Tuesday, January 28, 2014

14 What a great sharing arrangement!

What a great sharing arrangement?
topics for discussion: Indian Education, Indian Higher Education, Public Private Partnership

We celebrated Republic Day with grandeur and ostentation on 26th Jan. 2014. We have exhibited some multi-color barrel-rocket-launchers as show pieces for our military prowess.

Ok, so far so good.

We shall see where we stand in the area of Higher Education:


You can see this advertisement released by Government of India in Deccan Chronicle dated 27.01.2014.
This ad. relates to foundation-stone-laying ceremony for the building of I.I.I.T., Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh. The stone-layer is Mr. Pallamraju, the Hon. Union Minister for Human Resource Development. You will see from the ad. that our Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh and the Congress President Ms. Sonia Gandhi are looking down from the sky. On the left side of Mr. PallamrAju's photo is the photo of Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy, the CM. of Andhra Pradesh.

Here are four special guests of honor: The first gentleman is the Principal Secretary of Higher Education, New Delhi- Mr. Ashok Thakur.

You have one Inspire Group CMD Mr. Prakash Jain. Another Sarex Chemicals MD Mr. Ashok Shroff. You have a Chaitanya Educational Institutions Group MD Mr. K. Sasikaran Varma.

The ad. says that they are going to start 20 such I.I.I.T.s all over India. Outlay for EACH I.I.I.T. is Rs. 125 crore or Rs. 1.25 billion or approx. $200 million. 50% is being subscribed by the Govt. of India. 35% is subscribed to by the concerned State Govt. 15% is said to have been subscribed to by the PPP (Public Private Partnership Partners).

YBRAO A DONKEY'S COMMENTS


What a great sharing arrangement! 85% of the outlay is invested by the Government. Then, they hand over the succulent pudding to the PPP partners on a golden platter, for what? What do these four businessmen who have in aggregate subscribed less than 16% will do? Once given control, these people will not keep even this meagre amount in the Institution. They can indirectly draw the amounts back, by overinvoicing if they provide some goods and services to the Institute, leaving "nothing' as their stake.

What for is their partnership needed?

INEFFICIENCY OF PRIVATE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT


Indian Public Sector Banks have become sick owing to accumulated non-performing-assets NPAs on account of willful defaults by large businesses. Stock Exchanges have become gambling dens. Private Enterpreneurs cannot manage their own enterprises efficiently. How do the Governments expect them to run State Institutions?

Examples of Costs of advertising


One full page advertisement in Deccan Chronicle Daily measures 33 cm x 52 cm = 1716 sq cm. Deccan Chronicle charges Rs. 10,350 per sqcm for inside color page, covering all its editions. 1716 x 10350 yields Rs. 1,77,66,600. Assuming that some concessions are given for Government/regular bulk customers, we can discount it down to Rs. 1.5 crore or Rs. 15 million.

This full page ad. appeared in page 5 of Eenadu Telugu Daily on 27.01.2014. They charge Rs. 6,160 per sq.cm. for all the editions combined, as on 1.4.2013. Let us now calculate. 1716 x 6160 yields Rs. 1,05,70,560. Assuming that some concessions are given for Government/regular bulk customers, we can discount it down to Rs. 1 crore or Rs. 10 million.

I do not know in how many newspapers of India/Andhra Pradesh, the Indian HRD Ministry released its full page ads. I am unable to estimate its aggregate cost. (To continue)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

#013 Dhoni deserves praise for his apparent honesty

--Dhoni-deserves-praise : Common to praise cricketers, even if they do not deserve. But, this time, there seems to be an apt-occasion. He honestly allowed the Jharkhand Education Authorities to fail him in his examination. Other cricketers, if they were in the position of Dhoni, would have brought pressure on Board/University Authorities to arrange his pass-through,hook-or-crook~~ by means such as arranging an online exam., arrange a special examination centre in the hotel in which they are statying etc. Somehow, Dhoni has not preferred this stealthy route or neglected to prefer this stealthy route.

Another alternative= Had he approached some Private Deemed University or the Indian Chapter of a foreign University, they would have easily arranged a mock-examination for him and awarded him a formal degree (not an honorary D. Litt).

Cudos to Dhoni. Not for his first double-century in Chennai Test against Australia. Cricket is a fluke game. Double Centuries are double-fluke. Hence my cudos are only for his apparent-honesty.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

#011 EDUCATIONAL LOANS need careful sanction and disbursement

It is reported that Reserve Bank of India has asked banks not to reject any educational loan application, even if the residence of the borrower does not fall under their service area.

ybrems (observations of this blogger)


This does not seem to make any sense. If the applicant's residence is close to the bank sanctioning the loan, it will be very convenient for him/her and their parents to provide all the required clarifications, certificates, and documents. Verification of the genuineness of the applicant's need, becomes easy. The Bank staff can also frequently call on the applicants and their parents to explain various schemes offered their bank, and also service the loan.
It should, therefore, be in the fitness of things, that the bank branch which is the nearest to the applicant's residence collects his application and supporting documents, make physical field level enquiries and forward the application to the sanctioning office and answer their queries. Both the branch field staff and the applicant, if necessary can visit the office of the sanctioning authority (presumably the Zonal Office / Regional Office of the Bank) and answer his questions about the feasibility, viability and the future prospects of the Course, College, University, and the Country which are key elements of an educational loan, apart from the background of the applicant and his parents.
The sanctioning office uses its specialised skills in assessing the technical merits of the application, while the applicant's banker (obviously nearest branch) should vouchsafe for his genuineness, end-use and repayment. They should also take care of the insurance policies obtained on the life of applicant by monitoring premia, they should ensure that collateral security obtained if any, is in tact, till the loan is repaid.
In other words, financial accountability and responsibility should be the burden of the applicant's banker. Technical whetting relating to University/college's genuineness, adherence to the norms of regulators like AICTE, MCI, passport and visa formality adherence, etc., should be the burden of the Sanctioning Office.
RBI seems to be under pressure from some VIP/VVIP to loosen prudence. Educational Loans Scheme can become a thunderous success only if they are sanctioned with due care and not in haste, because somebody is chasing or there is some quid pro quo. Timely sanction and urgency are important, no doubt, but, a loan is a financial arrangement, and not a dole.
If the Government wants to distribute doles, it can initiate free 100% scholarship schemes. If it wants to patronize only VIPs and their kith and kin, they can create special trusts and NGOs, to whom grants may be released. We should make swindling very easy.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mr. President - no need to rue

...At the same time, I feel it necessary to share with you my sense of dismay on seeing, in recent reports, that not a single Indian University or institute of higher learning, including the premier IITs figure in list of 200 top rated Universities of the world. Now you may question the survey, but to my mind the more important question is, why? Why are we, a "rising economic superpower", not able to promote our standards to be rated, indisputably, among the top ten or even top fifty or hundred? ...

ybrems
*Who said that India is a rising economic superpower? Mr. Pranab Mukherjee may be day-dreaming.

*India has become a market with great demand because of high population growth. Demand, naturally, spurs some growth. Some foreign countries may want to exploit the demand-full markets of India. The Governments, Heads of State and Ambassadors of such countries may be praising India as a rising economic super power, whereas the fact remains otherwise.

*Public Sector Universities in India are filled with lethargic Professors, with degrees and without desire to perform. They have become white elephants and non-performing assets of the Universities. UGC pampers them, despite non-performance.

*Private Sector Universities in India do not perform because, performance does not attract students. It is the publicity and advertising which attracts students. Private Universities employ consultants and counsellors to market their courses. They conduct many seminars and meetings to attract international attention, but do not match the seminars and speeches with performances.

*The institutions which rank Universities world-wide, they have their own agenda. They have to make quick-money. Besides, they have country biases, color and race biases, continental biases and what not. In this capitalist world, justice never gets its proper place. We have a proverb in my mother tongue, Telugu: "karra gala vADidi barre." It roughly translates as: "Whoever owns the stick, also owns the buffalo."

*Indian Universities need no rating. Quality, quantity, and reasonable fee structure, can attract both national and international students. We cannot obstruct sunlight by using our palms. Nobody can, likewise, obstruct the progress of a University which has quality.

*Mr. Pranab Mukherjee is kind enough to get an allocation of Rs. 2 billion for the I.I.T., Khargpur, because it belongs to his State West Bengal. We, Indians, do not rue it. But, Mr. Mukherjee should have asked I.I.T., Khargpur, to show some results in the area of solar energy. I.I.T.s gulp our higher education funds greedily. Why can't they do something in the area of solar energy. We have plenty of heat and sunlight in India, throughout the year and the Government of India is threatening people periodically with increases in prices of petroleum products.

*Mr. President has quoted from the first Prime Minister of India's speech of 1956, at the same IIT, Khadgpur.

Pandit Nehru's thoughts which he shared here in the 1956 convocation, come to my mind, that "There is no greater joy in life than to work for a great purpose and gradually to see the realisation of that purpose...."


It is not clear, what great purpose, did the IIT Khadgpur work for! How it helped India's poor!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Present State of MBA Education in India

A COMMENTARY ON STATE OF MANAGEMENT EDUCATION IN INDIA. Date of writing: 14.4.2012.
It seems to be in a mess.
For starting MBA Colleges and Institutes, at least three Bodies have to grant their approval:

1. AICTE, New Delhi. Their website: http://aicte-india.org.
2. UGC, New Delhi. University Grants Commission. Universities have to approach them. Their website: http://ugc.ac.in.
3. Respective State Governments.

Those who wish to join Government Services in India, after MBA, must make sure that the Colleges they join have the permission from all the three authorities mentioned above.

Those who wish to join Management profession in private sector in India, need not have any MBA degrees. Different Companies have different expectations. MBAs fulfilling all the three requirements mentioned above, still roam on the Indian streets.

Some Companies, particularly foreign Corprates and Banks, seem to attach great value to the name and prestige of the MBA College/Institute/University. We often read in media, that MBA from xyz College got placement with some hundreds of thousands of bucks as salary. Some of them are realities. Some are empty claims. Whatever they are, students have a craze to joint prestigious Colleges, paying hundreds of thousands of bucks as fees.

MBA education can add some skills to students who pursue the course. The degree itself cannot create new capabilities. It can sharpen existing capabilities. It can raise the knowledge level. Storage of information is different from aptitude and diligence.

Human Resources Departments of Companies must have the capabilities to distinguish between 'knowledge' and 'aptitude and diligence' in the candidates they test and interview.

No qualifications are necessary for becoming MLAs, MPs and Ministers in India. No qualifications are necessary to become sports-persons and film stars. Scions of industrial family tycoons take over as CEOs of the family Empires with no formal management education or with purchased MBA degrees. Aren't they succeeding?

This doesn't mean to say that management education will be worthless. Management Education should not become a business. Imparting Management Education should be a noble goal. It must be accessible to all. Professional Ethics is to be taught. A willingness to abide to the laws of the country are to be taught. ^

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What did the 80 DIGs and IGs learn in England?

Here is a link, to a news item in the Hindu dated Oct. 30, 2011: IPS Officers undergo strategic training at Cambridge.

GIST
80 Senior Police Officers from India have undergone their mid-career training at Cambridge University, England.
Sponsor: Ministry of Home, Govt. of India.
Indian Collaborator (Contractor?):O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), Sonepat.

What I think
The whole thing seems to stink.
Is the Ministry of Home, such an impotent resource-less Organisation that it cannot impart a mid-career training to its own officials, even after 60 years of independence? Sardar Patel the first Dy. P.M. of India will be turning in his grave for this shameful spectacle.

Another silly thing is: Why did the Ministry of Home, New Delhi need the intermediation of the so called Jindal Global University and the Cambridge University for arranging this training? Home Ministry could have directly arranged the training at Scotland Yard or Interpol, London, in consultation with the Government of UK.

What the Indian Police Officials need is not University Class Room lectures. They had them already in their College days. What they badly needed, need and will need for a long time to come is 'a orientation towards poor'. This they cannot get in UK or in Jindal-Sonepat.

What they need more is not 'evidence based policing', but 'preventive policing'. Evidence-based policing concentrates more on autopsy and post-mortem, after a crime takes place. The maxim 'prevention is better than cure' works with equal vigor as it applies in health-arena. Prevention of Offences, minimises losses to life, property, peace and progress. The London Police or the Cambridge University cannot be said to be adept in prevention, as the recent riots in London where wanton crowds looted properties.

The reporting of the news by the Hindu also leaves much to improve. They seem to have reproduced whatever the Jindal University representatives and Professors had given. This will naturally be in marketing tone for the University which worked as a middleman.

The Hindu, would have done a finer job, had it tried to obtain the feed-back of the trainees, at least their off-the-record views. I get an impression that the news item itself may fall under the category of PAID NEWS, without mentioning the word 'advt.'.

I must welcome comments from the Hindu.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Should Foreign Universities open their shops in India?

Indian politicians of both NDA and UPA are very keen that foreign Universities should open their shops in India.

They expect collaboration/joint venture/partnership arrangements with Indian private Universities.

Indian M.L.As and M.Ps both of the ruling party and the opposition parties have opened their degree shops in the guise of DEEMED UNIVERSITIES and AUTONOMOUS COLLEGES. They mint money in their own names or in the names of their family members, Adding a foreign university as a collaborator adds prestige to their teaching shops and raise the prices of the degrees sold by them.

The legislators will not like the foreign Universities to open their own degree sales show rooms directly without collaborations and partnerships.

The foreign Universities may also find the ideas very attractive because they can avoid tax laws in their own countries. They do not want to face the same regulation which they face in their own countries, to be enforced in India for the joint ventures.

They also will not like Indian courts to interfere. They want to get their own arbitrators into the fray of disputes.

HOW THE INDIAN STUDENTS ARE GOING TO GAIN?
We need not say that Indian students want double degrees, 100% placements, easy visas and what not. There will be two crowds in the queue.

The first crowd will be ready to cough any amount which the foreign Universities and the collaborators demand as fees. The only condition will be attendance should not become compulsory. Even if made compulsory, bollywood and holliwood films should be shown in the air-conditioned class rooms. Nothing serious should take place.

The second crowd will want loans to be arranged for studies. Of course, the Indian collaborators and the Banks will readily oblige for a commission.

Both the crowds will want technical degrees without technical syllabus or technical studies. Computers and internets in the labs should be allowed to be used for chatting and downloading porno. This type of expectations will be convenient for the foreign Universities also, because they need not bring-in committed and talented subject experts as Professors. The foreign Universities will prefer to spend more amount on convocation gowns and publicity arrangements, rather than on paying the teaching staff.

..to continue.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Politicians and Bureaucrats have time only for Private Sector!

Politicians in power draw their salaries and perquisites from the Government and the Public Sector.

Bureaucrats draw their salaries and perquisites from the exchequer.

They, naturally owe their duty to the Government and the Public Sector.

They owe their primary duty to attend to the functions attached to their post. They, if surplus time is available, can probably attend public functions which benefit the people or the Nation and not private-moneyed tycoons. More so, they should not spend their time at the heck and call of the Private Universities which run on business lines.

Right from the President of India, down to the District Collectors are spending their time attending functions organised by private educational institutions. This gives the institutions undue business publicity and make the Government Universities and Colleges cinderellas.

One recent example: Mr. V.K. Saraswat, the Chief of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) preached at the Convocation of the GITAM University: 'Make job-ready Engineers!'. Will that University listen?

Mr. Saraswat would have done a great service, had he made this preaching at the convocation of a Government University. As a head of a Government Organisation , he should consider himself as a stake-holder in a public sector University or College. There should be a symbiotic relationship between the Heads of Government Organisations such as DRDO, ICAR, CSIR and the UGC, AICTE, MCI, and Government Universities.

I get a suspicion. What do the politicians and bureaucrats get, when they attend the Convocations, Conferences and Seminars organised by Private Colleges and Universities? Are they paid some standing fees, convocation-dress wearing fees, speaking fees, hand-shaking fees, posing for photographs fees? Mr. Saraswat owes a moral duty to reply.

Universities or Brothels?

Brothels sell prostitutes. We can understand that. But, do or should, Universities sell education?

The Central/Federal Governments world-wide and their provincial Governments believe that buildings make universities, whereas the truth is 'Education makes Universities'. Buildings and Qualified lecturers supplement the sincere educational effort of the Universities.

What do the Universities then need? Students with zeal. Teachers with zeal. Thus the sine-qua-non is 'sincerity' both on the parts of Professors and students. Excess insistence on monstrous pigeon-hole structures and extremely qualified lecturers may result in pigeon-holes with persons devoid of an urge to teach or learn, but who want fat salaries. The education becomes expensive and unaffordable unless the parents are business tycoons. Availability of educational loans repayable in several instalments does not serve the purpose. It becomes a life-time bonded labor.

Why should a University charge Rs. 10,000 or Euro 1000 or USD 1000 just for registration?

Universities can even be run in straw-roofed cottages or tin-roofed sheds, while charging extremely low fees or nearly "free", without sacrificing quality.

Buildings, air-conditioners, fountains and amphi-theaters are only facilitators. Even a public address system is not compulsory.

There is a strong need to close Universities which have become MONEY-PALS.

Monday, April 5, 2010

SHOULD WE DISPENSE WITH CONVOCATION DRESSES

CEREMONIAL DRESS AT UNIVERSITY CONVOCATIONS
The recent remark made by Shri Jairam Ramesh, the Indian
Minister for "Enviornment" at the Convocation of the Indian
Institute of Forest Studies about the continuance of
wearing the ceremonial dress at University Convocations
deserves the following comments:

* The Minister should have raised this objection before
attending the Convocation ceremony.
* Throwing the dress away on the stage when the Convocation
is in progress, is not appropriate.
* He ought to have given the suggestion of discontinuance
of the dress, for implementation at future Convocations.
* The Convocation dresses worn by the dignitaries are very
expensive.

I am not sure what the Universities will do
with dresses, after the ceremony is completed. The
Universities/Institutes may be storing them in dusty steel
cupboards and finally disposing them off as old clothes on
some day. I am sure that the dresses will not be reused in
the next year's convocation. Thus, the Universities incur
avoidable recurring expenditure on dresses alone of at
least $10,000 per annum.

* The Institutes/Universities ask the gold medal winning
students to attend the convocation ceremonies wearing the
Special dresses, bearing the costs from their own pockets.
This only rich students can afford.

* I myself received one invitation from Acharya Nagarjuna
University, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India, to attend a
Convocation wearing the Ceremonial dress, to collect a gold
medal. I wrote to them that I would not accept the
invitation, because the ceremonial dresses are too
expensive. Of course, there was no reply, because students
are small fries.

*I hope that at least now the Vice Chancellors of the
Universities/Institutes will meet and dispense with the
colonial relic of the Convocation Ceremonial dress, without
making further fuss. This will save them substantial
amount every year.

*The Vice Chancellors, if they still feel, that there
should be something special befitting the occasion, they
can introduce a cloth scarf around the neck, resembling the
scarf which the members of Scouts and Guides use. This
scarf can be printed with the University Emblem and a
message. The scarf should be supplied both to the
dignitaries and the degree-receiving students free of cost.
The students will proudly preserve it as a memento.
Undue haste in bringing changes as well as resistance to
changes both will be injurious. A thing need not be
dispensed with simply because it is a colonial relic.
Useless things need not be continued on the ground that
they are traditional.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

LICENSES FOR TEACHING

India is said to be a "LICENSE AND PERMIT RAJ" . where a license or quota is necessary for doing business.

Today, found from an Associated Press report, that a teacher's "teaching license" was cancelled for school sexual abuse.

DEDUCTIONIn US, a teaching licence is necessary to take up the occupation of a teacher.

INDIAN SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS IN INDIA
Normally no licence is required to start a school. In most States, recognition is only voluntary. NO licence is needed to practise as a teacher.

At least in the educational arena, we are not a LICENSE AND PERMIT RAJ.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE STINKING OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN INDIA?

Shri Arjun Singh, Union Minister for Human Resource Development (H.R.D.) or the Central Education Minister in common parlays, remarked that Higher Education is stinking in India. He was addressing a Conference of Vice Chancellors of Indian Universities. They seem to have welcomed Foreign Universities into the country.

Here is a link to a Govt. release. Apart from Arjun Singh's speech, the release also shows a five point future path for the higher education.

http://pib.nic.in/release/rel_print_page1.asp?relid=31795

Are the Foreign Universities sparkling? Here is a link to an "Indian Express" newspaper report dated Oct. 11, 2007 which shows that the girl students of Cambridge and Oxford Universities are selling their bodies or stripping themselves to make their both ends meet. The newspaper quoted "Varsity" the student newspaper of the University.

http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Cambridge-students-working-as-call-girls-Report/226801/.

Monday, September 17, 2007

GITAM UNIVERSITY, VISAKHAPATNAM

The Gitam University, Visakhapatnam, carries along with its name, the name of Mahatma "Gandhi" , who lived the life of a daridra narayana, a semi naked fakir.

This deemed University, which announced recently in media its entitlement to UGC grants does not help the daridra narayana. It has stipulated the oost of application for its MBA course at Rs. 1,000/-. That means fleecing the student will start even before the student reads the prospectus and applies and the University decides whether to admit him or reject him.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

FLEECING ON THE FIRST DAY

A few years back I saw the former President of India at the feet of Mata Amritanandamayi. Naturally, when the first Citizen himself visits a God person, expectations are aroused.

A few days back I saw an ad. by Amrita Business School, Coimbatore, inviting applications for M.B.A. course, claiming to be a deemed University etc. and with a photo of Amritanandamayi. Naturally, I am tempted to believe that the foundation will have service motive. The foundation might have received several concessions from the Government such as Income Tax exemptions for donations, free or cheap land, Grants-in-Aid, Aid for constructing buildings, Monetary Aid for some research etc.

I understood that the ABS is not a raining cloud. It fixed the cost of application as Rs. 1,000/-. The application does not provide any service to students except detailing the terms and conditions. There is always a possibility of the University denying admission to the students after collecting the Rs. 1,000/-. Most Universities charge an application fee of Rs. 250 or Rs. 300 at application stage. Then why ABS is fleecing the students at application stage itself?

It is a cow, the milk of which poor cannot sip.

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