Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Antaragni Leadership Initiative [The Questionnaire]

"The Antaragni Leadership Initiative is a campaign aimed at igniting the social consciousness of the college youth ... blah blah blah .."
I'll cut short this description. You can read it here.

Well this year Antaragni folks came up with this really nice concept, especially for the IITK folks as every second person in our campus thinks he is a great leader heading a three tier student organisation  .

The first round comprised an online questionnaire submission.
I just got over with it. Some of the questions were really intriguing and thought provoking.
So I am sharing my form below.

1. Current Affairs 
Politicians should not play with educational institutes and their functioning. How far do you agree with this and why? (Max. 100 words)

About a thousand years ago India ushered in the field of education. Students from all across the globe came to study in the Nalanda University which made it the greatest center of higher learning of its time. Nalanda had its own autonomous body who made all decisions in order to take the institute ahead and the king showered it with the signs of his respect. It was at the pinnacle for six centuries. In modern scenario politicians think they are the kings, but they have forgotten that what our educational institutes need today is patronage, not intrusion in their functioning.

2. Creativity
You have the power to eliminate one problem being faced by modern India. What will it be? Briefly mention the steps you would take in this direction. (Max. 100 words)

Education System in India is still a major issue and it will not progress into a dynamic field unless the problems inherent in it are identified and solved.
To eradicate this problem, I would take the following steps:
Create a transparent, but rigorous regulatory system that will focus on the academic standards and the learning, not just on structural aspects.
Encourage private participation in education by creating incentives for them to focus on the social and developmental needs of the country.
I think the simplicity, elegance, and effectiveness of this solution is something which can make an impact.

3. Critical Thinking 
65 years ago, We had resolved to establish a sovereign, secular, democratic republic with justice, liberty, equality and fraternity for all. Have we as a nation been able to live up to those ideals? (Max. 150 words)

Today, UN ranks us 134 and 147 in terms of Human Development Index and Education. The Gender Inequality index tell us that inequality is predominant. Even the party which claims itself to be secular is backed by religious sects. Justice exists, but by the time it arrives, it is already too late.
"What we had resolved, we haven't been able to live up to those ideals !" 
I disagree. 
Its not about talking about India in terms of statistics, its not a propaganda. The whole point is that India is the nationalism of an idea. Its an idea of an ever-ever land, emerging from an ancient civilization, united by a shared history, sustained above all by pluralist democracy. That is a 21st century story. If there is anything worth celebrating about India it is this fact that India is a rare example of successful management of diversity in the developing world.

4. Self-appraisal 
If someone wrote a book about you, what would the title be and why? (Max. 40 words)  

I yearn to do something innovative and out of the box. And I'll definitely succeed in my quest someday. My story should be named 'Aiming Beyond Infinity' because that is the motto of my life. I live by it everyday.

5. Additional Question 
Answer any one of the following two questions (Max 150 words) 
  • In your opinion, is the dollar value increasing or the rupee value decreasing?
  • What do you think the youth of the country can realistically do to make it better?
The Indian Rupee is in a downward spiral. Not just the dollar, it has depreciated against all major currencies. 
When I read that rupee is sliding against the US dollar, the first thing that came in my mind was that the dollar value is increasing, but how come the rupee is also sliding against the sinking Euro.
Price of any asset is a function of its demand and supply. The growth in Indian economy has slowed down global investors shunned Indian equities. India imports majorly  crude and gold which is bought and sold in dollars. Thus, increasing imports increase the demand for dollars and people sell rupee to buy dollars. This puts a downward pressure on rupee. 
The problem however is the not the Rupee slide itself – the fall in the Rupee is the symptom of underlying problems and we have to look at those problems to find solutions.

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