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Showing posts from August, 2007

The pledge to bring about a paradigm shift in provisioning education to ALL would MAKE OUR celebration of 60 years of independence, worthwhile!

The Elementary Education in India 2005-06, a report presented by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) was not surprising but has been a befitting embarrassment for the Ministry of Human Resource Development, for the report has been a blatant blueprint of the failures of this critical social indicator, sustained over years. In one of my earlier editorials, I had mentioned that creation of impediments in provisioning education to masses had been a calculative conspiracy of successive governments, for it always served their purpose. In the same lines the report reveals that there are more than 32,000 schools (i.e. 3% of all schools) in this country which do not have a single student and no wonder that half of such schools are in rural India (with Karnataka being one of the worst performers with around 8,000 schools without a single student). In addition to this a little more than 6% schools have less than 25 students! The report goes on to state that

Allocate a few million dollars for disaster management and make the crisis emanating from floods, a trivia of the bygone era!

Whenever it comes to issues of critical importance, our general administrators, both at the Center and the state level, have been in a state of perpetual amnesia. For India, floods are nothing new, as every year, year after year, it is around this time that nature in its fury gobbles up thousands of lives, particularly in the states of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh; yet, nothing is done about it. It is no secret that we have been the most flood affected nation after Bangladesh, accounting for almost 20% of global deaths due to floods alone. This apart, on an annual basis, more than 30 million people are displaced from their homes, on account of floods, yet our administration, year after year, stands as a mute spectator counting the number of lives lost. Instead of looking for some long term solutions, the customary aerial surveys and announcement of aid packages are made by the central ministers and the powers that be, only to be hit by the same

WHO said there are no free lunches; our parliament is living example of it!

With the Parliament set to resume its monsoon session by the next fortnight, the media would have a new series of pandemonium after the one which just got over with the election of our first woman President. Well, if not anyone else, at least the electronic media would find it delicious fodder, as their crew would ceremoniously wait outside the Parliament to capture ‘that’ moment whereby some non-descript Minister of some worse non-descript Ministry (we had around 53 Ministries, till the last count!) or a Member of Parliament pops out. What follows is a volley of rhetoric, from both sides, relating to topical issues pertaining to the nation. Well the honourable Parliamentarians cannot solely be blamed for such rhetoric as after a ‘consuming’ session, they are often too engaged with the thought of eating delicacies steaming in the highly subsidised Parliament canteen or cooling heels in the luxury of the opulence that the government has provided them for being the elected or selected re

Let’s hope that in the future, our polity overcomes its social stigmas & Elects a credible president for the nation!

So the Presidential election is finally over (Sigh!), and with this, India creates history by appointing the first woman to its highest office! Undoubtedly it is a commendable achievement in itself, knowing the fact that most of the other relatively older and stronger democracies across the world are still struggling to elect a woman to their highest offices. Also historical is the fact that this election, in particular, has been the most hyped-up and murkiest of all Presidential elections of independent India, for – unlike the respected Mrs.Pratibha Patil – there has not been a single President who has been elected to the honourable office with so much mud on his (in this case, ‘her’) face. In fact, for most of India, Mrs.Patil was a thoroughly non-existent entity before the Presidential elections. It is only while digging into her past – when some newspapers, for sweet mercies, reported how she had also been the Governor of Rajasthan – that people got to know about her. Then again,