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  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This brief presents some of the key effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on India’s public school education, focussing specifically on children. It begins with a discussion of the pre-pandemic status of school education and key policy shifts over the past few years, and provides an overview of the principal issues arising from the pandemic and the resulting school closures. It then offers potential policy suggestions to address these challenges, and thereby ensuring quality education to all children.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Children, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Tony Cavoli, Ilke Onur, Patricia Sourdin
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Using the World Bank’s Global Findex data, this research first shows that the efforts by the Indian Government and the Reserve Bank have been successful in providing access to formal banking services, especially in the rural areas of the country. Similarly, financial account ownership gap has been eliminated in terms of gender and income. Further analysis, using the Financial Inclusion Insights dataset, shows that financial inclusion has a positive and significant effect on reducing poverty in India. A closer look at the utilisation of the financial accounts shows that active usage of these accounts would lead to further reductions in poverty levels in India. Therefore, targeted programmes, such as offering financial education both in and outside schools, with the aim of improving financial literacy, could lead to further poverty reduction in India.
  • Topic: Education, Poverty, Finance, Banks
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Shamindra Nath Roy, Partha Mukhopadhyay
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: India is one of the lowest globally in terms of female labour force participation (FLFP), ranking only better than Pakistan in South Asia. While the decline in FLFP in rural areas is starkly visible, the urban FLFP has been consistently low since the 1980s despite higher economic growth and increasing level of education among females. The economic cost of such low FLFP (16.8%) is huge and if, for instance, it could be raised to the level of FLFP in China (61.5%), it has the potential to raise India’s GDP up to 27%. This paper attempts to investigate the structural deficiencies behind this consistently low urban FLFP through a variety of perspectives, ranging from measuring the complexity of women’s work to the implications of caste, location and family structure. It finds factors like presence of female-friendly industries, provision of regular salaried jobs and policies that cater to women’s needs to work near home like availability of part-time work, can improve the situation, though prejudices arising from patriarchy require to be addressed to make these measures truly transformative and not palliative.
  • Topic: Education, Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Inequality, Economy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Ritwik Shukla
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Integrated Child Development Services is Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship programme aimed at providing basic education, health, and nutrition services for early childhood development. This brief uses government data to analyse ICDS performance along the following parameters: Allocations, releases, and expenditures, Component-wise trends, Human and physical resources, Coverage, and Malnutrition status.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Budget, Children, Food Security, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Mridusmita Bordoloi, Avani Kapur
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Samagra Shiksha – An Integrated Scheme for School Education is Government of India’s (GoI’s) school education programme extending from pre-school to senior secondary classes. The scheme was launched in April 2018 to ensure equitable and inclusive quality education. The three erstwhile schemes brought under Samagra Shiksha are: Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA); Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA); and Teacher Education (TE).
  • Topic: Education, Government, Budget, Children, Youth
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Sharad Pandey, Avani Kapur
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The National Programme of Mid-Day Meals in School (MDM) scheme is Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship school-based feeding programme aimed at improving the nutritional status of students and promoting the universalisation of elementary education. Using government data, this brief reports on trends for MDM performance along the following parameters: Overall trends in allocations, releases and expenditures; Expenditure performance on key MDM components such as food grains, cooking costs, honorarium to cook- cum-helper (CCH), traveling assistance and monitoring, management and evaluation; Progress on construction of kitchen-cum-stores, and; Coverage as indicated through the provision of meals to students.
  • Topic: Education, Government, Children, Food Security, Youth
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Mridusmita Bordoloi, Sharad Pandey, Ruchi Junnarkar
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Case Study
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This study is an attempt to provide an in-depth understanding of school education financing in India through an analysis of expenditures incurred across eight states from FY 2014-15 to FY 2017-18.
  • Topic: Education, Governance, Finance, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Santiago Cueto, Claudia Felipe, Juan Leon
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE)
  • Abstract: In this paper the authors utilize the five rounds of Young Lives household surveys across four countries (Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam) to study the characteristics of children who had dropped out of school by 22 years of age. While most children in the longitudinal sample go to primary school, they tend to drop out more often and earlier in Ethiopia. In India most children complete the early grades of school but drop out later, particularly in grades 11 and 13. Researchers find that in all countries, except Vietnam, there is a considerable number of children who drop out of school but at some point return to it, either to complete secondary or drop out again. The reasons provided by children for dropping out across the countries are oftentimes related to poverty: for example, the need to work, or care or provide for family. The multivariate analysis shows that indeed in many cases the wealth level of the family at an early age predicts later dropout, as does maternal education level, students’ early skills and residence in certain regions of each country. There are also some variations across countries; for example, boys are more likely to drop out of school in Ethiopia and Vietnam, and children who have repeated a grade are more likely to drop out of school in Peru. However, having high educational aspirations at early ages seems to be a protective factor against dropping out. This suggests that the value that children place on education may be an important preventative factor against dropping out. Overall, these results suggest the need to act early through education and social protection interventions to target young children who are at risk of dropping out, and the follow their trajectories, providing support as needed to specific groups and even individuals, so that all children may fulfill their right to complete at least secondary education.
  • Topic: Education, Children
  • Political Geography: Africa, India, Asia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Peru
  • Author: Cheng Jing
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: Attracting international students is an important way to promote the internationalization of one country’s higher education, and to enhance youth and education exchanges between countries. As the biggest developing country in world, China has attachedimportance to the international students education in China since 2010 so as to improve the quality of China’s higher education and promote its internationalization. What’s striking is that in September of 2010, for the first time, the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of Chinafrom the perspective of national strategymapped out a plan targeting the international students educationin China, and releasedStudy in China Program, which was designed to “promote the communication and cooperation between China and other countries in education, promptthe sustainable and healthy development of the international students education in China and improve the internationalization of Chineseeducation”. This program highlightedthat China would“accelerate the quota of scholarship step by step in accordance with the need of national strategy and development”, with the targets of attracting 500,000 international students by 2020 and “making China the top destination country in Asia for international students”(China’s Ministry of Education, 2010:647).
  • Topic: Education, International Political Economy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Maryam Akmal, Lant Pritchett
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for education include the goal that “all youth...achieve literacy and numeracy” (Target 4.6). Achieving some absolute standard of learning for all children is a key element of global equity in education. Using the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) data from India and Pakistan, and Uwezo data from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda that test all children of given ages, whether in school or not, on simple measures of learning in math, reading (local language), and English, we quantify the role of achieving equality between the richest 20% and the poorest 40% in terms of grade attainment and learning achievement toward accomplishing the global equity goal of universal numeracy and literacy for all children. First, excluding Kenya, equalizing grade attainment between children from rich and poor households would only close between 8% (India) and 25% (Pakistan) of the gap to universal numeracy, and between 8% (Uganda) and 28% (Pakistan) of the gap to universal literacy. Second, children from the poorest 40% of households tend to have lower performance in literacy and numeracy at each grade. If such children had the learning profiles of children from rich households, we would close between 16% (Pakistan and Uganda) and 34% (India) of the gap to universal numeracy, and between 13% (Uganda) and 44% (India) of the gap to universal literacy. This shows that the “hidden exclusion” (WDR, 2018) of lower learning at the same grade levels—a gap that emerges in the earliest grades—is a substantial and often larger part of the equity gap compared to the more widely documented gaps in enrollment and grade attainment. Third, even with complete equality in grade attainment and learning achievement, children from poor households would be far from the equity goal of universal numeracy and literacy, as even children from the richest 20% of households are far from universal mastery of basic reading and math by ages 12-13. Achieving universal literacy and numeracy to accomplish even a minimal standard of global absolute equity will require more than just closing the rich-poor learning gap, it will take progress in learning for all.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Sustainable Development Goals, Language
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Kenya, Africa, Middle East, India, Asia, Tanzania
  • Author: Rajika Bhandari
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: The global movement of postsecondary students is a remarkably unidirectional phenomenon: students from the developing world, or Global South, take their knowledge and talents to the developed world, or the Global North. This is particularly true for countries such as India and China. Framed by the broader issues of access and equity within postsecondary education and released on the occasion of the fourth IC3 Conference in Mumbai, India, on August 28, 2019, the current report raises the following questions: Are the current global flows of students advantaging wealthier nations over developing ones? Are students from the developing world returning at higher rates to their countries of origin? How do we ensure that the mobility of students and talent is based on principles of access, equity and inclusiveness, both at the individual student level and at a national level? While it is not the goal of this report to suggest that the north-to-south flow of students should be reversed or that countries in the Global South would even have the capacity to host large volumes of international students, the report does argue that when it comes to international student recruitment policies, host countries in the Global North need to consider how to balance their own needs to fill critical knowledge and skill gaps by attracting global talent with the needs of developing countries to retain their valuable human capital. Thus, the report proposes solutions for programmatic and national-level initiatives to create a balance between the home and host countries of globally mobile students. Read the full report to view key findings and to learn more about the IIE Center for Academic Mobility Research and Impact.
  • Topic: Education, Mobility, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia, Global South
  • Author: Mirka Martel
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: The second report from our 10-year impact study of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP), Social Justice Leaders in Actionprovides an in-depth look at the lives and careers of IFP alumni in three Asian countries—India, Indonesia, and the Philippines—detailing the different pathways alumni have taken and the ways they have leveraged their skills and networks to effect change. Drawing upon focus groups and interviews with 274 IFP alumni and community stakeholders, this qualitative research highlights the stories behind the numbers shared in the study’s first report, Social Justice and Sustainable Change: The Impacts of Higher Education, released in April 2016. The findings from Social Justice Leaders in Action provide insights not only at how life-altering IFP was at an individual level, but how that transformative power extends through alumni to their organizations, communities, and societies.
  • Topic: Education, Social Justice, Higher Education, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, India, Asia, Philippines, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Kamal Ud Din, Mir Waheed Akhlaq
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: English language has been playing many roles in the overall social development of the subcontinent at the same time being a controversial issue in terms of a threat to the local languages. Democracy as worldwide accepted way of political structure, its basic values and principles come through English language education into South Asia. Since education system, in any country, provides the input to the political system, thus, if the democratic political system is a common desire, the first aspect to work on must be the educational institutions. However, struggle towards democracy has been an emerging phenomenon in the overall scenario of South Asia, and English language as official language and language of education has been playing its role in it, which is not well explored. On the basis of latest research studies, a comparison has been drawn between the three important countries in order to explore what and how English language plays its role in spreading and practicing the democratic principles and values in the educational institutions.
  • Topic: Democratization, Education, Multiculturalism, Language
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Asia, India, Punjab
  • Author: Mridusmita Bordoloi, Ritwik Shukla
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This paper attempts to add to the given literature by undertaking a detailed analysis of school consolidation process in Rajasthan. It seeks to answer the following questions:- First, what are the specific criteria and conditions for closure of schools and their consolidation with other schools and whether they were adhered to by the state administration? Second, whether school consolidation led to improvements in enrolment, availability of teachers, and essential school infrastructure facilities as mandated by the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2010.
  • Topic: Education, Infrastructure, Social Policy, Legislation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Ritwik Shukla
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Integrated Child Development Services is the Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship programme aimed at providing basic education, health, and nutrition services for early childhood development. This brief uses government data to analyse ICDS performance along the following parameters: Allocations, releases, and expenditures; Component-wise trends; Human and physical resources; Coverage, and Outcome.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government, Health, Budget, Children
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Jajati Parida, Santosh Mehrotra
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Falling total employment is an unprecedented trend seen from 2011-12 to 2017-18. Due to a decline of employment in agriculture and manufacturing and slow growth of construction jobs, the process of structural transformation, which had gained momentum post-2004-5, has stalled since 2012. Mounting educated youth unemployment, and lack of quality non-farm jobs have resulted in an increase of the disheartened labour force. Though the share of regular and formal employment increased marginally due to growth of formal jobs in the private sectors, the share of informal jobs within government/public sector increased. A dominant share of jobs is still generated by micro and small units of the unorganized sectors without any formal or written job contract. In both government and private sectors the number of contract jobs (with less than a year’s contract) is on the rise post 2011-12. Not surprisingly, real wages have not increased in either rural or urban areas.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Labor Issues, Employment, Economic Growth, Job Creation
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Santosh Mehrotra
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Globally, research has shown that, there is a high correlation between the level of per capita income and the rate of female labour force participation. At the same time the agency and autonomy of women in a country improve with the level of female labour force participation. Sen (2000) has argued that the autonomy and agency of women in a society and their empowerment is enabled by four conditions in their lives. First the higher the education level of women, the more empowered they are likely to feel. Second, if they are working outside the home, they are likely to feel a sense of autonomy and empowerment. Third, they should also have an independent source of income from that of the significant other in their household. Finally, their empowerment can be usually enhanced if they own assets and have access to them. One can see from this analysis that the first three requirements for women’s’ empowerment are related to each other and to some extent co-dependent. We will keep these considerations in mind as we analyse labour markets and how women engaged with them in different parts of the world.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Employment, Inequality
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Kishore Singh
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: There is widespread concern today with the ‘values crisis’. Moral and ethical values are sinking, and materialistic pursuits generated by the neo liberal economy are thriving. Mushrooming of privatisation in education, giving rise to the phenomenon of ‘edu-business’ in India, fosters this trend. This makes a mockery of India’s great traditions in education, her spiritual heritage and civilisational values in which gyaan or vidhya is not a commodity—a vyapaar and in which education has no lucrative purpose. Moreover, ‘edu-business’ is also an affront to the ideals embodied in our constitution. We seem to have lost all respect for our philosophical foundations and civilisational values where knowledge is free, and the head is held high. Use of digital devices also adds to the values crisis, as evidenced by fake degrees awarded by Internet-based learning, as well as the potentially harmful effects of various sites on the minds of children and adults. Many countries around the world are recognising the need and importance of overcoming the values crisis by promoting human values as a primary vocation of education. India, with its rich spiritual heritage and philosophical traditions, should be at the forefront in such initiatives. It is all the more imperative for India to play a pioneering role in value-based education since the thrust of India’s spiritual quest had been ‘universalist’, which makes it the heritage of the whole of humanity. Transformation of the education system in that spirit calls for radical measures. The challenging task is to evolve a new architecture for education in India, in which core human values derived from India’s philosophical legacy and spiritual heritage, as well as from ideals and principles enshrined in India’s constitution, permeate the entire education system. Value-based education is invaluable in mitigating and overcoming many woes that afflict our society.
  • Topic: Education, Ethics, Neoliberalism, Values
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Bonnie Glaser, Scott Kennedy, Matthew Funaiole
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In a concerted effort to expand Taiwan’s presence across the Indo-Pacific, President Tsai Ing-wen has introduced the New Southbound Policy (NSP) to strengthen Taipei’s relationships with the 10 countries of ASEAN, six states in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan), Australia, and New Zealand. The policy is designed to leverage Taiwan’s cultural, educational, technological, agricultural, and economic assets to deepen its regional integration. This report tracks the ongoing implementation of the NSP and assesses what has been achieved since Tsai was elected in January 2016. The Guidelines for the New Southbound Policy issued by the Tsai administration detail that the policy is designed to (1) forge a “sense of economy community” by fostering links between Taiwan and the 18 NSP target countries; and (2) establish mechanisms for wide-ranging negotiations and dialogues, and to “form a consensus for cooperation” with NSP target countries. In the short and medium term, the Guidelines identify four goals: (1) use national will, policy incentives, and business opportunities to spur and expand “two-way” exchanges with NSP target countries; (2) encourage industry to adopt “a New Southbound strategy” in their planning; (3) cultivate more people with the skills needed to support the NSP; and (4) expand multilateral and bilateral negotiations and dialogues to enhance economic cooperation and resolve disputes and disagreements.1 The NSP follows from similarly named policies initiated under Presidents Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian, which were aimed at diversifying Taiwan’s outbound investment away from Mainland China and into Southeast Asia. Since these prior efforts had only a limited impact, skeptics often mischaracterize the NSP as the latest iteration of a failed policy. Such naysayers fail to appreciate, however, that Tsai’s approach is both more strategic and more comprehensive than those of her predecessors. While diversifying and reinvigorating Taiwan’s economy remain fundamental to the NSP, the policy also outlines mechanisms for more effectively integrating Taiwan into the region through cultivating interpersonal connections. Moreover, the NSP is being implemented at a time of slowing growth and rising wages in Mainland China, while investment opportunities are booming in Southeast Asia and South Asia. The core economic goals of the NSP include institutional initiatives, such as updating and expanding economic agreements with targeted countries. At the same time, Taiwan is seeking to encourage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to explore opportunities overseas. Taipei has also identified avenues for improving bilateral ties by engaging with the general publics of NSP target countries, as well as with government officials and business executives. As such, Taiwan has invested heavily in expanding cultural and educational exchanges to help promote a deeper under- standing of South and Southeast Asian cultures, languages, and business practices among the people of Taiwan. These “people-centered” exchanges serve to realize Taipei’s twin goals of strengthening Taiwan’s integration with the region and facilitating its economic diversification. It is too early to determine whether the NSP will ultimately achieve its ambitious goals, and it may take years before the Tsai government’s investment will start paying dividends. Furthermore, the NSP should be carefully examined by both the countries targeted by Tsai and partners further afield—including the United States. Many of these countries have a vested interest in bolstering the mechanisms available for Taiwan to contribute to the peaceful development of Asia. These countries may find that the goals of the NSP overlap with their own objectives in the region, and therefore may be eager to lend additional support to the endeavor. Selected Policy Recommendations for the United States The United States has a profound interest in the success of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy. Taiwan has been a long-standing partner of the United States. Its democracy and free society are a beacon of liberal values in the region, while its economic development model has been admired and studied for decades by nations in Asia and beyond. To date, the United States does not appear to have given much thought or expended much effort to support the NSP within Asia. We suggest the United States consider actively supporting the NSP. We recommend the following specific actions: The assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs should coordinate with his/ her counterpart in the South and Central Asia division to create an internal working group to consider how the U.S. government can support the NSP. The U.S. government should engage Japan, Australia, and India, the other members of the “quad,” in support of the NSP. The U.S. government should continue to support Taiwan’s inclusion and active participation in international and regional initiatives where statehood is not required. U.S. nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), particularly those with programs in NSP target countries, should consider partnerships with NGOs in Taiwan to integrate their work where appropriate in support of the NSP. The Commerce Department’s U.S. Commercial Service should engage with American industry associations and companies, and explore potential avenues of collaboration be- tween American and Taiwan industry in NSP target countries. The United States should consider bilateral (U.S.-Taiwan) cultural initiatives that may be brought to third countries in Asia. The United States should include Taiwan youth in relevant regional programs and networks.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Education, Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology, Culture, ASEAN
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan
  • Author: Mridusmita Bordoloi, Varun Kapoor
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This study collates experiences of users of data at different levels to understand the bottlenecks and challenges to achieve transparency and accountability in India’s public education system. Detailed field surveys of parents and head teachers in government schools were conducted in three districts in three different states of India.
  • Topic: Education, Government, Children, Youth, Accountability, Transparency
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia