Thursday, March 31, 2022

Overcoming a bleak year

I butt dialed an old colleague and chatting with him made me realise how bleak the last year had been. Searching mails for a contact made me realise that at the end of 2021 we exchanged hardly any holiday greetings. The greetings at the end of 2020 were full of hope that the coming year will be better. It wasn't.

It seems as if I/we have gone into hermit-mode and interacting even with friends feels awkward. The most social contact has been with shop keepers! In fact, yesterday only, I enjoyed interacting with the owner of a bathroom fixtures shop. May be he too was affected because he gave me a very good discount😀

I had been perfectly content with the constrained life, except for not physically meeting grandchildren. The pleasure of such social interaction came alive again and surprisingly made me realise how I have unconsciously stopped making any effort to have any face to face social interaction.

I have to renew the effort but it seems so hard now😒

Thursday, March 17, 2022

A way to get rid of reservation in higher education

 "Show me where is the answer in the text book!" - stated in an aggressive tone by a faculty member from another college. This memory was triggered by "The Habit of Copying: Are We Creating a Culture of Plagiarism?" 


I could not even have imagined that anyone could have such an expectation for a management information course. My disappointment with teaching is documented here.


If there is a shortage of supply, there will be malpractices and there is a shortage of seats for a decent education. Gaming the system, blaming reservations, etc will be inevitable.


Instead of trying to stop loopholes, what if we accepted that there is a shortage and that there is no perfect way to select the best. We could, of course, auction the seats. However, I doubt if that would seem ideal to anyone, including those supporting auction of coal mines and mobile spectrum! First come, first serve will also not be an acceptable option.


An alternate system is a random selection from among a set of shortlisted candidates. The selection for shortlisting could be very much like the current system; except that there is no queue; rather, a set of acceptable candidates. 


We can eliminate reservation of seats for varying categories of candidates. The focus can be to ensure and help candidates from deprived communities clear the entrance test barrier.


The tuition industry would suffer but, at least, I have for one would not shed a tear to see it disappear.