08 November, 2008

VBU-Hazaribag Students Union Election - 25thNov.2008







vOTE  FOR Er. Alok Kumar  on Voting Date : 25th November, 2008

Dear  Friends

This Election - 2008 will be Instrumental in REFORMING & OVERHAULING THE ENTIRE HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM OF JHARKHAND & BIHAR which formally recognises the learning gained By Involvement of Entire VBU - Family in Students Career Activities And Continues To Promote and Manage Many Aspects of its Operation.

AIM of   FIGHTING   Students Union ELECTION 2008   FROM   VBU - HAZARIBAG

THE  Office of  Student Life   is   to   Promote   the   Holistic   Development of  all  students  through   an   appropriate   balanc of  Curricular and Co-curricular Activities, while  ensuring  the Protection of   Students   Career   and   goal   at any cost  in the VBU-University against  the  ongoing  Exploitations   &   Negligence   of   Top  Officials  working  as  a  catylytic agent  in  the   Entire  Corrupt  System in  Higher Education.

Corruptions   &   Exploitations  of   Students   are   very - very   common  in   BIHAR   &  JHARKHAND  especially  in   our   VBU - Hazaribag .

I  have  DESIGNED  An  UNIQUE   SYSTEM  which will be  IMPLEMENTED in VBU Hazaribag ( AS SOON  I   WIN   THIS   ELECTION  )   TO   FINISH   CORRUPTIONs  &   EXPLOITATIONS   IN   HIGHER   EDUCATION   WHICH   IS   SPOILING   &   DAMAGING   OUR   FUTURE  Growth with the blessings of   our Patron /  Guru  Mr. M.P.Singh ( V.C.- VBU Hazaribag)/ Dr. J.L.Urao /                  Dr. E.N.Siddiqui /   Dr.R.B.Singh /  Dr. M.K.Singh / Dr. S.K.Singh / Dr. S.C.Roy.

We are developing a handicapped system, we need to change this system with our own initiative.

I   AM  WITH   COLLECTED    INFORMATIONS / EVIDENCES   ABOUT   ON GOING CORRUPTIONS   IN   OUR   VBU  -  UNIVERSITY .

The Office of  Student  Life  aims  to  promote   and   enhance   the   student   experience outside  the  classroom  by  providing  opportunities  for  student  growth  and  development.

The Office will works with the University to complement the traditional academic mission, by supporting recognized clubs and societies and the Students' Union and by encouraging creative learning and leadership development.

We  will  provide  a   wide   range of  services,  including Advice  on  employment opportunities while  you're  studying , free  bus  and  rail  ticket  for  travelling  all over India, Concession  in all  services  and  pre - training  in  secretarial  services,  as  well  as  an  extensive  programme  of  student entertainment on and  off  campus.

*****   All students of the Vinoba Bhave University are automatically members  of  this  Office  of Students Life, which will also co-ordinates and expresses views on all issues relating to all students at VBU- Hazaribag.     ******

These  include  education,  welfare  and   social   and  recreational  matters.

There will be twelve executive officers, three of whom are full time sabbatical officer, who are elected by the students and each class has a number of elected representatives on Union Council.These representatives will also sit on the Programme Boards.

Our MEMBERS  will  also  represent  the  Student ' s  Union  on  Various  University  IN   Decision-making Committees, including the Governing Authority, Academic Council, Disciplinary Committee and Library Committee , Sports Committee , Placement Wings and Grivience  Redressal Wings , Cultural Committee  & Curricular Activities Committee  &  others etc....

If you are a youth looking for information …… if you are interested in knowing what the youth of India thinks, needs are reacts …. If you are reaching or analysing the youth of India, MY youth portal could be a good place to start ! It offers you information, data, important related links etc., relevant to the youth.

The  youth  development efforts in India have been hampered by lack of adequate information and database, generating  the  need for  a well organized and comprehensive  database  on  areas  of  concern to the youth, to  facilitate formulation of  focused youth development schemes  and  programs  and  provide  all  information  to  youth   and pertaining  to  youth.

One  of  the  thrust  areas  of  the National Youth Policy 2003   is   the  EstabliShment of   InforMation and  ResEarch  NetWork  for  which  Rajiv Gandhi  National  Institute  of  youth Development  has  been  Identified  as  Apex  Information and  Research  Centre  on Youth Development Issues.

My Youth Portal is the latest effort in fulfilling this mandate.

Call it vision or Call it courage, believed that the youth of  India would lead this country into the 21st century as a force to reckon with.

To fulfill this dream , My aims to connect with the Youth of India, inspire them, provide them access to information, get them involved and participate in the nation’s growth.

This is being done to Empower the youth by reaching out by them , responding to their expectations and ideas and fostering useful and long - lasting skills.

Our vision is to see Young People realize their capacity to play a positive and effective role in the nation’s development.

‘The future is not what older people think, but what younger people do

(Content of RGNIYD youth portal RGNIYD § Institute § Mandate § Publications § Training Youth Issues Education § Distance Education § Online education § Non-formal education § Vocational training § Study abroad § Scholarship§ Education loans In 10-15 years about 70% of our population will be less than 35 years.)

At  that  time  much  of  the  developed  world  will  be  weighed  down  by  geriatric  concerns and  will  depend  on  India  for  work  that  only  youth  can  do.

But  to  take  advantage  of this our  will  be  adequately  qualified. This section is about academic  avenues  open  to  youth  and where and  how  to  achieve  their academic aspirations.

Career

§ Options & qualifications§ Employment /occupation

§ Self- employment

§ Voluntary service§ Situations required

§ Situations vacant

This section shows the several career options available to our youth, including avenues for self-employment and the formalities involved in setting up a business.

Health

Healthy eating Exercise

Stress management

Dealing with setbacks

Healthy body

Healthy mind

Sexual health .

Drugs & Alcohol

Since this website is about holistic development of youth, this section focuses on health and well- being.

It tells youth what to do and what to avoid.

Environment & Ecology

Global warming

Pollution

Water Conservation .

This section is about what youth should do to ensure the wellness of the earth they have inherited from their forefathers and the earth they will bequeath to the generations that follow them.

Classifieds

Youth interests

Media

Entertainment

Sports.

This part is about media- the window through which youth see the worldand its relationship with the youth.

It also covers other youth interests.

Feature Success stories

Success begets success.

Based on that simple tenet this section showcases individual and institutional successes that are guaranteed to motivate our youth.

Youth statistics

Demographics

Literacy

Employment

Child labour

World youth data.

This is the one –stop- shop for researchers and students alike.

It contains extensive charts on Demographics, literacy and employment.

Databases

Who is who in the ministry of youth affairs and sports

Non- governmental organizations

Funding Agencies

Youth development programmes

United nations special programmes

Youth development institutions

Youth development experts.

List of websites of various colleges in India.

Important days, years and decades observed by the UN State secretaries of youth development.

Journals subscribed by RGNIYD.

List of video cassettesList of CDsAnnual reports of various institutions Journals/books available in RGNIYD Library.

Index of articles on youth and Related areas.

Abstracts of important Articles/Books ,Notes,Important Newspaper Clippings .

This segment is a treasure trove of information related to youth and the government and non- government departments and institutions related to youth.

Youth websites : http://%20moyas.gov.in/

UN youth websites

Websites to state governments and union Territories

Universities in India

Other youth websites .

This section contains links to important youth link and websites worldwide.

Vinova Bhave University is the fruit of a decade long people’s endeavors.

** Post graduate courses were started in 1972 in St. Columba`s College with teaching in History and Economics .

Subsequently , it was converted into post Graduate Centre of Ranchi University .

By January 1983, Post Graduate teaching in four more subjects English, Hindi, Political science and Mathematics were inducted on approval from the Government of Bihar.

In 1985 the Bihar state the father of Bhoodan Movement, Sant Vinoba Bhave .

Finally , by Act 3 of 1990 the Bihar state assembly amended the Bihar State Universities Act 1976 adding Vinoba Bhave University having its territorial jurisdiction over the entire North Chhotanagpur Division with its head quarter at Hazaribag which later on spread to almost entire Jharkhand State on induction of all Sanskrit Aurvedic and Homeopathic colleges of Jharkhand .

The foundation stone of the University was laid on 17th Januaryn 1990 by the then Chief Minister of Bihar , Dr. Jagganath Mishra.

After two year’s, Late Dr. Vinodini Terway was appointed the first Vice Chancellor of the University . She took over the charge on 17th of September 1992.

Thus Vinoba Bhave University came into being : a long cherished dream finally crystallized.

The University soon got a crest and motto – an extract from Vinoba`s jee`s couplet JEEWANAM  SATYA SODHANAM and an emblem consisting of a Mandala or Astamandala , an ancient vedic and Tantrikm symbol for equanimity and enlightenment a transuniversal expression Of men’s attempt to understand the unknown in which he finds himself .

At the centre of the astamandala is a Lamp with flame representing the ling hot learning that dispels darkness of ignorance and prejudice .

The base of the circle holding the astamandala and the lamp, again is rooyed in Ancient Indian Culture depicting the contours of Mauryan Sculpture and thus projecting nativeness in consonance with the letter in the pali style.

The Association of Indian Universities granted its membership to this University in December 1992 and in appreciation and recognition of the speed of the growth granted permanent membership in 2001.

This Universities is also a MEMBER of Association of Commonwealth Universities , London.

The UGC, New Delhi also recognized the University and registered it under section 12B of the UGC Act 1956.

This has opened a sluice gate of finances for the all round development of the University.

The State Government has also allotted 67.17 Acres of land at Sindoor.

The first building on this piece of land the Central Library Building, Sprawled with the generous grant received from Sri Pranab Mukherjee, the then Deputy chairman ,planning Commission, Government of India.

In the present scenario of higher education in the new state of Jharkhand, Vinoba Bhave University,among the four universities and two deemed University is unique in the sense .

That it covers the entire state of jharkhand under its territorial jurisdiction and its include 74 college of conventional ,Sanskrit, Aurveda, Homeopath ,law, education,technical,and Medical education .

In additional to these, this university manages and maintains 21 Postgraduate departments including newly established Biotechnology and clinical Nutrition and dietetics Departments under nine faculties Humanities ,social science Sciences, commerce ,Engineering, Law, Medicine ,Ayurveda ,Homeopath and education And proposes to Introduce a number of professional courses at the master level such as MBA , MCA , Master degree in Geoinformatics and remote sensing LLB (5 years Integrated course), Degree/diploma in Physical education and Diploma in library science.

The university has also submitted a proposal of introducing 15 vocational courses at Degree level for obtaining NOC from the government of Jharkhand .

The AICTE has already given approval for starting teaching of MCA from the session 2007 –08 .

The proposal of opening of University college of Engineering & Technology ,Hazaribagh is also under active consideration of the AICTE,which has already issued the Letter of intent for the same

Presently , B. Ed. teaching is being imparted in ten colleges of the University.

Since the inception of the University consistent efforts have been made for the all round Development of the university and colleges under its jurisdiction .

A number of buildings are being constructed out of the grants received from the UGC and the state governments as to strengthen the infrastructural facilities and research /academic activities .

Examination , finance and other departments are under the process of computerization. Grants have been received from the UGC for establishment of computer centre in the university campus.

With the progressive steps of this university a number of researches Organization and educational institutions viz., CMRI (Dhanbad) , CFRI(dhanbad), IIT(delhi), MRC(ICMR,Delhi), ZSI(kolkata), ONGC(dehradhun), LRC(ranchi), CRURRS(hazaribagh) etc. have undertaken collaborative Research Projects besides minor research Projects, Major Research Projects are also being undertaken by the faculty member of theuniversity.

Education is not complete unless it developes multidimensional potential of youths.

The arts  and culture Board and sports control board of the university are  striving  hard  to ensure all round development of its students.

NSS programmes are being organized in rural area with an aim to bring awareness amoung the rural masses regarding diseases, protection of environment, elimination of superstitions, eradication of illiteracy etc. under the dynamic leadership of the Vice chancellor-Dr. M.P. singh and Pro VC- Dr.J.L.oran this university is forging ahead towards its goal of all round development.

Information regarding VBU -Hazaribag Students Union Election - Nov.2008

Vinoba Bhave University, Hazaribag - 825301 , Jharkhand

E mail address :- http://www.blogger.com/info@vbu.co.in

Website :- http://co.in/

Constituent Colleges Under Vinoba Bhave University, , Hazaribag

No. - Name - Office - Res. / Mobile

1 B.S. City College, Bokaro 06542 ( 277112 ) 247209 / 9431740095

2 B.S.K. College, Maithon 06540 ( 294111 ) 294777 / 9431106343

3 Chas College , Chas 06542 ( 255614 ) 288714 / 9431777007

4 Chatra College Chatra 06541 ( 222241 ) 223665 / 9430209784

5 Giridih College, Giridih 06532 ( 222219 ) 222222 / 9934574006

6 J.J. College Jhumritelaya 06534 ( 222540 ) 224871 / 9431142679

7 Katras College, Katrasgarh 0326 ( 2372562 ) 9431105895 / 9431145926

8 K.B. College Bermo 06549 ( 235433 )

9. K.B. Women’s College H.bag 06546 ( 263442 ) 263811 / 9431224251

10 Markham College of Commerce,Hzbag 06546 ( 225772) 222698 / 9431795100

11 P.K.R.M College, Dhanbad 0326 ( 2207639 ) 2204293 / 9431151332

12 R.K.Mahila, Giridih 06532 ( 222594 ) 250236 / 9835385295

13 R.S.P College,Jharia 2304786 / 9431723331

14 R.S.More College, Gov 06540 ( 262539 ) 0326(2304786 / 9431541140

15 Ramgarh College, Ramgarh 06553 ( 222166 ) 9431987766 / 9334240663

16 S.S.L.N.T.M.College, Dhan 9234322927 9234326061 / 0326 ( 2220303 )

17 St. Columba’s College,Hzbag 06546( 222197 / 223227 ) 9835161679

18 Sindri College, Sindri 0326 ( 224505 ) 2245544 / 9431124924

19 Govt. Sanskrit College, Ranchi 0651 ( 2283284 )

20 Govt. Teacher’s Trg. College,Hzbag 06546 ( 270389,265907 )

21 J.N.M. Sanskrit College, Chai 9934884370

22 D.S.Ayurvedic College RNC 0651 ( 2275880 ) 2310928 / 9431189486

23 B.I.T. Sindri College 0326 ( 2350495 ) 2350729 (Fax) , 2251449

24 P.M.C.H.Dhanbad 0326 ( 2264165 ) 9334000505

25 Balanand Sanskrit College, Deo 06532 ( 223634 ) 9430105418

26. Adarsh College Rajdhanwar 06532 ( 225358 ) 9431551755

Others Affiliated Colleges Under Vinoba Bhave University, Hazaribag

1. Annada College , Hazaribag 267004 / 262897 / 9431140382

2 B.S.S. Mahila College Dhanbad ( 0326 ) 2205939 (o) , 2205258 ®

3 B.D.A College Picheri ( 06549 ) 236004 / 221476

4 B.B.M. College Baliapur ( 0326 ) 2431211 / 2251803 (pp)

5 Bhadrakali College Itkhori 9431182618 / 06441 - 266361

6 B.B. Amina Women’s College, Bokaro 06542 - 273275

7 Baghmara College, Baghmara 0326 - 2722680

8 Bokaro Mahila College Bokaro 06542 - 232632 / 243156

9 C.N.College Ramgarh 06553 – 256627 / 256656

10 Chas Mahila College, Chas 06542 - 285086 / 223654

11 Coalfild, College Bhaga 0326 - 2361122 / 9835784478

12 D.A.V.Mahila College Katrasgarh 0326 - 2373378 / 2305580

13 Gurunanak College Dhanbad 0326 - 230570 / 2207665

14 G.D.Bagaria T.T. College Giridih 06532 - 250743 ( fax) , 222478

15 Homoeopathic College Jamshedpur 0657 - 2227967

16 Imamul Hai Khan Law College Bokaro 9931106405

17 J.M. College, Bhurkunda 9431181674

18 J.S.M. College ,Phusro 06549- 222350

29 Jharkhand College, Dumri 06558-233305 / 233030

20 Jharkhand Law College, Kodarma

21 Jubilee College 9934335395 / 9431923796

22 K.S.G.M. College Nirsha 06540- 235103

23 Kalu Ram Modi College,Giridih

24 Karnapura College, Barkagaon 06551 - 273611 / 283607

25 Langata Baba College, Mirjaganj

26 Law College, Dhanbad 0326 - 2202797 / 2312121

27 Mahuda College, Mahuda 9431511952

28 Mihijam Homoeopathic College, Mihijam,jamtara

29 P.M.C.H. College , Dhanbad

30 P.N.M. College Gomoh 0326 - 2472441 / 2472436

31 P.T.P.S. College, Patratu 06546 - 227167 / 9431534401

32 R.L.S.Y. College, Koderma 06534 - 224643 / 223103

33 R.N.M. College, Huntergunj

34 R.N.Y.M. College, Barhi 06534 - 266868

35 R.V.S. College Chas 06542 - 310575 / 9334046717

36 Rajganj Degree College, Rajganj 0326 - 2418240

37 S.H.M.S. College Kumardhubi 06540 - 222763 / 222718

38 Swami Sahja Nand College, Chas 06542 - 268439 / 268086

39 Ram Govind Industrial Sc. &Technology, Koderma

40 Sanskrit Upshastri Mahavidalaya , Daltonganj

41 Singhbhum Homoeopathic College & Hosp.

42 Suriya College , Suriya

43 Suriyamukhi Dinesh Ayurvedic College Ranchi

44 Sanskrit Hindi Viddyapeeth Jharkhandham ,Giridih

45 Tenughat College, Tenughat

46 Vaidya Nath Kamal Kumari Sanskrit College, Deoghar

47 Vananchal College Tandwa

48 Visthapit College, Balidih

49 Al-lqra Teachers’ Training College,Govindpur 9234110768 / 9334049113

Teaching Staff of P. G. Departments, Vinoba Bhave University,Hazaribag

Name / Designation Residence / Mobile

PHYSICS

Dr. P. Mahto, (HOD) 270022 / 9431336614

Dr. J.D. Dubey 263192 / 9431141100

Dr. A.K. Gupta 263971

Dr. Ajay Murari 9431366034

Dr R.N. Sinha 224284 / 9931302350

CHEMISTRY

Dr. R.Y. Prasad (HOD) 225488 / 9431393922
Dr. K.P. Kamal 223312 / 9431978280 ;
Dr. R.S. Prasad 270193 / 9431530439
Dr. K.K.Srivastava ( 9934506205) 223104 / 9835133141;
Dr. Y.K. Prasad 9234886478
Dr. Kaushlendra Kumar 222584 / 9931133077 ;
Dr. Indrajeet Kumar 226783 / 9835584080

MATHEMATICS

Dr. Arun Kumar (HOD) 263004 / 9431796012 ;

Dr. D.S. Lal 266093 / 9835144763

Dr. A.B. Kumar (9835556531) 222874 / 9431597103

Dr R.K. Dwivedi (9431798183) 2275078 / 9835148487 ;

Dr. Narayan Mahto 9835148487

BOTANY

S.B. Choudhary (HOD) 224598 / 9431978281 ;

Dr. C. Prasad 222698 / 9835336944

Dr. E.N. Siddiqui (9835120128) 267272 / 266299 / 9431794326 ;

Dr. P.K. Mishra 9535105773

ZOOLOGY

Dr. K. Roy (HOD) 9934343465;

Dr. M. Raziuddin 223335 / 9934190987

Dr. A. K. Sharma 223595 / 9431140524 ;

Dr. Sanjay Kumar 9334552155

Dr. K.K. Gupta 9835138662 / 9431798216

GEOLOGY

Dr. V.C. Barla (HOD) 224449 / 9835357929

Dr. S.K. Sinha 264271 / 9334271935 ;

Dr. H.N. Sinha 9451375390

HINDI

Dr. S.N. Singh ‘Badal” ( HOD ) 265717 / 9431478008

Prof. Somar Sahu 252221 / 9835533174 ;

Dr. V.K.D. Dubey 223662

Dr. (Mrs) M. Sanga 223877 / 9835097888 ;

Dr. Krishna Kr. Gupta 251510 / 9431796419

Dr. Kedar Singh 9431797335 ;

Dr. Bharat Aiyawar 9835312665

ENGLISH

Dr. (Mrs) Mani Sinha ( HOD ) 9431798174

Dr. Y. Prasad 223043 ;

Dr. Rajesh Kumar 262000

Dr. Rizwan Ahmad ( 9431974224 ) 265275 / 9934559155 ;

Dr. M. Towheed

SANSKRIT

Dr. B.K. Mishra (HOD) ( 9835160625 ) 222832 / 9431993905

Dr. T.K. Shukla 267252/9835350220 ;

Dr. (Mrs.) M. Narayan 262431

URDU

Dr. Md. Islam (HOD) 0651- 2210987;

Dr. S.Z. Haque 9431160183

PHILOSOPHY

Dr. N.K. Ambastha (HOD) 9835317737;

Dr. (Mrs.) Rajni Sharma ( 9431794949 ) 222840 / 9431197494

Dr. (Ms.) Aparna Mukherjee ( 9835515484 ) 9835541921

Dr. Arun Nr. Bhandari 227405 / 9931579799

HISTORY

Dr. R.B.Singh (HOD) 9431123535 ;
Dr. S. Ali 261090 / 9835333677

Dr. J.P.Singh 222123 / 9431326266 ;

Dr. T.K. Singh 224411

Dr. A.G. Sahay 265766 ,/ 9931118158;

Dr. Madho Ram 267315 / 9431974226

Dr. A.K.Mandal 9835138723 ;

Dr. Chandan Kumar ( 9431926877 ) 225805 / 9430193788

ECONOMICS

Dr. A.S. Mitra (HOD) 260051 ;

Dr. M. K. Prasad;

Dr. Sajal Mukerjee ;

Dr. P.C. Deogharia;

Dr. Ranjeet Ghose

POLITICAL SCIENCE

Dr. (Mrs)N. Yadav (HOD) 223145 / 9431141928 ;

Dr. S.N. Singh ( 9431192272 ) 222930 / 9431141923

Dr. Baleshwar Singh 227443 / 9431387100

Dr. C. P. Sharma 223645 / 9835551495;

Dr. (Mrs) M. Lakra ( 9431978220) 225367 / 9835359884 ;

Dr. S.K. Moitra ( 9835147713) 9430193813

GEOGRAPHY

Dr. J. Bhagat (HOD) ( 0651 – 257587 ) 9431326283

Dr. Kamala Prasad 270340 / 9431559644;

Dr. S.K. Singh 9934508867

PSYCHOLOGY

Dr. B.R. Sahay (HOD) 225252 / 9931343313

Dr. R.P. Singh 270495 / 9431796881

Dr. Sddique Rajjak 9934148486

ANTHROPOLOGY

Dr. C. Sahu (HOD) 225509 / 9934505688;

Dr. A. H. Ansari 06549 - 235006 / 9334635407

HOME SCIENCE

Dr. (Mrs) Renu Bose (HOD) ( 9431506688 ) 266006 / 9431975585;

Mr. Seema 9431455842

COMMERCE

Dr. Md. M. Alam (HOD) 9835517217 ;

Dr. B. Kumar Dean 9431566332

Dr. A.K. Choudhary ( 9931132907 ) 225893 / 9431163204

Dr Ganga Kr. Binha 2233940 / 9835757989 ;

Dr. S.C. Sharma ( 9835517217 ) 9431387997

Vinoba Bhave University, Hazaribag - 825301 , Jharkhand

E mail address :- info@vbu.co.in
Website :- http://vbu@co.in

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Er. Alok Kumar
E-mail : eralokkumar@sify.com ,

shaktishali@gmail.com ,

alokfromgaya@yahoo.com ,

eralokkumar_guddu@rediffmail.com

Cell : 9470574983 

Please contact as soon as possible regarding any matter.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Er. Alok Kumar 's Regular Websites :


http://www.igoogle.com/
http://www.rediffmail.com/
http://www.indiatimes.com/
http://www.sify.com/
http://www.monster.com/
http://www.naukri.com/
http://www.timesjob.com/
http://www.jobstreet.com/

Social Networks :
http://orkut.com/
http://facebook.com/

Favorite Links http://employmentnews.gov.in/article.html
http://act.rtiindia.info
http://goidirectory.nic.in/scientific.htm
http://goidirectory.nic.in/exe.htm#min
http://goidirectory.nic.in/education.htm
http://goidirectory.nic.in
http://pmindia.nic.in/write.htm
http://rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in/phone.htm
http://india.gov.in 
http://bihar.nic.in

http://prd.bihar.org

http://labour.bih.in

http://det.bihar.in 
http://jharkhandonline.com

http://jharkhand.nic.in

http://biharandjharkhand.com
Telephone Directory of Jharkhand State Officials( Secretary of Government) -- http://jharkhand.nic.in/tel_dir.htm

http://ddindia.gov.in
http://zeenews.com
http://aajtak.com
http://topnews.in
http://telegraphindia.com

http://ranchiexpress.com
http://hindustantimes.com

http://prabhatkhabar.com 
http://indiaexpress.com

http://timesofindia.com

http://www.aicte.ernet.in/Staff_List.htm  
http://www.aicte.ernet.in/engg_contents.htm
http://www.ugc.ac.in/orgn/directory.html 
http://www.nba-aicte.ernet.in/contact.html
http://bitsindri.ac.in/contactus.htm
http://www.nitjsr.ac.in/contact/directory.htm
http://www.indiaedunews.net
http://www.dec.ac.in

http://www.isteonline.com
http://ncte-in.org
http://ieiindia.org
http://aicte.ernet.in

http://www.ignou.org

http://ugc.ac.in
http://sbtebihar.org 
http://bitmesra.ac.in

http://bitsindri.ac.in

http://cmriindia.nic.in 
http://www.ismdhanbad.ac.in

http://ritk.org

http://vbu.co.in

http://vbu.co.in/contactus.htm 
http://rpsit.org.in

http://macet.net.in

http://bcebhagalpur.ac.in  
http://mitmuzaffarpur.com

http://rvscet.com

http://birsainstitute.org  
http://nitp.ac.in

http://www.iitkgp.ac.in

http://www.nitjsr.com 
http://www.islamit.info
http://www.wisl.co.in
http://bharttiitihazaribag.blogspot.com
http://ritkoderma.blogspot.com http://rit-koderma.blogspot.com
http://kodermamininginstitute.blogspot.com
http://mininginstitutekoderma.blogspot.com
http://khojipatrakar.blogspot.com http://eralokkumar.blogspot.com  
http://proferalokkumar.blogspot.com
http://alokji.blogspot.com
http://alokbabu.blogspot.com

http://aloksir.blogspot.com  
http://naisadak.blogspot.com 

http://www.cbseguess.com
http://www.cbseguess.com/education/institutes
http://www.cbseguess.com/education/indian_university
http://www.cbseguess.com/education/entrance_exams/eetds.php
http://www.cbseguess.com/education/competitive_exams
http://www.cbseguess.com/education/india_facts

http://aasc.gov.in/RTI_AASC/RTI_application_%20form.pdf  
http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/?nojs=1#usercptools


What kind of comment would you like to send?
Complaint : Problem /Suggestion / Praise


Tell me what you think about this Informations - .


Subject :

Enter your comments ( in the space provided below ) :

I welcome all of your comments and suggestions.

---- Er. Alok Kumar ----

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

State Government ( Jharkhand )
Governor ( Jharkhand ) # Phone no :0651-2283469 , Cell:9810864830

Chief Secretary -Jharkhand ( Shri A. K. Basu ) # 2400240 / 2400250

D.G.P. - Jharkhand ( Shri B.D. Ram) # 2400737 / 2400738

Principal Secy. To Hon’ble C.M. ( Shri B.K. Tripathi ) # 0651 - 2281400

C.M. Secretriat (Smt. Alka Tiwary ) # 0651 - 2284367

Spl. Secretary ( to Hon’ble C.M.) # 0651 - 2281922 

Under Secretary To Hon’ble C.M. # 0651 - 2281673

Secretary- Science & Technlogy ( Shri R.S. Sharma ) # 0651 - 2490070

Secretary- HRD ( Shri Ravi Shankar Verma ) # 0651 - 2400797


SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT

Chief Secretary A. K. Basu - 2400240 / 2400250
Principal Secy. To Hon’ble C.M. - 2281400
Secretary To Hon’ble C.M. - 2281922
Spl. Secretary To Hon’ble C.M.- 2281922
Under Secretary To Hon’ble C.M. - 2281673 
Agri. A.K. Sarkar - 2490578
Animal Husbandry A.K. Sarkar - 2490929
Art & Culture Ravi Shankar Verma - 2408888
DG, ATI P.P. Sharma - 2283804
Director, ATI Jayant Munigala - 2283813
Building Pardip Kumar - 2403735
Chief Secy A. K. Basu - 2400240 / 2400250
Cabinet (Vigilance) Kumar Ganesh Dutt - 2400227
Civil Aviation - 2512670
Chief Electoral Officer Debasish Gupta - 2440077
Secy, Comm. Taxes Alka Tiwary - 2400941
Co-operative Shila Kisku Rapaj - 2400967
Disaster Management Shivendu - 2400218
Dev. Commissioner A.K. Singh - 2491070
DGP J.B. Mohapatra - 2400737 / 2400738
Energy Aditya Swaroop - 2490053
Chairman, JSEB - 2400807
Secy, HRD J. B. Tubid- 2400797
Excise Secy. - 2400709
Finance Rajbala Verma- 2400224
Forest Sudhir Prasad - 2491669
Food, Public Distribution & Consumer Affairs Jayant Munigala- 2400960
Home Sudhir Tripathi -2400220
Health, Medical Education & Family Welfare Siyaram Prasad Sinha -2491033
Housing Secy U. K. Sangma -2400837
Irrigation Mahabir Prasad -2491056
Industry K.K. Khandelwal - 2490746
Institutional Finance Ravi Shankar Verma- 2400974 / 2403975
Information & Public Relations Sukhdev Singh -
IT, Secy R.S. Sharma- 2400001
Secy.Labour, Employment & Training S.K. Choudhary- 2490514
Labour Comm. Ajay Kumar Singh -2490284
Law Prasant Kumar -2400241
Mines & Geology Jai Shankar Tiwari - 2490170
Personnel, Administrative Reforms & Raj Bhasa R.S. Sharma - 2400221
Drinking Water & Sanitation A.K Basu - 2491410
Planning & Development Arun Kumar Singh - 2490574
Road Const. N. N. Sinha - 2400239
Revenue & Land Reforms R.S. Poddar - 2400767
Sci. & Tech. P.K. Jajoria - 2490070
Tourism Arun Kumar Singh - 2400981
Welfare U. K. Sangma - 2403215
Jharkhand Bhawan RC- 26180758
ARC - 26180727
OSD - 26173907
Liasion Officer - 26180729
APS - 26180729


Log on to : 

http://goidirectory.nic.in/

http://jharkhand.nic.in/jhr_adm.htm

http://jharkhand.nic.in/governor.htm

http://jharkhand.nic.in/cm.htm 

http://jharkhand.nic.in/dc_list.htm

Jharkhand Combined Entrance Competitive Examination Board 
Government of Jharkhand 


Engineering Hostel, Sector-3, HEC Area, Dhurwa, Ranchi 

Departmental Contacts 

NAME - DESIGNATION - TELEPHONE FAX 

Smt. Mridula Sinha Controller of Examinations 0651 - 2400770 0651 - 2400769
Sri R.K. Singh, J.A.S. Officer on Special Duty 0651 - 2400770 0651 - 2400769
Sri O.P. Kumar Administrative Officer 0651 - 2400770 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
THE CHAIRMAN ,
JHARKHAND EDUCATION TRIBUNAL 
T/C AT- HOUSE NO- E- 2297,SECTOR II,HEC COLONY, DHURWA,RANCHI.
Phone # 0651- 2444207

JHARKHAND EDUCATION TRIBUNAL 
T/C AT- HOUSE NO. - HI-101, HARMU HOUSING COLONY,
SAHJANAND CHOWK, HARMU,RANCHI
Phone #0651- 2243122


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHIEF MINISTER'S OFFICE (CMO)


Sri Sukhdev Singh (Principal Secretary)
Ph # 0651-2281400
Fax #0651-2281447 

Smt. Alka Tiwari ( Secretary )
Ph # 0651-2284367
Fax # 0651-2281447

Special Secretary # 0651-2281922 

Sri Manohar Marandi (Under Secretary) # 0651-2281673 

Sri Sandeep Verma (Press Advisor to CM) # 0651-2285028

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Er. Alok Kumar
E-mail : eralokkumar@sify.com , shaktishali@gmail.com , alokfromgaya@yahoo.com , eralokkumar_guddu@rediffmail.com
Cell : 9470574983 

Please contact as soon as possible regarding any matter.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Er. Alok Kumar 's Regular Websites :

http://www.igoogle.com/
http://www.rediffmail.com/
http://www.indiatimes.com/
http://www.sify.com/
http://www.monster.com/
http://www.naukri.com/
http://www.timesjob.com/
http://www.jobstreet.com/

Social Networks :

http://orkut.com/
http://facebook.com/




















http://eralokkumar.blogspot.com         For more Information about Alok Bhai / Alok Sir















AICTE's views on deemed universities, foreign universities and educational institutions

The Times of India (Aug 30, 2004) interviewed R. Natarajan, Chairman of the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) on various issues and here are some of his answers on the AICTE's viewpoint on foreign educational institutions setting up shop in India .


AICTE has gazetted a notification for the entry of foreign institutions in India. We have a 'standing committee', which stays in touch with different embassies on this issue. We have a very transparent system of guidelines and regulations for the entry of foreign institutions. We say that the degree these foreign institutions offer in India must be of the same nomenclature, duration, content, entry conditions and qualifications as offered by their Indian counterparts.


On AICTE's jurisdiction and control over deemed universities, as of today

AICTE's role is to ensure minimum norms and standards before a technical institution comes into existence. Our conditions have to be fulfilled by all technical institutions in accordance with the rules. There has been a court judgment, according to which, some of the universities and the deemed universities are no longer under the control of AICTE, but this is because of the manner in which the Act has been framed. An amendment is in the offing, which will again put them back under our control.

On AICTE's application for membership to the 'Washington Accord' and 'International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education'.

We have applied for it and in October, teams are visiting us to examine our accreditation processes. This, however will come about after a few years only.

Special educational tribunals mooted to curb malpractices by educational institutions

According to a report in The Hindu Business Line, Monday, August 11, 2008, p3 print edition,

The Law Ministry is taking a close look at a suggestion to set up special tribunals with jurisdication on various educational malpractices, including overcharging of fees and non-payment of students' dues by institutions. Ministry officials said they are in touch with the Human Resources Ministry, as it is concerned with policies related to educational institutions. The government's stand on the issue would largely depend "on the HRD ministry's views", said an official.

The Law Minister, Mr. H.R. Bhardwaj, is believed to be keen on using the tribunals for handling litigation related to specific kind of cases in already overburdened courts. The proposed tribunals on educational malpractices would save students and their parents the trouble of approaching over-burdened courts for justice.

Presumably "overcharging of fees" refers to the so called donations that are forcibly demanded and collected.

While the idea of regulating educational institutions is certainly welcome and long overdue, we need to look into the pros and cons of establishing a new tribunal just to look into malpractices by educational institutions. If the existing regulatory bodies for schools, colleges and other types of educational institutions are given more teeth and enforcing powers, they may well be able to handle this themselves, rather than creating a new tribunal.

If the Law Ministry is considering such a proposal, I wish they think about putting it out in the public domain and calling for comments and suggestions from the public. An important regulatory issue like this needs to be debated.


Primary education for profit likely to be allowed in India

This is a very interesting move by the Government, heralding a huge change in their thinking on funding primary education. If they implement it, there could be a surge of much-needed private investment into primary education to provide a big boost to both supply and quality. The idea of cautious experimentation by asking private players to work in partnership with a government agency is a wise one.

Come December and corporates may get to venture into preimary education as a profit-making business by partnering with government bodies. According to a proposal on public-private partnership that the government is working on, shareholders of such companies will be eligible for dividends. This is a major break from the present legal restrictions that force companies providing education to plough back profits and utilise the funds for their stated objective of providing education.

Trusts, societies and charitable companies are the most-preferred legal structure for educational institutions and promoters are barred from taking profits out of such institutions. The proposed rules will change this equation with promoters earning reasonable dividends under watchful eyes of the public sector partners they will work with.

THe new norms would allow entrepreneurs to incorporate their ventures as companies and get into education as a profit-making service. However, they will not be eligible for any tax exemption that now extends to societies, trusts and charitable companies.

The finance ministry is expected to begin the process by issuing a request for qualification - a document detailing the parameters for eligible companies. This would give details about how the proposed business model would be structured without violating the existing restriction on repatriation of profits. The ministry would also evolve a model for inviting private investments in primary health centres through public-private partnerships.

The proposed relaxation would be available only for companies getting into partnerships with government entities and not to all. The nature of these projects would be different from the few public-private partnerhsips that have already happened under the rurual health mission and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which are largely in the form of management contracts or for providing specific services.


International higher education headed for a sub-prime style crash?

Just as many universities want to be global players, so in the housing sector, buyers and financial industries wanted to participate in a growing and lucrative market. House prices were rising fast, and few questions were asked about products, sellers or buyers. The market was allowed to function without constraint. "Irrational exuberance" set in, with the market becoming saturated - a "bubble" mentality. The bubble has now burst and many countries face very serious economic and social consequences.

International higher education stands in the middle of that cycle - somewhere between exuberance and a bubble - so now is the time to examine which actions are sustainable, which policies will serve the interests of students and the academy, and which actions constitute mistaken policy or greed.

International education has become big business, with perhaps 3 million students studying outside their own countries, and billions of pounds, euros and dollars being generated from tuition, living expenses, branch campuses, franchises and much else. No one knows how many branch campuses exist, but estimates are in the hundreds, almost all in developing or middle-income countries. The market is large, growing and basically unregulated. It is indeed the Wild West or, more accurately, the Wild East.

One might take the view that "the market will sort itself out". Here again, a comparison can be made with sub-prime mortgages. In that sector, today's crisis was reached by allowing unscrupulous players to operate, and by encouraging respectable banks to buy up risky debt with little regulation. There is a similar mentality in international higher education. In this largely unregulated market, some sellers are prestigious universities hoping to build links overseas, recruit top students to their home campuses and strengthen their brand abroad. But many more are sub-prime institutions: sleazy recruiters, degree packagers, low-end private institutions seeking to stave off bankruptcy through the export market and even a few respectable universities forced by government funding cutbacks to raise cash elsewhere.

Buyers such as students but also institutions in developing countries, are similarly unregulated, sometimes ill-informed and often naive. Most tragically, students buy services without much information or understanding. Uninformed or simply avaricious institutions in developing countries may form partnerships with low-quality colleges and universities in, for example, the US, Australia and the UK, and receive substandard teaching or degree courses. Regulation may be absent or inappropriate, making quality assurance impossible. There are not enough top-quality universities in countries such as China and India to absorb all the potential overseas partners. Further, most institutions worldwide lack the infrastructures to engage successfully in sophisticated international initiatives.

I couldn't agree more with his suggestion and his proposed solution to avoid the impending crash.
Clear regulation is needed, probably by government authority, to ensure that national interests are served and that students do not receive a shoddy service from unscrupulous providers. This will also help universities think about their motivations for entering the market.

We badly need an effective educational regulator in India like SEBI, the RBI or TRAI, which regulate the capital markets, the banking sector and the telecom sector respectively. Will the Independent Regulatory Authority for Higher Education (IRAHE) see the light of day and more importantly have the teeth and comptence to regulate well, if it does indeed come about?

Challenge the dogma of the educational establishment, or else....

The dogma of the educational establishment is a serious threat to our ability to provide higher education for all to ensure the country's continued growth. Here's a taste of the the dogma.
Even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is seeking more private investment in higher education, educationists want privatisation to be restricted "to the minimum desirable level." Also, they have called for a tax on the industry to raise resources for higher education.

Such is their angst against privatisation and commercialisation of higher education that the majority view at a recent meeting on the issue - organised by the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (on May 2 2005) - favoured a law banning such commercialisation.

"All commercialisation of education, which should be unambiguously defined, should be banned by a suitable act of Parliament." This was one of the recommendations of the meeting of 64 eminent educationists here earlier this week.

However, they are not closed to the idea of private participation. "Private investors in education may be encouraged. However, it must be made clear that this cannot be for profit-making purposes, in however disguised a form. Further, the entry of the private sector cannot be seen as a solution to all the various problems of quantity and quality," the educationists noted in their recommendations submitted to the Government.

One of their grouses against privatisation was its market-orientation. "Commodification of education may lead to excessive emphasis on skill, employment and corporate-oriented education" at the cost of basic sciences and the vast pool of traditional knowledge, thereby creating an imbalance among various streams of learning.

Given the inevitability of private initiative in the Indian context, they said Article 19(6) of the Constitution should be invoked to ensure a holistic development of higher education, and prevent commodification and profiteering. Article 19(6) allows the State to put "reasonable restrictions" on the exercise of the right to establish and run educational institutions conferred under Article 19(g) - the freedom to practise any profession, carry on any occupation, trade or business.
says a report in The Hindu (May 06, 2005) about a National Seminar on Privatization and Commercialization of Higher Education organised by NIEPA on May 2, 2006 at the India International Centre ( IIC), New Delhi. Surprisingly, no newspaper other than The Hindu has thought it worthwhile to report on this. It would be interesting to find out who the 64 educationists mentioned are and how many of them were part of the majority view and how many of them (and who) were the dissenters, if at all. If anyone has access to a detailed report of the seminar proceedings, please post it.

Let's consider what the eminent educationists are supposed to have said (marked in red) and look a bit deeper at the implications of what they're saying.
educationists want privatisation to be restricted "to the minimum desirable level."

The State has, over the past 58 years, been unable to create enough opportunities to provide higher education for all through state funding alone and has pretty much abdicated its responsibility to the private sector. How many new state funded higher education institutions have been set up in the last ten years when compared to the number of new institutions set up in the private sector in the same period? Why should privatisation be restricted to a minimum desirable level, when the State is unable to meet the demand?

The educationists seem to be so steeped in dogma about the role of the state and the role of the private sector that they are losing sight of the ends (providing education for all) and getting caught up with the means (keeping the private sector out and letting only the State do everything at its own glacial pace, even if it means the objective is becoming unattainable).

We left this mindset behind when the economy was liberalised in 1991, but it continues to haunt us in the education sector. Rapid growth of Industry and Services since 1991 is testimony to the success of economic liberalisation. Educational liberalisation can result in rapid growth of educational opportunities, likewise.

There's also the other issue of

what is the "minimum desirable level" of private participation?

Who is to define this? There can be no easy consensus on such an issue.

They have called for a tax on the industry to raise resources for higher education.

While in general, raising taxes to fund education is the way to go, we need to do the sums. What will be the extent of fresh taxation, how much will that raise and what will be impact of the taxes on the economy? Will the money raised through fresh taxes be sufficient to increase the supply of education to meet the huge, pent up demand? It's one thing to speak in general terms about taxes, but specific proposals doing the sums need to be put forward and debated.

the majority view at a recent meeting on the issue favoured a law banning such commercialisation. "All commercialisation of education, which should be unambiguously defined, should be banned by a suitable act of Parliament." This was one of the recommendations of the meeting of 64 eminent educationists here earlier this week.


What is commercialisation?

The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines

- Commercialisation as "manage or exploit in a way designed to make a profit"

- Profit as "a financial gain, especially the difference between an initial outlay and the subsequent amount earned", and

- Profiteering as "making an excessive or unfair profit"

These words are going to be widely used in debating the dogma and need to be understood well by all.

An educational institution spends money on infrastructure and salaries to provide an education to students and expects to get paid by students in the form of fees for the service provided. If the fees cover all of the institution's expenditure, that would be ideal. More often than not, the fees cover only part of the expenditure and the institution has to balance the shortfall from other sources in the form of grants from the State or other types of income. If the State had no shortage of funds, it could bridge the shortfall in all institutions through grants and subsidies and there would be no problem at all in keeping fees very low and yet providing education for all. But with the State not having enough funds to meet the shortfall in existing institutions, where is it going to find the necessary funds to set up new institutions?

We're only talking about higher education here - the State has a far bigger challenge to find the funds to address the far more important task of providing free school education for all children.

If the ultimate objective is to provide educational opportunities for all, something no one can or will disagree with, the

There is no alternative to relying on the private sector to invest in expanding the supply of educational opportunities.

However, they are not closed to the idea of private participation. "Private investors in education may be encouraged. However, it must be made clear that this cannot be for profit-making purposes, in however disguised a form. Further, the entry of the private sector cannot be seen as a solution to all the various problems of quantity and quality," the educationists noted in their recommendations submitted to the Government.

How can the the private sector be encouraged to participate in increasing the supply of education on the one hand, while the other hand is forcing them to operate at a loss? I'm sure the eminent educationists all understand economics and incentives, but their dogma is so strong that they believe the private sector will do their bidding. If a private sector educational institution cannot at the least recover its costs, it will have to close down. The private sector won't even be interested in getting involved in the first place. At the least, private institutions must be allowed to be "commercial" i.e. they must be allowed to break-even or make a small fair profit, which would be the difference between the money spent and the money earned. If they are allowed to do so transparently, there would be no need to disguise their profit. Like prohibition, by outlawing for-profit education, the State has not been able to arrest it - it has only driven it underground. In fact, not just commercialisation (fair profit), even profiteering is rampant today - only not overtly.

But if private institutions begin profiteering and give short shrift to quality, that should certainly be stopped. That is where the State needs to play a crucial role, something it has been remiss in not doing so far.

Good regulation is the solution to doing away with profiteering and poor quality. The State must set up an independent, autonomous regulator to regulate all private and public higher education institutions to ensure quality and transparency and prevent profiteering. The State did so in the telecom sector by setting up the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to ensure basic quality of services as well as keep the prices of telecom services provided by both public and private operators at reasonable levels. It needs to do the same in the education sector and regulate quality, not growth of supply.

The group of eminent educationists should be urged to take note of the excellent job quietly being done by the Directorate General of Shipping, the regulator of both publicly and privately funded maritime education institutions in India. Not only has the DGS decided to make it mandatory for all maritime education institutions to get themselves rated by independent rating agencies (CRISIL, ICRA and CARE), but it has also introduced exit examinations for students graduating from the institutions. The exit examinations will be conducted not by DGS but "by professional bodies in an open, fair, transparent and independent manner," and "institutes not yielding good results at the common exit exams would be closed down," according to GS Sahni, Director General of Shipping. When DGS has shown the way, why can't we learn from them and do the same in all other areas of higher education in India?

One of their grouses against privatisation was its market-orientation. "Commodification of education may lead to excessive emphasis on skill, employment and corporate-oriented education" at the cost of basic sciences and the vast pool of traditional knowledge, thereby creating an imbalance among various streams of learning.


Commodification is inevitable in education too like most other areas and we need to deal with it in the proper manner. It is true that the private sector would tend to first focus on areas where there is high demand, areas with emphasis on skills, employment (engineering, medicine etc.) and corporate-oriented education (like Management, Law, Finance etc.). Rather than citing that as an excuse to keep the corporate sector involvement to the minimum, the State should acutally encourage the corporate sector, albeit with proper regulation, to address the demand in these areas to the maximum and look to complement the corporate sector by channeling all its funds towards basis sciences and "knowledge-oriented" courses. We also need to remember that there's no reason to believe that the private sector will never be interested in the sciences, social sciences and other knowledge oriented areas. The Indian Institute of Science (1911), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (1945) and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (1936) were originally mooted and set up by the Tatas. Apart from taking over these institutions, how many more such high quality institutions has the State set up? The State's efforts have largely resulted in the proliferation of numerous arts and science degree colleges (that only dole out paper degrees mostly), with little emphasis on quality or knowledge.

Given the inevitability of private initiative in the Indian context, they said Article 19(6) of the Constitution should be invoked to ensure a holistic development of higher education, and prevent commodification and profiteering. Article 19(6) allows the State to put "reasonable restrictions" on the exercise of the right to establish and run educational institutions conferred under Article 19(g) - the freedom to practise any profession, carry on any occupation, trade or business.


The eminent educationists grudgingly accept that private initiative is inevitable, but in the same breath are fighting to keep the private sector role to the "minimum desirable level" and clamouring to prevent the private sector from making a small fair profit. They seem to be unable to come to terms with the fact that the State by itself, has not been able to, and cannot, provide educational opportunities for all and if the private sector is not invited to participate, the ultimate objective of providing education for all is in jeopardy.

Why are they so threatened by the private sector to the extant that they want to invoke Article 19(6) of the Constitution to put "reasonable restrictions" on the right to establish and run educational institutions? Why can't they let enlightened regulation by an independent, autonomous body hold both the private and public sectors to transparency and high standards, without the need to resort to legislation? , Why can't they encourage both the private sector and State-funded institutions like the IITs, IISc., TIFR, JNU, the various Central Universities and others to address the needs of basic sciences, the humanities and the arts?

It is matter of serious concern to find these eminent educationists clamouring for legislation to turn their dogma into the law of the land. We need to challenge their dogma and speak out against it, else, there's little hope for us to provide educational opportunities for all, to ensure continuing growth.


No-objection Certificate from state governments required for private, unaided schools seeking CBSE affiliation?

Does a private, unaided school seeking affiliation to CBSE require a no-objection certificate from the state government of the state in which the private unaided school is situated? The Delhi High Court has ruled that a no-objection certificate from the state government is a must and that decision is currently on appeal in the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court upholds it, state governments will have a means to control the growth of private, unaided CBSE schools in their respective states, which would not be good at all. Things like this could happen in any state.

Here's the background to the case currently before the Supreme Court. There was a Delhi High Court ruling on September 08, 2005, in a case involving a private, unaided school (run by Tushar Welfare Society), seeking affiliation to the CBSE, which had applied to the Uttar Pradesh State Government for a no-objection certificate, to which the state government never responded. The CBSE had declined affiliation to the school on the grounds that it had not submitted the no-objection certificate from the state government, which it claimed was a requirement according to the bye-laws of the CBSE. The school obviously couldn't submit the no-objection certificate because the state government was dragging its feet for some reason. The school filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court arguing that the CBSE's constitution stipulated that a no-objection certificate was required only for state-funded schools and the bye-laws could not extend that to private, unaided schools, and over-ride the CBSE's constitution. Justice Vikramajit Sen of the Delhi High Court agreed and ruled in favour of the private, unaided school and asked the CBSE to recognise the school even without the no-objection certificate, if it satisfied all other conditions.

Justice Vikramajit Sen also made a few other interesting observations in his ruling (of September 08, 2005), which are excerpted below (emphasis is mine). These observations were criticised by two other judges of the Delhi High Court when this matter went on appeal (see below).

7. The Constitution of the CBSE requires the concurrence of the State Government concerned if in those cases where an Institution receiving 'regular maintenance or grant-in-aid from a State' applies for affiliation to the CBSE. There is sufficient reason for this stipulation since the State which is disbursing grant-in-aid to an Institution must retain the power to decide inter alia whether such Institutions should prepare the students for appearing for examinations conducted by the State itself or jointly by the State Education Boards as well as Central Boards such as the CBSE. Equally, Institutions which do not take aid from the State must have the freedom to choose whether they will prepare its students to appear in a Central or State Board examinations. If Central Boards are increasingly preferred over State Board, one of the consequences would be that High Courts throughout the country would not be burdened with several Writ Petitions dealing with the grant of equivalence of educational qualifications. It is widely experienced that one State does not automatically grant recognition to educational qualifications obtained from another State and educational standard vary drastically. The most effective solution is to be found in students appearing in one of the Central Board examinations such as conducted by the CBSE. The difficulties and problems that are endemic in varying and deferring standards of State Education Boards would automatically be obviated.

8. In this analysis, therefore, the CBSE is adopting a retrogate practice and stand in insisting that State clearances should be taken even by School which are private and unaided. In the present times, control and interference of the State is consciously being minimised. It would be a progressive step if educational institutions maintain themselves and regulate their affairs without drawing upon the State funds for which there invariably are many other suppliants. Where the parents of students are unable to afford the fees of private institutions, State schools should be available, as they presently are. No further regulation of education is called for. It is this ethos which has been expressed in the Constitution of the CBSE itself. All institutions which fall in the category of being private and unaided need not therefore obtain the concurrence and prior approval of a State Government for applying for affiliation to the CBSE. This is also what the Constitution of the CBSE itself envisages. The Bye-laws of the CBSE which require the concurrence and/or approval of the State Government are clearly ultra vires, and are, therefore, struck down. Private institution which obtain affiliation to the CBSE or any other Central Board need not have any connection with the State in which it is located, apart from it following and adhering to local laws including labour legislation.


The CBSE then appealed the decision in the Delhi High Court, which was heard by the Chief Justice Markandeya Katju and Justice Madan Lokur who delivered a judgement on December 09, 2005 which set aside the judgement of September 08, 2005 of Justice Vikaramajit Sen and dismissed the original writ petition filed by Tushar Welfare Society.

Some excerpts from the December 09, judgement make interesting reading.

15. In para 3 of the counter affidavit it is stated that the CBSE is discharging the function of conducting examinations, prescribing educational courses and generally maintaining standards of school education and advising the Government of India when called upon to do so on matters pertaining to school education. The CBSE frames its own rules and is governed by them and it has not been created under any statute. The CBSE is an autonomous and independent body, and no part of its expenses for running the organization is borne by the Government. It gets no aid, grant or subsidy from the Government and is not a State under Article 12 of the Constitution.

This is an interesting point, which I had not been aware of. According to the CBSE web site, "CBSE is a self-financing body which meets the recurring and non-recurring expenditure without any grant–in–aid either from the Central Govt. or from any other source. All the financial requirements of the Board are met from the annual examination charges, affiliation fee, PMT examination etc."

But the CBSE web site also states that the "The Education Secretary, MHRD, Govt. of India is the Controlling Authority of the Board. If the Board does not, within a reasonable time, take action, to the satisfaction of the Controlling Authority, the Controlling Authority may, after considering any explanation furnished or representation made by the Board, issue such directions, consistent with this Resolution, as he may think fit, and the Board shall comply with such directions." So its autonomy is questionable.
17. Thus it is evident that although the CBSE was initially created by the Central Government by the Resolution dated 01.07.1929, subsequently the appellant was registered as a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Hence after its registration on 02.01.1935 it ceased to be a limb of the Central Government and became an independent and distinct legal entity.

24. In Para 06 of the impugned judgment the learned Single Judge has observed :- So far as regulations or bye-laws vis-a-vis a statute are concerned it is firmly entrenched in our jurisprudence that a delegate would exceed the jurisdiction and the powers vested in it if it were to go beyond the provisions of the Statute which has created it.

25.There is no disputing the proposition which the learned Single Judge has referred to in the above observation. However, with due respect to the learned Judge what has not been taken into consideration by him is that there was no statute which created the CBSE but only a Resolution of the Central Government dated 01.07.1929. That Resolution is only an executive order and not a statute. Subsequently, the CBSE became a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 on 02.01.1935. Hence from 02.01.1935, the society is no longer a limb of the Central Government, but is a distinct legal entity like a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956. Hence from 02.01.1935 the CBSE is no longer governed by the Resolution of the Central Government dated 01.07.1929. It is this vital point which has been over looked by the learned Single Judge and hence in our opinion, the said judgment cannot be sustained.

26. The learned Single Judge in para 8 of the impugned judgment has further observed:- In this analysis, therefore, the CBSE is adopting a retrograde practice and stand in insisting that State clearances should be taken even by Schools which are private and unaided. In the present times, control and interference of the State is consciously being minimized. It would be a progressive step if educational institutions maintain themselves and regulate their affairs without drawing upon the State funds for which there invariably are many other suppliants. Where the parents of students are unable to afford the fees of private institutions, State schools should be available, as they presently are. No further regulation of education is called for. It is this ethos which has been expressed in the Constitution of the CBSE itself. All institution which fall in the category of being private and unaided need not therefore, obtain the concurrence and prior approval of a State Government for applying for affiliation to the CBSE.

27.With profound respect to the learned Single Judge, we are of the view that using language like "retrograde practice" and remarks like "in the present times, control and interference of the State is consciously being minimized", are wholly irrelevant and misplaced. The court has to decide a case on legal principles and not on its own notions of what is "retrograde" and what is "progressive".

34. In our opinion, it is entirely for the Board to lay down the rules for grant of affiliation. This is a policy matter, and it is not proper for this Court to interfere in this.

45. The bye-law 3(i) which requires a No Objection Certificate from the State Government before grant of affiliation to a school is a policy decision of the CBSE, and it is well settled that in policy matters this court should not ordinarily interfere.


The Independent Schools Federation of India has appealed in the Supreme Court on April 13, 2006 against the Delhi High Court judgement of December 09, 2005. The Hindu (April 16, 2006) reported on this appeal.

The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Central Board of Secondary Education on a special leave petition challenging a Delhi High Court order, which said it was mandatory for a school seeking CBSE affiliation to obtain a no-objection certificate" (NoC) from the State Government concerned. A Bench consisting of Justices K.G. Balakrishanan and P.P. Naolekar issued the notice on Thursday.

The petitioner, Independent Schools Federation of India, contended that the by-law, making it mandatory for schools seeking affiliation to the CBSE to get the NoC, was violative of the government resolution by which the board was constituted. As per this resolution, affiliation could not be denied to an unaided school if it failed to secure the NoC.

The petitioner said it represented hundreds of unaided public schools seeking affiliation to the CBSE in the interest of the children of government servants with transferable jobs, who might otherwise have to contend with different syllabi and different courses being followed in various States.

The petitioner cited clause 9 of the July 1, 1929 Central Government resolution, which laid down that the State Government's concurrence was mandatory if a school was getting grant-in-aid from it. This clause was not applicable to unaided public schools, which were not getting any grant-in-aid from the State.

Note the mention of the terms "public schools" and "children of government servants with transferable jobs" in the report above. What is meant by "public schools"? How are they different from private, unaided schools on which the Delhi High Court had ruled earlier?

While The Hindu had reported on the September 08, 2005 ruling by the Delhi High Court, I could not find any report on the Delhi High Court order on December 09, 2005 overturning the September ruling of the Delhi High Court. The Hindu's latest report (April 16, 2005) on the appeal in the Supreme Court makes no mention of the overturning of the September ruling on December 09, 2005, except to say it was being challenged in the Supreme Court. Not very good reporting by The Hindu, I must say. I had to dig around for the various rulings to piece together the puzzle.

The Executive and the Legislature are ceding influence to the Judiciary

Shiksha Bachao Andolan has filed a public interest litigation in the Patna High court claiming that Rs. 1,100 Crores of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan funding that was given to the Govt. of Bihar remains unutilised and many posts of principals and teachers remain vacant.

The Patna High Court (HC) on Wednesday took exception to the deterioration in the school education system, especially middle schools, of Bihar. The high court asked the state government to file an affidavit outlining the present education scenario in Bihar. The high court fixed the next date for hearing on May 2 and directed the Bihar Education Project (BEP) director to be present in the court on that day.
says The Times of India (April 13, 2006)

Citizens shouldn't be looking to the courts in such situations - the Opposition parties must be raising this in the state legislature. But if the executive fails to provide basic governance, let alone good governance, and on top of it the opposition legislators fail to challenge the executive for their omissions and commissions, what're citizens to do? By abdicating their responsibilities, the Executive and the Legislature are digging their own grave and ceding influence to the Judiciary.

The ongoing case of the AICTE vs Deemed Universities (summarised by Badri) is another case in point. The UGC could have quickly stepped in asking the deemed universities to fall in line with the AICTE's norms and ensured that the deemed universities did so. But as Abi pointed out, the UGC and the AICTE don't seem to get along and that has resulted in a lot of confusion for the students who have been the most affected - all because the executive is not doing its job properly. Again the legislature seems to be least bit interested in raising this in Parliament and the courts are the last resort for the citizens.


April 12, 2006
Solution to the reservation issue? It's the supply, stupid!

Why have we been debating reservations right from the 1950s and not made them redundant yet? Its only because the supply of educational opportunities continues to remain limited and scarce. If there were enough high quality insitutions (schools, colleges, IITs, IIMs, and institutions of all other kinds), no one would need to clamour for reservations or endlessly debate the percentages. But as long as the supply is restricted, there is no alternative to reservations - indeed they are necessary.

This scarcity of educational opportunities is of our own doing. Our successes in the food and telecom sectors in addressing scarcities are pointers to what could have been in the education sector. There's no reason why we can't replicate the success in the education sector too.

The Food Sector experience

There was a time when we were not able to grow enough food in the country to feed all our people and had to go with a begging bowl asking other countries to send us food. At that time, food had to be rationed so everyone would get a basic minimum quantity. Thanks to the Green Revolution, we now produce enough food to feed everyone and more, though there may still be logistical and quality challenges in getting the food to one and all. Today's ration shops are only in name - they've now morphed into a distribution channel for subsidised food to the economically weaker sections of society.

Not only do we produce enough for ourselves, today we have enough of a food surplus to be able to export agricultural produce of various kinds. The government did not take on the responsibility for producing all the food by itself - it relied on private citizens and organisations who produced the food for profit. Despite private for-profit involvement, there has been no profiteering in this sector. If anything, profiteering was rampant in the ration era where food was diverted from the ration shops to the black market.

The Government plays an important regulatory role in terms of ensuring food quality by enforcing the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act of 1954 and also setting up and managing the ISI and Agmark Standard for quality and purity of food products.

The Telecom Sector experience

There was a time when getting a phone line meant a waiting list of a few years. The lucky ones were able to jump the queue through special quotas for doctors, government officials etc. Thanks to the new telecom policy which opened up the telecom sector to private investment, today, every one in India can think of getting oneself a mobile phone at a very affordable price for the handset and very attractive schemes for monthly usage. Indeed the prices of both mobile handsets and the monthly plans have been consistently dropping. While both state-owned BSNL and the private telecom operators are for-profit organisations, making profits, there has been no profiteering in the telecom sector.

The Government plays an important regulatory role through the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to regulate both private and the state owned telecom operators. TRAI lays down the standards for provision of telecom services and enforces those standards to ensure that the telecom operators provide a minimum quality of service to customers.

Lessons from the food and telecom sector

The factors that led to expansion of supply of food and the provision of telecom services to the entire population and the shift from a rationing scenario to a siutation of plenty were simple.
The Government relied on private participation to produce food / provide telecom services to augument the government's own efforts to expand supply.

The Government allowed the private sector to get involved on a for-profit basis to make it attractive for private sector participation.

The Government devised and enforced regulations, which were aimed at regulating the quality of the food/telecom service.

There is no reason why we can't envision a similar transition from a scenario of scarcity of educational opportunities necessitating reservations, to a situation of plenty of educational opportunities for all. What we need today in India is the equivalent of the Green Revolution or the Telecom Revolution in the area of education - I'll call it the Opportunity Revolution, to coin a term.


The Opportunity Revolution

The Opportunity Revolution should be based on a set of simple principles

Our fundamental mission must be to provide educational opportunities for all our citizens right from the primary level through to higher education. That is the end to aim for, and all possible means to achieve that end must be used.

The Government clearly does not have enough financial resouces to provide education for all citizens all by itself. So the Government must actively invite private sector participation at all levels to augument the government's own efforts.

The private sector must be allowed to operate on a for-profit basis. That has worked very well in both the food and telecom sectors and could work well in the education sector too. Allowing for-profit involvement in education is likely to result in a huge amount of private sector investment in education to rapidly expand the supply of eductional opportunities.

The Government must regulate the quality of education provided by both the state-run institutions as well as private sector institutions. The Government must NOT aim to regulate the growth of the education sector, indeed it must encourage unprecendented growth without compromising on quality. All educational institutions must be required to obtain quality ratings from independent rating authorities like CRISIL, ICRA or CARE. Educational institutions must be held responsible for any fall in quality below minimum published standards and subject to penalties, just like in the food and telecom sectors.

The Government must ensure that all educational institutions operate transparently in terms of their finances and publish detailed financial and other academic information and make it available to students, parents and the public at large to enable them to make informed choices on which institutions to attend.

The Government must allow the educational institutions the freedom to set their fee structures and not insist on capping the fees at figures like 20% of operating costs, as has been suggested.
If all this were to happen, the supply of educational opportunities would expand rapidly and not only would we be able to provide education for all our citizens, we could also look at exporting education by providing education in India to foreign students.

Kesavananda Bharati judgement will be the key to interpreting new legislation on reservations in private unaided colleges.

All political parties without exception have expressed their unhappiness with the Supreme Court's recent judgement in the P.A. Inamdar case, in which the Court declared that the State cannot impose its reservation policies and quotas on private unaided colleges (which take no money from the State).

There seems to be a consensus among political parties for amending the Constitution to impose the State's reservation policies on the private unaided colleges. Any attempt to amend the Constitution*, is likely to result in legal tangles and the 1973 Kesavananda Bharati judgement will be the key to interpreting any new legislation.

A report in The Hindu (August 29, 2005) quotes Soli Sorabjee, the eminent lawyer saying as much.

The former Attorney-General, Soli Sorabjee, said the legislation proposed by the Centre would come under judicial scrutiny. Any law that affected the basic structure of the Constitution could come under legal scrutiny, and the Supreme Court could strike it down.

He disagreed with the view that if the proposed law were to be included under the Ninth Schedule, it would become non-justiciable. On Centre's plan to enact a law on the subject, he said it had to be interpreted whether it falls under the ambit of the basic structure of the Constitution.

An article on the basic structure of the Indian Constitution on the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative web site throws some light on the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution.

Parliament added the Ninth Schedule to the Constitution through the very first amendment in 1951 as a means of immunising certain laws against judicial review. Under the provisions of Article 31, which themselves were amended several times later, laws placed in the Ninth Schedule -- pertaining to acquisition of private property and compensation payable for such acquisition -- cannot be challenged in a court of law on the ground that they violated the fundamental rights of citizens.

This protective umbrella covers more than 250 laws passed by state legislatures with the aim of regulating the size of land holdings and abolishing various tenancy systems. The Ninth Schedule was created with the primary objective of preventing the judiciary - which upheld the citizens' right to property on several occasions - from derailing the Congress party led government's agenda for a social revolution.

Later on, laws relating to the nationalisation of certain sick industrial undertakings, the regulation of monopolies and restrictive trade practices, transactions in foreign exchange, abolition of bonded labour, ceiling on urban land holdings, the supply and distribution of essential commodities and reservation benefits provided for Scheduled Castes and Tribes in Tamil Nadu were added to the Ninth Schedule through various constitutional amendments.

But the famous Kesavananda Bharati judgement in 1973, changed everything.

All laws placed in the Ninth Schedule after the date of the Kesavananda Bharati judgement were open to review in the courts. They can be challenged on the ground that they are beyond Parliament's constituent power or that they have damaged the basic structure of the Constitution. In essence, the Supreme Court struck a balance between its authority to interpret the Constitution and Parliament's power to amend it.

A.N. Jayaram, former Advocate-General of Karnataka is quoted in Frontline (August 2004) as saying,

It is settled law "that a post-1973 legislation will not acquire judicial immunity merely by inclusion in the Ninth Schedule and can be subjected to judicial review".


A detailed article in Frontline (May 2001) has this to say on the basic structure doctrine in the context of the Kesavananda Bharati case.

On April 24, 1973, a Special Bench comprising 13 Judges of the Supreme Court of India ruled by a majority of 7-6, that Article 368 of the Constitution "does not enable Parliament to alter the basic structure or framework of the Constitution" (Kesavananda Bharati vs. The State of Kerala; AIR 1973 S.C. 1461, (1973) 4 SCC 225).

It, however, overruled a decision of a Special Bench of 11 Judges, by a majority of 6-5, on February 27, 1967, that "Parliament has no power to amend Part III of the Constitution so as to take away or abridge the fundamental rights" (I.C. Golak Nath & Ors. vs. The State of Punjab & Ors.: AIR 1967 S.C. 1643, (1967) 2 SCJ 486).

Instead, the court propounded what has come to be known as "the basic structure" doctrine. Any part of the Constitution may be amended by following the procedure prescribed in Article 368. But no part may be so amended as to "alter the basic structure" of the Constitution. It is unamendable.

Here's the relevant extract from the Kesavananda Bharati Judgement.

292. The learned Attorney-General said that every provision of the Constitution is essential; otherwise it would not have been put in the Constitution. This is true. But this does not place every provision of the Constitution in the same position. The true position is that every provision of the Constitution can be amended provided in the result the basic foundation and structure of the constitution remains the same.

The basic structure may be said to consist of the following features :

(1) Supremacy of the Constitution;
(2) Republican and Democratic form of Government;
(3) Secular character of the Constitution;
(4) Separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary;
(5) Federal character of the Constitution.

293. The above structure is built on the basic foundation, i.e., the dignity and freedom of the individual. This is of supreme importance. This cannot by any form of amendment be destroyed.

Soli Sorabjee had assisted Nani Palkhivala in arguing the Kesavananda Bharati case in which Palkhivala persuaded the Supreme Court to accept the basic structure doctrine. Soli Sorabjee, while delivering the First Palkhivala Memorial lecture on Palkhivala and the Constitution of India in February 2003 in Chennai, said

To my mind, Kesavananda Bharati was Palkhivala's greatest contribution to our constitutional jurisprudence. The judgment has been a salutary check on Parliament's tendency to ride roughshod over fundamental rights and its insatiable appetite to encroach upon fundamental rights.

What outraged Palkhivala was the tinkering with the Constitution by the politicians, its frequent amendment as if it were a Municipal Licensing Act or the Drugs Act, the failure to preserve the integrity of our Constitution against many hasty and ill-considered changes, the fruits of passion and ignorance. His firm belief was that Parliament's amending power is not absolute, the amending power is subject to inherent and implied limitations which do not permit Parliament to destroy any of the essential features of the Constitution and thereby damage the basic structure of the Constitution.

The Kesavananda Bharati judgement is likely to be the key to interpreting and challenging any new legislation or constitutional amendment, imposing the State's reservation quotas on private unaided colleges, to determine if it violates the basic structure of the constitution or not.

--------------

* The Rajya Sabha web site provides an overview of Parliament's power to amend the Constitution, the salient features of Article 368, which confers the power on Parliament to amend the Constitution and prescribes the procedure to do so, the various Constitution Amendments introduced in the Rajya Sabha, and the three categories of amendments - by simple majority, by special majority and by ratification of at least half of the State Legislatures after being passed by a special majority.

State control over fee cap is simply untenable

The following article of mine appeared in the op-ed section (fe Insight) in the Financial Express today (August 23, 2005).

Without doubt, as a society, we must strive to provide opportunities for quality higher education for all. In the ideal scenario, the state ought to provide such opportunities for all and subsidise it for those from the poorer sections. Article 41 of the Constitution (one of the Directive Principles of State Policy) as it relates to education, says: “The state shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to education.”

The state has, so far, failed in its efforts to provide opportunities for higher education to all and is fully aware that within the limits of its economic capacity, it cannot do so in the foreseeable future. The private sector has been playing an important role in supplementing the state’s efforts at increasing the overall supply of higher education. Taking the private sector’s role for granted, the state has conveniently abdicated its responsibility to provide education for all, and has been forcing the private sector to subsidise education for the socially backward sections.

Two main issues brought to the fore by the recent Supreme Court judgement are restrictions on the state’s ability to impose reservations for the socially backward sections and set the fee structure with caps in unaided private institutions. The SC has ruled that the state cannot enforce its reservation policies in minority or non-minority unaided institutions and that such institutions are free to devise their own fee structures, as long as they don’t charge capitation fees and do not indulge in profiteering. The ruling is difficult to fault.

All political parties, without exception, are worried that the removal of reservations in private institutions would be a big blow to social justice, and they have a point. Socially backward sections have been benefiting from access to higher education through reservations, which are not purely merit-based, and they will lose out. There is talk of bringing about legislation to enable reservations in private institutions to continue. This legislation is certain to be passed in one form or another, given the overwhelming support for it across the political spectrum.

What are the implications of continuing with reservations? Reservations per se may not be a problem for private unaided institutions, if the state agrees to pay the full fees for those students who join the private institutions under the reservation quotas. Private institutions would have no cause for complaint. The problem arises if the state caps the fees for students in the reservation quota far lower than the full fees, without agreeing to compensate private institutions for the lower fee income, thereby preventing these institutions from recovering their costs from fees, let alone making a surplus. More than the reservations, it is the state’s control over the fee cap that is simply untenable.

Rather than worrying about the state imposing reservations on private unaided institutions, we need to focus on preventing the state from forcing the private sector to bear the burden of subsidising education for the socially backward classes. Our aim should be to try and ensure that any new legislation that is passed makes it compulsory for the state to bear the full costs of funding the education of all students admitted under the reservation quota in private institutions. If it cannot bear the costs itself, it could at least provide loans to students to be paid back over a long term.

At the same time, any new legislation must also ensure that all educational institutions, public and private, are transparent, non-exploitative and accountable to society, especially in devising their fee structure. As in the financial sector, all educational institutions must also be required to periodically disclose the details of their finances and operations. This would prevent them from charging capitation fees or profiteering.

It will be financially unviable for private institutions to subsidise education on a sustainable basis, if the state doesn’t take care of the subsidy. If forced to do so, most private institutions will fold up and there will also be no incentive for the private sector to set up any new institutions.

One of the most important challenges before us today is to increase the supply of higher education. Efforts need to be focussed on ensuring that any new legislation doesn’t affect our ability to do so.


August 06, 2005
Implications of the Right to Information Act (2005) for higher education institutions

The recently passed Right to Information (RTI) Act has some very interesting implications in the area of education, especially higher education.

First some background about the RTI Act. The Government of India has passed the Right to Information Bill which is now known as The Right to Information Act, 2005 (Act No. 22 of 2005). The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on May 11, 2005 and by the Rajya Sabha on May 12, 2005 and received the assent of the president on June 15, 2005. Indiatogether.org has an excellent section on the RTI Act with latest updates and details of the implications of the Act. So does Parivartan.com.

The UGC's web site explains the implications of the RTI Act for higher education (emphasis mine).

The Right to Information Act, 2005 (22 of 2005) has been enacted by the Parliament and has come into force from 15 June, 2005. This Act provides for right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority.

All Universities and Colleges established by law made by Parliament or by State Legislature or by notification by the appropriate Government or owned, controlled or substantially financed directly or indirectly by funds provided by the Government shall come within the meaning of a Public Authority under this Act.

Whereas, some provisions of this act have come into effect immediately on its enactment (that is on 15 June 2005), other provisions shall come into effect on 100 / 120 days of its enactment.

All universities and colleges are therefore advised to carefully go through this Act and take necessary steps for implementation of various provisions including proactive disclosure of certain kind of information. Such information shall be made available to the public at large through the website by the concerned university/college.

This means enough information should now be available to the students, parents (and society at large) to evaluate the quality and capabilities of every higher education institution and help them make informed choices.


Section 25 companies to be allowed to invest in higher education in India

According to a Business Standard report,
Private and foreign corporate investment may soon get to flow into Indian higher education with the government considering a move to reform policy that hinders such financing.

Currently, it is not possible for non-profit companies under Article 25 of the Companies Registration Act — like industry associations — to set up an institution and get university status and recognition from the University Grants Commission.

Educational institutions in India can be set up only by trusts, societies and charitable companies, but the profits cannot be taken out of the institution and have to be reinvested. Not only does this restriction hamper expansion, it also encourages promoters to resort to creative accounting to take out profits from the institutions.

Now, under encouragement from an influential political ally from Maharashtra, the United Progressive Alliance government is expected to clarify this clause, sources told Business Standard.
But this report doesn't indicate that for-profit higher education will be allowed - it only seems to indicate that in addition to non-profit trusts or societies, non-profit Section 25 companies will also be allowed to set up higher education institutions, which is not as big a step as what is being considered in the primary education space. A recent report had suggested that for-profit investment in primary education is under consideration.

India loses out on membership to the Washington Accord - to try again in 2007

Indian Express (July 13, 2005) had reported that India lost out on membership to the Washington Accord in June this year.

Indian engineering graduates will have to wait for at least two more years to acquire provisional membership of the elite Washington Accord (WA) signatories’ consortium. WA accredits all undergraduate engineering programmes and provides international recognition for students from member countries. It has eight members: US, UK, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Ireland and South Africa.

While engineering graduates from IITs are well-recognised abroad, there are almost 1,265 other engineering colleges in India churning out over 3.5 lakh graduates a year who are not recognised in WA’s member countries. Compared to India, only 70,000 engineers graduate a year in the US and about a lakh in the European Union.

India lost out for membership in June this year though the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) submitted its application way back in February 2003. Though the application was accepted at WA’s biennial meet in June 2003, inordinate delay by the Indian government in pursuing the case and lobbying by other countries have resulted in India missing the chance.

Though India’s proposal was found fit for appraisal in June 2003, the WA secretariat sent a team for familiarisation only in January this year which submitted its observations by mid-March 2005. “A 120-day notice is required to be procedurally served in order to include a country’s case for provisional membership.India was left with virtually no time to process its case since the biennial was scheduled on June 15,” revealed an official source familiar with the proceedings in this regard.

The AICTE has been working on the entry to the Washington Accord since January 2000, all the while claiming it will happen soon. It is surprising that five years since, it has yet to gain entry. An editorial in The Financial Express (July 15, 2005) laid the blame squarely at AICTE's door and urged the AICTE to act.

Having goofed, AICTE should now use the months till the next biennial to upgrade the quality of education in our engineering colleges. Today, IIT graduates enjoy tremendous respect and brand equity abroad even without this recognition only because of their quality. However, the same is not true about engineering graduates from other institutions. And that is only because the AICTE has been very lax in according recognition to them, even though standards in many of these institutions are sadly wanting. The AICTE must focus on this.

The Financial Express (July 23, 2005) reports that the AICTE is now getting its act together.

National Board of Accreditation, established by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), has hired international credit rating agencies Crisil, Icra and CARE to evolve an accreditation procedure for technical institutes across the country.

In view of the Washington Accord, the step has been taken to accredit technical and professional institutes and improve the quality of technical education in the country. A four-member team, including members of NBA and credit rating agencies, as a pilot project, will undertake five different institutes from each zone of the country and submit a report to AICTE.

The broad criteria for accreditation will be devised jointly by the three grading agencies under the guidance of NBA. However, the agencies will be free to devise their own methods of assessment of critical parameters as well as expand the list of assessed factors. The agencies will hold discussions with the institute’s management, staff and students and submit an analytical assessment report to NBA for making final recommendations regarding the status of accreditation.

It's an excellent move on the part of the AICTE to hire the credit rating agencies to develop the accreditation process. This could be the first step towards ensuring that all technical education institutions in India (under the purview of the AICTE) go through a proper accreditation process by an independent agency like Crisil, ICRA or CARE instead of being accredited by the NBA - the AICTE arm - that today has a monopoly on accrediation.

Hopefully, this will also ensure that India gains entry to the Washington Accord by the next biennial meeting in 2007.

Addendum: A UNI report in Deccan Herald (July 24, 2005) provides some more background.


July 22, 2005
A critique of regulation of higher education in India and how it can be improved

Pratap Bhanu Mehta had written a piece in Indian Express last week arguing that poor regulation was constraining supply of higher education in India. Apart from poor regulation, I think there is another fundamental problem - the regulators and policy makers don't seem to believe that the ultimate goal is to ensure higher education for all and that the only way to do that is to increase the supply as rapidly as possible. Mehta has written two more articles in the Indian Express, following on his first one.

In the second piece (July 15, 2005), he critiques the regulatory regime for higher education and says "A characteristic weakness of regulatory regimes in India is that they concentrate on motives and intentions rather than on likely outcomes." The means seem more important than the end (ensuring supply of higher education for all) to the regulators and the policy makers.

Mehta is critical about some recent Supreme Court's rulings and goes on to explain how we have come to confuse standards with standardisation in the regulation of quality and the admission processes with serious consequences.

In State of Andhra Pradesh v/s J.B. Educational Society, the Supreme Court held that the consent of the State government is necessary before starting an engineering college and the AICTE cannot grant approval without this consent. But one of the grounds on which this determination was made is astonishing. The judgment says ‘‘the State authorities alone can decide about educational facilities and the needs of the locality. If there are more colleges in a particular area the state would not be justified in granting permission to one more college in that locality.’’

This is quite extraordinary. There may be good reasons to involve state governments in granting permissions, but this argument is premised on faulty logic many times over. Why are the Justices assuming that competition will not be good for the locality, both in terms of price and quality? What will be effect of granting quasi-monopoly rights to the existing college?

The premises which the Supreme Court brought to bear in its judgement in February 2005 in the Chhattisgarh Universities case should also be a cause of worry. Relying on its own earlier judgment (in March 1995) in Tamil Nadu and Anr. v. Adhiyaman Educational and Research Institute, the court has defined the power conferred on the UGC under item 66 List 1 as follows: "The expression ‘coordination’ used in Entry 66 of the Union List of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution does not merely mean evaluation. It means harmonisation with a view to form a uniform pattern for a concerted action according to a certain design scheme or plan of development. It therefore includes action not only for the removal of disparities of standards, but also for the occurrence of such disparities."

To be honest, it is difficult to fathom what this means. If one takes the most obvious interpretation then this claim does not make too much sense. Higher education is fundamentally about distinction. What would an education system where there was no disparity of standards across institutions look like? The general goal should be that average quality of education improves. But to suppose that the UGC should be empowered to prevent all disparities across thousands of institutions is odd, to say the least. The only way disparities can be prevented from arising is by laying greater premium on the lowest common denominator.

Again, the main thrust of this argument is to prevent diversity of institutional forms. We will need all kinds of institutions: some that educate the bright and others that cater to the not so bright, and all combinations in between; some that are experimental in their pedagogy and others that are traditional. In effect we have confused the upholding of standards with standardisation. It is not an accident that among the key words the court uses in this judgment, the terms "uniformity" and "homogenisation" make their appearance at crucial points in the argument.

In the third piece (July 16, 2005), Mehta suggests what we need to do to enable quality institutions to come up and thrive.

We have concentrated all our energies on regulating institutions, by interfering in everything from their admissions policies to the amount of land they can possess, but not done the obvious thing, which is to have stringent licensing requirements in these professions, by testing individuals on the output side.

We systematically abridge the power of all those forces that can help create genuine quality. ... The irony is that the authorities have become prisoners of the courts’ rhetoric, that education is not a ‘‘service’’ in the commercial sense. Therefore, some high courts and consumer fora have excluded education from the ambit of consumer protection, while a few have included it. Surely this is an area where the law can be clarified.

The second key in enforcing accountability is transparency. Instead of enforcing arcane regulations, why not have detailed audited statements of each institution made available to every student? And why not empower students by making the relevant information available to them: data like the educational profile of students entering the institution, etc? The thrust of regulation so far has been to give the state wide latitude in configuring institutions. It should instead shift to empowering students and parents to make informed choices. Rather than distrusting their capacities, it would be better to help them.

Two other sources help build quality. The first is professional self-regulation. Unfortunately, the political economy of all our professions — teaching, law, medicine — has taken effective power out of the hands of the best professionals. Reforming the internal architecture and incentives of these professions is important.

The second source is ensuring that the bulk of institutions are in the hands of people who are motivated by a pedagogic mission. It is fair to say that across the world, the best institutions are run by not-for-profit trusts, where the assumption is that extraneous considerations like profit do not determine the objective of the institutions. Again, the regulatory restrictions on trusts, such as investment and saving requirements, are such that they favour trusts that are governed by short-term goals over trusts that can strategise for the long haul. Is our regulatory structure favoring institutions that will not come to the field of education with the right kinds of incentives?

Means seem more important than the end in the quest for providing higher education for all

I presume none would disagree if we defined one of our important goals in the area of higher education as follows: To enable every one to get a higher education in the subject of one's choice to the level one desires. Assuming a consensus on the objective, what is more important - the means (ways of increasing supply of higher education so every one has access) or the end (ensuring enough supply for all)?

It is extremely sad that our policy advisers seem to consider the means to be more important than the end, even if the choice of means makes it very unlikely that the end can be achieved. Our policy advisers are so caught up with ensuring "equality" and "non-commercialisation" of the means that they are losing track of the fact that we are moving farther and farther away from achieving the end. Fortunately, we have grown out of this thinking in our approach tox other important objectives like providing food, clothing, shelter and health care for all, but we are still mired in it in the area of higher education.

The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) Committee on Financing of Higher and Technical Education (CABE Committee), headed by Planning Commission member Bhalchandra Mungekar, submitted its report on Financing of Higher and Technical Education, to the Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh recently. I have not been able to find a copy of the report online but The Hindu (July 08, 2005) reported on the recommendations of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) Committee on Financing of Higher and Technical Education (CABE Committee) and has stated the following.

Since revenue generation through student fees beyond 20 per cent of the recurring requirements of universities could well affect access to higher education, the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) Committee on Financing of Higher and Technical Education (wants the fees to be capped to yield not more than 20% of revenues) and has favoured a progressive taxation system where the affluent are taxed more to benefit the middle and lower income groups. While the committee preferred a "sound differential fee system" in higher education based on the principle of 'ability to pay,' the practical difficulties in implementing such a regime have made it suggest a progressive taxation system with the proviso of looking at more than just the income tax.

If the fees are to be capped at 20% of the recurring expenditure, where will the rest of the 80% come from? The CABE Committee wants to raise it from fresh taxes, but how much can be raised from taxes other than the income tax. We already have an education cess - are they proposing increasing the education cess beyond the current 2%? We need to do the sums to see how much that will generate and if that will be enough.

Assuming the government somehow manages to raise the 80% through fresh taxes, how is the government going to channel the funding to the student? Will it be through the institution or directly to the student? If the government asks students to pick the institution of their choice and then pays the institutions the 80% shortfall based on the number of students enrolled, it would be better. But if the government makes grants directly to the institutions, then there is room for favouritism in disbursing grants, misue of grants and government interference in the running of the institutions.

The government does not have the funds to bridge the gap and underwrite the 80% and I have serious doubts about raising enough through fresh taxes to bridge the gap. The private sector has no motivation to step in here, since this is precisely the kind of adverse selection that Pratap Bhanu Mehta says will discourage the private sector from getting involved. If private parties are not allowed to recover the costs, and have to raise fresh capital each year just to bridge the 80% shortfall, it simply won't be worthwhile for the private sector to invest in education. If the private sector is disincentivised, let alone not being incentivised, the supply will never increase.
Student loans will be counter productive in the long run "creating a view that higher education is not a public good but a highly individualised private good as the responsibility of funding shifts from the State to households [through introduction of fees] and within families from parents to the children themselves [through loans]."

The committee believes that higher education is a public good and should therefore be provided by the state for free to all. If that would be possible, that would be ideal and I would be all for it. But in the practical world, that's never going to happen. The state simply does not have the funds to provide higher education to all for free. If the committee's objective is to really provide higher education to all, which is what the objective ought to be, the end is far more important than the means and we should explore every possible way to increase the supply of education and enable students to pay for their education, if the state can't provide it for free. Loans are an excellent way of doing so and I am unable to understand what the counter-productive effect will be.

If the choice is between not providing higher education for all and higher education for all funded by loans, to be repaid by students after they land jobs as a result of their education and begin earning, there is no argument - the choice has to be the latter. The debate on education being a public good or not is moot, at least till the state is in a position to fund higher education for all. Indeed, using loans to fund education now might help the state get to the point of funding education for more students if not all, since every new student, with an education funded by a loan, who joins the workforce will increase productivity and output and as a result tax collections too.

The loan model works very well in housing and has boosted the housing stock and enabled millions of people to own their homes. In the case of housing, one could argue that loans could end up stimulating speculative investment in real estate causing booms and busts, but investment in education can never be speculative in the way it is in the housing sector. One invests in education for oneself only for benefiting from it directly and not to create multiple saleable assets that appreciate over time.

If the total allocation for education is raised to the elusive six per cent of the Gross National Product (GNP) from the current four per cent, then higher and technical education should get at least 1.5 per cent of the GNP. Of this, one per cent should be for higher education and 0.5 per cent for technical education. At present, about 0.4 per cent is spent on higher education and 0.1 per cent on technical education.

At the current level of education spending of 4% of GNP, 12.5% of total education spending is allocated for higher education. The CABE committee wants to double this so that 25% of total education spending is allocated to higher education if the total education spending is raised to 6% of GNP. This can only happen at the expense of funds allocated to primary education.

By qualifying their statement with a big IF, the CABE Committee themselves seem to be doubtful on the possibility of raising the allocation for total spending on education to 6% of GNP. But even if we somehow managed to achieve that, how does one justify spending more on higher education at the expense of primary education when many children get no education at all whatsoever? The state has a far greater role to play in ensuring supply of primary education, especially in the rural areas and small towns, where it is in short supply. As much of state funding as possible should go to ensuring universal access to primary education first - loans simply cannot work at the primary level. Is this just a case of each one asking for more for onself, with the higher education policy makers asking for a bigger share for higher education and the primary education policy makers asking for a bigger share for primary education, or does the CABE Committee have a justification for asking for an increase in funding for higher education at the expense of primary education?

Growth of self-financing courses in higher education institutions and private higher education should be regulated to avoid vulgar forms of commercialisation. While stating that philanthropy in education should be encouraged by the Government through appropriate fiscal incentives, the committee noted that the "overall role of private sector in education cannot but be limited."

I agree with the committee on the need to regulate higher education (both public and private) to ensure high quality and standards and avoid the kind of situation we had with the various fly-by-night universities that cropped up in Chhattisgarh. But I am unable to understand why the emphasis is on the "growth" being regulated and wonder if it is a freudian slip - do they actually want to regulate the supply or regulate the quality?

On the one hand they say philanthropy in education should be encouraged with fiscal incentives, but by capping fees, they are providing a very strong disincentive as mentioned earlier. The committee also seems to have made up its mind that the role of the private sector has to be limited - that is a very strong statement of their emphasis on the means. Indeed the very reason for fee caps seems to be to disincentivise the private sector from getting involved. The CABE Committe is glossing over the fact that the government does not have the funds and is unlikely to raise enough in the near future and without substantial private funding, there is no hope of achieving the end of providing higher education for all.
foreign universities that enter India with a view to exploiting the situation here and essentially to raise resources need to be prevented." there should be tough and detailed regulations to enable only those foreign universities having high academic standards wishing to provide good quality education to use the provisions in WTO/GATS to enter the higher education scene in India.

Again, I agree with the committee on the need to regulate the operation of foreign universities in India to ensure high quality and standards. But their emphasis on "tough and detailed" regulations to prevent foreign universities from "exploiting" the situation here and "raising resources" is indicative of an attitude that is a relic of the colonial past. They seem to be worried that foreign universities would come in to India, charge high fees and take the money out of the country.

As long as we can regulate the foreign universities to ensure high quality and standards, I would not really worry so much about their taking money out of India. In fact, they are already taking money out of India even without having a presence in India and the government and the policy makers can do nothing about that. A back of the envelope calculation indicates that there might already be a flow of close to a billion dollars a year from India to the U.S. through students who go to the U.S. for higher studies, paying for their education in U.S. universities. Add to that, the outflows to the U.K. and Australia, two other countries who have been aggressively recruiting in India in recent years and it would be a sizeable sum. If we allowed foreign universities to set up campuses in India, we might actually curb this outflow substantially since many students might opt to stay back in India and enroll with the foreign universities in their Indian campuses and we would save on the outflows that currently go to cover living expenses abroad.

The focus of the debate on funding higher education in India has to shift from the means ("fee-caps", "equality", "regulating growth", "non-commercialisation", "exploitation") to the end of ensuring higher education for all through a variety of means through both state and private finances, but with proper regulation aimed to ensure high quality and standards, not just in private insitutions, but in public institutions as well.

We need to lobby with the policy makers to change their emphasis from the means to the end and also ask them to set targets for increasing the supply of higher education and hold the regulators accountable to those targets, so that the regulators focus on encouraging and incentivising growth of supply, while making sure quality and standards are adhered to.


Poor regulations are constraining supply of higher education in India

Writing in the Indian Express (July 14, 2005), Pratap Bhanu Mehta argues that poor regulation is constraining supply of higher education in India.

Here's what he has to say (paraphrasing his words):

The executive and legislature have abdicated their responsibility of sensibly regulating higher education in India and the judiciary has had to step in, though they're not best suited for it and have sometimes exacerbated the problems rather than solving them.

There is a huge mismatch of supply and demand for higher education leaving students with very few choices, thereby allowing institutions to get away without being held to high standards of quality. Supply can only be increased if there is a huge infusion of funding into education from all kinds of sources - public, private, philanthropic and foreign.

Yet, perversely, current regulations serve to diminish rather than increase supply. Fee caps only tend to decrease supply further - if one can't recover costs, one might as well be doing something else. Rather than helping the poor, regulations end up hurting them since average fees won't fall if supply doesn't increase.

The outcry against entry of foreign universities into India is hypocritical. When those who have the wealth and/or the talent can secede from the system to get themselves educated in good foreign universities, why should those who remain in India not have the same opportunity of getting an education from a good foreign university operating in India?
We want to decrease fees, increase supply , but don't want to decrease the costs of providing education. Regulations are actually adding to the costs of supplying education - the costs of getting accreditation are too high.

All of this results in adverse selection with genuine educationists deterred from investing to increase supply. Only those who can manipulate the system or curry favour are thriving - it is not suprising that a majority of private colleges are run by politicians.

It does not seem to be the job of the regulators to ensure that more/better institutions are established to increase the supply. They are steeped in the mindset of patronage and control of the existing institutions. They have been converting a large number of existing insititutions into deemed universities, with quality being comprised in many cases. That's not going to solve the problem of supply.

Two things can be done to help improve the supply both in tems of quantity and quality.
The regulators should be given a target of increasing the supply by a certain amount each year and held accountable for delivering on that target.

The regulator's job must be limited to that of regulation (drawing up the broad guidelines) and the job of accreditation (ensuring compliance with the regulations and rating the institutions on compliance) should be delinked from the regulator and given to an independent set of organisations. No one body should have a monopoly over accreditation (like the NAAC does today). If the rating agencies like CRISIL, ICRA and CARE are given the responsibility with healthy competition amongst them, and also independence from the regulator, it would ensure that the institutions are held to high quality standards.


Central legislation likely for admission to private professional colleges

The Hindu (August 23, 2004) reports,
A 32-member all-party delegation from Karnataka, led by the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, today urged the Centre to enact legislation on admission to private unaided professional colleges. The delegation submitted a memorandum to the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Arjun Singh, here and made out a case for promulgating an ordinance after the current session of Parliament is over.

Though Mr. Arjun Singh remained non-committal on the delegation's request that the Centre legislate immediately, he said the decision would have to be taken by the Cabinet and promised it that he would speak to the Prime Minister about the issue.

While the Supreme Court in the Islamic Academy case had suggested that Parliament enact a comprehensive law on admission to professional colleges, the Human Resource Development Ministry has been proceeding cautiously since education is primarily a State subject. Karnataka is the first State to formally approach the Centre for such legislation and the Ministry is awaiting similar formal requests from other States struggling to deal with the problem.

Times of India (September 17, 2004) reports,
The HRD ministry has decided to bring a Central legislation to put an end to the chaos raging in private professional colleges over haphazard admissions and continuous fee hikes. The proposed legislation would bring a uniform admission and fees policy for all private colleges.

Private professional colleges in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, four states that have the largest concentration of such institutions in the country, have been arbitrarily fixing the number of management or paid seats and charging exorbitant fees for them.

State governments' efforts to regulate such practices through legislation have failed. With the situation going out of hand in Karnataka, CM Dha-ram Singh, leading an all-party delegation from the state, had met HRD minister Arjun Singh on August 23, demanding a Central legislation that could regulate this process. Sources said a similar demand has also come from Kerala.

"We are working on a possible draft that can bring uniformity in admission and fee structure in private professional institutions. If the modalities are worked, we may try to push it through in the winter session of Parliament," said an HRD ministry official.


Maharashtra to promote students from Class XI to Class XII en masse - implications are stark

R N Bhaskar writing in the Business Standard (dated September 06, 2004) bemoans the recent decision (September 01) of the Maharastra Government to promote children en masse from Class XI to Class XII. (I have not been able to find any report in any of the online editions of newspapers on this decision though).

The state government of Maharashtra had decided to grant mass promotions to all students of Class XI to Class XII. It only pointed to an inevitable worsening of educational certification standards. The Association of Mumbai Junior College Teachers is aghast and has protested against the move.

Similar moves were made seven years ago. The state government had then decreed that no student in classes I to V would be detained by the local school authorities. In effect, the state government had announced a mass promotion scheme for all students studying in any primary school class right from I to V. Of course, the state government justified such a policy on the grounds that many parents had complained against the arbitrary standards for promotion that each school had adopted. It also claimed that young, tender minds should be allowed to explore their surroundings and discover things for themselves, and not be regimented by an examination system of education.

Bhaskar goes on to analyse the results of a survey of children's understanding of English and Mathematics in 34 private English medium schools across Mumbai in early 2002.

How bad is the situation? Consider, for instance, a survey of 34 private, English-medium schools in Mumbai, conducted by E-convergence Technologies Limited (ETL) in the first half of 2002 (the author is closely associated with this company). All the schools were located in the not-so-affluent, north-eastern part of the city. By selecting private schools, ETL hoped to ensure that the exercise would not come up with distorted findings caused by the clubbing together of schools run by the municipal corporation and schools run by private educational trusts. Likewise, by narrowing the choice to English-medium schools, ETL hoped to normalise the sample base even further.

A total of 16,500 students were covered in this survey. Each child was asked to answer 10 questions in English and 10 in mathematics (many of the questions were as simple as putting the numbers in the right order). The age group covered was from 11 to 13 years (classes VI to VIII). The choice of English and maths was based on the growing awareness that any child - in order to become employable - must have oral and quantitative skills. The first helps him articulate effectively what he wishes to express, and the latter is the first step towards logical thinking.

The results were startling. Over 60 per cent failed in mathematics and over 70 per cent in English.

Even Bihar is supposed to have turned out better results in similar tests. The implications of this are stark, especially for those who will be looking to hire educated and competent employees in Maharashtra in the coming years.

But all these tests and the compiled results point to a malaise in Maharashtra that the state government has only been aggravating year after year. That could also explain why many recruits at lower levels, where numeric and verbal skills are critically important, invariably come from other states. And this state of rot began setting in more than 30 years ago.

Now consider what happens when mass promotion is introduced. Assuming an average 10 per cent failure rate for each class - half the rate of 20 to 25 per cent that the state government finds acceptable - there is a good chance of the filtering out of weaker students year after year. Consequently, 100 students appearing for the Class I exams would get reduced to 90 in Class II, and then to 81 in Class III, 73 in Class IV, and further to 66 in Class V. By abolishing all exams from classes I to V, the state government had ensured that as many as 35 per cent of the students in Class V were those who did not deserve to be there. Since schools would be loath to "fail" 35 per cent of their students in Class VI, the pressure on schools to cope with weaker students had become that much greater.

Such an approach has caused a large number of students, who do not match the proposed educational standards, to appear for the SSC (Class X) examinations. And since grace marks have been invariably granted by examination moderators under an age-old convention, the consequences are predictable. Many students who do not deserve to get the SSC passing certificate will get promoted nonetheless. These students then go to college. This would normally have been the next quality-control check post where college managements could decide which students were competent enough to appear for the HSC (Class XII) examinations. Now the state wants to do away with this check post as well.

And in the absence of small checkpoints at each and every stage, the state now expects the major state level exams at Class X and Class XII to stem the rot! Wishful thinking. And the consequences will have to be borne by the government and the corporate sector that will have to find some way of employing this youth.
The Maharashtra politicians are shooting themselves in the foot. A time may come when the corporate sector in Maharashtra would prefer hiring employees from other states to those from Maharashtra.

August 08, 2004
UGC (Establishment & maintenance of standards in private universities) Regulations, 2003.

The Government of India published a Gazette Notification on December 27, 2003, UGC (ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF STANDARDS IN PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES) REGULATIONS, 2003 [page 1, page 2, page 3] which states the following:
Background

(i) Setting up of private universities through State Acts is a recent phenomenon. An effective regulatory mechanism is required for the maintenance of standards of teaching, research, examination and extension services in these private universities.

(ii) An effective mechanism for regulating the functioning of existing State Universities recognized by the University Grants Commission under section 2(f) and 12B of the UGC Act, 1956 is already in place. In almost all the States, the Governor of the State is the ex-officio Chancellor of the universities in that particular State. Besides, all the recognized State Universities under the purview of the UGC are receiving grants from the UGC and are obligated to follow the statutory regulations made under the UGC Act, which inter-alia include regulations defining the minimum qualifications that should be possessed by any person to be appointed to the teaching staff of the universities; regulations defining the minimum standards of instruction for the grant of a degree by a university, etc.

(iii) Under Section 3 of the UGC Act, deemed to be university status is granted by the Central Government to those educational institutions of repute, which fulfill the prescribed standards and comply with various requirements laid down by the UGC.

(iv) For private universities belonging to a separate category altogether, a suitable regulatory mechanism is essential by way of laying down the conditions specifically for the establishment and operation of such universities for safeguarding the interests of the student community with adequate emphasis on the quality of education and to avoid commercialization of higher education, etc.

(v) Accordingly, in exercise of the powers conferred by clauses (f) & (g) of sub-section (1) of Section 26 of the UGC Act, 1956, the UGC hereby makes the following Regulations, namely:

1. Short title, application and commencement

1.1. These regulations may be called the University Grants Commission (Establishment of and Maintenance of Standards in Private Universities) Regulations, 2003.

1.2. These shall apply to every private university established by or incorporated under a State Act, before or after the commencement of these regulations.

1.3. These shall apply to all the degrees/diplomas/certificates (including those offered in India in collaboration with foreign universities) offered under formal, non-formal or distance education mode by the private university.

1.4. These shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Gazette of India.

1.5. Any private university, which has started functioning before commencement of these Regulations, shall ensure adherence to these Regulations within a period of 3 months from the notification of these Regulations and confirm the compliance to the UGC. Failure to comply with this requirement, shall render any degree/diploma awarded by a private university as unspecified in terms of Section 22(3) of the UGC Act and shall invite penalty under Section 24 of the UGC Act.

2. Definitions

2.1. "private university" means a university duly established through a State / Central Act by a sponsoring body, viz. a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, or any other corresponding law for the time being in force in a State or a Public Trust or a Company registered under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956.

2.2. "off-campus centre"* means a centre of the private university established by it outside the main campus (within or outside the State) operated and maintained as its constituent unit, having the university's compliment of facilities, faculty and staff.

2.3. "off-shore campus"* means a campus of the private university established by it outside the country, operated and maintained as its constituent unit, having the university's compliment of facilities, faculty and staff.
2.4. "study centre"* means a centre established and maintained or recognized by the university for the purpose of advising, counseling or for rendering any other assistance required by the students used in the context of distance education.

2.5. "student" means a person duly admitted and pursuing a programme of study.

* "off-campus centre", "off-shore campus" and "study centre" as defined under these Regulations shall be applicable to the universities as defined under 2(f) of the UGC Act, 1956.

3. Establishment and recognition of Private Universities

3.1. Each private university shall be established by a separate State Act and shall conform to the relevant provisions of the UGC Act, 1956, as amended from time to time.

3.2. A private university shall be a unitary university having adequate facilities for teaching, research, examination and extension services.

3.3. A private university established under a State Act shall operate ordinarily within the boundary of the State concerned. However, after the development of main campus, in exceptional circumstances, the university may be permitted to open off-campus centres, off-shore campuses and study centres after five years of its coming into existence, subject to the following conditions:

3.3.1. The off-campus centre(s) and / or the study centre(s) shall be set up with the prior approval of the UGC and that of the State Government(s) where the centre(s) is/are proposed to be opened.

3.3.2. The over-all performance of the off-campus centre(s) and/ or the study centre(s) shall be monitored annually by the UGC or its designated agency. The directions of the UGC for management, academic development and improvement shall be binding.

3.3.3. If the functioning of the said centre(s) remains unsatisfactory, the private university shall be instructed by the UGC to close down the said centre(s), which shall be binding on the university. In such a situation, the interests of the students already enrolled therein shall be protected.

3.3.4. Any off-shore campus(es) in foreign countries shall be opened only after obtaining due permission from the Government of India and also that of the Government of the host country.

3.3.5. In case of off-shore campus(es), the remittance of funds shall be governed by the rules and regulations of the Reserve Bank of India.

3.4. A Private university shall fulfil the minimum criteria in terms of programmes, faculty, infrastructural facilities, financial viability, etc., as laid down from time to time by the UGC and other concerned statutory bodies, such as the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the Bar Council of India (BCI), the Distance Education Council (DEC), the Dental Council of India (DCI),the Indian Nursing Council (INC), the Medical Council of India (MCI), the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI),etc.

3.5 The courses of studies prescribed for a first degree and/ or the post-graduate degree / diploma programmes should have been formally approved by the respective academic bodies of the private university, such as - Board of Studies, Academic Council and Governing/ Executive Council.

3.6. The programmes of study leading to a degree and/or a post-graduate degree/diploma offered by a private university shall conform to the relevant regulations/norms of the UGC or the concerned statutory body as amended from time to time.

3.7. A private university shall provide all the relevant information relating to the first degree and post-graduate degree/diploma programme(s) including the curriculum structure, contents, teaching and learning process, examination and evaluation system and the eligibility criteria for admission of students, to the UGC on a proforma prescribed by the UGC prior to starting of these programmes.

3.8. The UGC on detailed examination of the information made available as well as the representations and grievances received by it from the students as well as concerned public relating to the deficiencies of the proposed programme(s) not conforming to various UGC Regulations, shall inform the concerned university about any shortcomings in respect of conformity to relevant regulations, for rectification. The university shall offer the programme(s) only after necessary rectification.

3.9. The admission procedure and fixation of fees shall be in accordance with the norms/guidelines prescribed by the UGC and other concerned statutory bodies.


4. Inspection

The UGC may cause periodic inspection of the private university and its off-campus centre(s), study centre(s), off-shore campus(es) etc., offering its programmes. For this purpose, the UGC may call for all relevant information from the concerned private university, as provided in the UGC (Returns of Information by Universities) Rules, 1979 as amended from time to time.

5. Consequences of violations

5.1. After inspection and assessment of a private university providing first degree and / or post graduate degree/diploma courses, the UGC may indicate to the university any deficiency and non-conformity with the relevant UGC Regulations and give it reasonable opportunity to rectify the same. If the Commission is satisfied that the private university has, even after getting an opportunity to do so, failed to comply with the provisions of any of the Regulations, the Commission may pass an order prohibiting the private university from offering any course for the award of the first degree and /or the post-graduate degree/ diploma, as the case may be, till the deficiency is rectified.

5.2. The UGC may take necessary action against a private university awarding a first degree and / or a post-graduate degree/diploma, which are not specified by the UGC, and inform the public in general through a public notification. A private university continuing such programme(s) and awarding unspecified degree(s) shall be liable for penalty under Section 24 of the UGC Act.

Presumably these are the regulations under which the activities of private universities are to be reviewed by the UGC.



May 24, 2004
What does the Common Minimum Programme of the United Progressive Alliance have to say on Education?

Here're the extracts relating to education from the draft of the Common Minimum Programme of the United Progressive Alliance Government (UPA) led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which has just been sworn in. Arjun Singh is the Minister in charge of Education.

The UPA government pledges to raise public spending in education to least 6 per cent of GDP with at least half this amount being spent on primary and secondary schools.

It has never gone beyond 4.3% of GDP till 2001-02, despite an official target of 6% being set as far back as 1968. So it will be a tall order to achieve.

The UPA government will introduce a cess on all central taxes to finance the commitment to universalise access to quality basic education.

A National Commission on Education will be set up to allocate resources and monitor programmes.

The UPA will take immediate steps to reverse the trend of communalisation of education that had set in the past five years. It will also ensure that all institutions of higher learning and professional education retain their autonomy.

The UPA will ensure that nobody is denied professional education because he or she is poor.
Presumably, this will happen through the EDFC proposed in the Congress' manifesto.
Academic excellence and professional competence would be the sole criteria for all appointments to bodies like the ICHR, ICSSR, UGC, NCERT.

A national cooked nutritious mid-day meal scheme will be introduced in primary and secondary schools.

An earlier post summarised the education-related points of the 2004 Manifestos of various parties.



Education - what did the 2004 Manifestos of the various political parties have to say?

The Bharitya Janata Party (BJP) details their plans on education in their 2004 Manifesto, with some specific targets. Here're the relevant extracts from their manifesto, relating to education.
Total spending on education will be raised to 6% of the GDP in five years, with enlarged public-private partnership at every level of the educational pyramid.

Literacy rate of 85% will be achieved in five years. Our vision is to see that Indian society becomes fully literate by 2015. For this, we will launch a multi-pronged campaign to ensure that every child goes to school, every school is made accountable to the community, and every village and town is made accountable for its quality education status. Appropriate resources both from Government and non-government sources will be mobilized to match our ambitious goals.

Innovative tools like computer-based and TV-promoted functional literacy will be employed. The 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan' will be made into a people's movement.

Spread of education among SCs, STs, OBCs, and minorities, and activities aimed at removing gender disparities in education at all levels, will receive increased support.

A special fund of Rs. 1,000 crore a year will be created, partially through a cess on all non-needy students, to improve all primary school buildings in rural areas in five years.

"Akshaya Patra", as a national mid-day meal program, will be made operational.

The entire school and college education system will be overhauled and made employment-oriented. Opportunities for skill development and vocational training will be maximized.

A Standards Improvement Campaign, to be named after Dr. Syama Prasad Mookherjee (who became the youngest ever vice-chancellor of the prestigious Calcutta University), will be launched to raise the quality of education in colleges and universities. Institutions that perform well will be suitably recognized.

No student would be deprived of access to higher education for lack of resources. Scholarships and soft loans would be made widely available to all needy students. A National Education Development Fund will be established for this purpose.

While encouraging private investment, effective steps will be taken to curb commercialization of education.

The focus on Indian culture, heritage, and ethical values in syllabi will be strengthened.

Character-building and all-round development of the student's personality will be emphasized. Sports, physical training, and social service will be mainstreamed into the educational system.
The growing de-emphasis of Bharatiya languages in school and college education will be checked. Teaching in the mother tongue will be encouraged.


Efforts will be intensified for the propagation of Sanskrit.

Establishment of hostels, especially for women's education, will be encouraged.
Administration of our educational institutions will be freed of bureacratism. Community participation in managing their activities and monitoring their performance will be encouraged. Centers of excellence in higher education are India's pride. They will have requisite autonomy to become the best in the world.

Five new IITs will be established before 2005

Our vision is to make India a global hub for higher education and regain the glory of the Nalanda era. For this, an action plan will be prepared to elevate at least 25 Indian universities and 100 colleges to international standards in every respect. All our IITs, NITs, IIMs, IIScs, AIIMS-like medical institutes, and other reputed higher educational institutions (both existing and proposed) will be further supported. Public-private participation will be fully activated to realize the above vision, which would not only raise India's stature globally but also enable our country to earn significant foreign exchange.

Here're the extracts from the 2004 Manifesto of the Indian National Congress, relating to education.

The Congress pledges to raise public spending in education to at least 6% of GDP with at least half of this amount being spent in primary and secondary schools.

Access will he proposed on all central taxes to finance the commitment to universalize access to quality basic education.

A National Commission on Education will be set up to allocate resources and monitor programmes for compliance with national priorities.

The Congress will ensure that all institutions of higher learning in science, technology, social sciences and management will retain the sense of autonomy that they have enjoyed in previous Congress regimes. Academic excellence and professional competence would be the sole criteria for all appointments to bodies like the ICHR, ICSSR, UGC, NCERT etc.

Apart from increasing the supply of loan scholarships and refinance through banks, it will also establish a Education Development Finance Company along the lines of HDFC to provide loans at affordable rates to all those who cannot afford the costs of college and university education in science, engineering and medicine.

This would help to boost disbursal of education loans which are relatively safe lending options for the financial institutions, in terms of recovery. But in addition to an EDFC, what may also be needed is a National Education Bank charged with promoting the growth of education credit and finance, akin to the National Housing Bank, which is charged with promoting the growth of housing credit and finance.

Education at all stages would be free in all respects for boys and girls belonging to dalit and adivasi communities.

A national cooked nutritious mid-day meal scheme will be introduced in primary and secondary schools across the country.

To enhance the employability of our youth, systematic efforts will be made to vocationalise secondary education and to establish at least one industrial training institute in each development block of the country through creative public-private partnerships.

The Congress commits itself to amending the Constitution to establish a Commission for Minority Educational Institutions that will provide direct affiliation for minority professional institutions to central universities. Special steps will be taken to spread modern and technical education among women in minority communities particularly.

I don't understand what the first part of this means. Is the intention to free minority professional institutions from having to affiliate with any state university?

Here're the extracts from the 2004 Manifesto of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), relating to education.

The 93rd Constitutional amendment promising free and compulsory education for children till the elementary stage must be amended to ensure the State fulfills its commitment to make education a basic right for children upto the age of 14 by providing financial backing. Free and compulsory school education can be attained only if it is accompanied by free mid-day meals, provision of textbooks and other education materials.

Upgradation of the salaries of elementary school teachers and providing schools equipped with basic facilities.

Syllabus and curriculum to inculcate secularism, progressive values, scientific temper and national unity.

Ensure social control over private educational institutions for regulation of admissions, fees and content of education. Central legislation to empower the states to regulate self-financing institutions.

This is a complex issue. The recent Judgement of the Supreme Court on commercialisation of education in Delhi's schools has brought this issue to the forefront and it needs to be debated at length.

Allocation of 10 per cent of union budget for education.

This figure has been 13% or higher for the past 10 years, so this is very much achievable.
Support to mass literacy programmes.

Democratisation of the higher education system and development of vocational education.

Democratisation is too generic a word. It is unclear what they have in mind.

The manifestos of other parties like the DMK and the Nationalist Congress Party address education in either very general and superficial terms or in very narrow terms

According to the DMK's Manifesto,

DMK will demand the withdrawal of the text books produced by the NCERT which contain derogatory myths on minorities and Dravidians.

DMK will demand the allocation of 6% of GDP for education as recommended by the Kothari commission. The present allocation of 3.2% to education in the 10th plan need to be raised to 6%

and the Nationalist Congress Party's Manifesto,

Equal educational facilities would be provided for the rich and the poor alike.

Better implementation would be ensured of Universalisation of Primary Education, vocationalisation of secondary education and modernisation of Higher Education.

Sufficient funds would be provided for infrastructure for imparting universal and compulsory primary education.

Facility for quality education would be provided to the less privileged sections of society.
Eradication of illiteracy would be given top priority. Computer Education would be encouraged.



The ideas and policies common to most of the manifestos include
Allocation of funds upto 6% of GDP towards expenditure on education.
It has never gone beyond 4.3% of GDP till 2001-02, despite an official target of 6% being set as far back as 1968, when the Kothari Commission first recommended the 6% target. So it will be a tall order to achieve.

A national noon meal program to be introduced

A special cess to be imposed (the BJP says on non-needy students and the Congress says on taxes) to raise funds .

A special vehicle to be created to provide education funding for students (the BJP proposes a National Education Fund and the Congress proposes an Education Development Finance Corporation)


May 03, 2004
Demand-side financing (school choice) in education

[Via Solomon Arulraj] In a paper titled Market Forces in Education (MS Word doc, html) published in 1999, Harry Anthony Patrinos of the World Bank discusses government subsidies in education and whether public subsidies, if justified, should be distributed through demand-side financing (whereby public funds are channeled directly to individuals or to institutions based on expressed demand, through mechanisms such as vouchers, stipends, and capitation grants).

He describes various demand-side financing experiments in different parts of the world, but says relevant information is scarce on the overall effects of these experiments, and calls for more research.

When private demand for schooling is lower than optimal, along with the other market failure arguments, a role for public intervention may be justified.

However, it does not necessarily follow that the public sector role is provision. It may not even be finance. Changes in regulations or incentives could be all that is needed. Sometimes simply providing more information so that optimal decisions can be made will be sufficient.

Nevertheless, the state in most countries is the major financier of education. And it does not end there. In most countries the state is also the major provider. It was not always this way, and in many countries there are other providers – private (for- and non-profit), church, NGO, home. In other words, there is a market for education. In low income countries excess demand for schooling results in private supply when the state cannot afford schooling for all and people recognize the benefits of schooling (James 1987, 1991, 1994).

In high income countries, however, "differentiated" demand leads to a demand for private schooling, as a sophisticated clientele demands different kinds of schools (eg, Montessori schools).

Most countries provide public education without charge or at minimal cost to their citizens.

However, fiscal constraints prevent many – especially low income – countries from relying solely on government revenues to finance desired educational expansion.

To solve this problem, many countries have adopted policies to:
(a) charge tuition fees to recoup part of the cost of providing public education services; and/or (b) encourage development of private schools to handle at least part of the expansion.

The use of demand-side financing mechanisms, such as vouchers, stipends, and capitation grants, does not necessarily imply less public finance. The use of these mechanisms in the education sector is common in member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and in developing nations.

A voucher is a payment that a public entity gives directly to students and that students use at the school of their choice. Stipends are given to students or their families to pay for schooling-related expenditures. Part of the conceptual framework of demand-side financing in education is the issue of choice.

The focus is on the individual (or parents, in the case of basic education). In fact, the calls for parental choice are usually directly related to efforts to improve educational outcomes, as part of an overall reform effort.

School choice is promoted as a means of increasing competition in the school system (Friedman 1955, 1962, 1997). It is believed that competition will lead to efficiency gains as schools – public and private – compete for students and try to improve their quality while reducing expenses.

By encouraging more private schools, vouchers will allow school managers to become innovative and thereby bring improvements to the learning process. Public schools, in order to attract the resources that come with students, will need to improve.

The debate, however, is tainted with a lack of clarity and a host of different definitions of vouchers. Blaug’s (1984) voucher tree identifies a number of criteria by which to judge voucher schemes. Does the scheme allow topping up of fees? Is transportation included?

All these factors will affect the way the scheme works and its cost. One extreme is a restricted voucher. The other extreme is an unrestricted voucher that includes fees, costs and transport, and is income-related.

Given that there is little evaluation experience with demand-side financing mechanisms, it will take some time before one is able to determine the general usefulness of this approach. In the meantime, it is important to monitor and evaluate innovative programs. While it is generally agreed that choice has merit in theory, how to make it work best in practice needs to be documented.

It is often argued that vouchers and school choice will increase vital access to information and thus help in promoting equity. However, further research is necessary to assess effectiveness of choice on a series of outcomes.

We also do not know what the supply-side responses will be to interventions on the demand side. For example, will existing private education suppliers expand or new ones emerge because of vouchers? Will public institutions reform themselves in order to attract choice pupils?


Since 1999 (when this paper was presented), there may have been more work done on understanding the issues discussed above, which I haven't looked for yet.


Will a fee-based or privatised education system hamper growth in literacy?

[via Suhit Anantula]

Barry Simpson in an article on the Ludwig Von Mises Institute site examines the view of 'advocates of "free" or public education that a system primarily based on fees would cause many children to forego an education,' and concludes that 'the charge of lower literacy in a fee-based or privatized system than in a free education system seems to be weak at best, considering the history of education in America and England.'

Simpson writes,

England's system of education was not completely "free" until 1870. However, literacy and attendance had been steadily climbing for hundreds of years. In 1640, male literacy in London was more than 50%, and more than 33% in the countryside. These rates were obtained under a privately administered fee-based educational system. As the demand for education rose during the Industrial Revolution, however, private schools grew to supply consumer needs. By 1818, one of every fourteen people in the total population attended school for some period. Twice as many children attended school only ten years later.


The private system continued to grow in England. Attendance in day school had reached one of every 8.36 of the total population by 1851, and one of every 7.7 by 1861. The Education Act of 1870 provided "free" schools for the entire population. In 1975, however, after over 100 years of "free" schooling, the figure dropped only to one of every 6.4 citizens.

Eddie West argues that the goal of educating 100% of the population is unattainable. But if universal education means at least 90% attendance, then a private system of universal education had been achieved in England by 1860—a full ten years before education became "free."

The situation in America roughly parallels that in England. In 1650, male literacy in America was 60%. Between 1800 and 1840, literacy in the Northern States increased from 75% to 90%, and in Southern States from 60% to 81%. These increases transpired before the famous Common School Movement led by Horace Mann caught steam. Massachusetts had reached a level of 98% literacy in 1850. This occurred before the state's compulsory education law of 1852. Senator Edward Kennedy's office released a paper in the 1980s stating that literacy in Massachusetts was only 91%.


Simpson goes on to explain why private schools are so effective in increasing literacy.
The reason behind the successes of private, fee-based systems should be elementary to any student of economics: Private businesses are consumer oriented. The feedback of profit and loss tells an entrepreneur when they satisfy, or fail to satisfy, the needs of consumers. Entrepreneurs who continue to lose eventually cease to be entrepreneurs. Conversely, profit is a reward to entrepreneurs who correctly anticipate consumer wants. A brief look at the private schools of the period attests to these facts. Private schools offered a varied curricula to students. While public schools concerned themselves with the three R's, private schools offered courses in geography, bookkeeping, geometry, trigonometry, surveying, French, German, history, and sometimes dancing. Specialty and night schools emerged to meet the growing demand of consumers.

Economic theory shows us that private businesses cater to the needs of diverse consumers far better than bureaucracies. History tells us that a private system is feasible, that those at the bottom of the ladder will gain the education they need, and that literacy will not suffer if the mass of the public education system disappears—if only we will listen.

NIIT, Aptech and others have done just that in India by anticipating the wants of two different consumer segments (the software companies who needed trained programmers and the students who were looking for skills that would land them jobs) and addressing both their needs.

Why isn't this happening in a big way in the area of conventional school education in India? Why aren't there many private companies/organisations that have grown to meet the consumer demand out there (which is backed by the willingness of parents to pay substantial sums for educating their children)? One reason is that education has been termed a not-for-profit activity in India to be run only through a trust, which means one can't start a company to run schools and make a profit.

But this hasn't stopped people from starting and successfully running private schools not so much for a profit motive but more for a social motive. The other reason is the regulatory hoops that one needs to walk through to set up and run a school. This again hasn't prevented people from either working within the regulatory constraints or finding ways to get around them as the Centre for Learning in Bangalore has shown.

James Tooley (Professor of Education Studies at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and Director of the E.G. West Centre for Market Solutions in Education) quotes the Public Report on Basic Education in India (1999) which pointed to private schools that were serving the poor and said they are successful because they are more accountable: “the teachers are accountable to the manager* (who can fire them), and, through him or her, to the parents (who can withdraw their children).” Such accountability was not present in the government schools, and “this contrast is perceived with crystal clarity by the vast majority of parents.”

The private sector will not hamper growth of literacy, on the contrary it will help spur it. The private sector must play a major role if we are to educate the masses, and there are enough examples to show that the private sector can be successful. Just as the government is removing the shackles to let private sector initiatives thrive in other areas of manufacturing and services, it must look to doing the same in the area of education too. In particular, the government should invite the private sector to take on a greater role in running government schools.


February 12, 2004
The Centre for Civil Society critiques the Free and Compulsory Education Bill

The Centre for Civil Society (CCS), New Delhi has published a critique (pdf 147kb) of the Free and Compulsory Education for Children Bill 2003, terming it as a 'terribly flawed bill'.

The main problems with the bill that they point out are as follows:
It is an unfunded mandate. The national government wants to pass a law mandating free and compulsory education without providing the funds necessary to implement it, leaving the local governments to raise the funds, which would be practically impossible.

It incentivises corruption. The local government officials, who are less interested in a child's education than parents themselves, are empowered to decide and impose their decisions not only on children, but also on schools.

Local officials will have to decide the percentage of seats (upto 20%) to be reserved by private schools for poor children (those below the poverty line) with no fees charged, and the very same officials will also get to decide which of the poor children will be admitted to which school.

Schools will want to minimise the percentage of reserved seats and parents will want their children to be in the best private schools and both of them will look to achieve their ends by influencing the public officials who have to decide on their behalf.


The burden of subsidising education for the poor is being shifted to the private schools and through them to the parents (who are above the poverty line).

If a private school has to provide free education to poor children, they need to cut corners or raise the funds somewhere. They will be forced to increase the fees for the rest of the 80% effectively making the 80% pay for the education of the other 20%.


It proposes to penalise private schools and parents if they don't measure up to what the bill proposes, while providing protection and immunity from prosecution to the government officials for all their decisions taken in 'good faith'.


It tries to address the need for educating everyone by focussing on enrolment (making education compulsory), when dropout not enrolment, is the problem. The CCS report states that the net enrolment ratio in India is high, but children drop out due to a 'perception of little learning outcome, which is quite true given the low quality of schooling at government schools'.

Poor parents have no qualms about paying for their children's education in a private school, when they perceive the quality of schooling to be much better and accountable.


The CCS report proposes that
A good school system would satisfy two criteria. One, from the supply side, existence and quality of a school should depend only on the number and judgement of the customers - the parents who pay the tuition. Two, from the demand side, customers - the parents - should have the opportunity to make a reasonable choice and the ability to pay the costs associated with educating their children.

The first criterion can be satisified only when entry barriers are non-existent - there should be no license-permit raj. Entrepreneurs, motivated by profit or mission, should be free to start schools and provide the education without having to jump through endless regulatory hoops and greasing countless palms. Today, instead, they face discriminatory laws and regulations that apply only to private and not to government schools.

The second criterion requires citizens to focus on just one group - poor parents, since other parents can already afford to send their child to the school of their choice. To address the simple fact that poor parents do not have money, private and governmental institutions can provide resources in the form of education vouchers/cheques that can be encashed only educational institutions. Poor parents pay schools with vouchers, the school encashes the voucher with the issuing agency.

If the parents are not satisfied with the school, they can take their child elsewhere and along with the child, the voucher. This creates every incentive for the school to provide the best service possible. It is competition among schools for vouchers that will produce adequate number of quality schools.

I completely agree with the what they are proposing and have been thinking about ways in which we can bypass the regulatory entry barriers. I had described one such working model - the Centre for Learning, in Bangalore.

According to the CCS report,
The authors of this bill attempt to define all sorts of parameters and to divine all sorts of future scenarios. From how to compute a child's age to how many rooms a teacher must have. From issues of child labour to prescribing how to hold enquiries into the attendance status of a shild. From duties of a teacher to the workings of a parent-teacher association.

From the responsibilities of a parent to that of the attendance committee's. The breadth and depth of this legislative arrogance is awe-inspiring. Yet the authors could not find a simple way to transfer taxpayer resources to the only people who will make the most honest and caring decision regarding the porr child's education - its parents.

The authors of this bill are saying that we can trust these parents to elect the government, but cannot trust them to choose a right school for their children.

James Tooley (Professor of Education Studies at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and Director of the E.G. West Centre for Market Solutions in Education) conducted field work for the International Finance Corporation on a group of private schools targeting the poor and coming under the banner of the Federation of Private Schools’ Management based in Hyderabad and says in an article titled Private Education:What the poor can teach us,

I was impressed by both the entrepreneurial spirit within these schools—they were run on commercial principles, not dependent on government handouts or philanthropy—but also with the spirit of dedication within the schools for the poor communities served—not for nothing were the leaders of the schools known as ‘social workers’.


The Public Report on Basic Education in India (1999) pointed to private schools that were serving the poor and said they are successful because they are more accountable: “the teachers are accountable to the manager (who can fire them), and, through him or her, to the parents (who can withdraw their children).” Such accountability was not present in the government schools, and “this contrast is perceived with crystal clarity by the vast majority of parents.”


I don't know if the authors of the bill even considered the problem from the demand side - that of parents being able to or not being able to choose a right school for their children. It seems more likely that the authors have been thinking only in terms of they supply side - how do we make sure every poor child can go to school - any school - irrespective of whether the school provides reasonable quality or not.


Why should education be run purely as a charity and not for profit in India?


The Supreme Court judgement by a 11 member consitutional bench (Date of Judgement: 31/10/2002, Petitioner: T.M.A. Pai Foundation and Ors., Vs. Respondent: State of Karnataka and Ors.) raises some interesting questions on whether education could be run as a trade or business for profit in India.

The Court makes some observations in the judgement relating to the charity vs profit issue.

[Para 20]: Education is per se regarded as an activity that is charitable in nature. Education has so far not been regarded as a trade or business where profit is the motive.

It is implied that Education has been regarded as a charitable activity (without a profit motive) so far leaving the door open for Education to be considered as a for-profit activity in future.

[Para 28]: We will now examine the decision in Unnikrishnan's case (Date of Judgement: 04/02/1993, Petitioner: Unni Krishnan, J.P. And Ors. Vs Respondent: State of Andhra Pradesh And ors.).
In this case, this Court considered the conditions and regulations, if any, which the state could impose in the running of private unaided/aided recognized or affiliated educational institutions conducting professional courses such as medicine, engineering etc. The extent to which the fee could be charged by such an institution, and the manner in which admissions could be granted was also considered. The Court held that private unaided recognized/affiliated educational institutions running professional courses were entitled to charge a fee higher than that charged by government institutions for similar courses, but that such a fee could not exceed the maximum limit fixed by the state. It held that commercialization of education was not permissible, and "was opposed to public policy and Indian tradition and therefore charging capitation fee was illegal." With regard to private aided recognized/affiliated educational institutions, the Court upheld the power of the government to frame rules and regulations in matters of admission and fees, as well as in matters such as recruitment and conditions of service of teachers and staff. Though a question was raised as to whether the setting up of an educational institution could be regarded as a business, profession or vocation under Article 19(1)(g), this question was not answered. Jeevan Reddy, J., however, at page 751, para 197, observed as follows :-

"........ While we do not wish to express any opinion on the question whether the right to establish and educational institution can be said to be carrying on any "occupation" within the meaning of Article 19(1)(g), - perhaps, it is - we are certainly of the opinion that such activity can neither be a trade or business nor can it be a profession within the meaning of Article 19(1)(g). Trade or business normally connotes an activity carried on with a profit motive. Education has never been commerce in this country. ......"

The last statement again indicates the way it has been till now but makes a strong statement that it can't be a trade or a business.

[Para 29]: Reliance was placed on a decision of this Court in Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board v. A. Rajappa and Others [(1978)2 SCC 213], wherein it had been held that educational institutions would come within the expression "industry" in the Industrial Disputes Act, and that, therefore, education would come under Article 19(1)(g). But the applicability of this decision was distinguished by Jeevan Reddy, J., observing that "we do not think the said observation (that education as industry) in a different context has any application here.

" ..... It was further held that private educational institutions merely supplemented the effort of the state in educating the people. No private educational institution could survive or subsist without recognition and/or affiliation granted by bodies that were the authorities of the state. In such a situation, the Court held that it was obligatory upon the authority granting recognition/affiliation to insist upon such conditions as were appropriate to ensure not only an education of requisite standard, but also fairness and equal treatment in matters of admission of students. The Court then formulated a scheme and directed every authority granting recognition/affiliation to impose that scheme upon institutions seeking recognition/affiliation, even if they were unaided institutions. The scheme that was framed, inter alia, postulated
that a professional college should be established and/or administered only by a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, or the corresponding Act of a State, or by a Public Trust registered under the Trusts' Act, or under the Wakfs, Act, and that no individual, firm, company or other body of individuals would be permitted to establish and/or administer a professional college that 50% of the seats in every professional college should be filled by the nominees of the Government or University, selected on the basis of merit determined by a common entrance examination, which will be referred to as "free seats", the remaining 50% seats ("payment seats") should be filled by those candidates who pay the fee prescribed therefor, and the allotment of students against payment seats should be done on the basis of inter se merit determined on the same basis as in the case of free seats that there should be no quota reserved for the management or for any family, caste or community, which may have established such a college that it should be open to the professional college to provide for reservation of seats for constitutionally permissible classes with the approval of the affiliating university that the fee chargeable in each professional college should be subject to such a ceiling as may be prescribed by the authority or by a competent court that every state government should constitute a committee to fix the ceiling on the fees chargeable by a professional college or class of professional colleges, as the case may be. This committee should, after hearing the professional colleges, fix the fee once every three years or at such longer intervals, as it may think appropriate that it would be appropriate for the University Grants Commission to frame regulations under its Act regulating the fees that the affiliated colleges operating on a no grant-in-aid basis were entitled to charge. The AICTE, the Indian Medical Council and the Central Government were also given similar advice. The manner in which the seats were to be filled on the basis of the common entrance test was also indicated.

[Para 38]:The scheme in Unnikrishnan's case has the effect of nationalizing education in respect of important features, viz., the rights of a private unaided institution to give admission and to fix the fee. By framing this scheme, which has led to the State Governments legislating in conformity with the scheme, the private institutions are indistinguishable from the government institutions; curtailing all the essential features of the right of administration of a private unaided educational institution can neither be called fair or reasonable. Even in the decision in Unni Krishnan's case, it has been observed in Clause 61as follows :


"The heard reality that emerges is that private educational institutions are a necessity in the present day context. It is not possible to do without them because the Governments are in no position to meet the demand - particularly in the sector of medical and technical education which call for substantial outlays. While education is one of the most important functions of the Indian State it has no monopoly therein. Private educational institutions - including minority educational institutions - to have a role to play."

[Para 45]: In view of the discussion hereinabove, we hold that the decision in Unnikrishnan's case, insofar as it framed the scheme relating to the grant of admission and the fixing of the fee, was not correct, and to the extent, the said decision and the consequent directions given to UGC, AICTE, Medical Council of India, Central and State governments, etc., are overruled.

When the necessity for private investment in education has been accepted, what is the need to insist on education being purely a charitable activity? When other basic needs like food, clothing and shelter have not be classified as purely charitable activities - with private investment in all these sectors through for-profit entities, why should education alone be run only on a non-profit basis? Government regulation is acceptable in education to maintain some consistent norms and standards, but there is no reason to make it compusorily a charitable activity. Indeed, this may well be suffocating the system.

The reality today is that most educational institutions are run in the name of charity but are means for the trustees to make money for themselves. This also raises some structural issues which I had raised in an earlier post on challenges for engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu

In the case of businesses, consolidation through mergers and acquisitions provides an effective way for increasing the overall efficiency of use of resources (capital, personnel and physical assets) in any sector. For e.g. if a company is facing tough times for various reasons (lack of access to capital, mismanagement or poor management etc., fall in market demand), either the whole company or its assets can get bought over by another company which hopes to turn things around, thereby providing an exit for the original investors.

But colleges (and schools as well) must be structured as trusts and not as companies. So if Trust A owns a college that is in financial trouble and Trust B is interested in acquiring the assets of Trust A, it is possible in principle for Trust B to pay a financial consideration to Trust A to acquire the assets. But the money paid to Trust A can't go to the trustees. It will have to remain locked in the trust. This means that consolidation through mergers and acqusitions is very unlikely since the trustees of Trust A do not stand to benefit financially by transferring the assets to Trust B and so have no incentive to agree to any transfer of assets.

This means that the entire capital invested in Trust A originally will go down the drain, unless the trustees are willing to cede control of the trust to Trust B, on their own voilition, without expecting anything in return. In some cases, the Govt. can step in to take over Trust A if it is being mismanaged and the Govt. can then hand over the running of the Trust A to any other trust, but this rarely happens.

An editorial in the Business Standards, titled Dr Joshi’s ideas points out the financial implications of HRD Minister Murli Manohar Joshi's drive to reduce the fees for engineering and management courses. Dr. Joshi is proposing that the government provide a subsidy to
keep the fees far lower than the actual costs for all students, including those who can afford to pay higher fees. The amount of this subsidy, according to the editorial, works out to 75% of the budget allocation for elementary education!

Dr Joshi’s proposals on the fees have been justified on the ground that lower fees are supposedly a recommendation of the U.R. Rao committee. But P.V. Indiresan, a former director of IIT, Madras, and a member of the Rao committee, has debunked Dr Joshi’s thesis in a newspaper article.

Teaching a student at an IIT costs Rs 2 lakh annually, says Dr Indiresan, while smaller colleges manage to keep this down to Rs 50,000, given that they have lesser facilities and smaller faculty.

If you assume Rs 100,000 as the average annual cost of an engineering degree, and don’t allow any college to charge more than Rs 6,000, that’s an annual shortfall of over Rs 3,500 crore, given that around 380,000 students enrol for engineering degrees each year. If the government is to make up this shortfall, then it is a huge hole in the Budget.

Another Rs 500 crore can be added on account of the proposals on management schools. For, on average, the fees are Rs 60,000 a year (the IIMs charge Rs 1.5 lakh, which Dr Joshi wants reduced to Rs 20,000). India produces nearly a lakh MBAs each year, and so the shortfall that will have to be made up by the government is around Rs 400-500 crore.

While Dr Joshi’s objective, presumably, is the laudable one of making top class education accessible to those who cannot afford it, there are cheaper ways to do this. One is a scholarship for economically weak students who qualify through the merit-tests at the IIMs/IITs, instead of giving a huge subsidy to everyone. But then these institutes would remain as autonomous as they are today!.

As it happens, Rs 4,000 crore a year towards the ‘control-IIM/IIT’ programme is just a fourth lower than the central budget for elementary education and literacy (Rs 4,904 crore), or the one for secondary and higher education (of the Rs 4,956 crore allocation, just Rs 664 crore are for IITs/IIMs currently).

Is more money being funnelled into higher education at the cost of primary education?

--------------------------------------------------------

The Indian Education system is in great trouble.

These are some of the faults I find in the current education system.

Several children do not even get a basic elementary education.

The rich and upper middle class in cities find decent quality private schools to send their children to. Even in these schools, getting a pass in the exams is the priority, not learning. Even these schools fail in teaching various arts, and in particular common sense to children.


Both the private and government schools in smaller towns and villages are uniformly pathetic.


Even if a student graduates from a higher secondary school, there are not enough colleges. The only hope left to most high school graduates is correspondence education. It is not clear to me whether one can be motivated enough to study through the correspondence course material sitting at home.


Even if one graduates from college, the graduates are mostly unemployable, because of poor quality course material and teaching in the colleges. I have myself seen a number of such people while interviewing them for various posts in my organization.


Despite all this, several thousand young men and women have been leading our nation forward. On just about all counts of economic indicators including the foreign exchange reserves, "India is Shining". Just imagine where we can be if only we resolved our education related problems?

Here are some of my (not so complete) ideas:
Compulsory free education should be made available till Class XII

The state and central governments should completely absorb the cost of providing free education till 12th standard to every child, irrespective of caste, religion and economic status. This should cover not just school fees, but also free books, food if necessary, uniform clothing and even a place to stay if the parents cannot afford that to their children. Those with money can always opt for their favourite private school, and feed their own children. Alternately, some rich may decide to send their children to the govt. schools.

Govt. schools should be run by private entities/entrepreneurs.

It is very doubtful if the government can manage hiring qualified teachers and provide quality education to children. Like in the USA, the government can opt for building the schools and make them available to private companies on a long-term lease, based on auction. The organization that comes up with the lowest bid and agrees to maintain the best quality education would be chosen to run each school in each locality.

We need to introduce a concept of 'education credit'. It is an amount equal to the average cost incurred in teaching a child in the privately run Govt. schools. This education credit is made available to every child. The child can either avail of the education by exchanging this credit in the Govt. owned and private operated school, or cash this portion against the fees and other costs incurred by them in a completely private school. This way, the tax payer does not have to feel miffed that his her money is used only to train OTHER children. Panchayat and municipalities must own and manage the school premises and oversee the operation of the private entities running the school.

All education above higher secondary school level should be primarily dealt with by private entities.


If some state governments wish, they can run colleges, but it should be unnecessary. Students should be offered lenient education loans at very low interest rates.These loans are liable to be paid only after the students finish their education and find a job of their own.

That is, free education until higher secondary; but paid-for education after that. Those who can't afford to pay for this higher education get low-cost and lenient loans. This kind of comfortable educational loans are made available to students in USA.


Alternate education must be promoted

It appears to me that there is no need to teach anyone for more than 3 hours a day till the secondary school. Therefore, the available education infrastructure can be used more effectively through the shift system. Three normal shifts can be run between 0700-1000, 1100-1400 and 1500-1800 hours. An hour gap in between for the children to leave the school and the next set to walk in. In the late nights - from 1900-2200, the facility can be used to provide education to old and unlettered. Facilities such as the building, furniture, library, computer centre, laboratories and play fields can be used very efficiently in this manner.

Further, individual teachers wanting to run their own curriculum can be entertained to use the nearby school facilities including the building, furniture, library, computer centre and laboratories. Like the 'Gurukula' method, a single teacher can lead a group of about 20 children from 1st to 12th standard. The students can write their 10th and 12th standard examination under the National Institute of Open Schooling. Nothing stops those who graduate through this system from joining the available colleges. Through the 'education credit', each student can pay his teacher. This helps the teacher earn a reasonable income and the student is also guaranteed quality infrastructure.

College education through correspondence system to be increased


In each town, "Tutorial" colleges (as they are called in Chennai) can be set up by individuals who enroll their students in a correspondence course run by authorised universities. [This is applicable only to non-professional courses.] The day-to-day training is provided by these Tutorial colleges. The timings can be flexible, allowing for the students to also find a part-time work during the day.

Impediments in the way of setting up for-profit private colleges to be removed


Today, only a charitable trust can set up educational institutions. Therefore, honest entrepreneurs interested in making profits will not get involved in spending their time and setting up quality educational institutions. The result is that only criminals who plunder money illegally in the name of "charitable trusts" get involved in providing education, and make money through capitation fees. To stop this, the government should allow for for-profit companies to set up educational institutions.

This move will result in considerable capital flowing into the education sector. These colleges so set up will still come under the purview of the education ministries around the country, and so the government can still regulate the fees charges for providing the education. This is akin to regulating the distribution of power in Mumbai and Delhi. The government regulator only decides the upper limit cost per unit of power. Similar regulation now exists in telecom. Therefore it is perfectly possible to bring about the same in education as well.

I do not claim that these suggestions, if implemented, will remove all problems we have in our education sector. However I am hopeful that they can alleviate the problem considerably.


=================================================================

With literacy rates at just 65 per cent, those for the poor and socially disadvantaged groups 15-20 percentage points lower, and with dropout rates in schools a depressing 67 per cent (in 1998-99 for Classes I-X), it is obvious that India’s education system has a serious problem.

Earlier this year, a Punjab MLA found that while the state government spends an average of Rs 682 per student per month from middle school onwards, private schools spend between Rs 400 and Rs 500, and their pass percentages are 30-40 per cent better.


Is the Rs. 400-500 figure for private schools the total expenditure of the school per child per month or is this the fees that is paid by each child per month? Need to find out the data source and the veracity of these numbers.

Another study, of the latest NSS data, shows expenditure on education by the poorer sections (the bottom 40 per cent of the population) has grown 12.4 times between 1983 and 1999. In other words, with the government’s education programme not working, even the poor are looking for alternatives.

But the government’s proposed education bill, which plans to make it mandatory that a fifth of the students in private schools must be poor, is no solution. While several school principals in Delhi have endorsed the idea and given examples of how their schools run special classes for the poor, the proposal is not workable on a large scale without distortions. Besides, there is the certainty that, as in the case of other quotas-driven markets, there will develop a healthy black market in getting richer students admitted in the quota for the poor!

The completely disparate backgrounds of children in a common milieu could make life difficult for all concerned if such a model is made mandatory. The Delhi government is trying out a more sensible experiment, of ‘twinning’, where children from government and private schools spend time in each other’s schools.

Which is why a less radical and more workable alternative to the Mandal-type proposal is one that involves improving education standards within the environment in which children from poorer families already study, that is in the government schools.

Tracking the progress of each of its 998 schools on an Intranet, rewarding/punishing schools whose results improve/deteriorate by a certain amount, filling teacher vacancies, and involving NGOs and Resident Welfare Associations in a Bhagidari programme, for instance, has helped the Delhi government-run schools increase their pass percentage for Class X from 39 per cent in 1997-98 to 62 per cent in 2001-02, and from 75 to 83 per cent for Class XII.

It is encouraging to hear that there is an Intranet to track the progress of all schools. Could this Intranet also serve as means of building communities of students and teachers for them to share their experiences and learn from each others successes and failures? A web site for each school, maintained and updated by the students and the tearchers would be a good way to start.

Apart from this, there is the possibility of letting well-established private schools take over the buildings of government-run schools, and running them — experiments could be started in a few areas, to see if this can be done on a large-scale. The biggest hurdle to this course of action, of course, will be the teachers employed in government schools.

This is the charter school model that has been in operation in North America for many years now. The jury is still out on how effective they are. But we must certainly try experimenting with this model in India across different states to understand the logistics learn how they will work in practice before deciding to replicate on a wide scale across the country.

Educational Subcontracting - a model from the British colonial period in India

I happened on an article titled Educational "Subcontracting" and the Spread of Religious Nationalism: Hindu and Muslim Nationalist Schools in Colonial India which provides some information on the education policy of the British in India during the 1800s and early 1900s. The author describes the British policy of focussing on (Indian) private-sector provision of primary education after 1854, with British subsidies being widely distributed to private Indian schools, which the author claims was central to the replacement of more traditional forms of education with Western-style ones.

The article suggests :

Colonial powers that dedicated any resources to education at all often attempted to build education systems on the cheap through a process of educational "subcontracting," in which schools run by local groups were afforded state subsidies if they met state educational regulations regarding matters such as the age of students, the training of teachers, and the content of curriculum. Building an educational system through "subcontracting" could have powerful implications for the construction of various types of nationalist identities because it provided private groups advocating such identities with unprecedented resources, which could make their construction of extended school systems economically viable
and examines the case of a group whose state-supported schools did just that — the Arya Samaj, a Hindu religious reform movement founded in 1875 in north India, which runs the DAV group of educational institutions. The article also describes another similar example of a Muslim reform movement, Muhammadiya, started in 1912 in Indonesia, which also benefited similarly from state subsidies from the colonial Dutch government.

It is interesting to note that the "Subcontracting" model has been around from as far back as the 1800s. The recent charter school model in North America is doing very much the same thing as are many state governments in India which provide state subsidies to many schools run by private trusts.

Notes on the Free and Compulsory Education for Children Bill, 2003

Here's a detailed note (MS Word Doc 56 kb) on the Free and Compulsory Education for Children Bill, 2003 by Madhav Chavan of Pratham, an NGO working towards the goal of ensuring "every child is in school ….. and is learning well".

I've also come up with some of my thoughts on the bill in this document (MS Word Doc 90 kb).

Some of the questions in my mind include the following. If and when the bill becomes law,
Will homeschooling be prohibited?

Can an entity like the Centre for Learning continue to operate as usual or do they need to get Government approval to continue to operate? Would they qualify as a school as they are now?

Would the National Open School refuse to accept a private candidate who didn't come through a Government recognized "school"?

The Times of India on the Free and Compulsory Education to Children Bill

The Times of India says in an editorial:

If it weren't so tragic, it would be laughable. The government's once again at the business it is best at, passing legislation which it has neither the intention nor will to enforce.

So, we can expect to see the latest Free and Compulsory Education to Children Bill, 2003 forgotten soon enough. With the HRD ministry reducing funds even for ongoing elementary education projects like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, where is the money going to come from? Don't worry, says the government, it will impose a cess on any item or transaction to fund education. In addition, a mysterious allocation is mentioned with no details of where it will come from. Delightfully vague, but what it really amounts to is giving the government the licence to sting anyone it chooses under the guise of promoting the greater common good.


The last line says it all - that is one of my main worries too. The regulatory aspects of the bill seem unenforceable, except selectively, given the sheer scale of the problem.

"Free and Compulsory Education for Children Bill, 2003"

The full draft of the The Free and Compulsory Education for Children Bill, 2003 is available at the Department of Education's web site.

This raises some very serious issues which I have not seen covered in any of the mainstream national newspapers. I will try and analyse the implications in a future post.

So, what is a Section 25 company?

The Indian Companies Act (1956), provides a definition of a section 25 company.
Section 25

POWER TO DISPENSE WITH "LIMITED" IN NAME OF CHARITABLE OR OTHER COMPANY.

(1) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Central Government that an association

(a) is about to be formed as a limited company for promoting commerce, art, science, religion, charity or any other useful object, and

(b) intends to apply its profits, if any, or other income in promoting its objects, and to prohibit the payment of any dividend to its members, the Central Government may, by licence direct, that the association may be registered as a company with limited liability, without the addition to its name of the word "Limited" or the words "Private Limited".

(2) The association may thereupon be registered accordingly; and on registration shall enjoy all the privileges, and (subject to the provisions of this section) be subject to all the obligations, of limited companies.

(3) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Central Government - (a) that the objects of a company registered under this Act as a limited company are restricted to those specified in clause (a) of sub-section (1), and (b) that by its constitution the company is required to apply its profits, if any, or other income in promoting its objects and is prohibited from paying any dividend to its members, the Central Government may, by licence, authorise the company by a special resolution to change its name, including or consisting of the omission of the word "Limited" or the words "Private Limited"; and section 23 shall apply to a change of name under this sub-section as it applies to a change of name under section 21.

(4) A firm may be a member of any association or company licensed under this section, but on the dissolution of the firm, its membership of the association or company shall cease.

(5) A licence may be granted by the Central Government under this section on such conditions and subject to such regulations as it thinks fit, and those conditions and regulations shall be binding on the body to which the licence is granted, and where the grant is under sub-section (1), shall, if the Central Government so directs, be inserted in the memorandum, or in the articles, or partly in the one and partly in the other.

(6) It shall not be necessary for a body to which a licence is so granted to use the word "Limited" or the words "Private Limited" as any part of its name and, unless its articles otherwise provide, such body shall, if the Central Government by general or special order so directs and to the extent specified in the directions, be exempt from such of the provisions of this Act as may be specified therein.

(7) The licence may at any time be revoked by the Central Government, and upon revocation,
Not that big a difference from the way non-profit trusts or societies operate in India.

The Business Standard report also goes on to suggest that with the shackles of the Left Parties removed after the recent confidence vote, there will now be movement on the pending Foreign Education Providers (Regulation) Bill to allow foreign universities to operate in India.

There is also renewed hope for a Bill allowing foreign universities and institutions into India to be tabled in Parliament, judging by Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh’s remarks at a conference of state education ministers two days ago.

The Left parties were the principal opponents of the Foreign Education Providers (Regulation) Bill, which was cleared by the Cabinet in 2007 but never introduced in the Lok Sabha although it was listed in the agenda papers.

“We have tried to accommodate some of the concerns. We will try to introduce the Bill in the Lok Sabha session beginning August,” Singh said. The Bill seeks to regulate foreign institutions setting up campuses in India. A contentious issue is whether caste-based reservations would apply to these institutions.

Both Oxford and Stanford Universities have evinced interest in setting up campuses in India but have been hesitant about moving forward until they are clear about the degree of regulation, funding and other issues.

Experts say the moves would provide clarity on funding of higher education institutions by overseas entities. "This will probably provide funding clarity for foreign institutions like charitable organisations or NRIs wanting to set up facilities in India.

New ideas for education will flow to the West from the developing world, says Prof. James Tooley

An educational revolution is happening behind (politicians') backs. The Chinese failed to rescue British car manufacturing, but to China we must look to see the future of education. People there talk openly of the "education industry". In China - and India too - private education, whether chains of posh academies and universities, the mushrooming of private schools for the poor, or innovative e-learning for the masses, is becoming big business. As the market progresses, competition will force prices down, and force the pace of innovation.

My prediction is that innovation in education, if freed from the restraints of the state, will mean challenging the grossly inefficient and wasteful systems that governments have set in stone. Once this happens, education can be reclaimed from the "two tyrannies", the state and schooling. Free of the state, the educational market will be free to challenge the shibboleth of schooling. And once the new industry develops in the east, globalisation will bring the new sunrise industry to our shores
says Prof. James Tooley, Professor of Education and Director of the E.G. West Centre, University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the IEA 50th Anniversary Lecture on 20th April 2005 at the Institute of Economic Affairs, London. The E.G. West Centre is dedicated to understanding the role of choice, competition and entrepreneurship in the delivery of "Education for All."


Expanding on the above theme, Prof Tooley asks:

What will education reclaimed mean in practice? As the market develops, we will wonder how it was possible to believe that all the diverse aims of education –preparation for citizenship, careers and family life, and initiation into the best that has been thought and known – could possibly be realised through schooling. Education will become organically linked again into everyday life, not forced into schools and colleges where young people sink into an alienated youth culture, into compulsory idleness and irresponsibility.

And the market will look askance too at the wasteful egalitarian way in which all teachers are straitjacketed. Why, it will probe, are inspirational teachers given not only the same pecuniary rewards, but also the same number of children to teach, as teachers who lacked motivational ability? The market will not tolerate such inefficiency, and will reward those innovators who find more effective and efficient use of scarce teaching resources.

And what will educational institutions look like? Once education is reclaimed, I believe that question will look rather odd. Education will be known to pervade the whole of society.

Educational institutions will be family homes, workplaces, sports’ centres, town halls, reading rooms in pubs, debating chambers, bookstores, and so on. There might be some dedicated learning centres where you’ll go when you want to learn – you’ll probably see the distinctive bright orange logo of the “EasyLearn” chain, and the characteristic red “V” of “Virgin Opportunity”. And there would be “places apart”, like monasteries, dependent on subscriptions and patronage, where young and old together can engage in study and research for the love of it.

But you won’t see the youth ghettoes we call schools and colleges. They’ll definitely be consigned to the wastebin of history, a state-sponsored experiment that grossly failed.

For politicians, the threat comes from the east. For everyone else, it will be liberation.

Prof. Tooley's vision of the future is quite radical, but not necessarily utopian, I would think. A lot of food to provoke thought.


School children map their neighbourhood in Uttaranchal State

Sometime back, I had suggested a way of tapping school/college students to create local information resources. It turns out that the Department of Science & Technology has initiated a project in schools to get school children to map local neighbourhoods.

Yahoo India carried a story (October 04, 2004) which describes an effort by a group of over 250 school children in Uttaranchal State as part of the Mapping the Neighbourhood Project sponsored by the Department of Science & Technology. The project is being co-ordinated by the Centre for Spatial Database Management and Solutions. According to the Yahoo report,

A group of 18 children, between 13 and 18 years of age, showed Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal here 20-odd maps of their region sketched with complex altimeters that could be used for development purposes. The maps gave information of the villages, including the occupation of the people, the male-female ratio, water availability and electricity supply.

Maulik Kandpal, a class seven student, presented a map on the natural springs near the township of Almora. "From our analysis, we have found that while some women have to walk just half a kilometre in search of water, there are others for whom water is more than 10 km away." Information is downloaded from the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite and interpreted to locate minute details like garbage bins, electric poles, the number of streetlights and even the number of steps. Sunil Gaur, of the Centre for Spatial Database Management and Solutions - the NGO that trained the children - said they were taught to collect and analyse the information. "After that they were left on their own to make their studies and chart them out."

Fourteen-year-old Dhananjay Mehta, who went around his town while conducting the survey and talking to people about their problems, said the exercise had helped him "understand the problems faced by our state." "This will definitely help us help our village," he said. While a map of Chitai village showed that there were more women than men, tracking the garbage pick-up truck's route in Matena showed the exact locations where the garbage bins were ignored, Dhananjay explained.

V.S. Ramamoorthy, secretary of DST, told IANS: "The mapping system in India has often been criticised for being inaccurate and outdated. Now that the project has shown its results, it is up to the government to implement this system of mapping into the national mode." A visibly impressed minister said: "This mapping is the kind of data we want to put on board for development process.

If the activities involved in mapping the neighbourhood are integrated into the school/college curriculum, the scope of the Mapping the Neighbourhood Project which currently focusses largely on geography, could be expanded to also cover local history, biology and ecology, economy and business, media, health and other issues too.


If every neighbourhood in the country is able to create a local resource of this sort, and all the local resources can be integrated together into a national database, we would have a storehouse of information of phenomenal value to the individuals, businesses, government bodies and NGOs.The students will also be learning valuable skills as part of the process of creating the local resources.

Another important aspect of the project is the potential it has to generate some revenues for the schools/colleges to which the students belong if local businesses and the government bodies see value in the information and insights generated by the students and are willing to pay for it. The students could even undertake customised studies/surveys on request. One such idea could be implemented at the college level to generate revenues for colleges.

Frederick Noronha has more to say on the need to create local content, its relevance and the kinds of local content that can be generated.




FC Kohli's educational experiments

Business Week interviewed Faqir Chand Kohli, former Chairman of TCS, who spoke about his interest in the area of education and his efforts to develop.

A computer-aided adult-literacy program :

[For years,] the Indian government has been spending a lot of money and resources on adult literacy. It has been using conventional methods. While there has been some progress, it's inadequate, considering that about 250 million adults in India are still illiterate. There are constraints: You need 200 hours of instruction for full literacy, and you need trained teachers to teach. If I'm 25 and working in a field or as a housewife, how will I find those 200 hours? As for teachers, we need 500,000 trained teachers to come to 500,000 villages. Where will they come from?

So I started thinking: How can we learn, recognize images, retain, recall. I found that we usually look at images and icons -- pictures, faces, and words are all icons -- and relate it to a sound pattern. Then it sticks. Maybe someone in the world has tried this out, but not in this manner. The key was, when done with the program, the person should be able to read a newspaper in their own language.

It needed a vocabulary of 400-600 words. So, starting in early 2000, three or four of us -- three TCS engineers and a linguist -- prepared a vocabulary of 500 words. And we prepared the lessons in a month or so.

Then we experimented, and the first lesson was in a village called Medak, outside Hyderabad. We upgraded the keyboard in Telegu [the local language]. And we got 20 volunteers for lessons, thrice a week for 1.5 hours each. After 8-to-10 weeks, people started reading the newspaper. Our major experiment was in Guntur, again in the same state. We had the same results.

We have experimented in Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, and Bengali with the same results. Our experiment was complete. We've told the government to take over. We've shown what we can do with a sampling of 50,000 people in five languages.

We have a social message: We want people to not just read the newspaper, but read their land records, the political manifestos -- not just hear speeches during election time. People are reading their children's books now.

More information on the Computer-Based Functional Literacy programme (CBFL) is available here.



A new model of learning for public schools

We're now experimenting with the public school system, creating teacher aids, and computerizing the extra coaching classes that all teachers here give. Students will pay money for the coaching program and see the teacher once a week to complete it. And from 8th grade on, everyone must get some vocational training -- it's not necessary for everyone to go to college. There are solutions [for everything], but we have to work on them.

I'd written earlier about another of the Tata Group's initiatives in education to develop a model to provide quality school education at an affordable price.

Affordable, quality education for the masses in a school in Godhra

Indian Express (January 01, 2004) has a story on the Godhra Sarvajanik Shikshan Mandal (GSSM) School run by Sharabhai Shah. According to the story,
Shah is the man behind Godhra Sarvajanik Shikshan Mandal (GSSM) School, which has brought the best of modern education—including computers for each class, LCD projectors, air-conditioned lecture halls, and a software that is now being copied across the state—to a town where few have heard of, let alone expect, such facilities.

And unlike city schools, it charges primary students just Rs 125 per month, and secondary students Rs 50 (this fees has to be kept low as per state government standards).


I'm intrigued to hear of a school that charges such minimal amounts as fees and is yet able to invest in infrastructure as the kind mentioned. This raises a few thoughts in mind and it would be very interesting to find out more about what they are doing and how they are doing it?

Are they a private school? I'm assuming so, but not sure.

Are the monthly fees for secondary students really as low as Rs. 50 (fifty), lower even than the Rs. 125 per month for primary students or is it a typo in the Indian Express article? I suspect the latter and that the fees for secondary students is more likely to be Rs. 500.

I don't understand the bit about the fees needing to be kept low as per state government standards. Does that mean the school is getting some support or grants from the state government and so has to toe their line?

What is the software that is now being copied across the state? I wish the journalist had done a better job of writing about these things with specifics rather than vague mentions. He does refer to some software later in the story, but is still not able to explain what it is clearly.

While there seems to be a lot of hardware/software available, much more than most other schools, there is no mention of how all this has influenced quality of learing. The journalist seems to have been carried away by the presence of technology without bothering to find out more about how effective the use of technology is turning out to be.

The story goes on to say,

The school was set up in 1910 by Manilal Mehta, but the Mandal took it over in 1955. Shah, who runs a billing business for the electricity board, has been associated with the Mandal since 1956. It was in 1985, however, that he started managing the school and became the one-man army behind its transformation from a small-town school to one with the most modern facilities for its 4,500 students. ‘‘I always dreamt of providing the best education at affordable price, so whenever I went to visit relatives abroad, I’d film the schools there,’’ Shah says. The bright murals at his school are replicated from the ones in Paris, while the idea of locker rooms for students was borrowed from schools he visited in the US. Shah was also struck by the audio-visual aids which have been in use in classrooms abroad for two-three decades. The school now has 13 computer labs with 545 computers linked by a local area network. There are computers and 29-inch television sets in each classroom, lecture halls equipped with LCD projectors and 61-inch television screens, and a library of educational CDs, VCDs and DVDs. The school even has a sound-proof studio for recording and digitising syllabi. Designing the software was a pioneering effort, says Jaswinder Singh, director of Academy for Computer Training (ACT), Ahmedabad. Programmers worked in collaboration with designers from the Designmate group to convert material from textbooks into presentations, in 3-D format wherever possible. The material is accessible on each classroom computer and TV screen, as also in the labs.

The presentations generate interest in studies among students, says Sudeep Goel, a higher-secondary physics teacher. ‘‘The software worked out so well that we plan to use it as a model for other schools,’’ informs Singh. ‘‘Already, similar software designed by us is in use in 40 schools in the state.’’ The parents are more than happy. Itesh Darji, whose two children study in the school, says: ‘‘For the fees they charge the school is very good—and considering that it’s available in a town like Godhra.’’ Sometimes carrying on with the fees the school charges becomes a bit of a stretch. But Shah is in no rush to hike it. Instead, the trust relies on other means to raise money—donations, rent from properties and profits from businesses. Recently, some alumni settled in the US donated electronic equipment worth $35,000. The trust also borrowed Rs 1.16 crore from Bank of Baroda, much of which remains to be paid back. ‘‘The idea is why have inequality in education. Why should a child from Godhra fail in competition against a child from Mumbai or Bangalore?’’ Shah says.

It is a huge school by any standards, with its size of 4,500 students. (I have heard that South Point High School in Calcutta has about 13,000 students, which makes my mind boggle!, but most schools that I know have around 2000-3000 students). Managing such a large school would be quite complex and challenging. It would be interesting to know more about how they're dealing with it and the impact of the size on the quality of learning.

The funding options for the school presumably include:
money from the school fees (which is around Rs. 54 Lakhs per year - assuming an average fee of Rs. 100 per student per month for 4,500 students)
donations from alumni in either cash or kind.

Debt from banks - I'm surprised to hear that PSU banks are willing to lend to schools. From what I had heard, banks were too wary of lending to trusts running schools, let alone to schools starting up. (Aside: A friend who was the managing trustee for a school was innovative at rasing funds after he had built up a sufficent amount of goodwill for the school. He found that parents of the school children were more than happy to lend money to the trust when he offered to pay them interest at savings bank rates.)


I wonder if the school is also doing something to generate some revenue by itself, apart from the school fees, like running computer classes in the evenings for adults or other such activities to put the infrastructure available to productive use during non-school hours.

Community college initiative by the Madras Centre for Research and Development of Community Education

Mylapore Times (dated May 29 - June 04, 2004), a local neighbourhood newspaper in Chennai, interviewed Dr. Xavier Alphonse, a Jesuit priest who set up the Madras Centre for Research and Development of Community Education (MCRDCE) in 1999 to facilitate the growth of community colleges in India. For the last five years, the centre has been actively involved in this process and has, till date, helped to set up 111 colleges.

Dr. Xavier Alphonse, director of MCRDCE, has served as the Principal of Loyola College, Chennai, for three years and currently works in the English Department of this college. He set up the Madras Community College in San Thome in 1996, worked here for three years and visited 18 community colleges abroad, before he decided to set up the centre.

Here's the text of the interview.

How would you define a community college?

It is a place that makes people fit for a job. It is an alternative system of education to empower the socially, economically and educationally disadvantaged. Here, we concentrate more on skill development based on each individual. Anyone can join - school dropouts, degree holders who want to learn a particular skill - we even have students from the rural areas. Anyone from the age group of 16 to 47 years can enroll.

What is this 'alternative' system of education?

First, we concentrate on teaching life-coping skills. This covers self-esteem, motivation, time management, dealing with loneliness and failure - a complete attitudinal formation of the individual. Second, we have a dynamic relationship with employers. So far, formal education and industries have been like a railway track, they never met. But with community colleges, they are very much a part of the process. Internship is a must for everyone, because we believe that hands-on experience is invaluable. Here, we follow a reverse process as compared to formal education. We conduct a complete analysis of the employment scene and see where people are required. We have assured job placement.


Why were community colleges started ?

The movement began in order to give equal opportunities to all. In my experience as a teacher, I have seen that the poor always get eliminated. They needed a space of their own. According to a UNDP survey, there are 550 million people in India without skills, though we are ranked seventh when it concerns information technology skills. Obviously, skills of the day are not reaching the poor.

What is the role of the centre you run?

We are the facilitators. Before we help to set up a community college, we conduct meticulous and extensive research on the community. We approach industries or organisations for help and sponsorship. I design textbooks and the centre also helps in teacher training. We have trained more than 650 teachers so far. Now we are trying to make the projects financially viable, as no fees are charged. In the sense, if they cannot pay, we don't throw them out. Some of the students have been known to pay the institution after they get jobs and they even sponsor the education of some of their juniors.

How is the movement progressing ?

It is a positive growth. For our centre, I believe that we have crossed the first stage of conceptualising and implementation. Now we need to concentrate on consolidation and quality sustenance. Personally, I want the community colleges to go to rural areas as well. We need to set them up there, hone skills in integrated farming, horticulture and tapping native medicines so that they can give back to the community. Another thing we need to concentrate on is the vertical growth of the students - how to induct them into other universities for higher studies. I am trying to link up with open universities for this purpose.


The MCRDCE web site provides some more information.

The Community College movement started in India in 1995. As the Community Colleges were emerging, there was a need felt by the Community Colleges to have a Co-ordinating Agency. To respond to this need, The Madras Centre for Research and Development of Community Education (MCRDCE) was started in January 1999. It is an undertaking of the Jesuits of Tamilnadu Province to help, facilitate and consolidate the Community College Movement. The Centre is the unit of the Loyola Technical Institute Society, Madurai.

MCRDCE is a service agency that helps the various Community Colleges in different aspects of the Community College system. It is not a body of accreditation that gives recognition and approval for the Community Colleges. It performs the functions of helping the agencies to establish Community Colleges, monitor them continuously and evaluate them periodically. It has succeeded in bringing all the Community Colleges for five Consultations during the last two years. It has also conducted two national workshops involving the NGOs in India and existing Community Colleges in collaboration with the HRD Ministry. It has fulfilled the function of net working among the Colleges and sharing of information. It has provided a direction and a focus to the Community College Movement.

For more details, contact
Madras Centre for Research and Development of Community Education
Gokul Villa, 'A' Block, Flat No. S5&S6, 2nd Floor,
No. 250, R.K. Mutt Road, R.A. Puram, Chennai - 600 028. E-mail : mcrdce@vsnl.com






The Promise Foundation is applying psychology towards improving education


I recently came across The Promise Foundation, an interesting Bangalore-based organisation, which is applying psychology towards improve education. According to their web site,

The Promise Foundation is involved in applying the behavioural sciences to promote educational, social and economic development.


The Promise Foundation is deeply committed to systematic and scientific research. We examine aspects of the behavioural sciences that are linked to education and social and economic development. We conduct our own research to test existing theory and develop models relevant to the Indian situation. India presents a situation where the paucity of resources and urgency of need do not allow for the luxury of research that is not directly linked to application. Our attempt is to follow the action research model and the driving force behind our efforts at scientific investigation are to develop applications. Therefore, while we do believe that research must inform practice, we also have learnt that practice could lead and shape research. It is our attempt to translate relevant theory and research into applications that facilitate behavioural change amongst the economically disadvantaged.

Our modus operandi has been to blend direct service delivery by The Promise Foundation's teams, with training other organisations, to replicate these services in their locations.

Our programmes are implemented at three levels:

Direct implementation by our teams in schools, slums and rural areas, through workshops and intervention programmes. We currently work directly in about 55 schools spread across a range of Indian towns and cities.

Training Programmes for adults working with children and youth from socially and economically disadvantaged homes (e.g. teachers, wardens, non-formal educators, animators, pre-school teachers). Our training courses are skills oriented and are firmly rooted in research findings.

Consultancy to Government, Non-Governmental and International Organisations for training their workers and developing sustainable systems for programme implementation, assessment and appraisal. We currently work with close to 150 organisations that are involved with children and adolescents.

Most importantly our objective is to function as a Resource Group, that would provide consultancy to other organisations already working for children and youth. It is through our training programmes that we hope to see our interventions replicated on a larger scale.

The Promise Foundation's interventions follow the course of the person's growth and comprise three core programmes across the developmental spectrum.
Stimulation Intervention Programmes (SIP), focusses on early childhood care and education, for children deprived of quality experiences for social, emotional and cognitive development.

Programmes for Assisted Learning (PAL), is an accelerated learning programme targeting children who are at risk to failing and dropping out of school.
Work Awareness and You (WAY), addresses the career development needs of high schoolers and helps them find answers to questions of planning for fruitful employment in the future.


A list of research papers describing their findings from research over the past decade are available on their site. We need more such efforts to help improve education by systematic study of the many challenges we face.

Gandhi, Aurobindo and Tilak on Education


The National Council of Teacher Education has put together a comprehensive compilation of
Mahatma Gandhi's thoughts on education. It is available for download as a 169 page MS-Word document (707kb).

Sri Aurobindo's thoughts on education. It is available for download as a 72 page MS-Word document (288kb).

A series of articles on Lokamanya Bala Gangadhar Tilak's thoughts on education

They have also put together President Zakir Husain's thoughts on education, which I couldn't find online.

A list of NCTE's publications are available online.
Chennai NGO runs an open school

In the context of an earlier post which discussed the possibility of working through the National Open school, I came across an effort by a Chennai-based NGO that is trying to do just that.

The Montfort Community Development Society (MCDS) in Chennai - an NGO managed by the Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel, is reaching out to thousands of families in the urban slums of Chennai and rural centres in the neighbouring Districts through Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) and Integrated Community Development Programmes.

As part of its activities, the MCDS runs the Montfort Open School which "prepares school drop-outs and failed candidates to appear for Std.VIII, X and XII examinations." I have written to them to find out more about their activities and will post details after I hear from them.



Educational Experiments

A school voucher model for rural India

Gurcharan Das, writing in the Times of India says
The government presented the free and compulsory education for children bill in the winter session, and we are celebrating as though we had beaten Australia in cricket. We should hail it as a great blow against the curse and shame of child labour. But we are not, and for good reason — we have lost faith in the state’s ability to run schools.

We accepted capitalism and the liberal reforms in 1991 because we thought that as the state withdrew from running businesses, it would pay attention to education. Having abandoned the socialist ideal of the equality of result, we now hoped for greater equality of opportunity, as so many capitalist societies in the West and the Far East have achieved. But this did not happen. Government schools remain unreformed, the gap persists, and a sense of betrayal mocks us.


Gurcharan Das refers to an article titled Primary Education in Rural Areas published in the Economic & Political Weekly a few months ago which proposed a model that is cost-effective, self-sustaining and has reduced scope for corruption, designed mainly for rural India.

The model suggests the following:

State will provide 'free and compulsory educaiton' to all children subject to the limits of its economic capacity;

Competition ensures better service at lower cost;

Human beings per se are not avers to learning (education). IN other words, given the proper environment, every child yearns to learn;

The prime objective of primary level education is to help the child acquire the ability to read and write;

The state will build schoolrooms around a playground and lease them out to qualified teacher entrepreneurs to run primary schools from standard I to IV according to the curriculum designed and approved by the state;
The state will continue to support primary education by giving education vouchers to all eligible children which can be used to pay fees in any school of their choice run by the teacher entrepreneurs;

Das makes a strong case for trying out the above model.
School vouchers were first mooted in Prime Minister Vajpayee’s Economic Advisory Council in 2000. They have been tried in many countries with varying degrees of success, as a World Bank report brings out. In India, primary schools are in such distress that we owe it to ourselves to test this idea in at least one district, perhaps in Rajasthan, which is home to the best innovations in education. Through the test we will gain conviction before expanding vouchers nationwide.

We should also be prepared for opposition from vested interests — teachers, bureaucrats, and politicians don’t want to become accountable. But if the test succeeds, it might revolutionise primary education just as the STD booth revolutionised telecommunication. Mind you, the STD meter also started out as a test in one district.


He mentions Rajasthan as a state which is home to the best innovations in education. I am not aware of the innovations that are being tried out there - if any one knows, I'd be very interested in hearing of them.


December 14, 2003
School Complexes

The Education Commission set up in 1964, under the chairmanship of Dr. D.S. Kothari (normally referred to as the Kothari Commission) produced a report after two years of study. The report had described the idea of school complexes.

The District Primary Education Program web site describes the concept of school complexes as mentioned in the Kothari Commission Report as follows:

The concept of school complexes was developed in Kothari Commission Report (1964-66). It is based on the assumption that High and Higher Secondary schools have better laboratory and library facilities, which can be utilized by the primary and middle schools. These schools have also better qualified and trained teachers; they have larger and well-developed playgrounds and games materials. Five or six primary and upper primary schools, as per convenience, may form a complex and get their academic and administrative support from the nodal secondary/senior secondary school. The attached schools in the complex, may arrange co-curricular activities, give better exposure to their students at the thus formed school complex rather than taking up the matter at block or district level. In case of temporary absence of the teacher due to illness, the school complex head can provide a substitute from a neighbouring school. A large number of academic issues and problems can be discussed at the school complex level by arranging a meeting of all the teachers or otherwise. Thus many states have evolved their own guidelines and formed school complexes.

The school complex model is very similar to the model I described in an earlier post. What I called the Central Unit (CU) could well be the nodal secondary/senior secondary school and the Local Units (LUs) could be the primary and upper primary schools that are attached to the CU. But I don't know if the school complex concept has been implemented anywhere over the past 35 years since the Kothari Commission Report came out. If anyone knows something about this, please do let me know.
er thought that struck me was that the private schools that are being set up with substantial investments by various corporates like Reliance, Birlas and various other organisations involved in education could possibly become the CU and set up satellite schools themselves to leverage their infrastructure better. Need to think this through a bit more and try and write up a concept note on what a private school can do.




Categories
Alternative Education
Books
Business of Education
Data/Statistics
Distance Education
Educational Administration
Educational Bodies
Educational Experiments
Educationists
Foreign Universities in India
Funding Education
Higher Education
History of Education
Home Schooling
ICT in Education
Index of topics/issues
Jobs in Education
K-12 schooling
Law and judgements
Learning Methods
New Ideas
Policies & Regulations
Primary Education
Private Initiatives
Private Universities in India
Questions raised in Parliament
Rating Educational Institutions
Research
Reservation
Rural education
School Fees
Secondary Education
Teachers' salaries
Teaching
Trade in Education
Training
Work-based learning










Jharkhand Educational Tribunal

Picture by Er.Alok Kumar.


Engineering colleges and technical institutes with poor infrastructure, and which are cheating students, will be closed down soon, according to the head of technical education in India.

Quality, not quantity, is the need of both Indian multinationals and other countries.

All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) will replace regular inspection of institutes with surprise ones, so that colleges sleeping over students. career and cheating them are shut down,? said Damodar Acharya, AICTE chief.

He won an unprecedented long spell of applause here today for presenting a realistic account of the state of affairs in technical education in India. Acharya was addressing around 2,088 technical degree holders at the 16th convocation of the Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra.

Stressing how quality was more important than quantity, Acharya gave an example, When a leading software company in the country trained 100 each of Chinese and Indian personnel, offering each group similar training module and facilities, it found 85 of the former securing

A-plus grade while only 15 of their Indian counterparts managing the same grade.?

Another stunning revelation of his was that, of the three lakh technically trained degree holders in the country, only 30 per cent were worthy of getting a job and another 30 per cent fit to be trained.

Equally alarming, he said, was the fact that enrolment in the science stream was falling sharply, which explained the lack of quality input to technical education. The decrease in quality of intake at B.Sc, M.Sc and Ph.D level is responsible for poor output of science and mathematics teachers. This explains the decrease in quality of Plus Two education, Acharya said.

He lamented that technical education was facing acute shortage of qualified faculty.

In engineering alone, the demand is for 1.20 lakh teachers, but the system today has hardly 7,000 Ph.Ds, 20,000 M.Techs and rest, fresh B.Tech degree holders. This is mainly because graduates consider teaching the last career option,? he said.

Probably that also explains why around 30,000 seats remain vacant in technical institutes, with 1.5 lakh students going abroad for higher education,? he added.

Terming the entire world as an employment market for today?s graduates?, he lamented, Our curriculum, syllabus and teaching-learning process are not helping produce graduates who can meet global requirement.?

Governor and chancellor of the universities of Jharkhand Syed Sibtey Razi said in Jharkhand the government is active towards implementation of World Bank-sponsored technical education quality improvement programme and leading institutions like BIT have a larger role in implementing these programmes.

BIT vice-chancellor S.K. Mukherjee said there were more than 10,000 students on the rolls of this institute and its extension centres.

Tie-ups with foreign universities and IT companies, good campus placements and awards to faculty members were some of the significant achievements of BIT in the last one year.


Inquiry into Samresh deals

The state vigilance department has sought the details of the appointments, admission, construction and repair work and the sale and purchase of assets at the Adityapur-based National Institute of Technology (NIT) when former science and technology minister Samresh Singh was the chairman of the institute’s board of governors (BOG).

Sources in the state vigilance said a letter has been sent to the NIT authorities seeking necessary details, which might help the department launch a probe.

The vigilance department has also sought the details of the development activities and documents related to the sale and purchase of asset
during Singh’s tenure as the chairman of BOG.

A vigilance inquiry has been ordered against Singh, who was recently stripped off his post because of his differences with chief minister Arjun Munda.

Singh is also facing corruption charges at NIT, where an internal inquiry is underway following the directives of the new board of governors that took over last year.

Sources at NIT said stress has been laid on the details of the road and building repair work worth Rs 1.20 crore and the purchase of books worth Rs 40 lakh for the institute’s library.

Documents related to the purchase of computers and furniture and the construction of the main gate of the institute undertaken during his chairmanship has also been sought by the vigilance department.

A team from the vigilance department is expected to come to the campus on January 28.

to quiz former principals J.P. Singh, Akhileshwar Mishra and former registrar Azmat Hussain. Sources in the state vigilance department said the team was expected to visit Government Polytechnic in Adityapur to find out the details about the purchase, while Singh was the science and technology minister.

Since the compact disc showing two students lodging an FIR against Singh for allegedly taking bribe from two students for admission to Bokaro Engineering Institute was made public, the government has probing every aspect of the minister’s activity.

Singh had earlier charged Munda with graft following which the Opposition demanded a judicial probe into Munda’s deals.

All the time we hear and talk about corruption, corruption and more corruption. Recently I had the opportunity to put various Authorities to test, as far as their sincerity to fight corruption.Here, I suggest you to utilise this website -- Corruption monitor service Report corruption you see or know

http://corruptionmonitor.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.rtiindia.info


Right to Information

Every citizen has a right to know how the Government is functioning. Right to Information empowers every citizen to seek any information from the Government, inspect any Government documents and seek certified photocopies thereof. Some laws on Right to Information also empower citizens to official inspect any Government work or to take sample of material used in any work.

Right to Information includes the right to:

Inspect works, documents, records.
Take notes.

It comes into force on the 12th October, 2005 (120th day of its enactment on 15th June, 2005).

Some provisions have come into force with immediate effect viz. obligations of public authorities [S.4(1)], designation of Public Information Officers and Assistant Public Information Officers[S.5(1) and 5(2)], constitution of Central Information Commission (S.12 and 13), constitution of State Information Commission (S.15 and 16), non-applicability of the Act to Intelligence and Security Organization

Any citizen can ask for information under these laws.The Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

1. This Act may be called the Right to Information Act, 2005.

2. It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir .

3. The provisions of sub-section ( 1 ) of section 4, sub-sections ( 1 ) and ( 2 ) of section 5, sections 12, 13, 15,16, 24 , 27 and 28 shall come into force at once, and the remaining provisions of this Act shall come into force on the one hundred and twentieth day of its enactment.

1. Every public authority shall—

a. maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form which facilitates the right to information under this Act and ensure that all records that are appropriate to be computerised are, within a reasonable time and subject to availability of resources, computerised and connected through a network all over the country on different systems so that access to such records is facilitated;

b. publish within one hundred and twenty days from the enactment of this Act,—

i. the particulars of its organisation, functions and duties;

ii. the powers and duties of its officers and employees;

iii. the procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability;

iv. the norms set by it for the discharge of its functions;

v. the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions;

vi. a statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control;

vii. the particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation by, the members of the public in relation to the formulation of its policy or implementation thereof;

viii. a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advice, and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible for public;

ix. a directory of its officers and employees;

x. the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations;

xi. the budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made;

xii. the manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes;

xiii. particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations granted by it;

xiv. details in respect of the information, available to or held by it, reduced in an electronic form;

xv. the particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use;

xvi. the names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers;

xvii. such other information as may be prescribed and thereafter update these publications every year;

c. publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the decisions which affect public;

d. provide reasons for its administrative or quasi-judicial decisions to affected persons.

2. It shall be a constant endeavour of every public authority to take steps in accordance with the requirements of clause (b) of sub-section (1) to provide as much information suo motu to the public at regular intervals through various means of communications, including internet, so that the public have minimum resort to the use of this Act to obtain information.

3. For the purposes of sub-section (1), every information shall be disseminated widely and in such form and manner which is easily accessible to the public.

4. All materials shall be disseminated taking into consideration the cost effectiveness, local language and the most effective method of communication in that local area and the information should be easily accessible, to the extent possible in electronic format with the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, available free or at such cost of the medium or the print cost price as may be prescribed.


Explanation.—For the purposes of sub-sections (3) and (4), "disseminated" means making known or communicated the information to the public through notice boards, newspapers, public announcements, media broadcasts, the internet or any other means, including inspection of offices of any public authority.

Every public authority shall, within one hundred days of the enactment of this Act, designate as many officers as the Central Public Information Officers or State Public Information Officers, as the case may be, in all administrative units or offices under it as may be necessary to provide information to persons requesting for the information under this Act.

2. Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1), every public authority shall designate an officer, within one hundred days of the enactment of this Act, at each sub-divisional level or other sub-district level as a Central Assistant Public Information Officer or a State Assistant Public Information Officer, as the case may be, to receive the applications for information or appeals under this Act for forwarding the same forthwith to the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or senior officer specified under sub-section (1) of section 19 or the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be:


Provided that where an application for information or appeal is given to a Central Assistant Public Information Officer or a State Assistant Public Information Officer, as the case may be, a period of five days shall be added in computing the period for response specified under sub-section (1) of section 7.3. Every Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall deal with requests from persons seeking information and render reasonable assistance to the persons seeking such information.

4. The Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, may seek the assistance of any other officer as he or she considers it necessary for the proper discharge of his or her duties.

5. Any officer, whose assistance has been sought under sub-section (4), shall render all assistance to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, seeking his or her assistance and for the purposes of any contravention of the provisions of this Act, such other officer shall be treated as a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be.

A person, who desires to obtain any information under this Act, shall make a request in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area in which the application is being made, accompanying such fee as may be prescribed, to—

a. the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, of the concerned public authority;

b. the Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public Information Officer, as the case may be, specifying the particulars of the information sought by him or her:


Provided that where such request cannot be made in writing, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall render all reasonable assistance to the person making the request orally to reduce the same in writing.2. An applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him.

3. Where an application is made to a public authority requesting for an information,—

i. which is held by another public authority; or

ii. the subject matter of which is more closely connected with the functions of another public authority, the public authority, to which such application is made, shall transfer the application or such part of it as may be appropriate to that other public authority and inform the applicant immediately about such transfer:


Provided that the transfer of an application pursuant to this sub-section shall be made as soon as practicable but in no case later than five days from the date of receipt of the application.

Subject to the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 5 or the proviso to sub-section (3) of section 6, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, on receipt of a request under section 6 shall, as expeditiously as possible, and in any case within thirty days of the receipt of the request, either provide the information on payment of such fee as may be prescribed or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in sections 8 and 9:Provided that where the information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within forty-eight hours of the receipt of the request.


2. If the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, fails to give decision on the request for information within the period specified under sub-section (1), the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be deemed to have refused the request.


3. Where a decision is taken to provide the information on payment of any further fee representing the cost of providing the information, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall send an intimation to the person making the request, giving—
a. the details of further fees representing the cost of providing the information as determined by him, together with the calculations made to arrive at the amount in accordance with fee prescribed under sub-section (1), requesting him to deposit that fees, and the period intervening between the dispatch of the said intimation and payment of fees shall be excluded for the purpose of calculating the period of thirty days referred to in that sub-section;
b. information concerning his or her right with respect to review the decision as to the amount of fees charged or the form of access provided, including the particulars of the appellate authority, time limit, process and any other forms.

4. Where access to the record or a part thereof is required to be provided under this Act and the person to whom access is to be provided is sensorily disabled, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall provide assistance to enable access to the information, including providing such assistance as may be appropriate for the inspection.

5. Where access to information is to be provided in the printed or in any electronic format, the applicant shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (6), pay such fee as may be prescribed:Provided that the fee prescribed under sub-section (1) of section 6 and sub-sections (1) and (5) of section 7 shall be reasonable and no such fee shall be charged from the persons who are of below poverty line as may be determined by the appropriate Government.

6. Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (5), the person making request for the information shall be provided the information free of charge where a public authority fails to comply with the time limits specified in sub-section (1).

7. Before taking any decision under sub-section (1), the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall take into consideration the representation made by a third party under section 11.

8. Where a request has been rejected under sub-section (1), the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall communicate to the person making the request,—
i) the reasons for such rejection;
ii) the period within which an appeal against such rejection may be preferred; and
iii) the particulars of the appellate authority.

9. An information shall ordinarily be provided in the form in which it is sought unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question.

Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen: -

a. information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence;

b. information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court;

c. information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature;
d. information including commercial
confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;

e. information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;

f. information received in confidence from foreign Government;

g. information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical
safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes;

h. information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders;

i. cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers:Provided that the decisions of Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over: Provided further that those matters which come under the exemptions specified in this section shall not be disclosed;

j. information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person.

2. Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 nor any of the exemptions permissible in accordance with sub-section (1), a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests.

3. Subject to the provisions of clauses (a), (c) and (i) of sub-section (1), any information relating to any occurrence, event or matter which has taken place, occurred or happened twenty years before the date on which any request is made under section 6 shall be provided to any person making a request under that section: Provided that where any question arises as to the date from which the said period of twenty years has to be computed, the decision of the Central Government shall be final, subject to the usual appeals provided for in this Act.

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—a. "appropriate Government" means in relation to a public authority which is established, constituted, owned, controlled or substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly—
i) by the Central Government or the Union territory administration, the Central Government;
ii) by the State Government, the State Government;
b) "Central Information Commission" means the Central Information Commission constituted under sub-section ( 1 ) of section 12;
c) "Central Public Information Officer" means the Central Public Information Officer designated under sub-section ( 1 ) and includes a Central Assistant Public Information Officer designated as such under sub-section ( 2 ) of section 5;
d) "Chief Information Commissioner" and "Information Commissioner" mean the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioner appointed under sub-section ( 3 ) of section 12;
e) "competent authority" means—
i) the Speaker in the case of the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of a State or a Union territory having such Assembly and the Chairman in the case of the Council of States or Legislative Council of a State;
ii) the Chief Justice of India in the case of the Supreme Court;
iii) the Chief Justice of the High Court in the case of a High Court;
iv) the President or the Governor, as the case may be, in the case of other authorities established or constituted by or under the Constitution;
v) the administrator appointed under article 239 of the Constitution;
f) "information" means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force;
g) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act by the appropriate Government or the competent authority, as the case may be;
h) "public authority" means any authority or body or institution of self- government established or constituted—
a) by or under the Constitution;
b) by any other law made by Parliament;
c) by any other law made by State Legislature;
d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and includes any—
1 body owned, controlled or substantially financed;
2 non-Government organization substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government;
i) "record" includes—
a) any document, manuscript and file;
b) any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document;
c) any reproduction of image or images embodied in such microfilm (whether enlarged or not); and
d) any other material produced by a computer or any other device;
j) "right to information" means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to—
i) inspection of work, documents, records;
ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records;
iii) taking certified samples of material;
iv) obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device;
k) "State Information Commission" means the State Information Commission constituted under sub-section ( 1 ) of section 15;
l) "State Chief Information Commissioner" and "State Information Commissioner" mean the State Chief Information Commissioner and the State Information Commissioner appointed under sub-section ( 3 ) of section 15;
m) "State Public Information Officer" means the State Public Information Officer designated under sub-section ( 1 ) and includes a State Assistant Public Information Officer designated as such under sub-section ( 2 ) of section 5;
n) "third party" means a person other than the citizen making a request for information and includes a public authority.

OCI's (Overseas Citizens of India) and PIO's (Persons of Indian Origin) card holders can also ask for information under the RTI Act.

For citizens, OCI's and PIO's who are staying out of India, the RTI Application can be filed with the PIO of the local Indian Embassy/Consulate/High Commission and they will inform you regarding the amount of application fee in local..

In 1975, Hon'ble Supreme Court said in the case of Raj Narain vs Union of India:

Quote:In a government of responsibility like ours where the agents of the public must be responsible for their conduct there can be but a few secrets. The people of this country have a right to know every public act, everything that is done in a public way by their public functionaries. They are entitled to know the particulars of every public transaction in all it.

PIOs Public Information Officer, are officers designated by the public authorities in all administrative units or offices under it to provide information to the citizens requesting for information under the Act.

Any officer, whose assistance has been sought by the PIO for the proper discharge of his or her duties, shall render all assistance and for the purpose of contraventions of the provisions of this Act, such other officer shall be treated as a PIO.
PIO shall deal with requests from persons seeking information and where the request cannot be made in writing, to render reasonable assistance to the person to reduce the same in writing.

If the information requested for is held by or its subject matter is closely connected with the function of another public authority, the PIO shall transfer, within 5 days, the request to that other public authority and inform the applicant immediately.

PIO may seek the assistance of any other officer to get the required information.

Penalty provision

As per Section 20(1) of the RTI Act, the CIC or the SIC, has the powers to impose a penalty on the PIO, while deciding on a complaint or a second appeal.

Penalty can be imposed, if the PIO has:
Refused to receive an application,
Not furnished the requested information within 30 days of receiving the application
Malafidely denied the request for information,
Knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information,
Destroyed information,

RIGHT TO INFORMATION RULES 2005

1. APPLICATION:

The rules provide for a format for application under RTI Act called Form-A, which is attached herewith.

2. FEES:

A. Application fee: Rs.10/- to be paid by bank’s demand draft or pay order or Indian Postal Order in favour of State Public Information Commission or in cash against receipt. Applicants holding BPL certificate need not pay any application fee.

B. Other charges: Information in A-3 or A-4 size paper….Rs.2 per page, Large size: actual cost, publications: actual cost. Floppy or CD Rs.50/- per floppy/CD. Inspection: Rs.20/- each half-hour with first hour free plus charges determined by SPIO.
SPECIAL NOTE: Please confine to one subject matter per application and queries should not exceed 150 words.


3. APPEALS:

No format for first appeal is stipulated. Appellants can use format prescribed for second appeal by deleting item No. 5.

RTI rules have provided for format for second appeal and complaint. No fees are charged for appeals/complaint.


Second Schedule of the RTI Act 2005

The Second Schedule of the RTI Act exempts certain Public Authorities under the Central Government from disclosure of information under the RTI Act 2005.

However, these Public Authorities have to respond to RTI Applications which pertain to subjects of Human Rights and Corruption. As per Section 5(1) of the RTI Act and the instructions of DoPT, they are also supposed to have a PIO and a AA.
(Please see: http://www.righttoinformation.gov.in...24_2007_IR.pdf)

Locationg PIO :

Visit website of the concerned public authority and scrutinize RTI icon. For state information, also visit official portal of state govt and information commission for these details. If you do not get details of PIO, visit nearest office of relevant public authority and try to get address of PIO. Name is not important, as officers do get changed.

If you do not still succeed, please address your application to PIO C/o. Head of the dept/office to which information is required. If you want information of a district, you can address application to PIO of District Collectorate.
If the envelope is not accepted or returned by post office, send the original application with photocopy of envelope to the PIO of Office of Chief Secretary at State Capital or connected ministry at Delhi, with a request to forward the enclosed application to the concerned PIO. A reference to india.gov.in website will be useful.
Alternatively, you can also file RTI application for the same information with PIO of Office of Chief Secretary at State Capital or connected ministry at Delhi, and PIO will redirect the application to correct PIO within 5 days of receipt by him with intimation to you
.
Simultaneously, file a complaint with Central Information Commission/State Information Commission for difficulties in locating PIO of a particular dept/office.
You can take help of local/state-level NGOs or RTI helpline phone numbers for locating correct PIO, who would be holding information required by you.
Most of Central Govt public authorities have placed details of PIO etc on their websites. However, states are yet to follow. Some state information commissions do not have details of PIO/FAA on their website!
You will need a proof, that your RTI application has been received by the PIO. The tested methods to submit a RTI application are:
Personally, by hand: Please ensure that you get your copy of the application and proof of payment duly stamped, signed and dated, either by the PIO or by the inward department
Registered Post AD: The AD card will act as proof of submission, after it is returned to you by the postal department. In case the AD card does not come back with a proper stamp, signature and date of receipt, follow up with the despatching post office to get the AD card completed
Speed Post (A postal department service): Once the application is sent by Speed Post, track it on http://www.indiapost.gov.in/Speednew/track.aspx and keep a print out of the delivery status carefully with you
Do not use ordinary post, private courier companies, etc. since these will not provide you with a confirmed proof of delivery.

Designated Post Offices:

In order to facilitate citizens in filing RTI applications, the government has designated certain Post Offices for accepting RTI applications addressed to Public Authorities (PA's) under Central Government. These cannot be used for submitting RTI Applications addressed to State PA's, Legislatures, Courts, etc.

A list of designated Post Offices is available here:

http://www.indiapost.gov.in/rtimanual16a.html

You can read the following thread for further information regarding submitting your RTI applications through designated post offices:

http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/1653-t...end-cpios.html

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT 2005

Role of the DOP



With the coming into force in toto of the Right to Information Act, 2005 on 12th October, 2005, the Department of Posts has the responsibility to implement the Act in its own domain and also to assist other public authorities under the Central Government including Ministries, Departments, PSUs, Autonomous Bodies etc. in its implementation by acting as CAPIOs on their behalf. While its role in its implementation in the Department stems directly from the provisions of the Act, the latter role, and perhaps the more demanding one, arises out of a decision taken by the Prime Minister of India that the Department of Posts should provide its services to the whole of Central Government as a collection point for request for information under the Act by designating its CAPIOs as CAPIOs for the entire Central Government



2. The Department has already designated CAPIOs at each of the Districts across the country. The officers in charge of the computerized Customer Care Centres set up during the Ninth and Tenth Five Year Plans have been identified to act as CAPIOs for the Department and to forward the requests for information pertaining to the Department to the Central Public Information Officer concerned. The CAPIOs of the Department are also to act as such on behalf of other Public Authorities under the Central Government and will be required to forward the requests pertaining to these other public authorities to a central address in each of them which would be notified as the list of these addresses is finalized. The addresses of the recipient (Nodal Officers/Central Point for RTI mail) of the requests in respect of the Public Authorities who have approached the department so far is uploaded on the website of the department for information of all concerned.


Additions to the list of CAPIOs



3. Certain additions to the list of CAPIOs might be considered necessary by the heads of circles to make the collection points easily accessible to the public. The Chief Postmaster General of the circle may add any such CAPIOs to the list notified by issuing a notification from the circle level with copies endorsed to the Directorate and PTC, Mysore for necessary updation of the relevant records.

CPIOs

4. The Department has also designated CPIOs at different levels. A notification to this effect has been issued. The Chief Postmaster General may add more CPIOs to the list as felt administratively necessary by issue of appropriate notification under intimation to the Directorate and PTC, Mysore. The role of the CPIOs as enumerated in the Act should be clearly understood by each of the CPIOs designated as such. Necessary training for the same should be conducted by the PTCs. Workshops for senior officers should also be conducted by the Postal Staff College India, Ghaziabad. Training should also be organized for CAPIOs by the PTCs.

Identification of a request under RTI stamping etc

5. Appropriate arrangement should be made to ensure that a matter under the Right to Information Act, 05 is distinctly recognized as such. Records etc. related to the RTI Act should also be separately maintained to facilitate submission of periodic reports as required under the Act. A clear stamp “ Right to Information – priority” should be impressed on each request received, each envelope in which these requests are forwarded and also on the receipts issued in acknowledgement of receipt of these requests.

Checks to be performed by CAPIO while receiving a request


6. At the time of receiving a request, the CAPIO should ensure the following:-


(a) Receive the request, personally, so far as possible.

(b) Check whether the application has the following details:-



Name of the applicant

Contact details of the applicant including complete postal address, telephone numbers and email address (if any)

Name of the public authority from whom the information is being requested

Nature and details of the information requested

Whether proof of payment of application fee is attached or not

If the applicant claims fee waiver whether proof of BPL status is attached or not

Whether the applicant wishes to receive the information by post?

Date on which application is being submitted.



In view of the above points CAPIOs can follow these guidelines:



If the application is not legible assist the applicant to write it clearly.

If the applicant has not filled in one or more of the above details bring the same to his/her notice and request him/her to fill in the details.



Make sure that the date mentioned on the application matches with the date on which the CAPIO is actually receiving the application. This is very important for calculating the deadline while forwarding the application to the CPIO.

The applicant may have attached a bank draft or proof of payment of application fee by any other mode prescribed by the Government. All such payments are valid. The CAPIO may not insist on a particular mode of payment.



The applicant may not always know the exact name and complete postal address of the public authority who has the information he/she wants. So please do not insist upon the applicant to furnish these details. It is the duty of the CAPIO to send the application to the concerned CPIO. (The CPIO directory published may be consulted for this purpose.)

If claiming fee waiver, the BPL applicant must attach a photocopy of a BPL/Antyodaya ration card or any other valid proof of BPL identity that may be prescribed by the Government.



(c) To collect the fee in cash if the applicant has not already attached proof of payment of application fees or if the applicant has not attached proof of BPL identity in support of his/her claim for fee waiver please request the applicant to furnish the same.



(d) To issue receipt for receiving complete request along with fees/exemption there from in the prescribed format with due authentication (signature, stamp and date of receipt). The receipt cum acknowledgement may be issued to the requestor. The cash collected for the entire day may be deposited under ACG-67 receipt in the Post Office on the same day/next morning under clear records maintained separately for department of Posts and other public authorities.



(e) Record the particulars of the request received including date of receipt, identification number, name of the applicant with contact details, subject matter of the request, name of Ministry/Department/public authority to whom it is related, name and address of the CPIO, date of forwarding the application to the CPIO, particulars of mode of dispatch like RL No. date etc. The entries in the concerned register are to be made on the same day. Despatch should be made at the first available opportunity thereafter. The particulars in respect of the request received for the Department of Posts may be entered separately. A format has already been prescribed and available on the website.



If the application is not addressed to a specific CPIO or a public authority the CAPIO may read through the nature of information being requested. This will help the CAPIO to identify the public authority that is most likely to possess the information requested. The CAPIO may then dispatch the complete application to the concerned CPIO using the CPIO directory.



The CAPIO need not maintain a copy of the application for their records.



(f) In certain cases, the application may be received by the CAPIO by post also. In such cases, the checks to be applied by the CAPIO would be the same as in cases where the application is received personally. If the request is complete in all respects and proof of payment of fees is also enclosed, the request should be entered in the register as in other cases and forwarded to the CPIO concerned.



If the applicant has not attached proof of payment of application fees and has also not claimed fee waiver – the CAPIO may send a communication by post to the sender requesting him to furnish proof of payment of the prescribed application fees or visit his



office to pay the fees in cash. If the application contains a contact telephone number he may call up the applicant advising him/her to pay the application fees. This action saves time and effort and prevents wastage of stationery.



Similarly if the applicant has not attached proof of identity despite claiming fee waiver in the application – the CAPIO may send a communication by post/courier to the sender requesting him/her to furnish proof of BPL identity. If the application contains a contact telephone number he may call up the applicant advising him/her to furnish proof of BPL identity. This action saves time and effort and prevents wastage of stationery.



If any of the details are missing or illegible the CAPIO may return the application by post to the sender requesting him/her to fill in the missing or unclear details. If the application contains a contact telephone number he may call up the applicant requesting him/her to visit your office to fill in the missing details.



Receipt of appeals by the CAPIO



7. The CAPIO may also be required to receive appeals made to various departmental appellate authorities or to the Central Information Commission in cases where the citizen is not satisfied with the response of the CPIO. No fee is applicable in appeal cases.



(a) In such cases, subject to the checks mentioned above, the following particulars should be available in all appeal applications.



Name of the appellant

Contact details of the appellant including complete postal address, telephone numbers and email address (if any)

Authority to which appeal is being sent (whether DAA or the CIC)

Details of the authority against whose decision the appeal is being made (whether CPIO or DAA)

Nature and details of the information requested originally

Copy of the information request submitted to the CPIO/appeal letter sent to the DAA (whichever is applicable)

Rejection letter issued by the CPIO against the appellant’s information request (if any)

Copy of the order issued by the DAA (if any)

Date on which appeal is being submitted.



(b) No receipt would be required in such cases but an acknowledgement for receiving the application along with date of application will be necessary.



(c) The entries required in case of original applications to CPIOs will also be required to be made in case of appeals along with dispatch particulars of the appeals received. A separate register for recording the details related to appeals should be maintained. A format has been prescribed in the regard and available on the website.



The duties of the CPIO





8. The Central Public Information Officer to whom a request is addressed has the duty to respond with the information required. Citizens can submit applications personally or by post/courier or through electronic means (such as email etc.) in English, or Hindi or the official language of the area; Citizens are not required to give reasons for requesting information. The CPIO shall not demand an explanation from the requestor as to why he/she needs that information. Rsefusal to accept an application from the citizen without reasonable cause is an offence under the law. The Central Information Commission may impose a fine of Rs. 250/- per day till the application is received up to a maximum of Rs. 25,000/- and also recommend disciplinary action for delays, providing wrong information and refusal.



9. As a CPIO there are certain obligations that are to be carried out carefully. If the CPIO receives a request for information that is not available with his office but is likely to be available with another office or public authority, it is his duty to transfer that request to the concerned public authority. If the CPIO advises the requestor to approach the concerned public authority he/she may treat this as his refusal to accept the application and send a complaint to the DAA or the CIC. This could lead to litigation, which can be avoided by transferring the application to the relevant CPIO). The CPIO should transfer the application to the CPIO concerned as soon as possible and in no case later than five days. The CPIO should inform the applicant about the transfer of the application in writing immediately. There is no grace period stipulated in the law for communicating this transfer to the requestor.



10. In cases where the CPIO is giving a response the following has to be kept in mind:



If the information requested is not covered by any of the exemptions the CPIO should ordinarily provide it within thirty days Do not let applications pile up on your desk. This will only increase your workload in future. Please dispatch all complete applications immediately.

If the requested information relates to the life and liberty of a person (Art. 21 of the Constitution) then you have a duty to provide such information within 48 hours.

Ordinarily, if the requested information is given by a third party which treats it as confidential then ten extra days are allowed to seek its submission on whether such information may be disclosed (see below). This does not apply to cases involving the life and liberty of a person. Such information must be given within 48 hours because of the sense of urgency involved.

In cases of rejection of requests:



The CPIO is required to communicate to the applicant in writing –

The reason/s for rejecting the request;

The period within which the applicant may appeal against the rejection;

The particulars of the appellate authority.

The law specifies 11 categories of information that may not be disclosed to the requestor. Sec. 8 applies to categories of information and not categories of records. (Sec. 9 applies to cases where release of information may infringe upon the copyright of any person other than the State) A record may contain both exempt and non-exempt information. Non-exempt information contained in such records may be disclosed upon request.

No other exemption contained in any other law including the Official Secrets Act and the Indian Evidence Act, or rules, orders or procedures prescribed by any public authority will take precedence over the operation of the RTI Act.

Furthermore, if the public interest in disclosing exempt information weighs more than the harm to the protected interests then such information may be released.

If the requestor appeals against the rejection order he/she is not required to justify why such information is being requested. Under the law the burden of proving why such information cannot be given is placed on the CPIO. The CPIO will have to prove before the appellate authority that the rejection order was based on reasons valid under this law. If the Information Commission finds the justification unreasonable the CPIO is liable to fine and also disciplinary action. The CPIO has to be very cautious while rejecting an information request.

11. In cases where the CPIO decides to provide information he should ensure the following:



If he decides to provide the requested information he should immediately inform the applicant in writing about the additional fees he/she is required to pay as cost of providing the information. This additional fee must be calculated at the rate prescribed by the Government as per the Government of India, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Notification No. 34012/8 (S)/2005-Estt. (B) dated 16.09.2005 .The time taken between dispatch of this intimation and the actual payment of fees will not be included while calculating the period of thirty days;

If the information requested is to be provided in electronic or printed format the CPIO may charge additional fees at the rate prescribed by the Government as per the Government of India, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Notification No. 34012/8 (S)/2005-Estt. (B) dated 16.09.2005.The CPIO will be required to inform the applicant about this additional fee in writing. The time taken between dispatch of this intimation and the actual payment of fees will not be included while calculating the period of thirty days;

BPL applicants are exempted from paying additional fees for securing the requested information;

If for some reason the requested information is not provided within the deadline the requestor has a right to receive such information free of cost.

The CPIO has a duty to inform the applicant in writing the details of how the additional fee were calculated and how the amount was arrived at;

The CPIO has a duty to inform the applicant in writing that he/she has a right to demand from the DAA and/or the CIC a review of the additional fees charged by the CPIO as cost of providing the requested information. The CPIO is required to inform the applicant in writing – the particulars of the appellate authority, the time limit and the process of appeal and any other forms that may be prescribed in this context.

The applicant may request information that might have to be extracted or compiled from one or more public records or documents. Furthermore the applicant may request that the information be provided in a specific format. Ordinarily, in such cases the CPIO is required to provide information in the format sought by the applicant unless such extraction or compilation –

Will require spending disproportionately large amount of time, money or human power resources or

Will adversely affect the safety or preservation of the relevant record/s.



Appeals and the role of the Departmental Appellate Authority



12. Appeals may arise in the following cases:



Where the CPIO fails to provide the requested information within thirty days in ordinary cases;

Where the CPIO fails to provide the requested information within 48 hours where the requested information relates to the life and liberty of a person;

Where the citizen believes that the additional fee charged by the CPIO for supplying the requested information is unreasonable (not to be confused with application fees) ;

Where the citizen believes the rejection order issued by the CPIO in response to his/her information request is unjustifiable;

Where the citizen believes the decision of the CPIO granting partial access to records is unjustifiable;

Where the citizen believes the CPIO has knowingly provided incorrect, incomplete or misleading information;



13. Aggrieved citizens may file appeals directly by handing them over in person or send them by post. Additionally they may send the appeal letter to the CAPIO. The CAPIO is duty bound to forward such appeals to the concerned DAA.



There are no fees for filing appeals. Appeals must be received, processed and disposed of without imposing any financial burden on the appellant.

However forms for filing appeals may be prescribed [Sec. 7(3)(b) mentions forms for filing an appeal against the intimation order of PIO requiring payment of additional fee].

Nevertheless keeping in mind the convenience of the common person living in remote areas who may not have easy access to such forms it is best to allow appeals made on plain paper as long as they contain the following details and enclosures

Name of the appellant

Contact details of the appellant including complete postal address, telephone numbers and email address (if any)

Authority to which appeal is being sent (whether DAA or the CIC)

Details of the authority against whose decision the appeal is being made (whether CPIO or DAA)

Nature and details of the information requested originally

Copy of the information request submitted to the PIO/appeal letter sent to the DAA (whichever is applicable)

Rejection letter issued by the CPIO against the appellant’s information request (if any) or

Copy of the order of the CPIO/information disclosed which is being contested including order of partial access (if any) or

Copy of the letter issued by the CPIO intimating additional fee to be paid towards cost of providing information which is being contested by the appellant (if any)

Copy of the order issued by the DAA which is being contested (if any)

Date on which appeal is being submitted.

It is good practice to issue a receipt for every appeal received by the DAA and the same must be entered in a register in the format prescribed



14. The RTI Act allows the following time limit for filing appeals –

if the citizen does not receive any decision on his/her application from the CPIO –within thirty days of the expiry of the time period (usually thirty days or 40 days if a third party’s submissions have been invited).

If the citizen is not satisfied with the information provided by the CPIO or is aggrieved by the decision of the CPIO where partial access has been provided - within thirty days from the receipt of such decision

(Please note – the time limit mentioned immediately above does not begin from the date of the issue of the CPIO’s order. It starts with the date on which the applicant receives the order).

If the DAA is satisfied that there was sufficient cause that prevented the appellant from filing the appeal within the time limit he/she may admit the appeal after the expiry of the deadline.

If a third party is aggrieved by the order of the CPIO – within thirty days from the date of such order.

15. Ordinarily the DAA is required to give its decision within 30 days of the receipt of the appeal. This time limit is extendable but in no case should it exceed 15 days. If additional time is taken over and above the thirty-day limit the DAA is required to record its reasons for the same in writing while issuing the order on the appeal. The appellant has the right to file a second appeal with the CIC within ninety days of the expiry of the time limit prescribed for the DAA whether or not a decision has been received.

The burden of proving that rejection of the application for information was justified lies on the CPIO concerned. It is not necessary to summon the appellant in every case. The DAA can and should apply its mind to the case to decide whether the decision of the CPIO was reasonable or not. The presence of the appellant is not always required for such an exercise. However if the appellant’s presence is required in order to seek some clarification in his/her information request in such cases the appellant may be summoned.

Similarly even the CPIO need not be summoned in many cases. The DAA need only ascertain whether the denial of the request was in good faith and whether the requested information may be disclosed in the public interest. As the DAA does not have the power to penalize, the question of giving the CPIO an opportunity to defend his/her decision of rejection of request need not arise.

16. It is worth mentioning here that a significant number of appeals will be filed by citizens against rejection orders of CPIOs where Sec. 8 exemption/s have been invoked. The DAA will be called upon to interpret these exemptions in light of the public interest that may be upheld in disclosing such information. The Government has to draw up detailed guidelines for interpreting every category of exempt information as well as good practices to determine the primacy of public interest. If these practical guidelines are made available to the CPIOs in the form of a practice manual there may be a significant decline in the number of appeals filed by citizens.

Collection of fees and accounting thereof

17. The notification dated 16-9-2005 from Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions about regulation of fee and cost pertaining to the Right to Information Act may be referred in this. Copy attached at Annexure ‘A’. For each application received, a fee of Rs.10/- is to be collected (except for requests of Below Poverty Line (BPL) applicants). An ACG-67 receipt should be issued for this amount. The receipt would bear the distinctive oblong stamp of the RTI Act. Proper record of each request is to be maintained and the request is to be forwarded to the Central Public Information Officer concerned by Registered Post on the same day with proper entry of dispatch particulars in the Register/Computer. The fee collected on behalf of the Department of Posts shall be deposited in the Post Office under the following Head of Account 1201 –Postal Receipts, 200 – Other services and services fee, 02(10) – fee/charges realized for requests under RTI Act, 2005.



The procedure in respect of the fee collected on behalf of the other Ministries shall be worked out in detail and conveyed separately. Till the procedure of their accounting, remittance etc are worked out, the fee collected in cash should be deposited in the Post Office every day and a proper record of the amount thus collected and deposited on behalf of each public authority may be kept. The amount collected will be adjusted in accordance with the procedure that is finalized by the Central Government in this regard.




Pre-requisites:

Your name, address, contact telephone number and your email id

Information about Public Information officer, name, address e.t.c. Locate central Government PIO's here!

In case you have problems locating your PIO/APIO you can address your RTI application to the Pio C/o Head of Department and send it to the concerned Public Authority with the requisite application fee. The Head of Department will have to forward your application to the concerned PIO.

Do not adress your RTI application to the PIO by his name, just in case he gets transferred or a new PIO is designated in his place.

Are there any organization in Government not covered under RTI Act?

Mode of Payment available with CPIO, the fees, and Contact person to receive the application. (In most of the cases the Assistant Chief Public Information officer, ACPIO or directly the CPIO).

Public Authorities under the centre, states, legislatures and Supreme/High courts have framed separate rules for RTI. The amount of fees and the mode of payment varies and you should check the correct rules as applicable in your case.

Generally, you can deposit your application fee via:

In person by paying cash [remember to take your receipt]
By Post through:

Demand Draft/Bankers Cheque
Indian Postal Order
Money orders (only in some states)
Affixing Court fee Stamp (only in some states)

Some state governments have prescribed some head of account. You are required to deposit fee in that account. For that, you can either go to any branch of SBI and deposit cash in that account and attach deposit receipt with your RTI application. Or you can also send a postal order or a DD drawn in favour of that account along with your RTI application. Please see respective state rules for complete details
For Public Authorities under Central RTI rules, DoPT has recently clarified that BC/DD/IPO can be in favour of "Accounts Officer". If the department or administrative unit does not have a Accounts Officer, they are supposed to designate someone, as per DoPT circular available here

How to Submit an RTI Application!

Application Guidelines:

While filing an RTI application, the framing of the questions is very important. A slight misunderstanding or vague questions gives the PIO a chance to reject your application. Follow these guidelines:
Use a white sheet of paper to write an application. There is no need to using Note-sheet, or the Court stamp paper. You can use your letter pad for asking for information.

The matter can be hand written, or typed. There is no compulsion of typing the content.

Make sure the application is legible and easy to read.

There is no restriction on number of pages for asking information.
There are also no restriction on number of questions that can be asked in one application. However, it is generally advisable to ask restrict one application with limited set of questions and generally related ones.

NOTE: The state of Karnataka has recently passed a amendment to its RTI rules restricting the RTI application to one subject matter and to 150 words. Please see:
Be very specific & ask to the point questions. Don't ask vague questions.
Ask as many short questions as you like ,but don't ask for voluminous information.
Ask information always by writing your name and signature, and not by your post, as only citizen have the right to information.

Do not ask a question containing 'WHY'! For example, questions like why you failed to pass the bill, is liable to be rejected for not covering under RTI Act.
You can ask for reasons behind a "administrative" or a "quasi-judicial" decision under Section 4(1)(d), especially if you are a "affected person"
If the information sought is voluminous, it is better to ask it in the form of CD to save on cost.

Remember that, you do not need to write the reason for asking the information.
Mention the payment details like BC/DD/IPO number, issuing bank/post office, date, cash receipt details , etc., towards the end of your application


Download the sample RTI application here from our sister resource site, http://www.rtiindia.info


Read these informative posts:

What does information means under RTI?
deficient application, can the PIO reject it!
Records not Traceable
Does citizen have the right to access personal information.
Can a Secretary ask for any information?
deposit of fees
Charges for the scanned copies
Information requested for records which are 12 years old
Information to be asked in the form available.
can I get information before 30 days under RTI?
CPIO did not sign the denial letter under RTI
When should I get reply under RTI?

Oral Request?

Can Information Officer direct to approach other authority?

Can I directly approach the CIC for relief?

Anonymous complain?

Info seekers must use decent language: CIC

If you have problem in drafting RTI application or you have queries regarding any aspect of Right to Information, browse around the RTI India forum to get more information, or if you have specific question, post it at relevant forum.


FACILITIES AVAILABLE TO PUBLIC FOR OBTAINING INFORMATION

http://www.indiapost.gov.in/rticontents.html

The basic information of interest to the public is available on the Department’s website. Each post office also acts as a dissemination point for information related to the Department. Each post office also acts as a collection point for requests for obtaining information, which has to be obtained from other offices in the network. There is a separate enquiry counter or an Information and Facilitation Counter in larger post offices. Pamphlets for providing basic information to all customers regarding postal services, financial services and premium products are also made available. The Post Office Guide Part-I, Part-II and Part –IV also provides basic information of interest to the public in relation to the organization and services. The Annual Report and Book of Information which contain important information about the Department are available on the website. Hard copies are also available in Administrative Offices for reference.


PROFORMA FOR PRELIMINARY RECEIPT CUM ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Department of Posts

Customer Care Centre …………………



RTI - 1



Book No…………… Receipt No : Original

Duplicate





Preliminary Receipt cum acknowledgement



Received letter no………………. ……………………..dated ……………………….

from …………………………………………………………………………………………..

along with Cash/DD/BPL ………………………………………….…………………….…..

(write payment details)

……………………………..…………………under RTI Act-2005 for information sought from…………………………………………….………………………..

(write name of public authority from whom information is sought )









Date:: Signature of CAPIO/CPIO

(RTI Oblong stamp) Name, Designation and full address
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UGC/AICTE Review Committee

Public Opinion is invited on issues relating to UGC/AICTE Review Committee

What are the impediments or irritations you encounter in interaction with UGC/AICTE?

Interested persons/stakeholders are invited to give their views/comments in a concise manner by e-mail / correspondence to

Chairman
UGC/AICTE Review Committee
Room No.107 UGC Building
Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg
New Delhi-110002

Feed Back
Please enter your Views/Comments below:

Full Name:
E-mail:
Message:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Let's Work Together : Er. Alok Kumar

Invitation to all social minded people who want to change this country through RTI leading to a Glorious India. Those who want to give time and come forward for joint action to improve System. Oneday every Indian whether living in India or not, will say, "Mera Bharat Mahan"


INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT 2005

Role of the DOP



With the coming into force in toto of the Right to Information Act, 2005 on 12th October, 2005, the Department of Posts has the responsibility to implement the Act in its own domain and also to assist other public authorities under the Central Government including Ministries, Departments, PSUs, Autonomous Bodies etc. in its implementation by acting as CAPIOs on their behalf. While its role in its implementation in the Department stems directly from the provisions of the Act, the latter role, and perhaps the more demanding one, arises out of a decision taken by the Prime Minister of India that the Department of Posts should provide its services to the whole of Central Government as a collection point for request for information under the Act by designating its CAPIOs as CAPIOs for the entire Central Government



2. The Department has already designated CAPIOs at each of the Districts across the country. The officers in charge of the computerized Customer Care Centres set up during the Ninth and Tenth Five Year Plans have been identified to act as CAPIOs for the Department and to forward the requests for information pertaining to the Department to the Central Public Information Officer concerned. The CAPIOs of the Department are also to act as such on behalf of other Public Authorities under the Central Government and will be required to forward the requests pertaining to these other public authorities to a central address in each of them which would be notified as the list of these addresses is finalized. The addresses of the recipient (Nodal Officers/Central Point for RTI mail) of the requests in respect of the Public Authorities who have approached the department so far is uploaded on the website of the department for information of all concerned.


Additions to the list of CAPIOs



3. Certain additions to the list of CAPIOs might be considered necessary by the heads of circles to make the collection points easily accessible to the public. The Chief Postmaster General of the circle may add any such CAPIOs to the list notified by issuing a notification from the circle level with copies endorsed to the Directorate and PTC, Mysore for necessary updation of the relevant records.




CPIOs



4. The Department has also designated CPIOs at different levels. A notification to this effect has been issued. The Chief Postmaster General may add more CPIOs to the list as felt administratively necessary by issue of appropriate notification under intimation to the Directorate and PTC, Mysore. The role of the CPIOs as enumerated in the Act should be clearly understood by each of the CPIOs designated as such. Necessary training for the same should be conducted by the PTCs. Workshops for senior officers should also be conducted by the Postal Staff College India, Ghaziabad. Training should also be organized for CAPIOs by the PTCs.


Identification of a request under RTI stamping etc



5. Appropriate arrangement should be made to ensure that a matter under the Right to Information Act, 05 is distinctly recognized as such. Records etc. related to the RTI Act should also be separately maintained to facilitate submission of periodic reports as required under the Act. A clear stamp “ Right to Information – priority” should be impressed on each request received, each envelope in which these requests are forwarded and also on the receipts issued in acknowledgement of receipt of these requests.


Checks to be performed by CAPIO while receiving a request



6. At the time of receiving a request, the CAPIO should ensure the following:-



(a) Receive the request, personally, so far as possible.

(b) Check whether the application has the following details:-



Name of the applicant

Contact details of the applicant including complete postal address, telephone numbers and email address (if any)

Name of the public authority from whom the information is being requested

Nature and details of the information requested

Whether proof of payment of application fee is attached or not

If the applicant claims fee waiver whether proof of BPL status is attached or not

Whether the applicant wishes to receive the information by post?

Date on which application is being submitted.



In view of the above points CAPIOs can follow these guidelines:



If the application is not legible assist the applicant to write it clearly.

If the applicant has not filled in one or more of the above details bring the same to his/her notice and request him/her to fill in the details.



Make sure that the date mentioned on the application matches with the date on which the CAPIO is actually receiving the application. This is very important for calculating the deadline while forwarding the application to the CPIO.

The applicant may have attached a bank draft or proof of payment of application fee by any other mode prescribed by the Government. All such payments are valid. The CAPIO may not insist on a particular mode of payment.



The applicant may not always know the exact name and complete postal address of the public authority who has the information he/she wants. So please do not insist upon the applicant to furnish these details. It is the duty of the CAPIO to send the application to the concerned CPIO. (The CPIO directory published may be consulted for this purpose.)

If claiming fee waiver, the BPL applicant must attach a photocopy of a BPL/Antyodaya ration card or any other valid proof of BPL identity that may be prescribed by the Government.



(c) To collect the fee in cash if the applicant has not already attached proof of payment of application fees or if the applicant has not attached proof of BPL identity in support of his/her claim for fee waiver please request the applicant to furnish the same.



(d) To issue receipt for receiving complete request along with fees/exemption there from in the prescribed format with due authentication (signature, stamp and date of receipt). The receipt cum acknowledgement may be issued to the requestor. The cash collected for the entire day may be deposited under ACG-67 receipt in the Post Office on the same day/next morning under clear records maintained separately for department of Posts and other public authorities.



(e) Record the particulars of the request received including date of receipt, identification number, name of the applicant with contact details, subject matter of the request, name of Ministry/Department/public authority to whom it is related, name and address of the CPIO, date of forwarding the application to the CPIO, particulars of mode of dispatch like RL No. date etc. The entries in the concerned register are to be made on the same day. Despatch should be made at the first available opportunity thereafter. The particulars in respect of the request received for the Department of Posts may be entered separately. A format has already been prescribed and available on the website.



If the application is not addressed to a specific CPIO or a public authority the CAPIO may read through the nature of information being requested. This will help the CAPIO to identify the public authority that is most likely to possess the information requested. The CAPIO may then dispatch the complete application to the concerned CPIO using the CPIO directory.



The CAPIO need not maintain a copy of the application for their records.



(f) In certain cases, the application may be received by the CAPIO by post also. In such cases, the checks to be applied by the CAPIO would be the same as in cases where the application is received personally. If the request is complete in all respects and proof of payment of fees is also enclosed, the request should be entered in the register as in other cases and forwarded to the CPIO concerned.



If the applicant has not attached proof of payment of application fees and has also not claimed fee waiver – the CAPIO may send a communication by post to the sender requesting him to furnish proof of payment of the prescribed application fees or visit his



office to pay the fees in cash. If the application contains a contact telephone number he may call up the applicant advising him/her to pay the application fees. This action saves time and effort and prevents wastage of stationery.



Similarly if the applicant has not attached proof of identity despite claiming fee waiver in the application – the CAPIO may send a communication by post/courier to the sender requesting him/her to furnish proof of BPL identity. If the application contains a contact telephone number he may call up the applicant advising him/her to furnish proof of BPL identity. This action saves time and effort and prevents wastage of stationery.



If any of the details are missing or illegible the CAPIO may return the application by post to the sender requesting him/her to fill in the missing or unclear details. If the application contains a contact telephone number he may call up the applicant requesting him/her to visit your office to fill in the missing details.



Receipt of appeals by the CAPIO



7. The CAPIO may also be required to receive appeals made to various departmental appellate authorities or to the Central Information Commission in cases where the citizen is not satisfied with the response of the CPIO. No fee is applicable in appeal cases.



(a) In such cases, subject to the checks mentioned above, the following particulars should be available in all appeal applications.



Name of the appellant

Contact details of the appellant including complete postal address, telephone numbers and email address (if any)

Authority to which appeal is being sent (whether DAA or the CIC)

Details of the authority against whose decision the appeal is being made (whether CPIO or DAA)

Nature and details of the information requested originally

Copy of the information request submitted to the CPIO/appeal letter sent to the DAA (whichever is applicable)

Rejection letter issued by the CPIO against the appellant’s information request (if any)

Copy of the order issued by the DAA (if any)

Date on which appeal is being submitted.



(b) No receipt would be required in such cases but an acknowledgement for receiving the application along with date of application will be necessary.



(c) The entries required in case of original applications to CPIOs will also be required to be made in case of appeals along with dispatch particulars of the appeals received. A separate register for recording the details related to appeals should be maintained. A format has been prescribed in the regard and available on the website.



The duties of the CPIO





8. The Central Public Information Officer to whom a request is addressed has the duty to respond with the information required. Citizens can submit applications personally or by post/courier or through electronic means (such as email etc.) in English, or Hindi or the official language of the area; Citizens are not required to give reasons for requesting information. The CPIO shall not demand an explanation from the requestor as to why he/she needs that information. Rsefusal to accept an application from the citizen without reasonable cause is an offence under the law. The Central Information Commission may impose a fine of Rs. 250/- per day till the application is received up to a maximum of Rs. 25,000/- and also recommend disciplinary action for delays, providing wrong information and refusal.



9. As a CPIO there are certain obligations that are to be carried out carefully. If the CPIO receives a request for information that is not available with his office but is likely to be available with another office or public authority, it is his duty to transfer that request to the concerned public authority. If the CPIO advises the requestor to approach the concerned public authority he/she may treat this as his refusal to accept the application and send a complaint to the DAA or the CIC. This could lead to litigation, which can be avoided by transferring the application to the relevant CPIO). The CPIO should transfer the application to the CPIO concerned as soon as possible and in no case later than five days. The CPIO should inform the applicant about the transfer of the application in writing immediately. There is no grace period stipulated in the law for communicating this transfer to the requestor.



10. In cases where the CPIO is giving a response the following has to be kept in mind:



If the information requested is not covered by any of the exemptions the CPIO should ordinarily provide it within thirty days Do not let applications pile up on your desk. This will only increase your workload in future. Please dispatch all complete applications immediately.

If the requested information relates to the life and liberty of a person (Art. 21 of the Constitution) then you have a duty to provide such information within 48 hours.

Ordinarily, if the requested information is given by a third party which treats it as confidential then ten extra days are allowed to seek its submission on whether such information may be disclosed (see below). This does not apply to cases involving the life and liberty of a person. Such information must be given within 48 hours because of the sense of urgency involved.

In cases of rejection of requests:



The CPIO is required to communicate to the applicant in writing –

The reason/s for rejecting the request;

The period within which the applicant may appeal against the rejection;

The particulars of the appellate authority.

The law specifies 11 categories of information that may not be disclosed to the requestor. Sec. 8 applies to categories of information and not categories of records. (Sec. 9 applies to cases where release of information may infringe upon the copyright of any person other than the State) A record may contain both exempt and non-exempt information. Non-exempt information contained in such records may be disclosed upon request.

No other exemption contained in any other law including the Official Secrets Act and the Indian Evidence Act, or rules, orders or procedures prescribed by any public authority will take precedence over the operation of the RTI Act.

Furthermore, if the public interest in disclosing exempt information weighs more than the harm to the protected interests then such information may be released.

If the requestor appeals against the rejection order he/she is not required to justify why such information is being requested. Under the law the burden of proving why such information cannot be given is placed on the CPIO. The CPIO will have to prove before the appellate authority that the rejection order was based on reasons valid under this law. If the Information Commission finds the justification unreasonable the CPIO is liable to fine and also disciplinary action. The CPIO has to be very cautious while rejecting an information request.

11. In cases where the CPIO decides to provide information he should ensure the following:



If he decides to provide the requested information he should immediately inform the applicant in writing about the additional fees he/she is required to pay as cost of providing the information. This additional fee must be calculated at the rate prescribed by the Government as per the Government of India, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Notification No. 34012/8 (S)/2005-Estt. (B) dated 16.09.2005 .The time taken between dispatch of this intimation and the actual payment of fees will not be included while calculating the period of thirty days;

If the information requested is to be provided in electronic or printed format the CPIO may charge additional fees at the rate prescribed by the Government as per the Government of India, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Notification No. 34012/8 (S)/2005-Estt. (B) dated 16.09.2005.The CPIO will be required to inform the applicant about this additional fee in writing. The time taken between dispatch of this intimation and the actual payment of fees will not be included while calculating the period of thirty days;

BPL applicants are exempted from paying additional fees for securing the requested information;

If for some reason the requested information is not provided within the deadline the requestor has a right to receive such information free of cost.

The CPIO has a duty to inform the applicant in writing the details of how the additional fee were calculated and how the amount was arrived at;

The CPIO has a duty to inform the applicant in writing that he/she has a right to demand from the DAA and/or the CIC a review of the additional fees charged by the CPIO as cost of providing the requested information. The CPIO is required to inform the applicant in writing – the particulars of the appellate authority, the time limit and the process of appeal and any other forms that may be prescribed in this context.

The applicant may request information that might have to be extracted or compiled from one or more public records or documents. Furthermore the applicant may request that the information be provided in a specific format. Ordinarily, in such cases the CPIO is required to provide information in the format sought by the applicant unless such extraction or compilation –

Will require spending disproportionately large amount of time, money or human power resources or

Will adversely affect the safety or preservation of the relevant record/s.



Appeals and the role of the Departmental Appellate Authority



12. Appeals may arise in the following cases:



Where the CPIO fails to provide the requested information within thirty days in ordinary cases;

Where the CPIO fails to provide the requested information within 48 hours where the requested information relates to the life and liberty of a person;

Where the citizen believes that the additional fee charged by the CPIO for supplying the requested information is unreasonable (not to be confused with application fees) ;

Where the citizen believes the rejection order issued by the CPIO in response to his/her information request is unjustifiable;

Where the citizen believes the decision of the CPIO granting partial access to records is unjustifiable;

Where the citizen believes the CPIO has knowingly provided incorrect, incomplete or misleading information;



13. Aggrieved citizens may file appeals directly by handing them over in person or send them by post. Additionally they may send the appeal letter to the CAPIO. The CAPIO is duty bound to forward such appeals to the concerned DAA.



There are no fees for filing appeals. Appeals must be received, processed and disposed of without imposing any financial burden on the appellant.

However forms for filing appeals may be prescribed [Sec. 7(3)(b) mentions forms for filing an appeal against the intimation order of PIO requiring payment of additional fee].

Nevertheless keeping in mind the convenience of the common person living in remote areas who may not have easy access to such forms it is best to allow appeals made on plain paper as long as they contain the following details and enclosures

Name of the appellant

Contact details of the appellant including complete postal address, telephone numbers and email address (if any)

Authority to which appeal is being sent (whether DAA or the CIC)

Details of the authority against whose decision the appeal is being made (whether CPIO or DAA)

Nature and details of the information requested originally

Copy of the information request submitted to the PIO/appeal letter sent to the DAA (whichever is applicable)

Rejection letter issued by the CPIO against the appellant’s information request (if any) or

Copy of the order of the CPIO/information disclosed which is being contested including order of partial access (if any) or

Copy of the letter issued by the CPIO intimating additional fee to be paid towards cost of providing information which is being contested by the appellant (if any)

Copy of the order issued by the DAA which is being contested (if any)

Date on which appeal is being submitted.

It is good practice to issue a receipt for every appeal received by the DAA and the same must be entered in a register in the format prescribed



14. The RTI Act allows the following time limit for filing appeals –

if the citizen does not receive any decision on his/her application from the CPIO –within thirty days of the expiry of the time period (usually thirty days or 40 days if a third party’s submissions have been invited).

If the citizen is not satisfied with the information provided by the CPIO or is aggrieved by the decision of the CPIO where partial access has been provided - within thirty days from the receipt of such decision

(Please note – the time limit mentioned immediately above does not begin from the date of the issue of the CPIO’s order. It starts with the date on which the applicant receives the order).

If the DAA is satisfied that there was sufficient cause that prevented the appellant from filing the appeal within the time limit he/she may admit the appeal after the expiry of the deadline.

If a third party is aggrieved by the order of the CPIO – within thirty days from the date of such order.

15. Ordinarily the DAA is required to give its decision within 30 days of the receipt of the appeal. This time limit is extendable but in no case should it exceed 15 days. If additional time is taken over and above the thirty-day limit the DAA is required to record its reasons for the same in writing while issuing the order on the appeal. The appellant has the right to file a second appeal with the CIC within ninety days of the expiry of the time limit prescribed for the DAA whether or not a decision has been received.

The burden of proving that rejection of the application for information was justified lies on the CPIO concerned. It is not necessary to summon the appellant in every case. The DAA can and should apply its mind to the case to decide whether the decision of the CPIO was reasonable or not. The presence of the appellant is not always required for such an exercise. However if the appellant’s presence is required in order to seek some clarification in his/her information request in such cases the appellant may be summoned.

Similarly even the CPIO need not be summoned in many cases. The DAA need only ascertain whether the denial of the request was in good faith and whether the requested information may be disclosed in the public interest. As the DAA does not have the power to penalize, the question of giving the CPIO an opportunity to defend his/her decision of rejection of request need not arise.

16. It is worth mentioning here that a significant number of appeals will be filed by citizens against rejection orders of CPIOs where Sec. 8 exemption/s have been invoked. The DAA will be called upon to interpret these exemptions in light of the public interest that may be upheld in disclosing such information. The Government has to draw up detailed guidelines for interpreting every category of exempt information as well as good practices to determine the primacy of public interest. If these practical guidelines are made available to the CPIOs in the form of a practice manual there may be a significant decline in the number of appeals filed by citizens.

Collection of fees and accounting thereof

17. The notification dated 16-9-2005 from Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions about regulation of fee and cost pertaining to the Right to Information Act may be referred in this. Copy attached at Annexure ‘A’. For each application received, a fee of Rs.10/- is to be collected (except for requests of Below Poverty Line (BPL) applicants). An ACG-67 receipt should be issued for this amount. The receipt would bear the distinctive oblong stamp of the RTI Act. Proper record of each request is to be maintained and the request is to be forwarded to the Central Public Information Officer concerned by Registered Post on the same day with proper entry of dispatch particulars in the Register/Computer. The fee collected on behalf of the Department of Posts shall be deposited in the Post Office under the following Head of Account 1201 –Postal Receipts, 200 – Other services and services fee, 02(10) – fee/charges realized for requests under RTI Act, 2005.

The procedure in respect of the fee collected on behalf of the other Ministries shall be worked out in detail and conveyed separately. Till the procedure of their accounting, remittance etc are worked out, the fee collected in cash should be deposited in the Post Office every day and a proper record of the amount thus collected and deposited on behalf of each public authority may be kept. The amount collected will be adjusted in accordance with the procedure that is finalized by the Central Government in this regard.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Governance and Corruption

A study on corruption across India reveals that approximately 50 million BPL households paid as much as Rs 8,830 million in bribes in one year to access 11 selected public services. Highest on the corruption list is the police
The benefits of planned economic growth are supposed, at some point of time, to reach the poor. Despite 60 years of independence, not only has this ‘trickle down’ failed to materialise, there actually seems to be a ‘trickle up’: bribes paid by the poorest households to government functionaries for accessing public services. While corruption exists in all strata, it hurts the most when it affects those already living on the brink.


The poor pay bribes of over Rs 8,000 million to access public services
A recent study, designed and conducted by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) in collaboration with Transparency International India (TII), reveals that the approximately 50 million BPL (below the poverty line) households in India paid as much as Rs 8,830 million in bribes, within one year, to access 11 selected public services. This colossal amount, extracted from the poor, indicates a ruthless cynicism at work within the innards of the State.

The stranglehold of corruption exists across all 31 states and union territories of India. The TII-CMS India Corruption Study-2007 found that in order to avail of the 11 public services studied, approximately one-third of the total number of BPL households had to pay bribes.

The worst service, in terms of corruption, turns out to be the police. This is hardly surprising, yet it does provide occasion to pause and question the credibility of a law-and-order system that harasses the most powerless and vulnerable. Across the country, around 10% (5.6 million) BPL households interacted with the police during one year; of them, 2.5 million had to pay bribes to police functionaries. The total amount in bribes paid by these households to police personnel is estimated to be a whopping Rs 2,148.2 million. Around half of the households had no option but to pay a bribe at the very first step -- the point of registering their complaint.

Six of the 11 public services covered in the study are ‘need-based’ -- police, banking, housing, forests, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), and land records/registration. The rest are ‘basic services’ -- the Public Distribution System (PDS), health, school education, electricity, and water supply. The 11 services can be ranked as follows, in terms of their corruption count: police (1), land records/registration (2), housing (3), water supply (4), NREGS (5), forests (6), electricity (7), health (8), PDS (9), banking (10), and school education (11). Need-based services, being monopolistic and/or involving asset-creation, rank relatively high on the corruption scale compared to basic services.

Land records/registration and housing emerged as the most corrupt service, after the police. At issue is people’s fundamental right to shelter and livelihood. Nearly 18% of BPL households interacted with the land records/registration department, of which one-tenth reported paying a bribe, amounting to an estimated Rs 1,234 million. Nearly one-fourth of bribes were extracted simply for the provision of land records. Over half of the households visited the concerned offices three or more times to access routine services.

Alok Srivastava, Research Director, CMS, notes: “The government claims computerisation of land records helps reduce corruption -- but our study disproves this.” As regards housing, 78% of BPL households that interacted with the housing department experienced difficulties; one out of two said ‘corrupt staff’ was the main source of their difficulties. With two out of every five (a total of approximately 1.5 million) households paying a bribe or using contacts to avail of housing services, an estimated Rs 1,566 million was pocketed, largely by departmental staff. Around 45% of households found corruption had increased during the past year.

To avail of water supply, an essential service, BPL households paid Rs 239 million in bribes. Occasions for bribery were installation/maintenance of handpumps, meter installation, pipe repair, supply of irrigation water, etc. The NREGS, a scheme meant to provide relief to households suffering chronic unemployment, has become another site for harassment. Around 0.96 million rural BPL households paid bribes to avail of NREGS benefits, to the tune of Rs 71.5 million in the course of one year! Around 47% of rural BPL households that interacted with the NREGS found officials/staff corrupt. Half the households that paid bribes did so to get registered for work under the scheme.

Around 20% of BPL households interacted with the forest services. These largely tribal households, whose livelihoods depend on the forests, paid bribes to the tune of Rs 240 million, in one year, to obtain permission to collect fuel wood and gather saplings, etc. Most paid bribes directly to the concerned staff and officials.

In a country where food security is still a pipedream and millions suffer from malnutrition, health and PDS department personnel have not spared people. Health services interfaced with four-fifth of BPL households, of whom over half faced difficulties and 15% paid bribes or used contacts. Another 2% were denied health services because they could not pay a bribe. Around Rs 87.0 million was paid in bribes during the course of a year. However, nearly one-fourth of households felt that grievance redressal mechanisms were improving. As for the PDS, more than half of the 47.23 million households that interacted with service-providers had no doubt that corruption existed in the department. Around one-third felt corruption had increased during the year. Around 10% paid bribes or used a contact -- the majority to get a new ration card or take home their quota of rations. Three out of four households that paid bribes did so directly to the concerned staff/officials. Bribes were paid to the tune of Rs 458 million.

Expansion of school education is being promoted with much fanfare, yet some 3.1% BPL households reported paying bribes -- the majority for new admissions, issuance of certificates, and promotions. The amount paid in bribes is estimated at Rs 120 million. Srivastava says: “The major share is in the higher classes -- Classes 9 to 12. Most bribes were demanded by school officials or staff, and were paid directly to them.” One can only wonder about the kind of ‘education’ being imparted by adults themselves mired in corruption.

Dr N Bhaskara Rao, Chairperson, CMS, says that previous CMS studies on corruption (2003 and 2005) showed that corruption involving citizens had declined, albeit marginally, in certain public services. This improvement may be partly due to specific measures like the Right to Information (RTI) Act, citizens’ charters, and social audit. Yet, levels of corruption remain unacceptably high, particularly in the context of BPL households. The ultimate proof of ‘inclusive growth’ would be to ensure that basic services actually accrue to the poor. The TII-CMS study should be viewed, in this context, as “a tool to sensitise the larger public and concerned stakeholders, and prompt governments and civil society groups to take locally relevant initiatives”.

Srivastava explains that a vast network of experienced investigators and field workers carried out the survey, covering 22,728 randomly selected BPL households. The field work took place between November 2007 and January 2008.

The findings emphasise the fact that no state is near the ‘zero corruption’ mark. However, the level is relatively moderate in some states including Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh and Tripura. It’s high in others such as Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala, Delhi, Orissa and Manipur, very high in states like Rajasthan, Karnataka and Meghalaya, and highest (to the extent of being ‘alarming’) in Assam, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Goa.

This nationwide survey suggests an agenda; it is up to civil society and politicians to respond. The direction is clear: urgent measures are needed to curb corruption, particularly as it affects those living at the margins. There is need for widespread awareness, vigilance, and committed efforts to improve governance and check dishonest practices at every level. It must be recognised that public services are entitlements, not charity to be provided or denied according to whim. States that are worst affected obviously need to devise strategies to deal with what is, in effect, not only a crisis of governance but also an ethical crisis.

CMS and TII have already held a series of meetings with various government departments to discuss the relevant findings and suggest possible strategies. They understand that it is important to work with policymakers as well as with people at the grassroots. Seeing the research as only Phase I, R H Tahiliani, Chairperson, TII, describes plans on the anvil for advocacy: “Phase II and Phase III of this endeavour would include training of grassroots-level workers and activists and arming them with information about the extent of the corruption in different areas, and use of the Right to Information Act to empower the poorest to stand their ground and not pay bribes while demanding and accessing the services they are entitled to.” TII hopes to provide each BPL household in the country with a passbook of entitlements and keep them updated periodically so as to fight poverty and improve the lot of the poorest of the poor.

I am a writer and a social worker.

I like to help people.


Prof. ( Er.) Alok Kumar ;

Mobile : 09470574983


This is the blog where one can discuss any topic,

My aim is to get people to be noticed.

Your requirement to get best from you,

Online or Offline, is My only Aim.

If you have any thing special in you,
like any skills,

You can join here.

Hope many might be having problems of getting right job at right time.

But we all , will try to get it soon for you.
Women, men can meet on this blog,

To make our life more meaningful. Skilled people, please join here


------------------------------------------------------------------


All Articles are written by our Beloved Alok Sir :
So carefully read, then write back to Alok Sir about your opinions.



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

" Job Satisfaction " : Prof. Er. Alok Kumar




Job satisfaction often depends on good work skills and human relation competencies. One can understand most factors of a person’s behaviourby observing and listening.

When a person hired has the same behaviour that is required for the job then
He/ she can focus on the job rather than spending energy on adjusting. Some jobs can force one to be something one is not and That can leave little energy for the completion of the job. An example would be a person who is a stickler for quality, follows rules and procedures and is perfect and finishes one task at a time and he / she is now required to be aggressive, gets quick results And needs to take quick decisions. This person could be under stress while completing his tasks And could find it difficult on the job?

The 4 - Behaviours Styles DOMINANT STYLE: “D” Those who share this style focus on getting things done. * See the big picture * Solves problems well * Focuses on results * Likes varied activities * Appreciate being in charge INFLUENCING STYLE: “I” People who get results through other people. * Influence people * Verbalize well * Think positively * Appreciates public recognition * Possess good coaching skills STEADINESS STYLE: “S” They are good team players and tackle work easily. * Tackle work * Enjoy teams * Mediate well * Appreciate loyalty * Value support COMPLIANCE STYLE: “C” They get results by complying with higher standards And tend to be perfectionists. * Appreciate quality * Value accuracy * Enjoy research * Respect high standards Different styles interacting with one another could create problems. It is more important to realize the impact our own style has on someone else. We need to be aware that we have many options while responding. All of us are a combination of all four factors, But we tend to use one or two styles more often. Some organizations use profiling as a methodology to help find persons having the natural style / tendency that matches with the behavioural demands of the job or to help the existing employee and his manager with valuable information To work on strengthening some styles required for the job. Begin by ask yourself, What style/s do you need in your current position??
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Beyond Self - Limitation Prof. (Er.) Alok Kumar Elephants born in captivity are restrained by a chain That attaches one leg to a metal spike driven into the ground. This prevents them from roaming. They become accustomed to the fact that, As long as the chain and spike are next to them, they are unable to move. As they grow older, their minds become programmed. When they see the spike and chain, They "believe" and accept that they will not be able to move. They become so conditioned that when their owners place a small rope And wooden peg next to them, They make no effort to step away from it, Because they "believe" they are unable to. In truth, their actual power as adults is so great that They could easily pull up a chain and spike of any size. Their programming or "belief," however, Allows this tiny rope and wooden peg to limit their movement. We are all very much like these elephants. We allow the weaknesses, fears and rejection we experienced as children to program us into a life in which We lack power, peace, love and happiness. We become controlled by false childhood assumptions We have made about our ability, strength and self worth. We can move away from these "pegs" of self-limitation, But we must choose to do so.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SMILE
S- Set you free M - Makes you special I - Increase your face value L - Lift up your spirits E - Erase your all tensions so smile So start your day with smile.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Career is a marathon! Er. Alok Kumar Though the headline says it all and is self-explanatory, the behavior exhibited by many of the young ones who have just started working or are getting into working is markedly different. To many of them, it is a strongly held belief that maddeningly fast growth is a must to stay ahead in the corporate to slow down is to commit professional hara-kiri. That career is a 100 - meter dash and the best strategy hence is to sprint as fast as you can. Even if the end result is there is no energy left to run further after those 100 yards or your lungs have not enough air to grasp after the crossing the non - existent finishing line. The ramifications of this strategy is all around and visible. Switching jobs quickly and often, setting designations and not what you have learnt or honed as skills as the primary criteria for measurement of career success and finally being driven by peer comparison all the time to grow even faster. In fact , when I see some really smart and focused youngster fall into this trap, I do feel bad and one of the things I have started doing to change this is setting aside one session where ever I go as visiting faculty to talk about Career as a marathon and not a 100 meter dash. Why I keep emphasizing the analogy is simple. While both form athletics and are about running the similarities often end there. The strategy and make – up of a marathon runner is very different and their training schedule is significantly different as well. They are focused on endurance, maintaining a steady clip right through the race till the last stretch where you try to run as fast as you can to breast the tape. The longer the marathon the more energy you conserve and the more you try to maintain a consistent pace over a long stretch. Another reason why this is all the more relevant today is that we are sure to work longer years than our forefathers did starting at 21 and going all the way to 60 plus. Let us now look at the 100 meter race runner has only one goal. Start off the blocks as powerfully as one can at the sound of the gun shot and run as fast as you can till the finishing line since even milliseconds count. It is about powerful start, burst of energy and the finishing line. Building on the stretching career spans and the competitive landscape, Which do you think is the most appropriate strategy? Let me bring in one more perspective here In marathon, there is so much you can do. Even if you lag behind at the start there are many opportunities along the way to catch up and make it up. Unfortunately in 100 meter dash there is no such flexibility. Either you are off the blocks quickest or you loose a critical advantage. And how many of us are fine with this relentless and ruthless pressure of having the best start possible. Even if we all believe we do, is it not illogical to expect all of us to have equally powerful starts? Let us face it like athletics and running, Career is to a lot of us about success, winning and the accolades. Fine. But why is it not dawning on us that despite the glamour of 100 meter dash that it is more akin to a long distance marathon. Do think of it. You will thank yourselves in your 40s and 50s. Career should be a well, planned out, systematic and thought
about one rather than like a 100 meter race.
But in my opinion even the analogy of career to a marathon sounds scaring. I'd rather compare my career to a weekend trip - Start from my home early in the morning,
just cruise along the country sides in my bike savoring
all the beauty and experience offered to me and finally reach my destination.
No hurrying. I think its time that we learnt how to behave in public and
then it will sure enough resonate in person as well. It is really sad, that we talk about all this fantastic Indian growth
and we are leaving behind certain basic courtesies,
which I think is a true mark of a person. I think education really pays, and class and culture cant be taught,
it is either in one or not,
since cultivating should be an ongoing effort which continues through out one's lifetime.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oh, we love those inspirational tales! Prof. (Er.) Alok Kumar Since I do the speaker circuit a bit and speak to variety of audiences have been through the
“ trying to make an impact and get as many claps as possible
over the previous and next speaker ” routine. And later bask in the glory (short lived one I must say)
of having people walk up to you ask questions or exchange pleasantries. The more I do it,
the more it seems to me that we love inspirational tales,
talks and books so much that we stop with just loving them.
Let me put it more cricketish. I find that a lot of us are more kicked about saying that drive of Sachin Tendulkar
– oh it is so perfect and awesome man. Just turn around and probe how many turn that inspiration inward , put in the same kind of consistent effort over a long period in their sphere of work without wavering with highs and lows
and
get to even one hundredth of What a genius like him is capable of. My simple question is,
Is inspiration another fast food or instant gratification thing! A fad that lets you have a high only to carry on with the life as it was. Why, why are we so happy and content about being mere spectators? Look all around with where India is heading and what is happening. Tell me one sector that is not booming. Tell me anymore that you go t be influential and connected to get VC funding for your big, tangible idea. Tell me one company which says employees going the extra mile will not grow here as fast as they can. Tell me one area of life where there is nothing you receive for excelling from hairstyling to Rings to playing professional golf to cooking and what not. As the evolution theory candidly puts it each surviving decade of human species is more competitive and savvier. So we are multiple notches better than our predecessors. What is the issue then? Why are we not having a few million or even a 100 million success stories? Why can’t India become a nation of heroes that we stop searching for that elusive hero or a leader from idiot tubes to forums? Why?
If you find it too much to take, well, there is my new book, very inspirational tale about my own life that succeeded despite all odds…
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Decency Pays Off Prof. (Er.) Alok Kumar It is something the lack of which is so in the face and increasingly pervasive Leading to a vicious cycle which am sure all of us are affected by. The first about decency is that somewhere along the way a lot of us are learning subtly and not so subtly that being decent and fair has no place in the corporate world And that one cannot succeed taking this route. The change have seen over the past few years is that this perception is now imbibed at the college level itself. Can vouch for this being a visiting faculty across multiple institutes across India. Earlier, the students would be quite affectionate and respect you merely for the fact that you are a teacher. There will be certain innocence about them in the way they interact with you and it was possible to establish a bond with them which was special (an incentive to teach and get involved). Now, often come across students who logically estimate you based on the company you work for, the kind of job opportunities possible at the company, your position in the company, whether you can get them a good project and how much you will be of use to them in their career. Actually, the fact that they are so focused is an advantage and shows their career orientation. But it is the way this is being done in a visible, competitive way that is something that makes me think about. When the placement season approaches the competitiveness and the desire to get the best jobs ahead of peers gets more intense and the seed sown earlier that being fair and decent may not yield dividends branches out more at this time. And once they enter the corporate world, this grows further into a deeply rooted tree of cynicism. It is amazing to see how many students believe corporate world does not play straight and substance alone cannot take them to the heights they desire. They somehow believe and are intuitively told that playing politics and cuddling favor is the best and most effective way. Many trees make a forest and you have thousands who dot the corporate world mindlessly adopting this approach. Resulting in environments which all of us suffer in varying degrees. The organizations also suffer as it has many people inside who focus more on the dynamics of getting ahead and keeping the place than getting the work done or satisfying the customer. This then spills over into the streets when we drive, we go to shopping malls and else. Suffocating us and making us behave differently. Before once knows you are part of the universe and it gets worse and worse. Children observe all this and considering what they see in formative years is deeply embellished in their consciousness it is no wonder that when they grow this will get even worse probably starting even earlier and becoming more intense. The cycle just goes on. I keep saying if one of us decides to step out and be decent like the way this started slowly and steadily it will become a forest and before you know it is the reverse of what is there now. Try it. Probably you will be able to smile at someone in an elevator at a hyper mart or pick up a fallen object and give it to the person who is not realized it or stop your vehicle at the signal when it turns yellow. Try, it might be a different corporate world that we will all inhabit where we can all be ourselves and focus on work.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Can We have both the 4 F’s and 4 P’s ?– A Paradox. Prof. (Er.) Alok Kumar After reading Charles Handy ’ s – The search for meaning , I had to share this extract with you. 4 P’s – Productivity, Pay, Performance and Profit 4 F’s – Families, friends, festivals and fun Can we have both the 4 P’s and the 4 Fs? Capitalism and Communism: Capitalism was going to make us rich – But the truth is it has made some of us rich – not all. A Comparison by a young executive in eastern Germany of the former communist system and the new capitalist system, “The Communist system didn’t work, of course it was ruining the economy, ruining the physical environment and ruining lives. But at least we were all paid the same whether we worked hard or not so hard, productively or not so productively. At least we had an awful lot of time left for families and Friends, For festivals and fun – all the four F’s. Now it’s all Productivity, Pay, Performance and Profit - Just sometimes I wish in the midst of the P’s, which are making me richer, there was time left for the 4 F’s which makes me human. We now have a society where some are getting all the P’s with no time for the F’s and some have all the F’s and no P’s to pay for the F’s. That is a strange kind of world. So capitalism also does not seem to be working quite as well as we all thought it would. Is the present mixture of democracy and capitalism/materialism going to save us? Statistics shows that somewhere around 50% of the workforce is effectively outside organizations today – around 30% temporary staff or part timers, 12 to 15 % Self- Employed, 8% or more unemployed. The world is changing. We are on our own now or most of us will be soon. Capitalism destroyed certainty – which is not what it was meant to do. Is that the meaning of life? What is your view? Views can change lives – so do respond.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Dream Job
Prof. (Er.) Alok Kumar A lot of people go through life thinking, "There has to be something better than this." After all, there are plenty of success stories out there, And the media talks about famous people in fantastic jobs you wished you had. Is it all a myth? Is there truth behind the tales? Take a look at these questions many people ask, And see if the answers don't surprise you. Are dream jobs real? They sure are! Everyone has a job that is going to give them fulfillment and happiness. Dream jobs are ones that leave you feeling good at the end of the day. You come home with a smile on your face, you're proud of your work, And you even look forward to going to your job every day. A dream job is one that makes you rich, right? We all have Technicolor dreams about a job that leaves us filthy rich And able to buy anything we want. After all, that's why lotteries do so well and Casinos still fill up with hopefuls looking to strike gold. But money doesn't make a dream job. Money makes your living conditions easier, sure, but you're no farther ahead than you were before If you're rich and still hating your job. So just what is a dream job? A dream job is different things to different people, But there are a few qualities different from other jobs. A job that has challenge and room for growth is good. One that maximizes your potential and uses the skills and talents You have is also part of a good job. A job where you feel valued and that your work makes a difference is important as well. Feeling fulfilled and enjoying what you do is part of a dream job too. How do I know what my dream job is? Assessing yourself for the things you like to do and what makes you feel energized is a good way to figure out What your particular dream job is. What are you good at? What would like to do? Did you have any childhood dreams for a specific job that you may still harbor? Take a look at your own values as well. Also, try to imagine a perfect work day - what are you doing and where are you? How do you get a dream job? How you behave every day will have a big impact on whether you continue to plateau or Move forward to a dream job. You will have to find out the steps you need to take to achieve your goals And start making moves forward. Networking and socializing is important. Getting the word out that you'd like to work in a different area helps too. Taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, as well as setting yourself up to receive those opportunities, Will help you achieve your dream job goals. Can anyone achieve his or her dream job? Where there is a will, there is a way. If you sit back and wait for your dream job to fall from the sky into your lap, You will wait a long time. If you set a plan and lay out the steps you need to take to get your dream job, You will work towards it and eventually have a job That you can look forward to going to, every day of your life. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Present Attitudes Prof. (Er.) Alok Kumar Our present attitudes are habits, built from the feedback of parents, friends, society and self, That forms our self-image and our world-image. These attitudes are maintained by the inner conversations we constantly have with ourselves, Both consciously and subconsciously. The first step in changing our attitudes is to change our inner conversations ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Burning Problems Prof. (Er.) Alok Kumar It just happened that i read somewer ,
wat's a MORE DEN A FRIEND relationship???????? JUST BE HONEST AND SAY how many of us donot take our relationship wid our parteners for granted? Most of us do not feel the necessity to take a break and FEEL OUR RELATIONSHIP, that it is not a joke yaar, as the on screen scenes are illusions but the real HERO or THE ACTRESS is our partner! As of now as if it's more prevailing fashion 2 raise such issues, may be on the small screen or on the big screen......well it's a part of their job to make money, not of because to raise such issues, that r neglected on the family front specially, it’s their job What I personally feel is that may be a man or be a woman,
the pain ,the problem is the same.
But one awakes after the scratch on the relationship
turns up to a NAASUR and starts paining, bleeding.
Many times a relation develops gradually, one is just unaware of too,
it sounds odd but it is a fact. And here I’ve seen that normally if it's a case of women's betrayal,it’s discussed more.
Whereas in a man's case, not so much attention is paid...... A MAN'S WORLD?! what I feel is - yeh rishta to kuchh is tarah hona chahiye ki uske pass hone ke AHSAASBHAR se apne aap ko pura mahsus kar sake......... I agree ki Aajkal ki bhag - daud mein fursat hi nahi milti, But woh zindagi hi kya jisko jine ka maza hi chala gaya ho? kabhi kisi apne se pyaar karke to dekhiye, sirf bolne ke liye nahi ki " Oh darling I love u " well , I'll make clear that I’m not at all trying to hurt or dishonour any - bodies feelings..........






No comments: