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India: Tributes to Vinod Raina

by, 12 September 2013

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[Vinod Raina, prominent intellectual and activist for the Right to education in India died in New Delhi Delhi on the 12 of September 2013. A compilation of news reports and tributes to Vinod Raina is being gathered and posted here. ]

The Times of India

Architect of Right To Education Vinod Raina dead

Akshaya Mukul, TNN | Sep 13, 2013, 01.31 AM IST

NEW DELHI: In the winter of 2008, with barely a few months left of UPA-1, even officials of the HRD ministry had given up hope that Right To Education would see the light of day. The only person who would shrug off all cynicism with a wave of his hand was the mild-mannered Vinod Raina, the eternal optimist, who spent hours chiseling away at provisions of the historic legislation. Raina passed away on Thursday.

Raina’s optimism emanated from his deep-seated belief that no government could afford to ignore a social intervention like RTE. This was typical Raina, part of the sixties set and a romantic to the core, who had relinquished a cosy Delhi University job as a physics teacher to move to Madhya Pradesh to develop what came to be known as the Hoshangabad Science Project.

It was not an effort to make science teaching easier but to develop a new pedagogy not only of science but of other subjects also. As Apporvanand of DU says, "It developed into an educational thought that later became Eklavya and a precursor to the National Curriculum Framework of 2005."

When the National Literacy Mission was launched, Raina traversed every nook and corner of the country, and would joke that he has seen every block of India. Through Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti, adult literacy was popularized throughout the country.

Raina’s greatest quality was his amiable nature. Not that he did not argue, protest or fight but never stopped trying to reach out even to his radical opponents, especially when RTE was being formulated. Apporvanand calls him a quintessential "committee man" with immense capability to work with others and, if possible, find space for dialogue.

Much as Raina shunned publicity, the last few years were spent in the limelight as a pedagogue and a thinker who always had something new to say. When he was diagnosed with cancer four years ago, he only intensified his work as the malady spread further.

If education moved him, music soothed him. A regular in Delhi music soirees, music was Raina’s constant companion. On Thursday, as friends and family - brother Badri Raina is an academic - bid him farewell, it was like saying goodbye to a man who was a movement.

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Beyond Headlines, 12 September 2013

Alvida Vinod Raina!

Posted by: admin September 12, 2013 in Education, Lead Leave a comment

Yerramalla Manasa Shanta for BeyondHeadlines

With the passing away of Dr. Vinod Raina today, India has lost one of its most eminent educationist and the person who worked towards the fulfillment of the 21a article in the form of 86th amendment, under which education became a fundamental right for children from 6 to 14 years. He was currently a member of the Central Advisory Board for Education (CABE) and of the National Advisory Council for Right to Education. He has been a Homi Bhabha Fellow, a fellow of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Asia Leadership Fellow, an honorary fellow of the India Sciences Writers association. Being a theoretical physicist by profession, he utilized his scientific and rational mindset to be one of the pioneers of the People’s Science Movement in India, which aimed to.

In one of his interviews he quoted that, “Every child has the potential to become a creative person, to bring out that creativeness, which is not confined to school subjects, and this should be the quality norm”. By the given line he resonated on the quote by Rabindranath Tagore that, ‘Don’t limit the child to your own learning, for he was born in another time’. He himself believed in an inclusive and comprehensive learning the children, and tried for a systematic quality improvement studies and not just testing the child and evaluating the child on the basis of marks one scores in math or science. For him the outcomes of the test were not the basis for evaluating the child, but he advocated the national curriculum framework 2005 style of pedagogy.

I myself came to know about him in my undergraduate studies wherein as good models of education, I was taught about the pedagogy utilized by organizations like Eklavya and BGVS (Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti). He was the founder of the former organization and through BGVS; he started the adult literacy mode, and then extended it from 1989 in collaboration with the Government of India in the form of the National Adult Literacy Mission.

The true part about him was that when under criticism by various fronts on Right to Education Act, he himself said that he knows that the act is not perfect, but it is the big step which will lead to extensive amendments to improve it. For a person to accept the possibility of the future and for making it changing with the context and supreme to its previous modus operand, he does deserve an honorable goodbye.

(Author is affiliated with TERI University.)

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Cancer claims educationist-activist Vinod Raina (news report in The Hindu, 13 Sept 2013)

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Remembering Vinod Raina by Amit Sengupta - 25 September 2013

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Remembering Vinod Raina : A film in Hindi

[More reports and obituaries will be added here as they appear]

Listed below are some articles by Vinod Raina :

Where do children go after class VIII? by Vinod Raina in: Seminar, July 2006

The national curriculum framework: Comment by Vinod Raina in: Seminar, August 2005

Twenty years of relentless struggle, by Vinod Raina with Raju Kumar, in: Seminar, December 2004




articles published earlier in media are reproduced here in public interest and are for educational and non commercial use