2006-06-16 09:20:01 UTC
There isn't a month when I resolve that I can't go on with Goanet because it
takes too much of my time. Yet, I have continued and can only conclude that
this is because Goanet is often a pretty useful learning instrument. I am
not sure that what I have to say to Goanet is that significant in terms of
content or readership interest. However, I am definitely always learning new
things from Goanet.
For instance, I do believe strongly in the principle of affirmative action,
aka reservations, for students but I had no idea that this applied to
university academic appointments in India. Teotonio's post, re his own
experience, opened my eyes to this and made me really uncomfortable. I find
it difficult to reconcile that university teaching/research appointments are
not very significantly (if not totally) based on academic merit in India. I
don't think I can accept this situation. Any university needs the best
academic talent it can find if it is to maintain its standing nationally and
internationally. Not to do this is to compromise academic quality in my view
and would be illegal in the UK. Academics here also have to be highly
productive in their research/publication outputs as this is quantified every
four years for national and international ratings and comparisons. These in
turn, determine future grants/research fundings. Institutions are severly
penalised if research/publication outputs are in any way lacking in quality
as per publicly established criteria. This point would perhaps be of
particular interest to fellow Goanetters like Mario and Jose.
I am sure my academic colleagues in the UK would be utterly horrified to
learn about reservations in India when academic appointments are made unless
exceptionally. But as I write, I think it would be possible for the best
academic to be appointed to an advertised post, and alonside, someone from a
scheduled group 'apprenticed' on payment, to be mentored and to learn the
ropes so as to later compete on more equal terms.
This issue throws up so many complexities (especially, relating to the
built-in advantages of the better-off students anywhere), but thanks to
Goanet, I feel sure I will be writing an academic paper for the
UK/international audience on something I had never considered before.
In respect to Goanet as a learning instrument, thanks are definitely due to
the founders of Goanet and the admin team who must sometimes feel that they
are engaged in a thankless task.
Cornel DaCosta, London, UK