This July, we completed the 19th edition of our annual summer internship program, the Researching Reality Internship. Each year, the research internship engages college and university students in critical learning, primary research and policy analysis, leading to a publication of original research papers addressing key governance concerns and policy frameworks.
This edition saw our cohort of 14 young learners researching K-12 governance in India, with a focus on the unease of opening non-governmental schools, enduring administrative prejudices against non-governmental providers and the scope of parental choice and the lack thereof in education in India.
Under the guidance of Research Advisor Bhuvana Anand, the interns delved deeper into understanding the challenges within the Indian education system through quantitative and qualitative research, data analysis, and critical thinking. Our flagship introductory course in public policy - ipolicy, was also conducted for the interns with interactive games, simulations, debates and introduction to fundamental policy concerns including the principles of sound policy-making, rule of law, stakeholder mapping in education, spontaneous order and pricing, RTE Act analysis, among others.
The interns also underwent dedicated sessions on 'How to Talk to Babus and Netas' by Shantanu Gupta, Author and Policy Analyst, and on 'Principles of Research' by Ajay Shah, Professor, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
Politics of Development (PoD) is a three-day residential course that explores the intersection of politics and policy and their implications for the nation's development. Offered in partnership with the GD Goenka University this July, the certificate course drew a participation from 40 young leaders.
The course encouraged participants to understand India's developmental challenges and the role of effective policy in addressing them. Dedicated sessions on education policy, the state of India's agriculture and a reform agenda for the for Modi 2.0 among others, were discussed by our expert faculty including, Amit Kaushik, CEO, Australian Council for Educational Research; Swaminathan Aiyar, Senior Journalist and Columnist; and Barun Mitra, Founder and Director, Liberty Institute, among others.
We conducted our advanced four day residential program, Liberty and Society Seminar, in Goa from 11 to 14 July. Engaging CCS alumni, the seminar provided participants with a greater understanding of the larger world within a liberal framework, emphasising limited government, individual rights, free trade, and competitive markets.
Attended by 24 alumni, the seminar engaged the participants in vital issues of public policy through thematic sessions on free speech, the job crisis in India, making a case for a liberal trade and agricultural policies and reform agenda for Modi 2.0 among others. The seminar also discussed the foundations of liberalism land liberalism in India, highlighting Indian voices and practises that have influenced our culture. Our esteemed faculty included, Bhuvana Anand, Director - Research, Centre for Civil Society; Parth Shah, President, Centre for Civil Society; Anupam Manur, Assistant Professor,The Takshashila Institution; Jerry Johnson, Writer; Neeraj Kaushal, Economist and Writer and Swaminathan Aiyar, Journalist and columnist.
The Indian School of Public Policy (ISPP) organised a workshop on 'Hard Evidence for Tough Decisions: Evaluation in Development Policy' conducted by Dr. Emmanuel Jimenezon, Executive Director, The International Initiative on Impact Evaluation on 13 July, 2019.
Engaging with 40 enthusiastic learners, Dr. Jimenezon explained the various tools used in impact evaluation, including randomised control trials, regression discontinuity, the differences in differences approach, and instrumental variables. Drawing on case studies of interventions in India – environmental auditing in Gujarat, of corruption in MNREGA in Bihar and of school education in Haryana, he demonstrated the role of impact evaluation in leading policymakers to better understand policy and developmental outcomes.
This July, we conducted our flagship program, the ipolicy for journalists in the hill-town of Lansdowne in Uttarakhand in partnership with Atlas Network. The workshop engaged 24 journalists from leading national and regional media portals like Zee news, NDTV, Hindustan Times (Hindi), Amar Ujala, Dainik Jagran and Jansatta (Indian Express Hindi) among others.
The three-day residential workshop included dedicated thematic sessions on the New Education Policy, the Fee Regulation Act, environmental challenges and liberalism in India delivered through interactive games, simulation and dialogue.
Our faculty included Kumar Anand, Director - Advocacy, Centre for Civil Society; Prashant Narang, Associate Director - Research, Centre for Civil Society and Rohan Joshi, Head of Outreach, Centre for Teacher Accreditation (CENTA).
We also also conducted the ipolicy for students at the City Montessori School, Lucknow, attended by 40 curious and bright school students.
"It was great. It gave me a new perspective to look at the present conditions. It gave me an idea of how rights, though granted , are not of much help when it comes to practicing them"
- CMS Lucknow ipolicy
In a big win for us, the Draft National Education Policy 2019 (NEP) recently released by the Government makes clear recommendations for states to implement the idea of separation of functions to reform school and higher education in India. Separation of functions is one of the foremost principles of good governance without which no structural reforms in education are possible.
At CCS, we have continued to build evidence, and advocate for the effective uncoupling of functions in education governance, particularly, separating the role of the state as the provider, regulator, financier and assessor of education. In 2018, we released the Reforming Education Governance in India: Policy Blueprint for Separation of Powers Report proposing a separation of the functions of service-delivery, assessment of learning outcomes, and adjudication of disputes into three independent bodies. This recommendation was also presented to the Kasturirangan Committee, the apex body headed by Dr K. Kasturirangan tasked with developing the NEP.
To further this idea, this June, we attended two roundtables on the draft NEP organised by the Centre for Policy Research and the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights. On 25th June, we organised our monthly dialogue with 13 journalists on the NEP, representing leading media houses like Dainik Bhaskar, ETV Bharat, Amar Ujala among others.
The National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA), has also launched a National Education Policy Campaign with regional meetings held in Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, with over 1300 attendees.
171 learners have successfully graduated from the second edition of our Massive Online Open Online Course (MOOC) on Education Policy in India this June. Titled 'Education in India: Ideas, Policies, Alternatives', the course is being offered as A four-week online course open to enrolments.
The course was launched to address the enduring lack of a comprehensive and accessible training in education policy in India and aims to train students in research methods, along with the philosophical, economic, and political aspects of education policy in the Indian context.
Our course modules address the historical and extant education policy landscape in India, the economics of education, regulatory frameworks and interventions and innovations to catalyse education quality. Its faculty consists of eminent educationists and policy experts, including Amit Kaushik, CEO, Australian Council for Educational Research (India); Yamini Aiyar, President and Chief Executive of Centre for Policy Research; Parth Shah, President, Centre for Civil Society and Gurcharan Das, Author and Former CEO, P&G India, among others.
This June, the Indian School of Public Policy (ISPP) conducted three workshops, engaging 104 participants. Conducted by Dr. Amir Ullah Khan, Development Economist, the workshop on 'Setting Priorities: Policy Making and Development Finance' highlighted the importance of gathering evidence and measuring impact to ensure efficient allocation of resources.
Our second workshop, on 'Does India want to grow at 10%' was conducted by Dhiraj Nayyar, Chief Economist, Vedanta Resources conducted a workshop and highlighted the significance of evidence-based public policy-making as a pre-requisite for improved economic growth.
Dr. Arunabha Ghosh, Founder-CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water, also conducted a workshop on 'Energy Transitions in Emerging Economies: Opportunities, Risks, and Ways Forward'. The workshop focused on the role of public policy in ending energy poverty and enabling the transition to sustainable forms of energy such as solar power.
On 8th June, the Indian School of Public Policy (ISPP) hosted a webinar with Mr. Sebastian Hug, Consul General and CEO, Swissnex India, with a focus on Switzerland's success in industry and governance. Using case studies on the cheese, fintech and watch-making industry, Mr. Hug highlighted the need for a conducive environment facilitated by the government in the form of investments in research and development, robust education system and regulatory frameworks facilitated by an effective government.
He emphasized that rather than having an innovation policy, Switzerland's success can be attributed to the creation of such facilitative conditions, which encourages innovation.