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

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The Elusive Nature of Educational Incentives

This paper examines the assumptions underlying educational incentive schemes with the help of data collected on the status and implementation of three such schemes for minority communities in Maharashtra. Though the lacunae in the design and implementation of these schemes are highlighted, the objective is not to condemn them. All parents interviewed gave utmost importance to a good learning environment. An incentive only offers temporary and partial relief. Good quality education for all children is the biggest incentive and educational incentives should not be assumed to be a substitute for poor learning environment in schools.

This paper is based on a study on, “Evaluation of Educational Incentive Schemes for Minority Communities in Maharashtra”, conducted by Disha Nawani and Sabah Khan, a study commissioned to the Tata Institute of Social Sciences by Minority Development Department, Maharashtra. Sabah Khan’s insights were critical and added tremendous value to the study. Suresh K Reddy’s constant goading and inputs helped me translate the study findings into a cogent and focused paper. I also acknowledge the referee’s comments which helped in making the article crisper.

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