Atanu Dey On India's Development

Enough already of not being filthy rich for me

Dateline May 4th, 2005, Kolkata: The Slimes Times of India reported that IIT entrance test set for overhaul:

The IIT-Joint Entrance Exam may soon be easier to crack. The Union HRD [Human Resource Development] ministry feels the examination is too tough, causes immense stress to candidates, and needs to be toned down immediately.

The ministry has formed a committee … to modify the IIT-JEE pattern.

Clever, isn’t it? In related news, another ministry has expressed concern about the fact that hunger is a problem to some few hundred million people and something needs to be done immediately about it. So a committee is being formed which will revise the daily caloric requirement from the current approximately 2000 Kcals per day to about 1000 Kcals. This would reduce the number of hungry people by about 80 percent.

News of these developments did not go unnoticed among those in charge of Mumbai’s local trains. The local trains are severely overcrowded, with compartments designed to accommodate 50 commuters routinely carrying 300 during rush hours (which is pretty much most of the day.) So they are forming a committee of bureaucrats which will examine the proposal to re-label the compartments to say “To accommodate 100 passengers” instead of the current label which says “To accommodate 50 passengers”. This, it is felt, will reduce the overcrowding in Mumbai locals by increasing the carrying capacity of the locals.

The President Mr APJ Kalam, it should be recalled, had some time ago expressed his dissatisfaction with India being called a developing nation and had recommended that India should consider itself a developed economy.

I personally take heart from all this. I am not fabulously rich, but it is about time that I was. So I have formed a committee of my closest friends who are considering the proposal to declare me filthy rich. I hope they get their act together soon and make the declaration already because I want to be filthy rich now.

  • http://jyote.blogspot.com Jyoti Iyer

    That’s very original – changing the definition of a problem to automatically create solutions! Our bureaucrats have indeed been lazy for 50 years to not have come up with something as creative as this one.

    Cheers

  • Ad

    Good stuff to read and laugh. But that’s very cool about our country, solve the problem by changing the definition of the problem :) ) problem solved.

  • Uday

    Bill Gates was a keynote speaker at the first Pan IIT Conference held in San Jose in ’03. This is what he had to say about the IIT admission process:

    Bill Gates: “Well, there’s one thing that IITs have done that I would
    never tamper with and that is the merit-based approach that’s used.
    (Applause.) If you get the inputs right it helps a lot with the
    outputs. (Laughter.)”
    [See http://akash-ganga-rwh.com/IIT50/BillGatesSpeech.html

    Of course, our HRD ministry knows better.

  • Sukumar Chatterjee

    Good article indeed. One can remember that after the 2004 Tsunami, India refused to accept foreign aid as India wants to project herself as a developed nation. Unfortunately many of the affected poor people are still waiting for their homes to be rebuilt.

  • http://ravikumar.blogdrive.com Ravi

    Re: the humour in your article…..’ That’s rich ‘ is a phrase that seems most apt! :)

  • Ritu

    I believe you have written the right thing in horribly sarcastic mood but your message is clear and in accord with everybody (except HRD I suppose). There is no controversy over your discontent with the HRD decision but I wonder why you dragged the President’s message in between. I really agree with his point that one big solution for the “chalta hai” attitude of our people is they don’t think big about themselves as well as about their country (omit “themselves”). We, the same people never dare to say “chalta hai” in developed countries…may be its temporary syndrome but we need to incorporate this disorder in day to day life!

  • http://aatman.blogspot.com Anant Arora

    Outrightly humorous and perspicacious. ‘I hope your freinds give you an affirmative response..haha’.

  • http://www.MykesWeblog.com Myke

    You are mistaken, friends do not have the power to declare you filthy rich. But if you petition government and speak the right words (and perhaps share your riches with amenable officials), you might get your wish.

  • http://inagardencalledlife.blogspot.com Eroteme

    :-)
    Nice. Its like the Chicken Soup mentality: Find people who are worse off than you are, and you will realise you are better!

  • http://www.alternet.org/authors/6535/ yum yum

    IIT exams have become easier to crack through cramming. There are cram centres in some cities in North India that get students prepared for these exams. There has also been a paper leak scandal. Anecdotes from those who have taught at IITs have told me about students who are not of that good calibre. A revamp of the exams is certainly necessary.

    yum yum

  • abhishek

    maybe the revamp is for the best but declaring it in the middle of the year is the worst anybody could do. where’s the time to prepare for it?

  • Bigyan

    I was trying to organize my bookmarks and got the link to your blog.

    The articles are varied ….. I have read (only) 6 of them and liked this piece the most. Indeed I have also seen news like this (IIT and JEE being made easier) and as a student thought that these were good news !! Now after reading your article I feel different. It is not often that I come across articles that truely changes my ideas and beliefs.

    Thanks for such a nice article.

  • anshuman singh

    IIT IIM and AIIMS… only these seem to trigger our grey cells… i suggest we get out of our shells… let us look into our personal lives and how much of rationalization we do to the problems we face.. how much we shift blames and hold others responible… may be that would put us on a simpler pedestal than reading you guys’ blasting english… bullshit!!!