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CCS Reform Ideas


Centre for Civil Society

January 2016


In keeping with the Directive Principles in the Constitution of India, the government has been working towards providing universal access to and participation in education. The government has since endeavoured to build a National System of Education through certain instruments of large public purpose schemes that include several influential and high-level expert committee reports, two National Policies and an Action Plan on Education that built on each of these, an earmarked cess to fund education, and lastly passing the Right to Education Act.

Each of these instruments helped tackle a particular contemporary challenge, be it access to primary education, increasing school enrolments especially for underprivileged communities, creating distinct financial support and funding streams for public schooling, or reducing inequities in access through physical infrastructure and financial incentives. The government has built a formidable institutional architecture around the overarching goal of a National Education System comprising curriculum development, research & planning, and teacher training. Each measure has brought us a step closer to universal education, mass literacy, and skilling of the general population.

The previous National Policy on Education (NPE) was passed in 1986, and amended in 1992. The 1986 Policy was an outcome of a review of National Policy of Education 1968, conducted at the time of Parliamentary Budget Session of 1985. This policy focused on universal access, enrolment and retention particularly among disadvantaged segments, and achieving essential levels of learning. In 1992, NPE 1986 was modified into the National Programme of Action following the recommendations of the Ramamurthy Committee and the J N Reddy Committee. 23 years after the National Programme of Action, India is gearing up for a New Education Policy.


  1. Progress on Education: High Enrolment, High Drop-outs and Low Learning Levels
  2. Change in Context: High Aspiration, Preference for English Education, Willingness to Pay
  1. Missing Motivation for Performance in Government Schools
  2. Low Economic Efficiency of Public Expenditure in Education
  3. Expanding Private Schools amid Uncertain and Counter-productive Regulatory Framework
  1. An Idea Shift: Paradigm Change instead of Intensification of Effort
  2. System Shift: Evolve towards Decentralisation, Competition and Parental Choice
  3. In-School Shift: Encouraging School Autonomy, Leadership and Customised Teaching
  4. Minimum Government, Maximum Governance in Education: * Key Values, * Principles, * and Policy Suggestions as per the MHRD NEP Themes
  1. 3 Values and 5 Principles
  2. 10 Reforms in the Education System
  3. 6 Reforms for Schools and Students
  4. 6 Reforms for Teachers and Principals

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