Convenient arguments; Education disconnect; Friend forever

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Opinion Watch 

Convenient arguments

The debate over the Collegium System is now turning entertaining. Union Minister for Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju is gung-ho to kill Collegium System with side support by Jagdeep Dhankar and others. Now, arguments for banning the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi are also aplenty, with history coming for the rescue of the gung-ho tribe.

The Pioneer in an Editorial has sought to question the inherent contradiction of Rijiju and his costars, turning spotlight on their argument that the BBC broadcast had sought to unleash a slanderous campaign against Modi while he was exonerated of all charges by the Supreme Court. “…he (Rijiju) is leaning on an institution that he and his colleagues in the government have been badgering for months,” opined the Noida-based daily. It further stated that the BJP patriarch has upheld the idea of the basic structure of the Constitution, which has also been stated as inviolable by Congress.

The debate over the BBC documentary and the Collegium System is turning out to be enlightening, for arguments are more emotional than feeding on reasons. This also should caution the people, for the people high on emotion and lacking reasons, while sitting in Parliament, could unleash some serious consequences for the country.

Education disconnect

Education is a state subject and a large number of schools are in shabby conditions, begging the political elites to rescue them. Contractual teaching and sub-letting of the teaching jobs in states are stated to be reasons for sharp deterioration in quality of education in the government-owned schools.

The Telegraph in an Editorial on ‘Annual Report of Education Status 2022’ has seemingly endorsed the views coming from the ground, as the daily stated that while enrolment in the schools has gone up, the learning outcomes have gone at least five years backward. The daily said that the enrolment figure is at the highest level of 98.4 per cent. But the basic reading ability of children has regressed by a decade, and the math skills are now at the 2018 levels. The daily lamented that southern states have recorded sharp decline, with Kerala now being in the company of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana even while West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka made some gains.

This is not surprising, for the state policy to abandon education in the hands of the private entities has promoted an attitude of nonchalance to the quality of education imparted in government-owned schools, which are not provided with adequate teaching strength.

Friend forever

India has always been a friend of Sri Lanka. India may even be accused of being in one-sided love affair with Sri Lanka. When Sri Lankan economy collapsed, India with a $4 billion aid stabilized the island nation. But within a few weeks, Sri Lanka extended rousing welcome to Yuan Wang 5, a Chinese spy ship at the Hambantota Port.

The Economic Times in an Editorial reminded that India has been a friend next door for the neighbouring countries. India is letting Nepal sell electricity to Bangladesh by allowing its transmission network for the purpose. India gave the go ahead to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to bail out the Sri Lankan finances even while Colombo’s first love China looked the other way and sought to bribe the officials to save its image, which was being battered in the eyes of the people after its debt-trap strategy emerged as the principal villain.

India indeed is a friend to all nations. But the world of today calls upon New Delhi to keep a watch, and not let the countries helped by it become host of enemies.

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