Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I support job reservations, but

An interesting post: I support job reservations, but...

Your views are most welcome!

The Infamous Six Seaters are back on Pune Roads!!!

Well I was driving towards Laxmi Narayan theater from LBS road. I saw many auto riks on road which were carrying 6-8 people and were running on Disel (or Kerosine).

I thought they were banned sometime back from PMC limits. This time there is different but the damage they cause is same. Apart from pollution, they stop anywhere without any signal causing huge problems to traffic.

What the traffic police and RTO doing abt it? Seems this time some funds must have passed through hands as always.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Food for thought

Nice discussion going on at http://nychthemeron.blogspot.com It is essentially about Bangalore, but you can swap it with Pune, Hyderabad or any other city, and it would still hold good.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Pune Property Boom- Whats the truth?

Wonder whats going on with Pune Property Boom

Consider following examples

July 2005- Property Rate at Wakad 700-800 Rs psf
Nov 2005- Same property rate- Rs 1700 psf
March 2006- Rs 2200 psf.

Oct 2005 Flat in a scheme would cost Rs1900 psf
March-Apr 2006- same scheme hikes rate to Rs 3000+ psf.

Well everyone blames IT for same, but to be frank is this hike justified? Can the builders be transparent in the profits they are earning? May be that explains the Income Tax raids on some of builders. If rates go up in same fashion, they would rival those in Mumbai and which will be detrimental to Pune’s growth. Even Bangalore is not this costly for property.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Madness in Bangalore!!!

On 12th April 2006, Kannada Film actor, the legend Rajkumar passed away. This saddening event affected everybody in Bangalore. Be it Kannadinga or non kannadinga.

Every person who knows Kannada must know Rajkumar. I know little kannada and I had seen some of his movies in childhood and still remember some melodious songs that used to play on Akashvani Dharavada in my childhood days. He was referred as Annavaru meaning big bro by all his fans. One great thing about this legend was he never ventured in politics specially being a south Indian superstar make it cake walk to grab CM’s seat. How humble he was that he refused to be all powerful politics. Hi contemporaries like NTR and MGR were big shot in politics after attaining superstardom in Telegu and Tamil films.

I was in Bangalore on that day and the next day too. What happened in Bangalore shocked me. I had a thought if Bangalore being a very peace loving city compared to Mumbai or elsewhere (of course the city flares up some times like Kuavery water dispute etc). But on that sad day some miscreants were out on streets pelting stones, burning vehicles and destroying all that came their way. Even the family members of the legend were seen trying to calm the crowd. Is this the way to treat the family? They had lost more than legend in this tragedy. But these people who were rioting had little respect for Rajkumar and his family. They can not be called his fans.

Well I was in Bangalore for professional reasons and was staying in a guest house with one more guy. No doubt it was a different and difficult experience for us. It started from evening of 12th Nov as all major offices got closed with news of the legend’s demise. I reached the GH by 6.30 PM and by that time streets were deserted. No shops open. Fortunately we had some noodles to eat that night. Next day we managed to cook something for lunch which left us empty for dinner. So on 13th evening we walked out in search of food!!! And to surprise got some chat items at a corner in city. That took us 6 kms of walk as no autos or buses were plying. In all it was an unforgettable experience.
Adding to boredom was no program on tv except news and kannada channel. Thankfully I know kannada to see some programs on Rajkumar. But for other it was beyond imagination.

Well I also mourn the loss of Kannadingas in particular and India in general. But the incidents that happened after his death are a matter of shame to all of us as society. I wonder where r we heading in terms of social values and respect for each other.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mandal Again

The latest controversy related to govt is related to education sector reservation. Thanks to tireless Mr. Arjun Singh whose only qualification seems to be creating controversies (be it IIM, Aligarh Muslim Univ or in toxification of text books). This time he has recommended 27% reservations for OBCs. This threatens to snowball in Mandal-II controversy.
The question is my mind is has this policy of reservation paid any dividends? Have we assessed its real benefits to the downtrodden sections? In my mind it has actually harmed those very sections. To elaborate this I count on my experiences in Engg College. I passed out from a reputed Government college in Maharashtra where cut off for Mechanical engg in general category was above 98% and that for reserved category was @ 55-60%. Well that’s fine. But bigger issue is out of the 50% seats filled through reservation only 5-10% manage to complete their degree course in 4 years. Rest of population takes 6-8 years and some actually drop out. I am sure medical and other professional course have similar story. That means all these government measures have failed to improve the standards of education in this sections. And nobody is bothered about it. Can Mr. Arjun singh find answer to this?
There are different possible reasons for it.
Government policy is not reaching to people who are bright and unable to provide for the education expenses as majority people stay in villages and small towns where general standards of education are really questionable and disgusting at best.
Because of these reservations the general mindset in community is they get job even if they are not very good academics. This mindset has become root cause for the non developments. If you look at history, people with fewer choices become more efficient and smart. E.g. student in UP/Bihar are good at UPSC exams because lack of other alternatives like engg/medicine courses. Brahmins are good at education as they are taught value education and most importantly have no means like huge farms/political power.

Now what are disadvantages of this policy? Well institutes like IIM/IIT are known for their best talent. There is cut throat competition to get good job. Lets assume that we get 1000 such engg from IIT every year. With 27% reservation, there will be 270 people with lesser capabilities to deal with the competition. (We can take 25% of these students actually able to compete). That means now we have only 800 people who have the required capabilities. That means 20% reduction in supply of skilled manpower. With economy growing at this pace can we afford this? More over it reduces competitive instinct from these students that are in danger of lacking for ever.

So what is solution?
Best way is reservation of Economically Backward classes (EBC) rather than caste based reservations.
This will ensure needy gets the support and politicians can not play vote bank politics.
Second most important thing is improve the quality and availability of education at grass root level and rather than creating mark getting machines create citizens with different abilities. Today the student in 10th or 12th is blindly attracted towards engg/IT/medicin rather than realizing what he is good at. With economical progress, there are a lot of different avenues today for making a good living. But who knows and cares for them.

This will actually help in removing the caste discrimination in society. Because if the govt itself is not willing to get rid of caste how can it expect it removed from society. For any govt favour economic abilities should only be the criteria and nothing other.