The Abolition of Entrance Tests — Boon or Bane ..?

Umm.. A Sunday looks good after a hectic week .. I aint getting much time these days as I am doing this lecturership .. Anyways .. Here we go ..

The recent announcement of doing away with Common Entrance tests for admission in Professional Courses by Tamil Nadu has rose many questions .. According to the new system, the admissions in professional courses will be made solely on the basis of performance in Plus Two exams and reservation system ..

Who will benefit ..?
   According to Ms Jayalalitha, it is aimed at benefitting students from rural areas. .. As the students from rural areas are unable to attend coaching classes which are specifically focussed on entrance exams, it will play as a levelling system .. Also as now students will have to concentrate only on their exams only, it will reduce the stress from both the students and their parents …

What can be the problems ..?
   The first thing that comes to mind is what will they do when there are many students with same marks ..? How will they decide the gradings then ..? Another problem is with CBSE students.. as the CBSE and local board have different systems, there must be a system that will correlate the performance of CBSE students with local board students ..
   Earlier students used to take a year drop for preparing for entrance exams but as now there will be no entrance exams, the students will have get only one chance in their board exams as there will be no grade improvement exams ..

So ..? Will it help or make the system worse ..?
   Umm… As most of the problems that arise are related to grading system, it will need immediate improvements .. When the student’s apprehension are removed, most of the people will consider the system favorably .. I myself liked the idea .. Cauz these entrance exams make students so much stressful .. Their concentration is diverted between board exams and entrance exams .. And entrance coaching centers have grown like mushrooms who have made this their business .. When there will be no entrance exams, the students will concentrate on their school syllabus .. This is the main point of the system .. What are we encouraging ..? These coaching centres teaches “tricks” to solve the questions in less time .. Most of the time, they focus only on sections of syllabus that are considered “scoring” .. This results in students who knows 100 formulas but dont know the basics of the subjects .. Getting rid of entrance exams will surely help in students taking more interest in the curriculam studies .. But there should be grading improvement exams too .. When you are putting so much on one exam, there can be chances when some unfortunate thing happen and student not performing well in the exam .. So it will be a lost chance for him .. If there will be grading improvement then they can try again …

I hope more States follow the lead and accept this system .. It will help reduce the stress burden from both students and their parents .. And it will give more credit to school exams too ..

USA wants weapons in Space ..

In a shocking piece of news, NYTimes reported that US Air Force is seeking approval from President Bush for a national security directive which will enable the US Air Force to hold weapons in the space ..! It seems that Air Force is taking inspiration from Hollywood movies now .. But it should also look at the risks involved in the affair .. .

nbsp;  Further to the report it says that no treaty or law can forbid them from doing so apart from spacing weapons of mass destruction. .! So far we have heard things like spy sattelites ( I dont know if they exists or work sufficiently cauz if they could then Osama shouldve been caught by now ..) and many sophisticated techniques which go unreported but this one can give rise to many controversies .. .. .

   While the Air Force officials says its not about putting weapons in space, but to have free access in space ..! .. Oh yeah .. Now have a look at the things that will enable them to have “free access in space” : (Directly quoted from NYTimes)

A new Air Force strategy, Global Strike, calls for a military space plane carrying precision-guided weapons armed with a half-ton of munitions. Pentagon documents say the weapon, called the common aero vehicle, could strike from halfway around the world in 45 minutes.

In April, the Air Force launched the XSS-11, an experimental microsatellite with the technical ability to disrupt other nations’ military reconnaissance and communications satellites..

Another Air Force space program, nicknamed Rods From God, aims to hurl cylinders of tungsten, titanium or uranium from the edge of space to destroy targets on the ground, striking at speeds of about 7,200 miles an hour with the force of a small nuclear weapon..

A third program would bounce laser beams off mirrors hung from space satellites or huge high-altitude blimps, redirecting the lethal rays down to targets around the world. A fourth seeks to turn radio waves into weapons whose powers could range “from tap on the shoulder to toast,” in the words of an Air Force plan.

Continue reading “USA wants weapons in Space ..”

Right to Information … Is it sufficient ..?

Hmm.. The Right to Information (RTI) bill was passed at last in the parliament .. I was following it since NAC recommended to modify the Freedom of Information Act 2002 … Now that it has been cleared let us have a close look at the act .. its features .. and its flaws …

   What is it actually ?
      Under this act, the people now have a legal right to access information in the form of files, reports and data about the government’s proceedings enabling them to question the government..The RTI act introduces Central Information Commission which is an independent appellate authority which will have the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition on its appointment committee.. It will appoint Chief Information Commissioner and 10 Information Commissioners on the lines of Election Commission. There will be an Assistant Information officer for each department who will act as a bridge between people and the departments. The officers who fail to provide or delay the information will have to pay the penalty as a portion of his own salary .If he gives wrong information, there is another fine … People can have access to any record or document with an exemption of matters of national security .. The people living in rural or remote areas wont have to come to state capitals to get the information they want .. They will have to approach their local municipal authorities as Block Development offices to get the information they want.. So far it all looks good…

   How will it help ..?
      The biggest problem in our country is corruption .. Corruption stays because there is a lack of accountability and transparency in the government and bureaucracy … Lack of accessibility is another problem .. This right will strike on the roots of these problems .. And while as the concerned officer will be fined on a per day basis, there will be pressure on him to gather the information required in due time ..

Continue reading “Right to Information … Is it sufficient ..?”

The F16 Saga ..

I knew this was bound to happen .. This has been an old strategy of the US first to create a problem and then pose a solution to it .. From the start when US spoke of giving F16s to Pakistan, there was a talk about giving the anti missile defence system to India .. (I mean selling) but New Delhi brushed it aside .. Now has come their new offer, the Lockheed Martin has offered India to purchase the Licence to build F16s in India .. And our Defence Ministry is considering this offer favourably ..
      So .. First create a disease and then sell its cure … and profit from both sides .. When will our politicians start thinking like this ..?