Saturday, October 25, 2008

Why Indian Universities cannot be World Class

A former chairman of the University Grants Commission is now decorating the chair of the Prime Minister of India and like any profligate public institution the UGC believes that by spending huge sums of money the quality of education, particularly at the University or graduate level can be improved. It is ironic that when the whole world, especially China is spending nearly 700 million US dollars on just one University, the UGC plans to spend 73 million US dollars on 12 "World Class Universities" as suggested by the Report of the Sam Pitroda Knowledge Commission. It is not possible for quality to be purchased at 9 million US dollars a piece and the mandarins of the UGC like their former Chairman is quite unaware of it. Moreover public money is being wasted in creating Centers of Social Exclusion and Inclusion Policy a hobbyhorse of Sukhdev Thorat, who in these days of identity politics is enjoying his season under the sun.
The Indian University system is utterly devoid of both vision and dedication. The officers who essentially run the University with the Vice Chancellors acting as their patrons are usually corrupt and almost all University decisions are taken on the basis of percentages. The UGC spends crores of rupees every year on major and minor projects and yet the impact factor of Indian research is just 0.o1 %. The bills and reports submitted are usually fraudulent and with the cut and paste option available on the Computer almost all reports are made to order. It is usually arranged that the UGC funds third rate Research that is an embarrassment to any civilised institution. I wonder if the former Chairman of the UGC Dr ManMohan Singh is aware of the deep rooted corruption in the funding of higher education. It is time for the UGC to stop the charade in the name of funding "quality research" based entirely on percentages of commissions.
Corruption exista at all levels of the University system. One notorious former Vice Chancellor who was dismissed for "forgery" even ended becoming the VC of a Centrla University and the Chairman of NAAC. He promptly brought his mistress into the University and even provided a senior level job for her in the organisation he once headed. We know that under the leadership of such men as the one referred to above the Universities degenerate in happy hunting grounds for Vice Chancellors with an overactive pecker.The autonomy granted to the Universities is generally misused for persecuting the independent and promoting the courtiers. The UGC instead of enforcing the minimum standards of public probity in the University can be trusted to protect every act of nepotism and corruption. Even the RTI is of no use. Recently I asked for Information from the Information Officer of the UGC on a particularly notorious case and I got the answer that the information cannot be disclosed for "administrative reasons".Against THIS BACKGROUND IT IS OF NO USE SPENDING CR ORES OF THE TAXPAYERS MONEY OF SUCH INSTITUTIONS.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Sterile Debate on NDTV Again: Fair or Lovely?

Barkha Dutt seems to be bent on displaying her amazing arrogance before a national audience without shame and without remorse. On Sunday, 28th September, there was yet another sterile debates on We the People regarding the most important issue facing the country: Is being fair un color the same as being lovely. The primadona of NDTV had rounded up the ususal suspects the gaggle of beuty queens, advertising gurus, business exccecutives and an o0dd politically correct dissenter. The issue was whether Indians equate fairness with beauty and therefore moredesirable and sexy at least on the matimonialmarket. The amazing arrogance of the woman who conducted the show is reflected in the fact that the members who were asked to comment on skintone and its alleged relationship with Indian conceptions of beauty were all FAIRSKINNED AND possessed skintones which ranged from fair to weatish and not a single one was dark. By exibiting such women and making them represent the dark skinned, Barkaha Dutt and her ilk have willynilly reinforced the age old stereotype that light skin is devine. NDTV has perfected the art of projecting the most reactionary politivcal messge in thegarb of appearing subversive.One more point. If NDTV thinks that fair is not beautiful or desireable then why is it that the stable of Pretty Young Things in Dr Roy's stable are all fair and perhaps to some eyes even lovely. It is sheer hypocricy to preach against colorconsciousness and at the same time project only white and light toned women in the various programmes of NDTV> That channel is always on the so called liberal side on every dbate. How amny dalit newsreaders anchors and reporters are working in NDTV. I am sure with the exception of the jasnitors and drivers there will be no dalit working in NDTV. It is time the sponsors stopped giving money to thi