Reality Check India

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on July 8, 2006

I want to check primary school drop out rates for various states in India. There is a great website called “” whose motto is “Revealing India Statistically”.

The data however requires membership which costs 18,000 Rs for the basic level ! Sigh ! Out of my range.

What ever happened to “Knowledge is free” ?


11 Responses

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  1. Anon Y Mous said, on July 8, 2006 at 9:00 am

    In a knowledge based economy how can knowledge be free?

  2. realitycheck said, on July 8, 2006 at 10:41 am

    good one !

  3. Shri said, on July 8, 2006 at 4:18 pm

    Though I knew of this site before, I dint know that it even gave data like this. I was of the view that only corporates use the data frm their site

  4. Barbarindian said, on July 8, 2006 at 5:49 pm

    A lot of information they are providing is supposed to be provided by the government, free of cost. Looks like they are basically a consolidator.

  5. realitycheck said, on July 8, 2006 at 6:11 pm

    Assuming it is inevitable that OBC quotas are going to happen at this enormous cost, we can try to make a case for 10x the investment in primary education.

    So, if 8K Crores is going to be spent this year on IIT/AIIMS then we can raise voices for 80K Cr for primary education. For crying out loud, even in the southern states 65-80% of girls drop out before 10th standard, and our government is going to focus on the top-most institutions.

    Everyone knows this (the OBC quota) is going to benefit the fairly upper middle class kids who go to the best schools have all the facilities including educated parents, but are just average and cant quite make it without quotas.

    It is also going to be severely skewed in favour of southern OBCs, who are claiming that quotas have worked very well and many are into their second or third generation of benefits.

    If we have them commit 10x the times on primary education. Then perhaps as time goes by the new generation will be better educated and not elect these morons.

    You know when PC the great finance minister taunted on national TV ” Look no-one watches your program”.

    How would it be if a majority actually watched Karan Thapar, what would he say then ?

    We must work to deprive these politicians of their “mass support” which means their uneducated votebanks. Maybe a 10x increase in education will be a step in that direction. There must be *some* good that comes out of this, no?

  6. Barbarindian said, on July 9, 2006 at 1:04 am

    The school drop out rate in the US is also quite high in certain school districts.

    I don’t think the school drop out rate being high is alarming by itself. It is merely another measure. Many high school dropouts in the US run successful businesses or have solid careers.

    Government should not be throwing away money like this, period. Our current account deficit is soaring, exchange rate etc. is suffering. The only thing the government should focus on right now is financial sector reforms and strike free manufacturing zones. The rest will follow.

  7. realitycheck said, on July 9, 2006 at 4:13 am


    Yup, dropout rate is probably just one factor. Another one is teacher truancy !

    Coming back to drop out rate.
    D you know what the American elementary (5th grade) and primary school (8th grade) drop out rate are ? I think they will be close to zero. I would appreciate this infomration

    Look at India, even in TN the primary school dropout rate is 35%, AP 47%, UP 55%, Raj 70%. Even the elementary school dropout rate is shameful. The all India rate is 41%.

    In other words, 40% of Indias girls do not go beyond 5th standard. Isnt that shocking ?

    My sources are reseach papers such as this (

  8. Barbarindian said, on July 9, 2006 at 5:44 am

    I do not know the exact figures but I am guessing the drop out rate in primary schools would be pretty close to zero. This is because the US government has strict monitoring in place and the parents who would not send their kids to school would be taken to task. The high school is another story. The kids are almost adults and of course no one can force them to go to school. Don’t forget that the US school education system has an astronomical budget which comes out of the pockets of tax payers.

    The reason I mentioned this is because the reservation situation is just one example of government heavy-handedness. Our government insists on regulating all investments. Quite obviously this is not working.

  9. Sharan Sharma said, on July 9, 2006 at 5:58 am

    Hi RC,
    In fact, there’s an excellent (2001) paper, ‘School Participation in Rural India’ by Jean Dreze (Oxford)and Geeta Kingdon (DSE).

    1) It’s been a long time since i looked at that paper, but it looks at factors influencing school participation at a household level in North India. Including caste; split by SC/ST and OBC.

    2) It points to how even after controlling for other household variables, children belonging to SC/ST and OBC families are less likely to go to school than general category families…this effect is more pronounced for girls. But once having been enrolled, the achievements of SC pupils are no lower than other pupils (i don’t remember the OBC case).
    This itself shows us which direction policy needs to be oriented.

    4) One figure that i do remember is that the chances of completing primary education is 30% higher for girls in villages with mid-day meals than those without!
    After all, there’s some conscious or unconscious cost-benefit analysis that the family is doing when they send their children to school (especially girls).

    5) Finally, it also points to what you pointed out in your post: the dismal quality of education . Right from an imbalanced student-teacher ratio (due to teachers wanting plum postings) to teacher irregularity.

    It’s all there. It just requires the people in power to do something. But they’d rather do something easy. Why *work* for upliftment.

  10. realitycheck said, on July 9, 2006 at 6:18 am

    Thanks Sharan,

    I googled and found the paper. The paper starts off with :

    “About one third of all Indian children are out of school. In the large north Indian states,
    which account for over 40% of the country’s population, the proportion of out-of-school children in the 6-14 age group is as high as 41%, rising to 54% among female children.1 Considering the crucial role of elementary education in development, the universalisation of schooling in India is one of the most urgent development issues in the world today.

    Could someone tell us Human Resources minister this fact ?

    Inadequate access to tertiary education or PG in cardiac surgery is *NOT* our priority.

  11. Sharan Sharma said, on July 9, 2006 at 6:37 am

    Thanks for this, RC…Just googled it myself too…and i find that the Google Scholar version (the draft one – 1999) gives a more detailed mathematical version in the initial stages…for the geeks out there:)

    also, i find that i have reversed the author institutions in my earlier comment…Dreze is from DSE and Kingdon is from Oxford…apologies…

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