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Sushil Salwan: Chairman, Salwan Group of Schools, Delhi

Where would you place education on your national list of priorities?
At #3. The higher priorities are a law to control population growth, and the second ‘nation and service before self’. Only values-based citizens can save the nation and for this, one need not be educated. 
How best to upgrade government schools?
I am of the firm opinion that government should not be running schools. The solution is private-public partnerships with private partners given complete autonomy to manage and administer schools. 

Thinker/philosopher you admire the most.
Chanakya, Dr. A.P.J. Kalam, my grandfather and parents.

Your favourite Nobel laureate.
I salute all Nobel laureates, as each in her/his own way has been a change-maker. But I wish music, theatre and dance artistes could also be considered.

Your leadership style.
Demo-tative — democratic but authoritative. Apart from being humane, honest, unselfish and patriotic, leaders also have to be authoritative. 

Your favourite book on education.
I recommend the following books, on education: A Place called School by John I. Goodlad; Transforming Schools Empowering Children by Arun Kapur and Creative Schools by Ken Robinson.

For or against the RTE Act’s 25 percent reservation for underprivileged children in private schools.
A populist and dangerous provision. This is highly defective legislation which has created a class within class and resulted in double taxation.  

Should the education outlay be doubled by cutting defence expenditure?
No. We need excellent schools in every nook and corner of the country. But we also need to protect our country from enemies within and beyond our borders. 

How satisfied are you with the growth and development of the Salwan Group of 11 schools?
Although we’re working with great honesty and transparency and have also expanded our reach, there’s a huge scope for further growth and development. 
Pessimistic or optimistic about the future of education in India?
All citizens need to introspect seriously. The atmosphere is vitiated and everyone seems to be threatening private schools. Unwarranted regulation will suffocate education and capacity creation will suffer. 

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