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Showing posts from May, 2006

The Reservations Issue - My Perspective

What with almost every other site being choc-a-blog with the reservation issue, though my primary concerns are about the rural poor and primary education, and not the debate on higher education, I still felt compelled to participate on some of the blog-based discussions on this issue.

Sepia Mutiny is one of the sites I have started frequenting of late. Some good posts and some quite ordinary ones.The perspective is avowedly Desi American, though on most posts, it comes across as more American than Desi, excepy may be in Amardeep's posts.

Ok..I just logged a comment on Abhi's post on Sepia Mutiny. So, thought I will put my comment down here as well.

Link to Abhi's post

Abhi,

While I fully understand that your perspective as a US citizen would be different from that of an Indian citizen, especially on matters such as this reservations issue, since you were any way blogging about the issue, you could have done better than depend on TIME magazine's perspective. As you very righ…

Are Brahmins the new Dalits in India?

Cross-posting my entry on Sulekha Blogs here:

Francois Gautier has once again raised questions that are bound to be uncomfortable to those among us who harp on 'centuries old oppression of the downtrodden in India'. In a hard hitting article on Rediff, Gautier reveals that most of the Sulabh Sauchalayas (public toilets) in Delhi are manned by the so-called upper caste, priestly class Brahmins.

Also, that 55% of Brahmins in India live below the official poverty line. And according to a study done in Andhra Pradesh, a very large percentage of the State's Brahmins are employed as domestic servants.

And more such damning statistics. Why damning ? Because, it seems to be that during the 5o years of its implementation, the reservation policy has created one creamy layer, but has added more people to the 'Dalit' category. More over, these Brahmins, who are the new Dalits, have no chance of ever being considered for any reservations.

This reminds me. During the Mandal agitati…

Local self government in India and UK- A brief comparison

Decided to cross-post my post on Sulekha here as well. Not that I am having any visitors to this blog :-) Just on the off chance that in future, if any unfortunate passers by in the cyber space happen to knock the doors of this blog, I want to give them every opportunity to read and respond.

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We all remember reading about local self government in India, and how it evolved over the ages. To summarise quickly, India, a land predominantly made up of rural, agrarian communities, has always had a rich tradition of local self-government .

Village councils (Panchayats) used to collect the taxes, and utilise a substantial portion of the tax revenues for the benefit of the community it self, and then pass on a pre-defined amount to the sovereign government, which then spent the money on defence, highways, welfare activities, arts and sciences etc. We read in our History books that the Chola kings of the South improved the local self-government a lot by increasing the decentralisation and…

Chemical Research Process Outsourcing? Any one?

We all know about the IT outsourcing, BPO and even KPO in India.We also know that a lot of R&D outsourcing also happens in the engineering design, chip design and other such areas.

Here is some thing new- Chemical Research Process Outsourcing. I don't know how much of this is happening already in India. But in UK and US, a lot of University professors in Chemistry departments are using their labs and graduate students to do research for industry. The Chemistry departments benefit from the money paid by the industry. The students get real research experience with industry application, and good stipends. The companies (mostly Pharma)of course benefit from the research,and cut down time and costs in their research.

Why can't we do this in India?

Picture this - a few qualified Chemists, with experience in Analytical and Medicinal chemistry want to quit their jobs at some Pharma company and launch a startup. They strike a deal with a University Chemistry lab to use the facilities…