I have finally finished scripting the story on the chaos in medical and technical education in Tamil Nadu. Big thanks to all of you who left messages and contacts here. But to be honest with you, I'm not happy with the final product. (It goes on air sometime between 9 and 10 pm on 'India This Week' today - 19th March, though, I'm probably not doing a good job of promoting it!)
Its been a difficult story to write what with trying to describe the myriad problems of higher education with its complex network of government and private institutions. TV is not a very information-friendly medium, so I'm afraid that the viewer will either be bored or befuddled by the twists and turns of the Common Entrance Test (CET) first being scrapped, then being restored, then the legislation scrapping CET being scrapped, then challenged... If I have lost you, the reader, by now, the viewer may have shifted to VH1 paragraphs ago.
I tried not to detail too many twists and turns, but there in the details, lay the devil, and, without it there was perhaps no story. Anyway, its an important story to tell because it's high time the Ministry of Human Resources Development seriously started thinking about introducing only ONE single test, like the SAT, going by the chaos on campus here. So if you do watch it.... I hope you find it engaging.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Monday, March 13, 2006
I'm working on a story about technical education in Tamil Nadu - trying to look at flaws in policy-making (reservation for instance) and the affect of privatisation in the engineering education. The idea stems from the recent violence on the campuses of deemed universities and the TN government's move to scrap the Common Entrance Test of TNPCEE as it is better known. If you guys have any ideas, suggestions, opinions or better still experience of studying in one of these institutions do write in to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm also looking to interview students and parents so if any of you are currently studying and are willing to speak on camera do leave a number. My deadline is 16th evening - yes 3 days from now!
Posted by Alaphia Zoyab at Monday, March 13, 2006
Friday, March 10, 2006
A big thank you to all those who wrote in to find out how I was doing.
I won't get into the details of that night of vandalism on the SRM campus here, but I will say one thing - there are some seriously dangerous and delinquent officers in our police force.
The Superintendent of Police (SP) of the Kancheepuram district A Amal Raj sprang upon my cameraman, snatched our camera, broke it and then stole the tape. (It was returned to us after we complained to the Director General of Police.) But the frustrating agony is that nothing is being done to punish this man! Absolutely NOTHING!
1) The police have refused to register an FIR.
2) They have arrested two people (local goons who assaulted me) but they could well be fall guys because I have not been given a chance to identify them.
3) Revenue officials are conducting an enquiry into the affair because it involves a police officer. But, so far, I have received no phone calls from the said revenue officials. Considering i'm the 'victim', shouldn't I be in the picture somewhere?
If this is the way they treat journalists then I really do shudder to imagine how the common man must suffer at their hands. The police can do so much but they do so little. It tires me out now to constantly understand 'the system' and be more sympathetic to the pulls and pressures of working in government. Frankly, whats the point of understanding?
I dont think its too idealistic to say that if you want to be corrupt you will, if you want to abuse your power you will. However if you want to be clean but poor - you can.
Posted by Alaphia Zoyab at Friday, March 10, 2006