Monday, October 6, 2008

The UGC pay recommendations!

The latest pay revision recommendations by the Chaddha committee was a pleasant surprise for many. The news has been greeted with enthusiasm as well as skepticism. The enthusiasm comes from the fact that the Government has realized the need to keep the talented people in the education sector and prevent migration to the industrial sector. It is a sad thing that in our country teaching is associated with charity. Why don't the people in general as well as the administrators understand the fact that even a teacher may wish to live in the manner in which an I.A.S. or I.P.S. official lives. S/he may want to own luxury cars and palatial houses. Teachers, in the present times, can not survive on fees in the form of rice and pulses and vegetables. It would be worth waiting and watching if the recommendations given by the Chaddha committee are accepted or not! That will actually show whether the Government wants the country to progress or to rot!
The other part of these recommendations is the evaluation of teachers. A very good suggestion, I must say. But the question is whether the teachers will accept this. If done in good faith evaluations can help improve classroom teaching. But there is another side to this picture. A University did ask the students to evaluate the teachers. But the administration shared this only once with the teachers. After that the teachers never came to know their performance. Apart from this the students need to be trained to be impartial. They will have to be taught to be fearless and forthright and not be guided by things like a teacher taking them for films or giving them a treat or just doling out money for a quick snack or ice cream. The entire evaluation process will be a success only if it is conducted impartially and the people involved in it are responsible and just.
On the whole the committee has come out with some good recommendations but there are a few which still need to be thought over.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The New Zamindars!

Its been quite some time since the Govt. of India abolished zamindari. After the economic boom of the mid-1990s, a new class of zamindars has taken birth. These are the educated middle class girls and boys who are employed in the corporate field as well as the people engaged in the social sector working as teachers, NGO officials and lawyers. For this class their company or the work is equivalent to the landed estates owned by their forefathers and their monthly salary is more than what their ancestors earned but there is one significant difference. The modern zamindars use their sweat and blood to create the life style they are enjoying whereas the erstwhile zamindars were at times quiet exploitative. It's in terms of money and lifestyle that one can equate the two!