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CPR Dialogues 2020- Challenges in Public Education: Balancing State and Non-State Actors

Kiran Bhatty

March 13, 2020

13 March 2020
CPR Dialogues 2020- Challenges in Public Education: Balancing State and Non-State Actors

Watch the full video (above) of the panel discussion on ‘Challenges in Public Education: Balancing State and Non-State Actors’ featuring NV Varghese (Chancellor, National Institute of Education Planning and Administration); Rashmi Sharma (Senior Visiting Fellow, ICRIER and Former IAS Officer); Priyadarshani Joshi (Global Education Monitoring Team, UNESCO); Parth J Shah (Founder President, Centre for Civil Society) and moderated by Kiran Bhatty (Senior Fellow, CPR).

Public education has been under the scanner in the last few decades for failing to deliver the goals of education and enhance learning levels. The efficacy of state provision has been questioned, as state supply of education has consistently fallen short of meeting demand due to fiscal and other constraints. As quality declined, those who could, have sought non-state options, fuelling their proliferation. The entry of private, quasi-public, and public private partnerships has led to what has been called a ‘pluralisation of the state’, as the power and authority of the state are shared with a multitude of non-state actors. This raises a plethora of questions regarding accountability, regulation, and public interest. Which of these actors is accountable to citizens and elected governments? Do the same standards apply to them as do to state actors? What are the terms on which power is shared between them? How are the non-state actors to be regulated? What are the implications for the role of the state in this changing dynamic? Most importantly, as Minnow (2003), notes, ‘what happens to the scope and content of public values when public commitments proceed through private agents?’ In a country such as India, where persistent social inequalities continue to pose a challenge, the entry of non-state actors is not a simple matter of increasing resources. As we enter a new era with a new education policy, conversations on how best to manage the trade-offs have thus become pertinent. This panel bolstered/added to/deepened that conversation by bringing together enlightened and experienced minds to debate the different aspects of this issue.

The panel was organised as part of the second edition of CPR Dialogues, held on 2nd and 3rd March 2020 at the India Habitat Centre. Addressing the theme of Policy Perspectives for 21st-century India, CPR Dialogues 2020 provided a window to the India of the future. Experts from around the country and the world engaged with and debated these very significant development and policy challenges that India faces in the coming decade.

ThePrint India was the digital partner for the event.

Videos of other panel discussions organised as part of CPR Dialogues 2020 can be found below:

CPR Dialogues 2020- Inaugural Address by Hon’ble Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
CPR Dialogues 2020- At the Threshold of a New Decade: Navigating the Emerging Geopolitical Landscape
CPR Dialogues 2020- Rights in Times of AI: Emerging Technologies and the Public Law Framework
CPR Dialogues 2020- What Would Happen if We Were to Believe in Indian Agriculture?
CPR Dialogues 2020- Creating an Inclusive Economy in a Digital World
CPR Dialogues 2020- What Would it Take to Build a 21st-century State for India? Launch of CPR’s State Capacity Initiative
CPR Dialogues 2020- Technology and Administrative Reform: Experience from India and the World
CPR Dialogues 2020- Tracking Government Spending: Challenges in Social Policy Financing
CPR Dialogues 2020- The Air Pollution Crisis: Making Political Salience Count
CPR Dialogues 2020- Article 21 and India’s Social and Economic Rights
CPR Dialogues 2020- Emerging Trends in Indian Politics
CPR Dialogues 2020- Are India’s Financial Institutions in Crisis? Understanding India’s Economic Slowdown
CPR Dialogues 2020- The Role of Ideas in Shaping Policy
CPR Dialogues 2020- Indo-US Relations
CPR Dialogues 2020- Land and the Constitution: Solving Land Conflict in India
CPR Dialogues 2020- Political Elites and Local Bureaucratic Capacity