[eebill] NIEPA Seminar on Education in Cities

Dr (Ms) Nalini Juneja
Fellow
School & Non-formal Education Unit
E-mail: [email protected]

Sub: NIEPA Seminar on Education in Cities

Ref: Your invitation for paper contribution
(F.No.1-1/S&NF/Prog/2004 of 29.12.04)

Dear Dr Juneja,

Thank you for your invitation for paper contribution
for NIEPA seminar cum workshop on Education in Cities.
I know you do not mean to embarrass me when you say,
"There are very few researchers on education in cities
and you are one of them. Therefore we need to get
together and share our findings and their implications
for educational planning and administration". But the
fact is that I am not an urban education researcher,
only a professional planner with additional research
qualifications only for housing and urban development
studies to help in my work.

On education I have some professional experience and
in cities this arises from consultancy to citizens
groups seeking enforcement of holistic statutory
solutions in face of advocacy of inferior
alternatives. You / NIEPA are aware of the work in
Indore in 1999, which came to nothing, as well as the
work in Delhi since 2000, which has survived so far.
PIL that my client groups, across classes, had jointly
filed in December 2003 for enforcement of statutory
Master Plan CSS / equal access neighbourhood school
system and action against illegalities getting in its
way was allowed by High Court in October 2004. They
are now engaging, like clients on all other issues,
against non-compliance of court orders and risk of
abandonment of statutory solutions by unlawful Plan
revision aided by synergistic activism, PIL, advocacy
for conflicting law, etc.

You would appreciate there is an ethical issue about a
professional consultant participating in discourse
that her clients consider adversarial (not out of any
cynicism but on basis of unsuccessful and humiliating
efforts to inform it). Especially with Public Notice
for Delhi Master Plan 2021 imminent, there is also an
ethical issue about a planner participating here in
discourse that reduces statutory Plans to one among
several issues (I have difficulty in slotting my
experience in one of the designated sessions since
holistic planning endeavours to cover all aspects). As
a qualified researcher, I have also an ethical problem
with researcher seminars since a lot of current
research appears to me to lack rigour, besides
objectivity and purpose in realm of knowledge as
opposed to advocacy, etc.

If my clients permit, as their planner I could present
their continuing experience about the statutory Delhi
Master Plan solution for equal access neighbourhood
schooling (much of which is already posted on the web)
in a short round-table towards the end of the seminar.
However, at the moment I cannot make time to write a
seminar paper, though I could do a presentation note /
handout and add to what is already on the web anything
else needed for coherence and also what is presented /
transpires. If my suggestion is acceptable to NIEPA,
do let me know, if possible with information about the
likely participation, and I will seek my clients?
concurrence.

With warm regards and best wishes

Yours sincerely
Gita Dewan Verma, Planner





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