Dec 22, 2010

Value of good teachers!

Are teachers relevant? The question is horrible in nature. But here in India, are they seen as relevant? In the last 60 years though literacy has gone up, it would be difficult to claim if people are any better educated? Haven't we all, at some time, felt that good teaching can improve a lot many things?

Check this paper on Value of Teachers. (Got the link from Greg Mankiw's blog. One more fine blog to read).  

This one is one of the finest and most relevant economic papers I have read. Though my economics knowledge is limited, I find this paper relevant, more relevant to our nation India than to the U.S. where the author has researched and published this one. 

Quality in teaching in India varies as much as winters in Siberia and summer in Central India. You see a very high standard in institutions like IITs, IIMs, mediocrity in a very large band in between and absolute chaos in a small but substantial percentage of schools. Unfortunately the mediocrity and chaos keep the majority back for their lives in our country. Rural landscape in India has problem of mass absenteeism and this has to do with issues of pay and lack of incentive in opting teaching as a full-time occupation. The paper addresses these and many others issues, only that it is with U.S. in purview.

But we Indians would do well to push some of our economists and policy-makers to find the root-cause of malaise in education sector. We have to fix this soon or be left behind. 

Dec 20, 2010

Spectrum spectrum

While we continue to read headlines on this topic in India, here is something from the US:

AT&T bought sub-700MHz spectrum for LTE technology at 1.93B US$

Businessweek says that translates into 87 cents per subscriber - Standard rates. So it is up to them on how many of those potential 300 Mn subs they convert.

And here is an interesting article on Indian Tech Space

Major Pioneer in Technology

Reading Friedman at his best in this article on US Armed forces making big headway into green technologies:

Makes me sit up and think of how much US Defence has contributed to mankind. And NASA. Seriously and if they push hard, there inventions enter commercial markets making technologies cheap for civilian users.

As we go green, we need to start harnessing sunlight and heat, wind, tides and other such sources that are abundant and omnipresent. Oil should be one of the alternatives and not the only thing.

This large scale burning of gas needs to go down. Our earth is precious and we cannot afford to leave it high and dry.

Dec 10, 2010

Indian TV - Turning gold into rubbish!

What is wrong with our TV? These channels are making a mess of simple things. The ad-breaks in a movie channel are longer than the actual movie segments.

Ads encroach and actually gobble up bowled balls in cricket.

The serials....the less said the better!

News show clips of serials as news items.

TV no longer holds itself as a primary source of entertainment. Internet, where available, gives total control on what I see/read/hear. Will TV morph into something else? Or will it have to fight for its survival when internet becomes ubiquitous? Time will tell.


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