Defence vs education

April 24, 2012

Over the time you have been researching some issues, you would have visited 100s of articles and more often you come across articles written by normal public and not experts. For example, you start off with articles on defence spending in India, and you dig deep into the subject and reach a page “India tops in illiteracy and Defence Spending” on a Pakistani blog. Its the comments of such blogs I enjoy most. The article is honest with no data manipulations and the tone is, as expected, not so friendly. The comments however try to discredit the author and he defends it well. But sooner or later he turns on the pro-country arguments. This is after repeated assaults on Pakistan’s state of affairs. My point is, the article and some of his comments made very important points. A new way to view the problems. India has a literacy of 74% but in absolute numbers the illiterates are about 300 million which is close to the population of USA which is 312 million.

According to UNESCO estimates, there are about close to 1 billion illiterates in this world. We can say that one in every three illiterates in this world is an Indian. its all in data representation. Lets compare our results with that of China (since that is what we do after Agni-V launch), Brazil and South Africa.

China – literacy rate (Adult) – 95.9% according to 2009 report
Brazil – literacy rate (Adult) – 90% according to 2008 report
South Africa – literacy rate (Adult) – 89% according to 2008 report
India – literacy rate (total) – 74.04% according to 2011 report

(Adult is above 15 years)

China – literacy rate (youth) – 99.4% according to 2009 report
Brazil – literacy rate (youth) – 97.84 according to 2008 report
South Africa – literacy rate (youth) – 97.6 according to 2008 report
India – literacy rate (youth) – 82% according to 2009 report

(youth is 15 to 24 years)

Lets see how much is spent by the countries

China on the other hand spent close to 190 billion US dollars on Education and about 92 billion US dollars on Defence. (irrespective of the rumour that it spends nearly double the declared amount on defence, its still less than that of education)

Brazil Spends about 90 billion US Dollars on Education and about 34 billion US dollars on Defence. (Less for Defence and more for education)

South Africa spends about 24 billion US dollars on Education and about 5 billion US dollars on Defence. (Less for Defence and more for education)

India, in its latest budget spent close to 11 billion US dollars on Education and about 36 billion dollars on Defence. (More for Defence and less for education)

You know that population of India is 120 Cr, China is about 140 Cr, Brazil is about 19.4 Cr and that of South Africa is 5 Cr. Even if you do a crude per-capita expenditure calculation we can see that China, Brazil and South Africa spends more on each person than India does. Also, it spends more on education than on defence. Leave corruption aside and still these numbers are so not encouraging.

note : I have used the US dollars as a common currency for comparison. If there are any discrepancies in the data provided please do point it out.



April 24, 2010

Dated : 16th Feb 2010

The whole world seems to be a system. As any other system, this system has its own characteristics and its own principles and its own rules. You are also a part of this system and to be successful in this system you must play by the rules of this system. If you adhere to there rules, your success is 100 percent guaranteed. But if you try to defy the system then you will end up in one of the two extreme situations. Unlimited glory or complete annihilation.

If you choose to be a part of the system and play by its rules there are obvious negatives. First of all a system will give you a fixed output. No matter how intelligently it is designed it will always have some limits. But, we know for sure that human mind is not so limited in imagination. Hence, there will come a time, very soon too, when we will start to feel the monotony of the situation and will be left wanting for more. Then there is the obvious frustration due to the fact that we cannot do anything to make our life more dynamic; that is we fail in our own eyes as we clearly notice that we are not in control of our own lives. This leads to perpetual unhappiness and discontent in their hearts. The list is not exhaustive but it gives a fair idea of what the drawbacks are. But I feel that it is only fair to suggest that the above mentioned negatives are only applicable to people who have aspirations which are beyond the boundaries of this system. For an unambitious person these may not apply or may apply conditionally which are quite conceivable and hence I will skip.

Now, you are not satisfied and decide to rebel against the system then also you will find yourself at the vortex of many problems. If you really think, these problems are much more severe yet more exciting to an open mind. The decision to rebel is filled with obvious risk as mentioned earlier, an endeavour which might result in finding a new improved system or else getting lost forevermore. I don’t think I even need to attempt to list out the problems in this choice. It is quite known and I think most of us are facing them in different quantum. But these problems are dynamic and more exciting and hence worth the risk if you ask me.

What will you do? What is your answer? This is a very difficult question. To answer this question is to make a choice. A choice that will reflect your character and define your entire future!

Make the world a better place!

May 21, 2009

The project report is the worst thing ever. ACTUALLY doing a project is nothing compared to making a report of it. At 4 am, when I pinged my friend back after sending him a half finished PPT, I realised he had slept off a long time ago! Sleeping at that hour seemed pointless so I watched some TV. Then the sun came out and the morning paper was at my door steps. Literally (There are three steps in front of the door). Two articles caught my eyes today, one about a man arrested for molesting an underage girl (The man had previously committed the same crime with the same modus operandi) and the other one was about Akshay Kumar’s clarification regarding his recent visit to the Police Station. How are they connected? Hmm…

Lets examine Akshay’s case first. His wife unbuttoned his jeans in a fashion show and a “Social worker” filed a complaint against indecent behaviour in public. I believe it was just to obtain instant fame but, let us take the ideal case here and say the person who filed the complaint was indeed worried about the moral issue that he described in his complaint. Having said that, we turn our attention to all those who file such complaints against the celebrities ( there are a lot of them) and say that they too cared genuinely about their particular moral issues. Now, this means that the people of India are very vigilant people who dont even let a small incident go past their scanner. They are here to put an end to all the immorality that exists in our country. I think you know where I am going with this!

What about that guy? The criminal who commits the same crime twice and that too in the same fashion. Why didnt that become the biggest issue? Why didnt the vigilant people make sure that the first offense was the last offense? Was it that there was no fame involved here? I guess there would be a fair amount of fame in this too. It was mostly fear if you ask me. Celebrities have to maintain their image in the media. They are not to get into these controversies and are very vulnerable and are often the victims. But the thugs that are loose on the streets dont care about their image. That naturally brings fear and hence, the vigilance falters, the people are distracted and they no longer care about the moral issues that are at stake. The worst part is, these issues are genuine and probably are in desperate need of these “social workers”.

I am not sure about how many years the case will go on before the criminal is sentenced. Given the complexity of the Judicial system (Which is unavoidable in Democracy), it will not be anytime soon. We must focus our energy on things that need attention. Einstein once said, “Force always attracts men of low morality”. Force, of course, can be replaced here with fame or power or anything relevant.

P S: I dont think that unbuttoning of jeans should be given that much of attention.