Monday, 27 February 2012



State of Education Report
According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2011, the grim tale of India’s school education has got grimmer, with new evidence surfacing to show that families across rural India have been ignoring the guaranteed Right to Education to seek private paid education.

Though a whopping 96.8 per cent children aged 6 to 14 years (the age group the RTE Act covers) are now enrolled in school, children’s attendance is declining and so is their ability to read simple text and do simple mathematical calculations.

Almost half (48.1 per cent) of India’s rural primary school students are either attending private schools or seeking paid tuition. Across the nation, private school enrolment for children aged 6 to 14 years rose from 18.7 per cent in 2006 to 25.6 per cent in 2011.

The survey, which covered 6.5 lakh children in 16,000 villages of 558 districts, found that one in every four rural children was attending private schools. In Kerala and Manipur, over 60 per cent children go to private schools. The percentage of students going to private schools is 71.1 for Manipur; 39.6 for Punjab, 43.4 for Haryana, 37.7 for Jammu and Kashmir and 29.6 for Himachal.

In UP, 45 per cent students were found to be going to private schools in 2011, as against 22 per cent in 2005. In Tamil Nadu, 35 per cent are attending private schools as against 16 per cent in 2005. And the percentage of students seeking paid tuitions is rising. The figure was 22.5 in 2010 and is 23.3 per cent today.

The ASER report further found levels of reading abilities to have declined in several States. Except in Punjab, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, reading abilities declined pan India, where the percentage of fifth graders able to read Class II text dropped across the nation from 53.7 per cent in 2010 to 48.2 per cent in 2011. Except in Himachal, Standard III children showed decline in ability to read Class I text across India.

In arithmetic, the situation is worse. As for the nation, the percentage of Class III graders who can do two-digit subtractions with borrowing dropped from 36.3 per cent in 2010 to 29.9 per cent in 2011. The decline was seen everywhere except in Andhra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, where the situation improved. The percentage of Class V children who can solve subtraction problems declined from 70.9 in 2010 to 61 this year.

SC sets deadline for government nod for prosecution of civil servant
In a landmark verdict, Supreme Court, on January 31, 2012, upheld the right of a private citizen to seek sanction for prosecution of a public servant for corruption, while setting a deadline of four months for the government to decide the issue of giving sanction for prosecution of public servants facing corruption charges.

A bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and and A.K. Ganguly said, “There is no provision either in the 1988 Act (Prevention of Corruption Act) or the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) which bars a citizen from filing a complaint for prosecution of a public servant who is alleged to have committed an offence.”

The two judges also turned down the argument that the issue of sanction for prosecution of a public servant arises only at the stage of taking cognizance of the case by the court.

While prescribing a four month time-limit for deciding whether to grant sanction for prosecution of a public servant, Justices Singhvi and Ganguly, who wrote separate judgments, said sanction would be deemed to have been granted if the competent authority failed to take a decision within the period.

The order coincided with a growing feeling that sanction for prosecution of public servants facing corruption charges are deliberately delayed to kill the probe.

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