The MHRD of India is in the process of drafting a national policy on ICT in school education. The ministry handed over the task to an young global and private organization Gesci, and Gesci involves CSDMS, an NGO, to initiate a national consultation to draft the ICT policy for a country, INDIA, a democratic soverign, democratic, secular and socialist republic. And CSDMS’s activities to meet this objective are published on their website.
This raises several questions in the minds of people who are otherwise very actively doing work in the area of ICT for education, and are not involved and informed. Should India need the help of Gesci and CSDMS for framing the ICT policy for the school education? Is Indian’s policy makers not sufficiently informed or lack experiene and ability? Can the Indian agencies, policy makers and citizens not competent to read from the various ICT policies published at various places and draw the policy?
All the consultative meetings that took place indicate the presence of substantial number of private and proprietary agencies who are known to have nothing other than profit as their motive sitting and discussing ICT policy of the country. The question naturally arises, who is funding this process? Who is funding CSDMS? Who is paying the expenditure to the five star hotels where all these meetings were held? Why were such meetings not held say in an IIT, IIM, University or a school where facilities and enough brain power exists in matters concerning ICT policy for school education?
The entire process is questionable. And the drafts that are generated out of this process are marked “Draft version – (Highly confidential-not for ciruculation)”. When I mentioned this, I was told that this is only a draft and not final yet, and it will be ciruclated widely when it is final. What is the point of circulating when the document is final. We need people’s participation in the process from the early stage, so that all the stakeholders participate. People are required not to recieve the final product, but should be involved in the very process of producing the product, if we are a democratic country. Interesting to note is the point that the Government gave priority to the private companies to be part of their confidential circle and not the people of the country.