Blog | How Mr. Sibal educated the country

SibalThe HRD Ministry on India has been in the news ever since Kapil Sibal stepped in. However, I beg to differ from people who say it has all been for the right reasons. Please!! Think again!

 First, there was the very good step of allowing foreign universities to set up campuses in India.. Although this can only prove good if the good universities are allowed to do so and not those money minting ones that will even go and set up a university in Antarctica, if only penguins had money! Because, quite clearly we stare at anything foreign with open mouths and awed eyes as if it has descended right from the heaven above.. so the ministry should take the responsibility of allowing quality educators to grace the Indian soil.

 Before that the ministry had set up new branches of the illustrous IIMs in Ranchi, Raipur and Rohtak (any more R’s feeling left out?). Though I believe that they might prove good in the longer run, they were not at all necessary now when there is so much work left out at the grass-root level. One might even say the government is literally trying to ‘cash-in’ using the IIM tags! Whether it will dilute the quality associated with the IIM-brand has to be waited and watched. I hope the best though.

 Following up was the very good decision taken by the government regarding the upgrading of BHU, Varanasi and ISM, Dhanbad into IIT’s. Both the institutions are extremely deserving and will only guide the students, who otherwise ignore these colleges, to right places instead of getting into other colleges just to fulfil the ‘Papa-main-bhi-engineer’ dream.

 But thereafter, started the madness.

 What was the need to scrap the class X CBSE board exams?? There was no logic. If you really care about the students, make the curriculum more streamlined and specific to the students’ need. Let them what they want to study and become more efficient experts in the topics of their choice rather than being a jack of all trades and a master of none! Don’t take away their first date with serious academic filtering that prepares them mentally to face the competition of the world thereafter!

 The right to education was a big big boost in the ministry’s report card though.

A high-time measure met, finally. Although again, it will have to be implemented to make sure that the step does not go in vain and remain only on papers and be used as a historical step in the debates and GD’s..

 Then a few good measures again like setting in motion the plans for a Rs.1500-laptop for students; which must be complemented with respective measures to make sure they do not become a favourite for smugglers and counterfeit-dependent companies. Also commendable were the plans to introduce more FDI into education; as well as allowing an increase in teachers’ salaries. They, must also, however, be complemented with improvement measures in the condition of schools across the countries. There are many schools in the rural and obsolete parts of the country which are no more than a room and which have as many classes as a 32nd day on a calender! Teachers come here to pick up their salaries while the governments resources for the school, goes right into their own households. It is nightmarish to imagine crores of FDI or higher salaries becoming victims of such schools

There was also the much much needed check over the “deemed” universities of the country, especially of a particular popular and well-established private chain of institutes that had been claiming deemed status till now. Scary to believe that there were some single-roomed deemed “universities” running in some parts of the country!

But then again, there were acts that left me scratching my head! Why allow private universities to set their own fees? I cannot get a hint of responsibility in this decision at all!

And why should the IIT’s teach medical courses? Aren’t they already good at what they are doing? Or is the government too lethargic to come up with good medical institutions? So what it does is introduce new courses in already established colleges that saves it the time to win popularity, besides the time and energy and resources to have been otherwise employed in setting up new colleges. Also IITs are acclaimed colleges so that the credibility of the new courses from these colleges is already set which would have taken time for new institutions.

The latest news to make me go mad is the introduction of Chinese in CBSE! What the hell!! As a competitor of China in almost every aspect in today’s and the future’s growing world, India should be doing more to promote its own language (something like the much needed rupee symbol) to present its claim as a world leader. Adopting Chinese does it no good. It only gives more unneeded hope to the wretched brain-drain phenomenon. So now its not just the English speaking Europe that our brightest minds will run off too, China will make hay too! Awesome! Total anarchy -coming soon! Introducing villagers to education will do much much more good than bringing in Chinese!

There is nothing done for the pressure that hampers and, at time, kills students. Why is it not mandatory for institutions to offer psychological assistance to students to cope with the pressure? Why are there so few exchange-programmes? Why are there so few government scholarships for bright minds? Why don’t we have government helplines and centres for assistance in educational matters? Why don’t we have government institutions that offer off-beat programmes? And worst of all, why is still there such a dearth of jobs.. what will we do with so many educated but unemployed people?

With so many gaps still left uncovered, it is only a question of time if more IIMs, MBBS-teaching-IITs and Chinese-speaking-but-job-thirsty will do India any good.

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