Thursday, May 29, 2014

Education



John Sculley was a top executive at Pepsi and had everything going for him. At a time when Steve Jobs and his partner (Steve Wozniak) were just putting Apple together Jobs wanted Sculley to join the company and be its CEO. A hesitant Sculley was persuaded by a question that is now a famous quote: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world”? It’s often not where you started but where you finish that counts. Jobs had dropped out of college because he felt his calling lay elsewhere. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard the day he spotted an edition of the “Popular Electronics” magazine with a home-computer on its cover in 1975. He and his partner (Paul Allen) met the computer manufacturer and offered to write software for it. In one of his books Gates mentions that he felt he had nothing more to learn from Harvard. Both Jobs and Gates dropped out of college not because they were bad students or bad learners. They dropped out because they had their own visions.

So when Smriti Irani was appointed HRD Minister some folks questioned her educational qualifications for the job. The harsh criticism mostly came from Madhu Kishwar (an anti-Modi turned Pro-Modi activist) and Ajay Maken of the Congress. Naturally, our media then made a big story out of a petty issue. The response to Ajay Maken was easy because no Congi even has the moral or legitimate authority to raise this question as I tweeted him thus:


It is easy to dismiss a nit-picking politician but that does not answer the question if Smriti’s education or rather lack of it will be a hindrance to her new job. Some analogies that came to the defence of Smriti are also frivolous like this one from “Item-girls” specialist Suhel Seth:

Anyone who has read about Gates would know that he was a child prodigy with software designing and meddling with computers. He used to indulge in that since age 9. And when he saw the opportunity in software while still in Harvard he had a clear vision that one day every desk will have a computer. Classifying Gates as “not educated” is a silly defence for Smriti. Gates had a clear vision which has been borne out by the success of his company and by the fact that many desks in the world do have a computer now. There’s an old joke at Harvard where the Head tells professors: “Be kind to your “A” students because they will come back and be your colleagues. Be kind to your “B” students because they will be prominent public figures like politicians, lawyers. But be particularly kind to your “C” students because they will come back and donate money to our institution”. In other words, even top business schools mostly know which students are likely to succeed in which domain of life. Maybe Smriti had a talent for theatre and acting and maybe that’s why she dropped out of school.

I must mention here that I am only going by reports that she is 12th pass and I won’t bother verifying because it is immaterial to me. If she has filed any affidavits that claim differently that is for scrutiny and for her to clarify. In companies we often tell even the best MBAs “You may be an MBA but imagine you are only 12th pass, you will work like there is no tomorrow and find success”. But the question about Smriti’s education in terms of handling a ministry like HRD is not entirely invalid. After all, what we want to understand is even if she is going to be advised and receive a lot of counsel on policy-making will she be able to comprehend many concepts that form the basis for a good educational policy and HR development? Some with great degrees failed to comprehend good advice. Some with zero formal education who had to start to start with a zero base have often done better jobs. Time will tell.

That brings us to the question on what exactly is education? And that is the true purpose of this post. In simple terms education is a process of acquiring knowledge and skills to face life situations. Schools and colleges are a uniform formal system for such education for the masses. Each stage is a qualifying process for the next. Primary qualifies one for middle school, middle school for higher secondary, higher secondary for college and college for post-graduate and on it goes. This “assembly line” mass education is indeed meant for the masses to offer them enough knowledge and skills to make a reasonable citizen who can make an honourable living. But this system need not be the only one where knowledge and skills are acquired. Many who have found greater success in life have acquired such knowledge and skills from other sources. From the streets, from family, from friends, from experience and, most of all, from their own imagination, curiosity and dreams. At a starting point we tend to respect formal degrees a lot more. For other people we tend to respect their performance outcomes. But in the end in both cases it is finally the performance that counts and earns respect.

Just as Gates was a child prodigy in software, Smriti may have been a child prodigy in acting. Gates has contributed a lot more money to the world than many banks have. Sculley was selling Pepsi but shifted to computers. The reason is simple: Basic principles of sales and marketing remain the same regardless of the product or service. Has Smriti had her education in other ways than formal schooling? The answer would be yes because whatever knowledge and skills she acquired through her own pursuit brought her success. Did she migrate to politics successfully? The answer is yes; she joined politics and became an MP. Whether publicly elected or elected to the RS, she has demonstrated the knowledge and skill to get there. A renowned management firm is known to have once stated that after years of research they discovered there are only two indisputable truths “Water flows down and performance counts”. We have known people to migrate to different domains and responsibilities successfully. Smriti’s test starts now and time will tell whether she was the right choice for the job.

The outrage in some circles both ways; rubbishing Smriti and also dismissing anyone questioning her education stems from at least one possible reason and that is our most educated public figures have performed badly. In particular, people in govt and media with high qualifications from abroad have disappointed. The Macaulay Putris and Putras have heaped most scorn on ordinary Indians. Take a look at Sagarika Ghose:

It doesn’t occur to Sagarika that she spouts the same kind of filth that Mani Aiyar disburses with unrelenting frequency. She and Mani Aiyar are from the same Oxbridge clan. Mani Aiyar has been a darling at her channel for years and a regular panellist. Suddenly, Sagarika discovers Mani Aiyar is “foul mouthed” but didn’t have the guts to say it all this time when Congress was in govt. And why the comparison with Mani Aiyar at all? Why not with Rajdeep Sardesai or Barkha Dutt? They are all from the same clan but it is convenient to trash Mani Aiyar now for Sagarika because he has become irrelevant.

Education is not a limited venture or project. It’s a continuous life-long process. The purpose of formal or informal education is to make our children life-long learners. Any system or policy that contributes to it can do so through many different people with different education and abilities. Our job is to just keep learning. As for Smriti, water flows down, performance counts. That’s it.

      

73 comments :

  1. Pothi Padh Padh Kar Jag Mua, Pandit Bhayo Na Koye
    Dhai Aakhar Prem Ke, Jo Padhe so Pandit Hoye
    - Sant Kabir.
    Be it degrees or be it books, the real learned is the one who knows to love and who has learnt from life than from books. Most of the present education systems pit one person against the other rather than having a symbiotic benevolent approach and that is why we are having individuals, societies, nations and races competing against each other and not for a benevolent coexistence.
    About the Smriti episode -
    No matter how good and secure a bank is a cunning robber will always look for the loopholes and find one. That is what is happening with all Modi detractors. They are just waiting to nit pick and point out the flaws. That will be their bread and butter for the next five years when the rest of the country would be busy in nation building.

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    1. The Seeker....Excellent comment...Fully agree with you

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    2. excellent Seeker.. the berserk media has still not recoincilled to the fact. i just read Harsh Mander's article in Hindustan Times... just read for the filth of it. newspaper like Hindu - in their editorials and articls mention every one like kejriwal as Mr Kejriwal, Diggy as Mr Digvijay Singh, but Modi (after he became PM) as Modi, Nitin Gadkari as Nitin Gadkari and so on without prefixes. That too in the same sentences...
      The MSM has gone berserk.. their brains have all gone.. what to say about them.

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  2. But in case of smriti irani ( and a few others in Modi Cabinet) , she does not even have a track record of performance and delivery to be catapulted directly as a union cabinet minister for HRD . Generally one starts of as a junior minister/minister of state working for someone , picking up the threads and then with some experience takes independent charge.

    so more than performance, Sycophancy' counts.

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    1. I agree with you partially that brand new ministers should start as deputies or non critical ministries and prove there first.

      But don't agree with you that sycophancy is the reason. Anyone knows Modi know that sycophancy never works with him. I think some of the reasons she is give HRD ministry are:
      She is here through her hard work
      She is 'she' (woman)
      She gave tough fight to dynasty Shehzada Rahul Gandhi

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    2. @Vijayraghav @TruthSpeaks

      It is true Smriti does not have enough experience and should have started off as a junior minister. But you are clearly missing something. The raging debate was NOT about her lack of experience but about her "Education". Therefore, the post addresses that issue only. I can maybe draw up 10 other drawbacks of Smriti but that is not the one being discussed in public. It's about her education and therefore I address the question of education and not other issues. It is important not to forget what the issue was.

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    3. @ravinar,
      my comment was on the experience and 'performance' track record ( since the article also mentions about performance getting counted). On the core issue of education , i concur with you .

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    4. Do you think she will be able to perform in the role she has been given ? She is severely handicapped. Either the policy is likely to stagnate or worse slew of very visible, but ultimately useless initiatives will come about. A more experienced person would have performed better. Are you saying there is such a lack of talent in BJP that Irani is their best option for MHRD ?

      As Regards justifying her appointment with giving example of Jobs and Gates..With examples you can prove anything - that educated people are morons, and people who go straight to work after college are better off. But truth be told, to a large part, all progress is scientific progress, and you really need to develop the manpower of the country through education. Not that Irani is worse than kapil sibal, or MM Joshi, but with all the tall promises made, more is expected from Modi

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    5. @Bhaskar

      I wonder what or who you are pointing at. On the contrary I state clearly that Gates and Jobs are wrong examples to quote in defence of Smriti. Is that not clearly mentioned in the post?

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    6. One thing you can NEVER accuse NaMo of is cronyism (rewarding sycophants). His method has always been to reward performance.

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    7. @anand vaidya, @truthspeaks,
      i deliberately used the word 'sycophancy' . Because nothing else justifies this kind of reward. You may defend Modi, but actions of individuals speak louder than the perceptions others may have about that individual.
      @mr vaidya, what performance track record of Ms Smriti irani are you talking about justifying this kind of reward by Mr Modi ????

      the expectations from narendra modi are higher and if he has to excel, then he cannot make such blunders.

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    8. @MediaCrooks It was not aimed at you...but all the noise in the media and twitter how educated people led us nowhere and irani with her successful acting career is better off.

      It is fine to expose bogus intellectuals, but the current of anti-intellectualism is not good. We need to respect knowledge and learning. Lakshmi cannot substitute for saraswati. Sometimes knowledge is it's own end. In our country we used to respect that once upon a time...but it seems to be going out of fashion.

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    9. Just to point out - Smriti Irani launched a long fast "against" Modi in 2004 accusing him of the reason to lose LS 2004 elections...

      this sounds like reverse sycophancy to me.. anyways.. we are debating for HRD ministry while Congress was about to make "Mr. Rahul Gandhi" as the prime minister, while Mr. Digvijaya Singh is suggesting that he should be leader of opposition... RaGa's education qualifications appears to be under scrutiny and his track record is close to nil..

      Congress folks should not be throwing stones sitting in a glass house...

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    10. Modi is known for selecting "Clean slate" not some one with a pre-set ideas and way of working. In fact there was some talk before swearing-in that he would choose mostly the first timers for the ministries because they can be trained and moulded for his way of working. Now the information that we get is, Modi reached office by 9 am and no one else is used to be in office before 11am. Old timers will crib for these kind of hard grind. Apparently he works until 10 pm...good 13 hours. Unless some one is completely new with open mind it would be difficult to work with him at his pace. I clearly understand Modi's logic and I sincerely appreciate!!

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  3. The reason for Smriti Irani to drop out of school is to earn bread for her family (she is eldest child) according to news reports. This is very similar to Modi had to become 'Chaiwala' to help his father earn livelihood.

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    1. Smriti was drop out from school/college not because her parent could not afford her study,but for the reason she was PHISADDI in studies and could not get admission as a regular student in college.Now to compare her with Bill Gates or American President or other great personalities of the world is irrelevant.She is being now judged as super intelligent,hard worker sharp etc.etc.just to defend her Many lies were spread as Modi was a tea vendor,which is not correct.His uncle was tea stall contractor at VADANAGAR railway station. Moreover Modi's family was not so poor that his mother was working as house maid.These lies have been spread repeatedly like GOBBLES that now people have believed it as true.

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    2. A woman studying in a posh school in Vasant Vihar, participating in Miss India is not poverty stricken to look for job and don't study. Surely she ventured for lucrative career in modeling n acting. Study was never a priority for her.

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  4. If people think that knowledge and skill can be attributed only to formal education there is nothing to say. It reminds me of my childhood lesson "knowledge and Wisdom". Being worldly wise and having been educated through life itself is the education any one can have. I think a wise minister is better than a person having some knowledge about a particular issue and closed mind to other aspects of life. A person whether educated or not how he/she reacts and performs a given task is the test for one's understanding of life and reacting to it. When the law permits some one to become a member of Parliament without there being any formal education or a ivy league college degree it also does not mandate that a minister should have such qualifications. Whatever, we have voted for a government of our choice. I think we should wait and watch the performance and whatever is to be said.. We have EVM to speak to after 5 years. All this appears to be nothing but criticism just for the sake of it sans substance.

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  5. I think Congress is venting out their frustration of losing election on Smriti. When BJP hit back with Sonia's education they changed the tactic. I think Congress is going to continue to throw this kind of mud on BJP to stay on focus in media. We had Arjun singh, Murli Manohar Joshi and Kapil Sibal all highly educated to run HRD and what they did to that department? Nothing. No change. Giver her the chance to prove her ability. that's all.

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    1. "I think Congress is venting out their frustration of losing election on Smriti." - Why wouldn't they? After all, Smriti caused panic attacks in several Congress leaders in Amethi. So, dynasty sycophants are coming down heavily on a brave woman. But in the process they made Smriti also a hero. If they continue to throw more mud, she will be 3rd most popular after NaMo and Amit Shah. :)

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    2. Truthspeaks, most of my friends who did not know much about Smriti know her now. The last sentence is rightly said.

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  6. I think that this Brouhaha is also assisted by BJP's Club 160. Remember Smriti does'nt come assisted by the "Loser of Amritsar" and is a challenge for the ex "LOP" and she is the "chhoti behen". This controversy will be kept alive from peeps of all side.

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  7. I expect mr. ravinar to be critical of modi govt. if any wrong happens,anti etablishment.

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  8. Start of Guerilla warfare by Gorilla Army.

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  9. Ravi - Hi please start a TV channel ----- we need people of your intellect, skills and caliber to contribute to nation building .... Modiji needs many Ravinar to combat the mediacrooks

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  10. It seems a turf war and one upmanship between Ajay Maken and Manish Tewari factions in the Congress party. Both factions are saying opposite things.

    Anyway, much experienced persons like Arun Shourie, Subramanian Swamy etc. would have been the better choice but perhaps she has been rewarded for being a 'woman' and sincerely fighting an election where her loss was certain.

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  11. Discoveries and inventions by scientist were the result of the passion and not because of scientific temperament or their competencies alone. Who were the inventors of aero plane? They were just bicycle mechanics!
    Without passion, a equipment salesman named Ray Kroc would not have started his first restaurant at the age of 52. Later it became McDonald chain. Americans like Jack Welch GE or Bill Gates of Microsoft or Fredrick Wallace Smith of FedEx built their industrial empires because of their passion to give something new to the society and not just because of their business competencies.
    http://7orientation.blogspot.com/2014/04/passion-vs-competency.html

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  12. Smriti is sharp, intelligent and sincere. And yes, from marketing, to modelling to politics, she has a grooming which the pseudo secularists and son of English would miss. I have hopes, she would prove to be a better minister.
    And yes, it is true, our education system is more of bookish knowledge, kids are over burdened while the schools are makind fast bucks. The education system needs a complete overhaul. Hope Smriti works on overhauling our education system as well.

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  13. It is quite interesting to watch the progress of someone new, who joins our company. People come in at various levels. Fresh graduates, people with 4-5 years of related experience and people with specialised experiences in the fields where we play.

    No matter what the earlier situation of the person may have been, s/he invariably starts at the bottom of the knowledge curve within our company. Incidentally my company manufactures specialised instrumentation, that very few people have prior expertise about. How quickly someone gains knowledge and expertise, depends only upon how quickly they admit, that they know nothing and start at the beginning. That behaviour is found in all 3 types of people that come in. There are also others, including freshers who refuse to learn and end up being third rate performers even after several years.

    This article along with your 10 (11 ;-) ) tweets yesterday explains the process of education very well. It is a life-long process as we need to learn and unlearn many skills in our life to face changing situations.

    Lets wish the new cabinet good luck and judge them after a reasonable amount of time.

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  14. The way people look at Education today is very sad. The Macaulay's legacy only values degrees & certificates. There are innumerous instances of people with little or no formal education doing things unimaginable & out of the ordinary.
    A village woman 'Saalumarada Thimmakka' from Karnataka did something that NO Environmental Minister/Ministry did.
    Back in the days when Indian woman was confined to Home and Kitchen chores, she knew everything but in her own way. She knew about ratio & proportions 'without know it' when it came to cooking. She knew negotiations when dealing with street vendors. When she put Rangoli, she knew parallel lines, many Geometric shapes ... even hyperbola & parabola ... again 'without know them' like the way Macaulay's legacy knew it. In the search for equality, she has lost all of that knowledge.

    Having said that, what you have putup is perfect. In simple terms education is a process of acquiring knowledge and skills to face life situations.

    @sharath_hs

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  15. I think Smriti is a very good choice for the following reasons
    She has no baggage, she can take on opposition to her policies as per her track record. She will have direct access to PM. Our education system is too top heavy we need to give importance to Primary education and skill development and informal education. She is not afraid to take people on. She will move heaven and earth to succeed. Higher educational reforms can wait, however I am not advocating that formal and higher education is not important it is. Let us stop this bickering and giver her a chance.

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  16. Our education system has been churning out clerks as Britisher's scheme of things for their administrative purposes and we still continue with the same religiously. We hardly find any creative minds ala Gates, Steve, Facebook man, etc. Their system of education makes their minds search for newness. Ask any MBA what he wants to be in life one sees a Big Question mark right on their forehead. It is not that western countries have 100% seal proof system of education but our system is 100% seal proof from thinking out of the box. Few exceptions who for hardships in their growing up due to financial uncertainties who studied and learn from the real life experiences of wading through rough day to day indifferent society's established laws for betterment of their life.
    In Germany atleast they have a system where people of any age can better their lives in learning or deviating from current study unlike in India where age debars a person from any kind of education by the state laws. India needs great over haul of our system of education.

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  17. Well I just want to say that everyone else criticising Smriti Irani was fine but Madhu Kishwar,famous for documenting Modijis efforts in Gujarat should have observed restraint while knowing the fact that Modiji is also modestly educated in terms of Macaulayan Curriculum but after joining CMs office took pains to join a crash course in Administration from IIM A.If Madhu Kishwar can highlight this fact,why cant she respect his judgement to appoint a very hardworking enthusiast to a post(HRD) which also involves dealing with children/youth(future of India) and turning them into hard working confident enthusiasts.
    Enough said I will like to request all elitist intelligensia,through you,that this superiority complex can one day turn you into 'Pagal Scientist'. Beware!
    'Man would have evolved even if Oxford/Harvard was not there'

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  18. Fantastic post.Irrespective of whether Smriti is academically qualified or not, education is a continuous process and not confined to formal education. Many of our formally educated leaders have an ego of elephant's size, be it AK, Nitish, Mani shankar, PC etc which is a strict no-no for team play.. From the state I come from, Tamilnadu had Kamaraj who is 3rd standard educated but he brought schemes which made Tamilnadu a totally literate state. Whether one has a vision or not is what matters. Till 2013 I have not paid attention to Smriti as I hated the saas bahu serials, but after watching her speak on three different occasions, on issues of Amethi,had to give respect to that lady. The jury is out there whether she can deliver or not, but she is feisty and deserves all the support she needs.

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  19. I have a hunch that BJP/NDA or to be more specific, Modi, is perhaps so pissed off with the 'intellectual' left libtards found (clinging?) in most of our universities and learning institutions that they/he thought the best way for them to be put in their place is to put in a honorable 12th pass as their (indirect) boss! Am sure, at the end of five years, Smt Smriti Irani will come out - with performance outstanding & guns blazing - essentially wrecking the performance track record of sloggers with so many 'international' degrees, for her impactful work accomplished! Why? - well, she is a go-getter and that is what is needed to clean up a messed up education system in our country! Ofcourse, for starters, she will be focused on starting new IITs, not forgetting the decadent colleges of Amethi

    Modi understands performance! And its strategic implications in obtaining 'clean' votes for his report card circa 2019.

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  20. People put too much emphasis on school degrees (degree mills). These aid in getting a cushy job for the well connected, but are worthless for practical purposes. One just needs to conduct an interview and the fact will hit you in your face.

    I struggle to "educate" my child outside the edu system - common sense, quick / lateral thinking, getting into and out of difficult situations, courage & honesty etc...

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  21. I think Smriti will do a great job.

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  22. For the first time, I dont agree with your viewpoint.
    1. She has incorrect affidavit - which is an offence. She should clarify that first.
    2. She has no performance record per se. Granting a huge responsibility is a risk to the country.
    We cant say that let us judge her by performance at the end of 5 year (which might be late if she doesnt deliver). We dont make a novice CEO of a company and say - ok lets see after couple of years down the line if he succeeds or not. You are BJP empathizer but lets be strict to the cause not to the people or party.

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    1. I agree with your first point but I would also like to say that it would not have been noted if she wouldn't have become an HRD minister. This should have been scrutinized when she filed her papers. Secondly, she is not the CEO, the CEO is Namo and he knows the capability of his team, that is what matters as finally he is answerable. Thirdly, on what basis do you consider her a weak link? Her education? Experience? But how many of us know about her work in Gujarat? As far as education, she has struggled in this system so she knows negatives better than all those highly qualified people. And finally it is too early for a blame game. You could not stop UPA from drifting in last 2 years due to unsupportive partners, should have gone for fresh elections then, this did lot more damage to us.

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  23. Hi Ravinar, I think all of u are missing one point here. There seems to be a discrepancy in the affidavit filed with the EC, which needs clarification. Other than that a very focused, sincere, fast learner with performance-oriented attitude will deliver more than an educated, egoistic person

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    1. @Surekha

      Why do you imagine everybody missed that point. There is a mention in the post that clearly says she must clarify the discrepancies in her affidavits... It seems youre the one who missed that..

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  24. Ravi,you have explained very beautifully how each aspect is important in its place.Nothing can be dismissed.At the same time that real education is how one faces and responds effectively to 'life-situations'.A good teacher will always be the one who is always a student.... as we had talked about sometime back..:) Thanks again

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  25. The mess created by Kapil Sibbal and Pallam Raju has to be cleansed fast

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  26. I don't normally watch TV but had on occasion seen Smriti Irani (and also Lekhi) participating in the heavily loaded, one sided debates prior to the elections. These two not only held their own against blatantly biased anchors but also effectively shut up the opponents who outnumbered them. Smriti Irani ain't dumb, that's for sure.

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  27. Ravinar, NAMO now formally supporting citizens for accountable governance and is hosting dinner next week for 223staffers of www.theindianrepublic.com,
    i don't know how he has missed out you/mediacrooks ?

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  28. Academic degrees help us to get the initial acceptance. An MBA degree gets us the to the interview table. That's about it.

    In the world of academicians, academic degrees have a sway. Dr. MM Joshi faced lot of resistance for his effort to clean the history books of India. His main person for the job, Dr. Rajput, also faced strong criticism from the JNU-backed 'Intellectuals'.

    Here Smriti Irani will face lots of initial hurdles. Probably, that is the reason for Madhu Kishwar's comment.

    Academic degree does not guarantee anything. Most of the learned educationists turned HRD ministers have degraded the education system to such level that most of the yound Indians are basically unemployable as they lack basic skill set. The degradation has been done in the garb of simplification and removing the stress levels for students.

    But as a guardian, I know that without some stress, nobody prepares well. No sportsperson will train, nor a student will study.

    In West Bengal, the great intellectuals removed English up to 6th level. Now, we have a situation that good English teachers are just not available.

    In this election, I was a Micro-observer. And the Polling group was of teachers with 20-35 years of experience. The polling booth was a Primary school. I found that some english words were painted on wall for students. Some of them had spelling mistakes - like Torch was written as TARCH. But the Polling party of 3 teachers could not find anything wrong with the spelling. When I pointed it out - one teacher, with some 20 years experience, asked me hesitantly about the correct spelling.

    Now this is the condition of teaching in India - after it had so many academicians as HRD ministers. So, I am ready to wait for not-so-educated HRD minister without much apprehension. Let her performance speak.

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  29. The author need not dwelve at this length. This language cannot be understood by the scamgress who are well equipped to kowtow. They had no testicles to question the person at whose every footprint they prostrated. Knowledge is radiant of experience and nothing to do with education which may come to assist but that is not be all and end all. Kamaraj Nadar too was below first form but no one questioned him now that, in those days we had people with integrity but not boot lickers

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  30. Perhaps they may expect Smrithi too to tag Gandhy title so that their mouth will be stitched. They could not wish Modi when the entire globe congradulated Modi upon his success out of his industriousness. The congi boot lickers sold this nation for obvious reasons and they are talking moral and ethics! My foot!!

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  31. Smriti comes out a very articulate and intelligent person who does her home work well and comes well prepared for her debates on TV channels. Her formal education is of little relevance. I wonder why is it a issue at all. All the channels were running debates on it as if a cataclysmic event of epic proportions has happened. MSM and their masters are taking revenge on the new govt. Essential requirements for running a ministry are leadership qualities,vision and implementation skills. SI's leadership qualities have been amply proved in the election she fought. She is hard working, focussed and a determined lady. That is why she has reached where she is starting from a humble background. Modi's judgement of talent can not be faulted.

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  32. Smriti might have been selected because she would know the value of education and at the same time not over-emphasising it. For an un biased/ neutral view

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    1. Also she might be the one who can incorporate "life skills" in edu system which decides employability because she knows it is important

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  33. Offence is the best defence even after BJP getting majority. I am sure Cong and Left are conspiring something to pull down the govt. For eg the cong may start a riot and tell ...look we were telling Modi is a polarising figure so lets have Presidents rule. BJP and specially Dr. Swamy should relentlessly target Sonia Maino's background and her clandestine foreign trips abroad. All chinese Gandhis have sinister past. BJP should relentlessly attack cong in this front so that they are too busy to conspire anything against the good work of MOdi govt. Modi now have Prasar Bharti/Doordarshan..he should utilise that to spread truth and counter false news propagated by Anti Indian news channel. I believe Doordarshan can be rejuvinated to their golden days of 90s.

    And for present Indian education..It only creates slaves for corporates be it MBA or PhD. Hope SI tries to change that.

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  34. The school syllabus should should incorporate Indian Law and Constitution lucidly in classes 7 to 9. I find many adults not knowing basic Indian law and constitution. What is the job of a MP and MLC etc. Also Yoga and Vedic teachings should also be given along with English and western science. Children dont study Vedic science because after class 12 there is no oppurtunity. But now since Ramdev have started Patanjali University and Patamjali consumer goods & pharmacy, children will have some motivation to learn vedic science and medicine. Patanjali products are eating into market share of HUL and P&G bigtime. Infact Patanjali and Divya Pharmacy should come up with an IPO.

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  35. I fail to understand why you wrote this post? just to endorse a wrong decision taken by Modi !Remember MODI is not GOD and every decision he takes may not be right.For his misadventures we will have to pay.Since S Irani is his favourite and appointment of his cabinet is his prerogative that does not mean that he can act as monarch/dictator.Take my words soon people will be disillusioned by his such actions.In inner circle of BJP also there is resentment and very soon people will realize the enormous power vested with Modi will create disaster.My self is a staunch karyakarta of RSS,BJS and BJP since the time even when MODI was not born.

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    1. From your post looks like you must be around 100 years old. Good luck. Your thought is exactly match to Congress thought. Do I need say more?

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    2. Its actually the other way round. If Modi would have sidelined the likes of AJ, SS, RS then he would have been termed dictator. There is the much talked about 160 club who will not let things function normally if they are not dealt aptly now.

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  36. It's not about education adequate or not; it's about wrong claims in affidavit.

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  37. Whatever be the grouse against Smriti for being underqualified for her job, one cannot overlook her apparent ability to fight against all odds. To be even considered as a party spokesperson is no mean achievement.Of all the lady spokespersons (all parties) she belongs to the topmost rung.No actor turned politician has taken to the job like Smriti has. Most others are just show pieces to be paraded during campaigning.BTW not one KhanChris spokeswomen are worthy of polishing Smriti's shoes.

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  38. I am seeing mixed opinions here, some are talking about affidavit and some about too much power with Modi. Its very simple if the person is good, its good for the team that he should lead from front. Just like we saw Sachin Tendulkar dominating for majority of the overs till the time he used to stay on crease simply because he was trusted for long term performance, hence its Modi who is acting authoratively here simply to get things done quickly and why shouldn't he, secondly democracy is for keeping check for getting things done its not for voicing your concern on anything and everything which leads to chaos. Hence we should wait and watch how Modi unveils himself. Most important thing is that he has already shown right intent which is missing. And leaders learn more from life than from formal education. Like Sonia Gandhi is master in leading a corrupt team, she is extremely bad but still leader..

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  39. This is a small issue and should have been ignored. If Smriti Irani were given a cabinet berth by Modi, so be it. It is for him to ensure a good delivery. At the end of six months, let us see if Modi is justified in accommodating some of the cabinet ministers about whom we may have some sort of apprehension. These include both qualified and non-qualified I,e a mix up of both urban and rural.

    180 days in Office is sufficient to know the metal of each Minister. We should have patience. Let us wait and not indulge into making unpleasant comments.

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  40. Let us be little pratical here ,HRD is responsible for education policies and implementaions of the entire nation plus build the human resourses of country higly skilled to be employed ,I am not for "degree" oriented education but specialization based education i.e Steve Jobs ,Woznaik,Bill Gates,Mark Zukerberg and many more are higly skilled people and were best in their respetive fields and they proved it, In Case of Mrs Irani she doesn't even have a formal education forget specialization ,she may be a good actress but for HRD I seriously doubt ,women's commission would have been the right choice.

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  41. The points are very well-made and as you mention, she may do extremely well in this assignment with her innate capabilities. But one thing is not clear.. While it is fully agreed that education, competence and capability are not determined by mere college degrees, another significant dimension of meritocracy is that you select the best among the avilable to fill a post.. is she the best for the post among available choices?

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  42. Modi's leadership skills are just awesome. Right now the challenges are huge to clean up the mess left over by Congress. It will only be a miracle to expect things to stabilize in the next 2 to 3 years. Additionally with lack of support from RS for next 2-3 years it makes sense not to expose your best team to avoidable hurdles. If the current team performs it is bonus. If they don't perform then Modi has data with him to replace them with more capable leaders at a later stage. That will also boost BJP's chances to come back in 2019 when people actually see great results in last 2 years of this tenure.

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  43. Why is the issue of Smriti Irani's affidavit not being discussed here ? She has the obligation to clarify the exact nature of her education whatever that may be. We ex a very high standard from Mr. Modi's government. This situation would have provided a great opportunity to set an example and come clean on the claims made on Mrs Irani's affidavit. Did she lie on her affidavit is the central issue not her qualification.

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  44. First let her do her duties then we can judge her. I have full faith in Modiji, he don't select a person if he/she is not efficient.

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  45. Sir, thanks for such a brilliant post. I keep looking forward to reading your posts and wonder how you articulate so very well, so well-informed, well-researched, absolutely brilliant posts. Thanks again Ravinarji.

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  46. sir, pardon me for being slightly off the context, but i would like to share this. i'm no great fan of shahrukh khan but around 18 years back i saw his interview in which he was asked, what according to him was complete education. he said (in his opinion), complete education is an education where a person can read and enjoy each page of the newspaper

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  47. Why the shoooos .... SI has got an able mentor in Modi PM ... Congruption is very bad tormentor ..... we all know PM Modi as a great strategist ..... He has chosen S-Irani and will "dar-kinar" some shortcomings of her "sisya" (sat khoon muaf ... but here is no murder but media bites) ..... clean image virtue is played on theater by congress and sycophants....

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  48. Dear R.,
    I completely agree with you here. In fact I hold that education and knowledge can many a times be mutually independent. Our evil Chacha Nehru, was educated but had no knowledge of the basic facts of human needs and wants. Our PM Modi, may not be highly educated, but has incisive knowledge of what our countrymen want. So let's not judge Ms. Irani on these bogus issues. And I love your response to that foot-in- mouth, viral, Italian chamcha Maken!!

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  49. Its just not Jobs and Gates, Lou Gerstner of IBM did that too with no background in computer business. When he joined IBM as a surprise CEO, he was asked if he knew the difference between potato chips and the computer chips. Rest as they say is history, IBM came back from the brink of bankruptcy to a global icon.

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  50. Dear Ravinar,
    There is one point missing in this discussion. An important point Madhu Kishwar made in her argument was that, the HR ministry needed someone who can take on the well-entrenched Leftist academia. This happens to be real danger. MC has exposed the ugly face of crooks whose face is seen by people as these are in media. But their prime movers- sources of inspiration- are these leftist professors.
    Of course, it does not mean that possessing degrees gives anyone ability to understand the issues about education- the problem lies elsewhere. Too many people in our country have been successfully fooled by the so-called intellectuals (by definition, leftists). You need someone who knows the lingo and is able to shut them up. I do not know anyone in politics today that can shut up idiots like Amartya Sen, UR Ananthmurthy etc on their own platforms (except, may be Dr Swamy). One should remember that US President Reagan could only apply brakes towards US inching towards socialism but could not reverse it. That was precisely because of the entrenched commies in academics, media and entertainment world. Unless someone gives them what treatment you have given to media crooks, things will not change fundamentally.

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