All students are equal. Students who are sportspersons are more equal. A student who is the captain of a cricket team that wins U-19 World Cup is the most equal.
That is the view of Ajay Maken, Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Shukla, Kirti Azad, Arnab Goswami and many others who live in a world that is worse than George Orwellâ€™s Animal Farm.
Valson Thampu, principal of St. Stephenâ€™s College, appeared on many channels on 30/8/2012. He faced hostile questioning on Times Now.
Programme for International Standard Assessment (PISA) ratings and Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2011 have shown fall in educational standards in many Indian schools. Standard V students are unable to read Standard II books. Similar is the fall in standard in arithmetics. Mostly it is the case of government schools in rural areas. Much has been made of mid-day meal scheme in schools and it is said that the scheme has ensured almost 100% attendance. It is no use if students have mid-day meals but do not gain knowledge.
The controversy about Aarakshan has raised the question of relevance of CBFC. Once CBFC certifies a film there should be no problem about its release anywhere in India. However many people without seeing the film want the film to be banned. Some want special screening for them. It is bad for anyone to do that but worse when people in power do that. It is unpardonable for the home minister of state to say that films should be shown to certain politicians. It is unpardonable for other ministers to demand special screening and they will decide what should be shown. States should have no power to ban a CBFC certified film and those who create law and order problem should be strictly dealt with.
It is time for admission to colleges. Delhi University introduced common admission form for its colleges and allowed colleges to fix cut-off percentages. Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) fixed 100% as cut-off percentage. Some have criticised it. P. C. Jain, principal of SRCC, defended it. Science students who do not get admission in SRCC can go to IIT or IIM. Best way to do away with stress is to have no marks, no examinations and no evaluations and have lottery to select students.
Some other colleges had cut-off percentages in the range of 95%-99%. Students who do not get admission in the first list may get admission in subsequent lists.
Some people want law against marital rape which is an oxymoron. Husband and wife belong to each other and they have rights and duties towards each other. A woman who does not want to have sex with her husband should separate from him and file for divorce. If a woman files for divorce the judge…
Maharashtra is a fit case for imposing Presidentâ€™s Rule under article 356 of the constitution.
It is not for students to tell what should be the syllabus. A student tells the university to withdraw a book from the curriculum and vice chancellor obliges within 24 hours using emergency powers which were not used before. The chief minister justifies the withdrawal saying the book contains abusive language. His partyâ€™s spokesperson says â€œIt may be his personal opinion but it was not the Chief Minister who ordered the withdrawal of the book. It was not the governmentâ€™s decision. Mumbai University is autonomous. If anybody is aggrieved by the decision of Mumbai University, they can always take it up with the Senate or the Syndicate or the appropriate forum.â€
Corporal punishment to students has become a controversial subject. There have been instances of excessive beating by teachers, causing injury and sometimes death. TV channels reported it for a day, some discussed it for a few minutes and everything was forgotten. A boy from La Martiniere in Calcutta died in February. After three and half months the death became controversial.
Educational institutions have the right to make rules. Those who study in them have to abide by the rules.
People of India have freedom of religion.
It is unreasonable for any student to ask the management to change the rules because his/her religion says otherwise.
Kapil Sibal, Indiaâ€™s HRD Minister, has announced plans for abolition of Board Examinations for Std X and Std XII. He wants grades to be given in place of marks. He wants one Board for India. There are many other plans. I want to comment on exams and marks.