[17 Apr 2014 | No Comment | 16 views]
On the mess that is RTE..

Almost five years back in 2009, India enacted a “landmark” bill and created a new “Right” – the “Right to Education”. Normally a new “right” ought to be celebrated. But as columnist Meeta Sengupta wrote around the time, “..(this) should also..be a moment of pure fear, for we have made a commitment to something big, something we have never done before, something we have no idea of how to do.”
Her words – especially the part about “no idea of how to do” – were prescient.
Take, for example, the grand announcement that 25% …

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[17 Apr 2014 | No Comment | 0 views]

Continued from Part I..
The first is the fact this is really not just about “Education for the Poor”. It is actually “Education for the Disadvantaged and the Weaker Sections” of the society.  In the absence of norms and guidelines about what exactly does this mean, this has been left open to interpretation. Different states and institutions have interpreted “Disadvantaged” and “Weaker” in their own different ways, most opting for a split of the 25% between these two sections.
The second, important, point: The act only applies to intake at Class I. What …

Miscellaneous, Modern Indian History, National Heroes »

[15 Apr 2014 | No Comment | 6 views]
“Saluting our Heroes” is now on Google Play!

A few weeks back, one of the long-time readers of my blog, Akshar got in touch with an offer of help I could not refuse.. In his email, he wrote:
I can publish your books/presentations etc. on Android as offline apps. This will give it much wider reach and put it in the hands of not so internet savvy people as well.
The result of his hard work – which he very generously offered to do for no charge at all – is this Android app on the “Param Veers” of Bharat, …

Elections 2014, Politics and Governance in India »

[6 Apr 2014 | 3 Comments | 115 views]
“How to Choose your MP” – Guest Post by Prakash Prabhakar

Dear Friends, it gives me great pleasure to publish this guest post by my good friend Prakash Prabhakar on “How to Choose your MP”.  This post was a request to Prakash from me – and was triggered by a thought-provoking update by him on facebook…As the world’s largest democracy goes to vote, this could not be more timely..  Without further ado (emphasis added),
*** How to Choose your MP – Prakash Prabhakar ***
Somehow the political contexts and scenario whether you take it top down or bottom up, is dismal and not …

Miscellaneous »

[6 Apr 2014 | No Comment | 14 views]

Dear All: Over the past few weeks, I have noticed an increasing number of comments that are:

posted on the wrong thread (pl use the “Search” box at the bottom of the page to find the appropriate thread or use the “Categories” drop down menu);
irrelevant (pl note that comments not relevant to the thread will be deleted straight-away);
abusive or crossing the line of public decency/ defamation (these too will be deleted without notice);
merely repeating what has been said by others before (likely to be deleted without notice unless a new perspective …

Development Related, Indian Economy, Politics and Governance in India, ToI Columns »

[4 Apr 2014 | 2 Comments | 116 views]
India’s Painful Problem of Plenty…

Most of you may know that India produces more food than we can consume. In fact, India has been self sufficient in food for at least the last three decades, having “achieved self- sufficiency in food production in the late 1970s (1)”. And yet hunger in India remains at alarming levels. More children remain malnourished in India than any part of the world (almost 40% of the world’s total according to some estimates).
What most of you may not know is that “..India wastes a quantity of wheat equivalent to the …