Grievance Redress: Arriving at an impasse?

Posted on:23-06-14

Aishwarya Panicker, Accountability Initiative

Most government services and social sector schemes display a deep polarity in what is professed under particular policies, and what is achieved at the ground level. Widespread implementation failure has given India a unique characterization of being a ‘flailing state’[1] which has attributes of 'a very capable head’ but one which is ‘no longer reliably connected to the arms and legs of implementation’.

Putting the Test to Test: An Analysis of NCERT's National Assessment Survey

Posted on:27-05-14

Avani Kapur, Accountability Initiative

The much awaited results of the 2012 National Achievement Survey (NAS) of Class III and Class VIII students are finally publicly available.[1]  The third round of the survey, conducted as part of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is deemed to be one of the government's most comprehensive educational assessments. The survey collects information about the achievement levels of students in reading, mathematics, science and social science across a sample of government and government-aided elementary schools. Read more »

Structure of Elementary Education in Rajasthan

Posted on:12-05-14

Ram Ratan Jat, Accountability Initiative

राजस्थान में प्रारम्भिक शिक्षा का ढांचा

किसी भी देष या समाज के विकास के लिए शिक्षा मूल आधार हैं। राजस्थान राज्य के निर्माण के बाद राज्य में शैक्षणिक विकास एवं शिक्षा में समानता लाने के लिए एक संरचनात्मक प्रषासनिक ढांचा निर्मित किया गया। जिसका मुख्य उद्वेष्य प्राथमिक शिक्षा का सार्वजनिकरण करके, बिना जाति, लिंग एवं धर्म के भेदभाव के आधार पर सभी कों शिक्षा के समान अवसर उपलब्ध करवाना, प्राथमिक एवं माध्यमिक शिक्षा में गुणात्मक उन्नयन, राष्टंीय शिक्षा नीति एवं राज्य द्वारा घोषित शिक्षा नीति एवं योजनाओं का क्रियान्वयन आदि है। राज्य के विभिन्न जिलों एवं क्षैत्रों में शैक्षणिक स्तर में काफी भिन्नताएं है। Read more »

Pedagogy to train SMC members needs to be Critical Pedagogy

Posted on:22-04-14

Anthony Chettri, Accountability Initiative

Community based organizations such as School Management Committees (SMCs) have a significant role in functioning of schools. The recently introduced RTE Act has made the formation of SMCs mandatory. SMCs, if empowered with proper training based on critical pedagogy, can really play a greater role in school governance. Read more »

How special is Bihar?

Posted on:16-04-14

Amee Misra, Accountability Initiative

Bihar’s Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar has been unrelenting in his pursuit of the “special category” status for the State in recent months – and with elections around the corner, we may not hear the end of it anytime soon. Could it merely be a key poll plank for the party in the upcoming elections or dare we see it as the answer to Bihar’s many development woes? – We explore these questions below. Read more »

Vote on it

Posted on:18-03-14

Smriti Iyer, Accountability Initiative

The 16th Lok Sabha elections are round the corner.  In an attempt to keep up with the times, this blog seeks to provide some insight into voter turnout trends and a theoretical model on what determines an individual’s decision to participate by voting in the election process. Read more »

A Night in the Life of a Delhi Government Hospital

Posted on:03-03-14

Shailey Tucker, Accountability Initiative

Male, mid-thirties, native of Uttarakhand. Upper left arm disfigured due to incorrect vaccination received in childhood. No alcohol or narcotic intake. Working in Delhi since mid-1990s: first as a cycle-rickshaw driver, then construction labour, and finally, since he is growing weaker due to untreated tuberculosis (TB), as a domestic help. Picked up at approximately 8:00pm in a park in Roshan Pura, Old Delhi.

Male, late-thirties, native of Bihar. No visible distinguishing marks. No alcohol or narcotic intake. Working in Delhi since late-1980s as a sewer cleaner. Picked up at approximately 8:15pm as he walked from Old Delhi to Karol Bagh.

The men described above were two homeless men, or “vagabonds” in the Delhi Police’s terminology, whom I encountered on a late Friday night in the Casualty (Emergency Room) of a large government hospital in Delhi. I was there out of curiosity to see what happens during a regular night shift in the Casualty ward of a government hospital. They were part of a group of approximately fifteen men rounded up by the police, as Delhi streets were being swept clean of these vagabonds in an effort to reduce security threats ahead of Republic Day. Read more »

Increasing internet surveillance: online transparency concerns in India

Posted on:26-02-14

Mehjabeen Jagmag, Accountability Initiative

Early this February, internet giants including Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and Twitter made a breakthrough in online transparency laws, pushing the boundaries on how much information they can publish about U.S government requests made to them for data on online customers.  This breakthrough followed Edward Snowden’s disclosure of the mass data gathering exercises orchestrated by the National Security Agency (NSA) last year. The long and heated debate on the lack of transparency in U.S government-initiated internet surveillance mechanisms divided opinion between the right to privacy versus protecting national security.

After a long battle with the government, online companies are now able to report the number of Foreign Surveillance Information Act (FISA) requests and national security letters that they receive from the U.S government. While this is an important step towards beginning to understand the nature of government led surveillance, perhaps ‘breakthrough’ overshoots the definition of what happened in February. Read more »

Do Private Tuitions improve Learning Outcomes?

Posted on:24-02-14

Ambrish Dongre & Vibhu Tewary, Accountability Initiative

Despite increased attention to school based learning over the past decade by policy makers, the ASER reports have shown that the learning levels of children in the Indian education system have remained consistently low and have, in fact, declined over the past 8 years. The latest ASER report shows that only 41% of children in the age group of 6-14 can read a standard 2 text (ASER 2013). Consequently, critical and rigorous analysis of policies surrounding provision of school-based education has received much-deserved attention[1]. In the process, the role of additional educational inputs provided by households, such as private tutoring, has remained neglected. Read more »

Highlights from the Interim Budget 2014-15

Posted on:17-02-14

Avani Kapur and Smriti Iyer, Accountability Initiative

This document highlights the key features of the interim budget 2014-15 that was released on 17th February, 2014.   Read more »