Issue # 297 | 19 August 2014










K-12 Education: Where Is The Modi Govt Planning To Spend?


After a decade of the Indian National Congress-led UPA alliance holding the reins of the Indian government, the 2014 Lok Sabha elections generated interest much more than the usual discourse about the “largest democratic process in the world”. With the incumbent government providing easy pickings, Narendra Modi led the charge of the Bharatiya Janata Party to a poll position where they could form a government without pandering to allies (which was a bane the Congress could not avoid). In this context, revolutionary reforms were expected from the new government. Here, we look at the education budget announced by the new Finance Minister, Arun Jaitely, in July 2014 by focussing on some important schemes.

The expenditure on education was 3.3% of the GDP last year and the budgetary allocation for the coming year has increased by 12% to INR 83,771 Cr. While an increase in expenditure is inevitable considering inflation and the positive growth of the economy, it is also necessary considering that 1.4 million children are out of school in India according to the latest UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the government’s flagship program for the universalization of elementary education, has been merged with the Right to Education Act from 2010 and has therefore due to an increase in the range and quantity of targets has seen the amount allocated to it rise consistently from INR 25,555 Cr in 2012-13 to INR 28,635 Cr in 2014-15.










Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day Speech


Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day Speech, 15 August 2014

In his first Independence Day address as the 15th Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi spoke about the need for (1) ramping up skills, particularly in trades through vocational education as a recurrent and increasingly critical priority for India, and (2) ensuring educational opportunity for girls and women through through adequate separate toilets for them in schools, among other things.









Right To Education For Human Resource Development In 21st Century India: A Policy Perspective


School education is the fundamental requisite to improve human resources. A sound school system should be in place guided by ‘right’ policy. Firstly, this paper examines the role of school education policies in  promoting human resource development. Secondly, a brief evaluation of Indian education policies will enable us to understand the areas of shortcoming. Thirdly, the paper will critically analyze Right to Education in India as the new fundamental right promised by the constitution of India, a human right and the latest public policy on school education.

A rigorous analysis from policy perspective is urgent as 21st century brings new challenges  for the education system in the form of globalization, liberalization of economy, multi-culturalism, increased demand for English language proficiency, a new set of soft skills, entrepreneurship and increased competition. Lastly, the paper will discuss policy options available and best suited to optimize human resource development in India. 













Should The Gujarat Education Model Be Replicated Nationally?


More emphasis on outcomes (like children's learning levels) and less on inputs (like infrastructure and teacher qualifications) - does it make sense to have such a system?


25% Of Govt/Aided Upper Primary Schools Violate RTE Act

They don't meet the requirement for at least 220 working days in a school year (as reported in 2011-12 Flash Statistics by District Information System for Education)


SOS: Save 300,000 Budget Private Schools


Special Report by Autar Nehru, Aruna Ravikumar and Nadia Lewis,

Education World: The Human Development Magazine,

August 2014



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All-India // The Economic Times // 22 August 2014

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Digital India Vision To Boost Education, Healthcare Sectors

NEW DELHI: One can't make available thousands of medical specialists or school teachers to the remotest corners of the country, but one can make their services available through broadband at multi-service centres in every village. That, in essence, is the vision of Digital India initiative that the Cabinet cleared on Wednesday.


Gujarat // The Indian Express // 21 August 2014

Gujarat Govt Nod To Bridge After NHRC Issues Notice>

Days after The Sunday Express reported about school children from 16 villages in Sankheda being forced to swim across the raging Hiran river to reach their school in Utavadi village in Narmada district, the Gujarat government has finally cleared the long-pending proposal for the river bridge.


Odisha // Times of India // 17 August 2014

Govt In A Fix Over Shortage Of Trained Science Teachers; Asks Centre To Relax Minimum Qualification

Bhubaneswar: Odisha is facing an acute shortage of teachers to teach science and mathematics in schools. Worried over the situation, the state government has urged the Centre to relax the minimum qualification for recruitment of teachers as stipulated by the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The state government has been in a fix over recruitment of teachers in schools as the number of trained teachers produced in the state is very low compared to the requirement, official sources said.


Tamil Nadu // The Hindu // 17 August 2014

In School, At Home

The path that Srividya Murali took when she decided to home-school her two boys may have raised eyebrows, but she found that it best suited her children’s needs. “I let them learn what they want to and choose the pace as well,” she says. Her sons, Raghav, 9, and Krishna, 4, learn from home, that too only what interests them, without the pressures of performance and evaluation. “I follow a system called “unschooling,” whereby I pick up cues on what my children show inclination towards and provide tools to develop those skills,” Ms. Murali says.


Global // DNA // 15 August 2014

#IndependenceDay: 6 laws that guarantee freedom for India's citizens

The Constitution of India that came into force in January 1950 laid out the basic framework and governing principles of how laws were to be framed in the country. As the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of the constitution enumerate, the idea was to deliver maximum freedom to the people. However, the Constitution was careful to include restrictions so that unhindered rights would not be detrimental to the rights enjoyed by others. Various legislations have been passed by the Indian Parliament over the 67 years of its history. Below, we list out six landmark legislations that have guaranteed and ensured freedom for the people in the country.






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