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This volume examines key aspects of the elementary education system in the poorer and educationally backward states of India. Providing the first state by state analysis of major cost and financing issues, the book is based on data gathered from one of the most comprehensive surveys conducted in recent times, which was specifically commissioned for this book. In a country where administrative records-concerning enrolment, drop-out, retention and repetition-are unreliable as a source of data, surveys and analyses of the type reported in this volume help policy-makers and scholars get a better picture of the ground realities.