Parth J. Shah
The Indian education system does not effectively promote the prior right of parents to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children. This column argues that the degree of freedom of not just parents, but also of school principals, teachers and education providers is a key determinant of quality and equity in education. It outlines reforms to promote the right to ‘education of choice’.
Recent news reports state that the Chhattisgarh government has asked International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to suspend its operations in the Bijapur district where it had operated for the past two and a half years. ICRC had been providing medical help to violence hit people in the tribal dominated area. This order of suspension raises important questions about (a) the duty and ability of the state to provide medical services to the tribal population in that area, and (b) the willingness of the state to allow medical services to affected people in an area affected by Maoist violence.
It is 4 PM on a dry summer morning near the west coast of India. Six months pregnant Saira Patel relaxingly sips chai sitting at the front lawn of a hostel. She is a surrogate, bearing a child for a homosexual couple from Australia. They visited and approved of her at the beginning of the contract and will visit once again before the delivery - to take their baby home. Currently Saira lives in a hostel with fifty other surrogates attached to a surrogacy clinic. They all share a sense of sisterhood under the realm of their common experiences. Saira goes for her weekly medical checkups and counselling sessions to the clinic. Her physical & mental health, food and shelter are all being taken care of by the intending parents sitting in Australia waiting for their child/children to be born.