RTE Needs Deep Surgery – Does the NDA Government Understand?

The sheer corruption and mal-governance of the Sonia led UPA Government was so huge that  the present NDA Government with its focus on good economic management, infrastructure development, project execution and crackdown on big-ticket corruption has come as a huge relief to most citizens of Bharat. However, this feeling of relief must not paper over some critical areas that the present Government and the new generation of politicians that Hindus look up to safeguard their interests seem clueless about – education, Government control of Hindu temples, and the pernicious ‘Idea of India’ brand of sectarian policy making that permeates our institutions.  But as most educated Hindus are still not aware of these deep rooted discriminatory policies, how can we expect our politicians to be any different?

BJP politicians, right from the top to grassroots, seem unaware of the pit falls of RTE, and are blindly following the Congress policy of suffocating private Hindu schools under the guise of ‘social justice’. Yes, like every other sector education too needs regulation, but it should be done by engaging with education providers, not by branding them as ‘greedy, evil businesses’ or forcing irrational laws like RTE down their throat.

Wasn’t Niti Aayog supposed to encourage fresh thinking?

There were hopes that the newly formed Niti Aayog, which replaced the Nehruvian era ‘Planning Commission’ when the NDA Government came to power in 2014, would bring some fresh thinking into our policy making apparatus. HinduPost has already covered how the 93rd Amendment to the Constitution and the subsequent RTE act introduced by Sonia Gandhi’s UPA have damaged both school & college education  in this country; RTE in particular has entangled private unaided Hindu schools in a web of regulation, forcing thousands to close and pushing many more to the verge of closure.

Independent bodies like NISA (National Independent Schools Alliance ) and AIPA (All India Parents’ Association) have also raised the need for urgent changes in RTE. But recent media reports suggest that Niti Aayog has recommended extension of RTE to pre-primary level – this could very well be a media hitjob, but nothing has emerged from the Niti Aayog in the 18 months since its inception to show that it is assessed of the need to urgently counter destructive legislation like RTE. While there are signs of fresh thinking in economic & governance areas, social policy making seems to be stuck in the same old Nehruvian frameworks.

It would help if Niti Aayog starts sharing its thoughts on critical issues, and engages with ordinary citizens. Right now, it seems to be taking the path of least resistance and imitating the prevailing consensus (in their own bubble). Where is the engagement with prominent thinkers on the right and the newly emergent intellectual discourse? Anyone who has spent any amount of time on social media knows that the handle @realitycheckind is an expert on the lacunae in our education system and other aberrations to Rule of Law – why aren’t people like him being utilized by the Government?

Role of Action Aid, Oxfam and other foreign NGOs in this new age Colonialism

The deep discrimination against a community (Hindus) in the education sector of Bharat is something that would be unimaginable in any Western democracy, yet it is Western NGOs and Western funded activists in Bharat who are the driving force behind sectarian laws like RTE – by the time society realizes that such laws are also counter-productive to their much hyped lofty goals of promoting ‘social justice’ and ‘quality education for all’, the work of these NGOs is done; they escape their responsibility for framing such laws under the umbrella of ‘poor implementation by Government’.

This is new age colonialism, because these unelected and unaccountable entities have captured the policy making structures (think tanks, NGOs, legal activism etc) in Bharat, and even elected Governments find it difficult to swim against the tide of opinion they generate.

Most Hindus under estimate the vital importance of education reform

Education is the bed rock of any civilization. Civilizations which do not value education are susceptible to decay and deterioration, as they will be unable to transmit core ideas and values to successive generations. It is education which drives positive social change, and ensures betterment of a nation. But a twitter poll reveals that even in the generally more aware social media universe, many still under-estimate the deep havoc wrought by the sectarian RTE and the damaging impact it will have on our future generations.

Will the new National Education Policy deliver?

The Ministry of Human Resource Development is currently working on the country’s third National Education Policy (NEP) since Independence.   It has undertaken a massive consultation process for formulating the NEP since Jan 2015. On 31 Oct 2015, it constituted a Drafting Committee for framing the NEP – consisting of 4 senior bureaucrats & 1 academician. The Committee is led by Shri T.S.R. Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary. Whether this NEP can deliver ground breaking changes to set school and higher education in this country free, in the manner that our economy was liberalized in 1991, remains to be seen. But the need of the hour is to spread awareness on the damaging aspects of RTE and the 93rd amendement, so that future generations of Hindus don’t suffer.