Letters to The EDITOR: Huge scams in Sonowal-led Government
Huge scams in Sonowal-led Government
With the passage of time, corruption latent in BJP led state government of Assam is starting to come to the surface. As if huge scams in Coal, Oil syndicates are not enough to blacken the image of the Assam government. In the employment scams in public relation led by one Rajib Prakash Baruah with full blessings of the Chief-minister (portfolio is held by the CM) appointment from the backdoor is the 'Breaking News' of the day. As if an unhealthy competition is on among the minister in Dispur to be on the top of (employment) scams overtaking others, P & RD minister Naba Doley is reluctant to be at the back-foot, his modus operandi in employment in his department speaks volume of our contention. In a show of glaring favouritism, nepotism the minister gave appointment to the ministers' and bureaucrats' relatives not excluding Chandra Mohan Patowari (Transport minister) and Doley's own relatives. BJP led government in the state forfeits its right to sue the tainted ministers and bureaucrats of the congress, exactly the way, one living in a glasshouse should not throw stones at others. Is our chief-minister listening?
The 10% reservation and higher education
In an apparent rush to introduce the 10% quota for economically weaker students (EWS) among those not already covered by quotas, government has asked all 40 central universities and 77 other higher education institutions to give details of their seat availability and financial requirements. The exercise is aimed at rolling out the new quota from the 2019-20 academic session itself. And since the government doesn't want the number of quota-free general seats to decline, institutions will have to expand their overall infrastructure. This is a humongous task and there is not enough time to implement the new quota by the beginning of the next academic cycle.
In any case, the 10% quota itself leaves too many unanswered questions. While the Centre may provide additional funds for Central universities what happens to other colleges and universities across the country, whether state-funded or private? States are already running up large amounts of debt, where will they discover the additional resources from? Draconian regulations will also disincentivize private universities.
Lack of diversity in the higher education system will lead to lack of competition and an all-pervasive cookie cutter mediocrity.
The Rs 8 lakh family income cut-off to identify eligible candidates for the new quota is quite high and its criteria cover around 95% of households in the country.
Certifying the income and assets of families is surely going to lead to inspector raj and attendant corruption. Besides, household income for those engaged in business fluctuates every year. How would applicants from such households be assessed? Won't the new rules work against the salaried?
Quality of education in India continues to be poor with universities treated as tools to disburse political patronage. The new economic quota will be an additional burden that will take away more resources from funding research and attracting the best brains. This way, higher education may continue to churn out more unemployablegraduates incapable of taking the Indian economy to a higher gear. Unless we can set up special educational zones where the usual ham-handed and draconian regulations - including reservations – don't apply, we may as well kiss goodbye to dreams of turning India into a knowledge hub.
Satish Kumar Sarma,
Kalyanpur, Biswanath Chariali.