Policy Watch

Body Blow to India's Handloom and Handicrafts Heritage

THE All India Handloom Board and the All India Handicrafts Board were dissolved by the development commissioners for these sectors on 27th July and 3rd August, just few days before the National Handloom Day of 7th August. The Modi government explained demolishing the boards as being “In consonance with the vision of ‘Minimum Government and Maximum Governance’, and “part of efforts to strive for a leaner government apparatus.” Citing the same rationale, the government has also disbanded the All India Powerloom Board recently.

Reject NEP 2020: Blueprint for Exit and Exclusion, Centralization and Commercialization

AFTER the economy and environment, the Modi government has chosen the lockdown period for making yet another major policy pronouncement: New Education Policy 2020. A draft running into 484 pages was submitted on 31 May 2019 soon after the beginning of Modi 2.0. The 484-page draft has now been compressed into a 60-page policy document which was approved by the Union Cabinet on 29 July, 2020. Yet again the government has taken advantage of the lockdown to bypass Parliament from having any say on such a major policy matter.

National Exclusion Policy: Institutionalisation of Graded Inequality

THE new National Education Policy is here after 34 years, passed in a hurried fashion by the Cabinet of the Central Government. The Modi government is implementing structural changes in the Indian education system at a time when Parliament is closed due to pandemic without any debate. Prime Minister’s slogan “Aapada mein avsar” (Opportunity in Crisis) came true when government decided to institutionalise “Graded Inequality” in the education sector during the pandemic.

New Economic Policy 2020: Against Democracy and Autonomy

(We requested a public policy commentator for his opinion on New Education Policy 2020. As desired by him, we are publishing it as an anonymous opinion piece. -- ED)

On 29 July, 2020, India got its New Education Policy (NEP, 2020) — which replaced the National Policy of Education, 1986 (NPE,1986) – in the middle of an ongoing Covid-19 pandemic which continues to upend the current academic year across educational institutions throughout the world.

Data Dictatorship Disguised as Data 'Protection' Bill

IN the perfectly justified outrage over the Citizen Amendment Act which was passed by both houses of the Parliament in December 2019, another upcoming piece of legislation has missed the attention it deserves. In December 2019, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) tabled the Personal Data Protection Bill (DPB), and this bill is currently being scrutinized by a Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Quality in School Education Cannot be Addressed Through Volunteerism

THE question of access in school education has shaped many government schemes and interventions in the past few decades to ensure that enrolment in school education increases and we move towards universalisation of elementary education. However, in a school system that is defined by multiple hierarchies among schools and several of them within the government school structure itself, the access has been ensured by bypassing the concerns of quality in school education.

Wolf in Granny's Clothing: Exclusion Masquerades as Education

IF you try to read it as any more than another jumla, the Draft National Education Policy (DNEP) is little more than vinegar in an old wine bottle with a pretty label: it is yet another scheme to shut down public funded education so that the only beneficiary is the private ‘investor’.

After a span of more than 5 years, a National Education Policy has finally been presented to the public. The last date of giving feed-back to the NEP is 31st July 2019.

Modi 2.0 Regime : Intensified Attack on Working Class

AMENDING labour laws, land acquisition laws, and privatisation of PSUs are three top-most priority agendas for the Modi 2.0 regime. None other than Amit Shah convened a meeting to speed up the process. Emerging out of the meeting, the Labour Minister declared that they would first pass the Code on Wages Bill and Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill and would take up the Code Bills on Industrial Relations and Social Security and Welfare later.

Himalayan Alpine Meadows Trampled For Wedding Tourism

THE bugyals (alpine meadows) of Uttarakhand are a unique, fragile Himalayan ecosystem. They are a precious legacy of all Indians. In Marx’s words, we have a duty “to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding generations as good heads of the household.” Indian Governments, as always criminally short-sighted, greedy and careless are now busy destroying this ecosystem - in the name of “wedding tourism.”