Saturday, June 14, 2008

Links ...

Mekhala points to A glimpse behind the masks of Dow; elsewhere on the latter site, Indra Sinha explains why he has joined Bhopalis in their fast for justice.

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Over at Entertaining Research, Guru discusses a recent column by Pushpa Bhargava arguing that India's bureaucrats are wrong in their reliance on OPV for in polio eradication, because IPV is better. I'll let doctors and public health experts to chime in on this issue.

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At Law and Other Things, Tarunabh links to an article by Sunita Narain about the use of lawsuits by corporates to "to threaten, intimidate and gag" individuals "and, in particular, professionals who refuse to prostitute their science to suit industry."

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T.T. Ram Mohan at The Big Picture: Six new IITs -- Will 'merit' be a casualty?

Later in the piece, [Swagato Ganguly] indicates they may not have the requisite faculty either given the huge shortage of faculty.

What is the government to do? Should it wait until full-fledged campuses are set up and the country starts generating enough faculty? IIMA started off in a small building and with a small complement of faculty. So have the newer IIMs such as IIM (Indore). Over time, these problems came to be addressed. The point is: you get started, you muddle through for a while and then things start happening. I am optimistic about the new IITs and the contribution they can make.

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Prashant alerts us about a study of mathematical achievement at grade school level in Orissa and Rajasthan; in a comparison against 51 countries, these states ended up at 42 and 46, respectively. More importantly, the study found evidence for very high inequality in these states, with "the difference between the top 5 percent and bottom 5 percent in both states [being] among the highest in the world, next only to South Africa."