Saturday, May 30, 2009

Racism Down Under - Wake up Call for India


The solution to the resentment towards Indian students who can afford education abroad does not lie in diplomatic efforts. That’s a stop gap and contingent solution. But the real long term solution lies in India improving the educational infrastructure in the country.

With the type of media coverage it is getting, there is likelihood of this resentment spreading to other parts of the developed world which have been wooing Indian students both for the revenue (income from international students is a major source of revenue for Australia) they bring and their contribution to research. But racist attacks are often beyond the control of the governments. Its increase in these difficult times of financial meltdown is an indication of the rightful-heir-being-denied –the -legacy –by-the-adopted syndrome. This is the most dangerous type of resentment ‘cos at the bottom of it is the feeling of righteousness, of fighting and killing for a just cause.

In addition to this is this branding of Asians as terrorists. The Indian students in Australia have reported that they often have had to confront hostile queries about whether they are Afghans or Pakistanis, and whether their jacket conceals bombs!

It is the most undesirable situation that we have here.

Why does a country like India which exports such a huge number of techies and researchers to the world, depend on these developed countries for quality higher education for her students?

Sixty years of independence is a long time. The issue should be addressed aggressively. We have the educational infrastructure. It’s not as though we have to start from the scratch. We have to bring them up to international standards. There are a few suggestions to address this very serious issue.

· Keep Centres of learning totally free from politics. No unions, be it those of students, employees or the teaching faculty.
· Invest hugely in research infrastructure.
· Provide sufficient funding for deserving researchers in place of the shameful pittance doled out to them now. A decent package will attract to our universities the best hands that, in the present scenario, go to foreign universities for quality, state of the art education and become vulnerable to shameful racist attacks.
· Offer enviable package to the faculty. This will attract the best hands to the teaching profession. This move is already set afoot in the country under pressure from the UGC.
· Attract funds by offering very attractive tax benefits to corporates who donate to the cause of education in proportion to the profit.
· Have in place a fool proof accountability system for the universities.
· Ensure efficient administrative machinery in the universities. The red-tapism that is the bane of any university with government funding is a huge drain on the resources of the university in terms of time and performance.
· Every state should have such universities in proportion to its population.

None of these is impossible or unrealistic suggestions. WE only need the political will to do it. It is time the people of India began to clamour for it. If we let things by, the status quo will continue.

Only the crying baby gets milk.

Perhaps the wails should emanate from the blogsphere.

7 comments:

  1. cudnt agree more. its high time that the quality education move out of IIT/IIMs and spread all over the country

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  2. Great post! Its very true, if we have the brilliance why are we letting it get out of the country..and the brilliance is proven!!

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  3. Spot on with ur post there!! ..

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  4. I am wondering why the Indian government can't take a strong step. Why isn't it advicing the students not to go Down Under for further studies? 18% of foreign students of Australia are from India. That is by no means a small number. If we strongly say we will not send our kids there, won't there be some action taken? I wish the government would show some back bone instead of just lodging a meek protest.

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  5. this is the opinion from the other side..

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25583278-7583,00.html

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  6. While I agree that we do need better opportunities for higher education I also feel these should not be government funded. Let whoever wants higher education pay for it. (We pay or find means to pay, when we study abroad too) - all the government needs to do is make it easier - by like you suggested, cutting down on red-tapism and generally removing obstacles.

    Government should focus on spending for good quality, primary education. We need thousands of schools with qualified, regular (attendance) teachers, qualified counsellors and infra structure should include good laboratories, libraries, arts and sports facilities - all this should be funded by the tax payers' money.

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