The war of words over the NCERT textbooks (see posts for June 03, 16 and 18) may have obscured other aspects of the government’s policy on education. Recently, Murali Manohar Joshi set up the Bharat Shiksha Kosh, a centralised repository for donations to educational institutions in India–in other words, no more direct funding, and the government decides where the donor’s money will go. Anil Dharker’s column in The Hindu alerts us to the dangers of having an “activist” minister: “If you were a Desh Deshpande or a Vinod Khosla or a Vinod Gupta, would you be pleased? Would you not like to decide exactly where your money goes and for what specific purpose? Would you be happy if that money were to go instead into a Government administered fund whose destination you didn’t know and whose administration you would be highly suspicious about? What would you do in that case? Sit tight, I imagine, and zip up your wallet.”

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