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Ipolicy: Forging New Leaders with New Ideas

This July we took the ipolicy to three cities. 127 participants graduated from the four trainings conducted in partnership with National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) and Symbiosis Law School(SLS) Noida and in Pune.

Our faculty included eminent policy experts, practitioners and academicians such as Mohit Satyanand, Member, Board of Advisors, Centre for Civil Society; Parth J Shah, President, Centre for Civil Society; Prashant Narang, Advocate, Supreme Court; Subhashish Gangopadhyay, Research Director, India Development Foundation; Apurv Mishra, Visiting Faculty, Ashoka University and Bhargavi Zaveri, Senior Research Associate, IGIDR among others.

Our interactive sessions addressed the themes of 'Making India Rich', ' Public Choice: Benefits and Costs of Collective Action', 'Law and Ethics', 'Rule of Law', 'Politics Without Romance', and 'Free Trade and Comparative Advantage' bringing the principles of sound public policy to the young learners.

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NISA Partners with CII for the 2018 School Summit

The National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) partnered with the Confederation of IndianIndustry (CII), to host the 2018 School Summit – NISA's President Mr Kulbhushan Sharma and Secretary Dr Parth J Shah participated in a panel discussion on the role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Education. The Summit was attended by 46 NISA school leaders from 8 different states, and saw a diverse audience bringing together all stakeholders in education, from across the country. Drawing from the discussion on the scope of CSR in transforming education in India, Dr Parth Shah and Mr Kulbhushan Sharma also highlighted the enduring regulatory challenges faced by budget private schools, despite their growing scope and role in improving the access to and quality of education in India.

Read our annual Report on Budget Private Schools in India here.

Pizza Policy

As a part of the July edition of our monthly policy dialogue with media professionals, we hosted 12 journalists representing prominent regional and national publications like Rashtriya Sahara, Lok Sabha TV, Amar Ujala, and Dainik Jagran among others.The discussion was anchored around the screening of 'The Court' – a marathi legal drama that brings into the spotlight the people who comprise the judicial system, the people who run this system and the structural and human failings in the system.

Drawing from the film, the participants discussed unfriendly or impractical nature and functioning of some public institutions, which are followed by snail speed proceedings and the implications of such delays on the various stakeholders.

The discussion session was steered by Avinash Chandra, Editor and Sanjay Garg, Creator, Centre for Policy Solution.

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The Parents Forum is 370 members strong

Recognising the significance of parental voice in steering policy decisions in education, and its marginal influence in the extant policy-making process in India, the Parents Forum for School Education (PFSE) was established by the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) in November 2017. The forum has been conceptualised as a national platform to bring together the parents of students in private schools to advocate for systemic reforms in education.

This July, we conducted nine meetings across five states, reaching out to over 340 parents and engaging them on the concerns of school-level and systemic reforms for quality education. With 340 new members joining the PFSE in July, we now have a membership of 370 parent-leaders. Through trainings and capacity-building for effective advocacy, the forum will mainstream parental voice in education, and nurture the parent-leaders to steer policy reforms that may foster better schools and better learning for their children.

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iPolicy in Mumbai and Bangalore- Introducing young leaders to Public Policy

This June we took iPolicy - our flagship certificate course in public policy to Bangalore and Mumbai. Conducted from 22-24 June in Bangalore and 29 June-1 July in Mumbai, the two programs were attended by 52 young leaders, who explored the public policy landscape in India with our esteemed faculty. iPolicy aims to introduce young leaders to liberal perspectives in public policy, and equip them with the necessary tools to examine the effectiveness of government policies and regulations.

Our programs offered interactive sessions on a range of themes including the 'Policy landscape in India', 'Decentralisation and Separation of Powers', 'Politics of Public Policy', 'Stakeholder Mapping and RTE Analysis', 'Spontaneous Order and Prices', 'Rule of Law' and more. Our eminent faculty this month included Prasanna Vishwanathan, CEO, Swarajya Magazine; JP Narayan, Founder, Lok Satta Party; Bhargavi Zaveri, Senior Research Associate, IGIDR; Makarand Bakore, Lawyer, Bombay High Court; Shagata Mukherjee, Professor, Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics among others.

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Liberty Hour with Barun Mitra

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.

NISA meeting with HRD Minister Mr. Prakash Javdekar

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.

Read our Report on Budget Private Schools in India here, or know more about our Law, Liberty and Livelihood Campaign here.

Engaging Journalist Change-makers

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, 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.

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