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Our Politicians Are The True Hillary Clintons Of The World

By on May 22, 2009 in Stop The Press | 34 comments

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Guest blogged by Anuj on April 11, 2008.

India is hoping to become a super power and yet it’s set to perform a massive, radical self inflicted brain surgery in order to remove whatever was good about it. Information is power, and the only way we can progress as a country and as a species is by driving out ignorance. So are we progressing towards that? Well no.

The IITs, the much hyped colleges for engineering in India, are bullshit; they actually fail to educate people up to the required level, that’s why companies spend so much on training new recruits. The total amount of intellectual output they produce, all of them, is less than that of MIT. Compare the total number of graduates MIT produces (8000) to all of the IITs combined (4000), and that’s just one institution, doesn’t this tell you something?

Look at DRDO, ISRO* have these organizations done something truly groundbreaking? We are yet to send out a probe to the moon and in this day and age when private entrepreneurs are planning to do it**, the government should be ashamed of this. Oh I forgot, they’re a bunch of shameless, hypocritical pricks.

You know, how they have decided to go about this?

With reservation; the Indian Supreme Court*** has upheld the decision for reservation in colleges, government jobs and the various other places it happens. You know what reservation is now up at frikkin’ 49.5%, nearly half of the people who will enter into the best colleges of this country like IIT, AIIMS, DU etc. will not deserve it, even worse is what will happen to the already teetering infrastructure in these colleges, no one will in the end get the quality education. I just want to ask one question: why?

This essentially shows the myopic policy making practiced down here, nobody has thought of what happens in the long run, which is disastrous. What we’re essentially doing is that telling people who’re better than them, a ‘no’ because they weren’t born in one of those families, this is the real apartheid, ignorance can’t be driven away by ignorance. Nope, they’re much better off spending money on the crumbling primary school infrastructure and setting up policies which encourage merit, not this, but then again will this get them votes?

In short they are the true Hillary Clintons of the world, they’re getting killed and they don’t have any hope, yet they choose to mess up the battlefield and leave things worse off than they are.

My Pitch

They should improve the crumbling government schooling system; make it better by infusing capital and skill in order to provide quality education to the masses, hell make them better than the private schools, thus ending their monopoly over knowledge. The poor cannot get quality primary education in this country and if the basics themselves haven’t been covered, then how can they expect them to do anything in the future?

Next up is our higher education system, which is still standing, somehow. What we need to do is that we need to create more institutions, which are better than the existing IITs, we could invite foreign universities to set up shop over here. They’re pretty interested in India and I think that by letting them set up shop here we can get a better curriculum, thus we can change the way education is imparted in the country. It will take time but it will work, do you know why we need to change the curriculum? Because it’s useless, people are actually under trained, that’s why companies spend millions of dollars every year to train their new employees; doesn’t this tell you something?

We desperately need to re-vamp the system; it doesn’t foster innovation rather it alienates it. It needs more funding, more investment in new institutions with uniform quality standards, which should increase over time, look at the Chinese they’re doing it. We need competitions like the X-Prize, which help people to compete, practically, with their innovations to solve pressing problems for a big incentive; we need to get people more involved in the functioning of the world; we need them to connect the dots. This way we can solve literally everything, yeah even the Riemann hypothesis, prove it rather.

The government agencies in effect should foster this process and nurture this, like DARPA does, we can learn a lot by observation and it’s time we do. Instead of re-inventing the wheel over and over again, we should get our facts straight and realize that we can’t afford to do this, we can’t afford to play with fire like this, sooner or later this combustible mix of power and ignorance will blow up in our faces, and we’ll then stand and play those stupid blame games.

The only thing that should exist, except for the merit based application system, are scholarships, we need to get brilliance into our colleges not village clods, who don’t know anything. Competence should be the judging factor not genealogy, hey after all aren’t we all descended from one common ancestor? How does that fit into their plans?

In short an injection of money and skill is needed in order to prevent the system from collapsing under it’s own bureaucratic weight.
—-

*Agreed they have developed geo-stationary capability but that has been around for a while, they could have easily learnt it from the Americans or Russians, they have done nothing truly groundbreaking in the fields of astronomy, space exploration and aeronautics which are its primary responsibilities. Why?
They’re under funded, who would want to work for such a crappy institution when they could easily get a job at NASA, where they would pay 10 times as much as they pay over here, plus they do actual research.

**Think Google + Think lunar + Think Different = Google Lunar X Prize

*** I used to think that the Supreme Court was free from corruption and, probably, was one of the few clean institutions of the land, that wasn’t meant to be; money talks and these courts are there up for grab for the right price, like every other institution in the land.
My father’s friend was telling me about several cases where the judges have been bought not for lakhs, but crores, and that behind each and every decision there’s, usually, lots of money involved and anyone who speaks up loses his/her job and position. If the organs themselves are involved how can one expect justice? Mass mobilization is the only way out, or one could use the game theory and make corruption a disincentive, by imposing harsher penalties, improving detection methods, aiding people who talk and adding moral humiliation to it.
See if the top ranks are corrupt then corruption cascades down the system until the whole organization is corrupt. People are corrupt due to the fact that it has major incentives involved and that everyone else also is, so it becomes a matter of survival. Change this, and you change everything. Read, Michael Shermer’s excellent article on this at sciam.com, click here.



34 Comments

  1. Hey Anuj,

    I beg to differ. but the line on the IIT’s and the DRDO’s and the ISRO is factually incorrect.
    1. Lets not even compare apples and oranges.Comparing MIT’s and IIT’s at any level is ridiculous.

    Talkig about innovation in these institutes,trust me with the given resources some of the best cutting edge research goes around in the research labs of IIT’s IISC,DRDO and ISRO .
    For eg – Once in every two weeks, IITB discloses an invention.Given the fact the faculty at IIT is 1/4th or almost 1/5th of that of MIT, we are fairly competent.

    Plus none of these institutes are hyped for that matter. They deserve the image that is being portrayed.

    The IIT’s don’t teach you how to work in a IT firm or a consultancy. They were never supposed to do that and will never do this.
    I agree to the reservation issue, but then given the fact its something genuinely out of our reach.

    P.S — Appreciate your thoughts but the next time you write anything,consider some amount of homework.

    • Ankur

      May 23, 2009

      Post a Reply

      I’d agree with Anuj though on the bit where he says seats are way too less. Number of seats in universities in India are laughably low for the large population that we have.

    • Ravi

      May 23, 2009

      Post a Reply

      @Vivek
      Research is best measured by the number of patents filed in a given amount of time, say about a year, according to which IITs lack well behind MIT, or maybe even colleges like University of California at Berkeley.

      • Vivek Khandelwal

        May 23, 2009

        @ Ravi
        One of the parameter’s of measuring research work is Patents and Papers published but given the fact that faculty strength is above 1000 ,1500+ in case of Stanford, where as on the other hand faculty at for eg IITB is close to 400. IIT’s have their own issues, but as i had mentioned earlier their performance with the given resources if not beats almost equal’s world standard’s.

        @Ankurb – Agreed that reservation and no: of seats have been a isssue, but then things like these reside with the one’s in Power and this is the reason I would love to see Rahul Gandhi to take charge of the HRD ministry and not some 67 year semi bald declaring another IIT.

      • Ravi

        May 23, 2009

        Lack of resources such as faculty, IS one of the major factors which doesn’t let IIT be in the same league as MIT. Let’s not use this as an excuse for our backwardness in innovation. I’m not saying that these institutions are completely useless, they are doing their best, but that’s not enough to compete on a global scale.

      • Ankur

        May 23, 2009

        In US/UK, taking up teaching as a career is what many people take seriously. Here, everyone wants to go on the engineering+MBA route.

      • Ravi

        May 24, 2009

        Sadly, I agree.

        MBAs aren’t worth anything now until and unless they’re not from an IIM or maybe an ISB. MBAs from private colleges like Amity are laughed upon.

      • Ankur

        May 23, 2009

        A major roadblock to new IITs being set up were the objections of powerful IIT alumni lobby groups and current directors who said such a move would ‘dilute IITs standards’. IIT is not lemonade which gets diluted by adding more water. Of course setting up a new institute will take effort! But the this whole lobbying to try and prevent new IITs from being set up is not fruitful.

      • Ankur

        May 26, 2009

        But dude, a beginning has to be made somewhere. Human beings aren’t born as 18-year old adults, are they? So why expect the same from a college? Of course it takes time to set up the brick-and-mortar of an institute but it’s the HR (in form of professors etc) that IIT has which is needed in greater and better quantity in our country.

  2. Parth sINGH

    May 31, 2009

    Post a Reply

    Mr anuj u need to sTudy ISRO a bit more and drdo too before lAbelling them crappy.Think BRAHMOS AGNI CHANDRAYAAN PSLV ANTRIX ALH DHRUVE PINAKA ARJUN PRITHVI PAD Then u will realise the output of these intitutions and also coming by 2010 is our COMBAT AIRCRAFT TEJAS,NUCLEAR POWERED SUBMARINE AND AIRCRAFT CARRIER AND STEALTH FRIGATES SOME OF WHICH HAVE ALREADY JOINED SERVICE.AND ALL THIS IS AT FAR CHEAPER RATES.

    No. of iits are being increased and i agree with you on this but dismissing IITS on number of patent is sad as mit and iit;’s budgets are vastly different.
    IIT+MBA WORKS FOR MANY COZ THEIR LEVEL OF AFFLUENCY IS NOT AS GOOD AS YOURS PLUS IITS HAVE MANY STARTUPS

    aNKUR I ALWAYS LIKED UR BLOG BUT U SHUD ASK UR GUEST BLOGGERS TO RESEARCH.
    CHEERS

    • Ankur

      May 31, 2009

      Post a Reply

      I agree to a large extent with Anuj. Most top people don’t work in India because of inadequate pay. As pointed out, none of the stuff done by ISRO or DRDO or HAL is truly groundbreaking. The projects you mention have been going on for years without nearing completion. Most of them are not truly indigenous as lots of components are based on licensed technologies from Russia.

      • Parth sINGH

        May 31, 2009

        Again an uninformed comment loser brahmos was a reality in 5yrs ,Agni missiles and prithvi were completed without any delays.Developin geo-stationary technology is ground breaking and is truly indigenous mr bannerjee
        because no one shares this tech as it can be copied in no time INTO inter continental ballistic missiles and u look out how many countries have the teh which i have listed four fiive a huge number right?/
        Plus u must be told brahmos agni prithvi pinaka arjun and alh have been inducted into the forces read research and then comment lemme tell you P.A.D THAT IS ANTI BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENCE IS TRULY INDIGENOUS AND PRITHVI AGNI TOO ARE INDIGENOUS BECOZ NO ONE SHARES THIS TECH.SAME IS TRUE FOR PSLV CHANDRAYAAN AND WHY I CALL THEM GROUNDBREAKING IS BECAUSE OF ITS LOW COST

      • Parth sINGH

        May 31, 2009

        add to the cost is the fact that we did it keeping in mind the fact that we need to help the poor.

      • Ankur

        May 31, 2009

        Look, my intention is not to diss ISRO or DRDO. What they have done despite all embargoes, with the budget the get etc is commendable indeed – but to believe that they are anywhere near our overseas counterparts is a fallacy – as of now. Maybe two-three years down the line the same won’t be true. And I hope I’m proved wrong for our own nation’s good. But the first step towards change is realizing that something is wrong. Something is wrong. Brilliant scientists don’t want to stay in India because they can get higher salaries abroad. And brilliant students (mostly) don’t want to get into this field in the first place. IIST is in IITs extended merit list, and many people join it not out of their own free will but because they want to settle on a compromise just for getting into a good college. It is these things that should change, and we should stop denying it happens. This is what holds us back – we as Indians get content with whatever small achievements we make; we never think of the next step. Elsewhere, they achieve something and then start working on the next thing.

      • Ankur

        May 31, 2009

        1. People will take you more seriously iF yOu sTOp MixIng ANd mATChing cASes. Learning English grammar will help too, so will using a spell-checker.
        2. None of the ones you mention are in actively deployment. Our defense systems still mostly run on foreign missiles. Missiles developed under DRDO have only been ‘successfully tested’ and ‘in the process of induction’, before the whole indigenous missile development was scrapped in 2008 because DRDO decided that greater foreign collaboration would be better. You can look this up. If you have references to prove otherwise, show me. Any reference you can look up for them, it’s about ‘successful tests’ and not ‘active deployment’. Strange thing for something which you claim is better and cheaper. Here, I’ll make it easier for you – this is the list of missiles India uses. Indian ones are in development, the foreign ones are what we actually use in the battlefield.
        3. Brahmos was made in collaboration with Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia.
        4. Here’s an excerpt on Arjun:

        The Indian Army has shown little interest in the Arjun, believing it will soon be obsolete. While not officially going on record, the army is known to be extremely unhappy with the Arjun, having listed 14 defects that need to be rectified. These include a deficient fire control system, inaccuracy of its guns, low speeds in tactical areas – principally deserts – and its inability to operate in temperatures over 50 degrees Celsius[5]. In July 2008, the Indian Army said it would cap Arjun’s induction at 124 units, thus effectively putting an end to the Arjun MBT and its derivative Tank EX.

        5. GSLV isn’t complete, it has had only five or so launches till now. PSLV has been fairly successful – fine. But it’s nothing groundbreaking as such. Most of the satellites in the INSAT series, for instance, have been launched using the Arianne space launch vehicle, and not our own launch vehicles. This is despite the touted ‘lower cost’ of PSLV.

      • Parth sINGH

        June 1, 2009

        Bangalore: The induction of first squadron of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) to Indian Air Force (IAF) can take place by the end of 2010 or the beginning of 2011 with regular persuasion and monitoring of the LCA programme, the Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major said.

        The Chief of Air Staff during his farewell visit to Aeronautical Development Agency recently said: “IAF is on the transformation stage in the matter of gaining overall capabilities, with the help of organisations such as DRDO, ADA, HAL and other partners.”

        Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been a part of IAF’s endeavour to attain indigenous status in getting what is required for the nation’s security.

        An official release said that the Chief of Air Staff was affirmative that the ongoing LCA programme would further lead to LCA mark II, MCA and many other projects of self- reliance nature

        Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) in Avadi near Chennai will deliver 79 Arjun main battle tank (MBT), which was built indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), by March 2010. Each tank was built for Rs 19 crore.

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        After flagging off 16 MBT Arjun tanks from CVRDE, Avadi which was handed over to the Army, A Sivathanu Pillai, scientist and chief controller, research and development, DRDO, ministry of defence said total order placed by the army was 124 tanks. Of this 45 have been delivered. Remaining will be delivered by March 2010.
        he outcome of AUCRT trials raised the confidence levels of the users over the reliability and endurance of MBT Arjun and they confirmed that the overall performance of the MBT Arjun during the stringent AUCRT trials was satisfactory and cleared the production tanks with minor modifications suggested during AUCRT, for induction. Both CVRDE and HVF along with DGQA agencies worked out methodologies to introduce all AUCRT modifications within shortest time frame and the next batch of 17 tanks were handed over to Army by 3rd March 2009.

        As suggested by Army after AUCRT trials, Arjun tanks were subjected to rigorous trials and assessment by a third party audit (an internationally reputed tank manufacturer). After the extensive evaluation, the reputed tank manufacturer confirmed that the MBT Arjun is an excellent tank with very good mobility and fire power characteristics suitable for Indian desert. They also added inputs such as quality auditing, production procedures and refined calibration procedures for further enhancing the performance of MBT Arjun. DRDO, will be incorporating all these inputs in the next regiment of 62 tanks for handing over to Army before Mar 2010 as desired by the Army.
        Army carried out the Accelerated Usage Cum Reliability Trials (AUCRT) in 5 phases on two tanks from Nov 2007 to Aug 2008 covering more than 8000 km and 800 rounds of firing in each tank. AUCRT is required for assessing the spares requirement for the entire life of the tank besides evaluation of reliability of tank. Each phase consists of 1000kms run and 100EFC (Approx. 160 rounds of APFSDS and HESH � Primary and secondary rounds) over a temperature range of -5 to 500C. One of the main issues during AUCRT trials was the failure of the bearings of Transmission of M/s RENK, Germany, due to rise in lub oil temperature. However, this was immediately solved by modifying the software during AUCRT itself and the efficacy of the software was proved for more than 4000kms. However a comprehensive solution of modifying the bearing assembly by providing a special coating was carried out to take care of the temperature problem and the retrofitment of bearing assembly being carried out in all the tanks.

      • Ankur

        June 1, 2009

        Sigh. Again? Read my last comment about not dissing anyone but the need to strive harder. You can look up info yourself that T-90 and T-72 are mainstay tanks for Indian Army. I also pointed out only 124 Arjuns will be used. Your cop-pasted article says the same. Also read up these:
        http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/No_more_Arjuns_for_Indian_Army/articleshow/3200344.cms
        http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1994156,prtpage-1.cms
        http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200807051550.htm

  3. Parth sINGH

    June 1, 2009

    Post a Reply

    Arjun tanks were subjected to rigorous trials and assessment by a third party audit (an internationally reputed tank manufacturer). After the extensive evaluation, the reputed tank manufacturer confirmed that the MBT Arjun is an excellent tank with very good mobility and fire power characteristics suitable for Indian desert
    This is against your comment citing Arjun to be incapabele for indian deserts

    • Ankur

      June 1, 2009

      Post a Reply

      And where is this cite from? Mine are from Times of India and The Hindu, both reputed sources. The Hindu link speaks of army brass wanting ‘more technologically capable’ tanks.

      • Parth sINGH

        June 1, 2009

        (Source: Press Information Bureau India; issued May 25, 2009)
        The hindu article says that they will serve well in the next decade but not be good enough for the decade after.
        Is this reason enough to push down indigenous efforts
        and do you realise that it will serve as an excellent platform for future indigenisation of our army and the fact that it was our first attempt at directly developing third gen tech facing all sorts of embargoes underfunding and weak industrial infrastructure.
        The kanchan Reactive Armour is one major spin-off which will be utilised in upgrading t-72 and t-90

  4. Parth sINGH

    June 1, 2009

    Post a Reply

    The cabinet committee on security (CCS) had cleared the raising of the two Agni units, which have been classified by army headquarters as 334 Missile Group armed with the 700-km short-range Agni I missile and the 335 Missile Group, which would operate the 1,500-km medium-range Agni II missile.
    This is from IANS
    24th september 2003

    • Parth sINGH

      June 1, 2009

      Post a Reply

      Prithvi sees service in 222 333 444 and 555 missile groups while its naval variant too has been inducted

      • Parth sINGH

        June 1, 2009

        In heavy main battle tanks,The UK has 386 Challenger 2, France has 408 Leclerc tanks, and both countries have significantly higher defence budgets than the Indian Army which also needs to be noted when citing the 124 arjun number

      • Parth sINGH

        June 1, 2009

        Pinaka is a multiple rocket launcher produced in India. The system has a maximum range of 39-40 km, fire a salvo of 12 HE rockets in 44 seconds, neutralizing a target area of 3.9 sq. km. The system is mounted on a Tatra truck for mobility.

        Pinaka saw service during the Kargil War, where it was successful in neutralizing enemy positions on the mountain tops. It has since been inducted into the Indian Army in large numbers.

        INSAS(Indian National Small Arms System) is a family of infantry arms consisting of an assault rifle, a light machine gun and a carbine. The Insas Assault Rifle is now the standard infantry weapon of the Indian Armed Forces
        Samyukta is a mobile integrated electronic warfare system. Touted to be the largest Electronic Warfare System in India, it was developed jointly by DRDO, Bharat Electronics Limited, Corps of Signals of Indian Army.The System is fully mobile and is meant for tactical battlefield use. It covers wide range of frequencies and coverage of Electromagnetic spectrum is handled by the communication segment and the non-communication segment. Its functions include various ELINT, COMINT and Electronic Attack(ECM) activities.

      • Parth sINGH

        June 1, 2009

        So, In the end The integrated missile development programme had only one failure in Trishula and was successful in Agni Prithvi Akash and Nag.Not a small achievement by any means for a country which had to face brain drain embargoes and a largely underdeveloped industrial infrastructure and extremely meager funding.
        The Arjun was India’s first attempt to make a future mbt which though started in 1975 got major funding only in 1992.Should I tell you of the numerous failures which America had or for the matter that they stole german tech after ww2 which largely gave them an headstart.
        Its an headstart of 40 years which we are now trying to bridge.Many of the projects are all India’s first attempts and have been aimed directly reaching 4th or 3rd generation tech maturity which is not easy.
        In ISRO’s case INSAT-4C and INSAT-4CR were launched by the indigenous GSLV.Again India started 30 years after USA still have managed to compete in the satellite launch market for polar and geo-stationary launches

      • Ankur

        June 1, 2009

        124 is just Arjun tanks. India has many more Russian-built tanks. And India needs more tanks because our population and area geographic area is much larger than UK or France.

      • Ankur

        June 1, 2009

        Blergh. Did I say anything different that what you’re saying here? All these missiles are in the process of induction (that’s what “orders have been placed for” means). Our current defense systems are primarily based on foreign equipment. Again, read the word primarily. Divisions using Indian ones are slowly being incorporated into the setup.

      • Parth sINGH

        June 1, 2009

        Agni missile units have been raised and inducted.
        Plus when you say that Indian equipments are slowly being incorporated into the setup it again asks the same question as to how can you call these institutions crappy and I would like to ask as to when you praise the foreign manufacturers in your blog you do accept my view that they had an unfair advantage with a huge headstart of 40 years and the fact that our first attempts are directly into the the third generation tech. If so, dismissing them as crappy would be really sad.

      • Parth sINGH

        June 1, 2009

        These institutions are nothing to be ashamed of and plus the lacunae of d.r.d.o. are being looked into with intensive monitoring of defence projects by the armed forces ensuring that there are no delays and holdups.
        I.S..R.O. doesn’t seem to have any problems except for low salary and underfunding and ntensive brain drain but again calling them crappy and something to be ashamed is real sad.
        P.S.what happened to GYAAN.IN

      • Ankur

        June 1, 2009

        Gyaan.in will be launching around mid-June. Stay tuned! :)

      • Ankur

        June 1, 2009

        I’m not dismissing them as ‘crappy’, Anuj was. Yes, I very much understand that we’re behind because they had a headstart. But I also believe that we can do better, and the reason why we aren’t doing better…well, I already mentioned that in a comment reply to you above.

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