In 2016 we, at Centre for Civil Society, argued that India needs an education policy that will keep children in school and ensure consistent and high learning outcomes. To do this, we recommended that the government of the day applying new public management strategies to education, away from ‘mission mode’ to systemic transformation - building capacity, encouraging competition for quality improvement, insisting on innovative and effective delivery, monitoring accountability, and targeting resources to individual students. Such a shift would involve a rethink of the governance and regulatory frameworks guiding school operations, public or private.
The National Medical Commission Act, 2019 has divided India’s medical fraternity, with some vehemently opposing it and others listing its many benefits.
Its proponents say the Act can reform other areas of professional education too, while its detractors believe that certain provisions “subjugate federalism at multiple levels”.
The National Medical Commission Act (NMC), which replaces the Medical Council Act, demands a better understanding.
We address three provisions of the Act that have invited maximum criticism. These are also the factors that can have a direct impact on other professional education domains if the NMC model of reforms is applied to them.
Setting standards through National Exit Test
Seventy- two years after Independence, our nation has no doubt emerged from backwardness in the social sector, but there are always discussions and debates about what has not been achieved or the big gaps to be filled across many areas. One such area is the education sector that has an important bearing on the economic growth and development of the nation.
At the time of parliamentary elections, it is usual for party manifestoes to discuss various issues the nation is facing and what they would do to solve them. Education doesn't appear prominently in the agenda of most political parties, although the assessment of the current scenario matched with promised solutions is an integral part. How feasible the solutions are, and how many of these will, actually, be implemented remains a question mark.
Times are changing. And with changing times, resources, be it of any kind, have witnessed change too. In order to keep pace with accelerating growth and development, a need for newer resources have become vital. This applies to energy too. The quest to develop renewable energy sources to their potential has seen many a research and study. One such unused potential lies in bamboo as a renewable source of energy. Why bamboo?! Well, simply because it is easy to grow, and grows fast, but, firstly, most of us need to understand even what bamboo, actually, is. Is it a tree? Is it a shrub? Is it a weed? Is it just plain grass? Did you guess the answer? Bamboo is a grass. You never thought it would be?! Well, most of us would not.
The Indian education system is on the move. Indian schools are now on par with the schools in the West and that Indian students are matching children from developed countries is true, but what is also a fact is 84% of the schools in India are in the small towns and farther away in the hinterland that does not match up with the adjectives. This mismatch is alarming and the disparity is a double edged sword.
The implications include a great opportunity to enter rural areas and develop schools and the talent that is untapped provides a ray of hope. J K Galbraith, the American ambassador to India in the early 60s remarked that India is a functioning anarchy rings true even today. However, in spite of the inadequacies, the Indian schooling system has done fairly well (read in urban areas).