Date: June 20
Venue: Centre for Civil Society, New Delhi
The Liberty Hour is conceptualised as a platform to initiate dialogue on the theoretical foundations of liberalism and their application to contemporary socio-political and economic concerns. This June, the Liberty Hour was steered by Barun Mitra, Founder and Director of the Liberty Institute, engaging our keen audience with a discussion on contemporary policy concerns, critically examined through the liberal lens. The talk, organised as a part of the Researching Reality Internship, engaged 30 participants, including 22 Researching Reality interns along with CCS alumni and policy enthusiasts.
Barun Mitra engaged the audience in a thought-provoking open discussion that centered around legitimacy of political institutions in liberal-democratic societies and free exchange of private property,underlining the importance of free markets in India and around the world.
In March 2018, the National Independent Schools Alliance had submitted a comprehensive Charter of Demands to the Prime Minister's Office calling for greater school choice, more effective and feasible safety regulations, direct benefit transfers in education, and policy interventions to promote the ease of opening schools in India. On 19th June, 2018 NISA office bearers met with Shri Prakash Javadekar, Hon'ble Minister of Human Resource Development to submit the Charter. A comprehensive report on state of schools closures in the country was also presented.
The meeting addressed the following concerns:discussed
- The need for Direct Benefit Transfer(DBT) in school education, to foster greater quality, accountability and efficiency.
- Amendments to RTE Act 2009 to shift focus from input-based recognition of schools to learning outcome-based school recognition.
- A safety and security policy for private schools students, teachers and management.
- Extension for NIOS Diploma in Elementary Education (2017-2019) to 2021.
- The exemption of Budget Private Schools(BPS) under section 10(23C) applicable to "Not for Profit" education societies.
- Non-discriminatory education policies for both public and private schools.
Mr. Kulbhushan Sharma, President,NISA; Mr Premchand Deswal, President of Private Land Public School Associations (PLPS) Delhi; Mr. Ravinder Yadav, member PLPS; Thomas Antony and Nitesh Anand from the NISA Secretariat were part of the delegation.
Parth Shah, President, Centre for Civil Society, was invited to speak at Atlas Network's Global Policy Perspectives event series held this June at the Cornell Club in New York. Speaking on the need for 'Dismantling Barriers to Education and Enterprise in India' he discussed the emergence and scope of, and challenges to locally grown, market-based solutions to education and poverty in the country.
The talk addressed the shift in parental choice and the rejection of state paternalism in education, even among communities that were historically presumed to be welfare-dependent, demonstrated by the increased preference for 'low-fee' or budget private schools (BPS) in India. Highlighting the policy prejudice against BPS in the context of India's enduring license raj, he also addressed the continuing regulatory barriers to small and marginal enterprises, and the need for promoting the ease of doing business at the bottom-of-the-pyramid.
In the backdrop of these regulatory incompetencies, Parth Shah introduced the audience to CCS' on-going research and advocacy for reforms in education and enterprise regulation, and the need for cultivating young policy leaders to drive social change in India.
We hosted two journalists' dialogues' in the month of June bringing together 37 journalists, to discuss market solutions to our enduring developmental challenges. An opportunity of networking and insightful discussions, the participant journalists discussed and deliberated on policy issues, and celebrated the spirit of liberal journalism.
The discussions addressed the merit of imposing a ban on things over incentivising citizens to minimise use in the backdrop of the recent plastic ban in the state of Maharashtra, the government's approach of finding short-term solutions to problems like delays of trains and increased use of electric power, and the repeal of outdated laws, among others. The discussions were led by Avinash Chandra, Editor, Azadi.me and Prashant Narang, Supreme Court advocate, and moderated by Shantanu Gupta, Political Analyst and Author of 'The Monk Who Became Chief Minister' and Amit Chandra, National Coordinator, NISA.
To know more about our monthly dialogues with journalists, contact email@example.com
This June, we launched the 18th edition of our flagship summer internship program, the Researching Reality Internship. The annual six-week research internship engages college and university students in critical learning, primary research and policy analysis, leading to a publication of original research papers addressing key governance concerns and policy frameworks.
In this edition, we have a cohort of 22 young learners, researching the complex regulations and policy bottlenecks that continue to thwart enterprise in India.
Theme and Sub-Themes: Taking note of the complex regulations that govern businesses in India, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry in 2014 prepared a 98-point action plan in 2014 called the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) to ease the business regulatory environment across states. The internship will address the implementation of the ease of doing business reforms in the state of Delhi with a particular focus on: (a) the progress on the ease of doing business reforms, (b) the need for and scope of regulatory reforms in the services sector. The research will also incorporate an exploratory study on the emergence of service aggregators (such as Uber, Zomato) and document the regulatory shifts and learnings, if any, in and for the industries they operate in.
Under the guidance of Research Advisor Bhuvana Anand, the interns will delve deeper into understanding the true challenges that restrictive regulations pose to businesses through quantitative and qualitative research, data analysis, and critical thinking. The interns have undergone dedicated sessions on 'Ease of Doing Business in India', 'Economic Development and Poverty', 'Property Rights', 'Public Choice', 'Spontaneous Order and Prices', 'Policy Evaluation and Methods' and many more by sectoral experts like Parth Shah, Founder President of Centre for Civil Society; Luis Miranda, President, Centre for Civil Society; Barun Mitra, Founder and Director of the Liberty Institute; and Shagata Mukherjee, Professor, Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics, among others.
Spontaneous Order, our digital publication of liberal commentaries, hosted its third edition of CCS’ Facebook Live Discussions ‘Spontaneous Dialogue’ on 27 April 2018 titled ‘Fee Regulation in Education’. Featuring eminent panelists such as Vikas Jhunjhunwala, CEO and Founder, Sunshine Schools; and Akriti Gaur, Research Fellow, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, the Dialogue analysed the costs associated with operating private schools in India, and tried to unpack the complexities of ‘fee regulations’ by questioning not only the definition of such a term -and lack thereof- but also its scope. The Dialogue received an organic reach of 7,444 persons and unique viewership of 1,595.
The bi-monthly Dialogue series, live-streamed on Facebook, aims to offer impartial and factual perspectives on contemporary issues, conveyed in the form of rational deliberations between experts from across the ideological and academic spectrum.
From 6-8 April 2018, we partnered with Government Law College, Mumbai, to conduct our flagship certificate course on public policy i.e. ‘ipolicy for Young Leaders’. We had 30 young leaders participating in interactive sessions including discussions on ‘Indian Liberal Tradition’, and ‘New Public Management’, conducted by esteemed faculty members such as Bhargavi Zaveri, Senior Research Associate, Finance Research Group, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research; and Kumar Anand, Head of Research Team, Free A Billion. The course brings learnings in liberal philosophy and economic principles through engaging games and activities, providing young leaders, a chance to read, discuss and debate foundational liberal principles and their application to public policy.
'ipolicy for Young Leaders' is a 3-day intensive certificate course that aims to enable students and young professionals to explore the public policy landscape in India, introduce them liberal perspectives in public policy, and equip them with the necessary tools to examine the effectiveness of government policies and regulations.
Sign up for CCS Connect to stay updated with our forthcoming events and policy trainings.
The NAAT Excellence Awards, hosted on 28 April 2018 at the Constitution Club, New Delhi, aimed to recognise the efforts and achievements of the top performers on NAAT assessments. The awards also recognised schools that secured highest enrollments, as a marker of their commitment to fostering greater transparency, a commitment to pursue quality and ensure student learning. The first 12 students were honoured with scholarships supporting the annual cost of their education, and amounting to INR 25,000 each, with an additional 12 students receiving educational tablets. The first cohort of 24 achievers were also enrolled into the National Independent School Alliance (NISA) student mentorship program, bringing them advisory and counsel for their personal, academic, and professional development. The NAAT Excellence Awards were acknowledged in 11 leading digital and print media, such as EduAdvice, Jagran and India Education Diary.
Designed by Gray Matters India, the National Analytical Aptitude Test (NAAT), is a core component of Udaan, a comprehensive program launched by NISA to improve the quality of education delivery and learning in budget private schools in India. The NAAT assesses learning outcomes amongst students from class 3 to 11 on abstract, numerical and verbal reasoning skills that provide the foundational faculties of curricular comprehension and learning. The program integrates student and school assessments, on-going mentorship and scholarships for targeted students, and a comprehensive school improvement program for the participating budget private schools from across the country. NAAT, conducted for the first time in 2017, saw an enrolment 24,826 students across 14 states with the highest participation from Andhra Pradesh (i.e. 11,863 students from 109 schools) followed by Haryana (i.e. 6,078 students from 77 schools), and Telangana (i.e. 3,062 students from 53 schools).
From 20-22 April 2018, we organised the ipolicy of Journalists, our three-day residential policy training designed exclusively for media professionals, at Jim Corbett, Uttarakhand. 22 journalists, selected through a rigorous review from over 82 applicants, participated in the training hosted in partnership with the Atlas Network. We had representatives from popular national media dailies, along with radio, television and digital media like Zee News, The Indian Express, ABP News, Hindustan, Amar Ujala, All India Radio, Doordarshan, Aaj Tak, Hindustan Times, India Today and Lok Sabha TV. Shantanu Gupta, Political Analyst and Author of ‘The Monk Who Became Chief Minister’ was the key speaker at the workshop, along with Dr Amit Chandra, National Coordinator, NISA, Avinash Chandra, Editor, Azadi.me, CCS and Kulbhushan Sharma, President, NISA.
Recognising the critical role played by the media in steering debates in public policy in a democracy like India, the training aimed at introducing journalists to the principles of sound public policy, market-liberal perspectives in social and policy analysis and the challenges of public policy in India.
Want to know more about ipolicy for journalists? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.