Monday, July 27, 2009

Supervision of Higher Education in India

Dear Friends,
I have just about completed the rather difficult task of sending my son to a management institute at Delhi. I cannot really explain, how difficult a task, it has been, to first select a reasonably good quality institute and then to get my son admitted in a two year PGDM course.
I think many parents can be saved a lot of troubles and uncertainties if the statutory bodies like AICTE, perform the tasks, they have been entrusted with. But, just go through daily english or vernacular newspapers and you will be surprised by the sheer number Institutes offering so called "Quality Management Education".
Invariably, they inform you about "Free Laptop" and "100% Placement Assistance" (only God knows, whether this 100% will make any difference to your ward's employability or not). Next, they tell you about their faculty- " Faculties from IIMs and IITs ". It makes you wonder, if all the combined faculties of the 8 IIMs leave their Institutes to teach at the more than 500 odd private "Quality Management Education Institutes", then why the mad rush to appear in the CAT, worry about the percentile and the cut-offs and the desire to get into an IIM. After all the IIMs will not have any teachers left to teach. Besides, you always end up thinking if the Institute, you or your ward has selected, can have the "Faculties from IIMs and IITs" in time to finish the course, as academic sessions commence at the same time and more or less the syllabus is also similar.
As if the failure of AICTE and similar supervisory bodies were not enough, the UGC has decided to grant "Deemed University" status to any organisation run and managed by a scamster or by people of dubious backgrounds, ready to grease the palms of UGC administrators. Now, we are blessed with universities with funny names-"Lovely Professional University" is one good example. Next, if we are more lucky, we can have "Sweet Heart University" or "Darling Dilruba University". How I wish we could study at such "Centres of Excellence in Romantic Academics" during our college days.
It is about time, the new cabinet minister for HRD Mr. Kapil Sibbal takes the bull by its horns and manages to have a serious look at the status and direction of higher education in India. The present situation is just not acceptable.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dear Friends,

I have been going through the email of New York Times (I am on their mailing list), this evening as usual. It provides not only a bird's eye view of what is happening around us, but also gives you the American perspective of the major global and domestic events.

I was stuck by an article by NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF. He has just been to Pakistan and seen the penetration of the society by the so called "Jihadi" elements. I can not but marvel at the dedication and guts of Mr. NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, because we all know what happened to another US journalist Daniel Pearl, sometime back. He paints a very dangerous and scary picture of Pakistan. If one has any doubts about the instability of both Pakistani nation as well as society, I suggest this article. It is an eye opener (if they ever needed one) for the American establishment in particular and the world opinion in general.

I have quoted a few lines from the article so that you can judge for yourself. I think, US would be very short sighted, if it still ignores the dire warning signals. Worse still, failure of American leadership and policies in Pakistan, would affect every nation sooner or later.

"Terror Creeps Into the Heartland


A poll of Pakistanis released this month by found that one-third believed that the Taliban intended to gain control of all of Pakistan, but 75 percent thought that would be a bad result. Two years ago, only 34 percent of Pakistanis believed that Islamic militants constituted a “critical threat.” Now, 81 percent do.

Unfortunately, the United States has acted in ways that have often empowered the militants. We have lavished more than $11 billion on Pakistan since 9/11, mostly supporting the Pakistani Army. Yet that sum has bought Pakistan no security and us no good will.

In that same poll, 59 percent of Pakistanis said that they share many of Al Qaeda’s attitudes toward the United States, and almost half of those said that they support Al Qaeda attacks on Americans.

One reason is that America hasn’t stood up for its own values in Pakistan. Instead of supporting democracy, we cold-shouldered the lawyers’ movement, which was the best hope for democracy and civil society."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dear all,
Today we all were witness to a great celestial event. It was perhaps chance of a life time. It provided a great opportunity to the astronomers and might have helped the scientific community to improve their knowledge. All this will become evident in days to come, I am sure.
What made me worry, though, was the rather incessant parade of astrologers of doubtful credential, on various Indian TV channels. The Hindi channels were particularly prone to cross the limit of reasonable editorial freedom in the selection of what should and what should not be featured on their channels.
If one were to strictly go by the predictions and prescriptions of the "learned astrologers" who were only too happy to share their "insights" with us, we would not have been able to do anything worthwhile but to spend rest of our lifes, worrying about the effects of the eclipse on our individual sun signs.
I think some moderation was in order. Or was it another case of mindless battle for TRPs.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dear friends,
Today the TV news channels started flashing "breaking news", announcing the thaw in the Manmohan-Gilani talks at Sharm al Sheikh, on the sidelines of NAM summit.
This made me wonder- whether we have learnt any lessons from the November attacks in Bombay, or worse still, have we, as a nation, forgotten the tragedy.
The Pakistani side rather cleverly sought to delink the bilateral talks from the ever present danger of more terrorist attacks, in future. Now, while this may serve the Pakistanis well, the question before us is what concessions, if any, has Dr.Manmohan Sigh managed to extract from the Pakistani Prime Minister. Or is it the same old capitulation to Pakistani trickery, as has happened so often in the past. I wish to draw your attention to the great blunder committed by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1948. Subsequently, in 1971 when Indian military was on the periphery of Lahore, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto again managed to pull a fast one on Mrs. Indira Gandhi, during Shimla talks. He gave nothing and walked away with JK problem still alive.
This is worrisome. In international affairs national interests are always supreme and negotiations are always a means to further protect them. Here, I find, the Indian Government has been taken for a ride yet again.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


My Dear Friends,
I seek your blessings and support. In the days to come I will be sharing my views on a variety of topics which interest us all. I am sure you will be a partner in our journey towards wisdom and more wisdom.
"Kailash Parwat", the name of my blog, has been chosen deliberately as it is connected to (for the benefit of those not accustomed to Hindu Mythology) Devadhidev Lord Shiva, who though part of the Trinity has always been a contrarian. This blog will try to put across- the so called "other side" of the view- because it has now become rather fashionable to go with the herd.
Finally, I welcome you to my blog and invite you to share your views-the more out of the box the better.
Bhola Baba

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