The World Military Games in Hyderabad

The World Military Games in 2007 (October 14 to 21) will be hosted by Hyderabad and Secunderabad at the Gachibowli Swarnandhra Pradesh Sports Complex. “CISM Military World Games” is the second biggest sporting event in the world. Indian Armed Forces are the proud hosts of this mega event. The event includes Shooting, Football, Pentathlon, Volleyball, Handball, Track & Fd, Judo, Swimming, Boxing, Wrestling and exhibition game of Polo. 79 different countries have been invited at the event. Over 5000 athletes, 1000 delegates and officials from various countries will participate in the 4th CISM Military World Games.

The Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) or the International Council for Military Sports was founded on 18 February 1948 in France, with the aim of promoting ‘Friendship Through Sport’. While the founding nations, Belgium, France, Denmark, Luxembourg and Netherlands were all European countries – the vision of the CISM was global.

The CISM currently enjoys the membership of the Armed Forces of 127 member nations, of which 38 are European countries, 45 African, 26 Asian and 26 countries from the Americas. It is the second largest international sporting body after the International Olympic Council. The CISM Games in their present format were revived and started in 1995, also marking the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and ratification of the UN Charter. India became a member of the CISM during the second Games in 1999.

The CISM Military World Games are held every four years, a year prior to the Olympics. The past performance of sportspersons participating in the Military Games can be gauged from the fact that twenty five percent of them have gone on to win Olympic Medals in the year after the Military Games.

The stage for the Fourth World Military Games seems to be all set but the mega event may not attract many spectators, due to lack of publicity and general awareness about the games. Organisers have done well to make the event, which is being hosted outside Europe for the first time, a successful one. But they seem to be lagging behind as far as promotion is concerned in Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

The military games – touted to be the biggest ever sports event in India and only the second biggest to Olympics – will see over 4,000 athletes from forces of various countries competing. Over 2,000 sports officials will also participate. Hyderabad has played a significant role in inspiring confidence in the country’s ability to host international sports events. The city has successfully hosted the Afro-Asian Games and the World Women’s Squash Championship. So gear up and hold your nerves for some great competition and excitement in upcoming weeks. Lets’ come together and make this event a huge success.

The Mascot:

MascotThe Mascot for 4th CISM military games is a stylised Great Indian Bison nick named BRAVO.
The Great Indian Bison is a majestic, normally imperturbable animal more commonly known in India as Gaur. It possesses immense strength, vigour and doggedness.

When provoked, its spurt, ferocity and speed of charge drives terror into the hearts of its opponents, similar to the characteristics of the Indian Army.

The Kashmir Conundrum

Kashmir – An area of conflict in South Asia that hasn’t seen peace, freedom and security for a very long while. After several hundred years of imperial rule, part of Kashmir became a part of the Secular, Democratic, Republic of India while the other part became a part of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. A minute section of Kashmir is also occupied by China.

The History of the state is the key to understanding the basis of the Indo-Pak conflict and also offers the means for a peaceful resolution of the issue. The last ruler of Kashmir was Maharaja Hari Singh, a man who was despised predominantly by the Muslim population of Kashmir for his autocratic and anti-Islamic regime. It is Hari Singh who handed Kashmir over to the Government of India through a document of Accession which many claim he had no right to write in the first place by virtue of his lack of control over the Islamic rebel groups in his own kingdom.

This is where the feud between India and Pakistan began; over who had a claim over the territory of Kashmir. Pakistan chose to separate itself from India as a nation built for the Muslims because they felt marginalized in India. They claim Kashmir due to its Muslim majorities and India claimed Kashmir by virtue of the accession document signed by the Maharaja.

The real reasons are the strategic importance of the region in terms of Defense and Trade along with its abundant natural resources like water supply and the potential for agriculture. These reasons, along with a strong tendency towards power-play, are apparently sufficient for both countries to wage large scale conventional wars (1947, 1965 and 1971).

There are blatant human rights violations in the area coupled with a severe lack of development and employment opportunities that lead inevitably to large sections of the Kashmiri population living in conditions of fear, anger and squalor. They have not yet been given the right to exercise their will in this matter. This has led to the growth of various militant organizations in the region that oppose the oppression of the Indian Government. These “freedom fighters” are labeled terrorists by the Indian government justifying their military pressure over the entire civilian population in the area.

In 1947, when the Kashmir issue was first referred to the United Nations, India did not want to be at an equal footing with Pakistan while Pakistan was openly hostile towards the Indian Government. On 31st December 1947, Nehru wrote to the UN Secretary-General:

“To remove the misconception that the Indian Government is using the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir to reap political profits, the Government of Indian wants to make it very clear that as soon as the raiders are driven out and normalcy is restored, the people of the state will freely decide their fate and that decision will be taken according to the universally accepted democratic means of Plebiscite or Referendum.”[1]

More than 50 years have gone by and the Kashmiris are still not acquainted with “normalcy”. They still have not had the (long overdue) plebiscite.

India’s stand was that, Kashmir was formally a part of India according to a legal agreement with the Maharaja to this effect and that any claim to any part of Kashmir by Pakistan is illegitimate.

Pakistan was of the opposite view where it felt that the Maharaja was driven out of his country by the people of Kashmir and that he had no authority to hand over the state which wasn’t under his control anyway. This nullifies any agreement made between the Government of India and the Maharaja.

The road ahead

The most pragmatic solution to this dispute comes from an unlikely source… Pakistan’s Military Dictator, General Pervez Musharraf. He proposed a four-point formula that addresses the key problems to this feud:

1. Demilitarization of the disputed area.

This would be done by both sides; India and Pakistan in tandem with a UN sponsored cease fire leaving room for organizing a plebiscite in the area.

2. Self Government.

Self-Government by the Kashmiris implies that both India and Pakistan will need to bring the Kashmiri interests to the table and add them to what has become a bilateral argument involving only Indian and Pakistani interests. Let the Kashmiris decide what they want.

3. Softening of existing borders.

The primary reason for the existence of hostilities amongst India and Pakistan is Kashmir. Once the region is divided according to the plebiscite, there will be no reason to have gargantuan armed forces regiments posted in the area leaving room for more productive interactions like trade and development. This can be achieved through creating, in phases, a permeable border amongst India and Pakistan.

4. International supervision and guarantee from the UN and major regional powers.

International supervision is necessary to ensure that both sides are operating in the interests of the people caught in the crossfire. The border drawn after the plebiscite and division of Kashmir will need to be recognized by the international community.

The plan is quite straight forward. However, implementing this plan is another challenge altogether with the primary obstacle being India’s unwillingness to give up territory. The Government of India will have to be convinced about its priorities. Territory comes after people. The people of Kashmir are suffering and are being driven into desperation. This could pose a serious law and order situation in India through the coming years with an increase in the already high levels of “terrorist” infiltrations across the country. The Indian public also needs to be made aware of the situation that prevails in Kashmir today. The Government has skillfully kept this away from them through manipulation of the mainstream media. Demanding accountability and productive action from the Government of India should be the first step preceding international pressure through sanctions and power play.

This is an urgent situation that requires immediate remedial action before it exacerbates into uncontrollable dimensions.

[1] Jawaharlal Nehru, as quoted in Korbel, Danger in Kashmir, p. 98.

Are we Cricket fans, lunatics or extremists?

The way we react to results of cricket matches indicates whether we are just fans or lunatics or extremists. Our reaction has always been temperamental. No wonder Rahul Dravid quit as captain and Dhoni’s family declined to join in the celebrations!!!!!

Indian Cricket’s so called FANSTHE RECEPTION accorded to the Indian Cricket Team after it won the Twenty20 World Cup was unbelievable. The team deserved it because we won an international trophy after a gap of 21 long years. But the huge number of fans that gathered in Mumbai to receive the team and the celebrations that followed across the country set me thinking – are we just cricket fans or lunatics or extremists? Are we the same people who performed the Indian team’s last rites after its debacle in the Caribbean? Are we the same people who stoned Dhoni’s house in Ranchi? Are we the same people who wrote Irfan Pathan off and gave the verdict that Virender Sehwag’s days as a cricketer were over? Yes we are. But in one fell swoop, everything is right again.

Dhoni can do nothing wrong now. Irfan is a star again and Harbhajan, a loser until a few weeks ago, has redeemed himself. Money and rewards are flowing in like anything. For three days, cricket hogged the limelight in the media, be it the print media or electronic media. Cricketers had become “God.”

But I wish that the youngsters did not become complacent after the frenzied welcome they received. A couple of more losses to Australia in the ongoing series will make them demons yet again. The clamour for sacking a few players will arise again and the same fans and media will lead the charge. Why? We are a nation of cricket extremists. No wonder Rahul Dravid quit as captain.

This schizophrenic behaviour on the part of the Indian fan is enough to dismantle the toughest wall. Dhoni’s family perhaps realised this and therefore declined to join in the celebrations outside their house. The crowd baying for their son’s blood a few months back was still fresh in their memory. So boys, we love you and your game. But just keep winning, alright. We can’t bear losses!

“We want Doctors for You to be WHO of India”- Dr Ravikant Singh

Logo of DFYDoctors for You is a NGO launched by doctors, professionals,students. It has started a unique drive about Blood Platelet Donation. Here is a quick chat with Dr Ravikant Singh, National Co-ordinator of DFY.

1. What is Doctors for You?

Dr Ravikant: Doctors For You is humanitarian aid organisation that provides emergency medical assistance and equitable health care and health education to all.

Doctors For You comprises of professionals from both medical and non medical fields. We organize and administer public health functions in more effective ways. It includes identifying and training new staff of health workers, developing new means of surveillance to track a disease, spread awareness and then taking measure to control the same.
2. So is it only for the doctors?

Dr Ravikant: Doctors by definition is a teacher , one skilled in a profession or branch of knowledge ; a learned person. So in this respect everyone associated with this organization is a DOCTOR who is taking up to the task of curing the social disease of our country.

3. What are the projects you are working on currently?

Dr Ravikant: Cases of unexplained fever, malaria, dengue, leptospirosis etc are on the rise. India is facing shortage of platelets. Platelet is a life saving supportive therapy needed in serious cases. The level of awareness in the general public is less. Hence we have launched an awareness and donation drive. This is the first of its type in Asia. We have successfully collected many units of platelets till date across the country. In Maharshtra the project has shot up after our association with State Blood Transfusion Council. We have also collaborated with Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.
Apart from this we are working on other projects as well which includes maternal and child health, stress management for Indian Armed Forces, Girl Education and population Control.

4. Who all are heading or supporting your organisation?

Dr Ravikant Singh: We have got enormous response from everywhere. Our organisation is supported by many doctors including from KEM Hospital, Mumbai, AIIMS, New Delhi. The others include working professionals from engineering, software, lawyers, CAs etc. We have recently got support from Sri Sri RaviShankar, Prahlad Kakkad, RK Bajaj as our patrons.

5. What is your vision for Doctors for You?

Dr Ravikant: We want to make Doctors for You as WHO of India.

6. How can people join this organisation?

Dr Ravikant: Joining DFY is total voluntary work. All those who want to be part of DFY can send us the membership form available on our website ( They can also contact us on our helpline numbers 9967056832 – 9833158385 – 9324334359.

Thanks a lot doctor for your valuable time.

The need to develop a “Sports Culture” in India

India is a land of many talents, but sports isn’t really one of them.

The performance of our sportsmen in the last 6 months or so has been really astounding – the Nehru Cup in Football, the Asia Cup in Hockey, a good show by Sania Mirza in Tennis, the Twenty20 World Cup in Cricket and most recently, Vishwanathan Anand becoming the World Champion in Chess. This euphoria generated in the wake of such performances could provide a perfect ground for sowing seeds of a sports culture – a dimension sadly lacking in our national life.

As a nation we are proud of our ancient civilization. Our religious culture has produced great scholars and seekers of salvation, enlistment the world over look to India for advice in religious matters; matters related to the soul, the atma. But sadly, we have never had what could be called a sports culture. Not even in the Maharashtra days did we have a sports culture. Archery, boxing and wrestling were used as war weapons. But no contests were held even in these disciplines. And training in these was restricted to the elite, mostly the princes. An Eklavaya with immense potential was refused admission to the training classes of Guru Dronacharya.

The childhood activities of Lord Krishna were tending of cows, stealing butter, playing pranks and the flute, not active sports. Lord Rama did learn ‘Baan Vidya’ seriously but not as a sporting activity.

Sporting excellence was used to kill or subdue the enemy or the adversary and not for promoting the higher, the faster and the stronger concepts, the hallmarks of modern sports.

With stress on spiritual matters we paid more attention to the soul and the other world, neglecting the body and the material, physical world. We forgot that a noble soul should have a worthy, strong body as well.

With the advent of modern sports and the Olympic movement, Indians did put in serious effort in some sports. Dhyan Chand led the hockey crusade and India ruled the roost for three decades winning seven gold medals. Milkha Singh broke the world record in 400m at Rome in 1960 (but unfortunately three others did the same, ahead of him). P.T. Usha showed the world that Indian women are capable of competing with the best. Prakash Padukone beat the world single-handedly winning the All-England and the world title in badminton.

But all these are stray cases of excellence and none of them are products of sports culture. They are all self-made greats.

India can at the most claim to have a cricket culture. But the prevailing Cricket Culture is not Sports Culture and it is more a bane than a boon to Indian sports.

If we had a sports culture in place, Dingko Singh would continue to do well, Paramjit Singh would not vanish into thin air, Gopi Chand would have come on the scene much earlier and P.T. Usha’s records would have been long broken.

The world’s second most populous nation behind China ranks dead last worldwide in the number of Olympic medals won per capita. Paraguay, Nigeria and Iraq have done better. How bad is India’s sporting scene? When international officials stopped by recently to review New Delhi’s progress towards hosting the 2010 Commonwealth Games, an Olympics-like sports competition for former British colonies, they noted that the infrastructure work was pretty much on track. But they suggested, not so subtly, that India might want to pay more attention to preparing its athletes, to ward off embarrassment. India, as proud and nationalistic a country as they are, can’t seem to get out of the starting blocks when it comes to the race for an Olympic Gold.

Why should that be, particularly with a potential talent pool of 1.1billion people? India does funnel a respectable amount of money toward its sports federations, bureaucratic structures set up to manage competition in each sport and train athletes. But unlike in China, Russia or Cuba, where state-run training programs focus on turning out finely tuned athletes, India’s sports centers spend much of their budget on salaries for bureaucrats, while athletes complain about lack of money for track improvements, coaches and better running shoes.Athletes’ feelings of being less than a priority were compounded recently when New Delhi officials announced plans to shut all of the city’s stadiums over the next few months to facilitate renovation in advance of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, leaving Olympic contenders scrambling to find other practice grounds.

It’s time the Sports Authority of India, the state associations and sports federations prove their credibility and worth and put a sports culture on firm footing.

Remembering Bhagat Singh

The Legendary Martyr of India - Bhagat Singh2007 is the birth centenary of the legendary Bhagat Singh. He is the symbol of heroism for the lively youth of India. Despite Bhagat Singh being in the hearts of the people, we do not have a proper memorial for the great martyr.

BHAGAT SINGH was one of the most prominent heroes of the Indian freedom struggle and was a revolutionary ahead of his times. Bhagat Singh was born in the village Banga in Layalpur district of Punjab (now in Pakistan) in a Sikh family on 27 September 1907 & was the third son of Sardar Kishan Singh and Vidyavati. Bhagat Singh’s family was actively involved in the freedom struggle. His uncle Ajit Singh and father Kishan Singh were members of the Ghadar Party founded in the US to oust British rule from India.

In 1916, the young Bhagat Singh came into contact with well known political leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai and Rash Bihari Bose. At that time, he used to study at the local DAV School, in Lahore. Those days, Punjab was very charged politically. When the Jaliawalan Bagh massacre took place in 1919, Bhagat Singh was only 12 years old and was deeply disturbed by it. The day after the massacre, Bhagat Singh went to Jaliawalan Bagh and collected the soil from the spot and kept it as a memento for the rest of his life. The cruel killings strengthened his resolve to drive out the British from India.

From 1923, to the time of his execution, in 1931, he devoted himself completely to the liberation of the motherland. He gave a new direction to revolutionary movement in India and formed the “Naujavan Bharat Sabha” to spread the message of revolution in Punjab. He formed the “Hindustan Samajwadi Prajatantra Sangha” along with the great Chandrasekhar Azad to establish a republic in India. Bhagat Singh killed police officer Saunders to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai. He dropped two bombs in Central Legislative Assembly along with Batukeshwar Dutt. The bombs were thrown in such a way that they did not hurt anyone. After that, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt, deliberately courted arrest by refusing to run away from the scene.

Bhagat Singh when he was in jailMeanwhile, friends of Bhagat Singh who turned ‘approvers’ identified the killers of Saunders. During his trial, Bhagat Singh refused to employ any defence counsel. In jail, he went on hunger strike to protest the inhuman treatment of fellow political prisoners by jail authorities. On 7 October 1930, Bhagat Singh, Sukh Dev and Raj Guru were awarded death sentence by a special tribunal. Despite great popular pressure and numerous appeals by political leaders of India, Bhagat Singh and his associates were hanged on March 23 1931.

Bhagat Singh and his compatriots shook the British Empire and their views infused an aggressive spirit in the struggle for independence. The fear of Bhagat Singh among the British was such, that even after executing him along with Sukhdev and Rajguru, the jail authorities cut their bodies into pieces and stuffed them in jute bags. The bags were burnt on the banks of River Sutlej quietly to prevent outrage against the British government on seeing the bodies of martyrs.

Besides being a nationalist to his core, Bhagat Singh was a socialist and a republican. “Labour is the real sustainer of society. The sovereignty of the people is the ultimate destiny of workers. For these ideals and for this faith we shall welcome any suffering to which we may be condemned”. This brings out Bhagat Singh not as a terrorist, which his prosecutors laboured to prove him unsuccessfully. He was a socialist, and a democrat – all in one.

Bhagat Singh is dead; yet he lives on. He is idolised by youngsters who want to bring about change in society. Bhagat Singh still lives on in our hearts, thanks to films like ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’ and ‘Rang De Basanti’. The latter revived the spirit of Bhagat Singh. Generation X awoke from its slumber and came together to demand justice for Priyadarshini Mattoo, Jessica Lal and against reservations. They learnt speaking for themselves. They also fought against unfavourable amendments in the Right to Information Act. It seems this generation has now awakened and it’s the beginning of a new era where the youth is breathing rebellion. I would like to conclude with a quote from Bhagat Singh’s jail notebook:

I also wish my friends to speak little or not at all about me, because idols are created when men are praised, and this is very bad for the future of the human race. Acts alone, no matter by whom committed, ought to be studied, praised or blamed. Let them be praised in order that they may be imitated when they seem to contribute to the common wealth. Let them be censured when they are regarded as injurious to the general well being, so that they may not be repeated.

I desire that on no occasion whether near or remote, nor for any reason whatsoever, shall demonstration of a political or religious character be made before my remains, as I consider the time devoted to the dead would be better employed in improving the conditions of the living most of whom stands in great need of this.

Let us pay our rich tributes to the martyrs and learn and follow the path of these great souls.

“Right to Emergency Care” – A flooding rumour

The following e-mail is visiting a lot of inboxes these days:

Right to Emergency Care:
Date Of Judgment: 23/02/2007.
Case No.: Appeal (civil) 919 of 2007.

The Supreme Court has ruled that all injured persons especially in the
case of road traffic accidents, assaults, etc., when brought to a
hospital / medical centre, have to be offered first aid, stabilized and
shifted to a higher centre / government centre if required. It is only
after this that the hospital can demand payment or complete police
formalities. In case you are a bystander and wish to help someone in an
accident, please go ahead and do so. Your responsibility ends as soon
as you leave the person at the hospital.

The hospital bears the responsibility of informing the police, first
aid, etc.

Please do inform your family and friends about these basic rights so
that we all know what to expect and what to do in the hour of need.
Please not only go ahead and forward, use it too!!!!

The message tells us that this is the Supreme Court judgement to Appeal(Civil) 919 of 2007. On searching the Judgement Information System it was clear that the case was in no manner related to the said message.

It was about a no-profit charitable hospital based in Ghanapur, Andhra Pradesh having claimed exemptions on imported medical equipments, based on Para 2 of Notification No. 64/88-Cus, which were granted. But since according to the classification of hospitals by the notification, it fell under Para 3, it also applied for exemption under the same, after the first exemption was granted.

On rejection of the second application, they filed the case in the AP High Court, which again didn’t go in their favour and hence this case was filed in Supreme Court.

For more details, on the case, check out the Judgement Information System.

Always verify any such crucial information related to the lives of people before you believe in it.

Is Banning Students’ elections justified?

Students in a rally

Mayawati has announced a ban on students’ polls in UP. The youth politics has gone haywire but the ban is not justified. The active presence of constructive politics and true democracy can effectively defend the anarchy and disharmony in campuses.

SUPREME COURT recently gave the judgment that the country needs good students and not leaders engaged in ‘goondagiri’ and ‘dadagiri’ in colleges and universities. As if taking cue from this observation, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister announced a ban on students’ elections in the state. Since independence this is the fourth time that such curbs have been imposed in the state. The ban, says the CM, will improve law and order on campus and regularise academic sessions. In December 2006, we saw unrest in Lucknow University over the recommendations of Lyngdoh committee on student polls.

I have been to Lucknow University (LU) myself and there is no doubt that the campus election has become a playfield for small time ‘netas’ who masquerade as students. There is lot of tension whenever a poll is round the corner and major sufferers are common students. The problem is that politicians meddle a lot in student elections of LU. The students go and harass business establishments to extract money before elections. Aspiring candidates have at least four gunmen and new cars for the campaign. They are not afraid because of political backing. This criminalisation of youth politics is very disturbing.

However, a ban is unjustified. Political activities in the Universities are natural because the university is a community of thinking people; of those who are exploring the frontiers of knowledge and of those who criticise and evaluate every idea before accepting it. The active presence of constructive politics and true democracy can effectively defend the anarchy and disharmony in campuses. There are also evidences of harassment faced by students in the “non-political campuses.” The college authorities in the name of campus decorum crush even the genuine protests of the students against misdeeds and exploitation. In private campuses the students’ council is a nominated one and which is mere puppet in hands of management.

Instead of such blanket ban, state government should ensure they implement recommendations of Lyngdoh Committee. This lackadaisical approach on the part of national parties and poll authorities will only delay the process of political socialisation and undermine the spirit of healthy competition among many who may become India’s future leaders.

Are our Engineers employable??

Engineers’ Day is celebrated every year throughout the country on September 15th to commemorate the birthday of Bharat Ratna Sir M Visvesvaraya. Let us see where engineering education of our country stands after 60 years of independence.

A serious problem is staring India’s higher education in the face. Its about the misalignment between education and employment.

We proudly claim to have the largest pool of engineers. This is the resource which forms the backbone of India’s rapidly growing IT industry along with the other sectors. But, India’s HUGE pool of young graduates actually have fewer number of suitable candidates employable by MNCs and their off shoring arms. Infact, only 25% of India’s engineering graduates are considered employable material by MNCs. The quality of education in India varies widely and while IITs and NITs are world class,other engineering colleges are nowhere close. Many factors contribute to malaise : outdated curriculum, obsolete equipments, teachers who don’t update their knowledge base, management that lacks commitment to academic excellence, rote learning, exam oriented teaching, lack of activity-based learning through team effort and lack of practical training.

The Most Valuable Employee

The biggest failure of our University system is that students are not taught “soft skills”- the competence to discuss, analyse, innovate and communicate.The findings of the committee set up by University of Mumbai found 42 affiliated engineering colleges falling way below the standards set by AICTE, and it even included reasonably well known colleges such as Rizvi College and KJ Somaiya, Sion.

Below are the few measures from a student’s perspective which can make him a better graduate:-

  1. Opportunities for students to do short term or certificate courses along with the degree courses. These courses should be linked to areas in which employment opportunities are opening.
  2. A common curriculum and syllabus throughout the country along the guidelines of the IITs.
  3. Emphasis on practical training rather than theoretical.
  4. A semester dedicated for Industrial training and honing technical skills under the guidance of the experts, which is absent in many major universities & colleges.
  5. Since the university system is not making the graduates compatible, many companies have to spend substantial resources to train fresh recruits. An “Industry based” syllabi is the need of the hour to produce “Industry ready Engineers”.

The government currently spends only 0.1% of GDP on technical Education, which is a very miniscule number.

In India most of the top Engineering graduates emigrate.

This apart, only 4% of India’s graduates are engineers whereas this figure is as high as 20% in Germany and 30% in China. Therefore, as recommended by Moily Oversight Committee, new IITs and NITs should be setup every year all over the country, in order to counter the shortage of quality engineers.

NASSCOM estimates shortfall of about 5 lakh employable graduates by 2010. Hence, it is important to ensure steady supply of young graduates so that India does not lose the advantage of having a large population.

India has a long way to go, both in terms of quality and quantity in higher education. An urgent reform in education has become a necessity. Since our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh himself has once served as the chairman of UGC, we hope he will push for the reforms in the education system which will propel us in achieving the status of a developed nation.

Terrorism-Are we equipped to handle the challenge

The attack in Mumbai in 2006“It is no coincidence that the recent terrorist act that have occurred have been in the states that have party in power that are hypersensitive to their avowed secular bias?Is the no non-sense policing in Gujarat and the attitude of the authorities there prevented attack?”-Swapan Dasgupta(TOI-9th Sept 2007).

I chose to begin my article with this evocative but controversial comment because it succinctly captures what i feel about the current state of affairs regarding national security.Indeed the reprehensible pogroms of Gujarat in 2002 have been used as the excuse by sundry dealers of terror to justify their act.But the hard fact is other that the Akshardaham attack has there been a terror attack on Gujarat?No.Is the attitude of the people and the authorities responsible for it?

In fact,in a recent TOI article,it was said that the A.P. state intelligence bureau was’nt allowed to pick up persons that could have been responsible for the smuggling of ordinance because they were Muslim. And this was BEFORE the blast occurred.This is liberalism gone astray.In the name of “not hurting the sentiments of the minority” the government allows freedom to some sections of the Muslim community to wantonly carry out acts of terror.The authorities easily place the blame on Pakistan and feel they have gotten away with it.

It is all fine to say that all Muslims are not terrorists but should’nt we wake up to the fact that all the terror acts that we read about from London to Bali are perpetrated by Muslims?This is not to discount the danger from other elements such as Naxals and ULFA.their grievances are largely localised and can be solved given time.All it takes is some imagination form the authorities.But the Islamist terrorrist claim to fight for a Muslim Brotherhood.Their demands are often illogical.Their plans are often grandiose.This,i feel,is more dangerous.

Here I’d like to mention the case of the USA.It has’nt wasted time in talking to these lunatics.It has simply gone ahead and neutralised them.Of course,it has come at the cost of some loss of civil right to some segments of the population,especially Muslims.But imagine the number of lives saved.USA hasn’t faced a terror attack on it’s soil since 9/11.Europe,with its softer attitude,has’nt been that lucky.Frankly I’d be willing to be detained in some security line for a couple of hours if the procedure saves some lives.Would’nt you?

Our National Security Advisor yesterday wrote: “We do not highlight our successes because we don’t want to alarm the public”Pray,where was his logic when he was writing that?I’d love to know the successes of our agencies.It would make me feel better.It would make me feel that my government is doing a good job of protecting me.I think he should get on with his job and not try to fool us with his mythical successes.It stinks of bureaucratic arrogance.

The answer to the questions that i asked in my heading must have been evident from the argument i presented.We aren’t prepared to handle the challenge.Our authorities must pull up their socks or risk facing the ire of voters who have been sick and tired of terror.