We met with Rina Ray, Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, to discuss the enduring crisis of learning in India, and to present our recommendations for learning-outcomes based school regulation. We also presented comprehensive policy blueprints on Direct Benefit Transfers and need for the separation of roles of the government as the financier, provider and regulator of education.
CCS has been committed to advancing reforms in education that promote choice, quality and accountability, keeping students first. Our principles of choice, efficiency and competition have informed our policy advocacy and we have worked consistently to shift focus from infrastructure to outcomes, to implement DBT as a tool to improve efficiency and accountability.
We conducted ipolicy for Young Leaders, our flagship three-day introductory program in public policy in three cities this November - Pune, Chennai and Delhi, with 122 graduates!
Introducing young leaders to the principles of sound policy making, the training also equipped the young leaders with an understanding of market-liberal solutions to enduring policy and developmental challenges. Some of our sessions, for instance, addressed property rights, the role of technologies in governance, and the need for personal and cultural freedoms. Our key faculty included Bhuvana Anand, Governance and Public Policy Specialist; Barun Mitra, Founder and Director, Liberty Institute; and Ameya Paratkar, Public Policy Advocate, among others.
We conducted our first Baithak in Mumbai, on 24th November, with Raghavan Jagannathan, Editorial Director, Swarajya speaking on the enduring job crisis in India. The Baithak saw a participation from 12 alumni, engaging with Raghavan on his insights on the historical delinking of economic growth and job creation, and the role of technological development and startups in expanding job markets.
Date: 30th October, 2018
Venue: PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry
We launched a compendium on Doing Business in Delhi, at a panel discussion on the theme held on 30th October. An outcome of the 18th edition of our Researching Reality Internship, the report explores the complex regulations and policy bottlenecks that continue to thwart enterprise, with a particular focus on the implementation of the Ease of Doing Business reforms in the state of Delhi.
The comprehensive compendium consists of seven research papers which address themes such as business reforms in the restaurant industry, a study of how aggregators are challenging the regulatory structure and functioning of commercial courts, among others. The roundtable discussion was moderated by Bhuvana Anand, Governance and Public Policy Specialist, and was attended by industry representatives and policy experts including Dr Parth Shah, President, Centre for Civil Society; Kadambari Shah, IDFC Institute; Prashant Narang, Advocate, Supreme Court of India; and Shubho Roy, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) among others.
Researching Reality Internship is a six-week, full-time summer research internship program for students. The internship provides a hands-on experience in research and to the application of social and economic principles in to governance and public policy.
Date: 23rd October, 2018
Venue: Constitution Club of India
On 23rd October we launched the Indian School of Public Policy(ISPP), India's first definitive and immersive program in Policy, Design and Management. Conceptualised as a one year, Master's-equivalent program, the ISPP will commence with its first batch in August 2019.
Held at the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi, the keynote address at the launch was delivered by Gurcharan Das, Trustee, Centre for Civil Society and Former CEO, P & G India. Our esteemed speakers also included N.K. Singh, Chairperson, Fifteenth Finance Commission of India and Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha; and Rajiv Mehrishi, Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
The launch event also included a panel discussion on the 'Need for a new generation of policy professionals' with eminent panelists such as Dr. Abhijit Sen, Member, erstwhile Planning Commission; Dr. Shekhar Shah, Director General NCAER; Dr. Shamika Ravi, Director of Research, Brookings India; Smt Mahima Kaul, Director of Policy and Government Partnerships, Twitter India; Dr. Aseem Prakash, Chairperson, School of Public Policy & Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Dr. Shubhashis Gangopadhyay, Dean, ISPP and Founder, India Development Foundation.
The ISPP is conceived as the first design-thinking focused school of public policy in India with a vision to develop policy professionals with the knowledge, skills, wisdom and ethics to understand, design and implement local solutions to India's enduring policy and governance challenges. It presents for us, the next frontier in impacting public policy in India, and a successor to two decades of student outreach and policy training programs spearheaded by CCS Academy.
We brought together 18 parent members of our Parents Forum for School Education for a two-day workshop to train them - as key stakeholders in education - in education policy advocacy. The objective of the workshop was to build consensus among parents in defining the problems in education in India today and to equip them with fundamental skills to devise and implement an impactful action plan for due reforms.
The core sessions of the workshop provided the parents with a firm understanding of education policy in India, its enduring problems in quality and access and the principles of sound public policy, along with skills in communication and digital advocacy. Our facilitators included Mr Kulbhushan Sharma, President, National Independent Schools Alliance; Dr Parth Shah, President, Centre for Civil Society; Nitesh Anand, Senior Associate, Advocacy, Centre for Civil Society; and Rahul Nainwal, Co-Founder India Fellow Social Leadership Program and MITRA iVolunteer respectively.
We conducted ipolicy for Young Leaders, our flagship program bringing the principles of sound public policy to students and young professionals in three cities this October - Lucknow, Chennai and Delhi, reaching 109 young leaders. In Lucknow, we partnered with the City Montessori School to conduct our first ever policy training for high school students. We also conducted the first international ipolicy for young leaders this past month, partnering with Bikalpa, a public policy think tank based in Biratnagar.
Our three-day intensive course seeks to equip students with a critical understanding of contemporary socio-political and economic concerns and introduce them to market-liberal solutions to enduring policy challenges. Our talks provide an open forum to the youth to discuss and debate urgent socio-economic and political concerns, introducing them to market-liberal ideas and policy solutions.
CCS has consistently advocated for easing regulations to promote the ease of opening and running schools in India. Our policy research and reform recommendations have also asserted the need for a shift to learning-outcomes based school regulations, and a move away from the input-centric norms of the RTE. In a big win for us, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) recently introduced reforms in the CBSE affiliation process, reorienting focus to learning outcomes. The earlier affiliation process only took into account infrastructural compliance validated by a No Objection Certificate (NOC) inspection done at state level and by CBSE at the national level. MHRD has now mandated an inspection of learning outcomes by the CBSE, in addition to to the NOC for infrastructure from the District Education Officer.
This reform stands to ensure that there is no duplication in the process, assert the need to focus on student learning, and promote transparency through the shift to an online process of affiliation.
Date: 14-16 September, 2018
Venue: Nagarkot, Nepal
Parth Shah, President of Centre for Civil Society, moderated a Colloquium on 'Economic Growth and Wealth Creation' organised by Samriddhi, a policy think tank based in Nepal. Held from 14-16 September in Nagarkot, Nepal, the colloquium discussed the ideas of liberty and its implications on economic freedom and achieving the goal of economic prosperity.
With 18 participants from diverse disciplines and backgrounds, some of the sessions in the colloquium encouraged discussions e, on 'Man's Right and Economic Freedom', 'Public Choice and Public Policy' 'Regulation and Poverty', and 'Market Economy, 'Limited Government and the Invisible Hand' among others.