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So it’s business as usual with another edition of the magazine’s ranking on B-schools. Frankly, I don’t mind as a reader. The dosage of weekly news on my doorstep stops to give way to a light, flippable issue. It gives me more time to do other work in the house. Work is always piling up in the house; my fellow housekeepers will agree. I’m well past, in age and enthusiasm, for enrolling for an MBA in one of these prestigous business institutes, but I hope the rankings give some perspective to the young and aspiring bees for joining the right hive.
Ravi Ghosh, Delhi
I have a suggestion. Since Outlook cannot do without advertisements—like all magazines—the advertisement-heavy ‘ranking’ issues, like this B-school issue, should come separately with the weekly news issue, like you had for Chhattisgarh in one of your recent issues. That would make the readers not miss out on the weekly news cycle. That way, those not interested in B-school rankings can have their content in the dedicated supplement, while the news readers can go on with the insightful coverage of national news in the main magazine.
Refer to Bole To Blockbuster, part of your business school ranking package. It’s a good thing for the audiences that Bollywood is in good health with a string of content-rich movies finding success at the box office. It will encourage more producers to leave the age-old Hindi film formulas behind for more diversity. The only one, however, whom these new, progressive cinema trends shouldn’t concern for a long time is Sallu bhai, who thrives on the nostalgia of the formula film. That is fine too, an exception should always stand against the tide.
Vikas Chandra, On E-Mail
Apropos of Coaching a National Dream (Oct 8), the HRD ministry’s project of converting 2,967 test centres into free coaching centres, Kota style, may have good intentions behind it, but it’s bound to be a damp squib. The Kota-style coaching centres mushrooming all over the country—actually rote learning factories with 16 hours of cramming every day for about two years—are a great fraud retarding the natural intelligence of youngsters. Middle-class families with dreams of making their children doctors and engineers pay a total of about Rs 5 lakh for two years of coaching, not knowing the fact that only a fraction of the crowd succeed in getting admission at IITs and AIIMS. Full-page advertisements with photos of successful kids mislead parents, not realising that most cram-school pupils end up burnt out, unfit for innovative higher studies. It’s primary education that must be fortified to achieve the national dream.
M.N. Bhartiya, Goa
This is about the story on the controversy over the Rafale deal (Pickling The Bandit, Oct 8). Whether it will develop into another Bofors can only be a conjecture now. But the ongoing war of words between the Congress and the BJP government over the deal, which can impact India’s security concerns, needs to be laid at rest. PM Modi must rise above politics and avoid the partisan path of defending his government just to deny the Congress’s charge of cronyism vis-à-vis Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence, which, it is true, has no prior experience in the field. A thorough probe also needs to be made into former French president Hollande’s remarks that the French had to accept India’s choice for Dassault’s offset partner. The Congress demand for a JPC to establish the full facts should be met by the government.
Lal Singh, Amritsar
No wonder, the Congress is surprised, even shocked, how the BJP can procure defence equipment without brokers and middlemen with bulging moneybags. With MIG jets fast becoming obsolescent, the IAF desperately needs next-generation flying machines to bolster its defence needs. The UPA government stalled the purchase of Rafale jets and left it at a dead end. Notwithstanding Hollande’s hints at favouritism, people believe Modi is honest, because there are no Quattrocchis to influence the deal. Rahul Gandhi’s hypocritical reference to the PM as a ‘thief’ and the defence minister as a ‘liar’ might win him some supporters, but will not help him win the perception battle.
Kangayam R. Narasimhan, Chennai
The Rafale deal again brings to the fore the Modi government’s propensity for taking off-the-cuff decisions, none of which have been proven to be sound. All these stem from Mr Modi’s over-confidence. So much power should never come in the hands of one man, isn’t that the cardinal rule of democracy?
Deepak Seth, On E-Mail
B-schools give good training from the outset—invest big in fees, get a job accordingly.
Raghav Srivastava, Delhi
Ruben Banerjee’s Switzerland Diary was warm, witty and perceptive (Sep 24). Though Switzerland is known for its breathtaking beauty, unpolluted environment, its famed banks and equally famous chocolates and watches, people are not aware of the salient features of its democracy. I think Outlook should do a cover feature on the distinctive features of the world’s leading democracies. This should give readers something to compare our democracy with, and learn from other systems. Instead, we trumpet our status as the ‘world’s largest democracy’, without realising the various shortcomings embedded therein and finding ideas for improvement. Also,in a supplement, give us some insight into how those delicious Swiss chocolates are made.
This refers to A Choppier Tale (Oct 8). The article details a large number of contradictions and improvements in the FIR lodged in the Jay Panda case. However, unless the FIR and the investigation are quashed—being motivated, as they are, by extraneous considerations to wreak political vengeance—the ordeal for Jay Panda and Abhijit Iyer-Mitra will not end soon. It is well known that in criminal matters, irrespective of the final outcome, it is the process which is the punishment.
Jana Kalyan Das, On E-Mail
The falling strength of IAF fighter planes is undoubtedly a matter of national concern. The whole Rafale controversy also shows the pathetic state of domestic manufacturing capacity. Though we can match international standards in space/nuclear matters, we are totally dependent on other countries for all sophisticated military hardware. It’s a glaring shortcoming. Even small arms have to be imported in some quantity, for our ordinance factories couldn’t supply them in adequate numbers. This is also the root of massive corruption in arms deals with foreign companies. Such scandals hit headlines every few years; the government should put in place a system that ensures full accountability in these matters.
Lt Col (retd) Ranjit Sinha, Pune
This refers to The Deluge That United (Oct 1). It quotes Kesari chief editor N.R. Madhu as saying, “political untouchability continues to prevail in the state. Politicos’ animosity towards other political parties is simple trade rivalry. They call each other thieves. The overawed commoner is flabbergasted. Many do not exercise their franchise, disgusted with changes bringing no change. As a rule, votes are cast not in appreciation of a party, but in fear of the bad party winning again; this is called the anti-incumbency factor. Genuine democracy emerges from a homogeneous electorate of liberal outlook. Cronyism, casteism and communalism have corroded the country. Let calamity recede and they will be back to brawls.
J.N. Bhartiya, Hyderabad
Vijay Mallya escaped by manipulating India’s law and control system systemically (The Big Bird On Borrowed Time, Oct 1). This shows that there was a nexus, and that personnel from different agencies, such as financial and investigative, were in cahoots with the fugitive. It’s further evidence to support a perception rife among the people of the country: people who have money and connections in the system can evade the long arm of the ‘law’, barring a few exceptions. In this case too, the article makes clear that there is a process of appeal after appeal, which might take a few years because of the complexities and statutory obligations of the courts and their procedures. Therefore, the government ought to institute a watchdog, especially for big borrowers and banks, to prevent money launderers and defaulters from robbing the country and its people. Also, this watchdog should be an independent body that has some autonomy in investigating matters in order to avoid the risk of corruption.
Indu S. Dube, Varanasi
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