Wednesday, July 27, 2016

National Policy on Education 2016: A critical note

Saqib Khan


The National Policy on Education (NPE), first initiated in 1968, remains a key action-plan for education in India and each NPE has provided a framework for the development of education over the next few years in the country.[1] The NPE 2016 [Draft][2] seeks to address both the unfinished agenda and targets of the earlier NPEs and the contemporary educational challenges. Though some provisions of the NPE 2016 have been discussed, few have taken a closer look at its points and recommendations relating to education in general as well as school and higher education. Taking up some of the important among these, this article argues that there seems to be an element of continuity as well as change in the NPE 2016. While the continuity can be seen with regard to the commitment (in terms of policy) to public expenditure on education, the Policy’s ideological moorings as well as the focus of education in general see an important shift. The Policy leaves many unanswered questions with regard to school education, while focusing on quality, a gradual reduction of the role of government and curbing student politics in higher education.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Can the Subaltern Plan?: Planning from Below: an Elusive Goal in India

Debraj Bhattacharya

Planning from below (PFB) in India has a long history going back to experiments by Ajit Narayan Bose in Medinipur district of West Bengal in the eighties (Bose 2000). However except for Kerala to some extent, planning from below has remained an elusive goal for most parts of India. We are yet to achieve a method that is simple enough for poor, semi-educated villagers to work with. The villagers can of course plan; they are constantly planning for their households and also for community festivals but the paper work of the official planning experiments often prove to be beyond their capacity. We are yet to arrive at the golden mean between the informal thought processes of the subaltern and the elite expert planners’ love for data and exhaustive formats.