The Incheon Declaration (2015) underlined the need for “high quality primary and secondary education for all” to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) by 2030. The just concluded Olso summit reiterates this commitment. In this backdrop, the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011, brings out several distressing contours of underdevelopment in asset ownership, illiteracy, employment of rural India which has 70% of India’s population. The paper examines impact of Right To Education (RTE) Act 2009 in realizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and short falls noticed in terms of infrastructure, income and employment. Based on Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) findings, the paper highlights the best global practices in terms of public investment in education and impact on GER & HDI. The paper strongly argues to eschew a “market based” approach to education and suggests to increase the scope of RTE to include secondary education it takes note of the advantages that private schooling offers, and the critical importance of quality primary education and lifelong learning for all.
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