IT and Rural India
Author … Ram Arya, Class 6, Vidya Shilp, Bengaluru
Author .. Vineet Karlapalem, Class 7, Vidyashilp Academy, Bengaluru
Mental Healthcare in Pakistan
Post-Uri national mood
Model point and counter-point …..
“Making uniforms for school students compulsory is a good idea.”
Those who support the motion …
Suggested speech .. Schools are places of learning and acquiring wisdom. The place must have a harmonious, disciplined environment where every pupil is treated equally irrespective of their gender and socio-economic background. The first prerequisite to foster such an environment is to make every student, and if possible, every teacher look the same in their attire. A school must not look like Mela or a picnic party where people come in their fancy dresses to relax, and unwind. Schools must not be the arena where students show off their wardrobe, and flaunt their buying power. If this happens, the students from not so well-to-do families will always lose the race giving rise to a lot of heart-burn, jealousy and acrimony. Such mismatch in the sartorial mix of a class will adversely impact the cohesion, fellow-feeling and unity in the school. Instead of character-building and promotion of moral values, schools will turn out arrogant, selfish and self-centered individuals.
Just imagine a class where a student comes with jeans costing a few thousand rupees a pair, and his mate coming with a khaki half pant and a tattered shirt. Obviously, the classroom can not be free from a certain group of students looking down upon their poorer class mates with contempt. The teacher, may inadvertently, give more attention to the well-dressed pupils at the cost of the ordinary-looking ones. This will be a highly undesirable situation. The purpose of the school will be defeated.
Wearing uniform gives a student a sense of identity, self-esteem and pride in one’s school. For an outsider, and also the parents, seeing a boy or a girl neatly dressed in uniform is a source of satisfaction.
Therefore, I am convinced that wearing uniform to school must be mandatory.
Those who oppose the motion ….
Suggested speech .. How many of us know that 80% of India’s primary and high schools are located in rural areas. Nearly half of these schools do not have even a proper roof: forget, toilets, teachers, library or a play ground. The students who study in these poorly equipped schools are mostly from farmers’ and village artisans’ families. For these economically deprived students, getting even a square meal a day is difficult. They struggle to pay school fees, and can not buy their text books. Under such circumstances, expecting the child to spend even a couple of hundred rupees on uniform is nothing but an atrocious suggestion. We should let them come to school in any dress their parents can afford. The teachers should only insist on clean dresses. That will suffice.
Coming to the urban schools, some of which are elite schools, the uniform, no doubt, makes the students look smart. It enhances the corporate image of the schools that function more as commercial, profit-oriented institutions and much less as knowledge and values imparting centers. The uniform supplying contractor charges very high for the dress and gives a hefty cut of the sales proceeds to the school management. These deals are made behind doors, and do not come to the open. Every year, even if the old uniform is as good as new, the school asks for fresh uniforms to be bought from the same supplier. The parents see through such practices, but seldom complain. They fear backlash from the school managements.
In conclusion, it can be said that making a student wear thick and heavy trousers and coats in our hot climate is a punishment. It stifles their movement and restricts their freedom of choice. It perpetuates the British colonial legacy and adds very little value to the coaching offered by the schools. So, insisting on uniforms is an archaic practice and must be dispensed with.
[Answers will be posted soon.]
2015 Paris climate Conference
Why the problem appears so daunting? .. Corrective actions to arrest and subsequently reduce global warming are needed urgently, but are proving to be very difficult to adopt and implement because of the following reasons.
How exactly the earth’s temperature may rise? … It is useful to take a stock of how the average temperature of earth has risen in the last decades and the projections for the future.
During the 50 years period between 1850 to 1900 AD earth’s average temperature was 13.7 degree Celsius. Since then, it has been rising continuously thanks to the increasing accumulation of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere. By the end of 2015, the increase may just exceed one degree Celsius. By 2100 AD, even if all 193 nations earnestly agree to cut emissions as stipulated in the COP 21 agreement, the earth’s average temperature rise will touch 2.7 degree Celsius. By 2060, the rise in average temperature might reach 4.5 degree Celsius. This would spell doom for all forms of life on earth.
What the global community wants India to do? … Although India’s per capita consumption of coal is almost one fifth of America’s, and one third of that of the OECD countries, India (along with China) has come under severe pressure from the global community to limit its thermal power generation. The reason is obvious. India’s thermal power generation has gone up sharply and would soar to dangerous levels as it accelerates its pace of economic growth in the coming years. How can India do it? There is no easy answer.
What is INDC? …. It means Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. To bring the intransigent nations like India, China and so many others on board, it was decided to ask the individual nations to voluntarily give an action plan that would list their calibrated road map for limiting emissions in the coming thirty years. Most nations, including India, have submitted their INDCs so far. Some have mentioned caveats such as availability of international monetary assistance to effect switch to green sources of energy.
What does the Indian INDC promise? … India’s own Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) promise to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030, over 2005 levels. This implies that India’s utilization of energy derived from fossil fuel to propel its GDP growth must reduce dramatically in the coming years. As calculated as a percentage of its GDP, the decrease must be at least 33 to 35% by the year 2030.
By any account, this is an uphill task for India whose success in tapping green sources of energy is far from credible. India needs to mobilize huge amount of funds to reorient its energy generation and utilization to reach this target.
What can India do now? ….
Eastern and Western Ideals of Happiness by Bertrand Russell