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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/15203/nytimes-on-private-sector-education-in-india/

NYTimes on Private Sector Education in India

January 3, 2011 by

Today’s New York Times Magazine features an inspirational article on India’s New Generation of Caste Busters telling the story of how private sector entrepreneurs are providing affordable educational services to help the poorest people develop skills for the global economy.

The article is centered around Ravindra Misal, a man from a poor family who became the founder of a school for roller skating, event management, and English language skills.

There are several passages from the article that surprised me and provoked further thought:

“Electricity is essential to ambition,” an energetic young man named Ravindra Misal explained to me, “because I need it to do my homework, I need it to listen to music if I am a dancer, I need it to listen to tapes of great speakers, I need it to surf the Internet. But I cannot, so people get angry.”


In Misal’s world, television was seen, even by parents, as a force of liberation. “TV is the very hi-fi form of everything,” Misal said. “It’s the extreme level of ideas, where they show you everything at top level, so that certainly gives you motivation. On TV you see the things of world-class standard. When you see some person on Discovery catching anaconda, you are looking at the best person in the world for catching anaconda. On TV we never see the strugglers or something like that; we see the people who have achieved what they wanted to be.”

In the developed world we are gradually losing ground to Algorism, an ideology wrapped around an attack on energy consumption. Private sector media, especially television, is one of the favorite targets of anti-market cultural criticism.

The poignancy of Misal’s comments comes from the direct connection he observes between energy consumption, the media, and the path from poverty to prosperity for the people who in spite of being very poor are highly motivated and intelligent.


HL January 3, 2011 at 1:22 am

Some poor NYT copy editor is going to get a reprimand for letting those passages through.

augusto January 3, 2011 at 2:20 am

Is this article from the New York Times or from the Times of India?

jl January 3, 2011 at 8:19 am

Interesting that they are motivated by watching TV. Here in America one generally thinks that TV turns people into passive observers only. Couch potatoes. And time spent in front of the tube is time taken away from useful pursuits like studying or actually improving oneself–especially among the lower classes who need the most improvement!

Bala January 3, 2011 at 8:38 am

While there are some positives about the way education is organised in India, the bigger worry is the ever increasing role of government in education. A simple sample is the “right to education” act recently passed by the Indian parliament. Where I live, the State government is busy with its approach of price control. Government still controls curriculum through various “regulatory” bodies such as the Boards of school education, the AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education), the UGC (University Grants Commission), the Ministry of HRD of the GoI, the state ministry for education, the departments of education in every state, etc. To make matters worse, you cannot run a recognised (don’t ask by whom) school or college as a profit making organisation. The outcome – most educational establishments are run by religious groups with the hidden agenda of popularising their respective faiths, politicians who have looted massive sums through graft, big real-estate developers who are in any case supported by the fractional reserve banking system with really really extended lines of credit, etc.

Hope that gives you the picture. Living in India, I don’t think the picture is as positive as this article presents.

gsalerts May 25, 2011 at 12:51 pm

One of my buddies is always talking about your blog at work – finally came and checked it out today, nice work! I’m subscribing to your rss feed – keep on posting!

rohitdubey August 11, 2011 at 2:28 am

the greate private sector education


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