Your argument is essentially that regulations will ensure that only those who see a profit motive in education and are able to lobby with regulators will survive and the true educationists/ philanthropists will move out due to overburdening and ever increasing regulations. Isn’t this in contradiction to the usual lament that one of reasons why education lags in India is the fact that one can’t open schools for the profit motive? In such a case, a law that disallows the provisioning of education for the profit motive should keep these people out, right?
Ritwik is obviously not married and has never attended the Art of Living course. If he had done either, he would have learnt that the words of your wife or of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar are never to be understood at the superficial level. There are always deeper levels of meaning to it. So it is with the words of the government.
When the government says that you cannot make a profit running a school, what it obviously means is that you cannot show a profit by running a school. Nothing stops you from collecting “donations” from students in cash, except the inspector babu who will naturally need to be paid off. Likewise, nothing stops you from forming a trust with yourself and your wife as trustees, and paying yourself handsome honoraria. Salaries of teachers are fixed – on paper. Nothing stops you from paying them a lower amount and pocketing the difference. (If they complain, they lose their jobs and you need to pay off folks once again.)
So, when the government says that you cannot do something, what it is actually saying is that it will deploy its resources to check if you are doing that thing – and you have to deploy your resources to get around those checks. These resources increase your cost of doing business and keep out entrants. The cost is not just in terms of money – you need people with special “skills” and “connections” to get around these regulations – and if you have such people, you can use them to buy other regulations that make it harder for entrants to compete with you.
So the choice between a profit-making school and a “philanthropic” institution is a false dichotomy. The current private schools tend to be registered as educational societies or whatever. Do you think that they are not making profits right now? The real dichotomy is between the current set of schools and schools that want to openly and honestly make a profit. You cannot legally run a low cost school. You cannot be a corporation with public accounts and run schools. The cost of this regulation is transparency.