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‘CAG/RBI should audit educational loans interest subsidy’

Finances & Budgets

IANS

19-Oct-2013

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) or the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should audit the manner in which the banks operate the interest subsidy scheme for their education loans, says K.Srinivasan, convenor of Education Loan Task Force (ELTF).

“Based on the complaints received by ELTF, many students have not been getting interest subsidy from many banks. There are bank managers who even fob off the borrowers denying any such interest subsidy scheme,” Srinivasan, a former banker, told IANS.

ELTF guides students on rules and regulations governing the education loans offered by nationalised banks.

He said Canara Bank is the nodal agency for setting the bank’s claims under the interest subsidy scheme for a fee and it would claim the amount from the human resource development ministry.

Srinivasan said under the interest subsidy scheme, the centre would reimburse the banks the interest due on the loan amount till the end of one year from the date of completion of the course, or six months from the date on which the student lands a job after his course — whichever is earlier.

The centre would reimburse the interest to those students whose parental income is less than Rs.450,000 per annum, and on loans which are available only for professional and technical courses and not for arts/science, and students of diploma course, Srinivasan said.

Citing union budget documents, he said during 2011-12, Rs.697 crore was allotted for the loan’s interest subsidy. Between 2012-13 and 2013-14, Rs.800 crore and Rs.1,100 crore have been allocated.

“I understand the Rs.1,100 crore allocation for this fiscal has already been exhausted,” he added.

According to him, the total education loan portfolio for the banking sector as on March 31, 2013, is around Rs.53,000 crore in around 25 lakh accounts.

Under the Indian Bank’s Association (IBA) guideline loan repayment could be done over a 10-15 year period.

“But banks force the students to pay within three/five years. With the poor economic situation and the lack of employment opportunities, the students are not able to pay huge monthly dues. The banks then classify the accounts as non-performing and give a negative public image about this portfolio, he said.

Banks also shame the students by pasting their pictures on the branch notice boards when they default on dues.

“We appreciate the interest subsidy scheme, but the way in which the interest subsidy is managed needs to be thoroughly audited by CAG or RBI,” said the ELTF convener.

 

Comment

Financial Innovation Goes to School

Finances & Budgets, Global news

Project Syndicate

01-10-213

PARIS – Later this month, the  United Nations will discuss a high-level report on global development priorities  for the period following the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire  in 2015. Quality education is one of the global priorities that world leaders  will be taking up.

While global health outcomes – a key focus of  the MDGs – have improved dramatically in recent years, progress on education  worldwide has not been nearly as satisfactory. There are many reasons for this,  including the complexity of education investments, weak global governance, and –  of course – money. The three largest global health-financing institutions (the  Global Fund to Fight  AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the GAVI Alliance, and UNITAID) will have spent more than $55 billion by 2015, with  roughly $7 billion coming from innovative financing mechanisms such as vaccine  bonds, the airline levy, and debt swaps.

Despite unequivocal evidence of its positive social and  economic impact, education – particularly at the preschool and primary levels –  suffers from chronic under-investment. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has raised less than  10% of what has gone into global health, and to date no significant innovative  financing mechanisms have emerged. With almost a billion children lacking access  to quality education, more funding clearly is needed.

Barriers to education investment include a very long gap  between interventions and outcomes, the difficulty of measuring results, and  public-sector domination. The health sector faces fewer obstacles, because it is  characterized by immediate threats to human life, easily measurable outcomes, a  high degree of sustainability, and a vibrant private sector.

Moreover, the existence of global public-private  partnerships – such as the Global Fund, the GAVI Alliance, or UNITAID – offers  an institutional underpinning for effective advocacy and global health  diplomacy. Efforts to improve global education outcomes, by contrast, are  handicapped by complexities along the entire value chain of investment and lack  well-funded financing institutions capable of driving global education  diplomacy. So what are the options?

We propose an education investment bank to be established  with the cooperation of the GPE and major international investment banks,  capitalized in part by proceeds from a financial-transaction tax (FTT), such as  that proposed for the European Union.

An FTT is most suitable for such a venture for two reasons.  First, the tax itself is a result of – and, as some may see it, a punishment for  – the “bad” financial innovation that brought the global economy to its knees in  2008, hitting the world’s poorest people the hardest. It seems only fair to tax  the financial sector in order to nurture “good” innovation that funds social  infrastructure such as education.

Second, an education investment bank would be transformative  in terms of tapping new assets, leveraging capital, and creating more  opportunities. In developing countries alone, pension funds, insurance  companies, and mutual funds hold assets worth more than $6 trillion, and these  assets are growing at an annual rate of 15%. Why not mobilize some of this money  for education?

Despite the rise of private education in many low-income  countries, investment opportunities in public-private models and private  education remain limited. Currently, there are few clear opportunities for  investors, especially in terms of transaction size and scale.

In almost all countries, the state still shoulders the brunt  of the burden of education funding. Some efforts at innovative education  financing are being mounted, such as the recently launched social-impact bond  for education in the Indian state of Rajasthan; but scaling up such vehicles  will require greater institutional capacity and a far larger and more liquid  market. An education investment bank can play a vital role in catalyzing  both.

 The type of institution that we have in mind should be a  stand-alone organization operating as a registered investment bank and subject  to capitalization, regulatory, statutory, and other requirements. Its activities  should include raising capital (equity and debt) for global education; providing  investment-banking services to governments, businesses, and multilateral  agencies in cooperation with local banks; and offering consulting and advisory  services for public-private partnerships, privatization, decentralization,  loans, and concessionary finance negotiations.

 Such a bank should go still further, assisting in and  advising on economic reforms aimed at enhancing and developing the education  sector. It would also oversee mergers and acquisitions in the education sector,  establish its own private-equity and venture-capital education investment funds,  and operate as a fund of funds.

 One of the most important roles of an education investment  bank lies in transforming the scattered strands of research and ideas related to  financing global education into actual transactions. Indeed, there is  substantial transaction-flow potential for a portfolio that seeks investment  opportunities in providing infrastructure, human capital, services, and  technologies for education.

 Ensuring high-quality education, especially for the poorest  children on our planet, is a matter of fairness. But innovation in sustainable  education financing is lagging behind as investment in other social  infrastructure increases. And yet, despite considerable challenges, there are  feasible options for developing the mechanisms needed to generate additional  funding and ensure access to the education opportunities that all children  deserve. An education investment bank is the place to start.

Comment

Two Brazil Education Firms File For IPOs; More M&A Expected in Brazil

Finances & Budgets, Global news

Wall Street Journal

04-10-2013

By  Rogerio Jelmayer

Two Brazilian education firms this week filed for initial public offerings, amid widespread interest in the booming education industry in Latin America’s largest nation.

On Friday, GAEC Educacao SA, which operates under the brand name Anima Educacao, said it plans to raise as much as 626 million Brazilian reais ($282 million) from an IPO while on Tuesday, Ser Educacional S.A and its shareholders unveiled a plan to raise up to 976.5 million reais from an IPO.

Both companies said they will use proceeds to finance their expansion via acquisitions across the nation.

The Brazilian market for private education services has grown rapidly over the past decade because of economic expansion, a rise in income and upward social mobility.

Growth has remained strong even as broader economic growth in Brazil has disappointed for three consecutive years. This scenario is attracting the interest of investors, prompting a series of mergers and acquisitions, as well as share offers.

“The education market is expanding, because now Brazilians are very clear about the importance of the education,” said Alexandre Furtado Montes, an industry analyst at Lopes Filho Consultores.

Mr. Montes cautioned that if the economy doesn’t start to recover as expected, continued weak economic growth could start to impact prospects for the education industry.

Meantime, a number of mergers and acquisitions are already underway.

Earlier this year, Kroton Educacional SAKROT3.BR +2.82%  and Anhanguera Educacional Participacoes SAAEDU3.BR +2.89% agreed to merge, creating the nation’s largest private-education company.

In August, U.S.-based Laureate Education Inc. agreed to acquire Brazilian university chain FMU for 1 billion Brazilian reais ($412 million).

Anima has 48,000 students across 17 units in the states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The firm reported net revenue of 323.7 million reais last year, up from 254 million reais the year before. Net profit was 23.5 million reais, reversing a loss of 31.9 million in the previous year, according to the prospectus.

Anima said it will offer up to 28.47 million common shares to the public, including an overallotment option, and it expects to price the shares between BRL16.50 and BRL22.00. About one-fifth of the shares will be sold by 15 existing shareholders through a secondary offering, while the remainder will be new shares.

Anima said the shares will be offered between Oct. 11-24, and trading is expected to begin Oct. 28. The deal is being managed by Itau BBA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and HSBC.

The company will list the new unit’s shares on the Novo Mercado mechanism, which is the country’s most rigorous in terms of corporate governance. To qualify, a company must sell at least 25% of shares to the public, and all of its shares must be ordinary rather than preferred shares. It will list its shares under the symbol ANIM3.BR.

Comment

UPA plans Rs. 3 lakh crore boost for education

Finances & Budgets

1-Oct-2013

Hindustan Times

To beat BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi claims on governance, the UPA government will soon unveil its major educational reform plan worth Rs. 3 lakh crore.

The country’s top advisory body, the Planning Commission, has approved a major increase to existing educational programmes of the UPA government and has also given go ahead to launch the Rs. 99,000 crore National Mission on Higher Education, called Uchchatar Siksha Abhiyan.

Under the plan, the central funding for higher education institutions would be increased to 90% and it would also include private institutions who meet the new accreditation norms.

The overall aim of the Abhiyan is to increase the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education from present 18% to 30% by 2020. To achieve the target, the government will have to set-up quality higher education institutions, an important cornerstone of the mission.

The biggest fillip, the government aims to give is to school education whose budget for the 12th five year has been more than doubled to Rs. 1,93,000 crore.

The government’s flagship lunch programme – the midday meal scheme – will get assistance of Rs. 63,000 crore in a bid to improve quality of meals given to children with measurement of its impact on a child’s health.

The mega-education plan also includes building hostels for other backward classes students and setting up of new National Institutes of Technology at a cost of Rs. 15,513 crore. The scholarships for school going children from the deprived sections will be increased, government sources said.

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Shiv Nadar Foundation to sign MoU with UP government

Finances & Budgets

LUCKNOW

The Economics Times

14 April 2013

The Shiv Nadar Foundation which has pumped in about Rs 500 crore for establishing world class schools called Vidya Gyan for poor rural children, would be signing an Memorandum of Understanding with the Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday.

The Mou would help Vidya Gyan schools to conduct entrance tests across all government run schools in rural Uttar Pradesh to spot talent, who would then be provided free education from class 6 to 12 at par with the best private schools in the country.

” Our aim is to provide world class education to the underprivileged kids in rural India. We have made a start from Uttar Pradesh and established two residential Vidya Gyan schools spread over 35 odd acres in Bulandshahar and Sitapur. The children are given free education which means that boarding, lodging, nutritional diet, books, stationary, school uniform and fees all are taken care of by the school” said former Cabinet Secretary of the country TSR Subramanian who is now the Trustee of Shiva Nadar Foundation and Chairman, Vidya Gyan Management Board.

He said that the Vidya Gyan schools after an elaborate screening exercise and tests at the district level select 10 bright students who have cleared class 5 from each district of the state. They are then given residential education in the two Vidya Gyan schools at Bulandshahar and Sitapur from Class 6 onwards.

” We have the best of faculty and infrastructure. The environment helps these children hone their talent and within a short span of time the transformation in them can be observed. We groom them to be able to compete with the best in the country and abroad. Parents are also happy to send their kids to us as they see the change that the child goes through after entering Vidya Gyan. After Class 12 we provide special coaching classes also for the children to clear competitive exams” said Subramanian.

Part of HCL Technologies founder Shiva Nadar’s philanthropic initiative, Vidya Gyan is aimed at transforming the lives of meritorious but poor students from rural parts of the state. Multi billionaire Shiv Nadar has pledged 20 per cent of his personal wealth for philanthropic work and has set up the Vidya Gyan schools and the Rs 1,000 crore Shiv Nadar University in Greater Noida.

Comment

Who Actually Paid For My Education?

Finances & Budgets, Higher Education

July 2013

Atanu Dey on India’a Development

India suffers from very low literacy even compared to other developing countries. Yet one gets to hear about the tremendous impact that Indian doctors, engineers and scientists have had around the world. This conveys the impression that the Indian schooling system works. I believe that that impression is wrong and that in fact the Indian school system is inefficient and biased against the poor.

Free Education

I spent many years the Indian school system and I must admit that I received very good schooling. My eleven years in a pretty good high school in Nagpur was practically free. I was given a scholarship during my bachelor’s degree in engineering. At IIT Kanpur, while doing a master’s degree in computer science, I received a stipend which was sufficient to pay for all normal expenses. I estimate that my entire education in India, including a master’s in computer science, cost me less than US$ 100 in today’s terms.

How is it that a poor society can afford to educate its children for free? Let me rephrase that: why are some people not charged the cost of education and who is forced to pay instead?

I come from a middle class family and I am sure we could have afforded more than that. But I am also sure that if the education had been priced at full cost, we could not have paid for it up front. [There is a way to circumvent this problem. See “Full cost pricing” at the end of this page.]

Someone else paid for my education. That is true for a very large number of people who are educated in India’s premier institutions–someone else paid.

Nagpur is a medium-sized city by Indian standards. It has a bunch of good high schools. You have to have a middle-class or better background to get into those because competitive pressures keep the poor out. But if you do get in, and don’t goof off too much, you can do well in the competition for admission into a good engineering or medical college. And then you get heavily subsidized education in college. Armed with all the advantages, you fill out a bunch of applications, write the GRE and the TOEFL and off you go to the US, never to return.

Brains are not Scarce, Resource Are

It was fashionable in the 1970s and 80s to refer to the migration of trained doctors, scientists and engineers to the advanced industrialized countries as a “brain drain.” Actually, it was a “resource drain” rather than a “brain drain.” India never really had a shortage of basic brains. There are hundreds of millions of basic brains in India. However it takes resources to train a basic brain and turn it into a useful brain. These scarce resources are lost to the economy when used to train brains that eventually migrate.

Just like capital flight from poor economies to the rich ones, the migration of trained manpower, human capital flight, is enormously expensive. It is an even more of a burden when the training is publicly funded. When a trained engineer migrates to the US, it is totally indistinguishable from a gift of US$ 100,000 from India to the US. Over the years, the total implicit subsidy from India to the US could be estimated to be of the order of hundred billion dollars.

Losses

When an educated person leaves India, there is a first-order loss to the economy if the education was publicly funded. There is no comparable first-order loss if private resources were involved in the training. But in either case, the economy loses the life-time stream of economic contributions that the migrant would have made. This is a second-order loss. There is what can be considered a third-order loss that is harder to estimate but whose impact may be the most damaging in the long run. This arises from publicly subsidizing higher education at the expense of primary education.

Primary education, somewhat like primary health care, has characteristics of what economists call a “public good.” The positive effects of primary education spill over into the larger economy more than that of higher education, which is more like a private good. Markets efficiently provide optimal quantities of private goods but are known to under-provide public goods. The market understandably fails in the case of primary education. The solution is straightforward: the public subsidy of primary education.

The essential point is that the subsidizing higher education is an inefficient use of resources which could have been used for primary education. And this distorted system has real-world consequences: the shameful neglect of primary education.

Dismal Statistics

The Indian constitution mandates universal primary education for all (see Article 8 of the Indian Constitution). Yet, 41% of children do not reach grade 5 in India. Compare that to some other countries:

   	  Gambia             20% 
	  Mali               18% 	
          Senegal            15% 	
          Tanzania           17% 	
          Burkina Faso       25%

[Source: Human Development Report 1999. UNDP.]

Of the countries that rank lower than India in the human development index, only about four have higher percentage of children that do not reach the fifth grade. Mozambique does worse than India, for instance. But never mind small strange sub-Saharan African countries. Take Indonesia for example: only 11% of its children don’t go past the fifth grade. Or take Mexico with its 14% figure. Compare India with neighboring Sri Lanka with its 17%.

The failure of Indian primary education is hard to escape. Sixty years after India’s political independence, India is places 126th out of 175 countries ranked in the 2006 Human Development Report. India’s adult literacy rate is a dismal 61%, below Cameroon (68%), Angola, Congo, Uganda (67%), Rwanda (65%), and Malawi (64%). That 40% of today’s Indian adults cannot even “both read and write a short, simple statement related to their everyday life” implies that they did not get the equivalent of the most basic of primary education. Compare that to China’s 90% adult literacy. [Source: UNDP Human Development Report.]

Successful NRIs

The argument is often advanced that the Indian education system must be world-class. After all, doesn’t it produce world-class NRIs (non-resident Indians) like Vinod Khosla and Rajat Gupta? Yes, of course. And don’t they turn around and give millions of dollars to support the IITs? Yes, of course. Sure the NRIs send some money home. But what is the ratio of the amount India spends on their education to what these worthies send back home?

Even then, who could be so crass as to measure everything in terms of dollars? Surely there is something more important than money. Yes, there is. And it is the untapped human capital that India has in abundance and which it criminally neglects. It neglects them because the powers that be have it made under the current system and it serves their narrow purposes.

In practically every measure of education, India’s rank is so abysmal that it is depressing to even look at the figures. Even if the solution to India’s education problems were as little as a week’s worth of clean drinking water, India would still be in trouble. Around 60% of Indians don’t have access to clean drinking water.

For all our vaunted world-class scientists, doctors and engineers, India ranks miserably in the number of scientists and technicians it has: 0.3 such per 1,000 population. Compare that to: China 0.6, Islamic Rep of Iran 0.7, South Africa 1.7, Korea 2.9.

Hyperbole and Hubris

We in India lack many things. One thing appears not to be in short supply–the hyperbole and the capacity for self-delusion. We have pretences of being an information superpower. Our IT sector is supposed to make us great. It stretches the imagination beyond belief that this idea can be entertained by anyone. We account for less than 1% of the global $600 billion IT business. Remember we represent 17% of the world’s population. Even if we were to increase our share 10 times (and this is unreasonable by any account) we’d still be below the world average.

Judging the Indian education system based on a Chandrashekhar or a Ramanujan is misguided and delusional. It is like weighing a pinch of mustard seeds against a herd of elephants and declaring that the mustard weighs more. How do we manage to delude ourselves so? I believe that those doing the judging live in very rarified atmospheres. Their world is populated by jet-setting intellectuals and internet millionaires and H1-B visas and ecommerce and NRIs. Hard evidence to the contrary, it is more comforting to believe that we are not that badly off.

Is there any point in confronting the hard evidence, you may ask. Yes, there is. Unless we recognize the basic problem, examine it dispassionately, we are unlikely to even consider solving the problem. In a sort of defense through denial, we can go on with business as usual by declaring the problem does not exist. But the problem does exist. And the problem is not one that does not have wide ranging implications. The most devastating impact of our dismal educational system is that we are condemning ourselves to a future of exceedingly low economic development. If there is one thing that developmental economists have learnt, it is this: education is the most important factor in economic growth. Education has more impact on economic growth than natural resources, foreign investment, exports, imports, whatever. Neglect education and you may as well hang yourself and save yourself the pain of a slow miserable death.

So who paid for my education? It is the poor rural children, thousands of them, who paid for my education by losing their opportunity to become semi-literate. The system is tilted against them and unless there is a radical change in the way that education is funded, they will continue to pay the price for subsidizing the US for decades to come.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FULL COST PRICING

A brief solution to the problem of full-cost pricing is easy to state. Price all higher education at full cost. If a year of engineering school costs Rs 3 lakhs, price it at that. Then give loans to every student that needs it to pay the price. The loan is repayable upon employment and in terms commensurate with the level of employment. If you earn big dollars in the US, pay in big dollars. If you work as a doctor in a small village in India, pay small amounts in rupees. Essentially, with the loan system in place, there is no need for public subsidies for higher education.

– See more at: http://www.deeshaa.org/who-actually-paid-for-my-education/#sthash.bWvZ3kBt.dpuf

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Aided institutions under ambit of RTI, rules High Court

Finances & Budgets, Higher Education

By Sruthisagar Yamunan

The New Indian Express

CHENNAI

22nd July 2013

In a significant order with far-reaching consequences, the Madras High Court has brought aided private educational institutions under the ambit of the RTI (Right To Information Act). In the case pertaining to the Thiagarajar College of Engineering in Madurai, the Court held that it is indeed a “public authority” as defined in the RTI Act and hence could not deny information with regards to its functioning to those who seek it.

Given that Tamil Nadu has a number of such aided private institutions, not just in engineering but also in other areas, whose functioning have time and again been questioned by educationists, the order clearly provides an opportunity to usher in greater transparency.

Thiagarajar College of Engineering receives aid from the State Government for payment of salary to teaching and non-teaching staff.

In 2009, one T K Ravindranath made an application under the RTI Act seeking information on fee structure of the college for certain courses.

In reply, the college registrar maintained that the institution was not a “public authority” and hence would not fall under the purview of the Act. An appeal was preferred by Ravindranath with the Tamil Nadu Information Commission, which directed the college to provide the information.

The college, subsequently, filed the current writ petition challenging the order.

Senior counsel G Masilamani, appearing for the college, argued that the commission had pre-determined the status of the college on the basis of the letter head which declared it to be a government-aided college without giving sufficient chance for the institution to make its case. He said that the college was not a government body or an instrumentality of the State, which alone can be brought under the purview of the Act. Though the college received 37 per cent of the total expenditure as aid from the government, it cannot be deemed as substantial funding, he added.

Counsel for the respondents in turn contended that the college was indeed substantially funded by the government. Once aid is received from government, that alone is sufficient to hold that it is a public authority, the counsel submitted.

Passing orders, Justice S Manikumar observed that imparting education was no more an independent activity. Rather it supplements the principal work carried out by the State through the educational institutions established by it.

Quoting a number of judgements, including that of the Kerala High Court, the judge said the term “substantial funding” has not been defined in the RTI Act. It has to be a relative term and that substantial means “real or actual” as opposed to trivial.

The judge also held that in public interest, a person can seek information on how a grant-in-aid is spent. “If the college receives any concession from the Government or receives a grant or sanction for disbursement of fee concession to any under-privileged person and if the same is not fully paid or partly paid, then the aggrieved student or any person, with a pro bono interest can seek for information,” Justice Manikumar said.

As such, the judge held that the college could be brought under the ambit of the RTI Act and dismissed the petition.

Comment

NAGALAND RECEIVED RS 437 CRORE FOR FREE EDUCATION

Finances & Budgets

Times of India

22-Jul-2013

Minister for School Education C M Chang replying to a query raised by opposition leader Tokheho during the ongoing session of the state assembly yesterday said that under Sarva Shikhsha Abhiyan (SSA) Rs 37447.98 lakhs was received while Rs 6291.18 lakhs was received under Rashtrya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) from Centre from the fiscal 2008-09 to 2012-13.

Nevertheless, Congress Legislature Party leader Tokheho Yepthomi raising supplementary regretted that despite having received such huge amount of funds for improvement of educational facilities in the state the performance of the government schools during the last five have been very discouraging.

“Besides state normal budget, department receiving so much money from the GoI under Compulsory Free Education to be given to the students, but the results of last five years result so bad,” he said.

He also highlighted the comparison in performance of government and private schools during the last five years with government schools both at high and higher secondary levels lacking far behind than the private schools.

He said during last five years students of government schools passing in first division in High School leaving Certificate Exam is only 15 while Private School has 2009 students.

The average 60% pass percentage of government schools stands at 409 while Private school is 13752.

In the Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate Exam, he said government schools students passing in first division were 923 while 4345 students from private schools passed in first division.

He also lamented despite appointment of 5419 graduate and primary teachers during the last years by Education department, but the menace of proxy teachers has not been checked.

“Prevalence of proxy teachers in government schools should be checked properly in order to improve the quality of teaching in government schools,” he said.

Comment

Pearson, Village Capital partner to fund ‘Eduprenuers’

Finances & Budgets

Digital Learning

July 2013

Pearson has partnered with social investor Village Capital to support and fund education entrepreneurs in India who are focused on serving the bottom-of-the-pyramid market in the country. Select education start-ups will receive up to USD 75,000 (Rs 45 lakh) in funding and will be selected through peer review by fellow entrepreneurs.

Up to 16 start-up companies will participate in workshops this year in which they will be offered mentoring advice from other entrepreneurs, investors and professionals. Of these, top two ranking companies will receive up to USD 75,000 each drawn from USD 100,000 and USD 50,000 of capital committed by the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund and Village Capital, respectively. The start-ups can be in either tech or non-tech ventures.

– See more at: http://digitallearning.eletsonline.com/2013/07/pearson-village-capital-partner-to-fund-eduprenuers/#sthash.i15KOKF3.dpuf

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School fee: HC panel bill nears Rs 1cr

Budget Private Schools, Finances & Budgets

5-Jul-2013

NEW DELHI

Times of India

The high court committee formed to look into complaints of fee hike by private unaided schools in December 2011 has already cost around Rs 1 crore but the excess fee refunded to parents under its orders comes to just Rs 5.8 lakh. Though the committee had ordered more than 100 schools to refund extra fees, only one school has actually paid parents.

The reply to an RTI query filed by lawyer-activist Khagesh Jha shows that till January 2013 the committee had received Rs 97.25 lakh as fees and another Rs 7.36 lakh was paid to a chartered accountancy firm. The Directorate of Education received Rs 1.29 crore from schools for the committee which has been studying financial records of more than 1,100 Delhi schools. The committee’s recommendations?submitted to and accepted by the high court?included refund of fees by 122 schools (one batch of 64 in August, 2012 and another of 58 in March this year).

The impact of the giant exercise is yet to be seen. The reply to Jha’s request for “details of amount refunded to the parents in terms of recommendation of refund of excess fees” states: “One school, namely Maharishi Dayanand Public School, New Moti Nagar, New Delhi, has claimed to have refunded excess fee charged from students”.

The Justice Anil Dev Singh Committee was constituted in December 2011 to look into “how much fee increase was required by each individual recognized unaided school on the implementation of the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission.” While examining the paperwork, the committee also discovered financial irregularities?it recommended inspection of 27 schools in March?and misrepresentation in several.

Of Maharishi Dayanand Public School, the panel’s first interim report states: “In reply to the questionnaire submitted by the school, it is stated that it had neither implemented the 6th Pay Commission Report nor increased the fee in terms of order dated 11.2.2009 issued by the Director of Education. The records…were examined by Ms SunitaNautiyal, Audit Officer of the Committee, and her observations are that…the school has increased tuition fee by Rs 100 per month for all the classes which was the maximum amount permitted to be increased as per the aforesaid order…when the school had admittedly not implemented the 6th Pay Commission Report.”

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