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Monday, December 18, 2006

Fighting for Peace

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Not All Wars Are Soft Wars

Nitin Pai, at The Acorn, writes that the nature of wars is changing and that it is now a clash of convictions. While I don't disagree with his analysis, I think it applies only to certain types of wars. I think traditional wars will still be fought and won.

Hard Wars

Wars that have clear definition of victory and use of exacting force (usually costly) and can be fought quickly are traditional wars or hard wars. While public is knowledgeable about hard wars, they stays on the background as long as they see progress.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Screwed Up Priorities

While Indian government slices and dices the population (all 1 billion of us) into OBCs, FCs, Muslims OBC, Christian OBC, creamy layers, SCs, and STs:

The Union Cabinet on Thursday night rejected the recommendations of a Parliamentary Standing Committee to exclude creamy layer from the purview of the 27 per cent OBC quota in government-aided institutions of higher learning.

"After considering all aspects, it was decided to stick to the original Bill with the basic framework of 27 per cent reservation for OBCs," Information and Broadcasting Minister P R Dasmunsi told reporters after the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Bill 2006 would be reintroduced with some minor changes in the current session of Parliament, he said. (TOI)

...other nations and governments have different priorities:

China will this year for the first time spend more on research and development (R&D) than Japan and so become the world’s second highest investor in R&D after the United States, according to OECD projections based on recent trends.

“The rapid rise of China in both money spent and researchers employed is stunning,” said Dirk Pilat, Head of the OECD’s Science and Technology Policy division. “To keep up, OECD countries need to make their research and innovation systems more efficient and find new ways to stimulate innovation in today’s increasingly competitive global economy.”

Based on recent trends trends, China will spend just over USD 136 billion on R&D in 2006, just over Japan’s forecast USD 130 billion. The United States is predicted to remain the world’s leading investor in R&D in 2006, spending just over USD 330 billion. The EU-15, which includes France, Germany and the UK, is predicted to spend just over USD 230 billion. (OECD)

No prize for guessing which country will be a developed global giant and which one will continue to be a third world country mired in poverty and backwardness in 2020.

Cross-posted on INI Signal

Friday, December 01, 2006

Stop Patronizing - It's Bad For Us, Says...

After Sachar committee report on status of Muslims in India was tabled in Parliament, clarion calls for quotes for Muslims are abound. But, here seems to be a few sane people around:

Many Muslims argue that they are better off helping themselves, rather than holding out for the government. In fact they often seem to fare worse where they have more political clout, which easily translates into unreliable token promises, for, say, an increase in the number of teachers literate in Urdu, the language of Indian Islam. The leaked figures on government jobs show that Muslims do better in Gujarat, scene of an anti-Muslim pogrom in 2002, than in Bihar, where governments depend on their votes.

“Muslims do well in education where the initiative rests with them,” says Mushirul Hasan, vice-chancellor of Jamia Milia Islamia University in Delhi. “Where they are dependent on government patronage they fare badly.” Muslim educational societies have begun to improve education in Kerala and the booming southern cities of Bengalooru (Bangalore) and Chennai (Madras). More are needed if Muslims are not to fall further behind as India prospers. (Link)

This is corroborated in the article with few more details, especially on the status of education of Muslim girls. The entire report in downloadable .pdf form is here.

Mushirul Hasanji seems to be Friedmanite - Friedman, in his grave, would happily say, "I agree with Mr. Hasan." And so do I.

Cross posted on INI Signal