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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 »
Introduction to e-Symposium: The GDP conundrum
Posted on: 16 Nov 2016
Ever since India’s Central Statistical Organisation came out with the new GDP series with ... read on »
Introduction to e-Symposium: The idea of a universal basic income in the Indian context
Posted on: 26 Sep 2016
The idea of an unconditional basic income given to all citizens by the State, has caught o ... read on »
Introduction to e-Symposium: Ideas for reforms in education policy in India
Posted on: 18 Nov 2015
A New Education Policy is being formulated in India based on a time-bound grassroots consu ... read on »

Topic: Education

Promoting excellence in higher education in India
Abhijit Banerjee
Posted on: 29/03/2017 09:32:20
Topics:   Education


Over the years, the entire system of higher education in India has relentlessly bled talent. In this article, Abhijit Banerjee, Professor of Economics at MIT, discusses why this is so, and what can be done.
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Common tongue? How mother tongue instruction influences education
Tarun Jain , Revathy Suryanarayana
Posted on: 27/02/2017 09:56:44
Topics:   Education


The recently released draft of the National Education Policy stresses the importance of education in the mother tongue, especially in the formative years at school. This column seeks to uncover the link between vernacular language use in schools and educational achievement using data from large-scale historical events in South India. It finds that mother-tongue instruction led to persistent increases in educational achievement in primary and secondary schooling.
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School consolidation in Himachal Pradesh: Achieving quality and inclusion
Shrikant Wad
Posted on: 06/01/2017 10:01:02
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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Introduction to e-Symposium: The idea of a universal basic income in the Indian context
Parikshit Ghosh
Posted on: 26/09/2016 10:10:12
Topics:   Education


The idea of an unconditional basic income given to all citizens by the State, has caught on in the developed world. Does it make sense for India? To examine the issue, I4I Editor Parikshit Ghosh is hosting an e-Symposium on the idea of a universal basic income in the Indian context. Over the next week, economists Pranab Bardhan (University of California, Berkeley), Abhijit Banerjee (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Maitreesh Ghatak (London School of Economics), Debraj Ray (New York University), Kalle Moene (University of Oslo), T.N. Srinivasan (Yale University), Vijay Joshi (University of Oxford), Nimai Mehta (American University) and Jean Drèze (Ranchi University; Delhi School of Economics) will contribute to the e-Symposium.

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What are schools worth?
Gaurav Khanna
Posted on: 01/06/2016 09:50:45
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


Since large-scale expansions in education impact both individual behaviours and labour markets, convincing causal estimates of their overall benefits are hard to generate. Analysing the overall economic consequences of the District Primary Education Programme in India, this column finds that more educated individuals earned substantially more. However, since others were also receiving more education, this stymied the increase in individual earnings and had significant distributional consequences.
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Early life nutrition and future educational outcomes: Findings from ICDS
Ramanan Laxminarayan , Arindam Nandi
Posted on: 25/04/2016 09:56:09
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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The less the merrier? Family size and education in India
Adriana Kugler , Santosh Kumar
Posted on: 01/04/2016 09:24:59
Topics:   Education , Gender


In the face of financial constraints, children from larger families are expected to have relatively less education and poor health. This column explores the empirical relevance this ‘quantity-quality trade-off’ in India with regard to education. It finds that family size has a negative impact on the schooling of children, particularly for low caste, poor and rural households.
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Reservation under RTE: Status of implementation and way forward
Ambrish Dongre , Ankur Sarin
Posted on: 11/01/2016 09:27:38
Topics:   Education


Section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act, 2009, mandates that non-minority private unaided schools should reserve at least 25% of seats in entry-level grades for children from economically weaker and disadvantaged backgrounds. This column analyses the current status of implementation of this provision, and suggests ways to overcome hindrances in effective implementation and make the education system more inclusive.

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New Education Policy: Addressing institutional concerns
Kiran Bhatty
Posted on: 22/12/2015 09:06:50
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


Failure of education policy has been attributed, at least in part, to implementation issues. In this article, Kiran Bhatty, Senior Fellow at the Center for Policy Research, contends that the poor state of institutional capacity in education, especially at the lower levels of administration, does not receive sufficient attention. The New Education Policy should include a plan for institutional reforms as these are critical for successful implementation of policies and programmes.

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Child development: How are Indian states faring?
Jean Drèze , Reetika Khera
Posted on: 10/12/2015 09:30:09
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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Five priorities for the New Education Policy
Ashish Dhawan
Posted on: 27/11/2015 10:24:51
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


In this article, Ashish Dhawan, Founder and Chairman of Central Square Foundation, lays out five broad priorities for the New Education Policy – ensuring robust data on children’s learning, strengthening school-based management, integrating early childhood education into the school system, engaging the private sector, and leveraging technology.

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‘Teaching at the right level’: Solutions for low learning levels in India
Rukmini Banerji , Esther Duflo
Posted on: 26/11/2015 09:08:23
Topics:   Education


At least half of all children in India have not acquired basic literacy and arithmetic skills by the end of primary school. In this article, Rukmini Banerji of Pratham and J-PAL Director Esther Duflo present evidence that shows that significant gains in learning outcomes can be achieved by reorganising and grouping children by their learning level rather than the usual grouping by age or grade.

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New Education Policy: Putting money where learning is
Anit Mukherjee
Posted on: 25/11/2015 08:46:36
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


More public expenditure on elementary education in India in recent years has not translated into better learning outcomes of schoolchildren. In this article, Anit Mukherjee from the Center for Global Development, contends that the defining legacy of the New Education Policy should be to redesign public finance and delivery systems in education to focus on learning and reward good performance.

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Getting reading right, right now
Lant Pritchett
Posted on: 24/11/2015 09:45:34
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


In this article, Lant Pritchett, Professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard Kennedy School, contends that children of 2015 in India are not getting the education they need to be ready to lead the polity, society and economy of the country in 2050. To fix the problem, we should start by ensuring that every child is taught to read fluently by grade 3.

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Of Picasso and Cezanne: Early achievers vs. late bloomers
Sonalde Desai , Reeve Vanneman
Posted on: 24/11/2015 09:30:53
Topics:   Education
Tags:   Schooling


Children learn at different paces – some are early achievers while others bloom late. In this article, Desai and Vanneman, Professors of Sociology at University of Maryland, present evidence to show that children from privileged backgrounds are much more likely to overcome early disadvantages in learning, as compared to those from poorer backgrounds. The New Education Policy should recognise this and support children that are falling behind.

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Assessments in school education: The current debate
Azim Premji Foundation
Posted on: 23/11/2015 09:21:17
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


There is an active ongoing debate in the country on the move to scrap the No-Detention Policy and the efficacy of Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation, which were introduced under the Right to Education Act. In this article, Azim Premji Foundation puts forth the argument that if one understood the idea behind assessments in the progressive paradigm of education, the need for these initiatives would become clear.

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Building an outcome-focused approach to elementary education financing in India
Yamini Aiyar
Posted on: 23/11/2015 09:00:15
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


Government expenditure on elementary education in India is designed to promote a system that is accountable for schooling rather than learning. In this article, Yamini Aiyar, Director of the Accountability Initiative at the Centre for Policy Research, proposes a novel approach to governing public financing of elementary education that would give more flexibility to states over planning and budgeting, and incentivise them to work towards learning goals.

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Holding the teacher education enterprise accountable for its performance
Amita Chudgar
Posted on: 20/11/2015 09:30:44
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


Research on the performance of trained and untrained teachers fails to find that students of trained teachers always perform better. In this article, Amita Chudgar, Associate Professor of Education Policy at Michigan State University’s College of Education, argues that while a focus on teacher assessment and accountability is important, teacher training institutes must be held accountable for providing appropriate teacher training.

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Enabling inclusive education
Renu Singh
Posted on: 20/11/2015 09:30:32
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


In this column Renu Singh, Country Director of Young Lives India, contends that multiple and overlapping barriers of poverty, gender, religion, caste and disability have to be overcome to ensure education for all.

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Ensuring learning at the elementary stage: Are children school-ready?
Aparajita Bhargarh Chaudhary , Venita Kaul
Posted on: 19/11/2015 10:06:37
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


In this article, Venita Kaul and Aparajita Bhargarh Chaudhary from the Centre for Early Childhood Education and Development, Ambedkar University, present evidence from their research to emphasise the importance of good preschool education to prepare children to learn well in elementary school, and recommend adding a preschool class to all existing schools.

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Ten steps to transform the quality of education in India
Sridhar Rajagopalan
Posted on: 19/11/2015 09:22:59
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


In this article, Sridhar Rajagopalan, Managing Director of Educational Initiatives, suggests 10 initiatives that can help transform the quality of education in India.

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New Education Policy: An opportunity not to be lost
Wilima Wadhwa
Posted on: 18/11/2015 10:40:21
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


There are now various assessments to measure learning levels, and much debate around what learning indicators to use at different stages of schooling. In this article, Wilima Wadhwa, Director of ASER Centre, contends that there is a lot to learn from the different approaches to assessment and the New Education Policy provides an opportunity to re-examine and unify them.

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Introduction to e-Symposium: Ideas for reforms in education policy in India
Rukmini Banerji , Ashok Kotwal
Posted on: 18/11/2015 10:40:20
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


A New Education Policy is being formulated in India based on a time-bound grassroots consultative process. As a contribution to the discussions, Rukmini Banerji of the education NGO Pratham and Ashok Kotwal, Editor-in-Chief, I4I, are hosting an e-symposium on ideas for reforms in education policy. Over the next few days, the e-symposium will bring together key findings from recent research in education and experience-based insights by stakeholders from academia and civil society.

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What can the private sector offer Indian education?
Abhijeet Singh
Posted on: 28/10/2015 11:05:40
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


Do private schools in India really produce more learning, or do they deepen social and economic divides without adding much in terms of actual skills and education? Based on a review of the existing literature, this column sheds light on these questions, and discusses avenues for future research that may help understand how private players may be leveraged to address the learning crisis in the country.

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Education reform and frontline administrators: A case study from Bihar – II
Yamini Aiyar , Vincy Davis , Ambrish Dongre
Posted on: 16/10/2015 09:52:56

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: 15/10/2015 09:55:44

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.

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Building a movement, assessment to action
Rukmini Banerji
Posted on: 23/09/2015 09:27:58
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


While citizen-led assessments of children’s learning have been applauded for building awareness around the issue, observers have pointed out that information does not automatically galvanise action. In this article, Rukmini Banerji, of the education NGO Pratham, contends that citizen-led assessments can lead to citizen-led action for improving learning by making the problem visible, engaging with people, and demonstrating how change can be brought about.
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Adult education, knowledge and confidence
Ashwini Deshpande , Christopher Ksoll , Annemie Maertens
Posted on: 21/09/2015 10:27:39
Topics:   Education , Gender


Illiteracy, in India and elsewhere, is largely a female phenomenon. This column analyses a literacy programme aimed at adult women in India and finds that it has impacts beyond increasing literacy and numeracy. The general knowledge of participants improved and they were less likely to be over-confident about what they know – attributes that may contribute to better educating their children and absorbing new information.
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Is the policy focus shifting from school education to higher education in India?
Ashish Bhardwaj , Anamika Srivastava
Posted on: 25/08/2015 09:40:58
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


The overall allocation for education has been reduced in the 2015-16 union budget, with an increase in allocation for higher education and decrease in allocation for school education. In this article, Bharadwaj and Srivastava explore whether the policy focus is really shifting from school education to higher education. They argue that while it is important to focus on higher education and skill development to plug the gap created by poor quality school education, this can only be a transitory arrangement.
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Rising school enrolment, plunging test scores
Renu Singh
Posted on: 27/05/2015 00:00:00
Topics:   Education


Since India made eight years of education compulsory, the number of 6-14 year olds going to school has grown by almost two million. Analysing data from (undivided) Andhra Pradesh, this column finds that the rise in enrolment is associated with a worrying collapse in learning standards. Exploration of factors leading to this decline is essential in the wake of increasing investment in elementary education.
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Assessing teacher quality in India
Mehtabul Azam , Geeta Gandhi Kingdon
Posted on: 16/02/2015 00:00:00
Topics:   Education


Research in the US has pointed out that the most important determinant of the quality of education is the quality of teachers but that students’ achievement is not linked to observable teacher characteristics such as qualification or experience. Using data from selected private schools in Uttar Pradesh, this column estimates the contribution or ‘value added’ of teachers to student scores in external examinations.
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Taking education beyond educationists
Rukmini Banerji
Posted on: 09/02/2015 00:00:00
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


ASER – Annual Status of Education Report – has been tracking learning outcomes of children in rural India for the past 10 years. In this note, Rukmini Banerji, Director of the ASER Centre/Pratham, highlights how this model of measurement is different from the traditional models of student assessments seen in India or elsewhere. She also points out key policy changes that have taken place in education in India, at least partly in response to ASER findings.
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How much does India spend on elementary education?
Ambrish Dongre , Avani Kapur
Posted on: 02/02/2015 00:00:00
Topics:   Education


There has been a significant policy focus on expanding elementary education in India in recent years. Yet, estimates of public and private expenditure on elementary education are not available. This column seeks to fill this gap by estimating annual public expenditure per student in government schools, and annual private expenditure per student for those enrolled in private schools, for 16 selected states in India.
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Teacher accountability and assessment of student learning levels
Anjini Kochar
Posted on: 15/01/2015 00:00:00
Topics:   Education


Research has found that holding teachers accountable to the local community has scant impact on student learning. Based on a survey of government schools in Karnataka, this column suggests that this need not signal a failure of local accountability. Rather, the issue is that schools are held accountable for student performance on tests that teachers themselves design and administer, and which do not adequately capture learning.
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Did caste-based reservation increase schooling of beneficiaries?
Guilhem Cassan
Posted on: 16/10/2014 00:00:00
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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Where has all the education in India gone?
Scott Fulford
Posted on: 18/09/2014 00:00:00
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


The average years of education per Indian citizen have significantly increased since independence. This column analyses whether the increase in education has led to higher material wellbeing overall. It finds that the increase in education has produced disappointingly small increases in household consumption. The reason appears to be that very few men and hardly any women are in salary employment where the value of extra education is high.
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Do private tuitions improve learning outcomes?
Ambrish Dongre , Vibhu Tewary
Posted on: 13/08/2014 00:00:00
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


About a fourth of the students enrolled in elementary schools in rural India attend private tuitions. This column analyses the impact of private tuition on learning outcomes, and finds that it has a large, positive effect on math and language test scores. The impact is greater for those who are more disadvantaged in terms of learning levels, household’s socio-economic status, and education of parents.
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Improving children’s learning: Challenges and priorities for the new government
Rukmini Banerji
Posted on: 14/07/2014 00:00:00
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


Over the last 15 years, continued effort to universalise access to elementary education in India has resulted in high enrolment rates in schools. Now that most children are in school, policy and planning efforts are beginning to focus on improving their learning levels. This note contends that it is imperative for the new government to maintain, monitor and strengthen this priority and improve mechanisms for achieving learning goals.
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Education for all: Fixing classroom processes
Amarjeet Sinha
Posted on: 11/06/2014 00:00:00
Topics:   Education


While India has achieved near universal enrolment in schools, the quality of education is far from satisfactory. There is an urgent need to change classroom processes to ensure that those who go to school actually learn. In this article, former Principal Secretary, Department of Education, Government of Bihar outlines various initiatives undertaken by the state to address this issue, and makes recommendations based on their experience.
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Quotas and schooling decisions
Gaurav Khanna
Posted on: 03/04/2014 00:00:00
Topics:   Caste , Education


Affirmative action, as an instrument for bridging inequalities across social groups, has been a contentious issue for decades. This column analyses the impact of reservation in public sector jobs and colleges for ‘Other Backward Classes’, implemented in India in the 1990s. It finds that the policy did incentivise beneficiaries to stay in school longer so that they could take advantage of quotas.
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Restoring dignity to the teaching profession in India
Ashish Dhawan
Posted on: 07/02/2014 00:00:00
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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Building an inclusive and high-performing school system
Karthik Muralidharan
Posted on: 29/01/2014 00:00:00
Topics:   Education


Clause 12 of the Right to Education Act aims to reduce social stratification in education by requiring private schools to reserve one-fourth of their seats for economically weaker students, with the government reimbursing their fee up to a maximum of per-child spending in public schools. This column argues that the RTE Clause 12 is an opportunity to build an inclusive and high-performing school system in India, and outlines an implementation protocol for the Clause.
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Understanding the relative effectiveness of government and private schools in India
Karthik Muralidharan
Posted on: 22/01/2014 00:00:00
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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Searching for the ‘silver bullet’: What works in improving children’s learning outcomes?
Rukmini Banerji
Posted on: 06/01/2014 00:00:00
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


Children’s learning outcomes in primary schools in India are far from satisfactory. In this article, Rukmini Banerji explores the various theories of change and associated implementation strategies that are currently at work for improving the status of learning in schools. She discusses the challenges of balancing and prioritising the different theories of change, and translating them into practice on scale.
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An evidence-based proposal to achieve universal quality primary education in India
Karthik Muralidharan
Posted on: 25/11/2013 00:00:00
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


It is well established that learning levels in Indian primary schools are unacceptably low. This column proposes a strategy for achieving universal functional literacy and numeracy for all primary school children in India during the 12th Five-Year Plan that is fiscally sustainable, politically feasible, implementable at scale, and based on interventions proven to be effective by rigorous research on education in India.
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Translating the ‘Right to Education’: Assumptions and reality
Suman Bhattacharjea , Wilima Wadhwa
Posted on: 18/10/2013 00:00:00
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: 07/10/2013 00:00:00
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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What constrained the expansion of education in British India?
Latika Chaudhury
Posted on: 22/07/2013 00:00:00
Topics:   Education


Education and human capital development were neglected in colonial India. This column explores how colonial policies interacted with local conditions to influence the trajectory of Indian education. It finds that public spending on education was inadequate and susceptible to elite capture, and that the lack of focus on education was an important constraint on economic growth in the country during that period.
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Micro-innovations in education
Sharath Jeevan , James Townsend
Posted on: 17/07/2013 00:00:00

The poor quality of school teachers is widely acknowledged as a major obstacle to the educational success of children from low income families. STIR Education visited and spoke to over 3,000 teachers in government and affordable private schools in New Delhi and compiled a list of replicable micro-innovations suggested by them. The exercise demonstrates that if given the opportunity, teachers can be a part of the solution, rather than a barrier to education reform.
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Educating India: Choice, autonomy and learning outcomes
Parth J. Shah
Posted on: 22/05/2013 00:00:00
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: 20/05/2013 00:00:00
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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The push and pull of skilling
Madhav Chavan
Posted on: 22/03/2013 00:00:00
Tags:   training


Vocational training has been centre-stage in policy discussions in India over the past decade. This article discusses the perspectives of and dissatisfaction among the four groups of stakeholders in skill training – government, industry, trainers and potential trainees. It highlights the need for a strong “pull” or demand for training and suggests innovative ways to achieve this.
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Using evidence for better policy: The case of primary education in India
Karthik Muralidharan
Posted on: 18/03/2013 00:00:00
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling


While India has achieved considerable success in increasing primary school enrolment and improving input-based measures of school quality over the past 10 years, learning outcomes continue to be abysmally low. This column synthesises over a decade of research on the challenge of converting increased spending into improved education outcomes and highlights key policy implications.
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Why is poverty declining so slowly in India?
Arka Roy Chaudhuri , Ashok Kotwal
Posted on: 25/02/2013 00:00:00

Despite two decades of fast growth of per capita GDP, India has experienced a very slow decline in poverty. The column suggests that this disconnect between GDP growth and poverty decline can largely be attributed to the positive feedback emanating from a skill biased growth pattern.
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Why Indian education needs to get back to reality
Rukmini Banerji
Posted on: 12/10/2012 00:00:00
Topics:   Education
Tags:   RTE


What is the best advice to give an Indian education department official? This column argues that the best thing officials can do is drop the assumptions and stick to reality – otherwise many children will be missed out and left behind.
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Child malnutrition: Why wealth isn’t the only problem
Nisha Malhotra
Posted on: 08/10/2012 00:00:00
Topics:   Education , Health


Why does child malnutrition persist in India? This column argues that the reason is not limited to poverty or inadequate access to food; but that a lack of knowledge about healthy nutrition plays a vital role.
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How to keep more girls in school? Lessons from Bangladesh
Mushfiq Mobarak
Posted on: 24/09/2012 00:00:00
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: 07/09/2012 00:00:00
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: 18/08/2012 00:00:00

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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Food for thought: On the design of school subsidy programmes
Farzana Afridi
Posted on: 06/08/2012 00:00:00

Despite significant increase in primary school enrollments, student attendance rates are less than 70% in public schools. This column argues that India needs to start evaluating its existing school subsidies systematically. It finds that provision of free cooked meals at schools that are sufficient not just in terms of quantity but also quality and variety will ensure better targeting and help get more children in school.
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