CCS IMPACT: March 2017

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  A Monthly Update on Our Work and Impact


Asia Liberty Award 2017 We are proud to be the recipient of the prestigious Asia Liberty Award 2017! An initiative of the Atlas Network, the award recognises our work in promoting and protecting livelihood freedom, through Jeevika, our Law, Liberty & Livelihood Campaign.

Conceived against a backdrop of continuing debilitating statist regulations that blight the lives of the nation's poor, Jeevika strives to de-regulate and open markets, and promote livelihood opportunities for them. Through research and documentation, stakeholder engagement, effective advocacy, and litigation and legal action, Jeevika seeks to further India’s movement for economic liberalisation, promoting effective reforms for transforming the lives of small entrepreneurs– hawkers, cycle rickshaw pullers, small shop owners and other marginal and small entrepreneurs that continue to drive the country’s economic growth. Jeevika has also served as a platform for our work on the Ease of Doing Business in India, and the Repeal of Laws Project that has had considerable success in encouraging the repeal of select obsolete and inconsistent laws that thwarted individual and economic liberties.

Amit Chandra, Associate Director, CCS received the award on behalf of the Centre at an award ceremony held as a part of the Asia Liberty Forum 2017 in Mumbai.


Asia Liberty Forum 2017The 5th edition of the Asia Liberty Forum 2017 ended with a bang this February, with over 200 change-makers from across 22 countries coming together to brace the call of liberty in this part of the world. We were proud to be the host of the grand event held in Mumbai from 10-11 February in partnership with the Atlas Network and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Aimed at advancing liberty and free markets in the region, the forum brought together the best of the liberal minds in Asia, including intellectuals, think tank leaders, authors, investors, development practitioners and young liberty champions to dialogue and deliberate, build friendships and networks, share ideas and best practices, and to learn and engage with the movement’s most distinguished guardians.

The two day event kickstarted with an impressive opening panel on Winning the Battle of Ideas in a world that continues to witness sweeping violations of fundamental freedoms. The first day of the forum ended with a keynote address by renowned dalit scholar, Chandrabhan Prasad, with critical reflections on markets and human rights in the context of India’s continuing dalit marginalisation. Other highlights included breakout sessions on strategies for advancing economic liberties, effective think tank management and the compatibility of Islam and freedom; the Atlas Network’s Think Tank Shark Tank-Asia competition; and speed-networking. The event came to a close with a gala dinner on the night of 11 February, followed by an earnest tribute to the lost heroes of liberty in 2017, and an address by the Bastiat award-winning journalist, blogger and author Amit Varma on The Landscape of Freedom in India.

For the first time, #AsiaLF17 was also broadcast to an online audience through a livestream on Facebook and Twitter drawing 3983 unique viewers on Facebook and reaching over 10700 twitter users.

Schedule, Panel-briefs and Speaker Profiles | Snapshots | Videos | Media Coverage


BPS Launch The Report on Budget Private Schools in India is our pioneering initiative for furthering a research and evidence-driven dialogue on the role and contributions of BPS in the country. We released the first edition of the report at a grand launch ceremony at the Asia Liberty Forum 2017 in the midst of prominent educationists, practitioners and investors in education from India and abroad. The launch ceremony involved a keynote address by Dr Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, Prominent Educationist and Professor of Education and International Development at the Institute of Education, London University and was followed by a dedicated panel discussion on the role of BPS in meeting the goal of providing an education of choice for all in India. Chaired by Gopal Jain of Gaja Capital, the panel saw a vibrant dialogue between Brajesh Mishra, Varthana; Neil D’Souza, Zaya Learning Labs; Parth J Shah, Centre for Civil Society; and Geeta Gandhi Kingdon.

The report presents research and perspectives from relevant stakeholders in the sector, providing a repository of credible information on BPS in India collected through rigorous research and data analysis. It addresses four core aspects of BPS: demand, supply, ecosystem and regulation through the lens of research, policy and practice.

Want to know more about the report, or book your copy? Write to

Editorial Board and Contributions | Media Coverage | Launch and Panel Video


CCS Alumni RetreatTo mark our 20th anniversary of nurturing young champions of liberty through policy trainings and student outreach programs, we hosted a residential retreat for our alumni from 18-20 February at Zorba the Buddha in Gurgaon. The retreat brought together 46 alumni - graduates of our policy workshops, trainings, and internships  ranging from 1998-2016 batches, and who are currently students or have gone on to make their mark across a spectrum of careers.

The retreat was a jam-packed event full of fun, food, networking, and learning. It involved a variety of interactive engagements including speed networking, faculty and guest speakers’ talks, open spaces for debates and dialogue, idea and project pitches and networking opportunities. Our alumni were joined by 11 prominent speakers—policy experts, development professionals, intellectuals and opinion leaders including Gurcharan Das, Gaurav Dalmia, Rajesh Jain, Shubhashis Gangopadhyay and Ila Patnaik, among others.

To know more about our policy trainings and campus programs, write to

Missed the retreat? Sign up for CCS Connect to stay updated with our forthcoming events.

Snapshots | Event Details

Reaching Out to Young Leaders: ipolicy and Campus Outreach

iPolicyWe conducted ipolicy, our three-day, certificate course in public policy in Delhi this month. As a part of the training, 25 young leaders were introduced to the relevance of the market-liberal perspective in effective policy-making through lectures, dynamic games, text-based discussions and peer-to-peer presentations. A key session on Why is India Poor was conducted by Mohit Satyanand, prominent entrepreneur, investor and policy-wonk.

We love engaging young minds! We have consistently received encouraging feedback from our participants. We scored 3.45 on a 4 point rating scale! Here’s what one of our keen participants had to say:

"ipolicy encouraged me to consider the intersection of free market economics with political and policy institutions. Influential actors other than the government should be involved in policy making. 
- Saksham

iPolicyAs a part of our on-going Campus Talks series, we hosted a policy dialogue at Ashoka University. Shikha Dalmia, Senior Analyst at Reason Foundation delivered a critical lecture on the Malthusian mindset that underlies the reactionary movements of our times. Speaking of the Shiv Sena, Brexit and Donald Trump along these lines, Shikha encouraged a critical reflection on the limits and crisis of this emergent nativism. 75 students participated in the dialogue. Watch the lively dialogue here.

Prashant Narang and Nitesh Anand of CCS also conducted a day-long workshop on critical research methods for the students of the Maharashtra National Law University. The interactive workshop engaged students in understanding and testing tools of social science research, and data collection and analysis. 18 students attended the workshop, along with 3 faculty members and the university Registrar.

Interested in attending the ipolicy? Reach out to, or signup for CCS Connect for updates on our forthcoming programs.


BPSWe have championed the rights of Budget Private Schools (BPS) in India, particularly in wake of the tide of school closures following the passing of the Right to Education Act, 2009. We have also been working towards promoting effective reforms through the New Education Policy through research, advocacy and consensus building. Our mandate has been to work towards promoting choice, accountability and innovation in education in India.

As a part of our on-going work for education policy reform, we met with Shri Nand Kumar, Secretary Education, Maharashtra, to put forth our reform recommendations and build interest in key policy interventions for improving educational outcomes in the state of Maharashtra. Our recommendations emphasised the relevance of Direct Benefit Transfers in the form of school vouchers, the need for linking school recognition to learning outcomes, and for recognising the key role of BPS in improving educational access.

National Independent Schools Alliance | Media Coverage

  • We made big news this month with closing of the Asia Liberty Forum 2017. We received 5 media reports in leading online and print platforms including Swarajya, Business World and News Wire. Swarajya also carried a report on the work of ARCH (Action Research in Community Health and Development) in Gujarat, based on a presentation made by Ambrish Mehta from ARCH on a panel on Property Rights as a Human Right at the Asia Liberty Forum. Read the full article here.
  • The launch of the Report on Budget Private Schools in India was also covered by popular online media portals including Apna Campus and CoreCommunique.
  • We also received considerable media attention for our on-going work on policy reforms in education: The Hindu and Mid-day carried reports on our meeting with Shri Nand Kumar, Secretary Education, Maharashtra and the subsequent concerns of BPS that it raised. NISA’s statement expressing concern over the latest school bus guidelines issued by the CBSE and the need for due subsidies was also covered by Pioneer News and NDTV.
  • We were invited to a radio talkshow on Jnan Taranga FM, Guwahati’s community radio station. The show threw light on regulatory challenges faced by schools in Assam, the significance of involving youth in promoting educational reforms and on the role of BPS in proving education in the state. Along with NISA office bearers, Thomas Anthony participated in the show representing CCS.
  • Parth J Shah, President, CCS authored an article on key reforms for promoting an education of choice in the country. Published in Shiksha Sarthi, the Haryana Government’s educational magazine, the article argues for policy reforms that foster parental choice, school autonomy and effective regulation of schools based on learning outcomes. Read full article here.

See other media stories here


Bhupinder Bhupinder Singh, Manager, Operations
An alumnus of Kurukshetra University, Bhupinder also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from IMT, Ghaziabad. Bhupi brings with him more than twelve years of experience in administrative functions including handling office, Vendors, Server & IT support, Events Support and database management.
Sheetal Sheetal Dua, Field Coordinator, Research
Sheetal is an alumnus of Delhi University and holds an MBA from Maharishi Dayanand University. She has previously worked ASRA (Action for Self-Reliance & Alternatives) as a field coordinator and in the field of Sales & Marketing. Sheetal is keenly interested in education and development practice, and joins as a part of Sandhi, our on-going research pilot.


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