Poem "Twenty First Century 2006"

1) Years before the birth

Of the century twenty first

Many dooms day predictions

Of stuck up machines,

Paralysed communications

In flight failures in aviation, 

Many such hi-tech worries

Creating business opportunities

Quietly is born the century

Life moving on smoothly


2) No abating of petty terrors,

Daily violence, lives in turbulence

Inheritance of the earlier century

With growing riches ’n technology

Majority of people still in penury

Hopes of future

Fears of the present


3) Growing wealth, individual debts

Huge money flows, trade deficits

Arms trade, non-proliferation vows

Daily violence, libertarian laws

Companies in search of profits

Outsourced unemployments

Faster movement of peoples’n goods

Growing unrest of immigrants

Rapid pace of science ‘n technology

Resurrection of old theology

More and more education

Also growing drug addiction

Endless list of contradictions

No let up in aspirations


4) Symbols of the extremist violence

Shaking the walls of Western liberals

Unable to grasp the links

With Punjab, Kashmir, Afghanisthan

Iran, Iraq, Pakistan

Kargil, Balkans, Palestine,

Chechanya ’n tiny Eastern Timor

Jews and the Nazi terror

Earlier times of colonial plunder

Annihilation of heathens ’n tribes

Single truths ’n ideologies

Loss of Buddha’s statue

Suppression of a Buddhist state

Violence and Ahimsa

Former winning the present

The latter the hope of future !


5) Nearer home in India

A near chaotic democracy

Mixed with hypocrisy

Leftist, rightist, or centric

Looks like isotropic

Centred around oneself

With hidden agendas

And populist promises

With violence of various forms

Worse than animal sacrifice

And the caste indignities

Modern populist forms

With libertarian garbs

Left shining in media glitters

Anarchists capturing sexy flutters

Intellectuals with selfish goals

Market pundits with sensex trends

Common people with day’s income

Being only their lives’ main theme

Survival at one extreme

Supremacy as another theme

Global forces and local tyrannies

Contradiction continues!


6) Human rights, voting elections,

Freedom of press, demonstrations

Exposed bosoms, dancing bars

Various forms of civil wars

What is freedom and liberty

Creating mothers out of children in puberty

Or women suppressed by traditions

Identity politics of blind beliefs

Or divisive forces of arithmetic?

Blind forces of masses or votes

Or crazy sounds of media bytes?

Some idealists still wielding guns

To annihilate the social goons


 7) Twenty first century

Goes so crazy

With media frenzy

And the markets in tizzy

People in penury

And politics of hypocrisy

The spiritual leaders

Some lost and some found

Scientists abandoning

The path of truth

And amassing wealth

‘N wearing crowns of power!


8) Mother Earth crying

With her children consuming

Wastes amassing

Still it is the human

To find solutions

For sustained harmony

Between non-living, living

And the unknown many

High seas ’n  outer space

Planets ’n asteroids

Physical spaces all pervasive

And virtual universe

For sensory delights

And knowledge games

The inner space ever expanding

Peace ’n happiness more eluding

Beautiful parks, fountains of blood

Human flesh for human vultures

Eagles with a longer vision

Flying away into oblivion

Traffic jams till eternity

Price being paid for longevity

Soothing flickers of light

Even under the terrible plight

Continuing hum of divine music

Even amidst the din chaotic


9) Will twenty first century

Evolve the human

In search of a new divine

With science in full union

And ten billion humans

Living in a grand unison

With local traditions

In convergence with universal

And cultural diversity

Alongwith scientific unity

Cherishing individual liberty

In harmony with the collective

Opposites in symbiotic

And multiples in syncretic

Unity in diversity

And diversity in unity?



Y S Rajan


11 pm


“This poem was written recently. May be seen along with my earlier poem “Waiting for the Twenty First Century” – 14/11/1989, already placed on this website”.

Educational Reforms - Some Crucial Recommendations



1.India has now more than 1billion in population and is still growing. It is young, about 54% below twenty five years. This youthful population is likely to be so even through 2050 when many developed countries including China are likely to have a large aged population and less of youthful workforce. Global analysts project it as an advantage for India.

2.Young population is good to have. But they become great core strength only when they are equipped with right knowledge and skills to meet the needs of economy and society. In addition they should have the capability for life long learning as the knowledge intensive societies (agriculture, manufacturing or services) require continual update of knowledge & skills.

3.Presently every age group of youth in India has about 20million. i.e 18 years old about 20million :15years old about 20 million : 5year olds about 20million. Of this only about less than 2% get some reasonable professional education required for industry, business and developmental tasks. About 10% some form of post +12 education, having little relevance for society, economy or for their own self employment. A large percentage do not cross primary stages of education, among them larger percentage are girls (70% or more).


4.Therefore a whole series of measures need to be taken with great urgency, sincerity and attention to the details of implementation, from pre-primary stages to PhD levels as well as for periodic upskilling of the entire work force already employed from bottom most levels to upper levels of organizational hierarchies.

5.While noting such a need this write-up cannot cover all these elements at one go. There are hundred of reports and recommendations, some being very good and most others being repetitive. Therefore this report gives specific action oriented recommendations on professional engineering / technical education in an integrated form and a few other recommendations which address a few other crucial issues of having large impact. Since the rationale of most recommendations are obvious due to past debates and reports, in the interest of brevity and focus the write up lists the recommendations.


1.Universal Primary Education up to 8th standard is a must for all Indians in order to achieve the goals of empowering a large number of Indians with relevant economic and social skills. This is the basic Foundation.

1.Central / State Governments may consider making the syllabus structure and other details flexible so that many local initiatives for creative learning can flourish. The obsession with a single uniform syllabus for the country or even at a State level must go. Let 10,000 flowers bloom !.

2.Increased use of ICT tools to supplement such a learning process may also be encouraged by all – Govt., philanthropists, companies doing Corporate Social Responsibility and others who can work part time for them..

3.Those who do such innovative methods may be freed to do by empowering the Head of Primary School to enter into such cooperative and creative partnerships.

4.Skill Development Initiatives such as the one launched by CII (and others, as relevant) may be dovetailed at the 7th and 8th standard stages themselves so that many children who cannot afford to learn more would have globally relevant skill for their livelihood.

2.Education for children can be encouraged remarkably when the adults are also literate.

1.Therefore the successfully demonstrated models of functional adult literacy (e.g TCS) may be encouraged by State/Central Govts and also by philanthropists, activists as local levels.

2.Corporate Industry may also adopt the local areas to spread such an adult literacy around he areas they function.

3.Coming now Degree level Engineering Education, presently

The country produces about 2,36,545 engineering degree holders from about 1300 engineering colleges each year. This number is increasing every year by about 5% (China produces about 3 times more than this number each year). Not all of them are of high quality. Even while recognizing the diversity of skills and knowledge bases required it is essential to improve the quality of the existing colleges. Most of the engineering colleges are privately funded in a self-financing mode with very little or nil Govt funds. Some the govt funded colleges are also being converted to self-financing mode in a number of States. Some immediate steps required to improve the relevance and quality to meet the industry / business needs are the following :

1.One full semester during the course of an engineering degree (about six months) are stipulated by most universities for industrial work experience. Many colleges are unable to fulfill this realistically and even by those who implement there are no systematic effort to work with Industry. If the colleges can work out their academic requirements and calender of the work semester in consultation with industries and also assure a continual supply of students over a period of 3 years or more many industries will be willing to integrate them as a part of their work force planning thus avoiding disruptions due to trainees and also giving much needed real industrial training. If this requires changes to rules by Universities concerned they may do so at the earliest in the interest of relevance and quality. The key is some crreative and innovative actions not bombastic announcements !

2.Effecting changes to syllabus and changing teaching methods in affiliated colleges are often very difficult and delay prone due to several problems of academic governance (Rules of Affiliating Universities, UGC, AICTE regulations / approval cycles, ruling by various courts etc). These require immediate attention for actual implementation. Free the colleges from plethora of centralised micro management guidelines.

3.Govt at present funds IIT’s substantially and REC’s named as National Institutes of Technology – NIT) declared as Deemed Universities receive reasonable funds. Another hundred out the 1300 better performing deemed universities/ or colleges may be selected by a groups of Academics & Industry experts. Let there be focus on these 100 colleges/ deemed universities to improve quality on the following lines. Let them not be government funded ones. Let privately funded colleges be also selected on merits. There are Govt. colleges which are funded reasonably but do not perform well. They should not be placed in this 100 colleges. Here only performance merit counts.

Quality or education in such good quality engineering colleges (non-IIT’s) need to be improved along 4 key dimensions –a) governance and administration, b) financial autonomy, c) faculty and curriculum development, d) increasing electronic connectivity.

Governance and administration : This should be restructured with best practices from IITs and also other innovative ideas which may not have been experimented. Quality of students could be improved by offering admission to those who take JEE and other equivalent tests.

Financial autonomy : Government grant should be increased by at least Rs.5cr/year to each institution. Such a grant to a private institution should not become a method of introducing Govt. controls. (They should byte as free as before). Colleges should be encouraged to generate their own resources (research/consultancy etc) and government should encourage such efforts by matching such earnings rupee for rupee. Low interest student loans of longer tenure could help charge higher fees from students. An initial corpus for 4 years provided b y the govt could fund the loans on a sustainable basis.

Faculty / curriculum development : Sabbatical leaves for the faculty, and other types of encouragement should be continually provided to enhance faculty knowledge and skills. Post Graduate courses should be offered only on the basis of faculty interests, competence and facilities along with industry needs, thus restricting the number of such courses, but greatly enhancing quality.

Increasing electronic connectivity : Substantial investments in building wide bandwidth need to be undertaken. This could enable several far-reaching measures such as distance education from IITs, shared library resources and real-time exchange for knowledge and also some reputed foreign Universities.

4.Long term solution to improve engineering education for relevance, excellence and quality would require two steps:

1.All round increase of science, maths and computer –English teaching in all the 10+2 schools in the country using ICT tools and creative participation by Industries and other Academics. A number of awards at regional and national levels may be instituted by Govt., Industries and Industry and Business Associations to focus on the importance on excellence in Science – Math – Computer – English for school stages themselves. This should also include concerted effort English proficiency as higher education is in English. Children from Rural / Small town background students should have special attention and regional award system may be tailored to encourage them as well in substantial numbers.

2.Reforms for Higher Professional Educations are a must. The colleges themselves must be empowered to teach variations of courses with full autonomy for exams as well. To avoid over centrailised system which have introduced delays and have not avoided unhealthy practices, it is recommended that such reforms for autonomy may also include the mandatory disclosure of crucial process in such colleges, performances data (such a placements etc) in the public domain, including Websites (compulsorily), so that all can access & evaluate. In addition similar to the profession of Chartered Accountants, each year Independent (non-Govt).

Chartered Educationists (Comprising only those who have academic teaching and administrative experience with special training to evaluate) may be allowed to certify performance and their reports may be placed on public domain. A national debate on Higher educational Reforms as was done for Economic Reforms may be done, in order to capture many ideas and implement with speed and due diligence.

4.Similar actions are required for MBA courses offered by about 900 colleges/departments B.Pharma courses, and other professional courses.

4.Indian Industry may introduce a Human Resources Regeneration Schemes for continually upgrading the skills of their existing work force including managers.

4.Based on the few successful experimentation and demonstrated models by CII, time is now ripe for a TQM / TPM movement in Educational sector (Primary to Higher Educational levels) as was initiated by CII for manufacturing Industries during 1980’s. This will go a long way to create a self- evaluation and self-improvement process within each institution. This is crucial for sustaining the Quality in a period when new knowledge / skills are rapidly generated and some of earlier knowledge / skill bases become obsolete.

8.We have to keep our optimism alive about the opportunities for rapid action, and to transform India as a Global Human Capital Centre for the World. Youth are wealth only when they are empowered with the knowledge and skills required for the modern world and all those in work are provided opportunities for Life Long Learning. Our aim should be to have 40% eligible Indians to have relevant higher education (i.e. about 4 years after 10 + 2) through Direct, Distant, or through Life Long Learning process. All others should have excellent marketable skills. They also should have opportunities for higher education through flexible processes briefly outlined above. Let us not make Education a rigid process for a few lucky ones. Also let us learn to integrate “Humanities” at all levels of education as they provide the much needed human dimensions to professional knowledge.

Also see other Vu graph titled “India’s Demographic Dilemma”, “Education User Domain” which may appear in this website. If at the time you read you don’t see it, please ask for it.



Significance of the Indian Ocean




Significance of the Indian Ocean

-   Y S Rajan & G K Moinudeen*


Indian ocean and its rim region has been the area of significant importance over centuries. The region covered by Eurasian, Indian and Australasian land mass provides a rich natural diversity in terms of culture, climate, trade, natural resources, habitat and human resources. Indian ocean has been the home ground for trade between Asian-African littoral states and also with nations like Greek and Romans for a long time.

Indian ocean region contains about one-third of the world’s population, 25% of its landmass, 40% of the world’s oil and gas reserves. Indian ocean region hosts some of the important International Sea Lines Of Communication (SLOC). The choke points such as Straits of Hormuz, Straits of Malacca, Lambok and Sunda Straits are of significant importance in terms of trade and security.

Indian ocean’s influence on trade has come a long way. The ocean provided a high way for cultural infusions across continents. From 16th century onwards, European nations used the ocean as a highway for maritime trade. This resulted in establishment of new colonies, injection of new cultural groups and creation of new linguistic and cultural patterns. The growth of science and technology drove European nations to a new era of industrial and societal change. The dynamics of interconnectedness between nations also took rapid strides as the developments pulled other nations along in the era of industrialization.

The world saw collapse of feudal systems and establishment of democracies. The interactions between the nations on trade on the whole further changed creating complex trading systems, commercial linkages through advanced scientific and technological development in transport and communication. During the late 18th and early 19th century, the quest for establishing colonies of the Great Britain saw the usage of Indian Ocean as one of the main sources of military transport. During this period, European goods were sailed across all over the world. By the start of 20th century, the Indian Ocean region started making its mark due to the change in geo-political and geo-economic changes effected by discovery of minerals, oil and natural gas.

To be presented at National Seminar on “India, The Indian Ocean and Global Challenges”, 23rd September 2006, New Delhi.

All the views are personal.

* Y S Rajan, Principal Adviser, CII & G K Moinudeen, Executive Officer, CII

At present, the India Ocean region is not just a waterway to be defended for intrusion. This region hosts heavy international maritime traffic that includes half of the world’s containerized cargo, one third of its bulk cargo and two third of its oil shipment. Its waters carry heavy traffic of petroleum and petroleum products from the oilfields of Persian Gulf and Indonesia and contain an estimated 40% of world’s offshore production. In addition to the bordering countries, fishing fleets from Japan, Russia, South Korea and Taiwan make a rich harvest of the region. The region with beach sands rich in heavy minerals and offshore placer deposits are actively exploited by bordering countries, particularly India, South Africa, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

Having explained about the importance of the region, we need to ponder about making use of this region effectively. In the present world, nations are attributed supremacy with respect to their trade and global industrial presence. The war between the nations is fought by information, knowledge and industrial capability. Even though the world nations are developing on military might’s, the flexing of muscles is done with advancement in science and technology and hence the improvement of the society. Industry and trade, which plays a major role in propelling the economy, are considered vital in par with national security. Any disturbance on economy or security severely affects other.  Hence the aspects of security and trade are interwoven together for economic prosperity of the nations considering the Indian Ocean and usage of advanced technologies can balance these issues to a great deal of perfection.


Security challenges in the IOR

First and foremost challenge is the diversified naval strengths of nations associated with Indian Ocean. There are about 30-35 countries claiming membership for the region. Out of the countries, India, Australia and South Africa have a blue water capability and a growing economy. For some of the other nations, maintaining such a naval force is virtually impossible. The recent advancements in nuclear technology by Indian and Pakistan have also changed the dynamics of the region.

Piracy is considered as one of the important security threats for Ocean. According to Report on Piracy of International Maritime Organization (IMO) there were 15 incidents of piracy and armed robbery reported between April and June 2006. The other problematic regions include Malacca Straits and South China Sea.

Terrorism and arms smuggling also poses a serious threat. One of the main sources for smuggling terrorists is identified as containers with all communication and living facilities. USA has initiated the Container Security Initiative (CSI) as one of the measures to fight against maritime terrorism. Special teams are placed in the ports to pre screen the containers destined to reach USA. Recently Pakistan joined the initiative. Similarly smuggling of arms has been a long-term threat in the Indian Ocean region. Especially for the militant groups in North-Eastern States of India or the groups on Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean has been the main source of arms supply. It is noted in international forums that several terrorist groups are running their own fleets registered in smaller countries as trading ships.

Oil Spill and other environmental disasters affect the maritime region immensely. The 2002 oil spill disaster of Prestige Vessel in the Spanish Coast created an environmental havoc in the region. The ship spilled about 5000 tons of fuel oil and the Spanish coastline is still fighting its after effects. Indian Ocean region being a home ground for fishermen would be seriously affected if one such disaster strikes.


Challenges for Trade in IOR

Indian Ocean Region plays an important role in the global maritime trade. According to UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), the global maritime stood at 30800 ton-miles performed per dead weight in the year 2004.  A significant percentage of the trade passes through Indian Ocean Region. As mentioned earlier around 40% of world’s oil and gas reserves are located in the Indian Ocean region. Hence the region would promote growth of consumer-based markets and also secure the energy needs of the world.

Considering the fact that bulk of the ship transport happens in the region, the ship building capability is to be given a look. The demand of new ships due to growth in maritime trade has resulted in increase of shipbuilding orders. The cost competitiveness of Asian Ship building industry has shifted most of the orders to ship building giants China, Japan and South Korea. India is also working on promoting new shipyards and upgrading existing ones.

The Indian Ocean rim with its large number of land locked nations as the members also presents a challenge for trade. Some of the nations are booming economies while others are very small to compete in the world market. The economies that are open to international trade have progressed. The other reasons are non-uniform tariff systems and exchange controls.

Another most important issue in the region is the diversity in processing of cargos and port capacities. This also includes the procedural difficulties to clear the cargo in time. Some of the ports are automated to handle large amount of traffic and identification of cargo containers with much ease. China scores very high in clearing the cargo within a week. Apart from improvement in technology, privatization of ports and attracting investments can help to improve the situation.


Technology for development of Indian Ocean Region

All the above-mentioned issues on security and trade involve policy and political aspects. However technology plays a vital role in finding solutions or preventing problems from occurrence (for example, advance surveillance can prevent terrorist or piracy attacks) and for implementing the policy related decisions. Most of the time technology can solve problems ahead of problems needing a policy fix. What is discussed here are a select few technologies that can have an impact in the growth of Indian Ocean Region if properly adapted and implemented.


Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV)

AUVs sometimes called as Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) had a significant progress in the last few years. The scientists and researchers came out with breakthrough designs and applications that helped maritime missions. For example AUVs assisted in New Orleans Katrina Hurricane disaster.

MIT researchers are working on developing a group of robots working together for undersea exploration, search and rescue operations. This would help also to pre-sweep for undersea mines in disputed areas. The scientists are fitting the kayaks with onboard computers, communication systems, propulsion and steering to create Surface Crafts for Oceanographic and Underwater Testing (SCOUT). Software and the hardware capability would help in development of AUVs further. Similarly MIT Marine Lab researchers have developed a robotic fish using polymer muscles and skeletal actuators, which propels the AUV by the action similar to fish waging its tail.

Further advancement in this technology would be development of self-recharging AUVs through solar power and ocean current. The AUVs would be deployed more and more for mine-sweeping and reconnaissance missions in terrorist suspect areas. IT would also play a role in monitoring of hyperactive volcano vents thus announcing tsunami in advance.


Physical Oceanographic Real-time System (PORTS)

PORTS is a program of the National Ocean Service of USA that supports safe and cost-efficient navigation by providing ship masters with accurate real-time information required to avoid groundings and collisions. PORTS includes centralized data acquisition and dissemination systems that provide real-time water levels, currents, and other oceanographic and meteorological data from bays and harbors to the maritime user community in a variety of user friendly formats (including Telephonic voice response and internet). PORTS® systems come in a variety of sizes and configurations; each specifically designed to meet local user requirements.

There are 13 ports in USA, which are connected through this system. Such a system can integrate the ports of Indian Ocean Region thus providing efficient communication and transport.


Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA develops the ENCs, which contains suitable data for aiding the marine navigation. These charts follow International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) S-57 standard. ENCs are intended for use in Electronic Charting System (ECS) and Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS).  Marine navigation, route planning, and GIS applications are just some the uses for the data as a background display. NOAA ENC® is also used in several Vessel Traffic Systems (VTS) to monitor ship movements in rivers, harbor, and bays in the U.S.

Last year, US Navy Submarines incorporated Electronic Navigational Charts into their Voyage Navigation Systems. The scientists are working on using Electronic Navigational Chart data structure and the standard for usage in classified data files. This way the cost of using papers can be reduced and the security of the data is enhanced. If the navigational charts of Indian Ocean region also follow an international standard (like S-57) for Electronic Charts it would be more viable for trade and improve the communication measures with international agencies for security.


 Technologies of impact

There are a whole gamut of technologies which may be of the avant garde types as above but their large scale applications can bring about large scale economic and social benefits to the Indian Ocean Rim Countries. For example, desalination plants around the coasts can be an excellent source of good water for many countries. If they are deployed on a large scale with some form of coordination, economies of scale would come into play. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technologies may be extended to individual or group of containers and other cargo to enable monitoring upto the delivery point by individual trading groups or transport agencies. Ocean tourism say all through Indian Ocean may turn out to be good business, as modern ICT technologies keep them close to their homes and businesses without feeling lonely for a long time. There is a need to concentrate on applications oriented research on material fatigue to avoid oil spills in future. Ocean based space launches are already successful. The vast expanse of Indian Ocean allows it to be a useful platform for Geosynchronous and Polar launches.



Indian ocean plays a major role in maritime trade and security of the regions. The region encompasses economies like India and China, which has growing defense strength and a booming consumer markets. Large amount of energy needs traverse through this region. But countries utilizing the region have not cooperated in a definitive way over years due to their diversity and different strategic perceptions including hostility. Challenges in trade have impeded the growth of maritime market growth.  The security concern with respect to military powers of the nations, piracy, and environmental disasters have also has its role to play in the development of the region. Infusion of new technologies into the developmental programmes (some of which have been indicated above) can bring about a change in the region. Indian ocean region is altogether set to transform the security and trade of the region in the coming years and also bring in prosperity to the people of many nations including those in the Indian Ocean Rim.


"Basic Research & Higher Education System." [power-point presentation ]



Principal Adviser, CII

(views personal)


To be Delivered at the 

CII National Summit on Quality in Education

16-17 November 2006, Bangalore







Applied Research41.7%

Experimental Dev.34.0%

Basic Research17.8%

Other Activities6.5%


Courtesy : R&D Statistics, DST, September 2006


National R&D Expenditure


1998 - 99 Rs.12473.17 Crores

2002 - 03 Rs.18000.16 Crores

2004 - 05 Rs.21639.58 Crores (estimate)

(DST : Sept.2006)

2006 - 07 Budget estimates for major 

Central Govt. agencies DRDO

Rs 29,600 crores (derived by YSR)

(S&T) Researchers per million people for selected countries (1996-2002)  DST September 2006

Total Researchers

Argentina  715  26455

Australia3446  68920

Brazil  324  55728


China  633805176


  Total Researchers

Finland7431  37155


India  110115936*


Korea2979140013 Singapore4352  17408


USA4526       1289910

*includes 22,100 researchers employed in Higher Education

 Doctorate Degrees Awarded Faculty-wise

2002-03 (DST September 2006)

Science & Technology(A)

Faculty 2002-2003


Engg./Technology 779

Medicine  243


Veterinary Science  153

                                 Total A 6714


Other Disciplines(B)

Faculty 2002-2003


Commerce  857

Education  554

Law  138

Others  436

Total  B 7019

Total  A+B  = 13733





Stock of S&T personnel at the beginning of year

Category        1991    2001   2006

Engg. Degree Holders    519.6 1024.4

Engg. Diploma Holders   859.3 1531.7

Medical Graduates 310.3   415.9

Agri. Graduates         168.4   238.6




Stock of S&T personnel at the beginning of year


Veterinary Graduates          34.4   46.7

Science Graduates 2430.3   4024.9

Science Post Graduates  482.0  805.0

TOTAL         4804.3 9785                      (projected by YSR) 

Average Rate of Growth about 4%




      What do we learn ?

Bulk of /S&T funds in India only by Govt.     (very little for Humanities/Social Sciences)

Of the Govt. funds in S&T mostly it goes to major laboratories

   Industries about 25% of national expenditure is in-house - units.

So what about Higher Educational Sector ?


Researchers in Higher Educational Sector is very low - that too crowded in IIT’s, IISc & a few other select Central Universities.

Naturally low Ph.D. out turn

   Also many questions as to what they are.

Solutions :


Industry Role

Academia Role




What is it ?

Academic Perception

Industry perception









Languages       Basic for cognitional foundation

Knowledge about people, culture - Winning Minds therefore markets

Traditional Knowledge bases - New Gold Mines

Continuing Education - Making it interesting

Many more for those who seek




1. In the anxiety to get the economic reforms going on, well meaning economists, intellectuals and business persons still continue to pamper political and bureaucratic class. In India the continuity of feudal – colonial outfit in the mindsets of people is very strong. The socialist fervour of post independence India brought the government control to areas, which were never controlled by government from Maurya, to Gupta to Mughal to British periods, for example to trade (except for tax collection) to industry, to academia, to religious bodies etc.

2. The earlier tussle between Union HRD Ministry and IIT-ITM’s is only a tip of the iceberg – or rather a fashion – show – comic – strip! The recent actions by HRD Ministry vis-à -vis Central Universities and (IIT’s often without prior consultations are indicative of the future directions. In reality over years, the State Governments have taken full control of most of the School and Higher Education within the State. Though private sector flourishes even the better ones are surviving only because they are mastering the techniques of servility to politician bureaucrat controls on them. In the name of public interest, everything from admissions to exams to teacher selection are controlled. No wonder innovations are not coming up. Most of the ‘Acts’ creating these ‘autonomous’ institutions have been quietly peppered with the words ‘Govt (Central or State). Therefore the courts further empower these inefficient (often corrupt) Govt. machineries further by their rulings.

3. Central government was better in this connection (relatively). But during the recent years, Central Universities etc have been heavily controlled by HRD – something which not well known as media does not consider them important. But bulk of human resources come from them! In the early years having President of India, PM as Visitor, Chancellor etc was considered good. But this allows the bureaucracy to get in. Has Shantiniketan been saved? It has PM as Chancellor (Acharya) always & President as Visitor.

4.Under the name of accountability to the Parliament or State Legislatures, all Institutions (PSU, Academic, S&T Lab, Tasks etc) have been controlled. Even many in the Private Sector (totally private without any Government fund or project) can be covered by one Act or another. If one seriously look into the details. See what happed ONGC disinvestments! Most laws were made under British time or post independent India. British wanted control on the natives. In the post-independent India, the governance started with the total mistrust of private efforts and therefore most operative laws have provisions for government to march in and control in public interest. Information can be collected in public interest by persons in Govt bodies or departments or in Ministries (to arm twist privately). This is the way in which Govt. control, Government’s right to inspect etc get “monetised” as corruption. It is happening now, people talk about it in hushed tones. Look at the Registration of Societies Act or on Trust or even Companies Act! There are many Damocles swords on private individuals. The current practices need not be a precedent for an “innovative” Minister or a bureaucratic. He/She can use a copy book interpretation of law. Courts will not be able to save when the Devil quotes Scriptures! It is against this background IIT’s IIM’s have to be seen. Even financial autonomy will not help them as the Acts and Memorandum of Association’s would all contain difficult phrases empowering the Government on various details from budget to personnel selection, to many operational details.

5. You may wonder why I am raising these issues. Politics in India is getting very difficult and requires lots of money power. In the earlier days “milch cows” were PSU’s and Government contracts. But they (PUS’s) are coming down in volumes and are often drying up. It is the private money that is now getting into business. Education, Religious Trusts, Schools, Colleges, Social Service Organisations, Foundation etc. Therefore the control seeking politics and bureaucracy – Black Money systems, will seek new pastures into the wealthy private sector premises – be it an IT Company, BT venture, Business School or Primary School or Temple or Old type Manufacturing Company. There are many emotional issues which can be used against them, for example. Social justice issues, environmental concerns, foreign agency connection,, health issues, affordability of prices (‘you name it’). Unfortunately for India, most of the existing Laws, (Acts, etc) can be cleverly interpreted to empower Government to ‘poke into’ the affairs of a private effort even though they are financially autonomous. THIS IS THE REAL SORRY STATE OF AUTONOMY IN INDIA FOR MODERRN INSTITUTIONS like companies, services, non-profit institution, School, Colleges etc. Only business that may thrive would perhaps be legal profession, as every body will be going to the Courts to seek remedy. But for reasons, I have briefly described above, it is unlikely that the courts can help! Also consider the delays! Also even Court orders can be “nullified” by a new legislation, when the “political” interests coincide (often these will coincide in matters of making money through power!).

6. Therefore, I believe that one crucial element to be ensures in our public life and transactions is TRUE AUTONOMY OF INSTITUTIONS. The plethora of laws/procedures for public accountability through Government should be replaced by something different (Not another Regulatory Commission as it will also suffer from Government hand over). Also public opinion should be created through various subtle (and not – so – subtle) means, making people understand that trust on private institutions is vital for the future of the nation in fact for the weak and the poor (and not a Government’s coordination). Creation of such a climate is vital for economic reforms to come about and sustain. In this context, it is not enough to compare English words of British or US Laws. We have to see how they work in Indian social context and ruthlessly cut out phrases which may allow a corrupt or a fanatic Government machinery to stifle institutional autonomy.

7. All concerned citizens have to think about a new paradigm of autonomy. There can be accountability without monopoly agencies sitting in judgement. It can be like the Chartered Accountants system and use the mandatory placing of the information on websites.

8. In fact the country has to graduate from its National Independence to Institutional Independence so that truly private entrepreneurship can blossom in the country (creating wealth and social security).

First written on 18th April 2004 with limited circulation. Then touched up on 18th April 2006,sent to a few persons. This is a general version for public attention – dated 18 January 2007