Why one must feel sorry for Kapil Sibal/Education system

One must feel sorry for Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal.

When Sibal became Union HRD minister, he brought a new thrust to the ministry at least on the outset. He talked of expanding the number of education-providers, improving the quality of education, giving autonomy to colleges/universities. But before he could bring in that much-needed change in the education scenario of the country, the party high command thought Sibal’s calculation skills could be better utilised to challenge (even if vaguely) the proficiency of the CAG in the infamous 2G spectrum scam. So, he was given additional charge of Telecom Ministry by Prime Minister manmohan singh (read SONIA GANDHI).

The next we heard from Sibal was not on the issue of providing interest subsidy on educational loans or abolition of Class X board exams. But on how the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) had been ‘utterly erroneous’ in his estimation of a loss of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore in the 2G spectrum allocation.

However, by this time the 2G scam was being investigated by CBI under the supervision of the apex court and A Raja’s involvement in the lapses was almost certain.

Reacting to Sibal’s comment, Supreme Court reprimanded him and asked the Minister to behave with ‘some sense of responsibility’. Sibal’s reply could well have been: I am behaving responsibly. After all, this is the responsibility that I have been assigned – to save Congress’ face in the 2G spectrum scam.

But, Sibal cannot not even do that. That is why we should feel sorry for him.

When CBI arrested A Raja and Kapil Sibal was reminded of his comment that ‘2G allocation had not caused any loss to the country’, the Telecom Minister had nothing to say. He told media persons to ‘go and ask CBI’.

Now when he is asked if he is a reluctant telecom minister, Sibal replies – If the prime minister (read SONIA GANDHI) wants me to do a job, I do it.

Meanwhile, public education system continues to languish. Statistics, that only half the children of Class V can read Class II textbooks, is a shame for any government. We cannot but feel sorry for the public education system.

REMINISCENT NOTE:  Excerpts from Rahul Gandhi’s maiden speech in Parliament in 2006 that spun higher education dreams: “I walked to the children in village schools "Beta bade hokar kya bano ge?"  The silent stare I got in reply disturbed me. In school after school, I have asked this question and got no answer.

Well.. Mr Rahul Gandhi will go to villages and find out about the rotten education system, only to use the anecdotes to pepper his speech in the Parliament.  
Mr Gandhi, may we tell you – your silence is more disturbing than the child who could not answer: Beta bada hokar kya banoge?

Facebook Vs Wikileaks

Pick the odd man out - Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama, Ben Bernanke, Mark Zuckerberg.

The answer may not be difficult to guess: Mark Zuckerberg.

Now the similarity. All of them including the facebook creator have been TIME persons of the year - 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 respectively.

Vladimir Putin, the man responsible for bringing Russia back to the great game of geopolitics after it was almost on the verge of becoming a failed state.
Barack Obama, who won a historic American election to become the 44th President of the United States and the first African American to do this. A year later he won the Nobel Peace Prize (2009) "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people.”
Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of Federal Reserve (the central bank of the U.S) who prevented an economic catastrophe. In 2009, Bernanke hurled unprecedented amounts of money into the banking system in different ways, which lay the groundwork for the Fed's eventual return to normality.
It is here that one is forced to stop and think before moving on to the next candidate in the list. Mark Zukerberg’s online directory ‘Facebook’ that connects people through social network may have blossomed beyond 500 million in 2010 with a movie, The Social Network, made about the early days of Facebook. And it may be true that one out of every dozen people on planet now has a Facebook account.
But, when seen in the light of Zukerberg’s predecessors that the esteemed TIME magazine has honoured, his contribution seems insignificant.
TIME Magazine's Person of the Year, is the award given since 1927 to the most influential person in the world in that year.

2010 was a year when Julian Assange founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks captured headlines of almost all mainstream dailies around the world and his revelations were debated in Parliaments of most democracies.
According to a report in the Canada based The Gazette (Montreal) Julian Assange was voted top newsmaker of the year 2010 by senior editors at Postmedia Network newspapers and canada.com.

The social networking business
Facebook's core business is social networking – something that has already been tasted and enjoyed by other players in the field.
Take the examples of AOL, Tripod, Friendster, Orkut, MySpace or LinkedIn. You might have believed the same thing about any one of those social networks as you do now about Facebook.
AOL was considered ubiquitous and invincible. And yet it saw its downfall just like the other aforementioned social networks did. MySpace was described as one of the most wildly successful sites in 2006 when it had amassed 124 million profiles in its two and a half years of existence. 
So it is wrong if we say AOL, Orkut or MySpace lost and Facebook won. The more appropriate statement will be MySpace won first and Facebook won next. And something else will follow.
Interestingly, Julian Assange won the most votes in TIME magazine’s 2010 Person of the Year poll. While Assange was148,383 votes over the silver medalist, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg came in 10th.
TIME’s editor played safe by picking a less-controversial figure. However, the choice itself became a controversy with numerous journalists and commentators alleging that the magazine went with the safer choice, opting for the 26-year-old billionaire over the Australian hacker-turned-anti-secrecy advocate now targeted by the U.S. Justice Department. 
A TIME reader comments on TIME’s cover story of its Person of the Year 2010 issue: “Guys, I’ve got a guy here working at TIME, who tells me that Zuckerberg paid to get his face on the cover. He also tells me, things like this are not unusual.”