Roundtable chaired by Shri Anil Swarup On reforming School Education
Following our meeting with Shri Anil Swarup, Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy, MHRD earlier in January, we hosted a roundtable on school education on 22 March in New Delhi. Chaired by Shri Anil Swarup, the roundtable aimed at reorienting policy focus to address the key challenges in enhancing education delivery in India. It brought together 25 prominent educationists, practitioners, investors and policy experts to dialogue on the need for and nature of reforms in school education. Amongst the participants were Amit Chandra, Managing Director, Bain Capital; Ashish Dhawan, Founder & Chairman, Central Square Foundation; Parth J Shah, President, Centre for Civil Society; Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, Professor, University College London; Anu Aga, Rajyasabha MP; Luis Miranda, Chairman, Centre for Civil Society; and Amit Kaushik, CEO, Australian Council for Research (India).
Three key recommendations were presented at the roundtable:
- A clear separation of the government's role as regulator, financier and provider of education
by Luis Miranda
- Per-student funding through vouchers, direct cash transfers or reimbursements by Parth J Shah
- Learning outcomes-based recognition and regulation of schools by Geeta Gandhi Kingdon
The presentations were followed by a dialogue on the various policy challenges and solutions in school education, particularly addressing student assessments, teacher recruitment and training, technological solutions for data-driven decision-making, and the role of CSOs and private investments in reforming education.
Read more about our meeting with Shri Swarup here and our policy recommendations here.
For more details on the roundtable, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
PROMOTING JUDICIAL EFFICIENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY: IDEA WINS!
In a remarkable win for us, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Law Minister, has sought the intervention of the Chief Justice of India to promote the ease of doing business in the country by shifting to electronic service of summons and filing of cases.
As a part of our initiative for promoting the Ease of Doing Business in India, we have proactively advocated judicial reforms for expediting the judicial process. The electric service of summons is an important component of the enforcing contract index and has been one of CCS's core recommendations for judicial reforms. The recommendation was also a part of our presentation to the Law Commission of India earlier in November and December. Read our recommendations here, or find the media story here.
In another win for our campaign, the Supreme Court ordered installation of CCTV cameras (albeit, without audio recording) in at least two districts in all states and union territories to record court proceedings. This comes as an important step in fostering judicial efficiency and accountability. See the media story here.
Want to know more about iJustice, our initiative for legal advocacy and reforms, or our work for the Ease of Doing Business? Write to email@example.com
easeofdoingbusiness.org | iJustice
MAKING THE RTE RIGHT: A POLICY WIN!
A big win for our on-going work for the rights and recognition of Budget Private Schools (BPS) across the country, the Karnataka government hiked the reimbursement amount paid to private schools for admitting students under the Right to Education Act (25% reservations). NISA (National Independent School's Alliance) has consistently campaigned for redressing the non-payment of reimbursement fees and for reviewing their computation. Incubated by CCS, and formally launched in 2011, NISA has grown to become a pan-India alliance of over 54,000 schools across 23 states. The alliance remains the fundamental voice of BPS in the country, enabling them to voice their concerns, seek redressal of grievances and to mobilize for effective action.
The breakthrough in Karnataka comes in response to a plea by KAMS (The Karnataka Associated Management of English-medium Schools), a NISA member association in the Karnataka High Court. KAMS had challenged the quantum of reimbursement mandated under the RTE.
Media | NISA | righttoeducation.in
SWAMINOMICS ON 25 YEARS OF ECONOMIC LIBERALISATION: BOOK LAUNCH AND PANEL DISCUSSION
We hosted the launch of Swaminathan Aiyar’s latest book, From Narasimha Rao to Narendra Modi on 24 March, in partnership with FICCI. The book was launched by Dr Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister of India, and one of the key architects of post- independent India’s liberal economic policy. The launch drew an audience of over 150, and was followed a panel discussion on ‘25 years of Economic Reforms: From Liberalisation to Demonetisation’. Panelists included distinguished thought leaders like Swaminathan Aiyar, Journalist and Columnist, Swaminomics; Swapan Dasgupta, Journalist and Rajya Sabha MP; Praveen Chakravarty, Senior Fellow, IDFC Institute; Bimal Jalan, Rajya Sabha MP and Former RBI Governor; and Sidharth K. Birla, Former President, FICCI and current Chairman, Xpro India Limited. The panelists discussed the achievements of and persisting challenges in India’s continuing journey on the path of economic liberalisation—particularly, the failures of public service delivery, a ubiquitous government and erosion of public institutions.
Swaminathan Aiyar’s book explores India’s transition over the last 25 years, and argues for deeper economic reforms, an overhaul of all government services to improve quality and accountability, and robust independent institutions for making India economically, politically and socially, truly liberal.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the 1991 liberal economic reforms, we had earlier launched indiabefore91.in, a portal to document human interest stories from the days of the license raj.
Media Coverage | India Before 91
#LawswithFlaws: A TWEETCHAT ON OUR LEGAL FAULT-LINES
We kickstarted our monthly tweetchat series on critical contemporary concerns with a dialogue on the persisting fault-lines in India’s legal system—outdated, regressive and redundant laws that continue to thwart the freedoms of its people. Moderated by Prashant Narang, Advocate, iJustice, the tweetchat had the hashtags #LawswithFlaws and #CCSTalks reach 15,266 unique users through 219 tweets. A big boost for us, we also had Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister, Rajasthan and Bivek Debroy, Member, Niti Aayog participating in the tweetchat!
Recognising the role of the rule of law in the promotion and protection of liberty, we had launched the ‘Repeal 100 Laws Project’ in 2015 urging the central government to repeal 100 laws identified as flawed, ineffective or redundant. The 100 laws relate largely to business and enterprise regulation, outmoded labour relations, unnecessary taxes and licenses etc. 23 of these laws have been successfully repealed. In a similar exercise with the Maharashtra state, the government repealed 19 out of 25 proposed laws.
Repeal 100 Laws Project | Follow @ccsindia
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nurturing LIBERAL CHAMPIONS OF TOMORROW: IPOLICY AND CAMPUS TALKS
iPolicy is our flagship program that brings the principles of sound public policy to young minds. The three-day intensive course seeks to equip students with a critical understanding of contemporary socio-political and economic concerns and introduce them to market-liberal solutions to enduring policy challenges. We conducted iPolicy in two cities—Mumbai, at NMIMS, and Ahmedabad, at NIRMA University. 55 young leaders graduated from the two programs.
Here’s what one of them had to say:
"I got to know about how to inquire into policy matters and how to develop analytical skills regarding the law and policy of the government. The course must be taught for a month or so.”
- Sparsh Upadhyay
As a part of our ‘CCS on Campus’ initiative, we also conducted campus talks in Delhi and Chandigarh. Our talks provide an open forum to college students to dialogue and debate urgent socio-economic and political concerns, introducing them to market-liberal ideas and policy solutions. Over 250 students participated in the talks on the crisis of liberalism held at the DCAC campus in Delhi and Chitkara University, Chandigarh.
Interested in attending an ípolicy or want CCS on your college campus? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe to CCS Connect to stay updated on the forthcoming courses and events.
TOWARDS INCLUSIVE CLASSROOMS: THE PATANG GUIDEBOOK
In 2013, we launched Patang, a research pilot aimed at ensuring academic and social integration of children from socially and economically disadvantaged communities enrolled in unaided private schools under the Right to Education Act (RTE). The project was conceptualised to address the continuing challenges of implementing section 12 (1) (c) of the RTE that mandates the reservation of 25% seats in unaided private schools for children from backward communities—while most schools continue to admit students to meet the reserved quota, there are little efforts made to ensure the full integration of these students into the school system.
Implemented in two private schools in Delhi, Patang impacted 125 students through interventions in the form of community engagement, after-school learning centres, teacher-training and student assessments. The pilot demonstrated a visible change in its intervention schools in terms of teacher attitudes, parental involvement, support from school management and student learning outcomes.
We have now published the Patang Guidebook, consolidating our learnings from the pilot. The guidebook highlights its successes and challenges and delineates concrete action points for schools to ensure the effective inclusion of students under the mandate of the RTE.
Project Patang | Patang Guidebook
CCS IN NEWS
Apna Radio, a community radio channel in Delhi, invited us to be part of a discussion on the need for repealing redundant and flawed laws that burden our legal system. Nitesh Anand, Associate, Advocacy, and Prashant Narang, Advocate, iJustice, represented CCS on the live talk show “Apne Aas Paas”.
- Our ‘Repeal 100 Laws Project’ was also covered in Livemint. The article titled ‘The Tyranny of Bad Laws’ highlights the continuing colonial and excessively bureaucratic regulations in India, with special focus on the states of Delhi and Karnataka. Read the full article here.
- We also made big news with the launch of Swaminathan Aiyar’s latest book From Narasimha Rao to Narendra Modi. The launch and the subsequent panel discussion on 25 years of economic liberalisation in India was covered by over 10 leading news platforms, including The Times of India, The Quint and Hindustan Times. Find the media reports here.
See other media stories here
||Abhishek, Program Manager, Budget Private Schools
Abhishek brings with him over 6 years of experience in the development sector. A graduate of Kirori Mal College, Delhi University, he holds a master's degree in Development Studies from TISS, Mumbai. Abhishek has previously worked on an array of development projects funded by the World Bank, DFID and BMGF in Delhi and Bihar. He also regularly contributes to literary and news magazines.
Ritika Chawla, Associate, Research
Ritika holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Delhi University. She has previously interned with various organisations like Youth ki Awaaz, Syamantak University of Life, Teach for India and Jagriti Yatra, among others. She is deeply passionate about education and has worked in government and community schools in the villages of Rajasthan for nearly three years.
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