Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My country

The situation in this country is just way too depressing. I don't even know where to start, what to say. Too many events -- CWG, 2G, CAG shunning, Coal Allocation, Petroleum Ministry, Education, Law and Order, Khap -- the list is too depressing and too endless.
It is easy to blame the Congress or the UPA-II for this, but what about the Opposition -- BJP or NDA? They give some press conferences and that's all. I guess the whole political system is just rotten from the core.
However, this is not the most frustrating part. It is the failure of the entire country in either individual capacities or NGO-level or some group level to fight this wide-spread corruption. In fact, it seems that no body really hates corruption. They hate it when they can't do it themselves, and when the chance comes, they just scrape the cream as well. And I am one of them.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Faculty member caught posing as R-1 officer

In a startling revelation, one of the faculty members of an IIT near a remote village has been caught masquerading as an R-1 officer.  He was exposed while setting up a coaching center for IIT-JEE exam where he put up a hoarding mentioning himself as a faculty member.

When our reporter caught up with him, Dr. Robin Vada (real name changed only a bit) put up a brave face, and said this is to protect himself and his family against discrimination.  He argued, "Who wants to be a faculty member from an R-1 officer? While it seems a promotion, it actually is quite the reverse," and after adding an expletive towards one of his uncles who advised him for this, went on, "Look at all the things a faculty member has to go through -- taking regular classes, conducting exams, grading large number of papers, explaining to authorities why his/her students did not work, etc., etc.  And on top of it, they get houses that have been rejected by all R-1 officers, even those who are around 10 years junior.  On the other hand, we, R-1 officers, enjoy all the perks, and have much less responsibilities.  It was a grave mistake to apply for a faculty position.  And while I was offered a position, I never accepted it." While our reporter pointed out that 'no communication' means an acceptance and he had to send a formal rejection letter, Dr. Vada broke into another feat, "You journalists don't understand the situation of the aam aadmi in this country.  We need to worry about gas cylinders and banana prices every day and not some official bureaucratic rejection letter."

The IIT authorities has also decided to pass on the buck to, well, it is not clear whom, as they are still deciding.  However, one of the faculty members, on conditions of anonymity, told us that he is sure that the buck will be passed to the faculty community, "I am waiting for an office order that will reprimand us for not welcoming a new member of our community.  Sadly, the truth remains that we had no idea he was part of us.  In fact, we felt jealous looking at his big house, big car, etc."

Dr. Vada's wife, Mrs. Sonali, refused to talk to our reporter.  One of the neighbors, however, was gracious enough to pitch in, "How can she now come out? She always called us to her house on one pretext or another to show how good and how big it was.  Her nagging about what to do with so many rooms and so much garden space was becoming intolerable.  Now that she will be forced to stay in a two-room apartment like us and wait for 5-7 years for a bigger house, she is simply heart-broken."

The faculty members in Dr. Vada's department were also morose about this development, "This now means our average class size will go down from 76 to 74. With a cut-off of 75 students, we could have got one more extra day of grading."

Some members even saw a sinister motive in revealing Dr. Vada as a faculty member just when the IIT senate passed the rule of allowing one less day for grading with courses less than 75 students.  "You have to question the timing of this.  I mean, this guy has been enjoying this house for more than a year now. Why have the authorities woken up so late?"

The whole matter has been referred to the ministry of human resources and development.  Apparently, the reaction from there is that a little dishonesty doesn't hurt anyone.  In fact, it has helped the country by distorting the statistics of available faculty members in IIT, thereby paving the way for setting up foreign institutes.

The reaction from the Board of Governors of the IIT is awaited.