H D Deve Gowda

When the current regime assumed office in Delhi with Deve Gowda at the helm, there was some noise about making education for all a reachable goal by 2000 AD.  Under Gujral, this goal seems to have receded to the background.  No one talks of education these days.

Education at any time is a boring subject, isn’t it?  At best we all talk of education only when it concerns us, the middle or upper middle classes.  The Delhi English language press may be making noises about education and that education is all about admissions into ‘public’ schools and the ‘campus’ college.

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Schools occupy the minds of parents, thinkers and governments as the very basis of a civilized society.  No country underrates the importance of educating their children.  There are advanced countries like the European nations and the USA where schooling evokes strong feelings of warmth and fierce criticisms.  Warmth as schools gives families and children that rare sense of identity and fulfillment.

Criticisms of schools are as fierce in these countries for good schools are rare, even if the material facilities are provided in abundance for it is rare to find schools that are dedicated to nurturing youngsters with a sense of mission and idealism.

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History is series of accidents

Big events have no big causes!

Marxists believe history has a pattern or lessons. Non-Marxists like Alan Taylor (who taught me history) thought history is a series of accidents. As  Taylor had said many a time the first war was triggered because  on the  “fateful July 28 1914,all the six assassins at Sarajevo missed their  mark; Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot only because his driver had taken a wrong turning and stopped, enabling Principal, the assassin to step on  the running side-board and take a second shot” (A.J.P.Taylor, A biography (page 226).

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With the two college kids, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the Google phenomenon came about and now, life is impossible without searching the Google everyday! It is just ten years the duo were students at Stanford Universe and in the ten years the world’s biggest and richest company had been created out of nowhere! Larry Page came out with a scanning technique to digitize the University of Michigan’s library of 7m books and Google Book Search is now history.

Internet has touched one billion people today. There are yet 5.5 billion to do. Vint Cerf, one of the founders of internet is currently chief internet evangelist & VP, Google. He says the many devices that access the internet would speed up the users and there are 2.5 billion devices which are accessing the internet, providing such services like payment, navigation systems, and numerous interfaces like SMS etc. These include mobile phones, laptops and other handheld devices. In 1997, there were only 50 million users, today they are one billion. Such is the fast growth of internet. The founder said that users today are producers tomorrow, education and businesses would thrive on the internet uses. The real power of the internet is to enable everyone to access information at almost no cost! That would create the real revolution in the lives of the people.

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A letter to the President of India

India as a liberal and open society?

Recognize the transforming power of the individuals, institutions and the new technologies!

India as it is, a liberal and open society? Not yet? Not fully yet.

Our Constitution is a great document, it exceeds in its intrinsic qualities, its vision and wisdom that it has stood the test of the times. We have also mature state institutions, our Parliament, our Judiciary and Executive and a free press, now made more free and independent by the growing power of the visual media, the TV networks and the  rapid spread of the internet users, give Indians and the Indian ethos a rare power and sensitivity.

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