Thursday, September 13, 2012





Man who can - Shri Kapil Sibal
Man  who can-Sam Pitroda
Man Who too can - Aamir Khan

In  recent Past, India’s Education System has come up for some Justified criticism and for some justified Praise too. The Union HRD (Education) Minister, Shri Kapil Sibal  is certainly a busy man - busy with ideas and busy in implementing them. He had, in one of his excellent (but short) speeches – advocated much greater and effective use of Technology in teaching. In another recent speech, he forcefully advocated the inculcating of sound, universally accepted human values through our education system.

Shri Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize awardee for Economics,while speaking on Education system recently, quoted H.G.Wells and said - “human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” 

If we don't choose Education for all, we are certainly choosing Catastrophe. If many people in India feel deprived, insecure and inferior, it is almost entirely due to lack of confidence-building and character-building Education.

So, what must be the Goals of a Good Education system? 
Some of the most thought provoking ideas and Quotes on Education are here along with my brief thoughts thereon. 

Let us first look at them. After looking at them, we will further examine – what is right, what is wrong and what is the Road to take – with our Education.

Nelson Mandela says - Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

My comments : Education can make a man honest or corrupt, slave or free (to his habits), explorer, inventor or criticizer, a Great support or burden for all, Successful or unsuccessful, and humane or cruel.  Any of  these attributes can be inculcated (or corrected) in a person by his Education.

Epictetus says - It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

My Comments : The worst Enemy of Learning is the feeling, “I Know”. It is a false feeling, egoistic and leads downhill. Man must know what really and exactly he knows, what is his MERE BELIEF SYSTEM and what he plainly doesn’t know.

William Butler Yeats  says  - Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

My Comments : Yes. Education is the lighting of the Fire. The fire of undying thirst for knowledge and wisdom. The ability to think independently, unbiasedly and with clarity – is the hall mark of an educated person.

Robert Frost says  -  Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.

My Comments : Patience needs cultivation. Today’s Education does not inculcate Patience at all.

Malcolm Forbes says  -  Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.

My Comments : Education must not make an empty mind into a a filled-up mind or an overflowing mind. It must make it an OPEN MIND. Education must make us open to new ideas, new truths, new worlds of wisdom. Today – all strife in the world is due to CLOSED MINDSETS.

Erich Fromm  says  -  Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age?

MY COMMENTS : Education must be life-long. It must be encouraged for all Age-Groups.  The open University system must proliferate and become clearly open to ALL. If a Person can go through a curriculum, go through the studies, write periodical question papers – and finally pass a stiff exam in it with a good percentage – why not permit him?

Robert M. Hutchins -  The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.

My Comments : The same ideas as above are reiterated here. Unfortunately, over 90% of students stop all further Education – after they pass a school/College/University Exam, get a Degree – and settle in a Job. Education must become a lifelong thirst.

Will Durant says  -  Education is the transmission of civilization.

My Comments : This in sum, is the purpose of Education. A person must become civilized through Education. Education must develop character in him. If it does not – it is not EDUCATION. Is it happening in India today? It is not. An inhuman practice like RAGGING has to be stopped by the threat of LAW – and not by the tenets of learning received at school.  COPYING - is common in most Exams. Even a Ph.D in India involves less of education and exploration and more of other unhealthy practices. This is not to deny some of the Brilliant Minds in our Education system - their due share; but, they are becoming a minority with time.

Some of the Best and the most wholesome quotes on EDUCATION, have come from Sri Satya Sai Baba – and I repeat some of them below :

Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning

The father, the mother and the teacher are the three primarily responsible for moulding the future of the country.

Character is the most precious gift of education.

Education must promote peace, security and happiness.

The sign of a person who has had an education is ‘good manners’.

What the head thinks, should be examined critically in the heart and this right decision should be carried out by the hands. This should be the primary product of the educational process.

Education must award self-confidence, the courage to depend on one’s own strength.

The end of education is character. And character consists of eagerness to renounce one’s selfish greed.

The UNIVERSE is a great university.

Unless knowledge is transformed into wisdom, and wisdom is expressed in character; education is a wasteful process.

The education system today makes an educated person selfish. It makes that person a slave to the senses.

Unity of minds, natural love and co-operation, are the qualities we have to develop today. Education is not for securing university degrees.

Education has to cultivate humility and discipline, but today it is yielding a harvest of pride and envy.

Real education should enable one to utilise the knowledge one has acquired to meet the challenges of life and to make all human beings happy as far as possible.

Education today does not impart to the students the capacity or grit to face the challenges of daily life. The educational field has become the playing ground of ignorance.

Education today is a process of filling the mind with the contents of books, emptying the contents in the examination hall and returning empty-headed.

True education consists in the cultivation of the heart.

Learning to earn a living is only half the job. The other half is to make life worthwhile and meaningful.

Not living for food, but living for the sake of an ideal, that is the goal of education.

Education must be orientated towards the attainment of character for leading clean simple lives.

The ideal of service and the urge to practice it forms the very heart of education.

Teachers who will promote qualities of mutual love and regard in their students are sorely needed today.


Human values cannot be learnt from lectures of text – books. Those who seek to impart values to students must first practice them themselves and set an example.

You can teach love to students only through love.

You are dealing with tender children, as their teachers, guides and examples. You have to equip yourselves for those roles by living the values that distinguish mankind.

Instruct children to revere their parents, this is the first thing to do.

The teacher has the greatest share in moulding the future of the country. Of all professions, yours is the noblest, the most difficult and the most important.

If a pupil has a vice, he or she alone suffers from it. But, if a teacher has a vice, thousands are polluted.

Only a great teacher can mould a great student.

Among all professions, the teaching profession carries the greatest responsibility. Teachers have to mould the young of today, so that they will grow up as worthy citizens of tomorrow.

If teachers themselves do not follow the normal ethics of truthfulness etc., how can they instill good habits and values in children?

Teachers should not be bound by considerations of hours of work. When necessary, they should be prepared to stay on for hours to remove the doubts of students and help them to complete their assignments. This is your duty.

If teachers play their role properly, the nation can be transformed. For all the malpractices among students, the parents and the teachers are to blame.

Lead the children along the joyous path of Truth. Let your faces ever shower smiles, springing from the joy you earn from looking at the faces of the children.

Carry out your duties, as teachers in the spirit of dedication, love and service, and stand forth as bright examples to the country and the world.


Youth is the stage in life when the slightest turn towards wrong will spell disaster.

Unless the desire to do service is earnest and the skill to do it is cultivated , students will remain a burden to the community.

Students must develop extensive interests. They must visualise wide horizons.


You must love and revere your teachers. That is the first step in the discipline, which leads to a virtuous character.

From the most impressionable years the children should be taught to cultivate love for all. Love leads to unity. Unity promotes purity. Purity leads to Divinity.

The first requisite for children is to have love and regard for parents to whom they owe everything.


The influence of parents on the children’s minds is very significant. It is actually the primary and dominant influence on the child’s personality and behaviour pattern.

Parents have the primary responsibility to mould the character of the children. Too much freedom should not be given out of excessive affection.

Parents and teachers are the sculptors who have to mould the shape of the students for whom they are responsible. If parents and teachers set the right example, the students will automatically blossom into models of excellence and bring glory to the nation.

Parents are allowing children to go astray at home through misplaced affection.

The father and the mother must supplement at home the training given by the teacher at school.


Many Great Men and Women have spoken on the basis, need, and fruits of Education. We will see many more of such Great sayings in forthcoming Blog Posts.

When searching the Internet for Modern sayings on Education, I find, Satya Sai Baba is one who has spoken most extensively on Education – and with a clarity of Mind that is astounding.

Education must build character, courage, Open Mind, love, helpfulness, gratitude, Universal brotherhood, and must weed out hatred, Jealousy, cruelty and narrow-mindedness.

Today – almost all ILLS of India or for that matter any country – can be traced to the weaknesses in the Education system.

If Education is reformed – to include all desirable qualities and weed out the undesirable qualities; if the children and youth become EXCELLENT & RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS – they will reform all the rest of us in NO TIME.

So,  the first Priority for India is –REFORM THE EDUCATION SYSTEM.

We will see more on this in forthcoming Posts.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012





KUDANKULAM power Plant is being declared as SAFE by all those People who never conducted a test on its Safety. This seems to be the main problem at Kudankulam.

There are safety standards – and precautionary measures - that have been prescribed before the Plant can be operationalised; before feeding the nuclear material into the Power plant for production of Power.

A duly empowered TEAM OF SCIENTISTS  must therefore inspect the POWER PLANT, check whether all these safety measures have been duly carried out and DECLARE OPENLY to all members of PUBLIC,  that – YES, ALL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS PRESCRIBED HAVE BEEN DULY CARRIED OUT. We have checked the Plant thoroughly, satisfied ourselves – and declare so.

This sort of declaration from the SAFETY checking Scientists Team is what is really and reasonably required – to alleviate Public Fears and apprehensions. No amount of assurances and statements from Politicians can be a substitute for this. The credibility of Politicians’ statements – in the minds of General Public is not that Great, right now – what with all the scams, each outclassing the previous ones.

It is not that- the agitators will be totally satisfied with the statements of the Scientists Team. But, it will be a Big step forward, and perhaps, the MINIMUM ASSURANCE needed, in convincing the agitating Public.

After what has happened in Japan, there is bound to be skepticism in living by the side of a Nuclear Power Plant. Governments must understand that.

Even in simpler matters like Telecom Towers and Cell Phones, Government takes TOO LONG in revising safety Norms. Many Drugs which are banned in many other countries – are still legal here. Our only excuse may perhaps be – that our Neighbours have not banned them! Why can’t we aim for EXCELLENCE in each sphere?

As far as Nuclear Power Plants. are concerned – these will be in Public sector. While this is good - how skills and discipline of the TOP MOST ORDER will be maintained in the Nuclear Power Plants, given their penchant for maintaining certain minimum competency levels, could be a matter of concern for the agitators. So, every effort must be made to make the Plant REALLY, REALLY SAFE and tell the Public – from a knowledgeable, authoritative scientific Team – that, they have carried out all prescribed tests and ensured that the Plant Management has taken all prescribed safety precautions. This demand of the Agitators seems to be well founded - and Government must concede that much.

After Kudankulam, what? Do we really need Nuclear Power Plants? And, how many? 

If Government has more proposals for such Plants, it is essential that such Plants are established in places which are reasonably far away from Populated areas. Government can think of forests, deserts and such isolated areas – for establishing Nuclear Power Plants. At the least, this type of less populated locations will avoid the PUBLIC FEAR and protests that we are witnessing at Kudankulam.

In the mean time – the public Protests at Kudankulam must be handled with greater imagination and understanding of the deep fear in the minds of the villagers.

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Monday, September 10, 2012



Jai ho !

The Jal Satyagraha by the villagers of Ghogalgaon village in Khandwa district (MP) is Unique in many senses.

1.    51 Villagers – who are actually affected by the raising of water level in the Omkarehswar dam on the Narmada River – stood in Neck-deep waters, which are submerging their livelihood – for 17 long Days, as a FIRST OF ITS KIND Non-violent Satyagraha.
2.   The 17 days of Satyagraha - wasn’t merely lying down in Protest, on a well lit, well-protected stage. It was standing the CRAB BITES, insect bites etc in the river waters – for 17 long days. The protesters had also  developed rashes with their skin peeling off after staying submerged for so long.
3.    The Demand of the villagers was UNASSAILABLE.  Implement our portion of the Supreme Court Order, rehabilitate us and save us first. Who can quarrel with this Demand? India – irrespective of which Government is in Power, is always failing in this one extremely sensitive, humane issue. The Mind-set of Governments must change. Rehabilitate the affected first. Do your development work next. This has to be the Mantra for all progress, for all works.

4.    The Jal Satyagraha went on for 17 days – and would have perhaps gone on indefinitely – if the MP Chief Minister had not realized the folly of keeping silence on such an issue. So – it is not only Anna and Ram Dev – but there are many Satyagrahis in India – who can come up with perfect forms of Non-violent Protest. Mahatma Gandhi’s Soul lives on in this country in many human beings – except perhaps in the hearts of (many of) the Politicians where it should be, in the first instance.

 MP Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said - "We have agreed to bring down the water level of dam to 189 metres and to compensate the farmers' land. It will, however, affect irrigation in 20,000 hectares of land and generation of 120 megawatts electricity," said the Chief Minister.

"The Supreme Court had given the go ahead to increase the water level to 196.5 metres, but we have reduced it for the time being," he said. The MP government has also formed a three-member ministerial panel to look into the matter. Better late than Never. So, MP Government should still be appreciated. At least, there wasn’t a lathi charge in waters! No Police lock-up. No cases on the villagers. This is Un-like many other Governments. We do hope, MP Government will now take the rehabilitation steps with a large and humane heart.

However, it must also be said that - Narmada Bachao Andolan, which launched this Satyagraha, must keep track of the progress of rehabilitation of the Villagers; and also enable Government to finish the developmental works on the Indira Sagar Project on  Narmada – which is important for the development of the state. 


=Yours Sincerely

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