At the dawn of Year 2011

Year 2011 is coming to an end and countdown has started for the New Year 2012. Many argue that for Indians new year is on the eve of Yugadi not on January 1st. But I feel there is no wrong in changing calendar and celebrating it as everything in our day to day life is run based on Gregorian calendar. I certainly oppose the celebration of new year with the late night parties with no sense on themselves or what is going on around. Anyway, one more year has come and we need to welcome it whole heartedly with new hopes.

Personally the year 2011 was an eventful year setting me to a goal even though it started with some kind of uncertainty. I had to leave Goa in search of better opportunities as I mentioned about the happenings at Goa in the earlier blogs and was at home for few months, looking for anything good to happen. Meanwhile I started teaching in the home town for +2 students, the response was good by the students. Along with teaching experience I also learnt how the tuition co-ordinators can make money out of their cheap tricks even being ready to damage the reputation of teachers. Also, it was the first time I earned few bucks on my own and the satisfaction was that I could bear my expenses of applying for entrance exams and going for places for writing entrance exams. I appeared for the PG entrance of both Tamil Nadu (held at Vellore) and Andhra Pradesh (held at Thirupati). It was also the first time I visited those two southern states.

Registering for the post graduate degree was my dream and it was too fulfilled in 2011 itself, along with the teaching job fetching me decent salary just enough to bear my expenses and course fees. Also, was happy to receive the good feedback from the students for successfully completing the course Database Management Systems. I thought that the teaching was easy. But teaching has tremendous pressure, learning continuously, completing the things on time and most importantly handling nearly hundred teen age guys who are especially rebellious because of their age!

I must thank one of my professors of Mathematics even though I was not his class room student referring me to the current job and for the PG program. Thanks to all my previous teachers for guiding me and my current and past students for enriching me with your interactions with me.

I especially thank the year 2011 for being very kind to me!

Sanskruti Township, Hyderabad

Am living in Sanskruti Township (also called Singapore Township) from last couple of months and I can confidently tell that this is the only area in Hyderabad I have come across which is free from pollution and especially vehicle traffic. There are may be many areas like this but am only aware of this place, situated nearly ten kilometers from Uppal on the way to Warrangal. Apart from large residential apartments, adjacent to township there is an unit of Infosys, a reputed software company brand which millions of students aspire to work for. Also, there is news that a few companies will also have plans set up their office here as it is declared as SEZ by the government. 

Most of the apartments in the township are vacant as many are being purchased as an investment than any idea of staying over here. Guys and girls from different states and far away places have taken these apartments on shared rent basis. Few paying guest accommodation is also available. Apartments will be built with two bed room, three bed room and duplex styles. Furnished homes are also available for rent. Two or three children parks are added attraction.

Township has two departmental stores and one vegetable shop (closed from last few days!) charging more than MRP price. Also, it has a medical center and a barber shop. Evening chat center, juice center and small bakery are the only bit relaxation for junk food lovers.

No good hotel is there inside township. Even though a paratha house is there, it is quite famous for its high price than its food taste, same is the case with one more. Recently, fresh vegetable bazaar has been started inside the township and the crowd is quite high. Near by, good hotel is the Bawarchi present in the first floor in front of township entrance. Even though taste is good there, cleanness is not maintained. Also, the curry point in township caters to the saliva of many who wish to just take curries and roti.

Township also has ‘Sri Vidya Nikethan International School' owned by one of the celebrity Tollywood actor. There are many direct buses to the township operating from Secunderabad except one on time. Only bus comes on times is in the morning 08:40. 

I love this place as it is having dust free and pollution free atmosphere.

How a Head of the Department can make money illegally

Being in teaching from past few months am able to find the off record politics in the field at the college level and at the departmental level. Observing closely the functioning of the head of the department, am able to make out how he makes money easily and of course illegally. But no enough proofs to prove him wrong!

As I mentioned in the earlier blog, post graduate degree is a must for those who want to be in the teaching post of engineering colleges. Many who have joined with the graduate degrees are willing to pursue post-graduate courses but because of the commitments, they are not able to leave their full time job and pursue post-graduation. In such cases, the only thing such people deriving of post-graduate courses will rely on colleges giving full attendance and full marks in the internal tests even without writing it. For the attendance and marks a head of the department can demand up to 10,000 to 20,000 bucks depending upon the candidate’s financial stability!

Other way around, all the management seats will be generally having high fee structure and the candidates mentioned above will not be able to pay such high fees. Then, again the head of the department will interfere in the matter as in the movie, some how the head will be able to reduce the fees substantially using his influence and links in the administrative section, saving a grand 70,000 to 80,000 bucks for each candidate. Hunger of money will not be over for the head of the department, he will call each candidate and inform about fee reduction and asks to pay him 20,000 bucks as commission!

Money matter will not be over here. It continues even in names of workshops and projects. Post Graduate engineering courses requires dissertation to be submitted at the end of the second year as the requirement for the fulfillment of course. Head of the department will make sure that students are enrolled for the projects in the institute which he mentions. Making some useless guidelines, he will make the student helpless as he can play with their degrees, without any objection students will obey and pay the prescribed fees.

Organizing workshops is one more thing conducted in the name of benefit to students, even though the actual benefits are for the head of the department and the organizing institute by the student’s money. The companies and institutes organizing workshops will be decided on the commission they are going to offer to the head of the department!

By making and arranging all these hide and seek, a head of the department can earn up to 8 to 10 lakhs per year apart from his regular salary. If any associate or colleague in the same department is not co-operating in these matters will be legally terminated blaming or through any engineered process!

PS: This blog is not about any one person, it is by observing few heads of the departments of some reputed colleges in the recent past which I had come across. There are many who has lived as examples without these strings attached, but there are very few and rare.

Distance Education: Missing its track?

Distance Education was started with an aim to provide higher educational opportunities for the people who can’t attend the regular classes. It is a boon for working and for the people staying at remote places as they can receive reading material on time and can appear for the exams directly. Some of the universities offering distance education have introduced the concept of assignments to its students so that they are on track and keep in touch with the subjects. But the entire concept is being misused by the people desiring to pursue higher studies and even by some universities. Universities are mainly doing it in the name of study centers.

Recently I came across a news paper advertisement regarding distance education programs of an university. The advertisement was all about a study center of an university offering various courses ranging from doctorate to undergraduate programs in various disciplines, except medical related courses as far as my knowledge. Even it was clearly mentioned that all the degrees will be awarded in one sitting, may be meaning to give the degree on the spot!

According to UGC guidelines doctoral or any degree offered by the universities should follow its guidelines and all the programs have to be offered through contact classes at its study centers or at the university campus. Also, the private universities established under the section 2f of UGC are eligible to offer distance education through its campus or at an authorized study center within the same state where the university is situated. But these universities are allowing study centers wherever possible. Some of the study centers are located in such a place that it is not even suitable for dumping waste.

Distance education is missing its track. Even though some universities are maintaining standards, the study centers are failing to follow. Even some universities are offering courses without the consent of Directorate of Distance Education which is mandatory. The students really in need are in dilemma as many got cheated or extorted in the pursuit of gaining degree.

Was it my mistake?

I like to help anyone either my students or friends whatever I can or possible from my side. Sometimes this only happens to be the reason of loss of money or unnecessary burden on me.

Post Graduate degree being must for teaching to the students of engineering colleges many people graduated with just an engineering degree are coming forward to pursue post graduate courses. There was a system administrator in the institute where I did engineering, he being an Electronics engineer ended up in that job and somehow wanted to pursue post graduate degree with the meagre savings he had. He helped our group during our final year student project demonstration as a last fulfilment of our engineering course, from that time he was quite close to us. He spoke to me regarding his idea of pursuing PG degree and asked me whether I can do anything regarding that. I consulted a few regarding the same and informed my head of the department that is there any possibility that he could help my friend out of his situation. He readily agreed to help and told me to inform my friend so that he can come on a particular day. On the day before arrival of my friend head of the department asked me to inform the fees of the course and come down as early as possible to register for the course. Also, he hinted there may be chances that my friend has to pay some amount as consultancy to him. But I took it is just for fun.

On the specified day my friend came with some money for admission. As he was non-local came to my room after completing daily rituals we went to college and met the head of the department. After exchanging a few words, he instructed us to go to college office so that admission formalities will be completed. There was some confusion in the fees and again it was reduced after being discussed with the administrative officer of the college as my friend was not ready to pay 10000 bucks extra out of his pocket. Again my head of the department intervened to reduce the fees. In the mean while head of the department asked me regarding the consultancy fees pulling me out of his cabin. He also told me not to tell his name directly to my friend and just tell him that it’s through a consultancy and he need to pay consultancy commission. I couldn’t tell him that I didn’t mention anything about it to my friend.

My friend had come all the way keeping belief on me that somehow I will make sure that he will get out of his problem and could register for a post graduate program. I didn’t want to hurt my friend or spoil his dream of post graduate degree. I didn’t have any other option other than paying money from my pocket to my head of the department as I was also about to register for the post graduate program in some time at the same institute under him. I came home without any idea of what to do or how to arrange money as I was sure that my friend was not ready to pay any extra amount.

I only paid the money from my pocket which I had saved from the months with difficulty, with a hope that it will be helpful some day in future. I gave 10000 bucks to the head of the department next day which he counted twice and kept in his wallet giving close-up smile.

It was a strange feeling I ever had in life giving my hard earned money equivalent to one month salary of mine, I felt someone drenched my heart to the core. I stood controlling tears as I was helpless. Don't know whether I did the mistake or helped someone, I lost the hard earned money!