Sunday, 19 July 2009

Kapil Sibal is definitely an improvement on Arjun Singh....though that's not saying much. I saw a part of the CNN program with the HRD minister. Whatever may be the changes, it is not possible to throw out most of the current VCs and get new faculty VC down to lecturer. Similarly, throw out all the state boards and teachers and get new ones.
Years ago, when my daughter was in class 3, she would learn answers and ask me to hear her repeat them. She would pre-empt me saying "now don't correct the grammar in the answer, I have to write it just like the teacher has given it" sure enough, there would be many grammatical errors in the answers...which a 8 year old could detect. Such is the quality of teachers in "good schools".
One teacher told my son while teaching The Merchant of Venice that "Antonio was a good fencer" meant that antonio could build fences well.
But I came across a couple of good teachers when I went to a government school in a village near Ooty.
It's a lottery...a child may come across a good teacher and then his/her life is made.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

INO again

The interest in neutrinos started with the KGF experiments. I remember reading about them as a student and being terribly impressed that our physicists have succeeded in setting up one of the (then) two such facilities.
The revival of interest is described here-
http://www.imsc.res.in/~ino/OpenReports/Insa/naba.pdf
I looked at this mainly to see why the KGF cannot be used again...perhaps some scientific reason. The report does not mention any...only that the KGF mines were closed due to financial reasons and so they could not use the facility. Why can they not use these crores of rupees to revive the KGF mines lab and upgrade the facilities. Surely it must be cheaper and environmentally better. Perhaps the lure of living in Ooty as opposed to living in KGF ( a dismal town) is one factor.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

The INO

There seems to be a major brouhaha brewing in the Nilgiri biosphere. How has the Ministry of Environment cleared this is a mystery. But the greater mystery is how scientists can believe that transporting three 17kton detectors, building material for a large cavern, electrical equipment, air conditioning systems etc, into the site and transporting earth from a huge 3.5 km tunnel out of the site, can be done without disturbing any wildlife?
Surely other sites must be suitable!
http://nbralliance.wordpress.com/ino-at-singara/
http://www.imsc.res.in/~ino/