This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
SHRI SAPTARSI NAG, WBCS(EXE)
YASHPAL COMMITTEE REPORT ON HIGHER EDUCATION
Yashpal Committee was appointed to look into various aspects of higher education of India and very recently the committee submitted its recommendations. Apart from criticizing modern system of education and mismanagement and negligence on the part of the government to promote higher education, the committee has made a few recommendations for the up gradation of the existing system of higher education in India. Below are some of the recommendations
The committee talks about the establishment of a National Commission for Higher Education and Research which will subsume the role of as many as 13 government bodies and councils like the UGC,MCI or AICET which supervise higher education in India
The committee is critical of the accreditation of granting deemed university status to mushrooming institutes and observes that while during the period of 1956 to 199 only 29 institutes were granted deemed university status, in the past 15 years as many as 63 institutes were granted the same status.
The Committee stressed on improvement of the educational standard in the undergraduate level and recommended that the IITs and IIMs should expand their scopes by including arts and humanities subjects
The committee was critical of allowing numerous foreign institutes to open their business in India and held that while these institutes are unheard of in their lands, they are earning a lot here and damaging our educational system. The Committee recommended that such institutes if want to stay in India must provide and Indian degree of education and not foreign one.
The committee was critical of profit driven private institutions and asked the need for "different layers of institutions", i.e. state run, private and public -Private partnership etc.
The committee also stressed on the integration of education and research.
NEED FOR POLICE REFORMS IN INDIA
At present there is dire need for the police reforms in the country. The laws related to police administration dates back to British colonial regime and hardly reflects the present socio-economic needs. The Indian Penal Code of 1860, the Evidence Act of 1871 or the Criminal Procedure Code of 1898- all these bear the evidence that in India Police administration is till governed by century old archaic laws.
Under the Indian constitution policing is a state system. Most state governments have laws which are simple imitations of the 1861 penal code. Since independence there have efforts from the government on numerous occasions to introduce some changes in the police administration. Numerous committees and commissions have been formed. But at the end of the day it is all that same with all those voluminous, archaic acts and laws.
The honorable Supreme Court of India in 2006 asked the Government of India to ensure more accountability in police administration and to release a draft model of a new police act. The issue till date remains unanswered.
Apart from the archaism of the laws numerous other problems exist in police administration in India. The existing system has bred and still breeding corruption among the policemen. The existing system hardly provides the criminals the opportunity to correct themselves. It is still very much a system of punishment, not correction. The police training emphasizes on muscle power and gunmanship while very little care is taken to imbibe endearing values among the cops. They are the protector of human rights in the first line although they mostly remain ignorant of what human right is.
Modernization of the police force is thus a dire need of the day considering ever increasing cases of terrorism and violence. But more important is the need to inculcate human values among our policemen so that they do not behave like inhuman musclemen, but actively take part in the socio cultural reconstruction process.
FACT SHEET ON CHILD LABOR IN INDIA
• • • • • • •
Presently there are 20 million child labor in India, and out of this 85% belong to rural areas or unorganized sectors India's child labor policy is consistent with the International Labor Conference Resolutions,1979 It is a socio cultural menace Article 24 prohibits employment of children in mines or other hazardous activities Child labor( Prohibition and Regulation) act, 1986 seeks to regulate employment of children in hazardous activities The Directive Principles of Sate Policy also seeks to regulate Child Labor in India India is signatory to 36 conventions of ILO on Child Labor
• • •
India adopted its first policy on Child Labor in 1974 in consonance with the UN Declaration on Child Rights,1959 To monitor the working of various rules and regulations on Child Labor, National Authority for elimination of Child Labor was established under the chairmanship of the Union Labor Minister However despite all such efforts real scenario is gloomy as there have been hardly any efforts to regulate unorganized child labor Of the total workforce in India, share of child labor is 12.1% In the carpet industry of Mirzapur, more than 25,000 children are employed in hazardous occupations
In the matchstick industries of Sivakasi in TamilNadu around 40,000 children are employed The efforts of the girl children in hazardous occupations are rarely counted as they are considered as mere helpers not workers
TARGETED PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM(TPDS)
The Targeted Public Distribution system was launched in 1997 by the Government of India with the objective of providing minimum quantity of essential commodities, i.e., food grains to the targeted people allover the
country. Accordingly to identify the targeted people issue of BPL card was started and people were categorized into BPL and APL categories. Initially 10 kg of food grains per family per month was allotted at a rate much lower than the standard market rate. At present 35 kg of food grains are given to each family per month at a highly subsidized rate, i.e., rice @ Rs 5.65/kg and wheat @ 4.15/kg.Fair price shops have been established to distribute the ration items to the common people. The policies:
• • •
Maintaining a buffer stock to meet up the rising demands during scarcity. Arranging MSP for the farmers during scarcity Distribution of food grains from the surplus to deficit areas
• • • •
Identification of the genuine candidates. Very often deserving candidates do not get BPL cards whereas well off people walk away with the cards Political influence in the allotment of the cards Corruption of the government officials Absence of fair price shop all over the country Lack of supply of ration items in many fair price shops
• • • • •
Any impartial body, for example the Judiciary should be given the task of identifying the poor people Criteria to identify the poor people are to be codified clearly by the government More fair price shops are to be established Well of people with BPL cards should be given exemplary punishment Grievances regarding the issue of false cards, delay in distribution are to be heard by any impartial body
Any social group that seeks to influence the behavior of the authority without capturing formal control of governance is known as pressure
group. It is a medium available for the common people to dictate the course of affairs in the government. The political right of citizens is limited to exercising the power of casting vote after a certain time gap. Such democratic deficit is compensated by the existence of pressure groups. Thus pressure groups act as medium of communication between government and the citizens. Lobbying is a common method to create pressure on government. Sending representation to the legislature or any department to influence policy making is called lobbying. Use of media, publication of books, demonstrations, and pamphlets are the other techniques. Such groups are broadly classified four types- institutional, associational, non associational, anomic. In India such groups often use techniques like candle light protests, hartal, gherao etc. The politics of coalition has made such groups even more prominent in India. To sum it up, such groups accelerate social development; prevent stagnation and increases social cohesion by providing outlet of popular grievances.
INTEGRATED CHILD DEVELOPMENT SERVICES SCHEME (ICDS)
• • •
India is the home to the largest child population in the world As per 2001 census, India has around 157.86 million children, constituting 15.42% of India's population Children are the first call on agenda of human resource development – not only because young children are the most vulnerable, but because the foundation for life long learning and human development is laid in these crucial early years. Launched on 2 nd October 1975 in 33 Community Development Blocks , ICDS today represents one of the world’s largest programmes for early childhood development. Presently covers al the blocks and urban slums. Presently it includes Kishori Shakti Yojana
Objectives of ICDS:
Lay the foundation for proper psychological development of the child Improve nutritional & health status of children 0-6 years Reduce incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school drop-outs Enhance the capability of the mother and family to look after the health, nutritional and development needs of the child Achieve effective coordination of policy and implementation among various departments to promote child development Services The Scheme provides an integrated approach for converging basic services through community-based workers and helpers. The services are provided at a centre called the ‘Anganwadi’. The Anganwadi, literally a courtyard play centre, is a childcare centre, located within the village itself. A package of following six services is provided under the ICDS Scheme: Supplementary nutrition Non-formal pre-school education Immunization Health Check-up Referral services Nutrition and Health Education
ISSUES INVOLVED IN IMPLEMENTING COMPULSORY PRIMARY EDUCATION IN INDIA
Despite recent hype over the Right to Education Bill making it mandatory for the Central, state and local bodies to provide free and compulsory education to all the children in the 6-14 years age group, the real scenario
of elementary education in India is pathetic. Below are some of issues which make free and compulsory education in India a mammoth task. 1. Inadequacy of Financial Provision: Due to over expenditure in defense, foreign debt, meeting natural disasters among others, and the expenditure for education in the central level comes down. 2. Poverty among Parents: Education in undeveloped areas still considered as a luxury because of financial constraints of the parents. 3. Indifference of Parents: An illiterate parent is generally averse to education. Again, children from educated families climb the educational ladder more successfully than those from uneducated families. This develops antipathy in uneducated parents towards education. 4. Inappropriateness of Curricula: The primary school curricula vary from State to State. The school curriculum in each of the States is almost centrally-controlled. There are prescribed syllabi, textbooks etc., irrespective of diversities in languages and dialects spoken by the people and geographical differences. Besides, such curricula do not give independence to teachers to make variations depending on local needs, which make them ineffective. 5. Ineffectiveness of Teachers: Lack of effectiveness among teachers takes root at the time of teacher training. In spite of the known effects of teacher training on efficiency of teachers, most developing countries have poor teacher training programmes. Such training programmes in India are also farcical in nature. 6. Inertia in Administrative and Supervisory Machinery: The inertia prevailing among administrators and supervisors has its origin in a faulty recruitment system. The inertia prevailing in the system is responsible for ill-distribution of available resources. Such problems get further accentuated because of the multitude of languages and dialects. Universalization of primary education is intimately connected with the development of living conditions of the people. When a significant number of citizens are below the poverty line, the attempts made to provide free and compulsory education to children in the age group 6-14 cannot be
successful in the near future. There are, in addition, certain educational and administrative bottlenecks that have been decelerating the process. Efforts therefore are to be made for complete revamping of the system both at micro and macro levels, so as to make free education a reality and not a myth in India.
WOMEN RESERVATION BILL
The uproar over the passage of Women Reservation Bill in India presents a gloomy scenario of the condition of women in India. While the vehement opposition from the politicians to pass the bill for years depicts the true picture of male chauvinism prevailing in the country, the bigger question remains, why is such a bill important? Does not that itself tell how miserably we have failed to secure equal rights for the women? Ever since the Bill was introduced in the Parliament in 1996, it has aroused wide protests from a group of politicians and every time after much hype and public attention it goes where it was thirteen years back. Reservation although a very favorite topic of our revered politicians, has boomeranged in this issue to themselves as this time their personal interest is at stake. Who would want to lose their own seats if 33% of the seats in Lok Sabha or State Assemblies are reserved for the women? That’s why they can even accept "death" to stop the bill from being passed by the Parliament. It is high time that these politicians present themselves in a responsible manner and not create any mockery of such a serious issue. The indomitable, indefatigable, invincible (You know why I am stressing so much) spirit that was visible when reservation of castes was concerned, must be brought back. Reservation itself is an indication of the failure of the state in any particular issue. We reserve seats only for those for whom we have so far done nothing good or who have the potentials of becoming our trump card in the vote bank. True, by reservation we acknowledge our failure but has this acknowledgment so far done any justice for those for whom we are reserving. Our record answers the negative. So, before we think about reservation for women in the constitutional forums, we must empower women at the very grass root level. We have to provide them proper education, at least what their male counterparts are
"entitled to" by virtue of their being men in the male chauvinist society. We must protest dowry which is still widely prevalent in many parts of this country. We must ensure social protection and safety of women. Unless these are done, the Women Reservation Bill if passed will be another mere hollow act, lacking any substance or relevance. In the fight against injustice and discrimination, there need not be any discrimination between caste and creed. Women power needs to be viewed as a single entity and bifurcating women on the basis of caste and class is not going to serve the purpose. It is high time that we throw away such "Kinder, Kuche,Kirche" mentality and make women an integral part of our nation building process.
India becomes adult... Finally!!!
Even the magic of words sometimes doesn’t convey the magic of human spirit and the passions of a nation. But the landmark judgment by the Delhi High Court to decriminalizing same sex-sex among the consenting adults not only conveyed the magic of words but also the magic of human spirit which in India has been shackled by the Section 377 of Indian Penal Code. Though Section 377 of the Penal Code which so far had criminalized homosexuality will continue for non consensual or vaginal sex, the path breaking verdict marks India's forward journey from infancy caused by age old prejudices and orthodoxies. The first country to legalize same sex marriage was Netherlands back in 2001.Since then six countries had done so .Now with the path breaking judgment India is also in the race to be in the elite club. Now let’s have a look at the factors behind such a dramatic turn around. There has been continuous international pressure on India to scrap Article 377 which criminalizes homosexuality. Moreover, scientists and social activists have often cursed the menacing article as the main obstacle behind India's failure in checking the growth of HIV/AIDS patients. The efforts of Naz Foundation, a Delhi based NGO, the Health minister Shri Ambumani Ramadoss, celebrities especially from Bollywood along with other fields, who have always championed the cause of the homosexuals must be saluted for making the section of IPC a history. Although the battle is won, the real war is yet to begin. Only when the Parliament passes a legislature giving recognition to the landmark effort of the Delhi High Court, the battle will be won. It is up to the civil society
of India to shed off age old prejudices and embrace the reality and give an end to the long drawn battle. It is only then the likes of Harvey Milk will be smiling from heaven, a smile which they were deprived of while they were alive.
Ragging- an indicator of degrading values
Ragging is an act of aggression where an individual or a group of individuals, by virtue of their being seniors get the authority and the audacity to harass an individual or a group of individuals, who by virtue of their being fresher in any academic or equivalent institution are always the victims. It is a vicious cycle of degrading human values where the students who had been ragged earlier by their seniors, find solace in ragging their juniors. The cycle goes on, leaving the innocent newly entrants in the receiving end, often causing their death, as recently happened to Aman Kachroo, a first year student of Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College in Himachal Pradesh.
Ragging in India has been a social menace, an indicator of declining human values. It is very often psychological, sometimes even physical, thus leaving a permanent psychotic scar on the victims. There have been more that thirty ragging related deaths in the past five years in India, majority being in the campuses of medical or engineering colleges. In addition, a number of freshmen were severely traumatized to the extent that they were admitted to mental institutions.
Though ragging has ruined the lives of many, resistance against it has grown up only recently. Several Indian states have made legislatures banning ragging, and the Supreme Court of India has taken a strong stand to curb ragging. Ragging has been declared a "criminal offence”. On the orders of the Honorable Supreme Court of India, the Union Human Resource Development Ministry set up a committee headed by Dr. R.K.Raghavan, former Director of CBI, to look into the matter and finding out possible means to combat the menace. The Committee recommended ragging to be included in a section of the Indian Penal Code. With increasing number of ragging related deaths, there has been growing reactions against ragging in the recent past. India's first anti ragging NGO; Society Against Violence in Education (SAVE) has done a commendable job in this regard. The Indian media has been playing a crucial role by exposing ragging incidents and the indifference of many concerned institutions towards curbing the act. However it is the civil society which can play a great role in curbing this menace. The guardians must demand the security of their children from the authorities while sending their children to the institutions. The students must shed their fear and gather the courage to defend themselves in adverse circumstances by staying united and seeking help from the anti ragging helpline. The authorities must be proactive and appoint full time wardens who will be accountable for any violation of laws in the campuses. There must be anti ragging squads in every college campus for round the clock vigilance. It is only with such awakening of the civil society that the hydra headed monster called ragging can be put to death.
UNORGANISED WORKERS' SOCIAL SECURITY BILL
Unorganized workers' Social Security Bill which has recently been passed by the Parliament is an evidence of the government's concern for unorganized workers who constitute a massive 94% of the total work force in the country and contribute to more than 60% of the GDP of India. According to the officials, the scheme will cover 34 crore workers in the next five century including agricultural workers and migrant laborers. This is being seen as one of the most important steps to alleviate the poverty of the workers in India. Under this scheme each worker will be identified and registered and will
be given a unique social security number and a social security card. All of them will be offered a number of social security benefits like health, life and disability insurance, old age pension, group accident scheme, maternity benefits etc. Registration of workers will be through the Worker Facilitation center which will work through various worker facilitation agencies. Each worker will pay a nominal sum and will obtain a unique social security card and number. The entire scheme will work through Central Social Security Authority. The Scheme promises to ameliorate the age old pangs of the unorganized workers who even sixty years after independence continue to be oppressed by socio-economic forces. Only time will tell whether it remains a paper tiger or becomes the Savior of the workers.
Problems for the mentally challenged people in India
It is unfortunate that in our country very little efforts have so far been directed towards ameliorating the pangs of the mentally challenged persons who suffer from one or the other deficiencies of the brain or nervous system. Despite lofty private and public promises, the real scenario till date is bleak. Many factors work behind the scene for such pathetic condition of these unfortunate people. From the social point of view, first and the foremost is of course that they are often looked at derogatorily. Very often even the educated people rather than extending hands of support mock at them. Lack of facilities for their cure and rehabilitation is another cause for such sorry state of affairs. There are not enough skilled psychiatrists for their treatment. Lack of family support and right attitude is also an important factor. Very often the parents or other relatives of such people deny taking responsibilities of them and leave them in asylums or other rehabilitation centers where facilities are inadequate and treatment is improper. It is high time that we understand our failure in providing adequate physical or emotional support to these special people. The NGOs must take a positive role in this regard. Wide campaigning must be done to make people aware that with proper care and treatment such deficiencies can be cured. Last but not the least right use of the government funds and proper allocation to several schemes can improve the physical infrastructure of various asylums and rehabilitation centers.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.