Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Inequalities in educational access in India-(National Sample Survey Organisation’s (NSSO))
Net attendance ratio (NAR)
It is the number of students attending a particular section, divided by the total number of kids of that age group (expressed as a percentage). For Classes I to V— NAR is the number of children aged 6-10 years currently attending Classes I-V, divided by estimated population in the age group 6-10 years
9% of kids of primary school going age of the richest fifth of the population attend school both in the rural and urban areas, while that proportion drops to 79% for kids in the poorest fifth of the population in rural areas and 78% in urban areas
NAR drops sharply when it comes to secondary school and becomes worse at the higher secondary level
The difference between the richest fifth and the poorest fifth in enrolment widens sharply from the primary section to the secondary and higher educational levels.
Implies— while basic literacy is increasingly available to all, the gulf between the poor and the rich widens as you go up the educational ladder.
Only 6% of young people from the bottom fifth of the population attend educational levels above higher secondary in urban India, but that proportion is five times higher, at 31%, for young people from the richest fifth of the population
NAR for urban kids studying above higher secondary levels for quintile 3, which is the middle fifth of the population, is 15%—half that of the top fifth— the real middle class is also substantially disadvantaged when it comes to higher education
The well-off kids have much better opportunities for higher education, essential for getting good jobs in the cities and, increasingly, abroad as well
Gender differences in NAR at the secondary levels— NAR at the secondary level in Gujarat is 63% for boys and 43% for girls
Inequalities of access to Education for castes—
Not much difference in the enrolment at the primary level
Difference between scheduled castes and tribes and other categories widens at higher levels of education
Inequality is particularly large for urban girls belonging to scheduled tribes at the secondary and higher secondary levels.
For religious identities—
Enrolment of Muslims is lower compared to those of other religions at every level, both for males and females.
In urban India, while enrolment for Muslim boys in primary schools is only marginally lower, the proportion at the higher educational levels is substantially lower.
For urban Muslim girls, NAR is substantially lower than for those professing other faiths.
Let us talk about the quality of education—
Amounts spent on education
Assumption: more spending equals better quality
Average expenditure per student in the primary section in urban India for the top fifth of the population is more than eight times that for the kid from the poorest fifth of the population.
The average expenditure in the primary section for the top quintile is almost double that of the next quintile (the top 20-40% of the population)
Will more government spending on education help—According to the World Bank indicators, government expenditure on education as a percentage of gross domestic product was 3.8% for India in 2012
Quality of government schools—
9% of urban students and 17.2% of rural students take private tuitions
Among the richest 20% of the population: 38.1% and 24.7%
The poor too want to give their children the advantage of a good education but it is difficult owing to the conditions of government schools
At a time when the country is seeking job creation through entrepreneurship, higher education and R&D are a must for providing quality and excellence.
The oppressed and dalits should be provided access to higher education which can transform their lives.
Awareness about various scheme, last mile linking is need of the hour
Connecting the Dots:
What do you mean by Brain-trap? Discuss the plausible reasons behind the phenomena.
Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
General studies 3:
Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment; Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
Divestment: More than just revenue
Why in news?
NITI Aayog, the official think tank, is expected to submit its recommendations on divesting the government’s stake in public sector units (PSU), and strategic sale of sick units this week.
Why is the document that important?
The document, will be an important one as it will play an integral role in changing the Union government’s perspective towards PSUs.
The vital role of PSU’s :
The state of our PSUs is vital if we want schemes such as Make in India to succeed.
Besides, this will hopefully clarify the role of the government versus market on the one hand and government ownership versus regulation on the other.
What disinvestment tries to do?
Divestment in India is a by-product of the economic reforms initiated in 1991 whereby the role of the government versus the market was sought to be redefined.
Market discipline is sought to be injected in PSUs’ decision-making.
Loss-making public enterprises are sought to be revived and additional resource needs for containing the fiscal deficit and capital expenditure are generated.
The primary requirement for the divestment policy is to define the priority sectors for the government based on its strategic interests.
Considering the limited resources with the government and its diverse role, it is evident that the government has a low capacity to manage PSUs.
Use of scarce resources, including land and financial capital, has high opportunity cost and the justification for investment in PSUs has to be in terms of generation of adequate social and strategic returns.
Financial return cannot be the sole reason for investment in PSUs. They have to serve social/strategic purposes. The key role of a PSU is to maintain competition in the sector and limit excessive monopoly.
It is time that divestment is not seen as an option to cover for short-term fiscal gains; instead, it should be part of a strategic plan to improve the production of goods and services in India.
Connecting the dots:
What do you understand by strategic disinvestment? To what extent do you think disinvestment is an important tool to consolidate fiscal deficit in India.
Critically examine the disinvestment policy in India.
Conserving the last drop – The way forward may be to not rely only on dams, interlinked rivers, and borewell drilling — but to supplant these with effective water conservation, storage and groundwater recharge