Weekly Update on Education

27 July 2010

Centre may halve higher education budget
Hemali Chhapia, The Times of India, July 24, 2010

Several ambitious projects launched by the UPA government under the 11th Five Year Plan may get delayed or axed as large spending cuts are likely to come into force. Thanks to the fact that the economy did not grow at the expected rate of over 9%, most ministries, barring two or three, are gearing up to shelve some of their projects. For instance, the Planning Commission, which conducted a review of the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012), is likely to slash budgetary allocations for higher and technical education by nearly half the original amount.

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Congress will ensure education to all: Sibal
Hindustan Times, July 25, 2010

Sibal said the Centre was planning to increase its participation in ‘education to all’ project and a decision in this regard would be taken soon. On minorities opposing constitution of Central Madarsa Board, the minister said there was no such plan. “I have said again and again that we will not interfere in religious education. As far as RTE is concerned it does not touch madarsas,” he said.He said a national council was being constituted to monitor the quality of education and core curriculum of different subjects was being prepared.

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Michael Gove can earn the gratitude of a generation
Janet Daley, The Telegraph, July 24, 2010

By the end of this week, Britain will have begun the long march out of educational decline. If the Coalition achieves nothing else before it expires, the revolution in state schooling which it is determined to see through will have earned it a place among the great reforming governments in post-war history, not to mention the hysterical gratitude of a generation of parents.

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The dream lives
The Indian Express, July 24 2010

It started as a dare. When MIT Media Lab visionary Nicholas Negroponte promised to bring affordable computing to children in developing countries with the One Laptop Per Child project, India’s HRD ministry rejected the idea. We didn’t need the largesse, because we had the smarts and economies of scale to make a $10 laptop, it claimed. Of course, India’s $10 boast was laughed off, especially after the ministry unveiled a pointless little device that would need a projector to be used, the price of which soared to $54 anyway.

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Multi-crore SC scholarships racket unearthed
Hindustan Times, July 25, 2010

The Uttar Pradesh government has unearthed a multi-crore racket in disbursement of scholarships to Scheduled Caste students in educational institutions in the state. The racket involves hundreds of engineering, medical, dental and management colleges that have mushroomed over the past few years in several parts of the state.

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Sexual harassment in schools on the rise
The Times of India, July 26, 2010

From posh private schools to dilapidated government ones, children in their early teens are getting molested and even raped while in school, observes child rights activists from the city who are now fighting for children’s right to safe education rather than free education. Some of the activists have even asked for implementation of a redressal mechanism for child grievances in all schools in the state to ensure safety of children.

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Quality in education: It’s my legal right
Surbhi Bhatia, The Times of India, July 26, 2010

While the efficacy of the Right to Education Act is being debated, the legislation has had an impact on marginalised sections of society. Says Ashok Agarwal, advocate and advisor to a civil rights group, “When the Act came into force around four months ago, we were expecting a slow response from society since it takes time to spread awareness about any new legislation. But from April we have received 200 applications where children and their parents are demanding admission under the Right to Education Act; 70% are from the Muslim community and out of that, 90% of the applicants are women.”

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India, Britain to ink deal on higher education
Anubhuti Vishnoi, Indian Express, July 27, 2010

India and the UK will be signing a 5 million pound-deal this week to collaborate in the field of education. A key part of British Pime Minister David Cameron’s India visit, the collaboration facilitated through the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) will see the two nations joining hands to set up new institutes, drive in skill development programmes, hold leadership programmes and work on quality assurance of courses offered to students.

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EFA Global Monitoring Report: Reaching the marginalized

This edition of the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2010, Reaching the marginalized, comes at a time of great uncertainty. We are still grappling with the far-reaching impact of the global financial and economic crisis not only on the world’s banking systems, but on all areas of human development – including education. We are at a crossroads. Either we continue with business as usual and risk undoing the considerable progress made over the past decade, or we use this crisis as an opportunity to create sustainable systems which promote inclusion and put an end to all forms of marginalization.

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Statistics on Indian Education
Youth (15–24 years) literacy rate, 2003–2007, female
Primary school enrolment ratio 2003–2008, gross, male
Primary school enrolment ratio 2003–2008, gross, female
Primary school enrolment ratio 2003–2008, net, male
Primary school enrolment ratio 2003–2008, net, female

Source: UNICEF




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.



2010 Fisher International Memorial Award

James Tooley’s “The Beautiful Tree” bags 2010 Fisher International Memorial Award.
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400 girl children from poor families of North East Delhi receive school vouchers for a period of 4 years.
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