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Ashok Kotwal
On demonetisation
Posted on: 23 Dec 2016
On the evening of 8 November, the Prime Minister announced on national television that Rs. ... read on »
A symposium on Piketty: Introduction
Posted on: 15 Jun 2015
Thomas Piketty’s book on ´Capital in the Twenty First Century’ has made waves. The f ... read on »
Emerging challenges: Economic and social
Posted on: 06 Aug 2014
To mark the second anniversary of I4I in July 2014, we invited two eminent scholars – Abhi ... read on »

Tag: schooling

School consolidation in Himachal Pradesh: Achieving quality and inclusion
Shrikant Wad
Posted on: 06 Jan 2017
Topics:   Education


While the emphasis on neighbourhood schooling in India’s education policy over the past 15 years has increased enrolment, it has also contributed to a proliferation of poor quality, small schools. To address this, the state government of Himachal Pradesh has announced its intent to consolidate existing schools. In this article, Shrikant Wad discusses the issue and recommends measures that would enable the consolidation policy to achieve quality along with inclusion.
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Early life nutrition and future educational outcomes: Findings from ICDS
Ramanan Laxminarayan , Arindam Nandi
Posted on: 25 Apr 2016
Topics:   Education , Health


Integrated Child Development Services – India’s flagship child nutrition programme – has recently suffered a major cut in funding. This column shows that supplementary nutrition provided under the programme positively influences long-term educational outcomes of children. The findings suggest that funding for the programme should be fully restored and efforts should be made to address its systemic inefficiencies.
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How has MNREGA impacted the lives of women and children in India?
Subha Mani
Posted on: 15 Mar 2016

In this article, Subha Mani, Professor of Economics at Fordham University, summarises evidence that shows that MNREGA has mostly positively impacted the lives of women and children in India.

Tweet using #MNREGA10yrs

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Child development: How are Indian states faring?
Jean Drèze , Reetika Khera
Posted on: 10 Dec 2015
Topics:   Education , Health


The recent release of the ‘Rapid Survey On Children’ report presents an opportunity to take a fresh look at the state of Indian children. Based on a simple Child Development Index constructed for 2005-06 and 2013-14, this column finds that Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh are at the top. Other states – even Bihar – can catch up, but only if they learn the right lessons from the leading states.
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Education reform and frontline administrators: A case study from Bihar – II
Yamini Aiyar , Vincy Davis , Ambrish Dongre
Posted on: 16 Oct 2015

The frontline administration in India is infamous for corruption and patronage, indifference towards citizens, low effort and high absenteeism. This column reports findings from a year-long qualitative study on frontline education administrators in Bihar. Part 1 captured perspectives of frontline administrators on their role in the education hierarchy and how organisational design and culture shapes everyday behaviour. This part offers insights into how the frontline responds to reform efforts, and how this impacts institutionalisation and scaling up of reforms.

This is the second of a two-part series.

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Education reform and frontline administrators: A case study from Bihar - I
Yamini Aiyar , Vincy Davis , Ambrish Dongre
Posted on: 15 Oct 2015

The frontline administration in India is infamous for corruption and patronage, indifference towards citizens, low effort and high absenteeism. This column reports findings from a year-long qualitative study on frontline education administrators in Bihar. It captures perspectives of frontline administrators on their role in the education hierarchy and how organisational design and culture shape everyday behaviour.

This is the first of a two-part series.

read on »

Should the less educated be barred from village council elections?
Rohini Pande
Posted on: 23 Feb 2015

In December 2014, the state government of Rajasthan issued an executive order barring citizens with less than eight years of formal education from running for village council chief elections in all but tribal areas. In this article, Rohini Pande, Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, contends that this will discriminate against able leaders who have been denied schooling because of gender, poverty or caste.
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Did caste-based reservation increase schooling of beneficiaries?
Guilhem Cassan
Posted on: 16 Oct 2014
Topics:   Caste , Education


Reservation for backward classes in schools has been in place in India since independence. This column uses a unique historical event that took place in the 1970s in India to evaluate the effect of access to reservation on school attainment of Scheduled Castes. It finds that these policies benefitted male SCs only.
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The plight of ‘complimentary’ migrants: Children at brick kilns
Parul Agarwal
Posted on: 09 May 2014

Migration for work is meant to benefit families of migrant workers. But what if the families migrate along with the worker? Based on visits to brick kilns in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, Parul Agarwal describes the plight of children of migrant workers in the Indian brick manufacturing industry.
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Restoring dignity to the teaching profession in India
Ashish Dhawan
Posted on: 07 Feb 2014
Topics:   Education


It is unfortunate that the teaching profession in India is no longer considered an attractive career option by young, bright people. This article outlines a plan to make teaching a more viable profession in India. It recommends strengthening teacher education institutions, incorporating practical experience into teacher preparation programmes, promoting performance-linked rewards and career progression, and creating a more professional environment for teachers.
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Understanding the relative effectiveness of government and private schools in India
Karthik Muralidharan
Posted on: 22 Jan 2014
Topics:   Education


Data suggests a steady increase in the share of students attending private schools in rural India. This column analyses data from the largest and longest evaluation of a school choice programme in India, conducted over four years in the state of Andhra Pradesh, to assess whether private schools are indeed more effective than government schools.
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Translating the ‘Right to Education’: Assumptions and reality
Suman Bhattacharjea , Wilima Wadhwa
Posted on: 18 Oct 2013
Topics:   Education


The Right to Education Act focuses on inputs in the schooling process and teaching the prescribed curriculum, but has little to say about learning outcomes of children. This article argues that educational policy needs to be more in line with ground realities. Teachers need to be trained to teach classrooms with students that are diverse in terms of age and ability.
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Short-term migration and child welfare
Diane Coffey
Posted on: 07 Oct 2013
Topics:   Education , Jobs


While much has been said about the poor working and living conditions of short-term migrants, relatively little is known of the impact of short-term migration on child welfare. This column finds that although short-term migration does not lead to child labour, children of migrants have poorer educational outcomes.
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Delivering health services through schools in rural India
Anjini Kochar
Posted on: 04 Oct 2013
Topics:   Health


Given that India has better infrastructure for schooling relative to healthcare, and near universal primary school enrolment rates, many believe that providing basic health services through schools rather than clinics may be more cost effective. This column finds that coverage achieved by health programmes administered through schools is also low, even lower than the average school attendance rates. The key constraint on coverage is shortage of healthcare personnel.
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Educating India: Choice, autonomy and learning outcomes
Parth J. Shah
Posted on: 22 May 2013
Topics:   Education


The Indian education system does not effectively promote the prior right of parents to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children. This column argues that the degree of freedom of not just parents, but also of school principals, teachers and education providers is a key determinant of quality and equity in education. It outlines reforms to promote the right to ‘education of choice’.
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The invisible and urgent challenge of learning
Rukmini Banerji
Posted on: 20 May 2013
Topics:   Education


While almost all six to fourteen year olds in India are enrolled in school, their performance is far below expected levels. The common view is that the problem can be addressed by filling gaps in the system such as inadequate infrastructure or teacher shortage. This column argues that these inputs can ensure “schooling for all” but not “learning for all”, and suggests teaching by level rather than by grade to improve learning outcomes.
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How to keep more girls in school? Lessons from Bangladesh
Mushfiq Mobarak
Posted on: 24 Sep 2012
Topics:   Education , Gender


For years developing countries have been trying to increase parents’ incentives to send their children, particularly girls, to school and keep them there. This column looks at the success of Bangladesh, where the number of girls in school now exceeds the number of boys. It argues that money talks – but it’s the money that educated children will earn once they leave school that talks loudest.
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Education in Bihar: Still a long road ahead
Nishith Prakash
Posted on: 07 Sep 2012
Topics:   Education


In the north Indian state of Bihar, education has been improving faster than in the rest of the country. But as this column reminds us, Bihar is starting from the bottom. For education to continue to improve, Bihar needs to universally provide drinking water facilities, separate toilets for girls in schools, and more teachers and classrooms per student.
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Compensating policies for small schools and regional inequalities
Anjini Kochar
Posted on: 18 Aug 2012

Despite government efforts, stark inequality in India’s schools persists, particularly in rural areas. This column argues that the failure may lie in policy design – rather than helping the worst schools catch up, policies are helping the better ones get further ahead.
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