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What do Indian cities need?

What do Indian cities need? India is growing very fast. Rapid urbanisation is needed for accomodating more number of people who are moving away from village settlements towards towns, cities and metro cities. But are Indian cities are capable of accomodating these inward flowing people? Are they capable of providing basic amenities to these people?

Urbanisation is a reality. India was a country of villages. But in the next hundred or so years, it will be a country of town and cities. Urbanisation is both a boon and a bane for India. It has the potential to solve many problems like creating newer employment opportunities, a push for the industrial sector, better facilities for the people like education, medical care, electricity, housing etc.

But at the same time it may lead to birth of several problems. We are already facing the problems of slums, lack of drinking water, housing, spurt in crime rate, over-crowding, poor drainage system, outbreak of epidemics etc.

The number and the area of urban areas is growing but in an unplanned and undesirable manner. There is lack of a long term vision in this growth. It is basically a boom of reality mafia who are expanding cities with a single motive of profiteering. 

The governments have to interfere to make the urbanisation process an all inclusive phenomena. They should design and implement proper master plans for all the existing and upcoming urban areas in more scientific as well as practicle manner. 

Proper attention should be paid to all the areas like drainage system, mass transport, housinng, other infrastructure needs. A vision for at least fifty years should be made. All the developments should be accordingly.

The governments should check the reality mafia. Cities should grow in democratic and an all inclusive manner. There should some space for all the strata of the society, from lowest to highest earners. 

Flooding during monsoons is a common problem in Indian cities. Adequate measures should be implemented to handle this issue. All the cities should have temporary dwelling place for the homeless people. 

The governments should give more powers and funds to the urban local bodies. And these urban local bodies should have more transparency and they should feel accountable to their people. They should learn from the city management of US, Japanese and Western European cities.

Urbanisation should not happen at the cost of destroying the historic legacy and monuments. New should not replace the old; it should grow side by side in a beautiful manner.

Urbanisation, if done in a good manner, can change the face of India and the impression of India on world. India of the 21st century will best country in the world. It will not only provide better living conditions to the people but also more employment opportunities and other facilities. It will also attract more tourists.

It is not the the issues and their solutions of urbanisation are not known to the policy makers. They do not implement these solutions honestly. It basically because they do not feel accountabilty as the other stakeholders never press for getting a good city. Even if people raise their demands, their voice is scattered and not united.

Governments sitting in the national capital or the state capitals can not make the ideal urbanisation process a reality. It is neither possible nor desirable. As stated above, the local self government bodies should be provided with more powers and funds in managing their cities. The management of these cities should be made more democratic and transparent.

Indian Universities are Rotting. Somebody Should Save Them

Most of the state and central universities in India have became a white elephant. They are useless degree printing factories. I don't have researched about all of them. But what I have seen randomly at several Universities makes my opinion stronger. Most of the universities have become a B grade ground of petty politics. Goonda elements harass good students. Tease girls. Cheating is rampant during examinations making a mockery of the system. 

The syllabus taught at these universities has become outdated and is redundant. Every year lakhs of graduates are being produced from these universities who hardly possess any employable skills. Everyone is going to university not because they want to learn something new or find something great, but because all others are doing the same. The quality of entrants to higher education is very poor. Even the faculty at most of the universities has poor teaching qualities. They may show decades of teaching experience and several fancy educational degrees on their biodata but their teaching methodology and content is so outdated and irrelevant. I have no disrespect to them. But it is true that they are not doing their duty properly.

Many teachers are engaged in petty politics. They instigate one student group against others. They fight for petty posts. There is serious divide on caste and communal line between teachers. Teachers tend to favour students of their own community and region. 

The students remain absent from the classes. They come only to fill examination and other forms and give exams. They can not blaimed for this. Actually the teaching in universities is so tasteless and it is not safe to go there. Incidents of fightings, raggings, eve-teasings are so common. 

Libraries are not up to date. They lack lastest books and journals and other new things like computers with ebooks and internet connection. Whatever books are available in libraries are outdated and hardly relevant today. It seems they were purchased on kilogram rate. Useless books have inflated prices. 

Infrastructure is also bad condition. Building are crumbling. There is shortage of rooms, toilets, drinkig water facility, common rooms etc.There is lack of audio-visual tools, electricity back up, close circuit cameras for security purpose. 

Most of the universities' academic calander is running behind the schedule. Examinations and admissions are not held on their scheduled time. In brief, the mojority of the Indian universities are rotting. While they are restarting the ancient univerity at Nalanda and open new universities, they are not paying attention towards raising the quality of the existing universities.

Thousands of bright students are leaving for foreign universities, draining millions of rupees from the country. This is also a brain drain. The industries and other sectors are facing shortage of skilled manpower.

The governments need to pay genuine and honest attention towards improving the condition of these universities. Special attention needs to be paid towards those located in the Hindi belt. There are having the worst problems. It is total chaos there. The various stakeholders have to come together and find out the suitable solutions and try to make these universities real temples of higher education. They have the potential to become world class universities. 

They need adequate funding, autonomy, able leadership, and necessary reforms in all the sectors for making them modern, relevant, peaceful, productive and truly world class.

UPSC Mains Preparation Booster

I hope your preparation for the Mains examination is going as per your planned schedule. The results for the prelims will be declared around mid of October. Don't worry about the prelims result. Just prepare for the Mains examination. Do not prepare half-heartedly even if you are not sure of qualifying the prelims. Preparing for the mains exam till the results are declared won't go in vain. It will help in next year's prelims examination. 

Stick to the syllabus. Don't waste time in reading trivial subjects. Study and focus on the core topics. Revise frequently. And the most important thing- keep writing. Answer writing practice holds the key to succes in the mains.  Go through the previous years' question papers. Understand the pattern of the questions asked. Try to solve solve as many questions. Keep your answerrs within the prescribed word limit and try to write in an exam like situation.

Update your current affairs knowledge. Read good newspapers and watch reputed news shows. Avoid sensational newspapers and news channels. Avoid gossip making friends and those people who have no business other than to demoralise you. 

Pay attention to all the component papers of the mains examination. Don't take any paper lightly. Be it the language papers, essay paper, general studies papers or the optional subject papers, all are equally important. So give adequate time and effort to all of them. If you are weak in one or two papers, give some extra time to them. You should have a solid command over your optional subject. To avoid getting caught in the scaling system you have to score very high in it. And that will be possible only when your preparation and quality of answers is better.

Keep yourself in good health. Eat good healthy food. Exercise daily. Find some time for meditation. Feel positive energy. Believe in yourself. You know what it requires. You have all the study materials and the books. You have time. You have a reason to prepare. So, without wasting your time or deviating , keep marching towards your destination. It is the hard work which will pay you in the end.