ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Free Primary Education

'Free' Primary Education B C Mehta IN a comprehensive review of the primary education scenario, Tilak (1996) marshals evidence to Show that 'free' primary education in India is after all not so free. However, some of the statements made by Tilak do not seem to be correct To quote, "About 85 per cent of the students in government primary schools in rural areas, and about half the students in government primary schools in urban areas receive tuition-free, 15 percent of the students in rural areas, and nearly half the students in government schools in urban areas pay tuition fee" [Tilak 1996: 356]. This statement is not correct. The confusion has arisen because of the peculiar way in which the data have been presented by the NSSO. Let usexaminethedatamoreclosely. The information is extracted from NSSO (1991) Table 8.1.3. Tilak presents it in his Table 16. The data in Table 8.1.3 of NSSO are to be read row-wise. For recomputation, we present the data in Table I. This is also the reconstructed Table 16 of Tilak.

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