Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Darkness at noon - Super Power India RIP

The ruling politicians have reduced this great country a corrupt anarchy. Amidst rampant corruption and poverty comes the electricity failure putting more than half of a billion people in total chaos and suffering. Many were stranded in the metros, as the electric trains stopped midway; commuters had a horrendous day, leave alone the woes in factories offices and houses. It has spotlighted the country's worsening power crisis to the entire world. India's capability to attract investors will be questioned hereafter.

The grids or networks that connect commercial and domestic consumers collapsed dramatically a second time. The entire grid, from metering to generation has to be IT enabled as elsewhere, there should be a mechanism to catch those who overdraw. But in a corrupt chaos anything can happen anywhere. Unlike elsewhere in the world where grid collapses are caused by freakish acts of nature, the latest darkness at noon is the result of poor long term planning and abysmal lack of grid discipline which can happen only in a country like in India. Delhi, the national capital and the seat of power has been plunged into darkness for the last few days and the authorities are totally powerless!
 
Half the country went dark during the biggest electricity breakout and the electricity minister who is ultimately responsible was given a promotion to the Home Ministry!      

It is known to one and all that 60% of the population is living with around  Rs20-30 a day. Half of all its children are malnutritioned or stunted. The women suffer the worst; illiterate, devoid of any right to decide their life or future they are turned into child-producing factories. Half of the entire population (more than 600 million people do not have toilets! There is no priority or planning in the spending of the national income. Defence gets a lion's share of the budget obviously with an eye on the kickbacks in purchasing weapons. the money allotted for the poverty alleviation programs are all eaten away half the way and very little trickles down to the needy. And our nation becomes one of the poorest and of course most corrupt country

India becoming a super-power? Don't joke!       

Monday, July 23, 2012

Things studied in school get lost in colleges

Many college students have told me this. Especially from arts and science colleges. How does this happen? What was taught up to X11 is probably lost in colleges. The school teachers are, though paid less, sincere and help children to learn.

A lecturer gets Rs35,000-100,000 a month  and extra(for attending exam duty, paper valuation etc.) to engage 2- 3 periods for 120-140 days in an year! Computing the total number of hours one has to attend to duty in an year and dividing them by 8, a lecturer has to work for  30-35 days in an year to get up to Rs12,00,000! The funny part: there is no accountability. They need to go to the class and engage the students. They can give notes (they took down when they studied) or draw a diagram from the text on the board, write the syllabus to be covered for the examination, read text and ‘explain’ in a monotone or simply chit-chat. Some are least bothered whether the students talk to each other, make phone calls or eat lunch. Most do not keep abreast of the developments in their subjects, employ communication and teaching methods and naturally the classes are boring. Many of them have no aptitude to teach. UGC is only an objective type exam. Passing it does not qualify one to become a good teacher.     
  
Lecturers have private tuition or other business and earn much more. They get life-long pension (around  Rs50,000/pm) too. This is taking place in a country where an ordinary clerk (who is almost equally qualified but working 8-10 hours a day except Sundays gets around Rs5000/pm without any pension. Peasants who work for 12 hours a day and get less than Rs80/-a day!  The World Bank has remarked that Kerala university graduates are ‘unemployable.’ If youngsters do not know something they can be taught but those who undergo negative training cannot be even put to the right track. The negative example of teachers is destructive. Even without teachers, the interested students (as they do now) can still study by themselves the prescribed syllabus and get a pass mark in the university examinations which are merely memory exercises!  Most of what is studied for the examination is forgotten once the exams are over. The degree holders know very little of what is taught or studied and are good for government jobs where they need not do much. There are exceptions but that is not a merit of our educational system. 

Our teachers blame the students for being lazy and aimless. But it is good to remember that youngsters model elders and teachers. As the latter so the former. If they are not sincere in their work how can they expect the students to be sincere in their studies?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rich Govt.employees & poor public


State governments like Kerala spends around 75% of its total income for the salary and pension of the state government employees! The remaining 25% is available for all others put together like public works, education, healthcare, starting industries,  governmental spending and so on. Government servants constitute a mere 2% of the population. It thus becomes clear that 75% of the tax money of a state is earmarked for keeping 2% of the population well-taken care-of. The remaining 98% has to mend for themselves. The government is least bothered. Is it not shameful that in a socialist country like India, more than 50% of the population live with just Rs.20-30/- a day in abominable conditions?

Knowing this anomaly why are our politicians creating more and more government posts? There is a lot of bribe money in appointments, transfers, promotions and they are shrewd   to project the whole thing to the common people as ‘employment creation’. People being na├»ve believe them and they feel the politicians are serving them well by creating more posts in the government sector. It is common knowledge that the job of four government employees can easily  be done by just one.  Why not the government then reduce the public posts to one-fourth? Which politician is interested in the welfare of the state or country? Is the state or country going to progress by creating more unwanted, non productive government clerksl or still lower employees? Industrial and agricultural production is a must for a state to develop economically . More goods and services are to be produced either in the private or public sector.  Where is the money for starting up industries? Where is the money for developing  the  service sector? The whole resources are earmarked for the salary and life-long pension of ‘non-workers’. And the net result?  The 2% government employees with their high pay, pension and bribe- money are well-off doing nothing. While the vast majority are reeling under poverty and their plight is deplorable as they are unorganized and powerless.      

Friday, July 13, 2012

The illusion of socialism


State governments like Kerala spends around 75% of its total income for the salary and pension of the state government employees! The remaining 25% is available for all others put together like public works, education, healthcare, starting industries,  governmental spending and so on.  Government servants constitute a mere 2% of the population. It thus becomes clear that 75% of the tax money of a state is earmarked for keeping 2% of the population well-taken care-of. The remaining 98% has to mend for themselves. The government is least bothered. Is it not shameful that in a socialist country like India, more than 50% of the population live with just Rs.20-30/- a day in abominable conditions?


Knowing this anomaly why are our politicians creating more and more government posts? There is a lot of bribe money in appointments, transfers, promotions and they are shrewd   to project the whole thing to the common people as ‘employment creation’. People being naive believe them and they feel the politicians are serving them well by creating more posts in the government sector. It is common knowledge that the job of four government employees can easily  be done by just one.  Why not the government then reduce the public posts to one-fourth? Which politician is interested in the welfare of the state or country? Is the state or country going to progress by creating more unwanted, non productive government clerks?

Industrial and agricultural production is a must for a state to develop economically. More goods and services are to be produced either in the private or public sector.  Where is the money for starting up industries? Where is the money for developing  the  service sector? The whole resources are earmarked for the salary and life-long pension of ‘non-workers’. And the net result?  The 2% government employees with their high pay, pension and bribe- money are well-off doing nothing. While the vast majority are reeling under poverty and their plight is deplorable as they are unorganized and powerless.      

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Who is really 'successful' in life?

You may think the rich, the political leaders  and those at the top of their careers are really successful. But to be really successful one should be happy every day, every moment.  If these people are not, then they are not truly successful. On the other hand, ordinary guys like you and me can be ‘successful’.  The real question is: ‘am I happy and peaceful at heart?


 What will make one truly happy and peaceful? 
Riches, fame and power may not. Of course, We need adequate money for our needs. But we need not have millions. Fame and power are not essential ingredients of happiness either. If these do not bring happiness, what will?

From my experience I have found if your work is something you like and love and if you feel what you do is important for you and others you will certainly be happy career wise. That is why I always ask my seminar participants to find out a profession or career  that they will enjoy.  It is not the money and perks that matter. The work should be like a play. The earlier we are able to identify our innate aptitude and identify a career in line with it, the better.  When you do something you enjoy, you tend to do it more efficiently and more money and promotions will simply follow. If on the other hand, you have landed in something which you do not like, irrespective of the money or position it brings, you will be basically unhappy doing it.
The other point, perhaps, is we should love our dear ones. If they are not happy, you cannot be happy either. This is something overlooked or bypassed by people today. Our relationships with those close to us do determine our happiness levels. May be we have to sacrifice a bit here, a bit there, and spend for them a little more of what we earn.  May be we have to spend more time for them and show more genuine consideration and love. May be we have to control our responses to make them happy and avoid hurting them in any way.

The only other point which I can think about is to develop a positive attitude and a helping mentality.
 Let us be grateful to this universe for having given birth to us at this era and let us try to help our co-travellers as  much as we can. You have here the philosophy of success.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Are we lucky to have been born in India?

 Yes and no. Lucky in the sense we share a great civilization, the culture of a great country which dates back to pre-history.   Perhaps, civilization began in the history of the world, first,  on the banks of the Indus and later it on moved to the plains of the Ganges. We have been bestowed with the oldest and the greatest philosophical and religious books like the Vedas, Upanishads and the Bhagavat  Geetha.   Great peace-loving religions like Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism  started here and spread to the farthest corners of the world. Our forefathers cherished peaceful co-existence and were tolerant to all faiths, creeds and races. 




It is a pity that conquerors from Persia and the Middle East brought in intolerance, genocide, forced conversions and war.  Communal violence, ever since, has pierced the breast of India --before, during and after independence. The conquerors brought in a culture of violence and destruction which has bled the ethos of the cultural heritage of this great land. Later on the Europeans established their rule here exploiting the disunity of the princely states of india. The earlier conquerors and the Europeans robbed this great land of its riches and the people were oppressed for centuries.

After independence India became one of the poorest countries, which houses the maximum number of the poorest in the world. The leaders of independent India brought in massive corruption and exploited the people to their own benefit. Today, this great land has become one of the most corrupt nations on the face of the world. The political leaders have prospered beyond measure and there are people who believe the present state of affairs is worse than when the when the British ruled here. The classless socialism created the rich, corrupt leaders and government officials who loot the masses. With all the talk of the resurgent, economically progressing nation, the vast majority live with Rs20-30 a day emaciated, hungry and sick. The population increases fast and the politicians play vote –bank politics and it is a pity they are not really concerned with the development of this country.  Anyone born in India has to share poverty, malnutrition, sickness and death and we hope for the return of the good old days when peace and prosperity reigned in this great country.      

Thursday, July 5, 2012

India, a corrupt anarchy

India is characterized by rampant corruption at all levels without any accountability anywhere and the rule of law has been made a mockery.  The politicians, government and public sector employees amass wealth through unfair means and hold themselves unaccountable to anything. They work little and get highly paid with life-long pension for looting the people!  There is corruption in every department. The tax authorities extract bribes rather than collect taxes. The law enforcers use the laws to get bribes and to loot the commons in the guise of implementing them.  The Indian police, supposed to serve the people, is regarded corrupt and insensitive to the people’s issues.

The politicians get a part of the bribe right from appointing people to all levels of bribe-collection. This explains why they want more appointments although further appointments are not warranted. Many of them  have very little work. It is known to many in that a PWD engineer, if he is not interested in the bribe-money, need not attend office or do any work to get fully paid.   Don’t the Chief ministers and Prime minister know that no building plan is sanctioned without giving bribe, that no electricity connection is given without giving a bribe, that hardly any file moves without greasing their palms? Most people remain at the mercy of the corrupt administration which exploits them unbelievably. Then why the hell they are paid from the tax-money collected from the people? 

The natural wealth of the country, and it has been abundantly blessed in this regard, is looted by the corrupt leaders, government officials and their cronies. Was the PM not aware that the 2G spectrum was sold to the private companies at a pittance? Was the PM not aware of the perils of the present arbitrary allocation of the auction of coal blocks which caused huge losses to the government? If the 2G case brought a loss of 2 lakh crores, the latter brought about hundreds of lakhs of crores!. All this immense wealth is gulped up by the political leaders and the officials.  It is amply clear the governments at the center and at the states is least worried about the common man. They are there to increase their wealth and that of and their cronies.  And see, half of all Indians get just Rs20-30 a day and they are at the brink of death.  Half does not have even a toilet; 50% of our children are malnourished and stunted. Where is the wealth of this great nation disappearing? Into the pockets and the foreign accounts of the leaders and officials?   

Monday, July 2, 2012

How India becomes poorer

It is known to all that political leaders amass wealth through unfair means in India. This blatant sin is  forgotten by the masses,  being brain washed by their orchestrated media lies and nonsensical vote- bank- politics. People, carried away by their rhetoric that soothes parochial and religious sentiments vote them to back to power.  A person who follows truth and justice or one who is truly interested in the development of the country can never reach a powerful position here. They can be just crusaders like Jayaprakash Narayan or Anna Hazare. Those who wield power and head departments/ministries dispensing money all seem to be corrupt to the core.  
Like any other present day socialistic country,  India  has produced two distinct classes: those who work and contribute to the tax base and those work little and eat away the tax payer’s money. The Government servants do little, enjoy a lot of holidays and free time and earn fabulous salaries and very high pension. The wealth they accumulate through unfair means is not accounted here. The private sector employees, peasants and workers have to work like donkeys but are paid much less without any pension. Pay should be proportionate to the input.  There should be accountability--one should shoulder some responsibility in proportion to the pay and perks. Let us take the University teachers in this country as an example. It is an accepted fact that our educational system is totally inefficient and makes our youth ‘unemployable.’  The college teachers do very little work ( 2-3 periods  for an average of 10-12 days a month ) but they are paid around Rs100,000/pm!  They enjoy more holidays than working days and in each 8hr-working day they have more free time than working time. Still, they are paid the fabulous salaries in this poor country where 50% earn Rs20/ a day! In the private sector an employee has to work 10-12-14 hours each day  to earn one third what these teachers get.  See the disparity. The private sector workers contribute more to nation building than these lecturers.  Even without their teaching, students can manage a good pass by studying the portions by themselves as many of them do now.  

Our UGC follows foreign norms in pay scale but are unable to bring accountability as in the developed nations.  They do not follow developed countries norms in the selection of the candidates: the process is controlled by an objective type exam (which has practically nothing to do with one’s ability to teach) and follow caste based reservations.   People allege a lot of corruption in the PSCs, and UPSCs appointments.  This applies to each public sector.  And the result:  we have inefficient people in every key area.   A socialist nation like India, no wonder, becomes poorer day by day.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

How colleges make our youth 'unemployable'?

The world bank has remarked that the Kerala graduates are 'unemployable'. It is common knowledge that our university examinations are memory exercises. Anyone can  graduate/postgraduate  with a few weeks 'mugging up' the prescribed portions just  before the examination. Once the examination is over students conveniently forget the whole thing and they are back to square one. Kerala  universities do not make the students appropriate the knowledge nor apply the same in their lives. It is not important too whether a student has an aptitude towards the same. If one can  store some data in the memory neurons (with or without teachers) and vomit it out into the exam sheets one can have the degree.

The saddest part is the way the universities appoint  lecturers.  UGC exam is an objective type one to gauge the  knowledge of the candidate. Nobody ascertains whether one has an interest in the subject or teaching ability.  Without an innate aptitude no teacher can do justice to the profession. Its should be coupled with his/her determination to become an expert by updating periodically. Teaching in a very ineffective way--giving notes, reading and explaining in a monotone or simply drawing a diagram from the book on the board--is not going to produce any result. The students will not feel like listening or absorbing what is taught nor will they be inspired to go in depth into the subject. Spending the allotted time perfunctorily in classrooms (waiting for the bell to go) is of no help at all. Many of our college teachers  do not have teaching ability,  nor do they develop 'how to teach effectively.' Why should they if the employers are not bothered?

College lectureship is very attractive these days; teachers are paid 35,000-100,000 a month for doing very little.(Remember this is a country where a clerk -almost equally qualified- gets Rs.5000/ a moth for working 8-10 hrs every day of the year without pension and a farmer fails to make Rs.30/ a day if he works for 12 hours a  day)   If lecturers  engage 2- 3 periods a day for 120-140 days in an year they pocket 4.2-12 lakhs ! There is extra income for exam duty, paper valuation and so on. Income from private work or business (using all the free time) cannot be properly ascertained. Above all there is life-long  pension (around  Rs50,000 a month!). College teaching job  is like a lottery. Little work, more holidays than working days plenty of money and no accountability. They need to spend the appointed time in the class (this is very easy with the internals even for a new teacher) to get the big salary. It has been reported that even some of the senior lecturers come to the class and start drawing a diagram on the board form the text book without bothering what the students do who may be phoning, taking lunch or talking to their friends or doing a mischief. When the bell goes may be the teacher is happy thinking about the big pay cheque.  In this context,  how can we expect higher standards in our students? Even without this sort of teaching students can pass the exams by themselves (as many do now). There is no need for these teachers. What an example they set! And they always blame the students! As youngsters model teachers & elders, how can they be blamed?