Chairman, St. Xavier’s Group of Schools (North) and Greenway Modern School, Delhi, and managing director, DPS, East of Kailash, Delhi
Where would you place education on your national list of priorities?
At the very top of my list.
How best to upgrade government schools?
Infrastructure upgradation is top priority. Even children from poorest households don’t want to attend schools with crumbling buildings, no furniture, toilets, water and electricity.
Who is the thinker/philosopher you admire most?
Prime minister Narendra Modi. He has been able to provide a unifying vision to the country.
Your favourite Nobel laureate.
Mother Teresa. She invested more than four decades of her life in ministering to the poor and needy.
Your leadership style.
Leaders shouldn’t only give directions, but develop teams to get the best results.
Your favourite book on education.
Seven Myths about Education by Daisy Christodoulou (2013).
For or against the Right to Education Act’s 25 percent reservation for underprivileged children in private schools?
Reservation must be given not merely to the needy, but to poor deserving students.
Should the education outlay be doubled by cutting defence expenditure?
There is no need to reduce defence expenditure to increase education outlay. Government spending on education should become more efficient and targeted.
How satisfied are you with the growth and development of the schools under your management and care?
Quite satisfied. But I believe there’s scope for improvement and upgradation, if government policies become more education-friendly.
Pessimistic or optimistic about the future of education in India?
Very optimistic. There is strong will and determination within all stakeholders — principals, teachers, parents and students — for continuous improvement.