ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Shobhit MahajanSubscribe to Shobhit Mahajan

Roadside Blues

For drivers on the roads of the capital, the Delhi Traffic Police’s new-found zeal in enforcing traffic rules is creating more harassment than relief.

Waterboarding No More

An experience at the Delhi Jal Board regarding a complaint of overbilling reveals that the attitudes of public servants have changed, thanks to technology and grass-roots democracy.

The Unbearable Freshness of Things

In this age when everything is getting increasingly “glocal,” small-town India’s rummy appropriation of the English language is, By God se, downright amusing.

Guru Power

Riding on the exponential power of networks, godmen and charlatans like Guruji exploit the fraternal feeling amongst fellow followers to offer specious solutions.

Fish in the Time of Malaria

A visit to the District Malaria Officer’s premises reveals that the National Malaria Control Programme could well be upset by urchins stealing larvae-eating fish to make pakoras.

Quality of Work and Corruption

We care so little about the quality of assets in our public environment, poor quality being an outcome of corruption. When can we hope for a change? Some thoughts on corruption.

Decay and Darkness in Bihar

Once praised for its exemplary governance, Bihar is today in an advanced state of decline and poor development, despite the presence of unbelievably fecund land.

ISRO's Mars Mission

The Indian Space Research Organisation's Mangalyaan mission is a remarkable success story. Over the last five decades of its existence, ISRO has notched up many successes and has played a key role in indigenous development of various technologies. Its various programmes are also outstanding examples of its ability to successfully perform complex technological and organisational feats. However, one has yet to see any specifi c spin-offs in the civilian domain of these fairly advanced technologies. Further, the gap between running a dedicated, focused technological mission and improving the general level of manufacturing competence and quality is huge. ISRO was earlier closely involved in the development of dual-use technologies, that involvement continues though the organisation has tended to downplay its role in military applications as it seeks to obtain a larger share of the global civilian space market.

The Gross Toilet Index

The sorry state of toilets in public places, which are often stinky and non-functional, calls for the development of a Gross Toilet Index.

Some Issues in Higher Education

A huge gap in the supply of higher education and demand for it has encouraged private sector participation, but a rigorous regulatory mechanism has to ensure high standards and affordability. More alarming is the serious shortage of faculty in institutions of higher learning, unequal access to the institutions, the non-availability of textbooks in Indian languages and students who are ill-equipped to handle the rigours of college education.

Role of Chance in Objective Type Competitive Examinations

The format of multiple choice examinations is used to determine rankings in competitive examinations in various higher education institutions. A statistical experiment based on actual multiple choice question papers reveals the preponderance of chance in determining rankings based on performance. With so much of "chance" determining performance, it is questionable if multiple choice-based competitive examinations provide a good measure of the intellectual abilities of students.

Why Subsidise Higher Education?

The state is spending substantially on college education programmes for a privileged few without their having to pay anything for it. There has to be a political consensus to make higher education self-financed and target the scarce resources towards primary and secondary education.
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