CCS Impact

CCS Impact : February 2017
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  A Monthly Update on Our Work and Impact

WE MADE IT TO THE WORLD'S TOP 100, AGAIN! AN ORGANISATIONAL WIN

CCS Ranked amongst top 100The new year began on an encouraging note for us at CCS with the release of the 2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report. We continue to be ranked among the top 100 think tanks in the world, standing at the 80th position this year, and 15th in the category of top think tanks in China, India, Japan and the Republic of Korea. Nine other Indian think tanks have figured amongst the top 175 for 2016.

The Global Go To Think Tank Index Report is published annually by the University of Pennsylvania, as a part of its Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program. CCS has consistently ranked amongst the top 100 in the world, from among over 6500 think tanks, ranked through a survey of over 1950 scholars, public and private donors, policy makers and journalists, across 18 criteria developed by the university.

This comes as a remarkable inspiration for us, as we set ourselves to continue the battle of ideas in 2017—to transform ideas and mindsets, and enable effective policy reforms to foster choice and accountability across public and private sectors.

SPEAKING UP FOR BUDGET PRIVATE SCHOOLS

With our renewed commitment to educational reforms in the new year, we have intensified our advocacy for the rights and recognition of budget private schools (BPS) in the country.

media engagemenet press conferenceMedia Engagement and Consensus Building: In September 2016, over 500 BPS owners had met with Shri Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister, Delhi to seek a commitment towards due policy reforms in school education. Given the failure of the government to address their persisting concerns, on 30 January, the National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) called for a press conference bringing together prominent journalists, media professionals and BPS owners to build consensus on the necessary reforms and draw effective media attention to the need for action. The meeting resulted in a robust dialogue, particularly on the extant land-norms that remain a serious problem for the recognition of these schools operating often in low-income neighbourhoods with little access to adequate land or capital. Other concerns raised included the need for a single window clearance system, subsidized commercial charges levied on power and water and taxation on land.

The conference and the concerns raised were covered in over 20 media reports in prominent Hindi and English news platforms including The Indian Express, The Times of India, Dainik Bhaskar and Dainik Jagran.

influencing influencersInfluencing Policy-influencers: We met with Shri Anil Swarup, the newly appointed Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy to affirm the imperative of key policy reforms in improving educational access and quality. An eight point charter of demands highlighting possible centre-level interventions was submitted at the meeting, demanding greater consideration of and representation from BPS in educational policy-making. The charter of demands seeks critical reforms in the ‘No Detention Policy’, in the extant provisions of reimbursements under the Right to Education Act (RTE) and in the application of the Employee Provident Fund and Employee State Insurance Act. It also demands a separate regulatory framework for BPS, distinct from government-run or other private schools. Read more about the Charter of Demands here.

influencing influencersReaching Out to the States: NISA today has grown to include over 55,000 schools from 23 state associations across 17+ states in the country. Following the success of the 8th School Choice National Conference in December 2016, NISA hosted two dedicated conferences on improving the quality of BPS in the country. Hosted by the Tamil Nadu and Telangana State Associations, the conferences drew an audience of over 650 school owners, teachers, educationists, policy experts and activists from the two states. Bringing to the forefront critical issues in improving the quality of education imparted in BPS, school autonomy and of persisting policy crises, the two events also served as robust platforms for capacity building for the participants and demonstrated affordable innovations in classroom teaching and learning.

talking POLICY AT AMITY UNIVERSITY

EduDoc2016In partnership with the Amity Institute of Public Policy and the Amity Institute of International Studies, we conducted a policy dialogue for the students at Amity University. A robust panel of policy experts from diverse arenas of scholarship including Prof. Dr. Baladas Ghoshal, Society for Indian Ocean Studies; Mallika Ahluwalia, Partition Musuem; Dr. Hindol Sengupta, CCS; Prof. Marmar Mukhopadhyay, prominent Author and CABE member, Dr. Amir Ullah Khan, Economist and Dr. Kaushiki Sanyal, CEO and Co-Founder, Sunay Policy Advisory Pvt. Ltd. Over 400 students participated in the policy dialogue, that concluded with a vibrant interactive exchange with the participating audience.

NURTURING LIBERTY CHAMPIONS: IPOLICY AND CAMPUS TALKS

ipolicyWe took ipolicy, our certificate course in public policy to three cities this January—Delhi, Ahmedabad and Amritsar! Offered as a three-day intensive training, the ipolicy is our flagship program that seeks to equip students and young professionals with a critical understanding of elementary concepts in political economy and in the principles of sound public policy. 71 young leaders participated in the three programs, taking away critical insights into the contemporary policy landscape and with a firm grasp of market-liberal policy solutions to our enduring civic, political and economic concerns.

We also conducted campus talks as part of our ‘CCS on Campus’ initiative in 3 cities—Delhi, Kochi and Jalandhar. The campus talks engaged over 1970 students in a spirited conversation on an array of themes like the history and scope of liberalism in India, the economics of immigration, a liberal perspective on poverty in India, and on the transgender identity. Along with our in-house team, Shikha Sood Dalmia from the Reason Foundation and D Dhanuraj from the Centre for Public Policy Research were key speakers at the campus events.

Interested in attending an ípolicy or want CCS on your college campus? Write to sadaf@ccs.in or subscribe to CCS Connect to stay updated on the forthcoming courses and events.

RECONNECTING WITH THE CHAMPIONS

Alumni BrunchWe hosted an alumni brunch this January, kick-starting our 20th anniversary celebrations for the year, journey of introducing students, young leaders, and professionals to ideas of liberal public policy, we decided to begin our celebrations with our extended family—CCS alumni! The brunch was attended by 45 CCS graduates from 1998-2016 batches of our ìpolicyLiberty and Society Seminars, the I, Society and Public Policy, and Researching Reality Internships. We also had faculty members and sector experts present at the event, including Amir Ullah Khan, eminent Economist; Mohit Satyanand, Entrepreneur and Policy Wonk; Hindol Sengupta, prominent Author; Geeta Gouri, Former Member, CCI;  Shaun Star, Executive Director, Centre for India-Australia Studies and Swati Chawla, Doctoral Candidate, University of Virginia. The brunch saw some great conversations and memories come alive. Our alumni also got a unique ‘zero hour with faculty’ for informal discussions and interaction.

MAHARASHTRA ON THE EASE OF OPENING SCHOOLS: A POLICY WIN!

Ease of Opening SchoolsThe Brihanmumai Municipal Corporation (BMC) launched an online registration portal for private primary schools affiliated to the Maharashtra State Board. The online registration service comes as a major breakthrough and a significant departure from the extant school registration process that involved an arduous procedure across state government offices involving 17 documents. The online service significantly reduces the registration time—from 6 months to 35 days.

Maharashtra's move to online registrations is a remarkable win for us at CCS! We have consistently campaigned for the Ease of Opening Schools and the online registration system has been a core component of our proposal for facilitating the setting up of private educational institutions. Earlier in 2016, we had submitted a comprehensive proposal on key policy reforms for easing the opening of private schools to Shri S C Khuntia, the then School Education Secretary. The proposal was duly forwarded to the states for corresponding action.

CCS IN NEWS
  • We made big news in January with our press conference asserting the due rights and recognition of budget private schools in the country. We received over 20 media reports in prominent Hindi and English news platforms like The Indian Express, Navbharat Times and Business Standard.
  • We were invited to participate in a pre-budget roundtable organized CCSby BusinessWorld to discuss the budgetary expectations of the education sector. Amit Chandra, Associate Director, CCS represented us on a panel of experts including Yamini Aiyar, Director, Accountability Initiatives and Shobha Mishra Ghosh, Senior Director, FICCI. You can view the complete dialogue here, or read BusinessWorld's report here.
  • Swarajyamag featured an opinion piece authored by Amit Chandra on relevant financial reforms for improving educational access and delivery in the country. The article titled Financial Reforms Can Spruce Up Education: Can Arun Jaitley Pull Off A Feat? argues for the need for re-designing budget utilisation and makes a strong case for Direct Benefit Transfers (DBTs) in school education financing to ensure better outcomes from the prescribed allocations. Read the full article here.
  • We also received substantial coverage for NISA's meeting with Shri Anil Swarup, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, highlighting the marginalisation of budget private schools in educational policy. We received 17 news stories, covered by prominent news platforms including The Indian Express, The Financial Express and Amar Ujala.

See other media stories here

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