The Indian Economy Blog

Archive for the 'Education' Category

A Fabulous, Fabulous Resource

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

The El Dorado for auto-didacts Salman Khan, a portfolio manager in California has created hundreds of free educational videos, available on his web site, the Khan Academy and on YouTube. These videos cover the basics of banking, finance and the current credit crisis — I saw a couple and they’re quite good. Even more importantly, [...]

Weekend Reading: 28 Feb, 2009

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

The Hidden Flaws In China And India Schools: Jay Mathews in the Washington Post says that “India and China, despite their economic successes, have public education systems that are, in many ways, a sham.” India: Toward High-End Outsourcing: Vivek Wadhwa in Business Week claims that “companies on the Subcontinent (are taking) the outsourcing industry to [...]

Economic Illiteracy

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Mukul Asher, a professor at the LKY School of Public Policy in Singapore and Amarendu Nandy, a research scholar at the same university, have a thought-provoking guest post: A recent ASSOCHAM Business Barometer Survey of 258 faculty members of MBA programs in India found that most professors did not know basic facts about the national [...]

Is Jain-To-Jain Better Than Jain-To-Many?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Long-time reader Joydeep Mukherji sends us this (via email) This article talks about a program for Jains to donate money to help teach Jain students for free. It seems like a nice idea. Perhaps other groups (Patels, Jats, Chettiars) can follow their example. However, it may be a bad idea if you think that such [...]

Education and The State: Seeking Balance

Monday, April 7th, 2008

It is widely accepted that India’s education system has and continues to fail the vast majority of its population. As the challenge of providing education to millions persists, despite efforts by the Central government, there are calls by many for a shift towards privatization of primary and higher education. In particular, calls emerge to disconnect the funding of education from its operation, through the provision of education vouchers. While privatization has worked well elsewhere, would it work in the field of education?

The argument for privatization is at once political and ideological. It is political because it reflects how societies feel about the role of the State in providing “public” services such as healthcare and education. It is ideological because proponents often supplement demands for privatization with terms such as “economic freedom” or “choice” to justify their preference. Yet, this last confuses means with ends. The existence of choice can hardly be viewed as an end in itself in this discussion. Not only does such terminology presume that choice is informed but it is relevant in this debate only if it improves actual educational outcomes, rather than the perceived satisfaction of parents.

This analysis suggests that privatization is neither necessary nor sufficient for better quality and access to education. Nor is money the only or even best incentive available to improve either. Yet, the debate does offer valuable insights into why our system has not worked and how to fix it. The current system can, therefore, gain much through greater competition and better (possibly non-financial) incentives.

Congratulations To Raj Chetty

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Raj Chetty, an associate professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, is the winner of the The American magazine’s 2008 Young Economist Award, a research grant of $100,000 provided by the Searle Freedom Trust. … To be eligible for the award, economists have to be featured in the magazine’s bimonthly column entitled “The [...]

Feeling Good About Indian Economy

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

As another year draws to an end, extracts from two speeches delivered this year — one by an ex-finance minister (who happens to be the current Prime Minister) and another by the current Finance Minister. Both the speeches were delivered to a foreign audience and the extracts reproduced here cover only the hard facts, not [...]

FYI: Global Social Venture Competition Asia Round

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) is the largest student-run business plan contest in the world, which provides mentoring, exposure and prizes for social ventures from around the world. GSVC started off at the Haas School of Business at Berkeley, and since then, Columbia Business School, Yale School of Management, London Business School and the [...]

Income Inequality In Asia – II

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

The ADB has just released a report titled “Key Indicators 2007: Inequality in Asia” (covered in IHT and BBC). The report concludes that the gini index, a measure of relative inequality had grown in all 15 countries studied, since the 1990s. More alarmingly, absolute inequality had grown even more. The bank identified the trend as [...]

Pragati – The Indian National Interest Review

Monday, August 6th, 2007

Pragati – The Indian National Interest Review is a monthly magazine on strategic affairs and public policy; and is devoted to promoting economic freedom, an open society and realism in international relations. It regularly features articles and essays from many IEB bloggers. You can download and subscribe to the free digital community edition of the [...]

Don’t Blame The Export Of Tuitions

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

This week’s Economist carries a letter from a certain Murali Reddy of Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey. SIR – So, Krishnan Ganesh, one of the proud products of India’s higher-education system, is busy developing tools to help improve the quality of primary education in America by outsourcing teaching over the internet (Face value, June 23rd). Meanwhile, [...]

IIT Foundation: Foundation for What?

Thursday, July 5th, 2007

Nitin Rao, who blogs at Next Billion sent us this guest post I recently met a senior teacher at a small private school in Hyderabad. What differentiates her school from the neighboring schools, she proudly told me, is the superior IIT Foundation coaching. Schools charge premium tuition and teachers higher pay for IIT Coaching. As [...]

Rewarding Research At Universities

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

Rediff.com CEO Ajit Balakrishnan, in this edit page article in the Business Standard, talks about his interest in a certain paper by a Professor at IIT Bombay, and his attempts to commercialize it. Now, the interesting part is, though Professor Soumen Chakravarty gladly agreed to share his research, and be a consultant to Rediff, getting [...]

The Indian Education System — Parts 9 & 10

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Part 9: Freedom By liberalizing the education sector I mean that it has to be made totally free of government control and involvement. Whoever wants to provide educational services must be free to do so, be it domestic or international, for profit or not for profit, at the primary, secondary, or tertiary level. What would [...]

The Indian Education System — Parts 7 & 8

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

Markets Work Imagine for a bit what it would be like if education were provided by private sector firms. Can it be done? Would a socially optimal amount, variety, and quality of education be provided? Would there be market failures? If so, how can those market failures be corrected? Can one devise mechanisms to correct [...]

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