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Editorial

Dear Friends,

We have had significant idea wins this quarter, which have great potential to change public policy in favour of a freer and more prosperous India.

In July, 31 leaders in education came together—representing organisations including NEUPA, Absolute Return for Kids, Teach For India, Accountability Initiative, Bharti Foundation, Central Square Foundation and J-PAL South Asia among others, at a roundtable to examine the Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009 and build consensus on proposed amendments—an RTE 2.0. The RTE, in its current structure, emphasises solely the duties and inputs into provision of education, implicitly assuming that adherence to these will ensure increased access to quality education. However, as I have mentioned in my previous editorials, there is a big problem in the learning outcomes of our students—with many of them far behind the expected standards for their age. These 13 proposed amendments, we hope, will succeed in shifting regulatory focus towards learning outcomes and education quality. The report can be accessed on our website, here.

We have seen promising steps from the current administration in Rajasthan—the proposed amendments from the state department include giving more weight to learning outcomes and restricting the amount of weight given to physical infrastructure of schools to 30% or less, while deciding on their recognition or registration. Rajasthan has also been leading the way in economic reforms, amending labour laws, land laws and denationalising national transport.

CCS, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy and the Macro/Finance team at National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), put together a compendium of 100 Laws that we feel are worthy of wholesale repeal by virtue of being obsolete, repetitive and often misused. Some of these laws include:

  • Laws that violate the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression directly or indirectly, en masse or selectively.
  • Laws that hamper good governance by creating avoidable confusion stemming from poorly worded language, redundant or repetitive content, dated stance and administrative burdens.
  • Laws that are holding us back in the license-permit-quota raj. These laws are regressive, and stand in the way of India realising its economic potential. Repeal of these will signal to the domestic and foreign market that Make in India is not just a sentiment, but an active and sincere policy stance.

We believe that a repeal of these laws is the first step toward achieving greater economic, political and personal freedom. The campaign saw wide appeal in the media and 40 of our recommendations were included in the report by the Law Commission of India on laws warranting immediate repeal. Our report and media coverage is available here. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project.

Looking forward, we are gearing up for the busiest part of our calendar. Support us at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon this year as we ‘Step Up For Choice!’. I look forward to meeting you at our annual Jeevika: Asia Livelihood Documentary Festival on 13 and 14 December and the flagship School Choice National Conference on 19 December. Keep an eye out for our events through our fortnightly events newsletter, CCS Dashboard.

In liberty,

Parth J Shah


 

Education for All: School Choice Campaign
Rohan Joshi | Associate Director, Advocacy, School Choice Campaign

NISA SLSMany of us are in agreement that Right to Education Act in its current form focuses far too much on inputs to education and very little on outcomes in education. CCS through its School Choice Campaign (SCC) and National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) has been working to bring attention to the drawbacks of the Act for the last couple of years. In July, a group of 31 leaders in the education space came together and brainstormed on the much required amendments to the RTE that will make the Act more focused on learning outcomes. Read more.

 

Removing Barriers to Livelihood: Vikalp
Gaurav Arora | Associate Director, Skills Voucher Program

VikalpAfter establishing its roots in Mumbai, the Vikalp program expanded its base to Pune. Despite the mobilisation challenges in the territory, the phase was rolled out with 125 candidates making co-payments and enrolling themselves for the program. The commencement of classes is expected in the first week of October. In Mumbai, Phase-II began with course offerings for nine courses and 184 enrolments. The classes have commenced for the Mumbai phase and the certifications for these enrolled students shall begin soon. Read more.

 

Developing New Leaders with New Ideas: CCS Academy
Baishali Bomjan | Director, Development & Outreach and Asia Centre for Enterprise

ColloquiumWhy is our work at CCS Academy important? Luis Miranda, Chairman of our Board of Trustees captures it eloquently in his latest blog Why is India Poor?—“Most of the brainwashing in favour of socialism starts in the classroom, and students do not get a chance to freely debate the merits and faults of various economic frameworks”. Read more.

 

New faces at CCS

Sumer
Sumer Seth
Sumer is a management professional with more than seven years experience in handling various roles in Human Resource Management such as Talent Acquisition, Policy Implementation & Administration and Employee relations. He holds a B.Sc in Hotel Management from IHM Jaipur, and a Master’s degree in HR from Fore School of Management. His strength lies in end to end project execution of outsourcing projects.
NEW PUBLICATIONS

Viewpoint 13: RTE and Budget Private Schools: What would Gandhi think?

View Point 13James Tooley's research is a journey into the history of Indian education, drawing comparisons between the shutting down of indigenous schools then, on Macaulay's recommendations, and the closure of budget private schools today under the RTE, for being “not good enough”. He explores the well-intentioned policies, and their faulty premises - that people cannot be trusted to make judgements about what is better or worse for their own children; and suggests that we take a leaf out of Gandhi’s book and resist the closures, to win our educational independence.

Repeal 100 Laws Project

Repeal 100 Laws Project100 Laws Worthy of Repeal: A report by Centre for Civil Society, Macro/ Finance Group at NIPFP and Vidhi Legal Centre, September 2014.

Soft copies of these publications are available for download on the CCS website. For hard copies, email ccs@ccs.in.
 
Jeevika: Asia Livelihood Documentary Film Festival
Jeevika: Asia Livelihood Documentary Film Festival
 
CCS in the MEDIA
By CCS
  • Parth’s article in Rajasthan Patrika on the disbanding of the Planning Commission. 17 August 2014.
  • Luis Miranda writes for Forbes India on why India is poor. 19 September 2014.
  • Prashant Narang’s piece on fake encounters in the Rajasthan Patrika. 24 September 2014.
  • Parth writes for the Rajasthan Patrika on the effect of removing coal block allocation by the Supreme Court on our economy and investment. 25 September 2014.
  • Kumar Anand in the Rajasthan Patrika, on Modi’s Make in India Campaign. 26 September 2014.
Quoting CCS
  • Parth J Shah quoted by First Post on how to calculate poverty lines in the context of the Rangarajan Report. 8 July 2014.
  • Parth quoted by The Christian Science Monitor on the government scrutiny of foreign funding for NGOs. 21 July 2014.
  • CCS interns Shashank Singh and Ananya Goyal quoted in The Hindu in an article on e-rickshaws in New Delhi. 1 August 2014.
  • CCS intern Jai Vipra research quoted in Scroll’s article on how India’s rape laws must recognise that men can be raped too. 11 September 2014.
  • NISA research on school closure quoted in Indian Express.  23 September 2014.
About CCS
  • Launch of Freedom Caravan 2014 covered in India Education Diary. 3 July 2014.
  • Our launch of the Hindi translation of the Morality of Capitalism covered by various media. July 2014.
  • Education World ran a feature on the need to protect budget private schools in their August 2014 issue.
  • Our Boondein Camapign covered by various media, including Dainik Jagran, Prabhat Khabar, Hindustan and Navodaya Times. August 2014.
  • The CSR Journal on how RTE is undermining its own objectives. September 2014.
  • Times of India covers the launch of Boondein in New Delhi. 8 September 2014.
  • Pune Mirror covers our online petition demanding a shift in focus of RTE from input norms to learning outcomes. 22 September 2014.
  • Project Patang featured in Nai Dunia. 23 September 2014.
  • Indian Express features our Punjab School Closure Study. 26 September 2014.
  • India Education Diary on the NISA School Leaders Summit. 28 September 2014.
  • The 100 Laws Worthy of Repeal Project saw coverage in leading publications including Times of India, Business Standard, Mint and BBC News. Full coverage here. October 2014.
 

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