RE: a book on CSS

Dear Mr Jha,

Thank you for your mail and offer. I am afraid it would be inappropriate for me to contribute to a book on common school system with eminent contributors since I am neither education expert nor eminent! Also, my view on CSS is limited to the schema set out in Delhi Master Plan and, to be honest, I am unable to visualise what others have in mind. Likewise, to me implementation of Delhi Master Plan provisions (with basis in an Act of Parliament) seems adequate starting point for operationalising / refining various aspects of CSS and I am unable to visualise others? strategies. I cannot position the Master Plan view (to which I am committed also because of my clients? sustained efforts) at par with alternatives (that are unclear to me) as that would amount to conceding possibility of negotiating existing law and I am inclined to the old-fashioned bird-in-hand school of thought.

I wish you well with your book, just as I do Ashok ji with his efforts through awareness meetings, NIEPA with its through sustained scholarly interventions, Mr Kaura / NAFRE with theirs through innovative national campaigning, our Ministry with its through creating room for eminent educationists and NGOs to express their views on the Bill, and Anand Sarup ji with his through remarkable support and guidance to all. I am, however, going to presume to say two things. One, I get the impression the demand for the education Bill to be based on CSS is weak, making advocacy for CSS rather futile since any other basis for the Bill will thwart (with force of law) CSS. Two, I think CSS is not awaiting consensus on principle (which already has Constitutional, legal and policy backing) but consensus on detail ? to provide basis for concerted advocacy for CSS and against a Bill on any other basis, the latter imbuing the exercise with sense of urgency that is long overdue.

Best regards
Gita Dewan Verma / Planner

The matter of schools in Dwarka that you mentioned is one of illegality, intrinsically connected to other illegalities, in terms of Delhi Master Plan. I do not see any possibility of CSS, or even of compliance of the order about 25% free seats that Ashok ji has just got, without addressing all these illegalities. You might want to see, in this regard, a rather dense plannerly note (first message) at

From: Madan Jha <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Subject: a book on CSS
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2004 04:32:48 +0000 (GMT)

Dear Geeta Diwan
We met in Ashok's seminar on common schools. I also got a chance to look at your book 'slumming India'. You may be aware that under Chinese compulsory education law there is a provision which says, 'Facilities for compulusory education shall be included for construction and development of both urban and rural areas.'
Recently, I went around Dwarka- a city of the 21st century...excellent private school buildings are coming up...roads, waters upply etc. are coming up as a part of infrastructure being done by the developers/DDA...but no thought of incluidng school building for imparting 'free and comlusory education' as a part of the infrastructre!
It is presumed that all will go to private schools and pay huge fees (there are very few govt. school buidlings, to keep the record correct) but that is not going to happen ...there will be domestic service providers and so many people doing odd job to keep the rich and famous comfortable...their children,
where they would go? obviousyl to EGS/AE/learning centres and would have
'contextual and innovative learnings' thanks to NGOs and funders!! so where are we?

I am propsing a book on the common school system..with eminent contributors..on its various aspects? Would you like to be one? You could perhaps suggest the title, the no. of words and the time you would like..
the proceeds of the book would be spent on advocay for the CSS in consulation with the contributors/authors.
looking forward to your support!
Departmert of Educational Studies: Present Address in India and new Mob.No -
University of Oxford : D-1/118, Satya Marg, Chankyapuri,
OXFORD OX2 6PY (UK) : New Delhi-110021 (India)
: Tel.00-91-11-24673428(H) 9810143089(M)

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