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 Azadi.me and Sanjay Garg, Creator, Centre for Policy Solution.
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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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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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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.
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.
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, Azadi.me 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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This June, we launched the 18th edition of our flagship summer internship program, the Researching Reality Internship. The annual six-week 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.
In this edition, we have a cohort of 22 young learners, researching the complex regulations and policy bottlenecks that continue to thwart enterprise in India.
Theme and Sub-Themes: Taking note of the complex regulations that govern businesses in India, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry in 2014 prepared a 98-point action plan in 2014 called the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) to ease the business regulatory environment across states. The internship will address the implementation of the ease of doing business reforms in the state of Delhi with a particular focus on: (a) the progress on the ease of doing business reforms, (b) the need for and scope of regulatory reforms in the services sector. The research will also incorporate an exploratory study on the emergence of service aggregators (such as Uber, Zomato) and document the regulatory shifts and learnings, if any, in and for the industries they operate in.
Under the guidance of Research Advisor Bhuvana Anand, the interns will delve deeper into understanding the true challenges that restrictive regulations pose to businesses through quantitative and qualitative research, data analysis, and critical thinking. The interns have undergone dedicated sessions on 'Ease of Doing Business in India', 'Economic Development and Poverty', 'Property Rights', 'Public Choice', 'Spontaneous Order and Prices', 'Policy Evaluation and Methods' and many more by sectoral experts like Parth Shah, Founder President of Centre for Civil Society; Luis Miranda, President, Centre for Civil Society; Barun Mitra, Founder and Director of the Liberty Institute; and Shagata Mukherjee, Professor, Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics, among others.
Spontaneous Order, our digital publication of liberal commentaries, hosted its third edition of CCS’ Facebook Live Discussions ‘Spontaneous Dialogue’ on 27 April 2018 titled ‘Fee Regulation in Education’. Featuring eminent panelists such as Vikas Jhunjhunwala, CEO and Founder, Sunshine Schools; and Akriti Gaur, Research Fellow, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, the Dialogue analysed the costs associated with operating private schools in India, and tried to unpack the complexities of ‘fee regulations’ by questioning not only the definition of such a term -and lack thereof- but also its scope. The Dialogue received an organic reach of 7,444 persons and unique viewership of 1,595.
The bi-monthly Dialogue series, live-streamed on Facebook, aims to offer impartial and factual perspectives on contemporary issues, conveyed in the form of rational deliberations between experts from across the ideological and academic spectrum.