Monday, December 30, 2013

कभी गुमसुम, कभी हैराँ, कभी नाशाद कर देंगी

कभी गुमसुम, कभी हैराँ, कभी नाशाद कर देंगी
तेरी यादें, मेरे हमदम, मुझे बरबाद कर देंगी

बहुत नाज़ुक ये रिश्ता है सो अब ख़ामोश रहता हूँ
न जाने कौन सी बातें तुझे नाराज़ कर देंगी

कोई शिकवा नहीं दिल को इल्म-ऐ-हकीकत है
कोई दिन और हैं बाकी सांसें आज़ाद कर देंगी

Saturday, December 28, 2013



Prime Minister’s concern about the declining quality of education in India is worth giving a relook. He rightly noticed that the Indian Universities have failed to make up to the list of world’s top educations institutions. He has talked about the lack of inter-disciplinary researched, shortage of faculty, growing demand of education with expanding economy and population.

India has been neglecting heath and education sector for a long time. We have very low budgetary allocation for both the sectors. Our budgetary allocation for education in 2013 budget stood at: Rs. 65, 000 crore. Out of which, the flagship scheme Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) was allocated Rs.27,258 crore (aimed at  implementing the Right to Education Act that promises education to all children in the 6-14 age group).  

Amartya Sen is of the view that heath an education do not only help in improving the human capital that goes on to support the economic growth but the two actually lies at the very heart of the development goals of a State. There is a complementarity here. If people won’t be healthy and educated all other developments will become soulless and unsustainable.

We have talked about increasing literacy percentage in India but it should be noted that the definition of literacy had been 'both ability to read and write in any language’ as per Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI. Several studies have shown that students in class five find it difficult to add or subtract four digit numbers. The mid-day meal scheme has been instrumental in improving the enrolment figures but quality of education imparted is still a question mark. Then there is a problem of shortage or absentee teachers. Without a holistic scheme on education that includes training teachers and incentivising the occupation of teaching by raising salaries, we cannot hope for achieving the right ends.
Corporate investment under Corporate Social Responsibility in raising educational incubators can improve the educational facilities in higher education.

Education and Skill Development and the 12th Five Year Plan

The 12th five year plan identifies the concern that a fifth grade student finds difficulty in reading a second grade text at many places. It calls for decentralization of recruitment process of the teachers so as to address the problem of accountability in teacher selection process. There are half-million vacancies of teachers in India. For the successful implementation of RTE, 2009, teacher recruitment becomes the first priority. 0.6 Million teachers in public schools are untrained.

The National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, 2009 calls for a shift to four year teacher training programme. To access the grade competency and quality of teacher there should a grading system in place. The government can also consider training teacher under PPP model.

MDMS can draw private investments if the government comes up with certain tax exemption for private investors who are willing to invest in education. There is also a need of to converge the Central schemes such as MGNREGA with education schemes to as we can provide a holistic development to the poor. Web based monitoring of SSA and MDMS aimed at making the schemes more transparent can make the implementers more accountable to public.

Expansion of Secondary Education

Gross Enrolment Ration (GER) at the secondary school stage (classes IX-X) is currently around 60.0 % which is very low. The Rastriya Madhamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) was launched during the 11th five year plan with an aim of improving the enrolment and quality in secondary schools. The centrally funded Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodyalayas have done well so far. There is a need expanding their coverage. Right now there are 1,060 KVs and 576 NVs.

Vocational training should be aligned with school education. This will improve occupational mobility. The National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF) is already in place.
Higher Education
Currently 18% of budget allocated for education is spent on higher education. It should be raised to 25 %. State Universities and their affiliated institutions provide for 90% of total enrolment and yet they suffer from severe fund constraints and poor governance.
Some reforms are underway. Educational tribunals for quick redressal of disputes, National Commission on Higher Education and Research (NCHER) to ensure more autonomy of the institution and entry of foreign education providers.

There is need of connecting the students with the society. The NSS and NCC need adequate boost. Our problems can be solved with our innovation and that can come with more engagement of the educational centers with the public.
In India the scientific and research community works in isolation and there is little contact with the students pursuing graduate courses. This has to be corrected. When the students will have more contact, they will aspire to go into research and it will help in improving the quality of research in the long run.

ICT and Distance Education:
Prasaar Bharti have been using the television platform for educational purposes. ISRO launched GSAT-3 (EDUSAT) in 2004. The satellite is totally meant for educational purposes. Many people or India who don’t have access of means, can get education through satellite. More investment in such endeavour coupled with improvement in technology can go a long way in educating more and more Indians.
There are three challenges involved in distant education:
1.       Challenge of Language: India is a multi-lingual country and it is not possible to meet the needs of one and all without translating the study material in several languages.
2.       Challenge of content: Being a vast nation, the content has to vary from place to place.
3.       Challenge of Cost: India is still battling to provide for the basic needs of living such as food and shelter to a vast number of its people. The network devices are costly. Aakash tablets are still to come up with some glitches such as low battery backup, low capability etc.
With advancement of Information and Communication Technology, the next goal that India can eye upon can be spread of internet network and connecting more and more people with data so that they can teach themselves.


What is the mandate of UGC?
UGS is a statutory body, established in November 1956 by the GoI.

·         Promoting and coordinating university education.
·         Determining and maintaining standards of teaching, examination and research in universities.
·         Framing regulations on minimum standards of education.
·         Monitoring developments in the field of collegiate and university education; disbursing grants to the universities and colleges.
·         Serving as a vital link between the Union and state governments and institutions of higher learning.
·         Advising the Central and State governments on the measures necessary for improvement of university education.

What is AICTE?
The AICTE was constituted in 1945 as an advisory body in all matters relating to technical education.
AICTE is an Apex which has several functions, some of them being:
·         Undertake survey in the various fields of technical education, collect data on all related matters and make forecast of the needed growth and development in technical education;
·         Coordinate the development of the technical education in the country at all levels;
·         Allocate and disburse out of the Fund of the Council such grants, on such terms and conditions as it may think fit to institutions.
·         Promote innovations, research and development in established and new technologies, generation, adoption and adaptation of new technologies to meet development requirements and for over-all improvement of educational processes.
·         Formulate schemes for promoting technical education for women, handicapped and weaker sections of the society
·         Promote an effective link between technical education system and other relevant systems including research and development organizations, industry and the community.
·         Evolve suitable performance appraisal systems for technical institutions and universities imparting technical education, incorporating norms and mechanisms for enforcing accountability;
·         Formulate schemes for the initial and in service training of teachers and identify institutions or centers and set up new centers for offering staff development programmes including continuing education of teachers
·         Lay down norms and standards for courses, curricula, physical and instructional facilities, staff pattern, staff qualifications, quality instructions, assessment and examinations.
·         Fix norms and guidelines for charging tuition and other fees.
·         Grant approval for starting new technical institutions and for introduction of new courses or programmes in consultation with the agencies concerned.
·         Advise the Central Government in respect of grant of charter to any professional body or institution in the field of technical education conferring powers, rights and privileges on it for the promotion of such profession in its field including conduct of examinations and awarding of membership certificates.
·         Lay down norms for granting autonomy to technical institutions.
·         Take all necessary steps to prevent commercialization of technical education.
·         Provide guidelines for admission of students to technical institutions and Universities imparting technical education.
·         Inspect or cause to inspect any technical institutions.
·         Withhold or discontinue grants in respect of courses, programmes to such technical institutions which fail to comply with the directions given by the Council within the stipulated period of time and take such other steps as may be necessary for ensuring compliance of the directions of Council;
·         Etc.
What is the mandate and functions of NCERT?
(a) Research and development.
(b) In-service and pre-service training.
(c) Dissemination of research on school education in India.
Accordingly NCERT:
• Develops curricula, instructional materials, teaching aids and learning resources;
• Organizes pre-service and in-service training of teachers, of teacher educators, and of other educational personnel;
• Conducts and promotes educational research related to pedagogical improvement;
• Disseminates improved pedagogical techniques, practices and research findings;
• Acts as a clearing house of ideas and information for all matters relating to school and teacher education.


मैं धीरे धीरे पंख फैलाने लगा

मैं धीरे धीरे पंख फैलाने लगा
मैं आज़ाद हूँ 

मैं आज़ाद हूँ 

अब फिर से कई बरसों के बाद 

न चाह है के कुछ कहूं - कुछ सोचूँ 

न सवाल हैं, न दुःख,  न दर्द 

न रही चाह दूर टहलते जाने की

दूर अपने सच से कहीं दूर निकल जाने की

न चाह रही किसी और से सहमति पाने की

सामंजस्य बनाने की

मैं आज़ाद हूँ 

अब फिर से कई बरसों के बाद

शांत हूँ, मौन हूँ, खुश हूँ 

मैं - मैं में पूरा हूँ 

अब मैं अधूरा नहीं 

मुझसे जानना चाहोगे के जिंदगी क्या है ?

तुम यहाँ क्यूँ और तुम क्या हो ? 

मैं जानता हूँ तुम नहीं मानोगे 

पर मैं बतलाता हूँ 

तुम मैं हो 

मैं तुम हूँ 

यहाँ कुछ भी दो नहीं 

केवल एक है 

एक शून्य, एक व्योम, एक दूर तक फैला विस्तृत आकाश

नहीं मानते हो न ?

मैं जानता हूँ तुम नहीं मानोगे 

तुम लड़ोगे हर तर्क-वितर्क से 

बुद्धि तुम्हे सोचने नहीं देगी 

तुम नहीं मानोगे

मैं आज़ाद हूँ 

मैं देखता हूँ 

एक बाज़ार - दुकानदारों का, करीदारों को और भिखारियों का 

राजाओं का, रंकों का, सेनापतियों और संतरियों का 

खबरों का, चर्चाओं का, सोच का विचार का 

एक जंग - अहम् की, एहंकार की, द्वेष की, अपनी - पराई

एक निरंतर गोल गोल घूमता पहिया 

कोल्हू का बैल, अपनी दम को पकड़ता एक कुत्ता 

मैं देखता हूँ 

एक दोस्त, एक दुश्मन, एक दंगा, एक आग, एक चीखता बच्चा 

पर मानोगे मेरी बात

यहाँ दो कुछ भी नहीं 

सब पर्याय है यूँ समझो 

एक ही शब्द के 

एक ही अर्थ है 

एक ही आशय है 

तुम मैं हो

मैं तुम हूँ 

मैं आज़ाद हूँ

मैं देखता हूँ

मैं उलझता नहीं 

इस बाज़ार में 

इस छीटाकशी में 

इक तर्क-वितर्क के घेरों में

इस अहंकार - जनित माया में 

मैं गीता से परे हूँ

मैं केशव वचनों से परे हूँ

अनछुआ हूँ

महाभारत के मैदान में उठती धुल में

श्वेत-वस्त्र में साफ़ सुथरा हूँ

katate गिरते सहीरों के बीच हँसता हूँ

खुश हूँ

तुम नहीं मानते न 

के तुम मैं हो मैं तुम हूँ

चलो यूँ समझो 

के कुछ भी नहीं 

न डरती न सूरज एंड अम्बर अन व्योम न जीवन न मरण न पत्थर न देवता 

न हंसी न ख़ुशी न दुःख न सुख न रिश्ते न नाते न उम्र न समय 

कुछ न होना कुछ होना है क्या ?

बुद्धि को रोक सकते हो इस शून्य में ? नहीं न ..

तारका हैं वितर्क है 

सोच है सब कुछ तो है 

तुम हो तुम्हारा नाम है 

तुम्हारी पहचान है 

फिर कुछ कैसे नहीं ?

संभव कहाँ है तुम्हारे लिए ऐसे शून्य में ठहर पाना ?

तुम तो  बाध्य हो अपनी प्रकृति से सोचने के लिए, बंधने के लिए एक पहचान में, एक नाम में एक स्वरुप में

तुम आज़ाद कैसे होगे कहो ?

नहीं samajhte न 

जब मैं कहता हूँ 

के तुम मैं हो 

और मैं तुम हूँ 

यहाँ कुछ भी दो नहीं 

एक ही अर्थ है 

एक ही आशय है 

एक ही कविता है 

एक ही गीत है 

एक की चित्र है 

एक ही दर्शक है 

एक ही श्रोता है

एक ही चित्रकार है 

एक ही सत्य है 

एक ही असत्य है 

एक की निर्वाण है 

एक ही मोक्ष है 

एक ही aastik है 

एक ही नास्तिक है 

एक ही बागवान है 

एक ही इंसान है

एक ही दैत्य है 

एक ही असुर है 

एक ही पहाड़ है 

एक की नदी है 

एक ही तालाब है 

एक की kankar है 

एक ही लहर है 

एक ही सूरज है 

एक ही शाम है 

एक ही शराब है 

एक ही साकी है 

एक ही हिंदी है

एक ही उर्दू है 

एक ही कवी है 

एक ही शायर है 

एक ही मैं हूँ

एक ही तुम हो

तुम मैं हो

मैं तुम हूँ

कहो कितने बड़े हो तुम अब 

अपने शरीर जितने ?

क्या उम्र है तुम्हारी 

दो तिथियों के बीच ?

कितना जी पाए हो अब तक

कितने जीने की है इक्षा कहो ?

मानते हो मेरी बात ?

समझते हो क्या तुम 

मैं जो कह रहा हूँ?

नहीं न ?

चलो जाने दो...

फिर पढना मुझे 

फिर कभी

किसी और दिन

अभी तुम तुम हो 

तुम मैं नहीं ...

तुम आओगे एक दिन

मैं जानता हूँ

स्वेत वस्त्रों में 

युध भूमि में जय-पराजय को रख कर अपने पीछे

हँसते हुए

तुम्हारे वस्त्रों पर कोई daag नहीं होगा

तुम आज़ाद होगे

तुम मैं होगे

मैं तुम हूँगा

ये होगा मैं देखता हूँ

इतना ही होना है क्यूंकि

इससे ज्यादा कोई अर्थ नहीं है 

आशय नहीं है 

इस काल चक्र का 

यहाँ सब कुछ एक ही है 

और एक में ही सिमट रहा है ...

कितनी पकती की ये कविता कहो ?

खाली पन्ना ही तो है ...

- ये तुम्हारी कविता है 

A possible US-Iran Alliance?

America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests. 
Henry Kissinger  

In 2011 Putin brought up the idea of Eurasian Union with an idea of integrating the Soviet-era States into an economic and political unit, much on the lines of the European Union. Armenia, Azerbaizan, Georgia, Belarus, Khazakistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgystan have shown their interest in such a grouping. Any such grouping is going to be of grave concern for USA. Post Cold war, this would be the first time when the US hegemony as a world power will stand be challenged by a neo-USSR in the name of Eurasian Union, which more than economic and political entity might serve as an strategic entity.

The Syrian crisis and the Russian show of influence in the way the things are going, has already given USA enough reason to rethink its geo-political policies in the Middle East region

Note that Israel and Saudi Arabia (both US allies)  badly wanted military intervention in Syria. Syria has been an ally of Shia majority Iran. Syria is a Sunni  majority State but is ruled by Alawite ethnic group, who comprise the minority of its population and have sympathies of Iran. The Northern region of Syria is dominated by Kurds, who have been demanding more autonomy. Kurds also, comprise a major population in Southern Turkey and here comes the interest of Turkey in whatever is happening in Syria. The Assad government has been sympathetic to the Kurd demands and Turkey sees this as a possible threat as it can strengthen the Kurdish in Southern Turkey. For Turkey the best thing would be the fal of Assad regime so that a moderate Sunni government can come to power and suppress the Kurdish voices of self assertion. Turkey wont draw itself into the Syrian conflict and has given refuge to the Syrian refugees. But Turkey has huge stakes in whatever emerges after the present Syrian civil war. For Israel and Saudi Arabia, such a shift in power won't mean much. Total isolation of Syria from Iran is what these countries are looking forward for.

Amidst all this, the developments related to controlling the Iranian nuclear programs was also seen by both these States as a possible ticket to militarily confront Iran and weaken its influence in the region. This could have happened with the way Ahmedinijad was handing the developments. With new government coming in the picture seems to be changing now.

No one can have any difficulty in accepting the idea of a possible US-Iranian alliance in future. Already, Rouhani's liberal tone and the Geneva peace agreement coupled with the Syrian crisis slowly shifting to a possible settlement without dismantling of its government or military intervention, has embittered US-Israel and US-Saudi ties. Russia probably proved to be more powerful in deciding the fate of Syrian crisis than the US (by the way,  its yet to come to a final conclusion). 

US is also having stakes in the East China sea, with China getting assertive by unilaterally declaring an ADIZ. Any US intervention in favor of Japan will affect the US-China ties. Who all would be the allies of the US outside Europe, if all these crises and possible crises escalate? As far as Iran's ideological position and internal resistance against Iran-US ties are concerned, sanctions will weaken all such forces plus what choices does Iran have? Iran has hegemonic aspirations in the middle East. Without US support, with an expansionist Russia and an unstable Afghanistan, who are the Iranian allies on whom Iran can rely upon? Certainly any US-Iranian alliance wont come up just like that, but then I can see no other feasible option for either US or Iran to go ahead in the region without each other and still be able to achieve what they want to.

Russia is again coming face to face with the US like never before post cold-war period and US will not leave any stone un-turned to counter the expansion of Russian influence in the middle east. East China sea, for the time being, may be just an isolated event but there is a possibility of Russia getting assertive in the region too and thereby making the situation more serious for the US.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


चल दोबारा ज़िन्दगी से प्यार कर

तू किसी शोख़ का सिंगार कर रख भी दे ये ख़ामोशी उतार कर तीरगी ये पल में टूट जायेगी  चल दोबारा ज़िन्दगी से प्यार कर एक ही नहीं कई शिकायतें ...