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New education policy will be cooperative federalist in spirit: Smriti Irani

new education policy

New Delhi: The new education policy which is under consideration will be cooperative federalist in spirit. Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani on Friday said while addressing a session at ‘Agenda Aaj Tak’.

The process of consultation on new education policy has followed the spirit of cooperative federalism,

The minister said ‘No detention’ policy in schools was also being discussed as it has its own “challenges”.

Asked about the introduction of the Bhagavad Gita in schools, Irani remarked that she teaches her kids the Gita herself and does not rely upon the schools for it.

The first school for kids is their home with parents as teachers. It’s not fair to say only school has a role in (a) child’s development,

Responding to a question on many writers and leaders pointing to a rising “intolerance” in the country, she said the individuals returning awards never did the same when they were instances of violence when Congress was in power. (IANS)

(Picture Courtesy:indiatoday.intoday.in)

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Patanjali targets will reach 1 Lakh Crore Production by 2020, says Yoga guru turned businessman Baba Ramdev

Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev, Youtube

New Delhi, Dec 6 : Yoga guru turned businessman Ramdev on Tuesday said his FMCG venture Patanjali Ayurved is targeting to shore up its production to Rs one lakh crore by 2020.

“Patanjali has been registering 100 percent growth for the last four years and this year too we have been growing at the same pace. Our target is to take our inhouse production to Rs 50,000 crore in the next two-three years and ultimately reach the target of Rs one lakh crore by 2020,” Ramdev said at the ‘Agenda Aaj Tak’ event here.

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The aim to end the hegemoney of international companies on the Indian economy, he said.

“Our imports consist of over Rs 25 lakh crore while another Rs 25 lakh crore is taken away by foreign companies. If we need to break this hegemoney and our dependence on foreign companies, we need in house prodcution of at least Rs.100 lakh crore. Our endeavour is to create and promote Indian entreprenurship,” said Ramdev.

While hailing the Narendra Modi government’s move to demonetise higher denomination notes, Ramdev said it was essential to continue taking further steps to check and prevent corruption and black money.

“Demonetisation has broken the back of terrorism and Naxalism (Maoism) as their entire funding was in black money. This move will effectively address the issue of black money. However, the government should continue to take further steps to ensure black money does not make a comeback to the system,” he said.

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Admitting that demonetisation has caused hardships for the common people, Ramdev said: “Maybe there was needed some more preparation for implementing the scheme but at the same time, it could have lead to leaking of information and the entire exercise would have failed.”

He also said that the government needed to reconsider its decision to introduce the Rs 2,000 notes. (IANS)

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‘Need a revolution in Indian education system’

Image: Sapan Kapoor, NewsGram

New Delhi: Taking a dim view of the ‘faulty’ Right to Education Act 2009, the seventh School Choice National Conference in the national capital on Saturday demanded a new ‘Right to Quality Education Act 2016’ so as to ensure imparting of quality education not just by private unaided schools but also by government schools.

This comes as the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) is currently developing the New Education Policy (NEP) in a bid to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge to eliminate the shortage of manpower. The last NEP was brought out in 1986 and later amended in 1992.

Slamming the Central Government for ignoring the deteriorating standard of education in its own schools, the distinguished speakers were unanimously of the view that since the adoption of our Constitution, the universal right of every Indian to have access to quality education has remained a privilege for only those who can afford it by sending their children to fee-charging private schools.

“Right to Education (RTE) has totally failed… We need a revolution in our education system,” R C Jain, President of National Independent School Alliance and Delhi State Public Schools’ Management Association said at the Conference organized at the India Habitat Centre.

“Up until now I have written over 10,000 letters all over India talking about the lacunas in the RTE Act. Moreover, I represent around 4,000 schools in Delhi. They regret that they came to this field and I understand their pain… At least, give teachers the respect they deserve,” Jain said, adding, “The government should not impose rules and restrictions on the private schools, for it is important to keep their autonomy intact.”

ALSO READ: ‘Can’t recommend higher education in Indian languages’

The Quality Education Forum of India has also written a petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that comes down heavily on the RTE Act 2009, seeking a new ‘Right to Quality Education Act 2016’.

“What we would like to see is in the New Education Policy is that we have not essentially focused much on the quality of education. We have talked about and somewhat addressed the access issue by looking at the enrollment numbers. We have somewhat managed to solve the equity issue, which could be social or gender equity. Now we have to move the discourse towards the quality of education,” Rohan Joshi, the Head of the Research vertical of Centre for Civil Society, told NewsGram.

Joshi said the parental choice was a very important factor in education.

Do parents have the choice to choose the right school for their children? This includes essentially the poor parents who can make rational choices. Do they have the opportunity to exercise the choices, the choice between government school or private schools, low-cost private schools or high-cost private schools?

“The Government should facilitate parental choice and not regulate it. The policy should actually create a roadmap on how they can facilitate choices in education, in particularly, strengthen the parental choice. There are ways to do it. How we expect the government to do it? They should create information dissemination platforms where the parents can get information regarding different kinds of schools available to them… The government should also fund students who attend the schools of their choice. It could be a government school. It could be a private school.”

The New Education Policy ought to focus upon, Joshi said, transparency as well. How can they make the entire process of delivery and regulation of education far more transparent?

Another expectation from the policy is the overall change in the role of government in education.

“Currently, government supplies and provides education through running its own schools. Government funds education by the means of scholarships or 25% reservation for children to attend private schools. So they also play a role of financier. The third role that they also play is of making rules for the entire sector. The Government needs to separate out these three roles. The Government should have same rules for government schools in terms of RTE compliance or opening or closing of the school as they have for private schools. The regulatory body itself should comprise government as well as some representation of academicians or experts so that there is some pragmatic approach to the regulation. That role needs to be separated out.

“And financing should happen on the basis of actual expenditures and the cost should be calculated as well as expenditure should happen on the basis of per child expenditure and not funding the institutions that is schools because we know from data number of government schools actually have enrollment below twenty. Is it really worthwhile to run schools with so low enrollments something which we need to look at closely.”

One of the primary expectations is that the education policy should not just focus on solving the problems but also should look in the future and plan for next 20 years, he said. They have to envisage a greater role for technology in education because technology in the past 20 years has practically entered into every other field and has revolutionized every other field, except education sector. The government must promote technology and innovation.

“We really want the government to make the draft public and give enough time to the people to critique it and make their suggestions as the future of India’s children is at stake.”

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‘Higher education in Indian languages aspirational’

Rohan Joshi, first from the left (Image: Sapan Kapoor, NewsGram)

New Delhi: In a bid to propose improvements to the New Education Policy that the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) is currently developing to make India a knowledge superpower, seventh School Choice National Conference took place in the national capital on Saturday. NewsGram spoke to Rohan Joshi, the Head of the Research vertical of Centre for Civil Society, on the need to provide education to children in Indian languages.

We also asked him whether his organization would urge the government to work in this direction in the future. Joshi said they would not recommend the government to have higher education in mother tongues although it was “certainly aspirational.”

The School Choice is an initiative of Centre for Civil Society to advocate element of competition in education space through policy reform and create an environment where every child has the Right to Education of Choice.

Here’s the interview with Rohan Joshi.

Q: Studies show that children learn the best in their mother tongue. If a child in South Korea can become a doctor after studying in Korean, why cannot a boy in a Tamil Nadu hamlet become one after studying in Tamil? What are your views on this?

Ans: It’s not a factual statement to make that children are not learning in their mother tongues because apart from a few states we actually don’t have government English medium schools. So the children who attend the government schools essentially study in the vernacular medium that is in their mother tongue at primary level.

Q: That’s at the primary level. Why should not they get the chance to pursue higher studies in their mother tongues? Why can’t students learn science in their own languages?

Ans: The clear issue here is having that curriculum developed in mother tongues. We ought to remember that this also has a correlation with livelihoods of the people because what happens is that at the primary stage it is more about the acquisition of competency, skills and knowledge. However, as you go towards higher education it starts getting far more driven by livelihood like what do they earn out of it.

And unfortunately, or fortunately, the language of transaction and livelihood at the moment is English. And it is actually true about a lot more other countries, not just India, where we can see a clear shift towards English medium education. I am just not talking about developing countries here but also about developed countries. For instance, in Spain and Italy where knowledge is available in Spanish and Italian, the conspicuous shift is towards English medium education.

Q: But countries like China seem to be doing pretty well by learning in their own language.

Ans: If you look at overall data China is an outlier. China is not a standard example because a shift is happening towards English there as well. Is it good or bad? I would say if it is serving the purpose and as you move up the education ladder the parental expectation is that children should be equipped with necessary skills for the job roles they would be performing in the near future.

Q: New Education Policy aims to provide affordable, quality education to all the children of India, irrespective of their backgrounds. How can a costly English education achieve this purpose?

Ans: It is not that English education is costly. Higher education, in general, is expensive. So even if it is a vernacular medium education, there’s no guarantee that it is going to be cheap.

Q: Should we make a shift towards learning in our mother tongues instead of a foreign language like English?

Ans: No, I do not think English is a foreign language anymore in India because we have pretty much internalized it. It is not this or that. You can actually teach both, English and mother tongue. Human beings are multilingual creatures and are capable of learning many languages. Is higher education in mother tongue good? Is it aspirational? It is certainly aspirational. I am not saying children should not have education in the mother tongue; they must have an option. At the same time making it compulsory is not the way because then you try to force it upon parents who do not seem to be willing for this at the moment.

Q: Would you recommend the government to chalk out a plan to have education in Indian languages?

Ans: For higher education ‘no’ and for school education definitely ‘yes’. As for higher education, it is not because we do not want to, but because that is not a concern for us. It’s an aspiration. We understand that people want their language to advance. The issue is we put too much burden on education to serve all the purposes. For instance, if people wish to show love for their language, it can also happen outside schools. Isn’t it?

We would like the New Education Policy to focus on the quality of education among other things. That is the need of the hour.

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