On August 1, 2014, Central Square Foundation, in collaboration with the Harvard Business School India Research Center (HBS IRC) and Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI), hosted the first roundtable in the Best of Harvard in India series on the theme, Effective Implementation of Primary Education Policies in India. The convening was attended by principal secretaries of education from various state governments, heads of civil society organisations and multilateral organisations, leading academicians and education thought leaders.
Public spending on education in India has nearly quadrupled in the last decade, heightening the need to ensure that governments spend these resources more efficiently. States have achieved varying degrees of success in implementation of the Right to Education Act and of central schemes such as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Mid Day Meal scheme. Given this context, the objective of the roundtable was to examine the role of central and state governments to effectively implement primary education policies.
The discussion was led by Prof. Akshay Mangla, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University. With primary expertise in the political economy of development and a regional focus on South Asia, Prof. Mangla’s current research examines the governance of public services in rural India, particularly in the education sector. The purpose of his presentation and the discussion that followed was to distinguish key principles and best practices that have enabled successful policy implementation at the state level.