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HINDU EDITORIAL ANALYSIS: 29th DEC'17 https://unacademy.com/user/abhishek6077 Editorial analysis- Nov & October News Analysis- November &October Crash course on Polity, Modern, Ancient & Medieval History Ncert Class VI History Summary Delhi Sultanate ABHISHEK SRIVASTAVA FB @abhishek6077 . Essay writing
Listen to these four girls Panapakkam is a rural town in Tamil Nadu's Vellore district. Last month, it was in the news when four adolescent girls disappeared from their school, leaving their bags behind. Their shoes were later found beside a sizeable well into which they had apparently jumped in order to end their lives. They were students of Class XI. This is precisely the grade level at which a vast number of India's adolescents feel seriously unhappy and resentful. If you consult a typical textbook on adolescent psychology, you will find such emotions to be common. The text will probably dwell on identity, self-worth and petulance. Teachers are taught about these common symptoms, and those who learn them well enough to discuss them correctly get through their B.Ed. (Bachelor of Education) examination without much cramming. When they become teachers, they soon realise that passing the B.Ed. examination is a lot easier than dealing with real adolescents- boys or girls.
A poor record The Panapakkam girls are reported to have been scolded by a teacher for their poor academic performance and told to call their parents. The girls decided to avoid that ordeal and embraced death instead, thereby displaying another familiar characteristic of the adolescent mind, namely, its preference for camaraderie in taking a decision. As a nation, our record of dealing with adolescents is rather poor. To be an adolescent means that you don't feel comfortable with what all is going on around you, but older people don't find it easy to deal with you. This is partly because adolescent behaviour is often prickly and petulant. The larger reason, however, is that adolescents live in an ideal world and measure everyone, including parents and teachers, by their utopian standards. This is not merely an emotional response to an imperfect world; it is also proof of their fully developed logical capacity. By defying the adults surrounding them, adolescents develop their own identity as individuals.
This is not easy, so they depend on their peers to plan and decide. Their private fantasies are mostly benign and transformative. We can say that adolescent dreams represent a nation's wealth. In India, this wealth is mostly burnt up in preparation for examinations. gnoring or oppressing adolescents is not uncommon in other countries, but India's case is somewhat extreme. Over more than a century, our system of schooling has honed its tools to oppress and defeat the adolescent. The tool used to subdue the rebellious adolescent mind is the Board examination The term 'board' has acquired connotations of terror for the young on account of the darkness into which it pushes them before some are let back out into normal light and further education. Boards of examinations maintain a tight secrecy over how a young student will be marked and declared either 'pass' or 'fail'. Social history is rife with instances of unwarranted failure and opprobrium of family seniors. The matriculation examination is part of family lore in every part of India. Fear of failing in it and thereby closing all doors to a worthwhile future figures in many autobiographies written during the colonial period. Examination mania is instilled into the young mind from the start of primary schooling.
Popular understanding of education, which is widely shared in political and official circles, equates learning with performance on tests. The nationwide industry that specialises in offering help in passing examinations and entrance tests makes no distinction between cramming, cheating and learning. The Class X examination continues to 'fail' millions every summer. The Class XI hurdle If an adolescent successfully survives the Class X examination, his or her ordeal enters a more complicated phase, involving choice of subjects for the higher secondary examination. The Panapakkam girls who chose to end their lives were studying in Class XI. We do not know how they individually came to choose the subjects to study in this fateful class. For a vast majority of students moving into Class XI, the choice of elective subiects is made by their parents or senior siblings and teachers, Subjects are seen as tickets to the future. Some are regarded as solid tickets for a coveted future while others are seen as bogus tickets, carrying the risk of life-long stagnation.
These are, of course, stereotypes, but they persist as currency of practical wisdom in a blind market controlled by Boards. No principal, teacher or parent dares to demand openness from a Board about its procedures. A tight cover of confidentiality is maintained to conceal the abysmal quality of the marking system, question papers and the evaluation process In the case of girls, school-related anxieties get compounded by older, entrenched anxieties associated with gendering. Family and kinship fuel the apprehensions that girls internalise early childhood onwards about their matrimonial future. Educating a daughter is often perceived as an investment towards her marriage. The fear of being viewed as a poor performer at school adds to the stress at home. Teachers usually have scant awareness of a student's state of mind. When they ask students to bring parents to school, they assume this will create additional pressure to encourage harder work. This simplistic logic carries great risk, as the Panapakkam incident shows. Assessing the Boards The state of education being what it is at present, it is unlikely that the voices drowned in the well at Panapakkam will be heard, but an effort must be made to do so.
Boards responsible for the examination industry must realise that that it is no longer useful to install helplines to provide just-in-time advice for a 16-year-old in despair. The entire Board examination system and the culture associated with it constitute an endemic problem Plenty of ideas for reforming the Boards and the examination system they govern have been given over the years. Some of these ideas have been put into practice here and there, as isolated steps lacking a wider frame of reference to curricular reform. The National Curriculum Framework, 2005 insisted on coherence between reforms in curriculum examinations and teacher training. This perspective continues to pose a challenge to an institutional structure marked by rivalry and turf wars
Testing times The Central government has been working hard to address India's twin balance sheet problem but it hasn't had much to show in the form of results. The Financial Stability Report released by the Reserve Bank of India, for one, suggests that India is still far away from solving the troubles ailing its banks and large business corporations. According to the report released last week, . gross non-performing assets (NPAs) in the banking system as a whole rose to 10.2% at the end of September, from 9.6% at the end of March. This, according to a research report released by CARE Ratings, puts India fifth among significant economies with the most NPAs. The RBI stated further that it expects NPAs to continue to rise to as high as 11.1% of total outstanding loans by September 2018, so the end to the bad loans mess seems nowhere near. . The bad loans problem has also not spared private sector banks - these lenders have seen their asset quality deteriorate at a faster pace than public sector banks. Private bank NPAs increased by almost 41%, as compared to 17% in the case of public sector banks at the end of September.
Non-banking financial companies that compete against banks also saw a jump in NPAs. There are, however, some signs of hope as credit growth has begun to turn the corner and shown faster growth on a year-on-year basis when compared to March Reforms undertaken until now though may not be good enough to tackle the problem. The resolution of bankruptcy cases, particularly against large borrowers that contribute a major share of bank NPAS under the new Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code should help bring the NPA situation under some control. In fact, despite its many imperfections and the slow pace of resolutions by the National Company Law Tribunal, the Code can be helpful in cleaning up bank books in future credit cycles. The recapitalisation of public sector banks too can help increase the capital cushion of banks and induce them to lend more and boost economic activity.
But bad debt resolution and recapitalisation are only part of the solution as they, by themselves, can do very little to rein in reckless lending that has pushed the Indian banking system to its current sorry state Unless there are systemic reforms that address the problem of unsustainable lending, future credit cycles will continue to stress the banking system In this regard, the government will do well to consider the recent advice of the International Monetary Fund to reduce its ownership stake in banks and give greater powers to the RBl to regulate public sector banks efficiently. Structural reforms are the only long-term solution
Be that as it may, diversion of forests for non-forest use seems inevitable to some degree, and the accumulation of about 40,000 crore in compensatory funds clearly points to significant annexation of important habitats. The task is to make an assessment of suitable lands, preferably contiguous with protected areas that can be turned over for management to a joint apparatus consisting of forest department staff and scientific experts. Putting in place a scientific national plan to expand good green cover is essential, since the sequestration of carbon through sustainably managed forests is a key component of the commitment made under the Paris Agreement. There is already a Green India Mission, which is distinct from the framework envisaged for compensatory afforestation. What the Centre needs to do is to enable independent audit of all connected programmes, in order to sensibly deploy the financial resources now available. It must be emphasised, however, that replacing a natural forest with a plantation does not really serve the cause of nature, wildlife, or the forest-dwelling communities who depend on it, because of the sheer loss of biodiversity.
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