“ a compromise formula which includes a proposal to take top 20% students based on percentile ranking of respective boards for preparing the merit list”

How meaningless is this solution ?. Higher education in India will become the domain of the school toppers and Children of affluent parents and we wonder why half a million students leave India to study undergraduate courses overseas. Children who will never return to a country that shunned them.

Is this is what we call inclusive in RTE ?.

God Save India

Inclusive education does not mean that everyone must enter, or pass out from, an IIT. It only means that if you wanted to, you could have a shot at it. The child labourer is excluded because she can never dream of entering an IIT; she may absolutely hate IIT, but not trying to join an IIT should be her decision. Even if there is only one IIT train, every child must have access to the platform where the train comes. Of course, not everyone will get on to the train but everyone knows what to do to have a shot at the train. This is called inclusion in education. Everyone must go to school till class 12; those who work hard, and are willing to work harder still, will join an IIT. Others will, by choice, decide not to work that hard and become economists.

Shubhashis Gangopadhyay

All children are born equal and mindless politicians are trying to grade the children and youth of the nation and create a new Brahamanical Caste system in Education, which is pandering to the neo rich who can afford to send their children to elite private schools and Coaching schools.

"HRD Ministry of India wants to build castles of higher education on the bamboo scaffoldings of its schools" ~ Satish Jha

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

327 - Acid test Jug Suraiya - TOI

Jug Suraiya | Jun 20, 2012, 12.00AM IST

These are testing times for students, particularly those aspiring for admission into the IITs. The HRD ministry's proposal to make students sit for a common entrance test for all IITs, NITs and IIITs has given rise to a national controversy. Besides undermining the autonomy of individual institutions to conduct their own entrance exams and ensuring standards of admission, the move will also add to the pressure on students who already have to face a slew of stringent tests before they can gain entry into one of these highly regarded institutions.

It's not just engineering or medical or business administration colleges that are tough to get into. Almost all Indian colleges worth their name have test results of 90% and above as the qualifying requirement for admission, which is why average students from affluent families have no option but to apply to foreign universities which have lower entrance standards.

Students apart, India's increasingly competitive society imposes a series of tests on everyone. In many if not most fields, there are periodic evaluations to ensure that members of the profession are up to date with the latest developments in their discipline. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, architects, airline pilots, bureaucrats all have to pass a series of tests before they can engage in their line of work.

The one notable exception to this rule is that of politicians, who are not required to pass any sort of test before embarking on their careers. Yet it is these politicians who, if elected to office, will make the laws that govern the lives of all of us, including all those engineers, and scientists, and doctors, and accountants and business executives, and teachers, all of whom had to prove through repeated tests that they were competent to do what they were doing.

It is one of the paradoxes of democracy that it is often the minimally qualified who are elected to determine how the country should be run. Barring a few exceptions, most of our politicians are not qualified to take up any other job or profession. Should political aspirants be required to have some qualifications - other than the negative qualification of not having a criminal record - before they can stand for election?

The suggestion that political candidates should have some basic educational qualifications - such as a school-leaving certificate, or a college degree - is deemed to be an elitist argument which would disfavour the socially and economically marginalised who have little or no access to formal learning, or even literacy. But what about a non-written, oral exam - conducted perhaps by a board comprising the Election Commission and other constitutional authorities - which would test the practical problem-solving aptitude of even non-literate candidates?

Politics, particularly coalitional politics as we have in India today, requires interpersonal skills of a high order, including the ability to negotiate with ideological adversaries to find workable solutions and get around seemingly insurmountable obstacles. One of the problems UPA-II is facing is that of lack of 'political management', the inability to reach out to intractable allies and through a process of debate, discussion and mutual give-and-take find a way out of the current impasse and the 'policy paralysis' it's resulted in.

A political test for politicians might seem like a good idea to voters. But it's unlikely to find favour with the political class as a whole. Because, seeing the condition of the country today, our netas en masse could flunk such a test.