NON-STATE ACTORS IN EDUCATION
2.2 Non-state education provision
3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education
- Early childhood care and education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Primary and secondary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Tertiary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
3.2 Supplementary private tutoring
The profile takes examples from a few states in India, namely: Kerala, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam and Delhi for analysing the non-state sector of Education. The states were selected with the goal of ensuring a good representation of the state of the sector in the country.
The National Education Policy, 2020 (hereafter NEP) and the Right to Education Act 2009 (hereafter RTE) refer to non-state actors in education provision by specifically mentioning the types of schools. Section 2, subsection ‘n’ of RTE, 2009 defines schools as “any recognized schools imparting elementary education” and along with government schools includes “an aided school receiving aid or grants to meet whole or part of its expenses from the appropriate Government or the local authority; a school belonging to specified category (a school known as Kendriya Vidyalaya, Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sainik School or any other school having a distinct character which may be specified, by notification, by the appropriate Government); and an unaided school not receiving any kind of aid or grants to meet its expenses from the appropriate Government or the local authority”.
The RTE doesn’t regulate, in any respect, religious schools which are mentioned as Madrasas, Vedic Pathsalas and Educational Institutions primarily imparting religious instruction. The NEP 2020 states that “to make it easier for both governments as well as non-governmental philanthropic organizations to build schools…and to allow alternative models of education, such as gurukulas, pathshaalas, madarasas, and home schooling, the requirements for schools will be made less restrictive” thereby recognizing the existence of these non-state actors in the Education system of the country. The RTE mainly concerns primary and secondary education.
Section 11 of the RTE states the responsibility of the appropriate government to provide free pre-school education for children up-to 6 years. The ECCE policy of India 2009 , updated in 2013, acknowledges this provision of the RTE. It further acknowledges the presence of non-state actors in this sector, referring to them as private and non-government actors. The private channel can be organized or unorganized, and is recognized as the second-largest provider after government channels. Non-government actors comprise of small-scale initiatives supported by trusts, societies, religious groups or international funding agencies.
The NEP 2020 refers to private actors setting up Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) in the country, and mention that all HEIs will be regulated at par, whether public or private. It further acknowledges the presence of philanthropic private efforts in education, and states that they will be encouraged.
Since Education falls in the Concurrent List under the Constitution of India, it is regulated both at the Center and the State level. Thus, non-state actors are regulated both through the NEP and RTE, and state laws specific to the states under study.
2.1 State education provision
Education is free and compulsory for all children aged 6- 14 years by law. These ages typically cover primary and secondary education, up to grade eight. In India, government schools account for 52.5% of all students enrolled in the education system. The rest 47.5% of students are enrolled in private schools which include private aided and unaided schools.
State schools in India are defined as a school established, owned or controlled by appropriate Government or local authority. All education up to 14 years is free in state schools in India, and reimbursement can be availed for any cost incurred for education in such schools. State schools receive funding from the Central and the State Governments in India. These schools are forbidden to charge any capitation fees or deploy a screening process for the admission of students. No student can be held back until elementary education is completed (up to 14 years).
While state schools form 87% of all schools in Chhattisgarh, their share is much lesser in Kerala, accounting for only 32.6% of all schools. In Assam, they form a large part of the provision with 81%, while in Delhi, they form 50% of all schools. These schools can be affiliated either with the respective State Board curriculum or with the Central Board curriculum.
The RTE distinguishes between state schools and schools belonging to specified category such as Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Navodhyay Vidyalayas (NVs) in India. These schools have a distinct character and are notified by the appropriate government. KVs are funded by the central government, and are managed by a central body called Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan which is registered with the Societies Registration Act (XXI of 1860). The Sangathan members are appointed by the government and belong to government ministries and departments. Kendriya Vidyalayas don’t charge fees up to 14 years for all students, but charge a « School Development Fees » and « Computer Fund » from all students. They charge fees from boys aged 15 and above. Single girl-child families are exempted from paying any fees. There are 1247 Kendriya Vidyalayas in India.
Navodaya Vidyalayas are residential schools with the majority of schools in remote, rural areas (660 schools (2018)), one in each district (an increase from 209 in 1998) and 45,853 students enrolled. Navodaya Vidyalaya are managed by an autonomous body called the Navodhyay Vidyalaya Samiti registered as an autonomous committee under the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The state governments provide free land and rent-free buildings for the purpose of NVs. The schools are fully funded by the Central Government through the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Similar to KVs, NVs provide free education, but charge a « School Development Fees » from boys aged 15 and above (class 9th onwards). Girls and children belonging to backward classes are exempted.
Ministry of Labor special schools are schools established with the purpose of recognizing children engaged in child labor under the age of 14 years, and adolescents under the age of 18 years engaged in hazardous occupations, and streamlining them back to education. Currently there are 6000 such schools under the National Child Labor Project scheme, with an enrollment of 10 lakh students. The project is fully funded by the Center through the Ministry of Labor, and the schools are managed by a registered society headed by the District Magistrate and composed of government officials like trade union members, panchayat members and other government departments. They’re regulated as Central Government Schools and don’t charge fees until 14 years of Education. According to U-DISE data on the Ministry of Education website, no Ministry of Labour schools have senior secondary education. Thus, they provide education corresponding to 14 years- elementary education.
Railway Schools are set up under the Ministry of Railways when State or Government Schools aren’t adequate for the education of children of railway employees. The fee structure is decided following the state government’s provision of education, and thus no fees is charged until 14 years of education. The schools are managed by Railway Administrations of the area, and are government schools. They receive funds both from the Ministry of Railways and the State Governments through Grant-in-Aid applications. There are 114 such schools in India (2018).
Non-state managed, state schools
No information found
Non-state funded, state schools
Adopt A School programme allows private actors to adopt a public school that has been neglected and provide infrastructural or financial help, as needed, to revive the school. The funding can be in the form of providing toilets, materials, drinking water, playground building etc. Other organisations like Akshaya Patra allow for private donations to provide free-meals in government and government aided schools. Under covid-19, the organisation is now providing sanitisation kits through these private donations. Other organisations implement programs that help improve the quality of services provided in government schools.
In Uttar Pradesh, private actors can now adopt a primary government school, in a scheme launched by the state government NGOs like Ajmal Foundation are working to adopt government schools in the most backward areas of Assam to improve infrastructure and literacy. In Maharashtra, the Education Department of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM)has released its policy for Private Public Partnerships which allows private organisations to manage an existing MCGM school; facilitate through funding, an existing MCGM school or provide specific services to an MCGM school. In other states like in Odisha (Mo School Programme), the state government has implemented projects funded by a set up corpus fund to encourage philanthropists and alumni of schools to adopt government schools and participate in their improvement.
2.2 Non-state education provision
There are many non-state providers of Education in India. Their prevalence varies between states and education levels. While we see 20.6% of primary education in Uttar Pradesh provided by non-state actors, it comprises of only 4.8% in Assam. Maharashtra witnesses the highest concentration of non-state providers in secondary and higher secondary (16.2%), while Assam sees only 2.2% and Delhi, 8%.
Independent, non-state schools
According to data by the Ministry of Education (U-DISE 2018-19), there are around 326,228 private unaided schools in India, enrolling 8,70,00,000 students. These schools are owned and managed by private actors, and receive no financial aid from the government. Under the RTE 2009, private unaided schools are bound to admit, up to at least 25% of the class strength, students from weaker and disadvantaged sections of the neighborhood. They are reimbursed on the per-child-expenditure by the State or the fees charged by the private school, whichever is lower.
There is a surge of Budget Private Schools in India. These are private unaided schools which charge very low fees and are rapidly becoming an important part of the education system. Private schools account for 25% of all schools in India. Approximately 79% of these are budget private schools and only 21% are elite private schools.
State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools
As of data from 2018-19, there are 84623 government-aided schools in India. They fall under the categorization of government-aided schools as they’re funded in part or full by the central, the state or the local government but managed privately. The RTE 2009 regulates these schools similarly to government schools. Under the RTE, any child seeking transfer to or from a government aided school has the right to do so. Government-aided schools are bound to provide free and compulsory elementary education to such proportion of children admitted therein as its annual recurring aid or grants so received bears to its annual recurring expenses (subject to a minimum of twenty-five percent).
The Government of India designs schemes under which it supports infrastructure development infrastructure development, gives schools grants and supports teacher trainings, research and evaluation. The government contributes through centrally sponsored schemes, allocated budgets and per-pupil expenditure.
Contracted, non-state schools
Railway Funding for Private Schools
The Ministry of Railway, with the Railway Board may also, in some cases, support privately managed schools by providing funding based on some conditionalities. The conditions include proportion of pupils of railway employees, expenditure caps, need arising due to budgetary imbalance, recognition and coverage being only for annual expenditure. This happens when a well-functional, satisfactory school needs budgetary assistance to continue or expand, wherein the Railway Board can decide to help with land provision, or buying of furniture etc.
2.3 Other types of schools
Ministry of Tribal Affairs: Schools
These schools are established by funds granted to state governments to provide quality upper primary, secondary and senior secondary to the children of the Scheduled Tribes population. Similar to KVs, NVs, and NCLPs, the Eklavya Model Resident Schools (EMRS) established under this project are managed by an autonomous body under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, which is registered as a society with the Societies Registration Act. There are further bodies at the state and district level, consisting of appointed government officials. The aim is to establish an EMRS in all the 564 sub-districts. The land is provided free of cost for the establishment of the same by the state government. The funding is solely from grants-in-aid by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
Department of Social Welfare Schools
These schools are set up under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment at the Center and the Department of Social Welfare at the State level to provide education to the children of the Scheduled Castes population, disabled students and mentally challenged students.
These schools are established with the motive of educating students from Muslim communities in India, and often have many religious teachings as a part of the curriculum. Most madrasas in India are owned by private religious sects. In Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Assam amongst other states, a large number of madrasas are state funded, and are equivalent of mainstream education.
Steps like the Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas and Infrastructure Development Minority Institutes have been implemented by the Government of India to improve the quality of education imparted in these schools, along with streamlining them with the national education system so that students from Madrasas can find opportunities for work later.
The 2 acts mentioned above thereby provide aid to Madrasas, only if it is recognised and registered with the state government. The schemes are fully funded centrally, with the proportion of funds allocated depending on the state in which it exists. The state governments have to apply to the scheme at the Center for this assistance. Other conditions are that Madrasas should be affiliated to an educational board, have U-DISE registration and pay salary to teachers through bank accounts.
According to data by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, India has 24,010 madrasas, out of which 4,878 are unrecognised as of 2018-19. For example, while madrasas in the northern part of India, particularly in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, have not adopted more modern curricula, those in Kerala have.
These schools provide education to the Tibetan children in India and impart education while trying to preserve the Tibetan culture. They’re managed by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) under the Department of Education (DoE), or any registered society run by the DoE, CTA.
Currently there are 55 such schools under the Sambhota Tibetan Schools Society which was established by the Department of Education for the management of Tibetan Schools. The society is presided over by officers from the CTA, DoE, with members from other Tibetan bodies constituting the rest of the Society. There are 6 senior secondary schools that are being operated by the Central Tibetan School Administration, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education.
Homeschooling is not regulated by any law in India, and the RTE does not recognize homeschooling as a “school”. Students studying through this mode of education can appear for examinations after age 14 through the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) following either the State Board or the Central Board curriculum or the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examination which is an internationally recognized qualification for secondary students. While the government’s mandate is to help every child enroll in school, parents and guardians are free to choose to not school their children and opt for homeschooling in India.
Market contracted (Voucher schools)
No voucher program has been implemented at the national level as of yet. However, some states in India have ventured into this innovation. In Uttar Pradesh, the government has decided to provide vouchers for students studying in class 1 to 8, to attend private convent and Montessori schools. The first phase only covers areas where there are no primary schools within a kilometer and the population is at least 300. The government of Madhya Pradesh has proposed a voucher scheme for the economically backward sections of the society for their children to study in already functioning private schools. The government of Rajasthan has provided vouchers for the construction of senior secondary private schools. There are other innovative public partner collaborations like Pahal, in Uttarakhand, which are providing vouchers for education to children of rag pickers, scavengers, orphans from the slum areas in the state.
In recent times, many private providers in education in India fall under the category of unrecognized schools. After the RTE, many institutions also fail to meet the requirements needed to comply with the regulations to get registered, hence causing a shut-down, or loss of recognition.
The official estimate by the U-DISE data estimates the number of unrecognised schools to be 32,366 in India and unrecognised madrasas to be 4886. The 75th NSS Survey records various estimates of enrolment in unrecognised private schools. The All-India rural + urban estimates of unregistered schools are- pre-primary level 10.1%, primary 9.2% and upper-primary (middle school) 8.6%.
After the RTE 2009, many unregistered schools are facing closure. In Uttar Pradesh 253 schools were closed, while 4903 schools were served notices for closure. In Maharastra, 7000 schools were served closure notices. In Chhattisgarh & Kerala, the extent was much lesser with 54 schools served notices, and none in Kerala.
The education sector in India is regulated both at the National and the State level, thereby creating differences across states in regulations relating to requirements for recognition, fees regulation, profit-making and so on. The most important national laws regulating education are the Right to Education Act, 2009; the National Education Policy, 2019; The National ECCE Policy, 2013; The University Grants Commission Act, 1956 and the additional state rule versions of these acts.
Vision: The Aayog, in its recently released "Three-year action agenda" states that “a working group should be set up with states’ participation to explore and pilot other bolder experiments by interested states. These could include education vouchers and local government led purchasing of schooling services. Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models could also be explored where the private sector adopts government schools while being publicly funded on a per child basis. This latter instrumentality may provide a solution to the problems of schools that have hollowed and are incurring massive expenditures per pupil currently”.
3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education
The ECCE sector in India is regulated under the National ECCE Policy, 2013, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Guidelines 2017, the Right to Education Act 2011, and the New Education Policy 2020 along with other guidelines issued by the central government and the appropriate authorities at the state and union territory government level. While the responsibility of providing ECCE education and the largest share of the market lies with the government, with 1.37 million anganwadi centres under the Integrated Child Development Scheme of the Central Government (UNICEF), the private and non-governmental sector is rapidly becoming important in the provision of ECCE in India. No further information was found on the share of non-state provision at this level of education.
Registration and approval: The National ECCE Policy Framework of India sets down the following regulations for establishing an ECCE centre. One classroom of 35 square meters for a group of 30 children and at least 30 square meters of outdoor space is necessary to establish an ECCE centre. There should be adequate developmentally appropriate toys and learning materials. The building should be safe and easily accessible. Adequate drinking water facilities, handing washing facility, separate toilets for boys and girls and space for nap time should be provided. There should be a first aid kid for immediate requirements. The student-teacher ratio should be 1:20 for 3–6-year-old children and 1:10 for 3 years and below, and at no time should the children be completely unattended.
License: Under the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Guidelines (NCPCR) for Playschools (private unaided) 2017, every playschool established has to register with the appropriate authority (being State Government at the State Level and the Union Territory Government for Union Territories with legislature). This license is approved by the district level nodal officer responsible for implementation of the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) (a Central Government Scheme for ECCE) under the Women and Child Development Departments of all State and Union Territory governments. The officer, after receiving applicants, forms a team which scrutinizes and inspects the playschool proposal. If found in compliance of the NCPCR Guidelines and the National ECCE Policy, the officer issues a Recognition Certificate. The school has to apply for this license every year along with a processing fees to the appropriate authority.
In Maharashtra, the government has made it mandatory for all ECCE centres to register on their portal for ECCE education within one year of commencement of their operations. The portal allocates a unique registration number to each physical institution such registered. It needs to be renewed every year. In Uttar Pradesh, the state is currently devising the rules and guidelines required to attain recognition. However, all pre-primary schools need to apply for this recognition as mandated by the Chief Minister in Uttar Pradesh, through the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan pre-primary unit.
Profit-making: The NCPCR Guidelines and the National ECCE Policy do not explicitly regulate profit-making. However, playschools are forbidden to accept any capitation fees or donation against admission of a child.
Taxes and subsidies: The National ECCE Policy states that Universal Access to ECCE remains the primary responsibility of the government through their national programme ICDS. However, recognising the presence and importance of non-state actors in the provision of ECCE, the government may additionally explore supporting non-governmental organisations as well as for-profit organisations in the sector by supplementing and complementing their services as may seem feasible.
Quality of teaching and learning
Curriculum and education standards: The NCPCR guidelines for playschools (private unaided) mandates compliance with the curriculum as set by an authority specified by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India under section 3.2(ii) of the National ECCE Policy. The New Education Policy, 2020 has specified that the NCERT will develop the curricular and pedagogical framework for ECCE in 2 parts: 0-3 years old sub-framework and 3-8 years old sub-framework. The coursework has to be delivered in the mother tongue/local vernacular language.
Teaching profession: As per the NCPCR guidelines, any person possessing minimum qualifications as laid down by the Government of India is eligible to become a teacher. At the time of joining of an employee, it must be ensured that they have never been convicted under the Juvenile Justice Act 2015, the Child Labour (Protection and Regulation) Act (1986, 2016). The New Education Policy, 2020 indicates the qualifications for teachers’ part of the ICDS outlay through Anganwadi Centres. It states that for teachers with qualifications of having completed school education, there will be a 6-month ECE diploma, whereas for teachers with lower qualifications, a 1-year diploma will be mandated. Wherein the State or Union Territory does not have enough training centres for teacher education, adequate training prescribed by any institution recognised by the Central Government should be given to the appointed employees.
In Maharashtra, the government has developed an online training module for teachers and support staff. This must be completed by all the staff and a certificate needs to be obtained online. In Chhattisgarh, a government initiative called Udaan was developed to support teachers and workers working under the ICDS scheme in Anganwadi centers to ensure quality delivery of education to children. In Assam, the State Council of Education Research and Training has undertaken the initiative to develop Early Childhood Curriculum in accordance with the ECCE Curriculum Framework 2013, developed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development after the National ECCE Policy, 2013. The draft is prepared in collaboration with UNICEF, in 2018. Assam has also conducted trainings for Key Resource Persons in the deliverance of ECCE with UNICEF in 2018.
Fee-setting: The fees charged by the playschool is regulated by the appropriate authority, and is declared during application for recognition.
Admission selection and processes: There should be no screening process or admission test for admission to any of these centres. No capitation fees or donation can be accepted to admit children.
Policies to support children and families with disadvantaged backgrounds or from a specific population: Under the National ECCE Policy, 2013 the government is charged with the responsibility to undertake an urban strategy to address needs of children in urban slums. Further, measures for recognising early and adapting programmes for children with special needs will be undertaken. Special plans for integration of the most disadvantaged will be developed in both government and private institutions.
Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability
Reporting requirements: The playschool has to maintain financial accounts and go through an annual audit. This audit needs to be presented to the appropriate authority while applying for a renewal of Recognition. Further, in the self-declaration for the application for recognition, the playschool agrees to furnish such reports and information as may be required by the competent authority from time-to-time and complies with such instructions of the appropriate Government or competent authority as may be issued to secure the continued fulfilment of the condition of recognition or the removal of deficiencies in working of the school.
Inspection: Any private play school may be inspected by the competent authority/official authorised by competent authority/ National or State ECCE Council/ National or State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, whenever it considers necessary and may communicate the observations to the appropriate Government or competent authority (b) The competent authority may direct the management to rectify the defects, if any, found during the course of the inspection, within a stipulated time.
Child assessments: No child will be held back, and there will be no examinations. The child should transfer from pre-school on the completion of the age of 6 years. There is only formative and continuous evaluation of the child’s understanding of knowledge and ability to apply. The New Education Policy, 2020 states that the overall aim of ECCE will be to attain optimal outcomes in the domains of physical and motor development, cognitive development, socio-emotional-ethical development, cultural/artistic development, and the development of communication and early language, literacy, and numeracy.
Sanctions: The competent authority may, at any time, withdraw the recognition if such recognition has been obtained by fraud, misrepresentation or suppression of material particulars or where after obtaining the recognition there is violation of any of the provisions of the guidelines or of any of terms or conditions or findings of inspection or of any direction issued by the competent authority under these guidelines at any stage. If in any case NCPCR/SCPCR/National ECCE Council/State ECCE Council do not find a play school fit in their observation for the interest of child and recommend to competent authority or appropriate Government, after consideration of competent authority. If the competent authority, after inquiry, finds any violation of POCSO Act, 2012 or Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 or any other child related law or violation of Manual for Safety and Security of Children in Schools issued by NCPCR. Before withdrawing recognition under points the competent authority have to give the management of the play school an opportunity for making its representation.
Registration and approval: The Right to Education Act of India states that no school, other than a school established, owned or controlled by the appropriate Government or the local authority (as defined in the law), shall be established or function, without obtaining a certificate of recognition from such authority. The grant of recognition depends on the fulfilment of norms and standards set under section 19 of the Act, which covers norms relating to teachers, teacher-student ratio, building and infrastructure, working hours, equipment and teaching material etc.
License: If the school is unable to fulfil the requirements for recognition, then the license to operate is held back. For schools already established before the commencement of the Act, a duration of three years is permitted to take steps towards fulfilment. If requirements are not fulfilled the appropriate authority can withdraw recognition. Any school which functions without recognition is liable to a fine up to 1 Lakh Rupees and if there’s a continuation in contraventions, a fine of ten thousand rupees per day for each day the contravention continues.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): All schools are required to have separate toilets for girls and boys, adequate and safe facilities for safe drinking water, a kitchen to cook mid-day meals and an all-weather building amongst other things.
Profit-making: While profiteering isn’t forbidden in the RTE Act, the Model Rules of the RTE state that any school applying for recognition under the RTE must submit a self-declaration showing that they are “not run for profit to any individual, group or association of individuals or any other persons.” States have released their State RTE rules, wherein: Maharashtra , Kerala , Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh include the same clause as stated above, forbidding for-profit motives. Assam asks for self-declaration as a registered society or public trust, but doesn’t explicitly include a clause to forbid profit motives.
Taxes and subsidies: A privately managed school can be aided by the government, either by providing per-child expenditure, or in case a school is already under obligation to provide free education to a specified number of children on account of it having received any land, building, equipment or other facilities, either free of cost or at a concessional rate, such school shall not be entitled for reimbursement to the extent of such obligation. Private schools receiving no aid from the government are entitled to only reimbursement for the 25% seats reserved for the socially or economically disadvantaged, paid in either per-child expenditure of the state or the fees charged (whichever is lower).
Quality of teaching and learning
Curriculum and education standards: Under section 29 of the RTE, the NCERT has been appointed as the academic authority responsible for designing the national curriculum to be followed for elementary education. Each state is also free to design their own curriculum under the SCERT (State Council for Education Research and Training). While the RTE and the State Rules regulate curriculum, the extent of regulation varies, and non-state providers can also be affiliated to International Board curriculum.
Textbooks and learning materials: The RTE Act and the State RTE Rules designate the responsibility of developing textbooks and learning materials to the NCERT and the SCERT respectively.
Teaching profession: The RTE Act specifies the qualifications for being appointed as a teacher. These are regulated by the academic authority appointed under the RTE Act which is the National Council for Teacher Education in India. In case there is a dearth of teachers possessing the desired qualifications for appointment, the Central Government can relax the requirements up to a period of 5 years provided that there are steps taken towards acquiring the desired skills to make teachers more qualified. The Act further specifies the responsibilities of teachers, and prohibits their appointment for other tasks apart from the decennial population census, disaster relief duties or duties relating to elections to the local authority or the State Legislatures or Parliament, as the case may be. The act specifies the minimum working hours for a teacher. However, the act does not specify working conditions or salaries and benefits specifically. Section 23 (3) states the provision of salary and benefits as may be prescribed. The Act prohibits the engagement of teachers so appointed in taking part in private tutoring or teaching activities.
Finally, in Delhi, the scales of pay and allowances, medical facilities, pension, gratuity, provident fund and other
prescribed benefits of the employees of a recognised private school shall not be less than those of the
employees of the corresponding status in schools run by the appropriate authority.
Corporal punishment: The RTE prohibits any physical punishment and mental harassment to the child. Further, the National Commission for Child Protection and the State Commission for Child Protection are responsible for looking into the provisions of child protection of the RTE and hold their power for the protection of children under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.
Other safety measures and COVID-19: The RTE mentions barrier-free access, an all-weather building, playgrounds and securing of the school by boundary walls or fencing.
Fee-setting: The private aided schools are forbidden to charge fees for elementary education for those seats for which the government provides grants to the institution. For private unaided schools, the reservation of 25% seats for socially or economically disadvantaged students makes these schools eligible to receive reimbursement from the government up to the per-child expenditure by the state or the fees being charged (whichever is lower). Otherwise, private schools are not regulated under the RTE for capping on fees. States have their own mechanisms to regulate fees. For example, in Uttar Pradesh, a law regulating fees for Self-Financed independent schools exists which constitutes a District Fee Regulation Committee to deal with matters of excessive hikes in fees. The same mechanism does not exist, for example, in Delhi.
Admission selection and processes: No school can collect capitation fees or subject parents/ guardians or children to any screening procedure for admission into schools. Further, no child can be denied admission based on not being able to provide documentation for age. Any school found to be contravening these clauses are liable for fines.
Policies for vulnerable groups The RTE Act establishes a quota of 25% seats in unaided private schools for students from weaker social and economic backgrounds. Further, in aided private schools the minimum quota for is limited at 25% seats and can go higher depending on the amount of aid provided by the government. The Act also states that all disabled children will have the same rights to free and compulsory education, as other children.
Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability
School board: Unaided private schools aren’t mandated to form school management committees. However, aided private schools are mandated under the RTE to form a School Management Committee, such that 75% of the members are parents or guardians. Further, proportional representation must be given to members from the economically and socially weaker groups, and half of the committee must consist of women. The committee is responsible for monitoring the working of the school, the funds received from the government, and the preparation of the School Development Plan to be submitted to the Government.
Reporting requirements: Under the RTE, schools must abide by the norms and standards laid down under section 19 of the Act. All schools must provide necessary information when inspected to the appropriate and local authorities as requested. There is no clear mandatory clause for following curriculum.
School inspection: The RTE Act states that the local authority, such as the Municipal Corporation of a city, town or village has the responsibility of monitoring schools falling within its jurisdiction. The Department of Education in every state also conducts annual inspections.
Student assessments: The RTE Act mentions regular assessments of children during their elementary education. The Amendment of 2019 states that there will be an examination at the end of class 5th (10-11 years of age) and class 8th (14 years of age). If the child passes these exams, the child cannot be held back. In case the child is unable to clear the exam, the school must provide a second opportunity within 2 months of declaration of the result to clear the exam. If the child fails to clear the exam after 2 tries, the school can hold the child back in these classes. However, no child can be expelled without the completion of their elementary education.
Diplomas and degrees: Every child completing their elementary education shall be awarded a certificate as may be prescribed by the appropriate authority. No child is required to pass a board examination before the completion of their elementary education.
Sanctions: If the school fails to abide by the norms and standards prescribed in Section 19 of the RTE, the appropriate authority can withdraw recognition, post which it is illegal for the school to operate and makes the school liable to fines. For schools already established and running before the commencement of the RTE, the act states that a period of 3 years will be given to abide by the norms and standards of the act, post which recognition will be withdrawn.
The non-state actors account for 64% of all enrolment in Higher Education in India. They can enter the provision of higher education in 3 distinct forms: Establishing a Private University, getting the status of Deemed-to-be-University by the UGC, or as a Private College which is affiliated to a university.
Registration and approval:
A private university can come into existence under a Central, Provincial or State Act. They have to obtain recognition by the University Grants Commission (UGC). Higher education institutions can further be recognised as “Deemed-to-be-University” by the Government on recommendation by the UGC. This requires an online application first reviewed by an Expert Committee which submits its decisions to the Commission (UGC), which then submits its recommendations to the Government. The Government makes the final decision, and can declare an institution “Deemed-to-be-University” by releasing it in the Official Gazette. Private colleges are established through affiliation with state or central universities and follow the regulations of the university they’re affiliated to. They need to be recognised by the statutory board concerning the courses offered.
A Private University must fulfil the minimum criteria in terms of programmes, faculty, infrastructural facilities, financial viability, etc., as laid down from time to time by the UGC and other concerned statutory bodies such as the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the Bar Council of India (BCI), the Distance Education Council (DEC), the Dental Council of India (DCI), the Indian Nursing Council (INC), the Medical Council of India (MCI), the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI),etc.
License: All universities, whether established through a State Act, Deemed-to-be-University or a private college, must abide by the regulations set down by the UGC. Further, if the course-work falls under a specific statutory body, the university must comply with that. Universities established by State Acts require licenses from the respective state governments and the UGC, while Deemed-to-be-Universities require licensing by the UGC. Private colleges are affiliated to already licensed universities.
It must be noted that some states in India, like Kerala, do not have a State Act to establish private universities. This means that a private institution in Kerala can only be either affiliated to an existing state/central university or seek deemed-to-be-university status from the UGC.
Profit-making: In deemed-to-be-universities, the institution must be registered as a not-for-profit society, trust or company. All moveable and immoveable assets of the institution are to be used only to conduct academic activities, research and administrative requirements of the institution.
State acts of Assam, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh regulate fees, and allow Universities to maintain assets for expansion. In Chhattisgarh, the University is allowed to have a reasonable surplus to maintain assets and carry further expansion. In Uttar Pradesh, the University has the power to receive donations and to acquire, hold and manage any property, movable or immovable for the welfare of the University.
Taxes and subsidies: Private Universities established through the State Act are not entitled for any funding from the State Government in Assam and Uttar Pradesh. In Chhattisgarh, these universities are self-financed, however the government might consider providing financial or physical incentives with written records.
The UGC provides grants to all colleges under Section 2(f) and Section 12B of the UGC Act, 1956. This includes Universities established through State Acts. Deemed-to-be-universities also receive grants from the UGC and Central Government, and have different regulations for management depending on the extent of support.
Quality of teaching and learning
Curriculum and education standards: All Universities (including affiliated colleges) are mandated to observe the minimum standards of instruction and prescribed norms for the grant of a degree by duly qualified teaching staff along with prescribed infrastructural facilities as recommended by the concerned statutory/regulatory body as the UGC, AICTE, MCI etc.
Teaching profession: Regulations for appointment of teachers apply to all universities (including affiliated colleges) and are specified under the UGC Regulations unless the concerned statutory/ regulatory body has released standards established by Acts of Parliament. These specify the qualifications, selection guidelines, promotion guidelines, working conditions (leave), workload, ethics, allowances and benefits, and pay scales.
Fee-setting: For private universities established through a State Act, for example in Chhattisgarh, the regulatory body at the state level is responsible for ensuring that private universities only charge such fees that is required to cover the cost of education being imparted, and also give a reasonable surplus to maintain assets and carry further expansion. The body is responsible to ensure that students aren’t exploited. On the other hand, The Private Universities Act of Assam doesn’t explicitly regulate fees. For establishing a university, the society/fund/sponsoring body needs to state the fee structure, which is then scrutinized and approved. In Maharashtra each University is set up through a separate act. In Uttar Pradesh, a recent (2019) umbrella act for Private Universities has been passed which regulates fees to be not in excess of such fees as passed by state laws or regulatory body and shall be put in the public domain.
For private institutions granted deemed-to-be-university status, the amount of fees that can be charged is capped at the fee prescribed by the fee regulations issued by the UGC.
Admission selection and processes: The UGC Act, 1956 prohibits Universities to accept donations or payment for the admission of a student, so that no student by the virtue of economic power gets a seat over a more meritorious student. For admissions into professional programs, common All India entrance examinations are held. All states can hold common entrance exams for colleges in their state, for students to be admitted under the state quota. If any student is found admitted without merit, UGC will take appropriate action and the Universities recognition/affiliation can come under fire.
Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability
Board: For deemed-to-be-universities, the UGC Regulations for Deemed Universities require the institution to establish a Board of Management. This Board is independent of the sponsoring body and has autonomy to perform academic and administrative responsibilities. It also requires the institution to have an Academic Council, a Finance Committee and a Selection Committee, for which it has set down guidelines.
For private universities established by the State Acts, the Act of Chhattisgarh lays down the guidelines for establishing the authorities of the Private University. These include the Governing Body, the Academic Council, the Board of Management and other bodies constituted by these. The Assam Act similarly lays down the guidelines for the officers and the authorities of the private university, and states the rules for tenure. The Uttar Pradesh Act mandates a longer list of authorities of the University, including in addition an Executive Council, a Planning Board, Board of Faculties, Board of Studies, Admissions Committee, Examinations Committee and other declared authorities by Statutes.
Reporting requirements: the UGC requires all Universities to furnish it with such information as may be needed relating to the financial position of the University or the studies in the various branches of learning undertaken in that University, together with all the rules and regulations relating to the standards of teaching and examination in that University respecting each of such branches of learning. Thereby, all Universities are accountable to the UGC, during and after their establishment.
Inspection: The UGC has the power to conduct inspections of all Universities on matters related to ascertaining the financial needs of a university, standards of teaching, examination and research. Further, the central regulatory and statutory bodies like Bar Council of India carry out inspections related to infrastructural requirements (both academic and physical). State Government’s with Acts to set up Private Universities like Assam confer powers to the state government to carry out inspections. In Uttar Pradesh, the Uttar Pradesh Higher Education Council is mandated to carry out one annual inspection and report to the state government. In Chhattisgarh, the act doesn’t explicitly mention whether the state government can carry out inspections, but acknowledges the inspection carried out by the UGC.
Assessment: The UGC Grant of Degree Regulations have set down the guidelines to publish the academic calendar and monitor the timely issuance of degrees to students so as to assist them in pursuing higher education or careers in the job market. The UGC Regulations on Minimum Standards to Award Master Degree (First Amendment) state that no student shall be eligible for admission to a master programme unless they’ve successfully completed an undergraduate programme of at least 3 years or earned the prescribed credits through examinations conducted by university/institution or possesses such qualifications as recognised by university as equivalent to undergraduate degree.
Diplomas and degrees: The UGC Grant of Degree Regulations sets down the guidelines for issuing degrees including nomenclature, duration, and minimum standards of instructions. It forbids Universities to award degrees in violation of these regulations. Each University must provide information about the conformity of their degrees to the rules stated by the UGC. The UGC can conduct inspections, and provides sufficient time for the University to furnish reasons for non-compliance, and implement UGC’s recommendations. The defaulting University is prohibited from offering any course for the unspecified degree. On receipt of default notice from the UGC, the University will be prohibited from offering the course for 3 years.
Sanctions: If the UGC finds that a college has contravened the provisions of fees, the Commission with the approval of the Central Government, may pass an order prohibiting such college from presenting any students then undergoing such course of study therein to any university for the award of the qualification concerned. The Commission shall forward a copy of the order and from the date the University receives it, the affiliation of such college to such university shall stand terminated and on and from the date of termination of such affiliation and for a period of three years thereafter affiliation shall not be granted to such college in relation to such or similar course of study by that or any other university. If Universities don’t comply with recommendations made by the UGC, the Commission, after taking into consideration the reasons can withhold any grants/funding allocated to the University from the Commission.
3.2 Supplementary private tutoring
Supplementary Private Tuition is a fast-growing industry in India. Previous studies studying data from the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO, 2007-08) show that in their sample, 18.8% students aged 6-24, currently engaged in education, receive private tutoring. Another study studying the states Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh shows the prevalence of private tutoring, showing the variance by state, by rural-urban divide and by gender differences. Kerala shows the highest percentage of students attending private tuition, more students in urban areas attend private tuition, and there is a significant difference in the percentage of boy student’s vs girl student’s attending private tuition.
Currently, there exists no specific regulation or law concerning the prevalent industry of private tutoring in India. There exist other forms of regulation such as registration with the Shops and Establishments Act, 1953 and the Income Tax Laws which regulate the registration and recognition, as well as declaration of income earned through such activities. Each state has its own Rules for the Shops and Establishments Act, thereby, the conditions for registration of private tutoring centres differ by state.
Financial operation and quality
No information was found.
Many RTE State Rules ban teachers engaged in schools from providing private tutoring.
This profile was drafted by Ritika Agarwal.