Thursday, 31 October 2013

SWADESHI V/S VIDESHI

Recently I had a conversation with distinctive friends. They wanted to buy different products and so asked for my advice. Some exerts
F1: I want to buy a phone.
Me: Go for Micromax. It is an Indian company and offers good services and applications. Or lemon (I advised looking into the increasing trade deficit between India and china).
F1: Are you mad? The name is no way an appreciable word in the public. Further, Samsung and HTC define the class status and also respect.
Me: Okay, you must go for them even if it costs more than 2 double for same specifications.
F2: Bro, I want to buy a new pair shoes. Which is the best brand??
Me: got to Bata or Lakhani. They offer wide variety in reasonable range.
F2: that is ridiculous. I cannot wear such shoes. Man, have you seen any celebrity like Messi, Viraat doing the advertisement of such brands. They are my reference groups and suggest some brand value product like adidas, nike or reebok.
You all, who are reading this blog, may come across such things in your daily life especially if you are living in urban areas. Whether it is clothing or any cosmetic product or any other bloody goods or services, people generally prefer to go for foreign brands. The ideology of consumerism has been injected into the minds of nascent and evolutionary middle class. It has become necessary to buy things that have appeal in front of others. That creates a sense of satisfaction in the minds of people. That reminds me of 1905 when Swadeshi movement which was first started against the economic exploitation and drain of wealth from India. (I  mean to say the methods adopted.)
Liberalization, an aspect of globalization has provided a platform for acceleration of modernity and expansion of market to every sphere of society. Market usually located in public sphere has entered the private sphere of individual and this has contributed for enslavement of man. Even love is expressed in the market and quantified in terms of gifts exchanged and that too with exchange of cards from Archives. Visiting a food joint is more seen as a pilgrimage which has led to macdonalisation of consumption. One goes for a car not as a medium of transport but as a manifestation of life style.
Today, the same exploitation is happening but implicitly. India’s manufacturing base has declined to 16% of GDP. Even after introducing various policies, government has not been able to arrest the declining trend. Manufacturing companies are taken over by MNCs. Explicit economic exploitation is converged into implicit economic exploitation and that has send shock waves throughout the economy as can be seen from recent trend at the bourses. Despite 30% decline in value of rupee, Indian exports have not achieved that much growth. Trade deficit in merchandise still haunt the development ideology.
There is a rise I protectionism in case of America what they call as “BUY AMERICAN”. We want a contemporary Swadeshi movement that not only breaks down the growing culture of consumerism but also that supports Indian products, Indian services. Though it would be impossible to bar companies investing in India in this globalized village, one can change his needs according to the demands and evaluation of individual as well as collective interest of country.


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Atrocities against Women- Sociological analysis

Women is always considered as second sex and this ideology has led to exploitation of women by patriarchy. They have become vulnerable group due to rising intolerance among the male counterpart on the progressive thinking of women.
Robert Browney considers that atrocities against women are committed in the form of denial of woman’s right to abortion in catholic state even if her life is at stake. They are seen as body of pleasures and thus exploited by men with or without their consent. In case of India various primordial practices like sati were conducted which were subsequently abolished. Therefore atrocities have cultural dimension, advocates Ranji Palirwala.
Utsa Patnaik tells that atrocities are a form of economic exploitation of women in family. They are forced to work more than a pair of bullocks and in return are not granted any privileges and food.
Veena Das advocate that women are worst victims of violence. Whether it is war in family or country, atrocities are committed against women in the form of kidnapping, bride burning, rape, sexual assault and trafficking. Leela Dubey considers that atrocities are implicitly conducted in the form of restriction on movement, clothing pattern, socialization, and also in the form of early marriages. Dowry is demanded from them and divorce is institutionalized in case of non-fulfillment of demands of bride.
Patricia Uberoi talks about institutionalization of atrocities by state by formulating family planning which leads to experimentation on woman’s body through abortion as well as new scientific techniques and leads to loss of reproductive power, isolation and exploitation. A women is forced to kill another women before she is born.
Selvan considers that dalit women are killed, their modesty outraged, they are forced to walk naked and burnt in case of South Indian Villages. Therefore atrocities of women start from private sphere and expand to public sphere with the age of the woman.
Annihilative measures require government to implement law in letter and spirit coupled with breakdown of cultural norms and values. When Utsa Patnaik and Omvedt calls for economic and financial independence of women, equal wage for equal work, radical feminist advocates for shift from marriage centric to divorce centric society.

Kalpana Sharma(a columnist in The Hindu) says that women require all round development and political, social, economic empowerment through reservation, equal wages, sensitive police and judicial system and recognition of their freedom.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Religious Revivalism and Fundamentalism with Contemporary Context

When RR is based on religious upheaval, fundamentalism is an extreme form of ideology and it is more than a religious concept. Globalization has accelerated the rise of consumerism, individualism and questioned religion and provided for pluralist societies driven by distinctive religions.
Globalization created an apprehension in mind of different communities about their survival and hence they are going for reproduction of children or mass killing of other group. Robert Browney considers that RR and Fundamentalism has led to rejection of women rights to abortion in case of catholic state, denial of livelihood rights to minorities in case of Israel and in case of India, acceleration of communal violence.
TN Madan points out that it is a form of symbolic exhibition. It enforces its power through ban of books and questions to art, literature, debate and discussions. Thus spirit of science is questioned and aesthetic and rational thinking is suppressed.
They have contributed for ethnic conflicts in western countries and attacks on religious minorities, difference of opinion in construction of temples in Russia, and demands for creation of religious institutions by one community by demolition of institution of other community. It has created suspicious interpersonal relations among different communities. People of one community are looked down upon as aliens and their fundamental rights are violated, they are confined into preventive detentions. Parties formulate policy based on ideology of a community to win votes.
Feminist point out that woman suffers the greatest risk from RR and fundamentalism. They are raped, killed and shot in head for their progressive views or abstained from driving cars and wearing western cloths.

Therefore RR and fundamentalism has a wider gamut of social impact on every structure and more world go for modernization and integration, more religious revivalism will gain prospect.

Social Movement

Social movements are a reaction to maintenance of status quo and initiation of social change. It can be in the form of protest, collective mobilization. Marx considers that social movement is revolution driven by true class consciousness of workers for establishment of communism. This substantiated the ideological premise of social change.
However Max Weber considers that SM are not ideological specific but also based on type of leadership, change in value system, education etc. Various scholars consider that social movements are the product of political isolation or economic disparity. Rajni Kithari considers that green revolution, CDPs have contributed for rise of multi party system which contributed for social movement against single party system at the centre and thus gave rise to coalition system.
Guha and Gadgil consider that social movement are environmental movements which are issue specific and parochial in nature. While Smelser considers that social movement are influenced by structural conduciveness, appropriate resources, participation, media campaigns, technology etc.

Therefore it can be advocated that social movements are dynamics and participative and transformed from ideological based to issue based and this can be gauged from Anti Corruption movement, Anti Posco movement, Narmada Bachao Andolan, RTI movement for the growth of inclusive society.

Constitution and Social Change

Constitution is a living document in the sense that it perceives social transformation through various flexible mechanism and provisions according to the need and aspirations of the people. About 100 C.A.Act testify this.
Amartya Sen considers that constitution initiates and perpetuates social change which can be gauged from freedom of speech and expression, provision for safeguarding interest of minorities, SCs and STs and education for all. It acknowledged development ideology of socialism and equitable distribution.
Rajni Kothari indicates that Constitution provided for multi party parliamentary democracy in India. It has contributed for political socialization through establishment of PRIs, division of power etc and thus contributed for social change in India.
Gail Omvedt considers that constitution provided for emancipation of dalits and subsequently gave rise to initiation of dalit consciousness for the development inclusive society.
Indian constitution provides for protection of women. It advocates for special provisions for acceleration of welfare of children. It provides for planned development through its DPSP for equitable distribution of wealth among various sections of society

Untouchability

Untouchability is a value loaded concept that perceives that some sections suffer from stigma of pollution. It carries moral, humanistic, political and cultural dimensions. It is considered as a violation of human rights of a person and abstains him from fully achieving his/her potential.
Constitution of India abolished untouchability under Article 17 under all forms but even after 65 years of independence, untouchability is still practised in India is different forms. Louie Dumont considers that untouchability is pervasive in case of India because Indian culture is driven by the principle of purity and pollution. Dalits are always indulged in menial jobs and are not allowed to drink water from village wells and cannot enter the villages. Brahminic supremacy has led to social, political and economic exclusion of untouchables.
Dalits are still subject to segregation with little access to temples, water sources and upper caste areas. They are working in degrading occupations like tanning, shoemaking, manual scavenging, sweeping, carrying dead animals etc. More than 90% of Untouchables belongs to Schedule caste and Schedule tribes. India might be rising, sensex might be gaining but these people donot have choice to work.
Segregation and discrimination is blindly followed in schools. Dalit children are made to sit separately in schools. Uncooked food is served to them and they are forced to clean their utensils. They cannot wear shoes in front of upper castes. Sometimes they are also forced to do heavy work and cleaning of schools.
Dalits have also been subjected to police apathy as in case of UP, they are killed and immolated by the higher caste in Haryana, their women are raped and forced to walk naked in front of the whole village.

Therefore untouchability was present in past and it is present in contemporary times due to lack of liberal attitude of upper caste and low enforcement of laws by government.

Caste, Class and Power

Interrelation between caste, class and power has been discussed by various sociologists in big way. Initially, it was considered that caste is class and power is defined on the basis of tradition and roles are spelt out by culture. Therefore, when Brahmins have control over ritual power, vaishayas have control over economic power and khsatriyas control the through might is right.
However Marxist scholar such as Dange considers that Brahmins were a caste which subsequently developed class status by performing rites, magic and ritual to ensure rain falls on time, fertility is induced into soil, wars are won. Therefore the economic and political roles of priestly class made them superior to others and they wield great power and advices were taken by princes from them.
Daniel Thorner considers that agrarian classes have strong social and cultural genesis. Maliks belong to upper caste and have close nexus with police, while kisans belong to artisan caste and dalits, tribes etc were mazdoors class and are voiceless.
M.N.Srinivas considers that relation between caste and class is based on the concept of power. Introducing the concept of New Avatar of Caste and Dominant class, he advocate that different castes and classes are coming together to capture state power. They went for sanskritisation, improved their position in ritual and secular hierarchy, and later they formed cohesive groups and parties using their caste status and mobilizing their caste people to capture power in PRIs, state assemblies.
Andre Beteille considers that relationship between the three is not harmonious as it was in past. Caste 1 is class 4 is power 3. There is a shift from harmonic to disharmonic relation in social structure of society. It can be attributed to modern education, migration, growth of caste free occupations in industrial towns.

In order to encapsulate, the relationship between three is dynamic which should be studied on distinctive basis. It is based on utility and convenience rather than ideology.

Development Displacement

Development displacement is regarded as product of indistrialisation, globalization and carry social dimensions. Manorajan Mohanty points out that it a form of distress migration which leads to growth of bonded and agricultural laborers which suffer from lack of access to basic facilities, education, low wages and grim health conditions and has curtailed the voice of voiceless.
V. Xaxa indicate that it has led to change in the tribal community structure and contributed for detribalization, deculturation and forced eviction from the land and forests which carry cultural and religious dimensions in life of tribals.
Utsa Patnaik considers that development displacement has contributed for breakdown of family. Women and children became vulnerable as men moved out for work to urban areas. It has also contributed for the rise of women headed households.

It can be advocated that though Nehru-Mahalanobis techniques promised trickle down impact of development, it has led to displacement which contributed for depeasantization, acceleration of poverty, marginalization, disarticulation and despair leading to rise of people’s movement in different pockets of country.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Effect of Poverty On Child’s Education (Insights Weekly Essay Writing)


Poverty as a concept does not carry economic connotations but also has social, humanistic, political and cultural dimension. When one talks about poverty one takes into consideration the economic deprivation faced by a person in his life. However as Durkheim pointed out that one social fact must be studied in the light of other social facts and how one affects the other. Looking into this concomitant relationship between poverty and education, one can say that in India poverty is more common than prosperity because of lack of education facility especially to children. Poverty has a multitude effect on the learning process as it acts as a bulwark in the psycho-cognitive development of the child. It restrains a child to completely participate in the knowledge exercise which hampers his behavioral pattern.
India provided for Right to Education to all children from 6-14 years of age and engendered that process even in private institutions through reservation of 25% seats. However it has not been able to produce the desired result because of extreme economic deprivation on the part of families availing this facility.
Poverty has a direct impact on the school enrolment and dropout rate of students. Due to extreme poverty, where the survival of the family is at stake, parents are forced to send their children to work. A child is seen as a productive labour resource as against schools. Most of this psychosis is built on short term interest without looking into the long term benefits of education.
Poverty also leads to denial of basic facilities like sanitation, nutritious food and clean drinking water. This subsequently effects the mental and physical growth of the child which consequently leads to worse educational indicators. It has been pointed out in a report that most of the shunted children have low mental stimulus abilities and prone to diseases. This is because the faceal matter often mixes with water and food which decreases the nutrition absorption rate. This is a grave situation for educational enrolment as most of time is spent either in hospitals or home. The success of Mid day meal Scheme in increasing the gross enrolment holds testimony to the fact that how poverty and food hinders the institutional access of knowledge.
There has been growing tuition and coaching industry. As pointed out by different studies, RTE has been able to provide the access to education which lacks the quality Most of the government schools lack trained teaching facilities and infrastructure. However well off class compensate this through supplementary methods like coaching etc. But most of the children belonging to economically backward sections have no access to tuitions and coaching centers due to lack of resources and whooping fees.
Further, it has been a old prognosis that children suffering from poverty also suffers from poverty of knowledge and they cannot develop the requisite skills with other counterpart. This leads to a behavioral difference from the teachers. Whether children work at home or outside, their effort to juxtapose work-related responsibilities with classroom routines makes their life at school topsy-turvy. Absence from school or inability to focus makes a direct impact on performance. Once a child starts to lag behind others, he or she becomes a relevant object of stereotyping by classmates and teachers. That renders a child alienated from the social milieu and leads to higher dropout.
All the factors developed above require a coordinated approach from the central and state government and also requires the sensitization of teachers and civil society organization about the basic needs of such children who suffers from poverty. There is a need to regulate the unorganized sector and develop a perspective about the long term benefits of education to economically backward sections. The teachers must be given proper training so as to create awareness and develop humanistic attitude towards such children. Poverty is a social sin which will always haunt the development ideology of the country but one can guarantee a phased success by providing better education to children so that they can grab the opportunity in the organized market whenever they are available.




Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Ethanol Blending

The arguments made by Mr. R. Vishwanathan for the use of ethanol blending in his article “A Sugar Rush that could fuel the economy” are biased and does not take into consideration the ill effects of such a move.
Firstly, he pointed out that use of ethanol will decrease the carbon emissions and improve quality of air. Though he is right; the use of ethanol will increase the emissions from other sources. As pointed out in a recent report of FAO (published in The Hindu, Wasted Food For Thought), changing land production pattern is also a factor of climate change and GHG emissions. Further increased production of Sugarcane will put huge pressure on land and water resource. In a country like India, which is already suffering from increasing quantum of wasteland, it will not be prudent to introduce such a scheme without measures for restoration of land.
Secondly, it may threaten the food security of the country in a long run. More and more farmers will tend to produce sugarcane in search of better returns and for maximizing their profit. That will lead to decrease in the production of food crops like Wheat and rice which will escalate the prices of these subsistence crops. On the other hand, lower production of sugarcane will lead to escalation of prices of ‘mandatory’ ethanol blended fuel which will be out of bound from the reach of middle class.
Thirdly, ethanol is an excellent solvent (if it crosses 10% of the amount) and will have adverse affect on the motor engines, their rubber and plastic parts. Some sources point out the dissolution of resins that create a black sludge that coats and travels through the engine, causing engine stalling and complication in its working. Further high compression ratio will decrease mileage due to low energy content.
What is required, is not the introduction of new methods for acceleration of growth of private vehicles but a way to sensitize the public about the use of public vehicles. For making  India least depended about its energy security on foreign players, it must introduce multi-pronged strategy ranging from electrification of diesel based trains, creation and promotion of end to end public transport infrastructure with fast means of commutation. As said, ‘ A country’s progress and self sufficiency is not marked by the number of people who owns car but is testified when both rich and poor share the same space on a public vehicle for his/her commutation purpose’.  


Monday, 23 September 2013

Environmental movements in India


Man in India is a cultural being and culture emanates from worship of rivers, forests and resources. Environment and Nature establishes a deep link between man and his culture.
Environmental movement in India is the product of difference between the perception of state about the nature and perception of common man about the same. When state considers it as a tool for growth, development, acceleration of wealth to its contrast, man considers nature as expression of belief, love and aesthetics. The overexploitation of nature has led to exploitation of tribals, pastorals, or people living in the vicinity of forest areas or natural resources. When private developers make huge gain by appropriating wealth, locals feel the brunt of growth due to displacement, marginalization and eviction and loss of livelihood and their culture.
Indian environmental movements have political, ideological and material connotations.  The material context is provided by the wide-ranging struggles over natural resources. These conflicts have set in opposition on the one side, social groups who have gained from economic development while being insulated from ecological degradation and on the other poorer and relatively powerless groups such as small peasants, pastoral nomads, tribal and fishing communities whose livelihood have been seriously undermined through a combination of resource flows biased against them and a growing deterioration of the environment
Guha and Gadgil indicate that environmental movements are the products of unsustainable development process. While Gandhian crusaders consider that environmental movements are directed against big dams and industries. There go for small and medium industries at the village level.
Ecological feminist consider that gender equality can only be established if women’s right over nature is guaranteed, protected and respected because it is a means of livelihood. Women movements like Chipko are getting momentum for legitimate right of women over nature.
Socialist Environmwentalist considers that state and big industries monopolized the natural treasure which was traditionally linked to local people and tribals. This gave rise to environmental movements in India.
Environmental movements in India are carried out in 3 ways
1. Through organized mobilization and struggle as in case of Narmada Bachao Andolan, Yamuna Bachao Samiti, Ganga Mukti Abhiyan etc
2. Through extensive use of media both print and electronics to propagate their idea. Leading environmental activists Sunderlal Bahuguna and Baba Amte wrote signed articles in newspapers, drawing attention to the struggle they were engaged in. There has been extensive coverage by print media in reporting, interpreting and publicizing nature-based conflicts in modern India. Less visible but equally significant are the programmes of ecological restoration that various social action groups have undertaken.
3. Creating awareness through tree plantation camps, soil and water conservation programs and adoption of environmentally sound technologies.

They employ different methods like Rasta Roko, Jal Samadhi, Pradarshan, Gherao or Jail Bharo to court their dissatisfaction.
Paul Brass call these movements as Grass root movements while Rajni Kothari calls them as Non Party Movements.
An influential line of thinking within the state and state agencies is scientific conservation. We can see the work done by B.B Vohra a senior bureaucrat who was the first to draw public attention to land and water degradation. He noted in his paper ( 1973) that no countrywide organization or policy to deal with these problems ,nor was there coordination between concerned government departments. For him the solution lies in the creation of new ministries and departments to deal with problems of environmental degradation.
State is seen as the ultimate guarantor of environmental protection by many and the formation of Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 ,Forest Conservation Act of 1980 and Environment Protection Act of 1986 were seen in that direction.

Thus in order to encapsulate, environment movement can be considered as new social movements because they are issue specific and inclusive in character, unlike identity focused movements based on caste, class or ethnicity

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Growth of Communism and its relevance in post liberalization period (250 words)

Communist genesis in India dates back to late 1920s after Russian revolution of 1917. M.N.Roy, a staunch communist was instrumental in evolution of communist and socialist ideology in India. This led to emergence of new leaders like Dange, Singravellu chettiar, Nalini gupta at regional and national level accelerating socialist agenda.
However its gaining influence led British to declare it a banned outfit. This led the communist ideologues to get into the ranks of Congress in the form of CPI & CSP and later on various blocs developed. They resisted any kind of piece meal approach of the British and organized industrial strikes, Workers and Peasants conferences & developed a blue print for socialist society based upon transfer of all power to people, economic activities to be planned and controlled by state, nationalization of industries, redistribution of land.
After independence, India opted for socialist agenda as a Directive Principle. The initial period was marked by imminent factionalism between communist party which led to its split. After LPG reforms, CPI as a political outfit started losing its sheen. There has been disintegration of communism as a political ideology and as a party. However, there has been considerable rise in the demand for a new socialist and communist agenda that should balance both growth which is a capitalist imperative and welfare and equitable, inclusive development which is communism prerogative. This has been manifested in the form of grass root mobilization or growth of naxal movement, resistance to different mining, nuclear projects and hydropower plants. New socialist agenda is also expressed in the form of trade union strike against disinvestment of PSE like NLC or resistance from labour unions in maruti plant.
In conclusion it can be advocated that character of communism has changed from ideology based to need based and it is less organized and more revolutionary and parochial

Contributions of Subash Chandra Bose

Subash Chandra Bose, known as netaji, was a staunch adversary of British rule in India. His role in INM was confined to last decades of independence but wielded great inflictions on brtsh prospect of ruling India.
He believed in direct action against British through militaristic means. For this, he extensively toured provinces in order to create a stir among the youths and injecting a sense of sacrifice for India’s independence. This popularity let him get elected as President of INC in 1938 and 1939. He propagated great hater for the British and charted out a plan to cash in the World War II was a road map for India’s freedom. His approach was resented and he resigned from INC. He established Bharat Nauwajan Sabha and was also instrumental in political mobilisation in Bengal presidency during his tenure as Mayor.
He fled to Germany to set up an agenda with Nazis to wipe out British from India. He then landed at Singapore to organize Azad Hind Fauj which created apprehension in the minds of Indian government in latter stage.

Though his freedom of seeing India freedom does not fructify, neither his Azad Hind Fauj attained its objectives due to end of world war, he was instrumental in mobilizing militant youth aspiring of blood of imperialists and putting last nail in coffin of British imperialism.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

RBI and the Magic Wand


So, the mid-term policy review document is out and our revered Governor has whirled the much anticipated Magic Wand in his maiden policy announcement, though much to the dismay of industry. RBI has once again raised short term Repo rate by 25 basis point in order to rein inflation that has crossed comfort zone of RBI and clocked more than 6% on account of rising food and fuel prices especially the bulb, protein based food items and soaring crude oil prices.
The measure will not bring the respite either to antagonist of inflation or protagonist of growth. Rather it will increase interest rate on cars and home loans. RBI policy is based upon WPI which is far from the actual figures at the retail stores which is based on CPI. CPI is currently muzzling around double digit figures and has no changed despite the measures of RBI to soak money from the market in order to suppress demand.
Various reasons are responsible:
1. The current situation of high inflation of food produce is the product of hoarding by the speculators for better returns. These supply side and structural lapses have made the situation worse with onion in death race with petrol. The government must come down heavily on such unscrupulous hoarders and black marketers and import the food articles so as to bring the prices.
2. The crude oil prices reached new heights due to brewing tension of war in Syria. As the war clouds hovering over Syria have drifted, the crude oil prices will come down. Secondly, decrease of oil import from Iran due to unilateral sanctions by western countries has cost the country dear. India must upheld its commitment under NAM and BRICS and avoid any recognition of these sanctions.
3. There is still a lack of back end infrastructure like cold storage chains which lead to rotting of food crops and horticulture produce. No headway has been made in this regard and most of the proposals are mired in bureaucratic red tape. Government must provide a liquidation of provisions of Foreign multi brand retail and better mobilization of funds in order to set the things right.
4. Reforms of the APMC act are long due. It is a known fact that both consumers and farmers are at the receiving end of middlemen as there is stark difference between the whole sale prices and retail prices as can be seen from the government indicators. The farmers must have the freedom to enter into contract farming direct selling of their produce in the market.
5. WPI consists of 65% of manufacturing products. Given the dismal performance of domestic manufacturing (various factors are responsible from long due labour reforms and tight rules and regulations)and eroding of manufacturing base of the country, these products are imported most of the times. The depreciation of rupee has rendered these manufacturing products costly which consequently increased WPI. Government must promote its NIMZ model in order to strengthen the manufacturing base.

It can be seen that most or all of the reasons are due to inertia and deep slumber on the part of the government and RBI policy has nothing to do with it. The traditional role of RBI is limited to managing the money in the market and not revamping the structural flaws in the economy. The external sector may or may not improve, but the government must first set its books right. That will itself has a cascading effect to bring the country to growth trajectory. 

Friday, 20 September 2013

Brief Contributions of Teg Bahadur Sapru

Teg Bahadur Sapru was an eminent jurist and   Indian nationalist. He was an active player during INM through his liberal approach. His views on nationalism were in sharp contrast with congress whether moderates or extremists or swarajists and also Muslim league and to propagate this he established liberal party.
He believed that Indian Nationalism should be based on Self government under the British rule, through constitutional means. He did not believe in swaraj as he thought that India is yet not prepared for independence. So he did not support non cooperation movement or quit India movement that believed in overthrowing British rulers. Therefore, he participated in legislative council elections and demanded more constitutional reforms through petitions and memorandums. He also acted as a mediator between government and nationalists and Gandhi and Ambedkar. He was also against the partition of India and wanted to establish a federal government.
However his views did not hold water due to growing resentment among people and rise of revolutionary activities. His liberal party lacked popular support and was more intellectual biased who did not take into account the popular sentiments, grass root resentment and feelings

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

THE IDEAL OF WELFARE STATE



Welfare state is defined as a government that guarantees a proper standard of living and services to its citizens without any discrimination. The government plays a key role in promotion of every section of society and distribution of resources in an equitable manner. It is a novel feature of modern democratic state which evolved with the evolution o constitutional form of government. It means that state exists for securing the inalienable rights of individual. A welfare state, unlike a regulatory/ laissez faire state, performs dual function i.e. apart from regulatory function, development function as well. It seeks to establish an egalitarian society.
The idea of welfare state has long been a matter of debate and discussion. Various scholars based on their academic knowledge, speculative judgment tried to define the concept of welfare state. Rousseau considers a welfare state driven by the principle of general will as ideal. He advocate that when the chasm between the individual will and collective will is mitigated or eliminated, only then a state can guarantee welfare to its people.
Karl Marx, in his study of Communist Manifesto, tells that a welfare state is the product of mass mobilization and revolution of the proletariat class. He advocated for a state in which means of production will be owned by all and everyone has stake in the forces of production. His utopian goal was the establishment of a classless society what he called as communism. According to Marx, only communist rule can provide the welfare and development to every nook and corner of the society.
Durkheim considers a welfare state based on the principle of organic solidarity and rule of law in which the desires of the individual fit into the demands of society. On the other hand, Max Weber considered welfare state based on the legal rational capitalist state, legal rational authority and bureaucracy driven by objectivity and rationality.
In India, there has been considerable debate on state responsibility between various nationalists during the course of nationalist movement. Gandhiji considered welfare state as a government that will promote cottage industries and help in the promotion of grass root Panchayats Raj System as a unit of self government. His idea of a welfare state rested on the premise that state will take the affirmative role to bridge the gap between various sections of society by constructive work in the field of education, dismantling caste consciousness and creation of self employment opportunities for individuals. While Nehru took welfare state as a mixed blend of big industries owned by the government with a conduit for distribution of fruits of growth to different sections of society.
Of late, idea of welfare state is also manifested in the form of Gross National Happiness as propounded by Bhutan King Jigme Thinley Wangchuk. His idea of welfare state rests on four dimensions of promotion of equitable and sustainable socio-economic development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of natural environment and establishment of good governance.
The advent of globalization and consequent growth of capitalism has given way to disproportionate exploitation of resources and growing inequality both inter nation and intra nation. It has led to growing unrest among the workers and their economic exploitation, increasing crime against women, increased competitiveness and dynamic and exponential growth of market which entered into private life of the individual, growth of leftist extremism or naxalism, cyber crime etc. In this context, welfare state gains important.
India opted for a welfare and socialist pattern of government functioning by enacting Directive Principles of State Policy. It was considered a judicial mix of Gandhian ideology, socialism, western liberalism and freedom struggle of India. Various ideas were propagated through this part that state must endeavor to achieve for the overall social, economic and administrative development of the society. Based on these principles, government has enacted various legislations like, Abolition of Zamindari System for equal distribution of natural resources, Community Development Programs for development for particular communities, Co-operative movement for overall development of a specific sector and increasing the wages of people, priority lending schemes for low interest loans, promotion of self help groups for self employment, Nationalization of banks for saving the individuals from unscrupulous moneylenders and vagaries of market; and ownership in various industrial activities for equitable distribution of resources in the name of public good, equal pay for equal work for decreasing the gender and social divide, various labour legislation laws for better work environment and bargaining power of workers, factories act, Mines act and poverty alleviation programmers’ like MGNREGA.
The ideal of a welfare state must contain various legal provisions in order to protect vulnerable and marginalized poor sections of society to secure and protect a social order which stands for welfare of people. A state must secure to individual various rights both legal and constitutional. For example, a welfare state must provide free and compulsory education to all individuals without any discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, race, ethnicity or sex etc. It must provide accessible and affordable healthcare to underprivileged sections of the society to prevent their out of pocket expanses. It must promote progressive taxation so as to mitigate the growing inequalities between individuals. It must promote gender justice through special intervention for girl and female subjects. It must create just and humane conditions of work and must strive to abolish child labour or bonded labour.
In contemporary times, an ideal welfare state is the one which takes into account, the voices of every section of the society like individuals, pressure groups, non-governmental organization, social activists and intellectuals while formulating policy or enacting any social welfare program.

In conclusion, it can be advocated that though the concept of ideal welfare state has not lost its utility and has evolved over a period of time. It is still the responsibility of the state that globalization should be inclusive and every person has stake in it and he/she can use all his potential to invest in the market. Only then, world will emergence as a single entity driven by the principles of equity, empowerment and inclusion in which every individual will have say in the political, economic or social structure.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

A Much Awaited Revolution

I have an ambition. Ambition of becoming an administrative officer. Studying for this itself invigorate a sense of patriotism towards the country and belonging to ones country’s people. When I think about the problems faced by India as a country or as a nation or as a society or as a diverse multi-cultural state, I find myself in limbo. The political, social , cultural and every single structure is facing a problem due to caste, political apathy, illiteracy and educational challenges , regional imbalances in development, regionalism and parochialism,  surreptitious acts of government and complete dependence on foreign magnanimity, economic havoc etc.
The other day I was watching a news channel in which Manmohan Singh (the coveted though puppet PM) advocated that India achieved an average growth rate of 8.2% in 8 years of UPA rule. I wondered how this growth rate has compromised the interest of more than 80% of the population of India. Most of the growth was the result of funds generated through World Bank and Other international banks for the developmental purpose. I am not talking about the budget expenditure because domestic budget is for the welfare of IPL (Indian political leaders) and not for the aam aadmi. The political class cutting across party lines, regions, ideology came together on a recent decree of CIC advocating accountability of the parties to the public. They even gave a thought of repealing the law itself or creating changes in order to sideline the ruling. The Financial autonomy is denied to CBI despite of a lot of hue and cry over the issue. Many Scams surfaced ranging from games to gates (even greater than India gate) and many criminals got into political fray everyday without any fear of penal action. Still the political class boasts of getting success in the upcoming general elections. A women monarch at the helm of affairs, knowing little about the culture, about the national language, about the grass root problems is controlling everything and anything. The food security ordinance is passed completely based on vote bank politics still no substantial voice from the public. A student from 5th class cannot read the syllables of 1st class still India has provided right to education to all at primary level with no retention, no teachers, no quality education and no schooling infrastructure. India has one of the largest education cum feeding program still more than 42 percent children are malnourished. Women are raped; they are subject to extreme exploitation still no one cares. Different laws are cased in the law book only for the sake of reading without implementation. Disaster strikes and people feel apprehensive of providing relief because of a mindset that even the relief fund will be routed for the gratification of political whims and fancy. The apathy of the police and nexus between different unscrupulous interests has proved any change, futile. The false consciousness has been injected to every section of the society and it became so pervasive that no social revolution has been initiated till now. It is right that external colonialism has been replaced by internal colonialism.
Marx pointed out that the workers should come together to overthrow the ruling capitalist bourgeoisie for creating a just and equitable socialist society. I must say that the middle class should change its mentality of maintaining status-quo and come out together to overthrow the ruling class for a better future. Many eruptions in the form of protests without any institutional support happened in Middle East called as Arab Spring or Jasmine Revolution. India requires its own Lotus Spring or Tiger revolution.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Different form of contemporary protests


Protest, is an overt reaction of the public to old social order which is driven by clandestine and unrepresentative approach of the government or by violence against the people whom it represents or seeks to represent. There has been a tremendous increase in the protest all over the world and in every sphere whether social, political, economic or religious. People have thronged on the streets, filled the squares and congregated in ‘maidans’ or parks, up against the authoritarian, communist and democratic regimes alike.
On the international front, we had faced or have been facing many protest like Occupy Wall street, protest by people in middle east, brazil etc. However in case of India, protests and protestors have become the orders of the day. No day passes when you do not have a news or cover story about a protest.
The protests in the form of Satyagraha, which was made famous by our Bapuji, won India freedom, though there has been continuous support from revolutionaries as well. But most of the political base and mobilization was the result of economic and political protests in the initial period by moderates which was later accelerated during Gandhian Era.
However, after more than 6 decades, there has been a paradigm shift in the form of protests. Two decades of globalization has led to India-Bharat divide which is debated and discussed by our huge and intellectual dividend in the form of Amartya sen v/s Jagdish Bhagwati debate, Aruna Roy and others. The growing regional disparity in economic sphere and suppression of people’s voices, absence of grievance redressal mechanisms, rising corruption in the public life have all contributed to new form of protests.
Jal Satyagraha has been in news for the past some time. These protests are generally related to hydropower plants and dams. The decision of the government to increase the height of dam led to mobilization of number of people who faced the threat to their land. These people immersed themselves in neck deep water to express their inconvenience with the decision of the government. Other forms of protest are also manifested in the form of self immolation bid as has been seen in the case of Tibetian monks.
The disproportionate growth in the country and subsequent mushrooming of islands of prosperity in the sea of poverty has led to the development of different forms of protest. There have been demands for new states based on economic divide which led to growth of ideological groups like naxalites, factions and regional parties like TRS. They all have been instrumental in expressing their protest against the paternalistic way of central government functioning and funding.
The protest of workers of Coal India Limited and Neyveli Lignite Corporation against the decision of government for disinvestment of its stake has led to great turmoil. The mobilization of people especially youth against the rising corruption and in the aftermath of Delhi gang rape is another example to new form of protests. Protests are also expressed virtually but mightly through networking sites and signature campaigns due to vast coverage and appeal.
All these protests have one thing in common. They all are based on non-violence. As Gandhiji once said,
“A state cannot tolerate violent defiance of authority, but it feels perplexed and puzzled when people show a great strength of non violence through peaceful protest.”


These protests have the power to derail the government or authority and have the capability to mobilize large number of people for the betterment of future. It is upto the government and its bureaucratic machinery on how to deal with these to make India a inclusive, corruption free, value based democracy in which the concerns and grievances of the people are taken into account to find out a way forward.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

LIC AAO Interview



Date 20 August 2013
Time: 12:30 pm
After having a rapid shots of continuous interviews of NHB and SBI and faring badly on these put me back to square one. I have even decided to sideline the LIC interview as I came across various reviews about the hectic job profile with low salary in comparison to SBI. Further various scholars (repeaters) have said that UPSC aspirants will not get time for preparation. Anyways I somehow gained courage and decided to go for the interview.
I was called at 12: 30 pm and I reached at 12 itself. The infrastructure was not very good. It was more of an old building losing its sheen and there was not much enthusiasm in the officers who were coming and going in hustle and bustle in the lift.
I have to board the lift to the fifth floor. I got into the lift and landed on the interview floor. Much to my dismay, only 2 students of the morning batch were done with their interviews. I felt disgusted but somehow managed to sit inside that waiting room,
My Interview started at around 5:00 pm. I entered the room. A panel of 3 members was there. All sexagenarian. (Those who do not know the meaning please restrain yourself from making lewd comments).
Me: May I come in, Sir.
Chairman: Yes please.
Me: Good evening to all of you, Sirs. (Chairman was busy looking into my bio-data form, did not pay any heed to my wishes. Come what may..!!! )
M1: Good evening. Please be seated.
Chairman: So, Mr. Sahil. Your Dad is in service. Which service he is in?
Me: Sir, he is principal, DAV College in Punjab.
Chairman: You are from Sirsa?
Me: Yes Sir, actually my mother is also working. So I stay with her.
Chairman: You completed your graduation in 2011. What were you doing from the past two years?
Me: I have been preparing for competitive exams. (A departure from the regular assertion that I am preparing for IAS)
Chairman: What exams have you given till now?
Me: Sir, National Housing Bank. State Bank of India, IAS prelims. (I restraint myself from mentioning more, though results were positive).
Chairman: So what are the outcomes?
Me: I was not able to clear the interview of the NHB and SBI. I cleared my IAS prelims and am waiting for my mains; which is to be held in December.
Chairman: So, you will go for IAS this year, what are your plans?
Me: Sir, actually I have not done with my optional yet. So there are scant chances that I will clear my mains. I am thinking of preparing for IAS in the next 2-3 years so that I can clear it in one go. (I lied)
Sir: Ok, ok. So you have long term plans. Great. (Pointed toward other member).
M1: So Sahil, What is the reason for the current problems of Indian economy?
Me: Sir the free fall of the rupee and high current account deficit.
M1: tell me reason for sudden slump in value of rupee and bourses
Me: The recent announcement of the Federal Reserve to taper its quantitative easing has impacted the value of rupee. Further the recent measures announced by RBI to contain the rupee depreciation like increasing MSF is also a factor. (Blank expression, he was expecting more).  Sir, the fly of the foreign equity investors to other countries. The increased speculation in the market.
M1: Ok, what has been done to control the situation?
Me: The measures announced by RBI like MSF to contain speculation in the rupee. The issuing of quasi sovereign bonds, increasing the tax on import of gold, opening other sectors for FDI, increased interest rate on NRI accounts. (He was still expecting more). Sir the easing of ECB norms and restriction on outflow limit of the banks and corporates. (I was running out of points). Sir that’s all.
M1: Why is this speculation and fall in the value of rupee with regard to Federal Reserve decision?
Me: Sir, the quantitative easing brought the cheap foreign money into Indian share market. Now as the Federal Reserve decided to water down its eased policy, funds will not be available easily.
M1: What are quasi sovereign bonds?
Me: Sir, these are generally issued by public sector banks and they  are only second in terms of security after government bonds. As they have the backing of the government indirectly, there is a least chance of default and low risk weighted.
Chairman: How many brothers and sisters do you have?
Me: Sir I am the only child of my family.
M1: (he became aggressive out of nowhere and started rapid fire round) Who is the CJI?
Me: P..P...P Sath…Sir. P. Sathasivam.
M1: Chairman of planning commission
Me: Prime Minister manmohan singh
M1: Deputy Chairman
Me: Montek Singh Ahluwalia
M1: Governor?
Me: D. Subbarao.
M1: Governor designate
Me: Raghuram Rajan
M1: What was he doing before that?
Me: Sir, he was in foreign institution name of which I don’t remember.
M1: in which Indian department?
Me: Sir, Chief economic advisor, Prime min…..(stopped in between, I was about to say PMO) M1 replied: Hmmm, finance ministry. I repeated, yes finance ministry.
I am sorry but I forgot other questions.
M2: Sahil, tell me about threats to national integration?
Me: Sir, the religious extremism, growth of regional identities and divisive politics, balkanization of states, caste biases, socio economic and development biases. Sir terrorism and naxalism, north east insurgency.
M2: But they are the reason of regionalism. No??
Me: I think regionalism is somewhat fractured nationalism.
M2: You can also give example of China. No? It is also a threat to national integration.
Me: I am sorry sir but I cannot agree with you on this. It is threat to national security not integration.
M2: Ok and you did not mention communalism.
Me: Sir religious extremism is communalism itself. (replied in humble tone, others nodded).
M2: Hmmm, right. Acha, have you heard about a regional dispute between Tamil Nadu and Kerala. What is it about?
Me: (I forgot the specific name of the dam though have read theses on that topic). Sir, the dispute is related to a dam, the name of which I cannot recall. Tamil Nadu contends for the increase of the water level from 136ft to 142 ft. However Kerala is opposing it as it will not be safe to increase water level as it will be seismologically unsafe and the dam may collapse…..
M2: (Stopped in between) Kerala is contending that instead of this dam a new dam should be formed. But Tamil Nadu is opposing it as it will deprive its people of the irrigation water provided by that dam. Further it is on lease to TN and any act to circumvent will made Kerala a major player.(explained thoroughly)
Me: Yes Sir (I was keenly listening to him as I noticed that M1 was noticing my reaction. I nodded my head with every point he told me, It helped me to understand the topic also).
M2: What else?
Me: Sir , the supreme court appointed committee headed by A.S. Anand has recommended the increase of water level and held that dam is hydrologically and siesmologically safe.
M2: Yes. (He was satisfied).
Chairman: So, you are an engineer. (ohhh, Gosh. Finally he came to know about it. I pleaded god that there should not be any technical question- am an average engineer from an average college).
Me: Yes, Sir
Chairman: what were your subjects?
Me: Sir, antenna and wave propagation, field and wave, Digital electronics, Microwave, wireless communication, VLSi and others (I mentioned 5-6 more)
Chairman: What is the difference between a ICs and VLSi?
Me: Sir, VLSI is very large scale integrated circuited consisting of capacitors, resistors, diodes, ICs etc on a very minute scale. While ICs are the integrated chips which are the heart and soul of a VLSI circuit and is programmable. What is to be performed by the circuit has to be inputted through ICs (he was nodding his head continuously.)
Chairman: Anything you want to ask.
Me: (After bit thinking). No Sir
Reviews came side by side. Member 1 changes his tone: Sahil, you should brush up more as you are going to appear for mains. You fared very good and provided some very good points but more needs to be done as ‘mains’ is very tough competition.
Me: I will definitely, Sir.
Chairman: Do you know about the job profile?
Me: A bit Sir.
Chairman: Are you ready for placement anywhere in India?
Me: Yes, Sir.
Chairman: Ok, Thank you Mr. Sahil. All the best for your future endeavors.
Me: Thank You, Sir. (I left).



Saturday, 10 August 2013

Basic Structure and Supremacy of Parliament

Doctrine of basic structure was evolved by Supreme Court in Keshwanand Bharti Case in 1973 and held that certain principles cannot be amended by parliament under any circumstances. They are outside the purview of amending power of parliament and any law enacted to bypass those principles will be declared null and void.
Of late, political executive contended that a parliament is the representative of the people and therefore has the power to amend any provision of constitution according to will and welfare of people. In India, unlike Britain, Constitution and not parliament is supreme, Even the parliament has to work under the provisions of constitution and shall not trespass its mandate.
Supreme Court held that basic structure include supremacy of constitution, sovereignty, democratic and republican nature of India polity, secular character of constitution, separation of power between 3 organs of government etc. All these features are intrinsic for a democratic, secular setup which is free to exercise in its own capacity. Any political interference for short term gains can jeopardize the security and peace of the country and may compromise the freedom and rule of law.
Many features like sovereignty is necessary for maintaining independence from any foreign pressure, secular character is indispensable for maintaining communal harmony and a sense of brotherhood and fraternity while republic character talks about democratic head of state, separation of power brings about a sense of stability in political, judicial and social life and prevent clash of interest of various organs. Unity and integrity is necessary to counter nay external threat and for the prosperity and welfare of the people.  Any legislation which impede upon these provisions must be dealt with iron fist because compromise on the democratic and sovereign credentials may give rise to internal colonialism, suppression of freedom, gross human right violations.
Hence in order to encapsulate, doctrine of basic structure in no way impeded upon parliamentary supremacy rather it substantiated democracy and rule of law and accelerated free, fair and participative parliamentary arrangement. Parliament is still the sole authority to enact laws but it must not act malafide and in biased manner and shall not break the constitutional mandate which is the vision of constitutional makers.


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Affirmative Action

Affirmative action is the positive discrimination which is based on the premise that only like should be treated alike. This is part and parcel of every society which is mainly riddled with racial discrimination, caste biases, economic inequality or any other physical inability. It is significant in bringing a sense of equality, freedom and security to underrepresented and marginalized sections of the society.
Various countries including India Constitution provides for affirmation in cases of employment, education and business activity. These actions are required to lift disadvantaged out of poverty, increase their enrolment in schools and colleges and provide employment to create a social just nation in which every section of the society is represented.
Protagonists argue that in countries like India it is necessary to avoid any unforeseen revolution and polarized mobilization like caste movement, apartheid movements. Because of historical oppression and disadvantage of being born in lower strata of society, various caste groups were not represented in decision making process, economic sphere. This could lead to social turmoil if positive discrimination is not shown.
Further affirmative actions promote a pluralization of culture and vulcanization of plurals and avoid situations when one dominant group exploits other groups. It helps in maintaining gender equity in the society and also provide a disabled friendly environment to the physically challenged to leverage their productive labour.

Hence, affirmative action is not only necessary for empowerment of disadvantaged sections but also is necessary for the evolution of a plural, participative and representative nation state driven by the principle of equality fraternity, equity and empowerment.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

WHY FOOD SECURITY IS A MALADY AND NOT A PANACIA



The President has approved Food security ordinance which will secure atleast 75% of rural household and 50 % of urban household with quality food grains at nominal prices.. The bill seeks to tread on the path of right based approach that will guarantee that no poor sleeps hungry or no child faces malnutrition or under nutrition. There has been wide ranging criticism about the bill and people are engaging in rhetoric for different reasons ranging from political as well as economic constraints. I want to sum all of them here

1. It promises 5 Kg of food grains (wheat, rice and cereals) per person per month subject to a maximum of 25 Kg per household. However studies pointed out that a person requires atleast 10.7 Kg of food grains per month for a sustainable food needs. The FSB least fills the appetite of the people.

2. Most of the people have a desire for diversification of food basket which includes fruits and protein rich food like egg, meat, milk etc. FSB does not include any of these.

3. It has been pointed out by different studies that malnutrition and stunted growth of children are not the product of non-availability of food but also a indicator of sanitation, drinking water etc. FSB does not address this problem.

4. There are considerable loopholes and delivery gaps in PDS (public distribution system). Without plugging those loopholes and computerization of PDS, there will be large diversion of food grains to the market. This situation will be exploited by ration shop owners and political vested interest.

5. The impact of FSB on economy is wide ranging. When the growth is down to less than 5% of GDP, there is an urgent need to chart out a road map of fiscal consolidation in order to revive the economy. FSB will put an additional burden of some 50,000 crore on the exchequer in the form of storage capacity building, more additional requirement of technological improvement for maintaining the distribution and identification of beneficiaries.

6. There has not been much improvement in agricultural practices and irrigation land in under constant threat from industrial lobby for acquisition. Further the moratorium recommended by Supreme Court appointed Technical Advisory Committee on field trials of Bt crops will restraint exponential growth of the food production.
7. There is also lack of clarity on the part of government about the criteria of identification of beneficiaries. Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) is still in process and will take atleast 1 year. Until then elections will be over and it will hardly be able to sail through.

These factors are poised to be great impediments in the implementation of this historic scheme. 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

DPSP and LPG

DPSP are the principles of a welfare state in India. It is a unique blend of Gandhian ideals and the socialist ideology, western liberalism and Indian freedom struggle which talks about the commitment of the state towards its subjects. It seeks to create a balance between economic progress and competition on one hand and environmental sustainability and social and economic equity on the other. With the advent of LPG, function of government has changed from a regulator to facilitator and provides a laissez fair business environment to industries. DPSP vests government will the responsibility of equal distribution of wealth generated in globalized period.
Globalization is based upon competition and monopolization in the market with scant regards to human work environment, wages, gender sensitivity and labour concerns. DPSP seeks to prevent concentration of wealth and property in few hands, have provisions for providing a humane work milieu, equal wages for equal work for both men and women and increase quality of standard of living of workers. It also provides for participation of workers in management of industries for better harmonization between workers interest and industrial interest.
In addition to that globalization seeks best talent and most productive labour from the market having required skills and education. DPSP puts an obligation on the part of government to provide free, compulsory and quality education upto primary level and improve public health. That will help in the creation of a social infrastructure having wide knowledge base and a healthy productive force.
Further it obliges government to protect and improve environment and safeguard forest and wildlife in the era of indiscriminate exploitation and deforestation based globalization.

Hence DPSP still holds relevance in this globalised world for a better informed, productive, equity based and sustainable developmental model.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

SBI Interview

Date: 17th July 2013

After getting through the cut throat competition in the SBI bank PO written test, I have got the call letter for my interview dating 17th July. The weather was calm when I got out from the Patel Chowk metro station. Humidity was at its zenith. The place has some kind of pacifying milieu. So I was there at the SBI Local Head Complex, Parliament Street. The infrastructure was world class just like in Special Economic Zone. Went inside the complex office. My interview was on 12th floor. Getting in lift was like boarding the metro with so much wait and commotion. Finally I landed at 12th floor and entered the Board room. Two red eyed vultures (documents verification authority) were waiting for us and saw us like their prey has come. After having done with my documents verification, we had our lunch. There was a group of 12 students in my afternoon batch.
Our GD started at around 3pm with the topic “Memories of the days spent in college and University life”. Much to the dismay of the board members everybody spoke about every good thing that happened to them concealing their true colours. Anyways the chairman was much disappointed with our tangled, monotonous, colourless memories. He went furious out of the conference hall telling us to get ready for the interview.
My no. was 5th. Bell rang and I opened the door.
Me: May I coming sir.
M1: yes please (chairman was not at the chair and was wondering in room for something).
Me: Good Afternoon to u all, Sirs.
M1: Good afternoon Sahil. Please have a seat.
M2: So, Mr. Sahil, you are an electronics engineer. Tell me why most of the electronics engineers are opting for banks.
Me: Sir, not only the electronics engineer but every engineer is looking forward to banks because the quality of education in India is very dismal. Most of the colleges are profit seeking and don’t provide quality education. Most of the teachers are under qualified. For ex. even in my college my teachers were my super seniors
Suddenly the chairman appeared from nowhere and sat on his sofa.
Chairman: Very good answer. You know what I have been expecting this answer from students but none of them came up to my satisfaction. Commendable. I am satisfied. He asked others members to continue asking Questions.
M2: On which level u will place yourself as an engineer- Good, Average, below average
Me: Average Sir
M2: Do you know anything in engineering about what u can tell me
Me: Sir I had keen interest in Mobile telecommunication.
M2: Difference between microwave and radio wave.
ME: I answered though not precisely.
M2: Are there any losses while transmission. How they can be controlled
Me: I wasn’t aware of the answer, still I replied firmly. I still don’t remember what I spoke.
M1: Ok, Sahil. Now we will go through a rapid fire round. Just answer in one sentence
Me: Ok, Sir
M1: Plasma TV working
Me: No clue sir
M1: Black hole.
Me: Answered.
M1: What is double helix?
Me: It is a Structure.
M1: Example
Me: DNA
M1: Who invented it?
Me: No idea.
M1: What are your Optionals in IAS
Me: I had Public Admin and Sociology but now I have opted for Sociology only
M1: Why
Me: It has social relevance and studies about social reality based on empirical understanding and objectivity while Public Admin is only about theories which are completely mechanical.
M1: Tell me the name of a well known sociologist of India
Me: Andre Beteille (Bete)
M1: Is it bête or Beteille.
Me: Sir it is Beteille but is pronounced as bête.
M1: Tell me about his works
Me: Caste and social mobility, Caste and political structure of India etc
M1: He is from India? I think his origin is different from his destination.
Me: I am sorry sir. I don’t know about it.
M1: Any other sociologists.
Me: M.N. Srinivas, G.S. Ghurye, Yogendra Singh etc
M4: Sahil, if u have to describe yourself in one word, what is it.
Me: (After lot of thinking), Sir, passionate
M4: About everything?
Me: About what I am pursuing now.
M4: UPSC?
Me: Yes, Sir
Chairman: Ok, Sahil Thank you very much.
Me: Thank you to all, Sirs.
I heaved a sigh of relief.