ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘students

Top 10 Examples of Jugaad in India

with 3 comments

“Aapko koi problem nahin hogi, maine jugaad kar rakhi hai”. “Kuch setting ho toh batao”. “Are apni upar tak setting hai”. Every one of us would have come across something similar at one point or the other. What exactly is this much celebrated setting aka jugaad? Well, it can simply be defined as an improvised quick fix to a tricky situation; goes to the extent of bending the rules; wisely attributed to lateral thinking.

Let me list down the top 10 examples of jugaad in India over the years.

  1. The Third Front as Alternative Governance
    Recent elections have shown a new trend. The opportunist, UPA/NDA discards come together to form an alternative famously known as “Third Front”. It’s nothing more than a jugaad with sole purpose to bargain hard with UPA/NDA when time comes to form the Govt. Everyone knows it is not long term, but as to the purpose of holding the Govt to ransom it has worked quiet well.
  2. Third Front 3Third Front 1Third Front 2

  3. Chidambram as Home Minister
    Prithiviraj Patil was busy putting make-up and changing wardrobes amidst the 26/11 attacks. He needed to go and went he did! The big question was “Who would fill the empty chair”? Chidambram, known to be an astute economist, was fitted to run the Home Ministry. Barring a few fiasco (Hindu terror, Shoe sting et al), expected of a jugaad, PC has more or less fulfilled the role of a workable HM.
  4. Chidambram 1Chidambram 2

  5. Ravindra Jadeja as All Rounder
    The lack of all round cricketers in India is well known. One too many players have been tried by the selectors. When all else failed, time was ripe for the jugaad, Ravindra Jadeja. This jugaad failed and failed miserably. It even put a question mark to the very existence of jugaad. This, until he was selected again. You can hate jugaad, you can love jugaad, you can’t ignore jugaad.
  6. Jadeja 1Jadeja 2

  7. Students and College Exams
    Most of us never studied the whole semester and used to bunk the classes. At the verge of exams, we had no notes/no idea. The jugaad used to come into effect. Whole course was divided into 4-5 parts, depending upon the number of friends in the group. Each one read a particular section and then explained it to the rest of the group. I still don’t understand how, but we faired really well, Jugaad rocks!!!
  8. Exams 2Exams 1Exams 3

  9. L K Advani as Leader of Opposition
    The fight for the post of Leader of Opposition was out in the open. Feelers were doing the rounds. When the GenX of the BJP leaders failed to come to a settlement, it was time for jugaad. The age old tested campaigner Advani, who till then had shown inclination to retire from active politics was brought back and he did some serious damage to UPA over price rise and corruption issues.
  10. Advani 1Advani 2Advani 3

  11. Security in India
    Secuity setup in most of the places in India works on jugaad. Overworked/underpaid policemen; lack of proper fighting equipments; lack of transport vehicles; lack of proper police station. When people say, “How the hell do we not see anarchy in such a scenario?” I tell them it is the Indian jugaad of 3rd Degree. If you get caught by frustrated law enforcers, God help you!
  12. Security 1Security 2Security 3

  13. Elections year after year
    If you know someone who has acted as an Electoral Officer, you would know the whole election runs on nothing but jugaad. Govt officers are made poll officers, School/ Colleges are made the poll booths, Long lines at booths with no facility at all. Locals provide the chai/paani/lodging to the booth officers posted in remote areas. In tribal areas, the poll stationary is transported on Elephants. At some places people vote under lantern light. But this jugaad has stood the test of time and hopefully will continue doing so in the future.
  14. Election 1 Election 2 Election 4 Election 3

  15. Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister
    When Sonia Gandhi did not accept the post of PM after 2004 victory, there was a big frenzy as to the appointment of the PM. Dr. Manmohan Singh, a respected, senior member of Congress party, was employed as a jugaad. Never contested an election, not known to be conniving politician, he turned out to be a shining success of Indian jugaad and how! Into his second term, the jugaad continues to rattle iron man Advani at his own game.
  16. PM 1 PM 2

  17. IPL in South Africa
    IPL2 in SA is a shining example in the Indian jugaad armory. At couple of weeks notice, it was decided to shift the event to SA. Frenetic night outs, back room negotiations and “karna hai” attitude paved way to one of the highly successful events in cricketing history. It was a city moment of jugaads.
  18. IPL 1IPL 2IPL 3

  19. Baap of All Jugaads: Sheila Dixit (Common Wealth Games)
    To term CWG, Baap of all Jugaads won’t be a misnomer. Everything was left to the last moment, to the chance. Sports Minister termed it the Fat Punjabi wedding, which turns out well at the end. A quick fix to the impounding problems, CM Shiela Dixit was the jugaad to get the games up and running. And boy did she turn out to be one hell of a jugaad. The opening ceremony was a grand success and the whole world came to know and respect the great Indian Jugaad. Bharat Bhagya Vidhata!
  20. CWG 1CWG 2CWG 3

Study in US: A new Reality

leave a comment »

I was talking to few of my friends who are pursuing Phd from US or have applied this year. The number of calls has become less with surprising number of rejects coming in. The situation seems grim.

Let me explain a bit. Every year Indian students apply for MS (Masters)/Phd in foreign universities (prominently US). Seats are offered to select students, often with scholarships. In case of IIT students, mostly, entire tuition fees is remitted. They are also paid stipend based on TA (Teaching Assistant) and RA (Research Assistant) work they do.

Due to the recession in recent times, universities have to cope up with reduced federal and private funding. They are no longer able to support large number of scholarship students. Coupled with the new protectionist approach of US, immigrant students feel no longer welcome, the way they were some time back.

Students need to submit a SOP (Statement Of Purpose) letter along with their admission form. They explain their education, expertise, research preference and the need for scholarship. I have seen a number of SOP’s and the end paragraph is full of blatant begs. “Coming from a poor country…I don’t have means to sustain the education fees…I am from an underdeveloped part of the world”, and more such lines.

For those who might consider me a skeptic, I want to stress that its not like a one way street. Universities also get to choose brilliant students who do research work ample times more than the money invested in. There is another side to it too. A bit harsh though.

The funda of scholarships was based on uplifting the poor. India was always perceived as full of talent. “The students don’t have money but they are brilliant, let’s help them and our research will prosper in return.” During last 25 years or so we have seen some path breaking work done by Indians in the US.

Past 5-10 years or so have seen an unparalleled growth in India. A new kind of generation has arrived which takes a new sense of pride in its country. No ruing the administration but striving towards change. This generation is Globally aware. Studying in US or going to London for a holiday is no longer the ultimate dream. The quantum of this generation is less but the impact is huge. This generation has IPL, the multi billion dollar cricket league, it stands up against racism in Australia, it voices against Ganesha on Chappals.

Here comes the catch. We no longer consider ourselves inferior. We have bred an arrogance on the likes of US, UK and Aus. Still we continue with the same set of SOP’s. How long can this work?

Lets see from the point of view of US citizens. They see Mumbai. They see Indians standing up for themselves. It is difficult for their Govt to explain spending money on students from such  a rapidly growing economy. There is also a lesser moral satisfaction to this philanthropic deed. Would be logical if they moved to poorer countries of Africa. Indians are also waking up to this new reality. I have seen a lot of people now applying for MS/Phd procuring bank loans.

Growth is restrained by this logical tool. The more you grow, the lesser is the growth rate, coz the competition is higher at the top, where the charity stops.

%d bloggers like this: