Saturday, August 03, 2013


  1. Ashok Thakur, Secretary to the Government, Ministry of Human Resource Development: Despite teething troubles, new engineering admission process represents much-needed reforms.

    First, let's remember what the previous system meant for students and parents. At a personal level, my first realisation of the devaluation of school education came more than a decade ago when my son asked me if he could stop attending school classes and instead concentrate on coaching classes for the IIT-JEE exam.

  2. Seema Singh: How we forgot Bhargava vs Padmanaban in the Bhagwati vs Sen spat:

    ... it could have ... benefited one and all if we had a “scientific” debate on the subject by some senior scientists. How about the most respectable pro-GM scientist G Padmanaban, professor emeritus and former director of IISc pitched against one of the founding fathers of biotechnology in India, Pushpa M Bhargava who is now one of the most ardent critics of the use of GM technology for solving some agri issues. Incidentally, the American journal Science organized a debate between the two a few months ago, conducted by editor Bruce Alberts. Alas, such debates don’t carry much charm for mainstream Indian media, both newspapers and magazines.

  3. Ezra Klein on sexism in high places: Funny how gender never came up during Bernanke’s nomination. Or Greenspan’s. Or Volcker’s.

    See also Krugman's op-ed: Sex, Money, Gravitas.

  4. Prof. Sukant Khurana: A Personal Tribute to Prof. Obaid Siddiqi.

  5. MIT releases the report on Aaron Swartz case. See >The Chronicle, Inside Higher Ed for a summary of its contents, and links to reactions.


  1. Anonymous said...

    Mr Thakur's article are full of howlers like this:

    "Traditionally, most of the boys and girls who crack JEE lack adaptability and depth of knowledge. "

    Citation needed. "Lacking" in "adapatability" and "depth of knowledge" compared to whom? In what respects?

    I think this is symptomatic of the usual method our government seems to follow with regard to high school and college education. Sweeping changes are made on the basis of "hunches", beliefs in what happened "traditionally", and poorly executed studies. All of this in this case seems to have culminated in the dogma that putting more weight on board exam results (which, by the way, are still as "one-shot" as the JEE, with little to no cumulative assessment, and hence are at least as susceptible to coaching as was the old JEE.) would magically improve the "weakened" school system.