Will India exercise federalism and allow states to innovate: Junaid K Ahmad

New Delhi. Leading Think Tank of India Centre for Civil Society (CCS) on Sunday organized 9th School Choice National Conference (SCNC) on the theme of ‘Direct Benefit Transfer in Education; Policy, Politics, Parents’ at India Habitat Centre. Number of experts, educationists, bureaucrats, academicians and school leaders from across the country attended the conference. A policy blueprint, ‘Direct Benefit Transfer in Education’ was also launched during the conference.

Mr. Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director; World Bank while delivering keynote address on ‘Leakage Reduction Through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)’ said that DBT cannot be the only reform program but the important part of larger reform designs in the country. He said, today the question is not why DBT? The question is why would politicians agree to it? Why would they simply give up power to manipulate subsidy? He raised questions on current political system and asked, ‘will India exercise federalism and allow states to innovate?’

Dr. Parth J Shah, President; Centre for Civil Society, on this occasion discussed challenges of the education sector and the possible solution of the same with the help of DBT and school voucher. He made a presentation on ‘Direct Benefit Transfer in Education’ and demanded to convert 25% reservation under RTE to DBT. He also advocated for skill training for students from class 8th onwards through DBT for vocational courses.

The daylong conference included other interesting and informative sessions i.e ‘DBT Experiments & Models: National and Global’ by Sarath Davala, coordinator; India Network for Basic Income, P Priyatarshny; Additional Secretary & Director, Department of Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Government of Puducherry, Shalender Sharma, Vice President; Education and Skills Development, IPE Global Limited and Shabnam Sinha, Lead Education Specialist, World Bank Group, ‘DBT In Education: Incentives, Impacts & Issues’ by Gaurav Kapoor, Sr. Head, Industry Partnership; NSDC, Seetha, Sr. Journalist and Author and Kulbhushan Sharma; National President; NISA, ‘DBT Implementation Challenges: Design, Technology And State Capacity’ by Bhuvana Anand, Governance and Public Policy Specialist, Soumitra Mandal, Director; DBT Mission, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India and Luis Miranda, Chairman, Board of Trustees, CCS.