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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.

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.

 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.

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.

Education is not readily accessible. The problem is of quality and equity. Here of some ideas on how to address those issues.

The Annual Status of Educational Report (ASER) 2017 brought to light the Beyond Basics survey conducted on students between the age group of 14-18. Founder president of the Centre for Civil Society, Parth J Shah, demands that the entire data be uploaded on public domain as a lot of it is lost in processing.

Talking to News18's Eram Agha, Shah explained the various stages of data, what is lost in processing and data models practised worldwide for evidence-based policy:

The Right to Information (RTI) Act provides an almost perfect template for any law that guarantees a particular right to citizens that is justiciable. It provides a reliable architecture for effective and accountable governance of any rights claim within the Indian context. With more than 12 years of experience, the foundations on which the RTI is built have been proven to be solid. By all accounts, RTI has been successful in fulfilling its basic purpose.

2018 will be a historic year for Indian education policy. The Kasturirangan Committee will release the New Education Policy, outlining the principles, policies and, perhaps, specific programmes and pilots that will guide education delivery in the country. This year will also usher in a new era of evidence-based education policy discussions and debates, based on systematic annual assessments. The latter, to my mind, can permanently change the nature of the discourse on education policy in the country. It will reduce the influence of anecdotes and ideologies and compel people to confront the reality on the ground.

India's Constitution, in its 68 years of existence, has been heralded as a "living document". The constituent assembly was emphatic in ensuring that future generations do not suffer from the absolutism of the old men from the 1950s. With more than 100 amendments, India has the longest Constitution in the world. While fostering these changes is one part of being a "living document", discarding the waste is the other critical part. The plethora of static, obsolete and often colonial laws make it seem, even after 70 years of independence, that the exiled colonial master is still in power.