Friday, April 21, 2006

Debate - Azim Premji Vs Reservations - A Cool Comment

With the Indian government in a mood to extend reservations for the SC, ST and OBC category – which is currently prevalent in public sector and educational institutions – to the private sector, the debate regarding the effectiveness of such a decision is building up.

Wipro’s Azeem Premji was one of the first from the private sector to speak out against any such initiative from the government. Economic Times is conducting an online debate on whether Premji was correct in standing against the government’s reservation policy in the private sector.

Almost all of the 82 comments posted on the debate (as on 21st April, 1420hrs) are with Premji on this issue. There was only 1 person who said that the government is correct in extending reservations to the private sector.

Here is what he had to say –

I completely support the PM and all the politicians for promoting Reservations. Let's start the reservation with our cricket team. We should have 10 percent reservation based on religion. 30 percent for OBC, SC/ST like that. Cricket rules should be modified accordingly. The boundary circle should be reduced for an SC/ST player. The four hit by an OBC player should be considered as a six and a six hit by a OBC player should be counted as 8 runs. An OBC player scoring 60 runs should be declared as a century.

We should influence ICC and make rules so that the pace bowlers like Shoaib aktar should not bowl fast balls to our OBC player. Bowlers should bowl maximum speed of 80 kilometer per hour to an OBC player. Any delivery above this speed should be made illegal.

Also we should have reservation in Olimpics. In the 100 meters race, an OBC player should be given a gold medal if he runs 80 meters.

There can be reservation in Government jobs also. Let's recruit SC/ST and OBC pilots for aircrafts which are carrying the ministers and politicians (that can really help the country.. )

Ensure that only SC/ST and OBC doctors do the operations for the ministers and other politicians. (Another way of saving the country..)

Let's be creative and think of ways and means to guide INDIA forward. Let's show the world that INDIA is a GREAT country. Let's be proud of being an INDIAN..

May the good breed of politicans like ARJUN SINGH long live.

I totally agree with him!!!

Author of this comment

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Long Lost Letter

I don’t have the habit of storing mails. Other than official mails, and mails which fall under the category “Open Carefully”, I do not store anything else in my inbox. There was one mail, which my friend had written while we were doing our summer project at Saatchi & Saatchi Direct, about our experiences.

I had been hunting for the mail for quiet sometime now, and finally I find the mail in one of my friend’s blog. Thanks Krish.

The letter was written sometime in May 2004, after we had returned from a market survey on MICO-Bosch. We were collecting data which would serve as inputs for the final advertisement. The trip was the first leg of our entire market survey, which covered Salem and Namakkal. These two places of Tamilnadu were selected due to the large population of truck owners and mechanics.

The three days were an adventure of sort for both of us, since my friend did not know Tamil at all, and I had lost touch with Tamil for over 4 years. Also since our interactions would be with people who knew little or no English or Hindi, communication would be a problem.

The rest of the adventure is as mentioned in the mail below.

Hi everyone,

Arun and myself visited Salem and Namakkal in TN to complete the first leg of our 2nd Project at Saatchi & Saatchi. Here are some of my experiences in my first trip to TAMILNADU.

Day 1
We left Bangalore on Monday at 6 am (don’t ask how I managed to reach railway station on that rainy morning).First day we did our survey in Salem. Just imagine,Its raining………………………………….You are in the transport area…………………….. (Did I forget to mention that mud, water and thestink……?????) Interviewing truck drivers, Mechanics, Owners…………….

On top of that nobody knows Hindi or English………. Kahaan Phas Gaya Re ????????????

Auto drivers turn out to be real bastards. They charge u 20 bucks for putting ur asses on their seats.

The first surprise came when we went to a retailer to interview him. HE KNEW HINDI…. More was in store……..b4 leaving the place….. BANG comes a question “ARE U Married?” ……………………………………… W T F??? I humbly say, “No sir but why did u ask?” He replied, “Rajasthan means “CHILD MARRIAGE”!!!!!!!!!!

Loved the south India food. (Truly….)

Day 2
We left for Namakkal. One hour journey from salem. It was still raining !!!!!!!!!!!

We go and meet a few mechanics and realize that all them have 5-10 trucks of their own.WOW!!! Then why the hell is he working as mechanic????

Then we meet Mr. Manohar, a manager of the Mico workshop at Namakkal. He tells us that he sells diesel filters worth 18 lakhs in a month, repairs pumps worth 10 lakhs in a month. Oh god!!!! Just imagine….. a diesel pump workshop has a turnover of 3.3 crores in a year. Why the heck are we doing an MBA???????

While coming back we take a “Express bus” which charges you extra for entertainment provided in bus which actually is OLD TAMIL VIDEO SONGS!!!!!. (Can u feel the pain?)

Arun was enjoying the music!!!!!!

I argue with the conductor that he should refund the entertainment charges, but was not successful.

But country side was beautiful, clouds were touching hilltops, felt like touching them.

Day 3
Salem again.

Early in the morning a room boy came to clean my room and guess what he doesn’t know “Hindi or English” and I don’t know Tamil. But somehow we mange to communicate using SIGN LANGUAGE. [Why don’t we include this in our MCOM (Managerial Communication) course? What say?]

In the day time we decided to pose as MICO summer trainees and go to the MICO dealers. We had to meet 4 of them. The first 3 went off well, and we were treated well in all the places. When we entered the last one, we saw that the managers cabin was full and we saw an executive bag lying outside. This time we were cautious, and introduced ourselves as summer trainees from Saatchi & Saatchi. Pat came thereply…”Manager is busy with people from MICO, so kindly come after 2 hours” !!!!!!!!! LUCKY……

Wound up our work by 1pm. Went and had a good Chettinad Lunch, and dashed to our rooms to catch some sleep.

The return journey was uneventful, except for the beautiful gal sitting opposite us. She was the first beautiful girl we had seen since we left Bangalore. We traveled quiet a few places in Salem for 3 days and could not find a beautiful girl in the town!!!!

Delhi trip starts on Saturday....... Guess it will b less eventful!!!!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

General Category??? God Bless you!!!

Our present government is panning to go ahead with the Mandal-II policy, which would reserve 49.5% of seats in educational institutions like IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) and IIMs (Indian Insitute of Management) for the scheduled casts, scheduled tribes and other backward classes; leaving just the remaining 50.5% seats for the vast number of people who come under the general category.

This policy, if implemented after the assembly elections next month, would spell doom to many dreams of youngsters. The competition for the general seats would be cut throat, where people with even 99 percentile scores in CAT would not be able to make it to the IIMs; but the backward cast can get into IIMs by scoring much less.

I know how it feels when someone who has scored lesser marks than you get better education. I had taken my Engineering Entrance Examination in Tamilnadu in 1998, in which I had performed very poorly – ranked 22,272 out of some 60,000 students who took the examination.

Tamilnadu boasts of the highest reservation in educational institutions – 69% - due to which once the overall rank list is published, a separate rank list for the backward cast students are published. One of my friend had scored in the 27,000’s when the overall rank list was published, but his rankings jumped into the 13,000’s when the rank list for the backward classes were announced.

Thus, he was able to secure admission in a government college where he was able to complete his studies at 1/10th of the amount that I had to spend, studying in a private college. The irony in the story is that his family was economically well off than mine.

In the same way, the present reservation policy will also prove ineffective to solve the real issue that should be solved. Many students, who are economically well off and academically below par, would be able to gain admission into the most prestigious institutions of the country. Whereas there would be thousands of students who would not be able to complete proper primary education in the country.

Reservations in Government jobs and educational institutes was suggested as a means to uplift the backward casts by different commissions in the 70’s. Dr. Ambedkar was one of the members of the commission, which vouched for the reservation of government jobs for the scheduled casts and scheduled tribes. When he penned the suggestion, he had said that the reservations should be for the next 10 years, but out politicians have used this to stay in power.

After years and years of misuse, common people of the country have failed to understand that reservation is no solution to providing better living conditions for the backward cast community, it’s just a gimmick being used very well by the politicians to stay in power.

As long as our politicians are self-centered and bother only about staying in power and making their pockets bigger and bigger, our country is not going to progress. With new policies like these, the cream of our country’s talents would be forced to search for better options outside the country, which would again impair our country’s progress.

The government is proposing to increase the number of seats in IITs and IIMs to counter the new policy, but I am not sure that this would help in anyway since the overall standard of the institute would be brought down. There have been numerous cases in the past where people from reserved categories have not been able to cope up to the pressures of IIMs and IITs; the main reason being lack of proper primary education. As long as our government neglects primary education, there is no solution to the problems of the reserved category.

Education should be provided to all, irrespective of religion, cast, creed, race and economic & social status. There should be only one parameter to judge students – MERIT.