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Research

2019

Given the concerns around information asymmetries facing parents, it is critical to understand why more high-quality affordable schools do not rise in India. In our study we document the entire set of regulatory requirements of the Directorate of Education that must be met to open a school in Delhi. We also attempt to apply the Ease of Doing Business approach of the World Bank to study the process of opening private schools.

To open an unaided non-minority private school in Delhi, educational societies need to fulfill 3 regulatory requirements pertaining to the Directorate of Education.

These are: obtaining an Essentiality Certificate, securing approval for the Scheme of Management and obtaining a Certificate of Recognition.

• Schools need to submit a total of 125 documents to obtain these certifications.

  • – 29 documents are needed for obtaining the Essentiality Certificate, 14 documents for the approval of Scheme of Management, and 82 documents for the Certificate of Recognition.
  • – 10 documents overlap between the required list of documents for the Essentiality Certificate and the Certificate of Recognition.
  • – Out of 14 documents required for the Scheme of Management, 9 documents are already verified before granting the Essentiality Certificate.

• The files for these 3 regulatory requirements move through at least 155 steps within the Directorate of Education and passes through the hands of over 40 officers.

  • – An application for securing the Essentiality Certificate and the Certificate of Recognition moves at least 68 steps, under the best-case scenario where the school has submitted all necessary documents.
  • – Both applications are scrutinised and authorised by at least 16 government officials across 3 different offices of the Directorate of Education.
  • – The application for securing approval of the Scheme of Management moves at least 19 steps and is scrutinised and authorised by at least 8 officials from the Directorate of Education.

 

Circulars and notifications issued by the Directorate of Education suggest that it should take up to 4 months to secure the Essentiality Certificate and the Certificate of Recognition. In a case file we reviewed, the application for the Essentiality Certificate was still awaiting final approval after 14 months. In another case, the application for the Certificate of Recognition was under review for 5 years and was awaiting the approval of the Deputy Director of Education (Zone). In these cases, authorities carried out the necessary inspections again because the validity of the initial inspections was only 1 year. The second inspection took 9 months to complete. Other documents, such as the Water Test Report and the Fire Safety Certificate, expired during this prolonged approval process.

Block Education Officer
Assessment

Implement school quality assessment

District Education Officer
Regulatory
Service Delivery
Compliance
Enforcement
  1. Ensure compliance for school recognition
  2. Power to grant school recognition
  3. Direct parents to send their children to school
  4. Operate finances for educational institutions
  5. Monitor teacher employment in private unaided and aided schools
  6. Monitor finances for self-financed schools
  7. Ensuring compliance in self-financed and private educational institutions apart from those run by local authority
  8. Oversee implementation of SSA
  9. Monitor learning outcomes of students
  1. Conduct inspections for derecognition of schools
  2. Conduct inspections regarding teacher employment in private unaided and aided schools
  1. Prepare schemes to provide compulsory education
  2. Prepare Annual Working Plan and Budget to provide compulsory education
  3. Prepare and monitor teacher trainings
  4. Design interventions to address gaps in learning outcomes
Deputy Director of Education
Regulatory
Service Delivery
Compliance
Enforcement
  1. Monitor teacher employment in private unaided and aided schools
  1. Power to confirm or rescind order forcing parents to send their childrent to school
  2. Conduct inspections regarding capitation fee
  1. Monitor teacher employment in aided schools
Director of Education
Regulatory
Service Delivery
Compliance
Enforcement
Rule-making
  1. Power to grant school recognition
  2. Appoint officers for school education-related matters
  3. Setting standards for instructions, health of school children, and maintaining records
  4. Conduct inspections or call for documents related to primary education by a municipal school board, authorised municipality or any educational institution
  5. Monitor establishment of new schools or upgradation of existing schools
  6. Conduct inspections for schools applying for upgradation
  1. Power to withdraw school recognition
  2. Check powers of municipal school board
  3. Take control of educational institutions that are neglecting their duties or are acting in a detrimental manner to public interest
  4. Monitor pay and allowances of private school employees
  5. Power to revise findings of inquiries in private unaided and aided schools
  6. Conduct inquiry regarding alleged misconduct, misbehaviour or moral turpitude of private school employees
  7. Power to debar private school employees
  1. Plan curriculum for schools
  2. Approve regulations made by Zilla Parishad and municipal school board for school education
  3. Delegate powers and duties to subordinate officers
  1. Oversee decisions of the Administrative Officer for selecting staff in primary education for schools run by authorised municipality and municipal school board
Local Authority
Regulatory
Service Delivery
Compliance
  1. Maintain records of all children in its jurisdisction
  2. Ensure compliance in schools run by local authority
  1. Enrol out-of-school children
  2. Establish schools in a neighbourhood where there are none
  3. Provide transportation and/or residential faciltiies for students going to school
  4. Designate neighbourhood schools
  5. Ensure no child is held from going to school
  6. Create a professional and permanent cadre of teachers
  7. Provide special training for children who were out-of-school
Zilla Parishad
Regulatory
Service Delivery
Enforcement
Rule-making
  1. Direct parents to send their children to school
  1. Make regulations for timings of the schools, powers of the taluka committee, and supply for books, slates, educational requisites, meals, clothes
  1. Control over all approved schools within the district
  2. Provide for the welfare of children attending primary schools
  3. Maintain adequate number of primary schools and establish additional schools, if necessary
  4. Provide transportation and/or residential faciltiies for students
  5. Recommend modifications to the curriculum
Authorised Municipality
Regulatory
Service Delivery
Financing
Enforcement
Rule-making
  1. Direct parents to send their children to school
  1. Make regulations for timings of school, staff employment, administration of primary schools, and supply for books, slates, educational requisities, meals, clothes
  2. Delegate powers and duties to school board, committees, or subordinate officers
  1. Establish a municipal school board
  2. Maintain adequate number of primary schools and establish additional schools, if necessary
  3. Provide transportation and/or residential faciltiies for students
  4. Sanction budget of the municipal school board
  5. Provide for the welfare of children attending primary schools
  6. Manage and control all primary schools under the authorised municipality except those maintained by the State Government
  7. Prepare schemes for expansion of primary education
  8. Maintain adequate staff for administration, management, and control of approved schools
  9. Employ staff for authorised municipality
  10. Prepare schemes for expansion of primary education
  1. Disburse money from the primary education fund
  2. Maintain primary education fund
State Government
Regulatory
Service Delivery
Financing
Compliance
Enforcement
Rule-making
  1. Ensure compliance in schools run by State Government and local authority
  2. Power to grant school recognition
  1. Take final decision on disputes regarding staff employment or control over property
  2. Power to revise orders made by the Administrative Officer, tribunal or the Director of Education
  3. Constitute a Primary Schools Panchayat for trial of parents or people who interfere with children's schooling
  4. Appoint person to prepare scheme, bring it into operation or continue to keep it in operation if authorised municipality defaults
  5. Order municipal school board to perform duty in case it defaults
  6. Conduct inquiry regarding State Government officers in authorised municipality or municipal school board regarding primary education or matters requiring involvement of the State Government
  7. Power to dissolve or supersede municipal school board if it is not performing
  8. Conduct investigation regarding any educational institution being managed in a manner detrimental to public interest
  9. Issue directions after investigation to educational institutions to improve standards for promoting public interest
  10. Direct control of an education institution, acting in a detrimental manner to public interest, to a Society
  11. Serve as apellate authority for educational institutions that the Director has taken over for a limited period
  12. Recover dues from Managements acting in a manner detrimental to public interest in the form of arrears
  13. Take final decision on disputes regarding dues from Managements acting in a manner detrimental to public interest
  14. Constitute School Tribunals for disputes regarding employees of private schools
  15. Direct educational institutions or persons to refund capitation fees
  16. Authorise officers to inspect education institutions or premises belonging to their Managements regarding imposition of capitation fee
  17. Power to withdraw permission for establishing or upgrading a school
  1. Authorise municipalities to control all approved schools within their area
  2. Give municipality the status of authorised or non-authorised
  3. Fix pay and terms of employment for staff maintained by authorised municipalities
  4. Delegate power to appoint Administrative Officer to authorised municipality
  5. Sanction schemes submitted by the Parishad Education Officer and/or authorised municipality
  6. Exempt children of either sex, class or community from the operation of the Maharashtra Primary Education Act, 1947
  7. Appoint officers for superintendence and inspection in primary education
  8. Give all directions considered necessary to Zilla Parishad for primary education
  9. Delegate powers to subordinate officers or authority
  10. Appoint Advisory Committee to advise Administrator in administration and management of educational institution
  11. Give any directions it deems necessary to the Administrator
  12. Regulate tuition or any other fee that may be collected by educational institutions
  13. Appoint Committee to review and if necessary, revise fee structure
  14. Set application fees for registered trusts, societies or local authority wanting to establish or upgrade a school
  15. Grant permission to Management to use endowment fund for meeting liabilities in the form of legal dues
  16. Constitute scrutiny committee for recommending permission to State Government for applicants wanting to establish or upgrade a school
  17. Power to grant permission for establishing or upgrading a school
  18. Issue general or special directions necessary or expedient for establishing or upgrading a school
  19. Modify entries in Schedules for establishing or upgrading a school
  20. Delegate powers to subordinate officers or authority
  21. Power to remove any difficulty arising in giving effect to provisions of Maharashtra Self-Financed Schools Act, 2012 as long as it is consistent with the provisions of the Act
  22. Constitute a Divisional Fee Regulatory Committee in each Education Division
  23. Set up Selection Committee to recommend candidates for Divisional Fee Regulatory Committee
  24. Regulate maintenance of accounts by private educational institutions
  1. Establish a municipal school board
  2. Maintain adequate number of primary schools and establish additional schools, if necessary
  3. Provide transportation and/or residential faciltiies for students
  4. Sanction budget of the municipal school board
  5. Provide for the welfare of children attending primary schools
  6. Manage and control all primary schools under the authorised municipality except those maintained by the State Government
  7. Prepare schemes for expansion of primary education
  8. Maintain adequate staff for administration, management, and control of approved schools
  9. Employ staff for authorised municipality
  10. Prepare schemes for expansion of primary education
  1. Bear half of the additional recurring and non-recurring annual costs of sanctioned schemes for authorised municipality
  2. Reduce annual grants for authorised municipality in case of misuse or misapplication
2019

The Draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019 suggests a revamp of the K-12 education governance in India. It highlights the "deep concentration of power and conflicts of interest" arising from multiple functions performed by the Department of Education alone. A state Department of Education formulates policies, operates schools and regulates private schools. However, limited or no research has been done on the powers and responsibilities of individual functionaries.

Any attempt at functional reorganisation should be based on a clear understanding of the current governance structure. This paper is a step forward in filling this information gap in 2 states—Delhi and Haryana. Through a de jure and de facto analysis, we established a chain of command of the education administration and studied the functions of individual functionaries.

In Delhi, we studied the Delhi School Education Act and Rules (DSEAR) 1973 and the organogram of Directorate of Education—both painted an incomplete picture. The DSEAR 1973 allocates most functions to the "Administrator," "Director" and "Appropriate Authorities" and gives them the power to delegate further. Subordinate legislation does not clearly indicate who these functions are delegated to. Separately, the organogram of Directorate of Education identifies more than 78 functionaries and committees, but largely shows geographical responsibilities and not functional responsibilities or reporting lines. From interviews with 20 officials, we identified functionaries not mentioned in the rules or the organogram and built the reporting line for the Directorate of Education. We also found that ex-principals of government schools are appointed as DDEs (District and Zone) where they address complaints against principals of other government schools, risking violation of natural justice.

In Haryana, the Haryana School Education (HSE) Act 1995 and Rules 2003 distribute powers to functionaries in greater detail than the DSEAR 1973. However, this rule-set authorises the state government to delegate powers and functions further without specifying which officers receive what responsibilities. Moreover, the organogram of the Department of School Education in Haryana is outdated as it still assigns responsibilities for implementing Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan or Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan instead of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan. Furthermore, neither the legislation nor the organogram includes the Deputy District Education Officer (DDEO) who reports to the District Education Officer (DEO) in reality. The DDEOs that we interviewed executed different responsibilities, and, sometimes, held conflicting functions of implementing Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan and enforcing regulations on private schools.

To execute thoughtful separation of powers in K-12 governance as recommended by the Draft NEP, we must understand how the current administrative machinery performs all its functions to reengineer business processes with minimal disruption. This study is a start in that direction.

2019

An estimated one crore people in India rely on street vending for their livelihoods, supplying affordable and essential goods to the public and contributing directly to economic growth. However, they operate in public spaces over which different stakeholders claim contrasting and competing interests. In addition, a lack of clarity on their rights encourages informal governance and allows local authorities to benefit from flourishing channels of rent-seeking.

The Central Government, in a landmark event, enacted the Street Vendors Act 2014 with the objective of protecting and regulating the street vendors of the country. The Act mandates states to create rules, schemes and local governance structures, in consonance with the spirit of the Central Act, to legitimize the rights of vendors.

This report evaluates the progress made in institutionalizing mechanisms to protect and regulate vending since the past four years. There are three parts to the report: a look at the interpretation of the Act by the Higher Courts, a statistical capture of the progress by states in implementing the Act, and a case study of two urban cities to explore how the new Act is reshaping urban space management.

Through an analysis of 57 court judgements, RTI responses on 11 questions from 30 states, and review of orders and meeting minutes of 2 Town Vending Committees, we found that the Act notwithstanding, vendors continue to be excluded from critical urban space management decisions. Four years after enactment, progress across the board on implementing the mandate of the Act is sluggish.

2019

Monitoring child progress for school accountability and reducing information asymmetries for parents
The debate on low learning levels has spurred several actions by the state. India has enrolled to participate in the 2021 round of PISA. The NCERT has defined grade level learning outcomes for languages (Hindi, English, Urdu), mathematics, environmental studies, science and social science up to the elementary stage. NITI Aayog is developing an index to `institutionalise the focus on improving education outcomes' including learning, equity and access based on information generated by NAS, the largest national assessment survey in the country. NAS coverage has been expanded to include government-aided schools and the sampling unit is changed from state to district level. The moot question is: Are these reforms sufficient to bring improvement across schools or are we still just tinkering at the edges?

Taking note of the crisis and recent developments, this brief urges the government to use the power of information to strengthen its ability to hold individual schools accountable, parents' ability to choose, and schools' ability to improve.

For more information on the project, to share your feedback or to get involved, get in touch with us at research_feedback@ccs.in.

2019

The debate on low learning levels has spurred several actions by the state. India has enrolled to participate in the 2021 round of PISA. The NCERT has defined grade level learning outcomes for languages (Hindi, English, Urdu), mathematics, environmental studies, science and social science up to the elementary stage. NITI Aayog is developing an index to `institutionalise the focus on improving education outcomes' including learning, equity and access based on information generated by NAS, the largest national assessment survey in the country. NAS coverage has been expanded to include government-aided schools and the sampling unit is changed from state to district level. The moot question is: Are these reforms sufficient to bring improvement across schools or are we still just tinkering at the edges?

Taking note of the crisis and recent developments, this brief urges the government to use the power of information to strengthen its ability to hold individual schools accountable, parents' ability to choose, and schools' ability to improve.

For more information on the project, to share your feedback or to get involved, get in touch with us at research_feedback@ccs.in.

2019

An estimated one crore people in India rely on street vending for their livelihoods, supplying affordable and essential goods to the public and contributing directly to economic growth. However, they operate in public spaces over which different stakeholders claim contrasting and competing interests. In addition, a lack of clarity on their rights encourages informal governance and allows local authorities to benefit from flourishing channels of rent-seeking.

The Central Government, in a landmark event, enacted the Street Vendors Act 2014 with the objective of protecting and regulating the street vendors of the country. The Act mandates states to create rules, schemes and local governance structures, in consonance with the spirit of the Central Act, to legitimize the rights of vendors.

This report evaluates the progress made in institutionalizing mechanisms to protect and regulate vending since the past four years. There are three parts to the report: a look at the interpretation of the Act by the Higher Courts, a statistical capture of the progress by states in implementing the Act, and a case study of two urban cities to explore how the new Act is reshaping urban space management.

Through an analysis of 57 court judgements, RTI responses on 11 questions from 30 states, and review of orders and meeting minutes of 2 Town Vending Committees, we found that the Act notwithstanding, vendors continue to be excluded from critical urban space management decisions. Four years after enactment, progress across the board on implementing the mandate of the Act is sluggish.

 

2018

In 2014, Government of India (GoI) made it a policy priority to improve the business environment in the country. This prioritisation derived from India's lacklustre performance on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index that ranks 190 countries on their business regulatory environment. Since 2003, the World Bank has measured the time, cost and regulation of entry, operation and exit for firms, and ranked countries based on these measurements and government reporting. In addition, in 2017 the IDFC Institute conducted an enterprise survey of over 3,000 manufacturing firms across India, to assess the business regulatory environment 'from the viewpoint of manufacturing firms'. However, these studies have significant gaps.

First, we do not have a deep understanding of the substantive and qualitative changes undertaken by different states. Second, ubiquitous urban services provided by micro, small and medium enterprises have found short shrift in the reporting on business climate reforms. Third, none of the studies give us a sense of the next granular steps in the reform process. Our Doing Business in Delhi addresses some of these questions. It studies the regulatory barriers to operate restaurants, meat shops and e-waste recycling plants in Delhi, and evaluates the business reforms conducted between 2016 to 2018.

2018

Different state governments of India have notified through Government Orders (GOs) the amount they will pay out in reimbursement to private schoolsfor each RTE child the school admits. For example, Tamil Nadu has fixed the reimbursement amount at Rs. 2351 per pupil per month; Delhi at Rs 2225, Himachal at Rs. 1593, Uttarakhand at Rs 1380, Karnataka at Rs. 1333, Rajasthan at Rs 1252, Bihar at Rs. 465, and Uttar Pradesh at Rs 450 per month per child. These amounts are meant to represent the states’ per pupil expenditure in their respective government elementary (primary + upper primary) schools. However, there has been some doubt and dismay about the accuracy of these estimates, and also some research estimating per pupil expenditures in the different states of India in Dongre and Kapur (2016), World Bank (2016) and NIPFP (2017).

The NIPFP (2017) found that the Uttar Pradeshgovernment’s actual per pupil expenditure in 2014-15 on its government and aided schools was Rs. 1529 per month. If this Rs.1529 estimate were to be inflated up to 2018-19 by 10% per annum, the per pupil expenditure today would be equivalent to Rs. 2239 per month on account of the increase in expenditure alone. If the fall in enrolment from 2014-15 to projected enrolment in 2018-19 is taken into consideration, then the average per pupil expenditure as per NIPFP would be Rs.2652 per month in 2018-19. This can be compared with the Rs. 450 pm upper limit of reimbursement set by the Uttar Pradesh government in June 2013, which has remained at the same level until 2018-19.

This short paper seeks to estimate the per pupil expenditure in government elementary schools in Uttar Pradesh using the government’s own expenditure data and enrolment data.

2018

Called “Faces of Budget Private Schools,” the BPS report 2018 is an attempt to explore both the data on the current education challenges and needs and also bring to light individual stories from the stakeholders in the system to set the data in perspective.

The Report consists of 3 main sections, which looks at 'Reach and diversity', 'Solving the problem of quality' and 'Educating children for an uncertain future'.

 
2018

Separation of Powers is one of the foremost principles of good governance, and states that the rule-maker, rule-executor and adjudicator should be distinct from each other. Such a separation installs checks against conflicts of interest and abuse of power by regulatory authorities and increases institutional accountability for outcomes.

We need to separate the functions exercised in governing the school education sector of India, particularly at the state level. A state government's Education Department is responsible for the construction of schools, teacher hiring and management, distribution of funds for school activities and formulation of state-level education policy.

The blueprint identifies three key-problems with the current governance structure:

  • Violation of natural justice;
  • Ineffective performance monitoring and rule compliance; and
  • Differential laws for government and private schools.

To address these three problems, the blueprint proposes separating the functions of service-delivery, assessment of learning outcomes, and adjudication of disputes (from the state departments of education) into three independent bodies.