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Research

2016

Due to a lack of clarity in the judicial decisions, in 2009, the Street Vendors Policy 2004 was revised as the ‘National Policy on Urban Street Vendors 2009’. The revised policy was not legally binding and made little progress on the matter of street vendors. In 2010, the Supreme Court directed the government to enact a law regulating street vending and thus, the Street Vendors Bill 2012 was drafted. The Bill was passed in both houses by February 2014 and became the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014. This Act was drafted with the legislative intent of protecting the livelihood rights of street vendors as well as regulating street vending through demarcation of vending zones, conditions for and restrictions on street vending. The Act now governs over all matters in regards to the rights and duties of the street vendors in India. It also provides for confiscation of goods that are being sold by street vendors to be cataloged properly.

It is in this context that Centre for Civil Society – a Delhi-based think tank decided to take up a study of the implementation of 2014 Act across India and come up with a matrix and an index to rank states. We filed applications under the Right to Information Act, 2005 across India, made more than 250 phone calls to expedite the RTI reply process, compiled court judgments and referred to other secondary sources such as news stories.

2016

In India, reforms in regulation of private schools have been argued on the basis of universalizing access to education while recognizing the increasing role of private in enabling that access, particularly for the poor. However, the experience so far has been that the regulations create entry and exit barriers in the provision of education by entrepreneurs thereby reducing competition and keeping the cost of education high. It is in this context that regulation of private education is observed in the case studies to better understand how governments in other parts of the world have managed to harness private investment in education for the benefits of the society in general. The study examines three cases of best practices from around the world:

  1. Regulation of Hagwon/supplemental education centres in South Korea,
  2. Per-child funding model in the Netherlands, and
  3. Punjab Education Foundation in Pakistan.
2016

NITI Aayog’s effort towards reforming Indian Medical Education is a step long overdue. There is a broad consensus across the Parliament, Executive, Judiciary and State Governments to replace the thoroughly corrupt, utterly inefficient and a decrepit Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new commission that meets the aspirations of 21st century India. MCI has neither fulfilled the objective of improving access to medical education nor setting the high professional and ethical standards that the complex healthcare sector demands from the doctors. It has become a textbook example of ‘regulatory capture’. The age old socialist mindset towards regulatory institutions continues to plague many sectors in India, of which MCI is only one example.

NITI Aayog’s radical shift in regulatory philosophy towards liberal and market oriented one can be considered as one of the big bang reforms of the current government. A shift in approach from inputs based norms and standards to the one based on outcomes is definitely going to create a lasting impact in quality of medical education and is expected to set the precedent for other streams of education too.

The National level entrance and exit exams will ensure that merit prevails over discretion and admissions are handled in a transparent manner. Removing entry barriers for private investors by doing away with the infamous ‘non-profit’ tag will address the challenge of access and helps meet the huge demand for medical education in India. Currently, around 11 lakh students chase an odd 55,000 seats and this has given some unscrupulous colleges a free hand in exploiting the artificially induced scarcity.

Largely in consonance with the proposed bill, we would like to bring few specific issues to the Aayog’s notice to help realizing the true spirit of the bill.

2016

This guidebook is based on Centre for Civil Society's pilot programme Patang, which was implemented in two private schools in Delhi. The objective of Patang was to understand the issues arising from one of the provisions of the Right to Education act (RTE). Section 12 (1)(C) of the RTE Act requires aided and unaided private schools to reserve at least 25% of their entry-level seats for children from economically and socially disadvantaged communities (EWDS). The provision has been severely contested and several systemic and classroom level issues have also been raised against this provision. Patang focuses only on the classroom impact of such a reservation. It was designed as an intervention to understand:

  • the challenges of inclusion in private schools enrolling EWDS students under the reservation category
  • efforts required to address these challenges
  •  the policy implications for improving inclusion in schools.

The guidebook with details of the programme also highlights the struggles and successes of the intervention. It provides concrete steps to help schools create an inclusive environment for students especially those from the EWDS background.

2016

Due to a lack of clarity in the judicial decisions, in 2009, the Street Vendors Policy 2004 was revised as the ‘National Policy on Urban Street Vendors 2009’. The revised policy was not legally binding and made little progress on the matter of street vendors. In 2010, the Supreme Court directed the government to enact a law regulating street vending and thus, the Street Vendors Bill 2012 was drafted. The Bill was passed in both houses by February 2014 and became the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014. This Act was drafted with the legislative intent of protecting the livelihood rights of street vendors as well as regulating street vending through demarcation of vending zones, conditions for and restrictions on street vending. The Act now governs over all matters in regards to the rights and duties of the street vendors in India. It also provides for confiscation of goods that are being sold by street vendors to be cataloged properly.

It is in this context that Centre for Civil Society – a Delhi-based think tank decided to take up a study of the implementation of 2014 Act across India and come up with a matrix and an index to rank states. We filed applications under the Right to Information Act, 2005 across India, made more than 250 phone calls to expedite the RTI reply process, compiled court judgments and referred to other secondary sources such as news stories.

2016

This guidebook is based on Centre for Civil Society's pilot programme Patang, which was implemented in two private schools in Delhi. The objective of Patang was to understand the issues arising from one of the provisions of the Right to Education act (RTE). Section 12 (1)(C) of the RTE Act requires aided and unaided private schools to reserve at least 25% of their entry-level seats for children from economically and socially disadvantaged communities (EWDS). The provision has been severely contested and several systemic and classroom level issues have also been raised against this provision. Patang focuses only on the classroom impact of such a reservation. It was designed as an intervention to understand:

  • the challenges of inclusion in private schools enrolling EWDS students under the reservation category
  • efforts required to address these challenges
  •  the policy implications for improving inclusion in schools.

The guidebook with details of the programme also highlights the struggles and successes of the intervention. It provides concrete steps to help schools create an inclusive environment for students especially those from the EWDS background.

2016

Suggestions on Draft National Medical Commission Bill, 2016NITI Aayog’s effort towards reforming Indian Medical Education is a step long overdue. There is a broad consensus across the Parliament, Executive, Judiciary and State Governments to replace the thoroughly corrupt, utterly inefficient and a decrepit Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new commission that meets the aspirations of 21st century India. MCI has neither fulfilled the objective of improving access to medical education nor setting the high professional and ethical standards that the complex healthcare sector demands from the doctors. It has become a textbook example of ‘regulatory capture’. The age old socialist mindset towards regulatory institutions continues to plague many sectors in India, of which MCI is only one example.

NITI Aayog’s radical shift in regulatory philosophy towards liberal and market oriented one can be considered as one of the big bang reforms of the current government. A shift in approach from inputs based norms and standards to the one based on outcomes is definitely going to create a lasting impact in quality of medical education and is expected to set the precedent for other streams of education too.

The National level entrance and exit exams will ensure that merit prevails over discretion and admissions are handled in a transparent manner. Removing entry barriers for private investors by doing away with the infamous ‘non-profit’ tag will address the challenge of access and helps meet the huge demand for medical education in India. Currently, around 11 lakh students chase an odd 55,000 seats and this has given some unscrupulous colleges a free hand in exploiting the artificially induced scarcity.

Largely in consonance with the proposed bill, we would like to bring few specific issues to the Aayog’s notice to help realizing the true spirit of the bill.

2016

A recent study by Azim Premji Foundation (APF) titled “Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009 and Private School Closure in India” has received wide media coverage and ignited debate over the impact of RTE on private schools. The study claims that only five private schools have closed down in seven states and one union territory that it studied—four in Karnataka and one in Uttarakhand. Anurag Behar, CEO of APF, declared that any research reporting otherwise is “false or ludicrously exaggerated.”[1]

The possible impact of RTE on the closure of private schools is a critical policy issue, especially when the parents have deliberately chosen the fee-charging schools over the free government schools. Therefore, the study deserves closer review and analysis, which is the objective of this detailed assessment. Instead of doing a newspaper column, we decided to do a full review of their research processes, methodology and overall soundness of research. The basic purpose is not so much to challenge their conclusions but to assess the research that serves as a basis for arriving at those conclusions.

We embarked on our mission: We read the study once, twice, thrice. We thought we must be missing something—this is a study produced by India’s largest education foundation. After all those readings and discussions, we came to the inescapable conclusion: the quality of the APF study is alarmingly poor. It is hard to believe that the most well-endowed education foundation in the country, which also runs an education university, would consider this study worthy of publication. Moreover, the CEO of the Foundation, who presumably has read the study, would consider it appropriate to ridicule all other research and experiences, and even declare them as almost lies, on the basis of this study. It is really a sad day for research, for the quality of public debate and for the quality standards of APF.


[1]Anurag Behar, ‘Reality of School Closures,’ Mint, 18 February 2016, http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/nd3HbSousJ84BbJtlomlHN/The-reality-of-school-closures.html. See also Rohit Dhankar, ‘A Lesson in Hidden Agendas,’Hindu, 26 March 2016, http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/a-lesson-in-hidden-agendas/article8397088.ece A reply to Dhankar by one of the authors is ‘Ideology Masquerading as Research, 'http://spontaneousorder.in/ideology-masquerading-as-research/


2016

In India, reforms in regulation of private schools have been argued on the basis of universalizing access to education while recognizing the increasing role of private in enabling that access, particularly for the poor. However, the experience so far has been that the regulations create entry and exit barriers in the provision of education by entrepreneurs thereby reducing competition and keeping the cost of education high. It is in this context that regulation of private education is observed in the case studies to better understand how governments in other parts of the world have managed to harness private investment in education for the benefits of the society in general. The study examines three cases of best practices from around the world:

  1. Regulation of Hagwon/supplemental education centres in South Korea,
  2. Per-child funding model in the Netherlands, and
  3. Punjab Education Foundation in Pakistan.
2015

Against the post-New Industrial Policy (1991) growth witnessed in large-scale industries, a corresponding boom in the small and mid-sized domestic industry has been conspicuously absent. The paper seeks to document the causes for the same. Further, a comparative evaluation of Indian MSMEs with those operating in other BRICS nations will be conducted, in an attempt to understand the overall effect of the business, policy and legal/regulatory environment on the growth of MSMEs.