A Great Shame!
And see who are all claiming victory?
The most revered former Prime Minister!
All the loud-mouthed Congress spokesmen!
And lo! All the publically perceived corrupt faces!
Yes, this is India where the judicial system looks a laughing stock!

2gWe don’t know how to make sense of the 2-G verdict. Fortunately, this is also said by senior CBI officials and other high-ranking bureaucrats. Why, even some ex-judges of the apex court are also embarrassed to say the same.

What has happened to our judicial system, the administration of law and justice?

From now onwards, the public, the citizens are likely to become more sceptical about our politicians and those who have turned politics into a big business opportunity. Or, turn to politics to practice their black magic, be it religion or some other route to grab power for whatever purposes.

It is a sad day indeed for all those who had learnt to take politics seriously. At least the most some of our senior politicians can do is to volunteer to stay away from continuing to practice politics with all its sins and further to muddy the waters!

In an unprecedented way the Special Court  that sat patiently, as presiding judge himself wrote in his 1,000 page judgement that he sat religiously all these 8 and odd years, from 10 AMN to 6 PM and listened to what the government agencies and their low-level official  said and did and what he saw so painfully and yet he had to sit helplessly that none of the officials, the CBI and ED men and the prosecution officials was  to sign papers with no interest and  “how  the UPA’s chaotic functioning, lack of clarity on policy issues and bureaucrat is running riot, contributing to the public perception of wilful  subversion of procedure and monumental scam “as the Times of India editorial puts it.

In fact the TOI is much more scathing and says many things.
One thing the public refuses to believe in the many claims made by the chief actors.

Manmohan Singh should not have rushed to claim any immunity from the judgement. At least he should spare the country any more such claims; he should retire from public life more gracefully.
Also, there are many other issues. Sonia Gandhi can’t remain silent and she should equally blame herself for her choice of the PM candidate.

The two secretaries of the PM also equally share blame for misleading him. But then why you are there to be so misled?
And of course the charges of crony capitalism?

This is a reflection of the way our judicial system functions and everyone responsible for such a state of affairs have to share the blame. The BJP government too can’t run away. You have been there for the past three and half years in power?

Didn’t you know you have a role in this decline of the system?
What about the Supreme Court’s cancellation of the 122 licences?
We Indians must feel ashamed of ourselves.

We go all the way to London to prosecute a lonely wrong-doer, supposed to be, namely Mr.Vijay Mallaya but here you have whole lot of offenders, in the public eye, justice seems to have derailed. How can you wash off your hands, the Law Minister, why even the PMO level to the blames rests firmly, both on moral and administrative grounds?

After Bofors, another scandal of monumental dimensions? Yes, it looks so unfortunately. It will be another phase of agony, we are yet to witness in the coming years.

So, there is no respite for the common man and the poor and the weaker sections to seek justice or the confidence from onwards the system will deliver timely justice without any regard for status or rights.

Who can restore confidence in our judicial system?

This is a question that would agitate the minds of every citizen for long, very long indeed!

Mere academic discussion alone won’t transform Indian education!
We need a broad social and political ideology!

Prof. Krishna Kumar

Prof. Krishna Kumar

Those opens up and integrate into a new class-based liberal society where the upper class, the middle class and the rest of the classes feel the society opened up and accommodate all citizens as enjoying equal rights and opportunities for progress.

Adolescents are a wealth of a nation!
Or, adolescent dreams represent a nation’s wealth! In India, this dream, this wealth is mostly burnt up in preparations for the examinations! How many times we have heard of these types of statements?

May be most of the times whenever we come to the topics of education system in India. In fact, some educators like Prof. Krishna Kumar of the NCERT, National Council for Education Research, of which he was for long the director; maybe there are many such sensitive educators either in some government jobs or outside who work for an education system that doesn’t kill the youth power, its dreams and idealism and what not?

But unfortunately Indian education system has not evolved; we often also blame the Macaulay system of education which introduced, so say many that is responsible for the present Indian mindset that seeks for quick deliverance from such niceties like textbooks, teaching, exams and escape from the oppression and suppression of the Board exams and pass out to reach the college.

But then the dreams of a university education are also unfulfilled  for the many for the higher education system too had fallen into a rut, as we can see in many states, mostly so in the more advanced states like Tamil Nadu where you can see the worst developments in the name of research and faculty development.

They, most universities in that state, have split up the departments into as many as 83 departments in the Madras university; also the same practice is seen in Madurai and in Bharatiyar university in Coimbatore to reward the loyal teachers. The selection and appointment of Vice Chancellor are all so faulty that recently the then incumbent Governor of the State had appointed, he signed the order of appointment and even now other universities are unable to even find a non-controversial member of the selection committee to search and indentify suitable candidates for the VCs jobs! Why?

What else the unstated state of the role of big money in corruption in university education!

Of course, the mention of money, corruption, why even the role of politics and politicians, the very process of politicization of education is where the Macaulay model of education finds itself.
If you want to mention politics then the very education experts all vanish in the air for the fear of the incumbent holder of the lever of power. There are as many stories within other stories when it comes to education policy making and education administration.

Fortunately, this journal is not a pure academic education journal. It is an independent education media where we discuss the more realistic ground-level realities of how education has been turned into a commercial product that even, (only in India?)where even the big corporate houses run tuition industry as a most profitable field of money-making. Or, some of the collaborations in education are forged with those in such Gulf countries like Dubai or Abu Dhabi!

It is taken as a badge of honour to add in your CV that you had worked for some years in the Gulf countries. So, what is the future for the adolescents in India who, as recently happened in Panapakkam in the rural town of Vellore district where four adolescent girls jumped into a well and committed suicide for fear of facing the school exams. It is not a rare incident. In fact, we have to go for the high society, the elite, yes, including the political elite class who run big corporate style large scale network of schools, from Delhi some of these schools have come to Bangalore and set up highly profitable schools with fancy names, charging very stiff fees. The more your school’s fee structure is the more reputed is your claim for social recognition!

Now, what else we can do to liberalize education? What we need is a more practical and even drastic step on the part of state education departments; from the state education ministers. The boards, both State and Central, can order the schools, at least some of the bigger ones to appoint full-time or part-time arts, music and dance and art teachers and allot marks in these subjects in the final exams.

There should be marks for sports, or social activities.

The often misled parents’ emphasis on marks and selection of subjects in final school exams must be dictated not by blind beliefs of parents but by teams of education experts and education psychologists and others. Unfortunately, once the Public Schools were leaders of good education.

Alas, no more! They too have fallen on the same enduring bad practices like tuition-inclined trends. The IITs and IIMs are all have not yet broken this crushing of creative talents of youngsters. We have to revive and vitalize the creative talents of the individual students in a persistent effort to open up the closed education syndrome.

It is fairly predictable
Yes, it is! Any negative news is only news! Other than negative news is no news

Benjamin Netanyahu Prime Minister of Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of Israel

This is the rule of the so many TV news channels! Why education only! It is also true for many of our other concerns! The Israeli Prime Minister is on a state visit to India, on a six-day visit. This is unprecedented, isn’t it so? Yet for a much -hyped TV news channel this is no news at all! So too, many other channels. Education, culture or social issues-these sectors do not make news.

So, what happens?

When some of the most crass education enterprises, yes, nowadays some of the most money-minded schools, these days the schools, mostly, the kids schools, then come the secondary schools with some fancy names, some even say unabashedly, schools that encourages this or that virtue, some even go for religious virtues verging on communal overtones, these schools have come out with some innovative advertisement strategies.

The plush school with much greenery and very rich classroom interiors, the school almost advertised itself as a five-star hotel, took time from a TV channel at prime time viewership just before the 6 o-clock news feature where we saw the school children themselves speak of their own school, the various material comforts they enjoy. Food, playgrounds and other recreational features and there were no teachers around to speak of the school’s other innovations. Nowadays the word International is added to schools. So, the most commercial minded school ventures are all International School!

So, we have come to a stage in profitable school enterprises where we recruit school children themselves as advertisement products. Is this the right way to go about explaining your educational values and philosophy? Also, the obsession with the tuition and coaching classes! Most national dailies carry the full front page advertisements. Why, our progress in education has come to mean only coaching and passing exams, the school children search anxiously the announcements of the CBSE and other certificate exam dates! This is the most vital education issue for the pupils and the teachers.

And alas! The commercialization of education, starting from kids to the adolescents, has also become now a multi-vocational activity. Now, the one Delhi-based secondary school, why there might be more such ones, we don’t know, has opened campuses in Delhi and Bangalore.

Also the school chains! The obsession with the CBSE schools outside the metropolitan cities is still worse and more nauseating. We can’t say more about this obsession. And pray God! Corruption in education the money and the education practices! The less said the better. So, we have to sympathize with the HRD minister. We don’t know how he is going to sort out the cobwebs in the education sector. Just now we read the HRD is abolishing the Deemed Universities. So, it took some 20 years or so, to create confusion in education and also to clear up the confusion over the much-maligned label, Deemed Universities, some 109 of them is now proposed to be abolished.  What about the damage already done by these institutions? The many fake degrees already conferred. Much more fake acts are one by the founders of these fake one, often not publically mentionable names and reputations, yet they had a run of their lifetime’s dreams.

Here are uneducated and almost illiterate people who had taken on the most polite society and almost they called you names, all names and dared to confer dignity and respectability by an honorary doctorate and other titles.

The latest controversy  over a honorary D Litt on the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the CM’s rather moving speech on the occasion is at least pardonable compared to what havoc they had caused in another state, namely Tamil Nadu, where hon. doctorate is almost mandatory for any Chief Minister, not even for the asking. Such bogus higher education rituals in the wake of the fake numbers of Deemed Universities have also led to the creation of fake Engineering Colleges which again in TN, now face the irony of lack of students.

We wonder whether the HRD minister has the time or the energy to tackle the higher education sector in the near future. Of course, it is not all darkness. If only some autonomy is restored in the universities, may be, some good might come. But then, the Chief Minister, the Governor and high dignitaries must treat their hono offices only as honorary and nothing more.

Let us hope for better days and mature wisdom in higher education.

No need for any education? Is it only the entrepreneurial instinct that matter?
Or, the educators  must be the most enlightened people?
In new ideas and articulations?
Decide in whatever  fashion you want!
Here are certain new ideas and new ideological convictions!
That could give the Indian context, the present times and the challenges we face some  perspective!

Sometimes big ideas and ideology
give context and meaning for our smaller concerns!
This is such a time, we believe!

We talk of education, culture and even less corruption in our day-to-day affairs, right?
Do we live at  such a time now. I am afraid not.

Fredrich Hayek

Fredrich Hayek

We have learn’t to compromise  far too much with our own cherished values. The situation at the national, why even at the international and local levels differ so radically. At the ground level too, in the Indian states experiences vary. In a state like Tamil Nadu, the situation is so bad. The level of corruption, more so at the elections, is still beyond repair. In other states like Karnataka and other north Indian States, observers say many things.  Fine, what is the future like?

Short and long term? I am not sure.  But what I am able to articulate is this much only. Just now I read an article in the London-based New Statesmen, for me it is a very long years of attachment, a reading habit that doesn’t  easy go off. In the essay on Fredrich Hayek, the Austrian-born economist and visionary(born in 1899) was an icon in his times and he won the first Economics Nobel Prize and held on to his New Rightwing views that a free market capitalism was the only answer to the Communist regimes through which he lived all his life.

Now, I am an ardent admirer of Hayek’s many views and the irony is that he lived through the years to see before his years  the demolition of Communist regimes in Russia and other Europeans countries. Now, there is much to say on the issues of the times when great minds like Hayek and Karl Popper, his another Austrian colleague(author of the Open Society and its Enemies)  were witnesses to their own prophesies.

Now, what is the lesson for us in India today? How far we Indians are sensitive to the great issues of the day?
Of course at the very first thought, we seem not to care for such big issues, big themes, and right?

There is a great deal of shallowness in our politics, and in other areas of search and discovery of truth or truths, if we can say so. So, I like to draw the attention of our countrymen the latest news that income inequality in India  has reached high levels. This report comes from the World Inequality Lab with which such economists Thomas Picketty and other reputed names are associated. The top O.1 percent of earners have captured more growth than all of those in the bottom 50 per cent combined. The share of India’s national income captured by India, stop 1 per cent of was 22 per cent.

The point here is that in spite of our great economists and political leaders not speaking out, we the people have to raise our conscience and ask is this the way our economic policies would work furhter in our children’s times?

What about the globalisation impact? No impact on the living conditions of the fellow citizens? I find from Hayek’s analysis that capitalism, he is a strong advocate as a free market capitalism, he also shared his concerns with his felow rival and colleague, Lord Keynes of UK.

Though both  wanted to work with capitalism, there is a sharp observation in the essay that Hayek understood and said so that Capitalism   the distribution of resources won’t be fair.

So, in brief that even under our present state of politics that our very many hopes and aspirations like  a free and fair access to education and other social benefits might not be  fair and free and we would  continue to live under this basic unfair society and we would  be losers in the short and the long run.
What is the way out?

I ask the enlightened citizens, the upper class and the middle class intellectuals and other at the bottom levels as organisers  of people into parties and other pressure groups to give thought to what I have said here.

My submission here is that we can’t detach ourselves from the moral and ethical obligations to think and express a view and stand by it.
Are we ready to do so?

That is the serious question!

After all, we are one of the three big agriculture nations!
But what is happening in agriculture policy making today?
How much attention we give to agriculture
And the people depending upon it?

prabhu-1The recent WTO ministerial meeting in the distant Brazil ended after disappointing those countries who wanted to improve their trading gains by securing food and also getting some foothold in enhancing the farm subsidies regime that is, as everyone knows, heavily tilted in favour of the rich and the powerful with the tag of developed country status, the USA and the European Union. It is unfortunate that bureaucracy under the Modi regime is as divorced from the actual cultivators, the big and the not so big farmers and thus, a lone Mr.Prabhu, the minister, was the only voice we heard by way of what happened in the WTO meet. Much of what the minister was supposed to have said or argued was lost in the reporting, though the official news agency, the PTI reports were too were not very enlightening.

This is one of the many tragedies of the Indian agri sector.
If this is the situation at the level of a magazine like the AIS, we can imagine how many other sectors, the mainstream press added, not to speak of the TV channels.

Why not the Boardcasting Ministry funds some preventatives of the mainstream media? Why not specialist agri press be excused.
The corporates engaged in agriculture, like tractor companies and other big ones in diverse sectors must have raised to the occasion. The FICCI must rise up from its slumber.

It should not consider it a big occasion once the Prime Minister visits them.

There must be much more than the very formal ceremonies.
Our media which sell sin rural areas hasn’t done its duty towards its own media responsibility.

Why don’t you interview either the minister, surely the battery of officials accompanying him to say something sensible for the public to understand why the AWTO meet failed in its objective?
After all, India is going to be the biggest, one of the biggest three great agricultural economies of the world.

So, we have a critical role to playing shaping an agricultural policy for the world.

So, there must be a better coverage of the agricultural issues in our mainstream press.

It is a pity that we as the largest producer of major food grains, wheat and rice, don’t have a significant voice in determining  major agriculture policy for the rice producing South East Asian countries.

We ask the government of India to send some press delegations to these great rice producing South East Asian neighbours so that we can exchange views.

Let the Agriculture Ministry wake up so that there are better public  relations between the agri bureaucracy and the leading agri lobbies.

It is unfortunate  that the gap between the farmers lobbies and the agri bureaucracy is so wide. Even in Delhi, the headquarters of the agri ministry, why even the ICAR must be functioning at the very centre of the city.

They ask you to travel to outskirts and this puts off many.
Will the Prime Minister’s Office(PMO)take note of this suggestion and pass on the news to whomever it concerns?

Who is the agriculture minister anyway? Not many seems to know!
So, please make the Indian agriculture the every centre of all other policy making.

The Indian villages would remain for all time to come, right?
Anybody, who is big enough in Indian politics knows this reality?
It looks no one seems to be interested.

Only when election time comes, unfortunately, as we have seen in the recent Gujarat elections, that too, when the campaigners  turn the rural, farmers vote into one of caste vote banks!
This is really a silly turn of events and this mentality must go!
Farmers must become a powerful lobby, it is a reality in the European countries that farmers lobbies there are really very powerful, very united and so that the farmers meets become the very powerful political events. Not is so in UK, in France and even in other developed countries.

Yes, we are a very complacent nation, people. We take our politicians seriously.

We are leader-worshippers! We worship power! We get easily deceived by catchy slogans.

As a nation we are still immature and easily

So,dear readers,once you are interested in agriculture,it demands an active participation.