Government of India is committed to achieving Universalization of Elementary Education by 2010. This entails a special thrust on girls' education as well as greater rigour in planning, targeting and actual implementing the interventions designed. Statistics reveal that despite the efforts that have been made, gender disparities persist in enrolment of girls, especially in rural areas and among disadvantaged groups. The disparity is more acute in the enrolment of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, especially at upper primary level.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has limited financial provisions for girls' education in the form of free textbooks and innovations at district levels. Thus, National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL) has been formulated for providing additional support for education of underprivileged/disadvantaged girls at elementary level. NPEGEL is a part of SSA and will be implemented under its umbrella but as a distinct and separate gender component plan of SSA.