The Indian Economy Blog

Archive for the 'Education' Category

The Indian Education System — Part 6

Friday, June 1st, 2007

Incentive Matters Alistair Cooke in his weekly radio broadcast on BBC Radio 4, A Letter from America, once explained the theory of public choice to his listeners as “the homely but important truth that the politicians are after all just the same as the rest of us.” It is an accessible, though incomplete, definition of [...]

The Indian Education System — Part 5

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

One underhanded way to scare a neoclassical economist out of his wits is to creep up on him and shout “monopoly power.” Economists regard monopolies with the same mixture of dread, contempt and fascination as biologists regard cancer. They recognize the awesome virulent power of monopolies to wreak havoc on their world of mutually beneficial [...]

The Indian Education System — Part 4

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

The absence of universal basic literacy and education is a constraint on present economic performance and future growth. Doubtless, education is costly but the opportunity cost of not having an education is even higher. The old adage about a stitch in time saving nine holds with special force in the case of basic literacy. Here’s [...]

The Indian Education System — Part 3

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

The education system is embedded in the bigger socio-political order of the economy. To a large degree, the larger system dictates the characteristics of its subsystems. In the broadest terms, the government of India is an extractive and exploitative system created specifically for that purpose during the nearly one hundred years of its existence as [...]

The Indian Education System — Part 2

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Education matters immensely when it comes to the health of an economy. There is a positive correlation between years of schooling and the GDP per capita. Let’s look at the numbers that are indicative of the generalization. In 2001, “school-life expectancy” and the ppp GDP per capita for Ethiopia were (4.3 years, and $675); for [...]

The Micro-market For Textbooks … thinking aloud!

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

Incentives are greatly aligned when the Beneficiary is also the Payer and the Chooser of a product. The greater the social distance between the three entities of the P-C-B, the weaker is the alignment of incentives to have effective markets. The best case is that of private spending for a car where the P-C-B entities [...]

The Indian Education System — Part 1

Monday, April 30th, 2007

The fractal nature of the generalization that education matters holds across time and space. Irrespective of the granularity of analysis, education aids development through the intermediate step of economic growth. At the finest level of detail, an educated individual anywhere in the world is more productive than an uneducated one. At the broadest level of [...]

Are There Any Good Textbooks On The Indian Economy?

Monday, April 9th, 2007

Greg Mankiw has a lively discussion on his blog about the best non-textbook book on economics. Some great recommendations, there. This got me thinking about my college education in India, in the 1980s. The economics textbooks we used then (Dutt & Sundaram, KK Dewett and such like) were so terrible that just thinking of them [...]

The Unknown Education Revolution in India

Friday, March 9th, 2007

This is an op-ed piece of mine that appeared in the March 8th issue of Mint. Unknown Education Revolution There is a silent and telling revolt against the poor performance of government schools Naveen Mandava Walking around the hot summer streets of Sangam Vihar—Delhi’s largest slum colony sprawled over 150 acres and home to 4 [...]

Upcoming IIT Hoopla In Mumbai

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

The American Heritage dictionary defines “hoopla” as 1. Boisterous, jovial commotion or excitement. 2. Extravagant publicity: The new sedan was introduced to the public with much hoopla. 3. Talk intended to mislead or confuse. Reading about the PanIIT 2006 brought that word to mind. There will be much posturing and congratulatory mutual back-slapping in Mumbai [...]

Liberalize Indian Education

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

This is a true story. The faculty member involved emailed me a few days ago. Scene: an IIT professor interviewing a potential candidate for PhD in a technical subject. “Suppose you have two integers, each between 0 and 5. You add them up. What is the range of their sum?” “It can vary.” “Sure, it [...]

English Language And Karnataka

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

As a follow up to Edwards post titled “English language schools in Karnataka” yesterday, heres an update from the Indian Express. 15 of 30 current cabinet ministers in Karnataka send their children to, well, English medium schools. The point of contention behind closing the schools is apprently a rule dated 1994 that mandates that “children [...]

Supreme Court Intervenes in Reservations Issue

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

As a practitioner and student of public policy for the last four years, I have been pleasantly surprised at the outrage expressed in the reservations issue. Maybe I have become un-necessarily skeptical. The Supreme Court has intervened and ordered the government to table the facts related to the proposed increase of OBC reservations. A vacation [...]

Reservations about Reservations

Saturday, May 20th, 2006

I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops. — Stephen Jay Gould The criminal neglect of education, in my considered opinion, is the most important charge upon which the policy makers [...]

Delhi Removes Cap on Licence-permits for Opening Schools

Saturday, May 20th, 2006

For long Delhi had an “Essentiality Certificate” (EC) requirement for opening a school. Moreover, the number of ECs were limited depending upon school-eligible population in each district of Delhi. The ostensible motive was to regulate competition and allow only schools which were deemed “essential”. So that existing schools did not suffer the consequences of the [...]

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