The trends and the tensions!

Jack Welch

Nearly 1 million engineering graduates and others  are now being employed in the IT industry in India. This is expected to go up fast, given the projections for the IT potential in the coming years. He says it is the small start-ups, by unknown names and faces in Bangalore that triggers growth! So also says Jack Welch, the legendary GE’s long time boss. In his latest book, “Winning” he says that it is the small start-ups in Shanghai or Bangalore that hold the clue to the future of the world’s wealth!

So, engineering education, trained manpower holds the key to India’s competitive advantage. to use a much hyped phrase! In Karnataka, this year, there are 60,097 CET engineering rank holders and 42,515 medical rank holders waiting (as on date)for the seats that are allotted or shared among the government and private quota,a complex evolutionary process, now almost a high powered religious cum mystical exercise of altruism and plain greed!

There are  26 medical, 37 dental and 115 engineering colleges across Karnataka. What is at stake is the wild dreams and hopes of so many highly motivated youngsters! The government is clearly caught up in a complex web of selfishness of powerful individuals and lobby leaders and also the government’s own commitment to ensure equity, again a complex process of accommodating the various social and caste permutations and combinations. The creamy layer among the BCs and OBcs  as well as other pressure groups had put the Dharam Singh government in a delicate stage of survival and performance! Read More →

The Parthenon-the temple of goddess Athena is a masterpiece of architectural beauty. This was a rebuilt version of an earlier one, to celebrate the victory of the Athenians over the Persian conquerors! It proclaimed the greatness of the Athenian Empire. Even today, it remains unsurpassed by its originality. We haven’t exceeded the original design! Imagine! Words like democracy, freedom, philosophy, ethics, Olympic Games, a balanced life, objective, critical truth were all concepts without which we can’t live for a day!

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I made him speak at Oxford!

Swami Rangandananda,till  now the president of the Ramakrishna Mission had passed away recently. Born  in the Kerala village of Trikkur, near Thrissur in 1908,the swami had  very impressive life, starting as a humble young boy to reach the top and emerge as a scholar, speaker and philosopher.Why I write about him here is that I knew him,off and on, as I myself went to a Ramakrishna Mission school in Coimbatore where he was a frequent visitor. I knew him also in Kolkatta as I was a student in Santiniketan and again I was a frequent visitor to the Vivekananda Culture Centre of which he was  the moving spirit.

Once I remember to have gone there and found myself attending a very interesting lecture delivered by one Tagore (the name I forget),the  talented Tagore family members were all  very distinguished in different fields of arts and culture,this Tagore in his flowing silks, was a brahmo exponent.The Tagores were brahmos and in a way I should say I myself was greatly influenced by this doctrine, as this was much propagated by Raja Rammohan Roy to Rabindranath Tagore himself. Our weekly prayers at the brahmo ‘mandir’ was a special experience for us, students, with the Sanskrit texts read and the Rabindra sangeeth  sung so beautifully by students.In fact,I became a semi-Bengali in my love for Rabindra sangeeth and the very artistic and spiritual environment that prevailed there. Read More →

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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