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26 March 2016 26-03-2016

My notes – 26 March 2016

Editorials

Right to education – state vs market, private vs public in the context of Right to Education act -2009 – O4q2

(Right of children for free and compulsory education act 2009)

Access vs quality – learning is better in low cost private schools. But, Private schools are not accessible to the low caste groups.

Quantification – per unit cost of learning outcomes – it is claimed that per unit cost of learning outcomes are lower in private schools. But, it is not always possible to quantify the learning outcomes.  

Objective – private sector schools function with profit motive and often with grossly inadequate infrastructure. There are many hidden costs which are not reflected in the cost of education.

Regulation – RTE norms on infrastructure, children per teacher, teacher qualifications and teacher remuneration all are minimum to run a decent school. It is the responsibility of the state to prescribe these minimum norms.

Marketization of education – It is argued that choices increase in market place and it brings in functional discipline. But, freedom of choice require informed decision making. It is only possible when the system is fair and provides space for it.

Conclusion

The present argument to shift to private market education at the cost of the public schooling system.

But, the real challenge before us is better implementation of the right to education act.

Village electrification – program implementation – E2q2

Deen dayal upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana – As per this program, a village is considered electrified, f public places in the village and 10% of its households have access to electricity.

Information sharing and involvement of citizens – To make the process transparent, real time data on villages being electrified is made available through a mobile app and web based dashboard called GARV.

Alongside, 309 Gram vidyut Abhiyantas were deployed by the Government to monitor the electrification process and to enter the data in to electrification process.

The major challenge here is most of the feedback provided by GVAs on GARV app are not updated regularly and it is leading to a wrong data on the number of villages electrified.

News

WTO issues – E8q4

India has decided to challenge the WTO decision on domestic procurement clause of solar panels.

Indian Express

Aadhar – challenges – o6q3

1)      Constitutional propriety – Aadhar is introduced as a money bill to bypass the Rajya Sabha. As per the art 110(3) though speaker is the final authority to decide on a money bill. But it was always assumed that speaker would make this determination as per the provision of Art 110 of the constitution.

2)      Privacy

Architectural reasons – National security exceptions in the bill are too broad. Determination of what constitutes national security is entirely the responsibility of Bureaucracy and executive.

3)      Accountability of the executive – safeguards against the Bureaucracy are very weak.

4)      The argument made in support of the state is the MNC are given access to private information of the citizens. So, there shall be no objection in giving information to state. Two important issues here are

A)     State is a coercive power

B)     The above argument holds good to regulate the private sector not lowering the privacy standards.

Conflict of Interests – O6q4

The model code of conduct says ministers within two months of assuming office should sever all connections with the conduct and management of any business in which he/she previously had an interest.

But, it is not enforceable, unlike Canada’s conflict of interest act and the USs basic criminal conflict of interest statue which explicitly prohibit public officials from being involved in Government decisions affecting their personal and financial interests.

Existence of conflict of interest can undermine the confidence of the people in the government.

Businessman in the politics can promote the cause of public policy and not their own financial self-interest.

Real estate regulation act – RERA – P16q13

  1. It is intended to protect the home buyers. On the other side it can increase the regulatory burden. Already existing regulatory burden has led to the builder –babu-politician nexus.
  2. Regulation applies only to new properties entering in to the market. Many of the older generation properties are left out of the law.
  3. There is no accountability of the Bureaucracy if i8t fails to provide for No objection certificates.

Over regulation leads to – corruption, increased litigation,

Argument – regulators and regulation can hardly be a substitute for a vibrant and dynamic market.

 

Question of the day

Discuss the merits and demerit of implementation of Right to education through market based mechanisms.  

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