In order to reform the education landscape in India, CCS has advocated for public involvement to expand the platform for dialogue and break the arbitrary control exercised by the State. As part of this initiative we are now organising ‘Parents Forum for Student Education’ to strengthen parental voice in policy-making and create a foundation for parent-led activism. Our first Forum was organised in Hastsal (Delhi) with parent-leader representatives and amalgamated their diverses experiences with schooling, their understanding of student requirements, and challenges under the current system.
As part of our ‘Repeal of Laws’ initiative we launched a campaign on the Aircraft Act of 1934, highlighting its inconsistency, redundancy and arbitrariness in regulating all ‘flying machines’ including balloons and kites. To raise awareness about this issue, on the festival of Makar Sankrant, we orchestrated a campaign in partnership with five law schools (Maharashtra National Law University, Symbiosis Law School Noida, Hidayatullah National Law University, National Law School of India University, and National Academy of Legal Studies & Research). We mass mailed to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation appealing for a review and repeal of the Act. An article titled ‘Did You Know That Flying A Kite Could Land You In Jail?’ was published on our blog Spontaneous Order as well as a video on the ‘Lawbreakers of India’ on CCSIndiaTV. Our efforts also resulted in 7 citations in national and regional dailies including Aaj Tak and Amar Ujala.
Parth Shah, President, CCS, was invited by the Asia Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) to host a webinar on the theme of ‘Transforming Low-Cost Private Education in India through Innovative Solutions and Policy Reforms’ alongside Ashish Karamchandani, Managing Director, FSG Advisory. With 52 participants from across South Asia, the webinar led to a vibrant dialogue on the scope and relevance of innovations in budget-private schools in India.
This month the focus of the discussion was on ‘Transforming Low-Cost Private Education in India through Innovative Solutions and Policy Reforms’. With 52 participants, the webinar led to a vibrant dialogue on the scope and relevance of innovations in budget-private schools in India. It highlighted the scope for conceptualising, piloting and implementing cost-effective learning solutions through organisations such as the National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) that act as a common platform for multiple stakeholders in education. The Webinar allowed for an exchange of insights on the challenges of effective advocacy in the current scenario to improve learning outcomes through innovation.
Through our ‘CCS on Campus’ initiative, we reach out to young students and future leaders across the country by way of policy dialogues conducted by members of our eminent faculty. During the 2-3 hour sessions, we encourage students to contest and debate learned presumptions on modern political and socio-economic concerns of the nation. This January we successfully instigated 310 students to explore the foundations of a free, prosperous, and just society.
Parth Shah (Founder President, CCS) and Geeta Gauri (Former Member of the Competition Commission of India) steered a group of 130 students to ‘unpack’ the 1991 reforms for liberalisation of the Indian economy. Christopher Lingle (Visiting Professor of Economics, Universidad Francisco Marroquín) urged students at Symbiosis Law School Noida to examine the principles of legislation and public policy and how they are confined by the ‘Rule of Law’. His second session at Amity University focused on ‘Emerging Market Economies, Public Policy Reform and Development in Asia’. At the Government Law College Mumbai, Vivek Dehejia (Associate Professor of Economics, Carleton University) engaged aspiring lawyers on the concerns of implementing ‘Cooperative Federalism in an Unequal India’.
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This January we took our flagship course in public policy to Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, reaching out to 152 young leaders Early on in the month, in collaboration with the India Fellow Social Leadership Program, we organised sessions for the fellows at the beautiful location of Sanskriti Kendra.70 participants engaged with our faculty over two cold weekends in Delhi. In collaboration with Indian School of Business Hyderabad, 22 young minds explored the principles of public policy through dialogues and activities. We wrapped up this month with 32 spirited participants at the Indian Institute of Technology Mumbai.
Our programs offered interactive sessions diverse themes including Property Rights for the Poor, New Public Management, the Indian Policy Process, Politics of Public Policy, Stakeholder Mapping in Education, Environmental Challenges and more. Our eminent faculty this month included Ajay Shah, Professor, National Institute for Public Finance and Policy; Barun Mitra, Founder and Director of the Liberty Institute; Chakshu Roy, Head of Outreach, PRS Legislative Research among others.
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This December, we completed our 60-hour elective course on ‘Business and Public Policy’ being conducted as a part of the Vedica Scholars Programme for Women. The closing session of the course was conducted by Dr Geeta Gouri, former member of the Competition Commission of India, on Competition in Electricity Sector. The course received an overall feedback of 3.59 of 4.
With eight sessions, the course provided a detailed exploration into the role and impact of public policy on the Indian business environment, with a particular focus on the scope of government intervention in businesses, and the role of entrepreneurs in leveraging on policy possibilities in India today. Our list of distinguished speakers included Prashant Narang, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi; Smriti Parsheera, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy; Akhilesh Tilotia, OSD to Minister of Civil Aviation; Shubhashis Gangopadhyay, India Development Foundation; Geeta Gouri; Parth Shah, President, Centre for Civil Society; Amit Chandra, expert on education policy and former Associate Director, Centre for Civil Society.
Offered as part of the formal curriculum in leading universities, our credit courses are designed offer unique insights that bridge academic rigour with policy analysis.
Spontaneous Order, our digital publication featuring liberal commentaries, launched the first edition of ‘Spontaneous Dialogue’. The dialogue series live-streamed on Facebook, aims to offer impartial and factual perspectives aims to offer impartial and factual perspectives on contemporary issues, conveyed in the form of rational deliberations between experts across ideological and academic spectrum.
In the first edition of the dialogue, Mark Hansen, leading scholar on American politics from the University of Chicago, and Mohit Satyanand, Member, Board of Advisors, Centre for Civil Society, discussed the American political experience, drawing lessons for the Indian political contemporary. Addressing the citizen activism triggered by the dynamism of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and the subsequent birthing of anti-establishment views, the discussion analysed the populist rhetoric that now dominates the two countries. On the accountability of political institutions to preserve democracy, Mark Hansen observed that it was really ‘the health of civil society and the commitment to democracy among the populace’ that could ultimately sustain an inclusive society.
Streamed on Facebook Live, the session drew over 5500 views on social media.
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On 10 December, we hosted the Student Legislative Council from IIT Madras for a policy dialogue on the ideological traditions that predominate the political and policy landscape in India. Steered by Parth Shah, President, CCS, the dialogue further addressed the continuing challenges of effective policy-making, and the role of the individual, market and the state in enabling a freer and prosperous India.
Our ‘CCS on Campus’ initiative reaches out to leading colleges across the country to engage young learners in a critical dialogue on pressing socio-economic and political concerns. Through 2-3 hour ‘Campus Talks’ and ‘Policy Dialogues’, we encourage students to contest and debate learned presumptions and to explore the foundations of a free, prosperous and just society.
If you’d like to have CCS on your campus, or collaborate with us for a policy dialogue, write to us to us at email@example.com.
We conducted iPolicy – our flagship certificate course in public policy, engaging Teach for India fellow in a dialogue on the concerns of education policy in India. With 33 participants, the interactive program grounded the elaborate field-experience of the young fellows in the extant education policy discourse in India. Our speakers included Shantanu Gupta Political Analyst and Author of ‘The Monk Who Became Chief Minister’, Parth J Shah and, Arushi Vats, Assistant Manager, CCS Academy. The course received an over-all feedback rating of 3.46 out of 4.
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