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Showing posts from February, 2013

Gujarat on backfoot in sending ST, SC, OBC females to educational institutions, suggests top NSS report

By Rajiv Shah In an alarming revelation, a September 2012 report, prepared by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO), has suggested huge gaps in the female education levels of Gujarat, especially among those belonging to the three socially-deprived groups, scheduled tribes (STs), schedules castes (SCs) and other backward classes (OBCs). Findings have been reported the NSS report, “Employment and unemployment situation among social groups in India”. The survey (rural plus urban) results show that in the age-group 5-14, 75.1 per cent ST females attended any educational institution; this dropped to 22.4 per cent in the age-group 15-19, and further to 1.8 per cent in the age-group 20-24. If the survey results are to be believed, there isn’t much of a difference for SCs and OBCs, either. Worse, in each of these social groups, Gujarat ranks among rock-bottom Indian states as far as females attending educational institutions are concerned.
Among SCs, 71.2 per cent females in the age-gr…

Wither Kanya Kelavni, Mr Modi?

By Rajiv Shah
A few days back, I was glancing through the latest Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2012, brought out in January by a high-profile NGO, Pratham. For the last few years, it had been making news, at least in Gujarat – each year, the survey results suggested poor quality of education dogging the state's primary schools. The new survey, interestingly, revealed that, instead of improving, Gujarat's educational standards have actually deteriorated over the last one year. As compared to 2011, when 79.7 per cent children in classes 1 and 2 could read letters, words and more, in 2012 this percentage went down to 73.The percentage of children of classes 1 and 2 who could recognize numbers 1-9 or more went down from 79 in 2011 to 71.7 in 2012. Things were found to be not very different for children in standards 3 to 5 or 6 to 8. Only a handful of Bimaru states scored better, that too in some sectors – Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Prad…

Gujarat tops in "out of school" girls at higher primary and secondary level schools, reveals authoritative study

By Rajiv Shah
This should be an eye-opener for those who have been architects of the Modi government’s much-publicised kanya kelavni show, meant to enroll higher percentage of children, especially girls, in schools, by sending the entire babudom to the rural areas of Gujarat. If details of the latest Annual Survey of Education Report (ASER), put out this January, are any indication, last year, whopping 30.1 per cent girls, in the age-group 15-16, failed to turn up in Gujarat’s rural schools, which was the highest in the country. The report qualifies 30.1 per cent girls as “out of school”, a term used to combine “dropped out” with “never enrolled” children. What is most disconcerting is that none of the 20 states surveyed show such poor performance. Even the so-called Bimaru states are better performers than Gujarat.
Though neighbouring Rajasthan and Odisha do not do well, they are still better than Gujarat with 29.8 per cent and 28.2 per cent, respectively. Jharkhand with 15.5 per cent,…

Poor educational, health and living conditions rampant among Valmikis of Ahmedabad: IIM-A study

By Rajiv Shah
In a glaring revelation, a recent Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) research paper, “An Assessment of Livelihood and Educational Status of Sanitation Workers in Ahmedabad, Gujarat”, by Ashish Mishra, Indraraj Dodiya and  Navdeep Mathur, has found that only 36 per cent of the Valmiki families send their children to school. As for the rest, in order to support their family, “they eventually drop out”. The report further says, “Of these, 48 per cent have joined casual sanitation work and others do cleaning work in houses near their own.”
The study also shows that just 44 per cent of families want to provide education to girls. However, the researchers believe, “While this by no means is a high number, nevertheless, despite all the hardships/discriminations that the Valmiki community has to endure, almost half of them do view schooling and education of girls as important. This data therefore underscores a positive trend and one that the state government can use …

Gujarat’s experiment with jobless growth

By Rajiv Shah
I have in my hand a fresh study on Gujarat, “Poverty Amidst Prosperity: Essays on the Trajectory of Development in Gujarat.” What struck me while scanning through this book – which has been edited by Prof Atul Sood of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and contains well-researched papers by 11 others – is Sood’s following statement in the introduction: “Whatever impact and consequences of growth and development that Gujarat has experienced are in a way a precursor for things to come in other parts of India, unless something drastically changes in the policy orientation at the Centre.” In Sood’s view, the current Gujarat “model”, which other states now want to replicate, is “characterized in terms of deregulation of the domestic economy and greater integration with the global markets.” While some observers may consider this statement as something Gujarat’s ruling elite should be proud of, nearly all scholars who have contributed to the book, without exception, se…