Sunday, 16 February 2014

Chennai Autos

I have spent the last 15 days in Chennai. I just cannot believe it............the trip from the place I was staying in to the workplace cost me exactly the same everyday and most auto drivers were very haggling, no rude remarks, no rising blood pressure...............I have never experienced this in Madras in the past three decades. I am beginning to like Chennai! 

Saturday, 15 February 2014


There is this S&T "publishing enabler", for want of a better phrase, who had advertised for Chemistry editors.They do editing, pagination, etc for some international S&T journals. I had been wanting to do a little bit of freelance work after retirement, at least to make enough money to finance my small requirements for the childrens' projects..........magnets, LEDs, toy motors and the like, so I had applied.
They asked me to come for training. I have spent 10 days with kids much younger than my children who do not know whether Tokyo is a country, a city or a state. They are being trained for pre-edit work and have to check fonts for addresses of authors etc among other things.
I found out some truths about myself........I am able to read through  research papers quite easily- and that too in different areas ranging from nano materials to drug design-- a happy surprise! My grammar is worse than I thought it was- sad! 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The ET says that the Indian education market is thriving and likely to be valued at Rs 6,00,000 crores by 2015. They expect more private investment in the sector.
Our education sector is either poor-quality-but-cheap or poor-quality-and expensive. Very few institutions are good-quality-cheap or good-quality-expensive. Private investors seem to have got many things right , but when it comes to education, few seem to know what is required.
In Hyderabad, the crucial 'Junior College' segment is crucial because most, if not all children wish to join the IITs and prepare for it primarily in the 11th and 12th years of education.
There were two major players in in this--a group called Sri Chaitanya and another called Narayana. These made it impossible for other smaller fries to sustain themselves in this sector. Most others sold out to them and last year the two giant businesses merged  to form a giant conglomerate owning almost all the junior colleges in Hyderabad and much of AP. For them it is exactly like poultry farming..........they sort students into those expected to get into IITs, those likely to get 95% marks in the board exam, those expected to get 70-60% and so on. These are placed in different locations and treated differently. No one actually gets educated in the sense of being really exposed to different ideas and thoughts, but that's beside the point.
Now, as businesses, these are extremely successful. They make a lot of money for the promoters and investors. So this is how the 6,00,000 crore industry looks like.....efficiently managed, like the hi-tech poultry businesses with children huddled into caged tenements masquerading as schools.

I watch this TV show called Blue Bloods. It is about a family of New York Police Department officers. The show is fictional and makes all ...