Weekly Update on Education

22 March 2011

Are Direct Cash Subsidies Better?
Forbes, March 21, 2011

After dithering on the matter for more than a decade, the government has announced that it will provide direct cash subsidy for fertiliser, kerosene and LPG. It will start by running a pilot based on the recommendations of a task force formed for this purpose, and headed by Nandan Nilekani. It is due to submit its report by June this year. The move is significant since many believe that once implemented, it will pave the way for similar direct cash transfers by the government in subsidies like food and education.

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Putting a Price Tag on the ‘Right to Education’
Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2011

According to a new estimate put out by a government spending accountability group, getting existing Indian government schools to meet education rules that came into effect last year could cost 152 billion rupees, or about $3.4 billion dollars. And getting India to fully meet what that law mandates—free and compulsory education for all children between the ages six to 14—could cost well over triple that amount, or about $11 billion.

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Sequoia Capital invests Rs 25 cr in K12 Techno Services
Business Standard, March 16, 2011

Sequoia Capital India Advisors Pvt Ltd, the Indian arm of the US-based venture capital firm, today announced its second round funding of Rs 25 crore to city-based K12 Techno Services Pvt Ltd, which runs 70 Gowtham Model School units in Andhra Pradesh. This, along with an earlier investment of Rs 75 crore made in July 2010, has been jointly put by Sequoia and SONG Investment Advisors in an 80:20 ratio. With this, Sequoia-SONG hold 49 percent in K12 Techno Services while the rest is with the promoters.

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Top colleges to award own degrees?
Times of India, March 22, 2011

NEW DELHI: Top colleges in the country like St Stephen’s in Delhi and St Xavier’s in Kolkata may be allowed to give their own degrees if the recommendation of a committee set up by the HRD ministry is accepted. The ministry has in fact set up a panel to create a roadmap for implementing the recommendations of the Madhav Menon committee about autonomy in higher education — which suggested that top colleges be allowed to give degrees — and reports by committee of vice-chancellors on issues like centralized admission test.

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Skilled manpower requirement at 500K in 5 years: CII Gujarat
Business Standard, March 22, 2011

At a time when Gujarat is eyeing a 15 per cent growth rate, the skilled manpower requirement in next five years has been pegged at 500,000. Speaking at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Gujarat Annual Day Conference on ‘Gujarat: Vocational Education & Training and Skill Development – The Livelihood’, Maheshwar Sahu, principal secretary, Industry and Mines, Government of Gujarat emphasised on skill development.

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School results are in …
Indian Express, March 18, 2011

The preamble to the historic Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE) reads ‘… an Act to provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years.’ So how realistic is this target?

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Enrolment in primary schools plunges 2.6 million in 2 years
Economic Times, March 21, 2011

MUMBAI: It is a lesson in misplaced enthusiasm. While the Centre has been busy tom-tomming its efforts to send more children to school, enrolment in primary classes across the country has, in actuality, dropped since 2007. Between 2008-09 and 2009-10, enrolment in classes I to IV in Indian schools dropped by over 2.6 million.

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BE happy: Quota for the poor stays
DNA, March 19, 2011

The Union ministry for human resource development (MHRD) has directed all technical institutes across the country to provide 5% reservation for meritorious students from economically backward families. The decision comes close on the heels of the state government’s move to remove the quota, reserved for poor meritorious students, in undergraduate engineering colleges through Common Entrance Test.

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Research Article
Are friends important in educational outcomes?

Eleonora Patacchini Yves Zenou

ABSTRACT: Most people agree that friends matter – not just for personal wellbeing but for achieving their goals in life. Several studies have shown this to be particularly the case in education but the detection and measure of such peer effects is often found wanting. Using detailed information on friendship networks of American high-school students, this column finds that the friends we make at age 15 to 18 have a strong and persistent effect on our lives.

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ENABLE – ARK & CCS’s School Access and Voucher Programme

ARK’s work in Delhi has identified many communities where children are facing multiple social and economic challenges which put them at great risk of being excluded, dropping out or never attending school. To address this need ARK has partnered with Centre for Civil Society (CCS)
to implement ENABLE (Ensure Access to Better Learning Experiences), a school access and
voucher programme for underprivileged children in Shahdara.Read more


School Choice National Conference Video

Watch this video to catch the highlights of the School Choice National Conference 2010 held at India Habitat Centre.

Click here for the video


RTE Coalition

To initiate and continue the discussion amongst concerned groups and individuals on the issue of right of education and monitor the implementation of the RTE Act, an RTE Coalition has been formed. Join the coalition to make universal elementary education a reality in India. Log on to for more information.


Student First! Magazine

The second issue of Student First! Magazine is out. The theme for this issue is Public Private Partnerships in Education.

For more click here


Skill Vouchers - Global Experiences and Lessons for India

Leah Verghese and Parth J Shah

A study of the role that skill vouchers can play in catalysing demand for quality skill development services. This study examines global experiences with skill vouchers and draws lessons for India from these experiences.

For more click here


Reservation in Private Schools under the Right to Education Act: Model for Implementation

Shekhar Mittal and Parth J Shah

Through this document the Centre for Civil Society seeks to highlight the lacunae in the current framework for 25% reservation for weaker and disadvantaged groups in unaided private schools and seeks to provide inputs on effective implementation of the same.

For more click here



400 girl children from poor families of North East Delhi receive school vouchers for a period of 4 years.
For details visit website


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