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Contested Politics of Educational Reform in IndiaAligning Opportunities with Interests$
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Manisha Priyam

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198098874

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198098874.001.0001

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The Context of Change

The Context of Change

Centre Sets the Agenda

(p.57) 2 The Context of Change
Contested Politics of Educational Reform in India

Manisha Priyam

Oxford University Press

The division of powers and responsibility between different levels in the Indian federal system provides a unique institutional opportunity for initiating and sustaining education policy reforms. While the Centre steered the policy agenda and funds for new developments, the states were responsible for implementation. This chapter focuses exclusively on the specific actions of the Centre in the early 1990s that opened up the opportunity for states to undertake the difficult task of implementing change, not withstanding the constraints of vested interests and structures. The Centre changed its policy priorities, hitherto focussed on higher and technical education, in favour of primary education, and mobilized resources for this including from external aid. This followed skilful negotiations by it in managing contending ideas and institutions—whether to focus on formal schooling alone or on non-formal schools as well; and between different donor groups, as well as line ministries within the government.

Keywords:   education policy, budgetary expenditure on education, stages of educational reform, federal institutions, educationally backward states, incentives and opportunities, DPEP Guidelines, Right to Education

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