ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Ankur SarinSubscribe to Ankur Sarin

Success Factories

In recent years, India has become home to one of the fastest-growing test preparation or coaching for “high-stakes examination” industries in the world. In this paper, collating data from various sources, we demonstrate its growth, explore the potential factors fuelling it, and argue that it contributes to the perpetuation of deeply ingrained inequalities in the Indian society. Seeing these trends as symbolic of the transformation of higher education into a tradable commodity, we highlight the limited attempts by the state in developing a robust regulatory environment despite increasing recognition of associated problems.

Implementation of Section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act

Section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act mandates non-minority private unaided schools to keep aside at least 25% of their entry-level seats for children belonging to disadvantaged sections to create a more integrated and inclusive schooling system. But its implementation experience has been far from satisfactory. More than half of the states and union territories have not implemented this provision (as of March 2016). Further, experiences of the states that implement this provision display considerable gaps. The Implementation of Section 12(1)(c) has also faced a plethora of litigations. The issues are discussed in-depth and recommendations for improving implementation have been provided.

Reading into “25,000 Crore Loss”

Industry bodies and the mainstream media were quick to claim that the country suffered a loss of Rs 25000 crore in the 2 September all India labour union strike. Parroting these figures and ot contextualising the strike in the larger debate of erosion of labour laws and rights make both these bodies look like knowledge architects without public accountability.

Quotas under the Right to Education

Quotas for the weaker sections in private schools have been one of the most controversial provisions introduced by the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. The quotas have imposed a debate on issues of social integration and equity in education that private actors had by and large escaped so far. However, the idea of an egalitarian education system with equality of opportunity as its primary goal appears to be outside the well-meaning space that private school principals inhabit. Therefore, the imposition of the quotas has led to resistance, sometimes justified. But the essential arguments against it are based on the logic of markets that the leadership in private schools has imbibed. This leads them to not only resist the idea of integration, but also devalue the enormous effort put in by children and parents from the weaker sections.

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