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Education

The paper examines the current state of funding of school education in India and identifies the inefficiencies and arbitrary nature of allocation of the system and suggests an alternative per-child funding model. The paper argues for the model on the basis of school choice and decentralized school administration, which would result in schools competing to be efficient in spending to attract/maintain students. The paper draws from such existing models in countries like Canada, Netherlands and UK while using the San Francisco School District's model as a detailed case study to further strengthen the argument for such a per-child model of funding.

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A comparative analysis of the state rules under the Right to Education Act

This Matrix features an in-depth analysis of state rules under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. It broadly classifies the rules into seven key categories, further divided to provide clause level summary.

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The Indian education ecosystem today consists of the government, private sector, and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) that have helped provide education to millions of children. The enactment of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), in 2009 should have enhanced private sector participation manifold. However, given the current legal framework, the environment is not conducive for the entry and sustenance of private players.

Given this context, this paper seeks to examine the current legislative framework in Delhi and Gujarat, which is acting as a bottleneck for edupreneurs to enter the education sector.

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This is an in-depth research conducted in two districts of Punjab – Barnala and Mansa – to understand the impact of school closures on various stakeholders namely students, parents, school owners and teachers. The purpose of conducting this study has been two fold. Firstly, to understand any monetary and non-monetary implications of school closure on the various stakeholders and secondly, to explore any irregularities involved in the procedural mechanism for shutting down a school. The field study was conducted in 32 schools covering both districts in the form of Focussed group discussions (FGD) and Semi-Structured Interviews (SSI).

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With the objective of shifting regulatory focus towards some of the above issues, Centre for Civil Society brought together some of India’s eminent educationists and thought leaders to identify specific amendments to the RTE Act, which would ensure quality education for all in India. Key concerns regarding the structure and impact of the RTE were discussed, and based on this, recommendations for amendments to the RTE Act 2009 have been drafted. RTE 2.0: Building Consensus on Amendments truly aimed at weeding out the pain areas in the existing scheme of things, finding out what works and what doesn’t, and introducing actual amendments to the text of the Act.

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This paper argues that the current wording and enforcement of S.18 and S.19 of the Right to Education Act goes against the spirit and objective of the constitutional right to education and the RTE Act 2009. Being selective and discriminatory, the enforcement targets private schools only and penalizes them for inadequate compliance with necessary-but-not-sufficient norms. The paper further argues that S.18, 19 and the Schedule of RTE Act must be amended on the lines of Gujarat Rules to become output-focused, applicable and enforceable to both private as well as government schools and certification-based rather than licensure-based. The paper provides a draft amendment to achieve the said objectives.

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This paper argues that the current wording and enforcement of S.18 and S.19 of the Right to Education Act goes against the spirit and objective of the constitutional right to education and the RTE Act 2009. Being selective and discriminatory, the enforcement targets private schools only and penalizes them for inadequate compliance with necessary-but-not-sufficient norms. The paper further argues that S.18, 19 and the Schedule of RTE Act must be amended on the lines of Gujarat Rules to become output-focused, applicable and enforceable to both private as well as government schools and certification-based rather than licensure-based. The paper provides a draft amendment to achieve the said objectives.

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The paper explains the legal aspects of the regulation of school fees in India, focusing on Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. It examines, with the help of secondary data, what the current situations in these states are, post-implementation of the Regulation of Collection of Fee Acts. The paper uses existing literature on price controls to examine the economic impact of price control and further tries to understand how private schools in the two states are coping with the problems that these Acts have brought upon them, with the help of both primary data collected from school owners in Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, and secondary data in the form of newspaper reports.

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This report analyses the current regulatory framework of higher education in India and highlights areas that require important policy reforms in order to encourage greater private participation. This participation would eventually lead to a more competitive environment in the higher education sector and foster growth, which is needed to achieve the target of 10% increase in Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) set by the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP).

India has one of the largest higher education systems in the world, primarily dominated by private players who account for 60% of the total institutes and 64% of total enrolment of students. The higher education sector in India has a three-tier structure comprising the university, college and course. This forms a vital link with the regulatory structure, and with accreditation agencies playing the key role in maintaining quality and standards in this sector.

In addition to some new insights, this report validates the oft-repeated complaints against regulations that govern higher education research in India – that it is opaque, mired in complexity and tough to navigate. A number of recent studies have covered the broad contours of what needs to change, including the 2013 report ‘Higher Education in India: Vision 2030’ by FICCI and E&Y, and the 2006 study by Pawan Agarwal ‘Higher Education in India: the need for change’, conducted under the aegis of ICRIER. This report builds on the existing research and focuses on the following two areas:

  1. The higher education landscape, in terms of the linkages and broad rules governing the three-tier structure of universities, colleges and courses
  2. Specifics of reforms needed in the legislations studied for various kinds of private institutions in this sector. The comparative matrix should serve as a ready-resource on how three states, and the different university/college routes fare on entry, operations and exit barriers for private players.

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