Why Indian students go abroad?

Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge or Yale? A dilemma of Atlantic proportions for the Indian students for these universities not only have the patina of history and heritage attached to them but also offer a wide array of opportunities in todays world.
There has been a growing trend of Indian students going abroad for education. In the past decade whether it is America, the United Kingdom or Australia, the number of Indian students going to study overseas has risen tremendously so much so that in 2007, maximum students going to US for further studies were Indians. This was the first time that India went past China. There has been such an increase in the number of students going abroad that even international carriers are cashing in by offering special fares and packages to students. The favoured destinations of the Indian students include the universities of America, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. More than fifty percent of the students opt for US for higher studies.
But to think of it why do students choose to go abroad. To begin with there are capacity constraints in the Indian universities. More than ninety percent of the students who appear for the entrance examinations to the IITs and the IIMs do not make it through and the colleges that are now being offered to them lack in quality of infrastructure. If the Indian universities were compared with the American ones, a startling fact would be revealed. To begin with there are just 4,400 AICTE approved universities in India whereas in a country there are more than 10,000 universities and this despite the fact that India is home to the highest number of young people in the world. This is another reason why india fals to attract barely any foreign students whereas more than five lakh students from different parts of the world flock to the American universities every year. The number of specialization courses as well as scholarships and fee waivers available abroad are also high.
The students going abroad have been great advertisements for India. India has exported the most sought after commodity in the world-Talent. Winston Churchill had once said, “Empires of the future will be empires of the minds”. Brand India may not have had all its glitter if it weren’t for the list of the thousands of Global Indian achievers. How the foreign universities help the students is by transforming young talented students into world class skilled professionals. The students who choose to go abroad have several benefits. There is an emphasis on practical learning as opposed to theoretical learning thus conceptual clarity is the key in any course abroad. The foreign universities have the best in technology and infrastructure to offer whereas the infrastructure in many of the Indian universities is woeful. The world is a globalised village and hence it is imperative that students develop a global perspective. This is made possible due to interaction between students from various backgrounds. The teachers in India may not be paid enough but in foreign universities they are committed to mentoring and guiding the students. Placements and career opportunities are also better abroad. Moreover students get to study in some of the best universities of the world. Thus going overseas for education is being looked upon at as not just a harbinger of limitless opportunities for the students but also as a potent catalyst in the strengthening of the Indian economy.

Government says its criminal to be Gay

The decision taken by the union government of not to scrap the Section 377 of the Indian Penal code which considers homosexuality to be a criminal offense has come as a huge setback to the Gay community and the human rights groups supporting their cause.
The law against homosexuals in India states,
“Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine”
Homosexuals have always been discriminated against in our country and have found no political backing whatsoever. No political party has ever come in support of them and it has only been the Indian Film Industry and some NGO’s that have been fighting for their rights.
Meanwhile, the government has put an end to the debate where the century old laws relating to homosexuals be changed by categorically denying that such a change is needed. The law as it stands has not served any purpose for barely have any homosexuals been convicted in the last few years but they have always been discriminated against ad even blackmailed for their sexual orientation.
What is ironical is that the law against homosexuals in India has been present from the time of the colonial rule when India were under the British rule. The British for that matter themselves realized their folly and changed the law way back in 1967 and even went on to allow gay marriages in the UK from the year 2005 onwards. The move created a rage of gay marriages in the UK with more than five thousand gay couples getting married on the made the new law came into effect. The law in UK made in the year 1967 goes on to say,
(a) a homosexual act in private shall not be an offence provided that the parties consent thereto and have attained the age of sixteen years
(b) A homosexual act by any person shall not be an offence if he is under the age of sixteen years and the other party has attained that age.
But the Indian government has yet restrained from changing the laws though the british woke up to their mistake more than forty years back. Prime minister Manmohan Singh was once asked by a journalist as to what he thought of the new law in Canada to allow Gay marriages, tow hich the Indian prime minister said, “there would not be much appreciation for a law like that in India”
The Ministry of Health under Ambumani Ramadoss has also come out in support of the Gay groups by stating that with the present laws there are more chances of people catching the AIDS virus. The National AIDS control in a report filed to the government stated that in the case of homosexuals, the chances of AIDS are higher because they are reluctant to accept this is front of society and hence such discussions are always pushed below the carpet. The report also stated that almost seventy percent of homosexuals know about the dangers of AIDS but yet only thirty six percent use condoms.
On one side the Indian government is hell bent on reducing the chances of people contracting AIDS by their condom campaign, but on the other side they do not want to change the present laws. When in June this year, there were Gay parades in the Indian capital several anti gay groups had tried to get that scrapped as well but the parades went on as planned. The gay community has been begging and protesting against the present laws for they are not only discriminatory but are against the rules of any civilized society. For the time being the gay community will have to keep pushing until their demands get met.

Is the celebration of Valentine’s Day against the Indian Culture?

The meeting of the Orient and the Occident will always produce a spark. Valentine’s Day is just not a day restricted to the West, Love is a global language and everyone who is in love ought to celebrate this day for love knows no barriers.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated with great fervour all across the World. Even in India the Day has captured the hearts of all romantic couples. You will see love in all malls and hyper markets with big discounts and freebies being offered to couples. There are contests on Air, TV and the Print to determine whose love is strongest. All major Brands and companies want to cash in on this day. Theatres where the Crowd generally flocks offer discount schemes to attract hapless couples which don’t really have any other place to go.

But the Detractors say that celebrating Valentine’s Day is against the Indian culture. They believe that we are just aping the Western Culture. Now there have been so many instances when we ape the Westerns. Our Constitution in itself is the longest constitution drafted and was made from the UK and the American Constitution. Whenever we want to make movies, we again copy the entire script and the screenplay. All the high technology products coming into our country come from the West. The Internet which has become the most vital medium for survival came from Switzerland. Even the SEZ policy which is being criticized by one and all right now came from China.

So why don’t the detractors of Valentine’s Day stand up against all these things? Isn’t Valentine’s Day celebrated as a Day? Love just does not mean love for your spouse or partner. You could be in love with your parents, your children and even your dog. After being under the British rule for so long, Indians had to acquire some of the traits from the British. It was just not restricted to the language of English even the colonial architecture stands out as a tribute to the British today.

Valentine’s Day began with St. Valentine, a Roman Christian. It is believed that this Saint died on February 14, 269 A.D. Legend also says that the Saint left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, and signed it “From Your Valentine”. Other aspects of the legend say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. But Since 496 A.D, February 14 is being celebrated as Valentine’s Day to honour St. Valentine.

Thus 1502 years hence, Valentine’s Day is still healthy and Strong all across the World. The legend of St. Valentine might not be that popular, but people do celebrate the Day as they would celebrate Holi, Diwali or any other festival. Saint Valentine became the patron of love and this day is remembered in his name and celebrated by everyone who is in love.

If Americans can celebrate Diwali at the White House, if parts of London celebrate Holi in the open where even Foreigners join in the fun, for the main purpose of a festival is to spread happiness and have fun. How can anyone be against the spirit of love? Indians too revere Parvati- the Goddess of Love and Kama- the God of Love. Since childhood, the stories of Laila Majnoo, Soni Mahiwal are imbibed in us. The Love Stories in Bollywood have been the biggest hits ever. Love is a feeling that brings everyone closer irrespective of all social, political or economic barriers. To not be in love or not celebrating it, would be to be devoid of the most powerful emotions that humans have. Even the Animals who cant communicate properly to each other exhibit qualities of love.

There is nothing wrong with the concept of Valentine’s Day, but the only problem which the detractors have is that we are aping the Western culture. Now if the Westerners have created a good precedent for us, then why shouldn’t we follow it. Ask all the detractors to celebrate another day in the name of love, im sure people wouldn’t mind sharing their feelings for each other on that very day.

Couples say that any day which spreads the message of Love cannot have any adverse effects on society. For Love is the perfume that you cannot spray on others without sprinkling a few drops on yourself. Spreading Love is spreading happiness in these days where due to terrorism and violence everyone is on the edge. Who knows what terror comes your way tomorrow? Till then you ought to enjoy every moment in love. And Love is not blind – it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.