education

Has UGC run its course?

Writing at the turn of the last century on India’s education system, Swami Vivekanand forcefully argued that the “present system of education is all wrong.” The comment rings true even today. This is why HRD minister Smriti Irani announced in November last year that her ministry is reviewing most education-related regulatory bodies, including the gargantuan […..]

Oh Nalanda! We need a thousand Nalandas, but if Rajgir’s current experiment is a trailer then God save us

Aspiring students at the ancient Nalanda Mahavihar could only enter by answering tough questions from the ‘dwara pandit’, guardian of the entrance gate. Only one in 10 passed satisfactorily to join this Oxford of India which was already a few centuries old before even the idea of Oxford became a glimmer in the eyes of […..]

Sibal is right, almost

Kapil Sibal has always been an opinionated and combative minister. Perhaps this is why the rather simplistic caricature of an overbearing central ministry trying to somehow tinker with and fix the hard-working old IITs turned into the dominant narrative of the controversy around the common engineering entrance exam. Yet, this is far too important a […..]

Once there was a cartoon

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha during the debate on the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill in 2009, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal forcefully argued that education was the key to India’s future, that “it is intellectual assets that form the wealth of the country”, and that “any impediment” in the […..]

RIDGING THE KNOWLEDGE GAP

Manmohan Singh

As the political season in Delhi shifts focus from Anna Hazare to the assembly elections, the Prime Minister’s traditional speech at the Indian Science Congress last week was more revealing than most on the underlying reasons for the real disappointment with the Manmohan Singh-era. Lauding the best and brightest of Indian science, the Prime Minister […..]

SUCH A LONG DOUBLE-SPEAK

Talking about the wrong turn on Rohinton Mistry’s book this week, India’s most irreverent sociologist had this gem to offer: “The quality of Vice-Chancellors in this country can be written on the back of a postage stamp, with space to spare,” snorts Ashis Nandy. This paper has spearheaded the pushback against the Mumbai Vice Chancellor’s […..]