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Chandigarh University Training

Department

EDITORIALS
English is a language of opportunity
EDITORIAL1: Group 1
It is a heartening sign that enrolment in English-medium schools has grown 89% over the
past five years. It is also a sign of progress and a bit ironical that enrolment in Englishmedium schools of Bihar and UP has gone up by 4,700% and 1,000%, respectively,
because these two states have been the hotbed of opposition to English. The advantages of
being literate in English will certainly be apparent in the coming years. Among the states
with the highest proportion of English-medium schools, Jammu and Kashmir tops the list, at
99.9%, with the second-highest being Kerala at 49%.
All these years, low enrolment in English-medium schools was largely bound up with
political resistance to the language, which has been a post-Independence phenomenon.
This gathered steam when vernaculars also became a medium of instruction. Earlier all the
examinations, Class 10 upwards, were conducted, by and large, in English. Hostility to
English cottoned on among a section of the middle-classes and got entangled with regional
aspirations. For those at the lowest end of the social scale, the issue did not matter anyway
because they were (and, in many places, still are) deprived of all kinds of education. But
four years ago articulate sections of the Dalit community built a temple in UP dedicated to
English learning. They also celebrate the birth anniversary of Thomas Babington Macaulay,
whose educational minutes in 1835 set the stage for the growth of English education in
India.
The more the times roll, the more it becomes obvious that there is no alternative to English
education in whichever field one joins. This is true for more than reason. First, books are in
English. Second, the medium of instruction in any institution worth the name is English.
Third, as mobility grows, a person without a working knowledge of English will find herself or
himself thrown in at the deep end if she or he moves to another part of the country. English

is here to stay. Depriving some people of its advantages can only result in creating deep
social divisions. However, all this is not to say vernaculars should get short shrift.

EDITORIAL 2: Group 2

For the G4 brigade, its just the beginning of a long


journey.
The return of United Nations reform to the international agenda has breathed life back into
the moribund Group of Four (G4). The G4 India, Brazil, Germany and Japan who see
themselves as the best candidates for any new permanent seats in the Security Council
had a good run several years ago but floundered when the African Union could not decide
on its candidates. With a draft text on UN reform out again, the G4 leaders have sensibly
begun holding photo opportunities together. However, New Delhi must be clear that the G4
is a tactical alliance. There is nothing that holds them together other than an interest in a
permanent seat in the Security Council. New Delhi should also recognize that not all of its
members are as excited about the prospect as India. Germany has been notably unwilling to
spend diplomatic capital on the issue in recent years. The same is the case with Japan.
India is probably the strongest candidate among the members. Pakistan is the primary
opponent to India, but it has few friends in the international system. China is the only
serious obstacle to Indias ambition and it has been careful not to come out openly. New
Delhi assumes that Beijing will come on board if it becomes clear that the other existing
permanent members will support Indias candidacy.
Which, therefore, underlines the fragility of the G4 as a grouping; it serves Indias purpose
to be a part of the G4 today. Having a more or less full support of candidates for an
enlarged Security Council adds credibility to Indias candidacy. But New Delhi must be
crystal clear that the G4 is a grouping, not an alliance, and that it can be changed, even
abandoned, if it ceases to serve Indias purpose. For example, if a final text gives only one
additional seat for Asia then India will be pitted against Japan for that seat. This would not

necessarily be a bad thing: Chinas opposition to the Security Council expansion is driven
almost by its hostility to Japan and only partly by its rivalry with India. A G4 minus Japan
would be much easier for Beijing to swallow. The G4 still lacks an African candidate with
neither South Africa nor Nigeria as clear frontrunners in that continent. And there remains
the vexed question of whether the Arab world-cum-West Asian region deserves a seat of its
own. The G4 could, therefore, be most saleable as a G6 at one stage.
It could also be that India, especially if the process reaches the regional vote stage, could
be best served by running on its own. Deciding whether such changes make sense is a key
reason that this will be among the most difficult diplomatic operations in Indian history and
should be seen, even now, as a long journey that has just begun.

Dengue claims another life, toll climbs to 25


EDITORIAL 3: GROUP 3

On Tuesday, a 14-year old boy from West Delhi died of the disease at Sanjay Gandhi
Memorial Hospital.
Despite the opening of 55 fever clinics by the Delhi government, hospitals across the Capital
continue to remain overcrowded.
On Tuesday, a 14-year old boy from West Delhi died of the vector-borne disease at Sanjay
Gandhi Memorial Hospital, taking the toll to 25.
While the official figure stands at 17, the scene at Safdarjung Hospital only seems to be
getting worse. Failing to maintain adequate preventive measures for mosquito breeding, two
patients who underwent surgeries a few days back are now suffering from dengue.
Not just that, at least 12 resident doctors there have also become patients of the deadly viral
disease. The hospital was earlier challenged by the New Delhi Municipal Council for having
Aides mosquito breeding spots. Fever clinics opened by the Delhi Government on Monday
also witnessed a huge rush. As per data released by the municipal corporations, 3,194
dengue cases have been recorded so far. However, the actual figures could be much higher.
With this, the Capital has crossed 2010s figure of 2,360 dengue cases till September end.
Unfortunately, fresh rain showers in the city have only increased fears of dengue cases
flaring up in the coming days.

A total of 1,919 new cases were reported last week alone, marking a rise of over 102 per
cent, compared to the previous week. Taking a serious note on the spiraling trend, the civic
bodies in the Capital have initiated intensive fogging drives.
Ram ManoharLohia Hospital recorded 1,065 suspected dengue cases and 748 confirmed
cases at the same time. While six people have died till date at RML, the emergency ward at
the All India Institute of Medical Science also received about 2,000 suspected dengue
cases.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry has issued an advisory to the Delhi government to
intensify measures to check the breeding of mosquitoes.

EDITORIAL4:GROUP 4

India, US sign $3-billion deal for Apache,Chinook copters


India signed a nearly $3 billion deal for purchase of 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15
Chinook heavy-lift choppers with American aviation giant Boeing and the US government.
The first helicopter is likely to be handed over to India in the next three to four years.
The contract for purchase of 22 Apache and 15 Chinook helicopters were signed here
today (Monday), defence ministry spokesperson SitanshuKar said.
The contract has a clause to place follow-on orders for 11 more Apaches and seven extra
Chinooks.
The helicopter deal has survived over 10 price validity extensions from the American side
with the last one being for a month as desired by India.
While the Chinook helicopter deal is a direct one with the US firm, the one for Apache is a
hybrid.

A part of the Apache deal was signed with Boeing for the helicopter and the other with the
US government, under foreign military sales route, for its weapons, radars and electronic
warfare suites.
Sources said the total cost of the contract will be around $3 billion.
Defence minister ManoharParrikar had last week said that the contract, which will have a 30
per cent offset clause, will bring in business worth about $1 billion for the Indian defence
industry.
Offset policy was first introduced as part of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP),
2005, under which a foreign company has to invest back a portion of the deal into India.
The Cabinet Committee on Security had on September 22 cleared the deal which had been
hanging since 2013 when the cost negotiations were completed.
Many in the defence sector had expected the deal to be signed during the visit of US
defence secretary Ashton Carter in June this year.
The US has been pushing for this contract as it will further bolster American presence in
the burgeoning defence market of India.

EDITORIAL5: GROUP 5

Pegging the minimum age for drinking at 25 is ludicrous


and counterproductive
There are some laws that are observed more in the breach. The law on Delhis permissible
drinking age must be one of them. India recognizes its citizens as responsible adults when
they attain 18 years of age. You can vote, get a driving license or join the military at 18; the
legal age for marriage is 18 for girls and 21for boys.

Yet its illegal for you to have a drink in a public place before you turn 25. This is irrational
in the extreme. Delhi tourism minister Kapil Mishra must be commended for his statement
that the minimum drinking age should be lowered in the national capital. This ought to
touch off a debate and the age bar lowered.
Delhi has company states like Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and Meghalaya have the
same no-drinksbefore-25 law. This unreasonably high minimum drinking age ought to be
lowered to at least 21, although there are states like Goa, Uttar Pradesh and Pondicherry
where it is 18. The 25 years age bar is not just risible, it is also counterproductive. Like
many other excessive restrictions our lawmakers like to decorate our statute books with,
the ban simply drive the activity in question in this case alcohol consumption by young
people underground. That gives rise to alcoholism and binge drinking, posing serious
health risks. Unreasonable laws also reinforce the culture of contempt for laws that has
become endemic in our society.
Last year Hyderabad and Bengaluru, which once banned alcohol being served after
11.30pm, extended that deadline in an effort to usher in a more vibrant nightlife. If Delhi,
or indeed any Indian city, aspires to be a global metropolis beloved of citizens and tourists
alike, outdated laws on alcohol consumption must be jettisoned.
Lowering the minimum age for drinking in Delhi would be a start.

EDITORIAL6:GROUP 6

Change the law: J&Ks beef ban provides oxygen to


separatists and Hindu radicals alike
The ongoing row over the beef ban in Jammu & Kashmir has turned into a volatile issue for
both the state government and Centre. Protests broke out after the Jammu bench of the
state high court recently directed the administration to enforce a decades-old beef ban
that has been on the statute book since before Independence. Though this provision of the
Muslim-majority states Ranbir Penal Code has rarely been implemented, the high court
direction has given the political opposition and the separatists ammunition to attack the
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government.
In fact, Muttaheda-Majlis-e-Ulema a group representing Islamic scholars in a meeting
chaired by Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq declared the court order as direct
interference in religious affairs and called on J&Ks Muslims to defy the beef ban during
upcoming Eid celebrations. Conversely, the state unit of the VHP has threatened a
counter agitation and an economic blockade of the Kashmir Valley if the J&K assembly
discusses a bill to repeal the beef ban. Such competitive fundamentalism not only serves
to vitiate the atmosphere in the state but also provides oxygen to radical fringe elements.
The resulting polarisation will rejuvenate a separatist movement thats otherwise on its
last legs.
The propensity to dictate what people can and cannot eat sits oddly with 21st century
democracy. Its not the business of the state to monitor peoples dietary habits. Besides,
meat bans which are also being pushed by other BJP state governments are impossible to
implement and only drive the meat trade underground. Taken together, the J&K assembly
should repeal the beef ban through legislation. The ban was never taken seriously in the
first place and should not now be allowed to become a weapon in the hands of radical
groups.

EDITORIAL7:GROUP 7

Mecca tragedy: Indian death toll in hajj stampede goes


up to 35, tweets SushmaSwaraj
The death toll of Indian pilgrims in last week's horrific stampede during Haj rose to 35
on Sunday as authorities identified 13 more bodies among the victims of the worst
tragedy to hit the annual pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
External Affairs Minister SushmaSwarajtweeted the updated toll. Earlier, seven more
Indians were identified among the dead raising last night's death toll from 22 to 29.
The 13 Indian pilgrims who were among the dead, taking the death toll to 35, have been
identified by the Haj Consulate in Jeddah as MansurulHaque (Jharkhand), AnvarJanha
(UP), F A MuneerVeetil, AminaBeevi, Abdul RahimanAsarithodi, P V Kunhimon and
Moiuddin Abdul Kader (all from Kerala), JaibunNisha (Bihar), NashimaKhatoon
(Jharkhand), Mohamed YounusRahimbhaiMansuri (Gujarat), Bibi Ismail (Gujarat),
MehrunnishaHanif (Gujarat), Muhammed Yusuf Sikandarmiyan Malik (Gujarat).
Saudi authorities have put the total death toll from the stampede during Haj to 769. The
number of injured stands at 934. At least 13 Indians were among those injured.
King Salman has ordered the formation of a committee to probe the deadly incident
during the five-day pilgrimage in which around two million people from over 180
countries took part. From India, 1.5 lakh pilgrims performed Haj.
Haj is one of the five pillars of Islam that should be performed at least once in a lifetime
by every Muslim who is financially and physically capable.

EDITORIAL8:GROUP 8

The challenge of skills and jobs

The scale of the skilling challenge that India faces, and the urgency involved, have been
palpable for some time, but new official data put into cold numbers the extent of the
problem. Fewer than one in 10 adult Indians has had any form of vocational and even
among those who have, the type of training is not the sort of formal skilling that
employers seek the majority had either acquired a hereditary skill or learned on the
job. Just 2.2 per cent in all had received formal vocational training. In comparison, 75
per cent of the workforce in Germany and 80 per cent in Japan has received formal
skills training. Even among the BRICS countries, India lags behind nearly half the
Chinese workforce, for example, is skilled. Very few Indians get a technical education in
medicine, engineering or agriculture; fewer than one in ten Indians is a graduate, and
among those who are graduates, the majority gets undergraduate degrees in arts,
science or commerce. The problem is more acute in rural areas and for women. Without
access to affordable and appropriate skills training, young people, particularly those
leaving rural areas and small towns for big cities, will be stuck in low-wage, insecure
jobs that will leave them in want or poverty.
The NarendraModi government has made skills and jobs one of its focus areas from the
beginning of its term. In July, the Prime Minister launched an ambitious mission to
impart skills training to 40 crore people by 2022, and the new government has a
dedicated Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. The problem is that the
previous government talked the same talk on skills but was able to achieve precious
little; the proportion of young adults who had received vocational training was virtually
unchanged between 2004-05 and 2011-12. There isnt any clear evidence yet that the
new government is charting out a radically new path on skills. There remain multiple
decision-making authorities on skills and little clarity about who exactly will do the
work. Promises of corporate and foreign partnerships on skilling are pouring in, but how
these mass skilling programmes will take off is unclear. Employers complain that jobseekers do not have the skills they look for; there is little evidence yet that curricula with
these objectives in mind have been designed, or that new and affordable training
institutes have been set up on a mass scale. Job creation has not kept pace with Indias
demographic momentum, and that will in the coming days pose a problem for a skilled
workforce. But lets not put the cart before the horse a poorly trained young workforce
can neither bring workers out of poverty nor help a country grow quickly.

EDITORIAL9:GROUP 9

In a class of their own


Discussions on a holistic admission process dont often include the fact that the benefits
are not only for under-represented groups, but also for the mainstream population
It was on a Saturday, I read a mildly angry email regarding an assignment from a

business honors student at the University of Texas at Austin.

I really wish your instructions could be clearer, he said. I cant really see the point
sitting in front of a computer for hours trying to figure it out.
He confessed that his original email was triggered by his own biases and prejudices
growing up. He came from a small town in East Texas with ties to white supremacist
groups of the past. He explained that growing up, all of his friends had been white. He
went to church and social functions that were entirely white. His interactions with nonwhites particularly those with foreign origins were few and far between. He was used to
hearing racist language, including frequent use of the N word. There was a deep
institutional racism. He carried those prejudices with him, but coming to The University
of Texas (UT) at Austin had been a culture shock. He was now in a highly diversified
campus students, staff, and faculty alike.
He said that when he saw me in class speaking with an accent, he was skeptical that I
as a non-white could be in a position of authority over him. He was not used to it
and not ready to accept that authority. Growing up, he subconsciously assumed that
only whites will succeed and others were not smart. He expected that only white
professors would be teaching in a prestigious honors program at the University. He
rationalized his thoughts that in his high school all students and teachers in advanced
classes were white. My reputation as a Distinguished Teaching Professor with a large
number of teaching awards was not enough to gain his trust. Simply, I didnt meet his
primary criterion for success and competency: skin color.
Our interactions made him think deep and honestly of his conscious and subconscious
views of non-whites. He questioned his beliefs of being better by virtue of his race. He
realized that his elite Business Honors Program, which enrolls the top one to two per
cent of graduating high school seniors, had a large number of non-white students. While
Asians comprise only a meager three per cent of the Texas population, they make up
nearly half of all business honors students at UT. He recognized that some of the
brightest students in his classes were not white, and despite my appearance and accent,
he was inspired by my passion for teaching.
This is the single most important experience of my teaching career. It is profound
because it reinforces the power of cultural diversity. It provides not only an exposure to,
and awareness of, different ethnic and racial groups but also the chance to socialize with
them.

Exposure to cultural diversity allows us to deconstruct misconceptions and stereotypes


and break down barriers. If not for this experience, he would have likely continued to
seek things that reinforced his beliefs, and the cycle of disrespect for other cultures and
intolerance would have continued.
He has since graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. I spoke to him again and
he strongly feels that he is a better person for studying in a diverse environment. His
education transformed him so much that he was attracted to public policy issues. He
was selected to a highly coveted fellowship programme where he worked with members
of Congress. While he could have joined a leading investment bank given his stellar
record in the honors programme, he became deeply committed to Kindergarten to 12grade teaching, particularly to the underprivileged and minority children. He now
teaches at a school that is 97 per cent Hispanic and is hoping to join a Ph.D. programme.
This is the rich educational experience offered to all students in a culturally diverse
environment. Often a race-conscious admission process focuses on fair representation
of population profiles in the student body. More recent court verdicts focus on raceconscious holistic admission process that enhances overall student learning experience.
However, often missing in the discussions are the benefits not only for underrepresented groups, but also to the mainstream population as well.
My experience above strikes a powerful resemblance to my discussion with many
Indian-origin friends who are angry that Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) and
backward classes students are being admitted to professional schools on reservation.
I gently asked one angry individual, How many SC/STs do you know? He began to
search for an answer, which I interpreted as none.
I personally know SC/STs who came from not-so-great background and are doing very
well professionally because of the opportunities they got. I am glad I interacted with
them during my education and work life to know more about their upbringing and
culture. If not I would have argued the same way my friend did.
Of course, I will not advocate to lower academic standard much just to find the diverse
body since lack of preparedness of a few not only affect the person admitted, but also
everyone in class.
The problem in India is that reservations are used at professional schools purely for
representation without much regard to academic readiness or social integration. There
are abuses of the system that bring numerous conflicts. Instead, such representations
for cultural diversity should begin at early stages of education at primary school level
both in government and private schools. Young minds are more willing to challenge
their biases and such transformation is necessary in order to evolve into a perfect
society. It solves the academic preparedness and social integration.
EDITORIAL10:GROUP 10

Zuckerberg for balance between access and Internet


neutrality
The debate on net neutrality has been incredible in India and finding the right balance

between provisions on net neutrality and enhancing access to the hitherto Internetunconnected in India will have a great impact on the rest of the world as well, Mark
Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, told select journalists, at the Facebook
headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Mr. Zuckerberg said his companys mission was
to connect the world.
While there was a perception that his company, due to its success, is big, the mentality
of his colleagues was that of a small company, constantly seeking to live up to its
mission, he said.
After it drew about 1.5 billion people the online social networking service was now
seeking to enhance connectivity and reaching out to those not connected.
It is in this regard that Facebook was promoting its internet.org platform, whose access
application has been rebranded as free and basic services, besides working on other
technologies to provide bandwidth access and tuning products for places with lower
bandwidth.
India, having the largest number of people not connected to the Internet, had seen a
strong debate on net neutrality, and Facebook had learnt from it, modifying its
internet.org business model, he and his colleagues said. Other changes included opening
up the free basics platform to developers, changing its privacy policy and providing a
security methodology.
Asked about other business models (such as Jana), which provided data access within
strict definitions of net neutrality, internet.org head Chris Daniels argued that their
model of giving access to free and basic services fitted with net neutrality provisions.
Inflammatory content
Asked about his view on kneejerk reactions by governments, like the shutting down of
the Internet when faced with social media content issues, he said his company was
working with law enforcement and investing a lot in regulating inflammatory content on
Facebook, but more needed to be done.