the exam and to secure a promising career which leads to frustration among students.

In such circumstances, the role of a school guidance program is very much important to help the students. Therefore, it is recommended that every school should have a proper guidance unit with several school guidance personnel who are there to help the students with their varied problems.

This will in turn help in enhancing the overall quality of education.

Career guidance and counseling need to be introduced as an integrated component of the curriculum at all stages of the school curriculum with diverse objectives depending upon the needs of the students in each stage of education.

This would ensure a strong foundation to make school students responsible and dedicated citizens of India.

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