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Choosing a different path

Choosing a different path
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First Published: Fri, Mar 14 2008. 12 31 AM IST
Updated: Fri, Mar 14 2008. 12 31 AM IST
This refers to “The road less travelled”, Mint, 10 March. With the US economy losing some of its attraction, young Indians today are looking at options at home. Many are not just concerned about their country, but have also started taking bold steps by exploring work with non-governmental organizations and entrepreneurship. The article truly made me realize that I need not worry about choosing a different path. The interest is common among youth who have exposure to modernization and development as well. I hope the article would not only encourage young minds, but also their elders who play an important role in making the dreams of the dreamers come true.
–S. Lhaskyabs, Student, University of Delhi
There is a strong case for making a clean break from our colonial legacy and learning from the forward-looking educational systems abroad. We can’t afford to be content with tinkering with a crumbling edifice. The government can no longer remain unresponsive to the radically different needs of the new millennium. Here are some illustrative suggestions: compulsory universal elemen- tary education; public, private and corporate sectors to work together for basic education; private sector should share the responsibility for professional education and skills training; public and private universities should handle fundamental research; benchmarking for outcomes should?capture?learning,?not certificates/degrees; private companies should be permitted—encouraged—to set up quality institutions of higher learning; a strong, independent educational regulator should be set up for setting rules and benchmarks and penalizing substandard institutions.
There should be rating by independent agencies to assess institutions; exceptional talent should be identified and nurtured through special programmes with state funding; traditional classroom teaching should be replaced by new open techniques such as group learning, individual plans, hands-on training, information technology, etc. Besides, continuous skill upgrade calls for community ownership of government schools—particularly in rural areas—for ensuring coverage and standards.
—Prabhat Kumar, former cabinet secretary
Our family strongly objects to the portrayal of our ancestor Rawat Lal Singh?as a?“murderous nobleman” in the Wall Street Journal article “Heritage hotels tap?tourist inflow”, Mint, 18 February, which featured our ancestral property, Bhainsrorgarh Fort, where we run a boutique heritage hotel.
The killing of Maharaj Nath Singh of Bagore by Rawat Lal Singh?was?a?result of?a?conspiracy by Nath Singh?to overthrow, possibly kill, the then-ruling Maharana of Mewar. After learning of the conspiracy, the latter ordered his nobleman Rawat Lal Singh, who owed allegiance to the Maharana, to kill Nath Singh. After much resistance, he had no choice but to obey the Maharana’s?orders?and kill a person who was his friend but also a threat to the throne and kingdom?of?Mewar.?The?article?called Rawat Lal Singh an ambitious nobleman, implying he had?a personal interest in killing Nath Singh. It said “the king’s reward for removing a rival was a fief here in the south-west corner of the state of Rajasthan.” But Rawat Lal Singh was already a noble of the fief of Bhainsrorgarh—the title of Rawat was?already pre- fixed to his name. The king’s actual reward was that he was elevated to first-class nobility status by the Maharana.
Like Rawat Lal Singh, we are Chundawats, a clan whose ancestor Rawat Chunda renounced his right to the throne of the kingdom of Mewar in favour of his younger brother. Rawat Chunda pledged that his descendants would always protect the interests of Mewar.
Hemendra Singh
Director, Bhainsrorgarh Hotels and Resorts Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi
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First Published: Fri, Mar 14 2008. 12 31 AM IST