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Selling Liquor in a Gandhian State is an Anomaly

Gandhi, the father of our nation, was strongly against the selling and drinking of liquors. He used to say, it is criminal to spend the income from the sale of intoxicants on the education of the nation’s children or other public services. The government must overcome the temptation of using such revenue for nation-building purposes.

India has come a long way ahead of the state of 1930s or 40s. The poverty level and situation have changed. In 30s, people in the state of unemployment and poverty used to spend their spare time in drinking, even if they had no money. The result was families destroyed due to head of the family being indulged in drinking habit. Violence caused by drinking problem was a common thing at that time. That’s why; Mr. Gandhi had to address the nation about drinking practice.

As Gandhi should be our ideal and our nation should reflect to follow his principles. After independence India should had to abolish the selling of liquor. But no, India is still generating revenues from liquor. Now, the thing is whether drinking liquor is actually bad habit or it was the situation which demands Mr. Gandhi to be against liquor.

According to the NIAAA – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, it concluded, after much scientific reviews that moderate drinkers do have lowest death rate compare to heavy drinkers and some fellows who don’t drink. In another word, if you take liquor as a drug and take in a controlled fashion; it is good for your health and longevity. So, being strictly against the liquor or drinking habit is quick or biased judgement. Excess of anything is not good. So is the case with liquor too.

Human beings have a general tendency or affinity for intoxication. The form may be different but everyone loves to do it. When someone gets bored of their hard social life, they turn to things which can let them forget everything for some time. Either it is in the form of drinking, gaming, chatting, swimming or playing badminton after work. The motto is only one, to forget everything for some moment. It just depends on them which form attracts them. But, in the present world everyone is trying to get refreshed by one of such forms.

One may say that there are people who turn violent after drinking. But, overdose of every drugs have side-effects. Even overdose of sleeping pills. But then again, to avoid such cases there should be strict guidelines for over drinking. Also, a lot of accidents occur every year due to an alcoholic driver. Nevertheless, still it’s a case of over drinking.

Therefore, stopping the sale of liquor is not a solution. It is true that we live in a Gandhian state. But, it does not mean we should stop applying things which were true in his period. Selling liquor in a Gandhian state is not an anomaly at all.

Should FDI be Allowed in Higher Education

 

The ‘India Vision 2020′ envisages the transformation of India into a knowledge superpower. To achieve this vision, the higher education sector has to play a key role. At present India is producing highest number of doctors and engineers every year. But, if one considers the quality and quantity of higher education in India. It is worse. In US and UK, percentage of enrolment in higher education is 82.4 and 60.1 respectively. In India, despite recent increment due to private players, current enrolment is merely 12 %. Even South East Asian countries have higher enrolment rate like 31% in Philippines, 27% in Malaysia, 19% in Thailand and 13% in China. According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), public spending on higher education in India is merely US $400 per students. If we consider public spending of US on higher education, it is $9629. It may be argued that the spending of India could not be compared with that of US. However, even other developing nations like Brazil, China or Russia have much higher public expenditure per student, in excess of $1000.

India’s higher education system is the third largest in the world, after China and the United States. The main governing body at the tertiary level is the University Grants Commission (India), which enforces its standards, advises the government, and helps coordinate between the centre and the state. As of 2009, India has 20 central universities, 215 state universities, 100 deemed universities, 5 institutions established and functioning under the State Act, and 13 institutes which are of national importance. Most of these institutions are public funded. Some of these institutions have been globally acclaimed. However, India has failed to produce world class universities like Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge or MIT.

The state of higher education is very bad in India. The education system in India is often criticised for being Rote Learning, rather than problem solving. The status of teaching in most of the public run colleges in India is ill. If we see the situation of colleges in metros and cities, it may come under average level. But, the situation of colleges in small cities is very bad. The main aim for the students here is to get certificate. Corruption and negligence could be easily found in the examination conducted by these colleges. Some private universities have started operations in India. But, most of them are not giving the quality, they are for money making. In the recent years, many of the new private institutions have opened in India. But, most of them are for engineering and B-schools. The scenario is this that India is producing almost 750,000 engineers and 100,000 MBA graduates every year. But, if we see the skill in this army of graduates only 20-30% of them are doing the particular course due to interest or skill. Rest of them are there just because it is going to give them good jobs.

India in the process of becoming a developed nation needs to be technologically independent. Right now, India is dependent on other nations for technology. We are not spending a lot on Research and Development. In fact, if we see the track record in many sectors we are dependent on technology imports. Like India is the largest importer in the world for defence equipment. For the current 3G mobile technology, India is looking towards China and US for imports of machinery. India needs to spend a lot on research work. But, the atmosphere here is not research oriented. Even, in IITs, many professors find it hard to get funds sanctioned for researches.

Every year nearly 0.4 million Indians go abroad for higher studies spending approximately $ 12bn. This leads to not only loss of foreign exchange, but also ‘Brain Drain’, as most of these rarely comes back to India after completing their courses. The primary reason for a large number of students seeking professional education abroad is lack of capacity in Indian Institution. There is no doubt that the situation in public universities in India is not so good. Also, with increasing enrollment in higher education, it is not possible for the government to provide higher education on its own. But, the private institutions are themselves sick. Many don’t have experience and many are trying to just gain money without quality. Foreign investment in this field will not only check brain drain, it will also help to balance the demand supply ratio. It will develop competitiveness among private universities to deliver better quality. It will also generate employment and result in inflow of money instead of outflow. Further, the infrastructure will improve. There will be better scope for research as foreign university have different methodology to run and generate revenues. They are more research based universities. Plus India may move towards practical study based learning rather than rote learning. Other than that, India could develop itself as a provider of higher education for developing nations.

At present India is allowing 100% FDI in higher education through automatic sector. But, still no university have established a campus here, due to a large no. of guidelines and regulation. Also, many rules are unclear. Indian government is trying to pass a bill, The Foreign Educational Institutions Bill, in the parliament to directly allow 100% FDI in higher education. Right now 106 institutions are running programmes in India with collaboration with foreign universities. But, only 2 out of 106 are approved by AICTE. Indian government does not allow foreign universities to award any separate degree. It could only provide dual degree with collaboration with local institutions. Currently, many degrees given by these foreign universities are not even recognized in their own countries. Most of the universities which have tie ups with local institutions are small private universities in their own countries. If The Foreign Educational Institutional Bill will be passed, it will not only allow foreign universities to set-up campuses and award degrees in India, but simultaneous facilitate Indian government regulation of their operations.

The purpose of the bill is to regulate entry, operation and quality of education by the foreign universities. The bill will allow them to earn the status of Deemed University, which in turn will make them come under the domain of University grant commission (UGC). The foreign university then have to invest at least 51% of the total expenditure for such establishments. There will be large amount of money allocated only for the development of higher education. Plus scientific research will not be in the stage of shortage of money.

Features of the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill:

  • No foreign institution can provide degree to Indian student unless such institution is confirmed as Foreign Educational Provider by Indian Government
  • At least twenty years of establishment in its own country
  • Have to maintain a fund of at least 500 million rupees
  • Quality of education, curriculum, method of imparting and the faculty employed will be in accordance to guidelines of UGC
  • At max 70% of the income raised from the fund can be utilized in the development of institution in India and rest should be added to the fund. No part could be used in any other purpose other than growth and development of the institution established by it in India
  • Institution has to publish prospectus writing clearly about fee structure, refund norms and amount, number of seats, condition of eligibility with min and max age, detail of faculty, process of admission, min pay payable to each category of teachers and staff, infrastructure and other facilities, syllabus, rules and regulations, etc. at least sixty day prior to date of commencement of admission
  • In case of violation of any guidelines a penalty of min 10 million and max 50 million rupees along with tuition fees should be refunded to the student
  • Any foreign institution not confirmed by Indian government as Foreign Education Provider which is awarding any certificate to Indian students should submit a report regarding course to the commission

The academics, educationists and politicians are sharply divided on whether this will be a good move for India or not. As till now the experience with the foreign universities is not so good. Foreign investors in higher education have so far brought just commercial products, and may be in the future too, will bring copyrighted courses and workshops modules in order to make money. There courses will be less in accordance with the need of the Indian students or requirements of Indian science and research. Also, questions are raised about the Intellectual Property Rights, who will own the IPR? How the benefits of any research will be shared? Also, India should choose the area in which investments be invited. We should invite investments in the field where we have something to learn, where we need to build ourselves not necessarily where we are leaders ourselves. For instance, India is already doing top class research on stem cells and could collaborate with other top class institutions, but not necessarily invite FDI in this field.

Right now India discriminates its students on the basis of caste. A student’s scholarship mainly depends on his/her caste. Foreign institutions will find it hard to get inferior quality on the basis of caste. A scholarship program for economically backward students could be facilitated, but caste will be problematic for them.

The main concerns with the Bill are as follows:

  • The bill envisages regulation of fees to tackle commercialization of education which will definitely deter entry of quality foreign universities, reared in an environment where commercial success and good service quality go hand in hand.
  • It provides for government monitoring on admissions criteria which again might deter entry by high quality foreign universities which believe in using their own set of criteria.

A clear cut government regulatory policy which balances the need for freedom of foreign education providers with national interest is necessary. In other words, the accent should be on optimal regulation and the avoidance of over or under regulation. Also, Indian universities either public or private should be improved in order to compete on the same level with foreign giants.

If we see the approach of Indian government at present is to gain good quality education environment by suppressing profit motives. But, actually the correct approach should be attainment of high quality with, in accordance, profit motives. If India wants to attract world class universities in India it should have to give some liberty to foreign universities too. It should not look like exploitation of foreign university just for the sake of our profit. We should use profit as a channel to raise the quality of education.

We could take example of Singapore in the matter of framing the policy for foreign investment in scientific research. Singapore allows only world-class institutions to enter, and that only when they bring their own money. For instance the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a leading technical institution in the US, has collaboration with the National University of Singapore. From Australia, a country with which it other-wise has close contacts on several fronts, it is only the University of New South Wales, considered a premier institution, which was permitted to establish a campus solely on the basis of its own investments. As a result of its policies on foreign investment in education, Singapore has successfully achieved two goals, one to make itself an educational destination for neighbors in Asia who can now go to world-class institutions in Singapore rather than go to Australia or the US; and two, to bring in top-quality programs and skills to upgrade their own research.

If we look at the problem India is facing in development of higher education, one may say that FDI are being allowed just because we don’t have enough money to spend on this area. But, the problems are others too which FDI will focus. FDI in higher education will solve the problem of enrollment rate as we are in a situation of less supply high demand. Indian money and talent going abroad will come in check. India will become educational hub for at least neighboring countries. Infrastructure will improve. Some new methods and technology will be used in teaching. Also, it might happen that India may develop one of its own world class universities. Lastly, India needs to fill the technological lag as fast as it can to compete with China.

There are a lot of fears regarding the future of FDI investment in higher education. But, all in all on larger scale, it is going to benefit India. With better guidelines and rules, we can overcome the minute problems we assume may arise. But, in no way FDI in higher education should be discouraged. Foreign Direct investments should be allowed in India.

Top 5 Budgeting Apps for iPhone

This is a Guest Post written by Elvin, a tech writer who is into Finance and Marketing. Catch her @financeport. Payday loans are instant loans which are helpful when you run short of funds.

iPhone © by Yutaka Tsutano

In this high-tech generation most of the people are concerned about their lifestyles. People are making every possible way to save money. The technology is making some fabulous innovations which can track your expenses and make you think beyond your expenses.

In the market there is lots of boom with the launch of Smartphones like Samsung S3 and the iPhone which has amazing apps which are helpful to you in your daily by many ways. These apps belong to different categories like business, finance, entertainment, gaming, sports and many more. Business, finance and gaming are most downloaded categories as these help in your work and leisure time. There are lots of finance and budgeting applications which are helpful to track your expenses and finance matters. Some of them are;

Expenditure:

Expenditure: A very nice expense tracker

This is the amazing application which tracks both finance and budget. It has superb features to make your work efficient and display the accurate results by making the transactions. This app comes with all types of the budgeting process with different categories like household budget, electronics, food and many more. When you do any transaction it will give you the accurate report. It also has the inbuilt currency converter to make your transactions go easy.

Visit iTunes App Store for Expenditure

Smart Budget:

Smart Budget : With smart interface

This application lets you to control your expense in a smart way. It gives you the details of each and every penny spends. It shows you the details in different categories. It calculates your income, salary, incentives and the expenditures like food, clothing, accommodation, travel, hotel etc… This app keeps the track of things how much they are used and things which are never used. It shows you the results in daily, weekly or on a monthly basis. It produces the report in the form of sheets and graphs. It is a simple budgeting to use.

Visit iTunes App Store for Smart Budget

Spendings:

Spendings: A lightweight app

This is also the amazing application which shows you the report on a weekly budget. It is as simple as opening an account and maintaining it. It tracks all the money you got and the money you spend. It provides you the detailed information about the Spendings on the purchased items. It also has the option of currency converter from dollars to pounds which makes you easy to understand and handle the budget. You can set and manage 10 various budgets at one time.

Visit iTunes App Store for Spendings

Payday Loan Calculator:

Payday Loan Calculator: Instant Cash

This is a free application for the iPhone as well as Android users. This Payday loan calculator instantly calculates all your loan premiums. All you need to do is to enter the amount and the term of the deposit with the interest fee of payday loans then this calculator will evaluate your amount display you the accurate results. It will calculate your total amounts and can also track your loan premiums which you have to pay. Calculate repayment instantly. Apply for a payday loan anywhere in the UK.

Visit iTunes App Store for Payday Loan Calculator

Pageonce:

Pageonce: Money & Bills

This is also the superb application which not tracks your budget but also tracks your bills. You can also pay your bills and loans with the help of Pageonce. You will get the detailed report of what has been paid and what is due. For this you can also set reminders. This app is smarter than the other finance apps as it is simple and can be understandable. It also tracks your daily, weekly and monthly expenses and send you the reports with details of expenses.

Visit iTunes App Store for Pageonce
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Hang the Rapist: Why the Rapist Should not be Hanged?

Hang the rapist“Hang the Rapist”. We are hearing the growing demand for amendment in the law which would enable death penalty to the rapists. All over India protests and demonstrations are going on to change the law with the provision to hang the rapist.

Delhi-NCR region was always considered the worst place in India for women safety. Recently, a gang rape took place in New Delhi on 16th December. The nature and circumstance of the case took the whole country in surprise and shock. A brutal gang rape took place in a bus moving around Delhi in the early hours of night. The girl and her male friend was severely beaten by rod. After a fight for life for 15 days, the girl died. Her injury by the rod became fatal.

Why people are demanding to hang the rapist?

The demand to amend the law for strict action against rapists is not new. Several times earlier too the demands to ensure the safety of the women and strict action against the rapists has been raised. However, nothing special has been done by any government in this area. Instead to show fewer rape cases on records, police several time try to avoid registering a rape case.

Capital punishment

The capital punishment has been abolished in several countries. However, in India, capital punishment is still awarded to the convicts, but only in rarest of the rare. Further, the appeal to revert the decision could be taken up to the Honorable President. Recently, the sole alive captured convict of Mumbai attack had been hanged after refusal from the President for pardon.

In general, when the death penalty is awarded by the civic court, it is for some heinous crimes. However, military court may award this punishment for espionage or at the time of war. In some countries religious crimes also results in capital punishment.

Which is a bigger crime: rape or murder

It is a matter of debate whether murder is a bigger crime or rape. However, in Indian context the growing trend in rape crime has attracted the attention of general public for strict action. The cultural and social factors brings the crime in the class of heinous crime. During my research to write this article, I came across an article Ten Most Heinous Crimes of the Decade. Even though the article is written by California based weekly magazine referring local crime records. Most of the crimes were related to brutal rapes or murders.

A crime is a crime. What makes a crime more heinous is the brutality and motive. Rape is considered more heinous as the motive is fun and entertainment. Take the example of latest Delhi rape case, just to enjoy a few minutes or hours, the convicts ended the life of a woman. Just for fun they commit a crime which resulted in her death.

Don’t get raped

In order to curb the growing cases of rape, two ways which comes to the mind of general public. Either to educate the young ladies how not to get raped or to give such a treatment to the convicts that they would think twice before committing this crime.

The second way to give hard punishment to the rapist is beyond the control of general public. It is against law. General public could not take law in their own hands.

In the process, the first way looks very simple to them and one would find mother, aunties and elders giving the tips to the young girls how to be safe and not get raped. Precaution is a good thing. When we are using knife, we should take precaution in using it. When we are driving we should be cautious. This does not mean that we should fear while driving or using knife. But, ask a lady, they fear roaming in nights. They fear going to an unknown place alone. They even fear to travel in public transport when no ladies are around. The fear is to get raped.

The fear among the ladies is created by the over enthusiast public to prevent their close ones getting raped. The daily newspaper giving one or two news about rape incidents creates more fear among them. In few cases, some victims due to fear could not even fight back the rapists. Obviously, growing cases of rapes are evident that this method used by the public is not correct. As it is not stopping the rapist in any way.

Talk about it

Don't rape, earn it by love

If the public really want to reduce the rape cases, they need to educate the male (youth) not to rape. They should be educated about love and sex. They should understand that sex is about mutual understanding. Women are not just piece of meat to satisfy them. Women have feelings. Sex is earned by love not snatched by force. I can understand that this is not easy. If I am feeling uncomfortable to express myself on the topic. In real time it is not at all easy. But, it is important. It needs to be done. Instead of giving lectures to your daughters, talk to your son. Share with them the feeling of satisfaction after winning the heart of a lady. It is to be won but not by force. Not by force at all.

Hang the rapist

Instead of talking to the male (youth), public wants hard punishment. As any person fears most from his death. They think that death is the hardest punishment that could be awarded to a rapist. When a person is most angry with someone. They don’t think wisely. The first thing that comes to any tempered person is death penalty. Hence, when the public is angry with the growing rape cases. The first punishment that is coming to the mind of any person is to hang the rapist.

Is it justified to hang the rapist?

The only judgment the public knows it to beat the culprit till death. There are many cases where even thief caught red handed by the public was beaten to death. However, judgments are not to be done based on aggression and mood. It should be done wisely.

Trauma felt by the victim and her family

Rape is not a crime committed only in India or Asian countries. It is committed all over the world. Rape becomes a trauma for the whole life for the victim. However, in Asian or African region, honor of the family is associated with women. Rape victims could never forget the moment throughout her life. Her life destroys forever. She can never have a social life afterwards. If she is unmarried, no family would like to accept the victim as their daughter-in-law. Overall, the social condition in the region makes the rape victim to suffer both the trauma of the her experience and consequences of its reaction throughout the life. Each day they live a life like living in hell.

Capital punishment is the softest punishment

Death Penalty is the softest punishment for such a heinous crime. Even though everyone fears death. It is not the most cruel punishment of all. Think of this. The victim throughout her life suffers the deed of the rapist. Each day each moment they suffer the pain. But, what the rapist are getting in punishment. A suffering for just few minutes or even seconds. Is it enough? Do we want to give them such a soft punishment? Ask any victim, their soul wants more. They want the rapists to suffer the similar pain throughout his life that they are suffering. The rapist should be punished in such a way that they feel shame on themselves for committing such a crime.

What should be the punishment for the rapist

There are a lot of punishment that would keep the rapist alive. The punishment should be such that each day the rapist would pray to be dead. Like burn the rapist till such an extent that they would not die. The burned skin and muscles give the unbearable pain. Instead of hanging the rapist, death by stone pelting is also a very hard punishment. These looks good as punishment. But, we live in India not in any Arab nation. We are not cruel in punishment. Human right is a measure issue when we think of hard punishment. However, in the rape cases castration of the convict is an option. It would keep them alive and feel sorry for the crime they did. In my opinion Castration of the rapist with life long imprisonment is the best punishment for them. In India, life imprisonment for than 14 years is rare. But, not uncommon. The rapist should be given till alive imprisonment with castration. However, as India has signed a UN treaty which prohibit life time imprisonment without parole. The sentence could be give to 100 years, 125 years without parole.

Being in prison is not at all a simple punishment when the sentence is for life time. An imprisonment of 14 years gives the convict a hope that they would be free someday. They hope that there would be someone waiting for their return. But, if there is no hope for getting out. No one is waiting for you. The life in itself becomes meaningless. Life without a hope, without a motto, without freedom is not a life. It is hell. Plus don’t forget the condition of prison in our country. Convict will love to go to hell than to be in an Indian prison.

Some might say, why to waste the money of hard-working Indians to keep these rapist alive and feed them. First of all, it will not cost much. Secondly, it will set a live example for them who commit such crimes. And lastly, don’t think they will earn a work free healthy food, three times a day. Corruption is everywhere. Our corrupt system don’t let them have the healthy and hygienic food.

If you have any other suggestions for the punishment within the human right limit. Share with us.

Demand for Changing the Law and its Implication

The demand to hang the rapist is coming along with the demand to strengthen the law and its practice. Like fast track courts for the hearing. Quick response for the complains. More security for the girls. From the perspective of the society, all these are important and need to be implemented.

Real scenario

When we look to the ground reality, the number of FIRs for rapes cases are not the real figures. In many cases where the victim belongs to poor family or dalit family, the police try to avoid the complaint. Many a times they don’t even lodge the FIR. The figures that we see and the original figure is quiet different. In rural or remote areas, more than half of the rape cases are not reported to the police. Out of those which are reported, not for everyone an FIR is registered. One may understand that the whole data of rape cases in India is incomplete and unreal. May be the state who are registering the lowest number of rape cases are actually not registering very few rape cases in their records.

Abuse of law

For the empowerment of women there are Anti-Dowry Laws. These laws are very strict. However, these laws are abused which even supreme court has accepted. See this article: Anti-Dowry Laws being abused in India: Supreme Court.

The implementation of law should be strict. But, it should be kept in mind that these laws should not be abused for personal gains and rivalry.

Conclusion

Many countries has abolished the capital punishment. But, still they are able to keep the crime rate in check. The rapist are not criminal who earn a living committing crimes. They do it for fun and they are among us. They are mentally ill. They commit the rape just for fun. It could be controlled or even stopped by talking with our son, brothers and friends. I don’t like the idea to hang the rapist.

 

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