ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘UK

Britain’s moment of Trump(h)

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trump_britain.jpgBritain has voted for exiting the European Union putting to rest months of uncertainty and leading the global economy towards unchartered territory.

A lot was said as to how bad Brexit would be for UK economy and UK political standing. People campaigning for Leave were termed racists, xenophobic and what not. Still people decided to leave. Just as we did not ask when Trump won Republican Primary, we are still not asking the right questions. I see a lot of analysts and pundits calling it a dark day and a bug loss for humanity. Seriously? People of a nation determining their future, if that is a black day, then something wrong with the analysis.

Those who wanted to Remain and a huge number of them, have to introspect why they lost. No point blaming the other side. Why was it that people chose to leave? To understand that well off ones have to come out of their palaces. This includes media pundits. Stop demonizing the poor’s as racists. These people want jobs, security. Why call them xenophobic?

How I read this outcome is, majority of population have been left behind. Majority of population has not benefitted from European Union. A lot of them have benefitted and it is evident from 52-48 split. But the majority has been left behind and ignored. When they raise voices, they were called bad names. Hence they took matter to the ballot.

Same happened in case of Trump. He invigorated the silent majority. People who have been left far behind. People who were at the fag end of economic spectrum. People who have gained nothing for decades. I felt bad when Trump voters were demonized as racists in the similar way. Pundits could have called Trump a racist, but calling the voters names was outright wrong.

Now is the time for course correction. Its up to the 48% people now. Do they want to take 52% along towards prosperity or not? Further alienation and subjugation might lead to much worse consequences. I am not much too happy with Brexit myself. But will be happy if this is taken as a sign to stop taking the bourgeois for granted.

Written by arpitgarg

June 24, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Posted in Political

Tagged with , , , , ,

Study in US: A new Reality

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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.

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