Discussion:
Re: COMMENT: Research does count (Brian Antao, PhD)
(too old to reply)
bantaogoa
2004-02-26 05:12:27 UTC
Permalink
The article was a general article emphasizing on various issues that
should be factored in to improve the educational infrastructure in Goa,
with a strong emphasis to increase the focus on developing "research
ability" in students from an early stage. And yes as such there are
a number of issues that are not directly connected, but are relevant in
the broader context of improvinig the educational infrastructure. The
article by the way appeared originally as an Op-Ed in the O'Herald.

As for the respondent's comments that such a frame-work does not exist
even in the developed world is really not an issue of contention in terms
of improving education in Goa. Just because things don't exist elsewhere
in the world, does it mean that Goa cannot take the leadership and be a
first to implement its own path-breaking system ? He talks about the education system the world over not producing leaders but followers, and yet expects Goa to be a "follower" and not a "leader". He boasts of having 7 years of teaching experience in a developed country but is not able to contribute any fresh new ideas that one would expect from someone with that much of real experience.

The system of education in the developed countries to a great extent is more "open-ended" allowing one the freedom to be what one wants to be. It is not so much "production" oriented, producing neither employees nor employers! Where as it is the system in India which is NOT open-ended and
more "production" oriented.

To also point out, particularly to the many Non Resident Goans, who have left Goa and have settled in other countries and take this position of sitting on an almighty throne and looking back at Goa as being a backward under-developed village. Things are progressing mighty well in Goa. Many of whom were un-willing to accept that Goa was adjudged as India's Number One overall state. The basket-of-crabs mentality of destructive criticism prevails particularly among the Non Resident Goan community on their view of Goa. It's time many of them visited Goa and looked around and see for themselves the amazing developments that are taking place.

Some feats to note:
The Konkan railway based in Margao have developed the Sky-bus metropolitan transit system, a first of its kind in the world which has been granted a US patent, and many developed countries have expressed interest in the technology.

The National Institute of Oceanography(NIO) based in Goa, Dona Paula, has many Goan Scientists working who have made many notable discoveries and have been awarded international patents. The last Director of NIO, Dr. E. DeSa has just been appointed to a prestiguous post at the UNESCO based in France.

The other day a resident Goan, said to me, which was a great compliment, that I was very different from the many Non Resident Goans who come down to Goa on vacations etc. he said in Konkani (sp?) "Eh dushre yetah te sogle beshteleh, feh, feh, feh kohn shapondah sangon woita, kai korepah yeanah"

Another day, I was amused by a Goan youth who had returned after just a year's stay in the US, and was trying too hard to put on an American accent while speaking that he was totally incoherent more than being impressive on his newly acquired American accent :-)

PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15 years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how nicely Goa has been developing and improving and growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute constructively to the growth and development...

Cheers !
-- Brian

George Pinto goanet at goanet.org
Wed, 11 Feb 2004 16:54:46 -0800 (PST)

The author makes a number of good points in the article, though they are not necessarily connected
(example who is a lecturer, the lack of research, cramming, etc.). However, after 7 years
teaching at a University here in California, I can suggest two fundamental flaws with educational
systems the world over (not just developing countries and Goa):

1. The system is geared to produce employees, not employers. Followers, not leaders.
Crowd-pleasers, not trail-blazers. This is a malaise which also affects the Goan psyche and leads
to comfort as second-class citizens in various institutions (educational, religious, political,
etc).

2. Learning without a sense of social and civic activism. I do not consider an education complete
or even good without creating in the student a passion for justice and equality. If a student (or
for that matter any adult) does not pursue justice, they are not educated. The world we live in,
full of injustices, demands no less. Science, engineering, math, etc. without the humanities and
ultimately a sense for justice (and truth) is incomplete.

George




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Marlon Menezes
2004-02-26 09:13:25 UTC
Permalink
Brian,

I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?

I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.

Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
Aloysius D'Souza
2004-03-01 10:27:38 UTC
Permalink
Hi Marlon,

Not only in respect of computers and information technology are Indians
being appreciated around the world -- but in the supplement to Economic
Times of 27.02.2004 the demand for our DESIGNS -- are the designers called
engineers? -- is so great that international companies are setting up
design centres in India

Come on back --

Let us get together and make Goa the centre for computers, information
technology and designs -- our architects are doing a fine job benefiting
from exposure to both Indian and European ideas

Cheers

Aloysius D'Souza

----- Original Message -----
From: Marlon Menezes <marlon at goacom.com>
To: <goanet at goanet.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2004 2:43 PM
Subject: [Goanet]moving back to Goa
Post by Marlon Menezes
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
##########################################################################
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Aloysius D'Souza
2004-03-01 10:27:38 UTC
Permalink
Hi Marlon,

Not only in respect of computers and information technology are Indians
being appreciated around the world -- but in the supplement to Economic
Times of 27.02.2004 the demand for our DESIGNS -- are the designers called
engineers? -- is so great that international companies are setting up
design centres in India

Come on back --

Let us get together and make Goa the centre for computers, information
technology and designs -- our architects are doing a fine job benefiting
from exposure to both Indian and European ideas

Cheers

Aloysius D'Souza

----- Original Message -----
From: Marlon Menezes <marlon at goacom.com>
To: <goanet at goanet.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2004 2:43 PM
Subject: [Goanet]moving back to Goa
Post by Marlon Menezes
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
##########################################################################
# Send submissions for Goanet to goanet at goanet.org #
# PLEASE remember to stay on-topic (related to Goa), and avoid top-posts #
# More details on Goanet at http://joingoanet.shorturl.com/ #
# Please keep your discussion/tone polite, to reflect respect to others #
##########################################################################
bantaogoa
2004-02-26 15:25:50 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

Well, I had not pre-planned to move back to Goa, But came down
on an extended break, happened to "re-discover Goa" and have continued living here and have decided not to return to the US. The quality of life for a foreigner in the USA from my personal experience went down-hill
drastically since September 11, though it was going down-hill from much before. ?And you know with all the constant tension and Asians being put under the scan of suspicion was unsettling.

After I arrived in Goa, it was such a breath of fresh air ... the atmosphere is so calm and peaceful ... and it felt more like being at home.
I realized that in all the time I spent in the US I never quite got down to
getting that feeling of "being home" and never really felt like it was
a place I could call "home"

In addition I had a horrible experience ... an experience with the classic
American Bigot. A crazy woman based in Texas where I lived who never even saw me, but only had heard of me through one of her friends who happened to know me began making serious accusations that I was a "terrorist". This woman was a classic case of the American Xenophobe who have a problem dealing with "Intelligent" foreigners. This woman was so twisted that she went to the extent of claiming to be an authority on India, and that there were No Catholics or Christians in India. And she went about accusing me of actually being a "Muslim terrorist" who had changed his name to a Christian name and lying about being a Catholic and all such really extremely demented stuff. It is so typical of Americans who have such
grossly WRONG and demented perceptions about the rest of the world
but will go about with such an arrogance to impose their WRONG beliefs.
I have too much of pride and self-esteem to put up with such ridiculous
bull-shit! This is the kind of shit that I won't tolerate or put up
with, even if offered a million dollars!

As for the USA, I really enjoyed the time when I was a student and in academia, but it was like night and day after that in the real world. I
always wondered what happened to all these American folks who are good
and nice when they are in the collegiate environment, but once they
get out in the real world go down-hill. Things have changed too a lot in
the USA, and I think what once used to be called the "American Dream" has
become more of an "American Nightmare"... Now it is the "European Dream" !!

Besides after coming down to Goa, I have also realized how "insular"
the USA is. From Goa, I have access to more news and information about
the rest of the world, that what one has in the USA. Even the regional
Goan newspapers have better "global" news coverage than the American
media. I have also discovered the more exciting challenges that Europe
and England have to offer... my future plans are open and I am exploring
a number of options that include, staying on in Goa, if a business plan
I'm working on comes through, to exploring opportunities in England or other parts of developed Europe.

If you see Goa for example, it is a popular tourist destination with
Europeans, and the Europeans are definitely a much more cultured and
classy lot. I have got a chance here to see and mingle with a lot of
the European tourists and they are a much nicer, cultured, mannered,
decent and pleasant lot. As compared to the American who seems
like such a "rough-neck" in comparison... The term Americanus Redneckus
is quite apropos !

A problem with the American "psyche" as such is that they tend to view the
world in terms of "stereotypes"... for example if an American knows one
Indian who is a convenience store worker, he/she would most stupidly
conclude that all Indians are convenience store workers. Which was quite
evident by the shocking public remark made by Hillary Clinton, who aspires
to be an American President -- She said "Was'nt Mahatma Gandhi a gas station worker"

In America, one has to be able to distinguish the American Xenophobe, from the racist. A lot of Americans are very Xenophobhic about "Intelligent" foreigners... Americans like to think that by default, simply because they are Americans they are smarter than the foreigner, and feel more comfortable with the less smart foreigner... as a result Americans are more a bunch of "smart-asses" and "smart-alecs" than "Intelligent" ... I read somewhere that "Intelligent American" is quite the oxymoron --
probably originated from the French who have quite a disdain of Americans,
but one which is quite justifiable.

Returning to Goa is really great ... if you have some capital saved up
and have a bit of an entrepreneural spirit it is perfect ... you can set yourself up in a nice independent business and relax and enjoy the great
"Goan ambiance"

Besides, Goa is growing and developing in all fronts ... there are ample of
recreational opportunities ... football is particularly a hot favorite...
there are a dozen of different leagues at different levels, and matches
played all over the place from the top Indian National Football league
to the lowest division league...

There's a thriving pub, bar, nightclub and music scene, which however is
more concentrated in the North Goa tourist belt centered around Calangute.
Goa has also evolved its own genre of music called "Goa Trance" which
is quite popular in Europe, its a genre by itself and if you want to
make a comparison perhaps it comes closest to some of the music by the
German Group DA ROOT

In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector which has gone un-noticed as the latest
fad is on Information Technology and every body talks about the Major
Indian IT hubs in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Goa is actually a "best kept
secret" in terms of being a major "Pharma Hub" But efforts are underway
to build up the IT sector as well in Goa.

In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA... and a dollar or a rupee goes a much longer way here!
You can stretch things and live comfortably with a better quality of
life, better social interactions, without having to worry about the issue
of being a second-class citizen in a foreign land. Here you are at home,
you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!

In terms of the financial aspects, unfortunatly the "salary scales" in India are still too low and leave much to be desired, but Goa on the other
hand has the highest per-capita income in India, you you can expect a higher than average income in Goa. The best bet is going into business
for yourself... and if you have a little bit of ingenuity, you can create
enough of niche opportunities for yourself. The basic infrastructure for
that is quite good here in Goa, and the amount of initial capital required
to get started is not too demanding. Besides the banking and finance industry has developed quite a bit and you have all the facilities, such as
all types of loans etc.

So if you have to go to a foreign land its good to make some good money, save it up and return back to good old Goa, where it is home and home is
where the heart is !

Cheers !
?-- Brian
Post by Marlon Menezes
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
? -- Brian
__________________________________________________________________
Introducing the New Netscape Internet Service.
Only $9.95 a month -- Sign up today at http://isp.netscape.com/register

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Marlon Menezes
2004-02-28 19:33:36 UTC
Permalink
I am sorry to hear that Brian had a series of negative
experiences in the US after leaving university. I do
agree that things have gotten a little less
comfortable after 9-11, but I believe this has much to
do with the policies of this present administration
than the public at large.

Contrary to his experience, I have found my work
environment to be as, if not more positive than what I
experienced in graduate school. Perhaps this is in
part due to me living in the silicon valley, which has
long been a melting pot of various cultures and
nationalities.

Americans and for that matter Goans, come in different
shapes and sizes. All those wonderful Americans you
interacted with in academia could not have simply just
disappeared. Maybe they all moved to California :)

While I do like Goa, there are also many qualities of
the US and specially California that I also love. I
do know that there are a number of older Goans on
goanet who evenly split their residences partly in
India and N.America or Europe. Looks like these lucky
people are getting the best of both worlds. On the
other hand, if one wants to make a contribution to
Goa, I believe it is better/easier to make the move
when one is relatively young and therefore better able
to recover if things turn south.

If I were to make a list of the positives and
negatives of Goa, I would come up with the following:

Positives:
1) Family
2) Great food and mangoes :)
3) Ability to made a worthwhile contribution to Goa
with modest amounts of money (but a lot of time)
4) Low cost of living
5) You can't get thrown out of your own country
6) Accelerating economic growth
7) Cheap labor

Negatives:
1) Financial - if one does not have the finances to
back one up, the only option to earn significant
income may be by starting a business, which carries
with it, its own set of risks.
2) Lack of familiarity of local processes which often
seem alien, inefficient and unnecessary.
3) Corruption, bureaucracy, clueless officials/ rules
and procedures being made on the fly and subject to
change change without notice!
4) More difficult to get cutting edge labor in Goa (as
opposed to Bombay, Banglore etc).
5) Limited network of friends and contacts
6) Language

The above is a rather simplistic list of positives and
negatives. I'm sure there are others out there who can
refine or add to this list.

Marlon
Post by bantaogoa
Hi,
Well, I had not pre-planned to move back to Goa, But
came down
on an extended break, happened to "re-discover Goa"
and have continued living here and have decided not
to return to the US. The quality of life for a
foreigner in the USA from my personal experience
went down-hill
drastically since September 11, though it was going
down-hill from much before. ?And you know with all
the constant tension and Asians being put under the
scan of suspicion was unsettling.
Alfred de Tavares
2004-02-28 22:39:33 UTC
Permalink
Dear Brian,
When you answer MM, please try and include some information I need in also
taking the steps you have taken: How much monthly budget would you consider
necessary to live in Goa comfortably but not extravagantly? Housing expenses
not included.
Aklfred de Tavares,
Stockholm, 2004-02-28
From: Marlon Menezes <marlon at goacom.com>
Reply-To: goanet at goanet.org
To: goanet at goanet.org
Subject: [Goanet]moving back to Goa
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 01:13:25 -0800 (PST)
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
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Add photos to your messages with MSN 8. Get 2 months FREE*.
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bantaogoa
2004-02-29 06:54:34 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

I'm not the one to dismiss an entire culture in a stereotype,
as most often is the tendency with Americans to do. I have
had many positive and wonderful experiences, which many others
I am sure have had too... but it would be more beneficial for other
Goans to hear of the negatives so that they can be prepared better when they encounter similar situations... after all you don't want to paint a too rosy picture that all is fine...

Maybe I was a little spolit having been to graduate school at Vanderbilt
University, which is one of the nicer socio-cultural as well as, well
ranked American Universities, which has a higher quality of student population(the upper crust), than what the average American is like.

I have been to the silicon valley many times, and I'd say it is one
of the better places in America to live in, but is is an exception and
not the norm. I am also quite the explorer, and have travelled very widely
across and seen quite a bit of America, including many of the "off the
beaten path" areas and town-ships... and experienced the "real Americana", and have met some real nice genuine Americans too... and can distinguish the Mississipi accent from the Alabama one, though many would simply say that it is the southern one, but franky there is a shade of a difference !

In general I would say that just the way that there is a wide gap between the rich and the poor in India, there is a similar gap between the good
and not-so good Americans!

Psychologists will tell you that when some one is put under a situation
of extreme stress or adversity, it brings out a person's true character.
September 11 was such an adversity that brought out the true character of
Americans and most of it was not quite so good !

America which once was a bastion of the "humanitarian democracy" has progressed more towards being a neo-fascist police state. America has many "sophisticated" suppresive controls in place. On the other hand Britain has been progressing towards being the more "compassionate
democracy" and the formation of the European Union is a development
towards more of "unification" as opposed to the more isolationist
path that America is heading to. For all the talk about America being such an open democracy ... how many Americans of Indian origin have been
able to rise to a high-ranking political position ? If you look at Britian, we have Keith Vaz, a British-Goan who is a Member of the
British parliament, in addition to a couple of other Indian origin MPs, as well as a couple of Indian origin "Lords" ... members of the upper house of the Lords! Britian also has more stringent "anti-racist" laws !!

After all, where-ever you maybe it does take some amount of "individual"
effort to make it within whatever framework that exists, and this frame-work differs from place to place, and you have to navigate through the negatives and use the positives to your advantage !

Cheers,
?-- Brian
Post by Marlon Menezes
I am sorry to hear that Brian had a series of negative
experiences in the US after leaving university. I do
agree that things have gotten a little less
comfortable after 9-11, but I believe this has much to
do with the policies of this present administration
than the public at large.
__________________________________________________________________
New! Unlimited Netscape Internet Service.
Only $9.95 a month -- Sign up today at http://isp.netscape.com/register
Act now to get a personalized email address!

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Bosco D'Mello
2004-02-29 17:39:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by bantaogoa
In addition I had a horrible experience ... an experience with the classic
American Bigot.
RESPONSE: Don't we have our fair share of Goan Bigots. Take a step further -
don't we have our fair share of Goanetters who continue to espouse bigotted
views. And in some cases they have the desired effect ......they turn-off people.

Don't we "stereotype" others too ?? "Stereotyping" people is not an American
monopoly.

In 6 months, you definitely have noticed the same !!!
Post by bantaogoa
Besides, Goa is growing and developing in all fronts ... there are ample of
recreational opportunities ...a thriving pub, bar, nightclub and music scene,
In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector. But efforts are underway to build up the IT
sector as well in Goa.
In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA...
Here you are at home, you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!
RESPONSE: Thanks for that refreshing view of Goa. Yours is not the first
positive email on this subject I have received in the last couple of months and
it's very unlike the incessant vitriol some have been putting out on Goanet on
all the negative aspects of Goa.

Wish you the best as you settle-down.....or decide to fly-off again.

Best wishes - Bosco
Frederick Noronha (FN)
2004-02-29 19:53:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bosco D'Mello
Post by bantaogoa
In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector. But efforts are underway to build up the IT
sector as well in Goa.
In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA...
Here you are at home, you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!
RESPONSE: Thanks for that refreshing view of Goa. Yours is not the first
positive email on this subject I have received in the last couple of months and
it's very unlike the incessant vitriol some have been putting out on Goanet on
all the negative aspects of Goa.
May I point out that quite a few of us here are indeed quite happy at the
idea of living in Goa itself. If we criticise many things about the place
it's because (i) we would naturally like things to get better -- lot can
be done (ii) we sincerely believe that our criticism could have some
impact.

Of course, there are others in Goa who, tempted by greener pastures,
waiting for a visa to shift to a land of milk and honey. But these, to my
mind, are not the ones critiquing Goa so bitterly via Goanet.

The latter class is dominated by people who moved out of Goa years ago,
and maybe subconsiously want to justify their decision. We should just
perhaps be more broadminded in respecting the decision of those who opted
to move elsewhere (for whatever reason), just as the critics among them
should refrain from attempts at convincing others that Goa/India is the
worst place in the planet.

We have many problems, yes. But I still love being here. Being in Goa
gives me a feeling that my work matters, and an ability to understand the
context. FN
Frederick Noronha (FN)
2004-02-29 19:53:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bosco D'Mello
Post by bantaogoa
In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector. But efforts are underway to build up the IT
sector as well in Goa.
In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA...
Here you are at home, you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!
RESPONSE: Thanks for that refreshing view of Goa. Yours is not the first
positive email on this subject I have received in the last couple of months and
it's very unlike the incessant vitriol some have been putting out on Goanet on
all the negative aspects of Goa.
May I point out that quite a few of us here are indeed quite happy at the
idea of living in Goa itself. If we criticise many things about the place
it's because (i) we would naturally like things to get better -- lot can
be done (ii) we sincerely believe that our criticism could have some
impact.

Of course, there are others in Goa who, tempted by greener pastures,
waiting for a visa to shift to a land of milk and honey. But these, to my
mind, are not the ones critiquing Goa so bitterly via Goanet.

The latter class is dominated by people who moved out of Goa years ago,
and maybe subconsiously want to justify their decision. We should just
perhaps be more broadminded in respecting the decision of those who opted
to move elsewhere (for whatever reason), just as the critics among them
should refrain from attempts at convincing others that Goa/India is the
worst place in the planet.

We have many problems, yes. But I still love being here. Being in Goa
gives me a feeling that my work matters, and an ability to understand the
context. FN
Frederick Noronha (FN)
2004-02-29 19:53:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bosco D'Mello
Post by bantaogoa
In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector. But efforts are underway to build up the IT
sector as well in Goa.
In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA...
Here you are at home, you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!
RESPONSE: Thanks for that refreshing view of Goa. Yours is not the first
positive email on this subject I have received in the last couple of months and
it's very unlike the incessant vitriol some have been putting out on Goanet on
all the negative aspects of Goa.
May I point out that quite a few of us here are indeed quite happy at the
idea of living in Goa itself. If we criticise many things about the place
it's because (i) we would naturally like things to get better -- lot can
be done (ii) we sincerely believe that our criticism could have some
impact.

Of course, there are others in Goa who, tempted by greener pastures,
waiting for a visa to shift to a land of milk and honey. But these, to my
mind, are not the ones critiquing Goa so bitterly via Goanet.

The latter class is dominated by people who moved out of Goa years ago,
and maybe subconsiously want to justify their decision. We should just
perhaps be more broadminded in respecting the decision of those who opted
to move elsewhere (for whatever reason), just as the critics among them
should refrain from attempts at convincing others that Goa/India is the
worst place in the planet.

We have many problems, yes. But I still love being here. Being in Goa
gives me a feeling that my work matters, and an ability to understand the
context. FN
Frederick Noronha (FN)
2004-02-29 19:53:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bosco D'Mello
Post by bantaogoa
In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector. But efforts are underway to build up the IT
sector as well in Goa.
In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA...
Here you are at home, you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!
RESPONSE: Thanks for that refreshing view of Goa. Yours is not the first
positive email on this subject I have received in the last couple of months and
it's very unlike the incessant vitriol some have been putting out on Goanet on
all the negative aspects of Goa.
May I point out that quite a few of us here are indeed quite happy at the
idea of living in Goa itself. If we criticise many things about the place
it's because (i) we would naturally like things to get better -- lot can
be done (ii) we sincerely believe that our criticism could have some
impact.

Of course, there are others in Goa who, tempted by greener pastures,
waiting for a visa to shift to a land of milk and honey. But these, to my
mind, are not the ones critiquing Goa so bitterly via Goanet.

The latter class is dominated by people who moved out of Goa years ago,
and maybe subconsiously want to justify their decision. We should just
perhaps be more broadminded in respecting the decision of those who opted
to move elsewhere (for whatever reason), just as the critics among them
should refrain from attempts at convincing others that Goa/India is the
worst place in the planet.

We have many problems, yes. But I still love being here. Being in Goa
gives me a feeling that my work matters, and an ability to understand the
context. FN
Frederick Noronha (FN)
2004-02-29 19:53:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bosco D'Mello
Post by bantaogoa
In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector. But efforts are underway to build up the IT
sector as well in Goa.
In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA...
Here you are at home, you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!
RESPONSE: Thanks for that refreshing view of Goa. Yours is not the first
positive email on this subject I have received in the last couple of months and
it's very unlike the incessant vitriol some have been putting out on Goanet on
all the negative aspects of Goa.
May I point out that quite a few of us here are indeed quite happy at the
idea of living in Goa itself. If we criticise many things about the place
it's because (i) we would naturally like things to get better -- lot can
be done (ii) we sincerely believe that our criticism could have some
impact.

Of course, there are others in Goa who, tempted by greener pastures,
waiting for a visa to shift to a land of milk and honey. But these, to my
mind, are not the ones critiquing Goa so bitterly via Goanet.

The latter class is dominated by people who moved out of Goa years ago,
and maybe subconsiously want to justify their decision. We should just
perhaps be more broadminded in respecting the decision of those who opted
to move elsewhere (for whatever reason), just as the critics among them
should refrain from attempts at convincing others that Goa/India is the
worst place in the planet.

We have many problems, yes. But I still love being here. Being in Goa
gives me a feeling that my work matters, and an ability to understand the
context. FN
Frederick Noronha (FN)
2004-02-29 19:53:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bosco D'Mello
Post by bantaogoa
In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector. But efforts are underway to build up the IT
sector as well in Goa.
In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA...
Here you are at home, you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!
RESPONSE: Thanks for that refreshing view of Goa. Yours is not the first
positive email on this subject I have received in the last couple of months and
it's very unlike the incessant vitriol some have been putting out on Goanet on
all the negative aspects of Goa.
May I point out that quite a few of us here are indeed quite happy at the
idea of living in Goa itself. If we criticise many things about the place
it's because (i) we would naturally like things to get better -- lot can
be done (ii) we sincerely believe that our criticism could have some
impact.

Of course, there are others in Goa who, tempted by greener pastures,
waiting for a visa to shift to a land of milk and honey. But these, to my
mind, are not the ones critiquing Goa so bitterly via Goanet.

The latter class is dominated by people who moved out of Goa years ago,
and maybe subconsiously want to justify their decision. We should just
perhaps be more broadminded in respecting the decision of those who opted
to move elsewhere (for whatever reason), just as the critics among them
should refrain from attempts at convincing others that Goa/India is the
worst place in the planet.

We have many problems, yes. But I still love being here. Being in Goa
gives me a feeling that my work matters, and an ability to understand the
context. FN
Frederick Noronha (FN)
2004-02-29 19:53:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bosco D'Mello
Post by bantaogoa
In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector. But efforts are underway to build up the IT
sector as well in Goa.
In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA...
Here you are at home, you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!
RESPONSE: Thanks for that refreshing view of Goa. Yours is not the first
positive email on this subject I have received in the last couple of months and
it's very unlike the incessant vitriol some have been putting out on Goanet on
all the negative aspects of Goa.
May I point out that quite a few of us here are indeed quite happy at the
idea of living in Goa itself. If we criticise many things about the place
it's because (i) we would naturally like things to get better -- lot can
be done (ii) we sincerely believe that our criticism could have some
impact.

Of course, there are others in Goa who, tempted by greener pastures,
waiting for a visa to shift to a land of milk and honey. But these, to my
mind, are not the ones critiquing Goa so bitterly via Goanet.

The latter class is dominated by people who moved out of Goa years ago,
and maybe subconsiously want to justify their decision. We should just
perhaps be more broadminded in respecting the decision of those who opted
to move elsewhere (for whatever reason), just as the critics among them
should refrain from attempts at convincing others that Goa/India is the
worst place in the planet.

We have many problems, yes. But I still love being here. Being in Goa
gives me a feeling that my work matters, and an ability to understand the
context. FN
bantaogoa
2004-03-01 07:03:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frederick Noronha (FN)
We have many problems, yes. But I still love being here. Being in Goa
gives me a feeling that my work matters, and an ability to understand the
context. FN
I forgot to mention this most critical aspect, that being here in Goa,
you get the greater satisfaction that "You can make a difference" ...
as opposed to say being in America, where for the most part considered "foreign labor for hire" without much of a say or impact !

At the same time we do need Goans to constantly critique the state of affairs in Goa in a "constructive" way ... and sometimes one does need
to resort to vitriolic to get the "susegado" Goan machinery to move
on things ! I would say that we need more "watch-dog" type activists
in Goa to keep prodding on for "Continuous Improvement" across the state
as things tend to be easily get lost in a file gathering dust in a corner.

For example, we hear about a lot of "projects" approved by the government,
but many of these "approved projects" are sitting in files gathering dust.
One much needed "watch-dog" group activity is needed to see that once these
projects are "approved" that work on them commences "immediately".

In Goa, the machinery has the attitude of doing things "Tommorow" but the
"Tommorow" never comes !

We also need a "watch-dog" group to see that projects are untertaken with high-quality standards. There is a lot of corruption in this regard, where for example, a project is approved for a certain amount, but the work is undertaken at a sub-standard level, and money is siphoned off, by compromising on the quality.

For example, It seems that the Margao Municipality has undertaken to paint
around the Municipal garden fencing... but a number of sections of the
fencing are fallen apart, pieces of the concrete sections coming off and
exposing the steel re-enforcing bars ... A good quality engineering work
would be to first fix and patch up all these broken pieces in the boundary all around, and then apply the new paint. Instead of just painting over the
broken pieces ... This is the kind of bad work that is much needed to be vocied out and critiqued !!!

-- Brian


__________________________________________________________________
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Frederick Noronha (FN)
2004-02-06 22:36:02 UTC
Permalink
Research does count
-------------------

Goa does have among the
highest literacy rate
in the country, but the
question that needs
to be asked is how
good is the "quality
of the literate"

By Brian Antao, Ph.D.

Goa has embarked on a great mission towards educational reform in the state.
This is a particularly good effort, considering that Goa has the highest
literacy rate in the country, the Goa educationists have not rested on this
laurel and have embarked to further improve the "quality of education" in
the state.

Goa does have among the highest literacy rate in the country, but the
question that needs to be asked is how good is the "quality of the
literate". Goan graduates find it difficult to secure high quality jobs
across the country. We find many of the Goans, not pursuing higher studies,
but migrating to the Gulf and the merchant shipping sector for low quality
jobs, that pay comparatively well as compared to similar jobs in the
country.

In a recent newspaper article, one Goan engineering educationist claimed
that the engineering courses offered in the Goan colleges are based on the
best text-books available in the field, and attempted to blame the students
for their poor performance. In another pertinent comment-article by a former
IIT-Madras director, that appeared in the Indian Express, he blamed the
exam-centric Indian education system where it is possible to study only 60%
of the curriculum and obtain 80% in the examinations. The problem we have in
Goa is that many of the educationists have been "blaming the students" for
their poor performance.

These attitudes of Goan educationists of "blaming students" for poor
performance is not going to result in improving the quality of education in
the state, however much the system is reformed. Some teachers claim that
the student is not motivated. Another prominent Goan claimed he left his
teaching job, as he seemed to be addressing his lectures to only five or six
students who were motivated in the class. Thank you for leaving, for one
must say that you have failed as a teacher to motivate the students of your
class.

A good teacher is also a motivational speaker, not an arrogant blow-horn.
Does the Goan education system have the feature of private appointments with
the teachers, which is prominent in the developed countries, where students
can spend one-on-one time with their teachers to get their doubts cleared?
Instead, in Goa, we have spawned off an eco-system of tuitions and coaching
classes, a concept that is alien in the developed countries.

Coming back to the claim made by one of Goa's engineering educators that the
curriculum is drawn from the best textbooks in the field. This is the
biggest problem that promotes "text-book" based cramming. Engineering is a
very "practical" field and one simply cannot be a good engineer by cramming
from a prescribed textbook for the course.

Today, the core problem in Goa's education infrastructure is that it
completely lacks the research aspect. This text-book approach of education
does not in any way prepare students for a "research" career. Many of the
technology and other scientific innovations take root at the various
research programmes at the universities in the developed world. For example
the first computing machine the ILIAC, that has led to the entire generation
of the computing field, was built as part of a research programme the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. So was the Internet browser,
commercialized by spinning off the company Netscape.

Goa needs to develop and introduce research and innovation skills to
students early from secondary school onwards. Introducing into the
curriculum research assignments can bring this about. These research
assignments take different forms depending on the subject. In technical and
science subjects, would involve assigning students a research oriented
problem, that they go off and solve and arrive at an innovative solution
that which they cannot simply copy from a single text book or a guide.

It is important that from the secondary stage onwards, the course curriculum
is not based on a single-text book, but a selection of reading list for the
subject that the student has to refer to during the course. The course or
subject definition is not drawn from the text-book but is defined in terms
of topics and sub- topics that compose the course and subject. And the
student is then motivated to study these topics and sub-topics from the
reading list provided.

In terms of engineering education, for example, one cannot acquire mastery
in a programming language by cramming from the best available textbook just
the syntax of the programming language. To learn to be a good programmer,
one has to go through the exercise of writing for oneself dozens of programs
that address the different aspects of computer problem solving, and going
through the entire practical cycle of compiling these programs on a
computer, debugging them and ensuring that they work and solve the problem
definition.

The second core problem in terms of a lack of research culture in Goa's
education framework is at the Goa University level. Again the problem is
with the way the faculty is structured and operates.

In the developed countries all the faculty members above the "lecturer"
grade have to compulsorily have their own on-going research programme in
their field of specialization. This applies not only to the science, medical
and technology areas but also in the basic arts. At the end of the academic
year, it is not only the students that undergo evaluation, but the faculty
undergo continuous evaluation as well. At the end of each semester, for each
course, students are asked to fill out a "teacher or course evaluation"
forms. This also ensures that the faculty is upto- date with the latest
developments in the field.

By definition a "lecturer" is of course only a lecturer, which is a purely
teaching job, and usually the number of lecturer positions are limited and
on a temporary basis called in to fill in when there are not enough regular
faculty to teach the entire range of courses offered by the University. The
lecturer position is not a step in the ladder of progression, and often
senior post-graduate students who have excellent records are called in to be
a lecturer or an instructor in a course.

It is because that the faculty at the University level in countries like the
US are required to have their own research programmes and bring in research
funding to support the programme that many Indian and foreign students are
able to avail of scholarships to study there. Students are hired by a
professor as a research assistant to work in their research programme. Full
time faculty has to acquire grants to support their research from different
sources, both the public and private sector.

Goa University needs educational reform too, moving to spearheading
research. It can learn from the overseas experience, where bringing in
research funding is a tough process, which involves writing a high-quality
research proposal, which outlines which new area, or new problem that will
be researched. Research proposals also include such factors as how many
students will be supported and involved in the programme.

With India moving in the direction of "developed" status, it is essential
for Goa to keep in step and for Goa University to also reform its pattern of
education and move in the direction of being a comprehensive research and
teaching university.

How is the current Ph.D. programme of the Goa University structured, keeping
aside issues of quality? Ph.D. programmes in the developed countries are
resident programmes and don't involve a mere compilation of a Ph.D. thesis.
A typical Ph.D. programme at the leading US varsities involves a series of
stages: first passing a qualifying exam, which is usually the entrance to
the programme. This qualifying exam is not a statewide gala-affair, as exams
in India tend to be. This internal exam comprises both written and oral
sections, to screen out candidates who don't make the grade.

This is followed by compiling an Area Paper, a tough exercise, where one has
to do a comprehensive study and research the developments in his or her
proposed Ph.D. research topic, identify the past work that has been done in
the field and define his or her Ph.D. research problem in such a way that it
does not re- invent the wheel or replicate work that has already been done
in the field, and usually involves a global search.

This ensures that research done at the universities keeps advancing the
state-of-the-art. In addition, the Ph.D. student has to carry out teaching
assignments, as a Ph.D. from a leading US university prepares its graduates
for a range of career choices which include directly entering into a junior
faculty position or taking up a private sector position.

Another aspect for development for Goa University is the Management
programme. The University took the baby step in this direction and set up
the department of Management Studies, which has grown to a certain level of
maturity. It is now time to spin it off into a full-fledged Goa School of
Business and Management (GSBM) on the lines of the IIMs.

For setting up the GSBM the Goa University should seek the mentorship,
partnership and guidance of one of the leading business and management
schools, either the IIM network or even look more ambitiously to the more
world-renown business schools such as the London Business School on INSEAD,
France. Andhra Pradesh has set up an International school of business that
has a link-up with the London School of Business.

With a little bit of genuine motivation, a lot can be accomplished.
The problem with many a Goan is that vital aspect of a lack of motivation.
Many Goans also tend to be techno- phobic. Resistance to change and a lack
of a desire for continuous improvement is another stumbling block in the
path to progress. Not to mention the certain seniority-based hegemony that
prevails and suppresses talented youth from advancing.

At the same time, the mandatory retirement limits imposed also cuts many
talented senior individuals who still have the capacity to perform at a high
level of competence. Our own current Prime Minister who is well past the
retirement age is a good example of some one who is governing the country
based on performance and competence factors.

The retirement system needs to be reformed, and based on performance and
competence as well as allowing a voluntary aspect to it. Goa once took pride
in having a susegado culture. In today's dynamic world that has changed much
it would be a shame to say we still have a susegado mind-set!
bantaogoa
2004-02-26 05:12:27 UTC
Permalink
The article was a general article emphasizing on various issues that
should be factored in to improve the educational infrastructure in Goa,
with a strong emphasis to increase the focus on developing "research
ability" in students from an early stage. And yes as such there are
a number of issues that are not directly connected, but are relevant in
the broader context of improvinig the educational infrastructure. The
article by the way appeared originally as an Op-Ed in the O'Herald.

As for the respondent's comments that such a frame-work does not exist
even in the developed world is really not an issue of contention in terms
of improving education in Goa. Just because things don't exist elsewhere
in the world, does it mean that Goa cannot take the leadership and be a
first to implement its own path-breaking system ? He talks about the education system the world over not producing leaders but followers, and yet expects Goa to be a "follower" and not a "leader". He boasts of having 7 years of teaching experience in a developed country but is not able to contribute any fresh new ideas that one would expect from someone with that much of real experience.

The system of education in the developed countries to a great extent is more "open-ended" allowing one the freedom to be what one wants to be. It is not so much "production" oriented, producing neither employees nor employers! Where as it is the system in India which is NOT open-ended and
more "production" oriented.

To also point out, particularly to the many Non Resident Goans, who have left Goa and have settled in other countries and take this position of sitting on an almighty throne and looking back at Goa as being a backward under-developed village. Things are progressing mighty well in Goa. Many of whom were un-willing to accept that Goa was adjudged as India's Number One overall state. The basket-of-crabs mentality of destructive criticism prevails particularly among the Non Resident Goan community on their view of Goa. It's time many of them visited Goa and looked around and see for themselves the amazing developments that are taking place.

Some feats to note:
The Konkan railway based in Margao have developed the Sky-bus metropolitan transit system, a first of its kind in the world which has been granted a US patent, and many developed countries have expressed interest in the technology.

The National Institute of Oceanography(NIO) based in Goa, Dona Paula, has many Goan Scientists working who have made many notable discoveries and have been awarded international patents. The last Director of NIO, Dr. E. DeSa has just been appointed to a prestiguous post at the UNESCO based in France.

The other day a resident Goan, said to me, which was a great compliment, that I was very different from the many Non Resident Goans who come down to Goa on vacations etc. he said in Konkani (sp?) "Eh dushre yetah te sogle beshteleh, feh, feh, feh kohn shapondah sangon woita, kai korepah yeanah"

Another day, I was amused by a Goan youth who had returned after just a year's stay in the US, and was trying too hard to put on an American accent while speaking that he was totally incoherent more than being impressive on his newly acquired American accent :-)

PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15 years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how nicely Goa has been developing and improving and growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute constructively to the growth and development...

Cheers !
-- Brian

George Pinto goanet at goanet.org
Wed, 11 Feb 2004 16:54:46 -0800 (PST)

The author makes a number of good points in the article, though they are not necessarily connected
(example who is a lecturer, the lack of research, cramming, etc.). However, after 7 years
teaching at a University here in California, I can suggest two fundamental flaws with educational
systems the world over (not just developing countries and Goa):

1. The system is geared to produce employees, not employers. Followers, not leaders.
Crowd-pleasers, not trail-blazers. This is a malaise which also affects the Goan psyche and leads
to comfort as second-class citizens in various institutions (educational, religious, political,
etc).

2. Learning without a sense of social and civic activism. I do not consider an education complete
or even good without creating in the student a passion for justice and equality. If a student (or
for that matter any adult) does not pursue justice, they are not educated. The world we live in,
full of injustices, demands no less. Science, engineering, math, etc. without the humanities and
ultimately a sense for justice (and truth) is incomplete.

George




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Marlon Menezes
2004-02-26 09:13:25 UTC
Permalink
Brian,

I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?

I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.

Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
bantaogoa
2004-02-26 15:25:50 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

Well, I had not pre-planned to move back to Goa, But came down
on an extended break, happened to "re-discover Goa" and have continued living here and have decided not to return to the US. The quality of life for a foreigner in the USA from my personal experience went down-hill
drastically since September 11, though it was going down-hill from much before. ?And you know with all the constant tension and Asians being put under the scan of suspicion was unsettling.

After I arrived in Goa, it was such a breath of fresh air ... the atmosphere is so calm and peaceful ... and it felt more like being at home.
I realized that in all the time I spent in the US I never quite got down to
getting that feeling of "being home" and never really felt like it was
a place I could call "home"

In addition I had a horrible experience ... an experience with the classic
American Bigot. A crazy woman based in Texas where I lived who never even saw me, but only had heard of me through one of her friends who happened to know me began making serious accusations that I was a "terrorist". This woman was a classic case of the American Xenophobe who have a problem dealing with "Intelligent" foreigners. This woman was so twisted that she went to the extent of claiming to be an authority on India, and that there were No Catholics or Christians in India. And she went about accusing me of actually being a "Muslim terrorist" who had changed his name to a Christian name and lying about being a Catholic and all such really extremely demented stuff. It is so typical of Americans who have such
grossly WRONG and demented perceptions about the rest of the world
but will go about with such an arrogance to impose their WRONG beliefs.
I have too much of pride and self-esteem to put up with such ridiculous
bull-shit! This is the kind of shit that I won't tolerate or put up
with, even if offered a million dollars!

As for the USA, I really enjoyed the time when I was a student and in academia, but it was like night and day after that in the real world. I
always wondered what happened to all these American folks who are good
and nice when they are in the collegiate environment, but once they
get out in the real world go down-hill. Things have changed too a lot in
the USA, and I think what once used to be called the "American Dream" has
become more of an "American Nightmare"... Now it is the "European Dream" !!

Besides after coming down to Goa, I have also realized how "insular"
the USA is. From Goa, I have access to more news and information about
the rest of the world, that what one has in the USA. Even the regional
Goan newspapers have better "global" news coverage than the American
media. I have also discovered the more exciting challenges that Europe
and England have to offer... my future plans are open and I am exploring
a number of options that include, staying on in Goa, if a business plan
I'm working on comes through, to exploring opportunities in England or other parts of developed Europe.

If you see Goa for example, it is a popular tourist destination with
Europeans, and the Europeans are definitely a much more cultured and
classy lot. I have got a chance here to see and mingle with a lot of
the European tourists and they are a much nicer, cultured, mannered,
decent and pleasant lot. As compared to the American who seems
like such a "rough-neck" in comparison... The term Americanus Redneckus
is quite apropos !

A problem with the American "psyche" as such is that they tend to view the
world in terms of "stereotypes"... for example if an American knows one
Indian who is a convenience store worker, he/she would most stupidly
conclude that all Indians are convenience store workers. Which was quite
evident by the shocking public remark made by Hillary Clinton, who aspires
to be an American President -- She said "Was'nt Mahatma Gandhi a gas station worker"

In America, one has to be able to distinguish the American Xenophobe, from the racist. A lot of Americans are very Xenophobhic about "Intelligent" foreigners... Americans like to think that by default, simply because they are Americans they are smarter than the foreigner, and feel more comfortable with the less smart foreigner... as a result Americans are more a bunch of "smart-asses" and "smart-alecs" than "Intelligent" ... I read somewhere that "Intelligent American" is quite the oxymoron --
probably originated from the French who have quite a disdain of Americans,
but one which is quite justifiable.

Returning to Goa is really great ... if you have some capital saved up
and have a bit of an entrepreneural spirit it is perfect ... you can set yourself up in a nice independent business and relax and enjoy the great
"Goan ambiance"

Besides, Goa is growing and developing in all fronts ... there are ample of
recreational opportunities ... football is particularly a hot favorite...
there are a dozen of different leagues at different levels, and matches
played all over the place from the top Indian National Football league
to the lowest division league...

There's a thriving pub, bar, nightclub and music scene, which however is
more concentrated in the North Goa tourist belt centered around Calangute.
Goa has also evolved its own genre of music called "Goa Trance" which
is quite popular in Europe, its a genre by itself and if you want to
make a comparison perhaps it comes closest to some of the music by the
German Group DA ROOT

In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector which has gone un-noticed as the latest
fad is on Information Technology and every body talks about the Major
Indian IT hubs in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Goa is actually a "best kept
secret" in terms of being a major "Pharma Hub" But efforts are underway
to build up the IT sector as well in Goa.

In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA... and a dollar or a rupee goes a much longer way here!
You can stretch things and live comfortably with a better quality of
life, better social interactions, without having to worry about the issue
of being a second-class citizen in a foreign land. Here you are at home,
you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!

In terms of the financial aspects, unfortunatly the "salary scales" in India are still too low and leave much to be desired, but Goa on the other
hand has the highest per-capita income in India, you you can expect a higher than average income in Goa. The best bet is going into business
for yourself... and if you have a little bit of ingenuity, you can create
enough of niche opportunities for yourself. The basic infrastructure for
that is quite good here in Goa, and the amount of initial capital required
to get started is not too demanding. Besides the banking and finance industry has developed quite a bit and you have all the facilities, such as
all types of loans etc.

So if you have to go to a foreign land its good to make some good money, save it up and return back to good old Goa, where it is home and home is
where the heart is !

Cheers !
?-- Brian
Post by Marlon Menezes
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
? -- Brian
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Marlon Menezes
2004-02-28 19:33:36 UTC
Permalink
I am sorry to hear that Brian had a series of negative
experiences in the US after leaving university. I do
agree that things have gotten a little less
comfortable after 9-11, but I believe this has much to
do with the policies of this present administration
than the public at large.

Contrary to his experience, I have found my work
environment to be as, if not more positive than what I
experienced in graduate school. Perhaps this is in
part due to me living in the silicon valley, which has
long been a melting pot of various cultures and
nationalities.

Americans and for that matter Goans, come in different
shapes and sizes. All those wonderful Americans you
interacted with in academia could not have simply just
disappeared. Maybe they all moved to California :)

While I do like Goa, there are also many qualities of
the US and specially California that I also love. I
do know that there are a number of older Goans on
goanet who evenly split their residences partly in
India and N.America or Europe. Looks like these lucky
people are getting the best of both worlds. On the
other hand, if one wants to make a contribution to
Goa, I believe it is better/easier to make the move
when one is relatively young and therefore better able
to recover if things turn south.

If I were to make a list of the positives and
negatives of Goa, I would come up with the following:

Positives:
1) Family
2) Great food and mangoes :)
3) Ability to made a worthwhile contribution to Goa
with modest amounts of money (but a lot of time)
4) Low cost of living
5) You can't get thrown out of your own country
6) Accelerating economic growth
7) Cheap labor

Negatives:
1) Financial - if one does not have the finances to
back one up, the only option to earn significant
income may be by starting a business, which carries
with it, its own set of risks.
2) Lack of familiarity of local processes which often
seem alien, inefficient and unnecessary.
3) Corruption, bureaucracy, clueless officials/ rules
and procedures being made on the fly and subject to
change change without notice!
4) More difficult to get cutting edge labor in Goa (as
opposed to Bombay, Banglore etc).
5) Limited network of friends and contacts
6) Language

The above is a rather simplistic list of positives and
negatives. I'm sure there are others out there who can
refine or add to this list.

Marlon
Post by bantaogoa
Hi,
Well, I had not pre-planned to move back to Goa, But
came down
on an extended break, happened to "re-discover Goa"
and have continued living here and have decided not
to return to the US. The quality of life for a
foreigner in the USA from my personal experience
went down-hill
drastically since September 11, though it was going
down-hill from much before. ?And you know with all
the constant tension and Asians being put under the
scan of suspicion was unsettling.
Alfred de Tavares
2004-02-28 22:39:33 UTC
Permalink
Dear Brian,
When you answer MM, please try and include some information I need in also
taking the steps you have taken: How much monthly budget would you consider
necessary to live in Goa comfortably but not extravagantly? Housing expenses
not included.
Aklfred de Tavares,
Stockholm, 2004-02-28
From: Marlon Menezes <marlon at goacom.com>
Reply-To: goanet at goanet.org
To: goanet at goanet.org
Subject: [Goanet]moving back to Goa
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 01:13:25 -0800 (PST)
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
_________________________________________________________________
Add photos to your messages with MSN 8. Get 2 months FREE*.
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bantaogoa
2004-02-29 06:54:34 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

I'm not the one to dismiss an entire culture in a stereotype,
as most often is the tendency with Americans to do. I have
had many positive and wonderful experiences, which many others
I am sure have had too... but it would be more beneficial for other
Goans to hear of the negatives so that they can be prepared better when they encounter similar situations... after all you don't want to paint a too rosy picture that all is fine...

Maybe I was a little spolit having been to graduate school at Vanderbilt
University, which is one of the nicer socio-cultural as well as, well
ranked American Universities, which has a higher quality of student population(the upper crust), than what the average American is like.

I have been to the silicon valley many times, and I'd say it is one
of the better places in America to live in, but is is an exception and
not the norm. I am also quite the explorer, and have travelled very widely
across and seen quite a bit of America, including many of the "off the
beaten path" areas and town-ships... and experienced the "real Americana", and have met some real nice genuine Americans too... and can distinguish the Mississipi accent from the Alabama one, though many would simply say that it is the southern one, but franky there is a shade of a difference !

In general I would say that just the way that there is a wide gap between the rich and the poor in India, there is a similar gap between the good
and not-so good Americans!

Psychologists will tell you that when some one is put under a situation
of extreme stress or adversity, it brings out a person's true character.
September 11 was such an adversity that brought out the true character of
Americans and most of it was not quite so good !

America which once was a bastion of the "humanitarian democracy" has progressed more towards being a neo-fascist police state. America has many "sophisticated" suppresive controls in place. On the other hand Britain has been progressing towards being the more "compassionate
democracy" and the formation of the European Union is a development
towards more of "unification" as opposed to the more isolationist
path that America is heading to. For all the talk about America being such an open democracy ... how many Americans of Indian origin have been
able to rise to a high-ranking political position ? If you look at Britian, we have Keith Vaz, a British-Goan who is a Member of the
British parliament, in addition to a couple of other Indian origin MPs, as well as a couple of Indian origin "Lords" ... members of the upper house of the Lords! Britian also has more stringent "anti-racist" laws !!

After all, where-ever you maybe it does take some amount of "individual"
effort to make it within whatever framework that exists, and this frame-work differs from place to place, and you have to navigate through the negatives and use the positives to your advantage !

Cheers,
?-- Brian
Post by Marlon Menezes
I am sorry to hear that Brian had a series of negative
experiences in the US after leaving university. I do
agree that things have gotten a little less
comfortable after 9-11, but I believe this has much to
do with the policies of this present administration
than the public at large.
__________________________________________________________________
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Bosco D'Mello
2004-02-29 17:39:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by bantaogoa
In addition I had a horrible experience ... an experience with the classic
American Bigot.
RESPONSE: Don't we have our fair share of Goan Bigots. Take a step further -
don't we have our fair share of Goanetters who continue to espouse bigotted
views. And in some cases they have the desired effect ......they turn-off people.

Don't we "stereotype" others too ?? "Stereotyping" people is not an American
monopoly.

In 6 months, you definitely have noticed the same !!!
Post by bantaogoa
Besides, Goa is growing and developing in all fronts ... there are ample of
recreational opportunities ...a thriving pub, bar, nightclub and music scene,
In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector. But efforts are underway to build up the IT
sector as well in Goa.
In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA...
Here you are at home, you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!
RESPONSE: Thanks for that refreshing view of Goa. Yours is not the first
positive email on this subject I have received in the last couple of months and
it's very unlike the incessant vitriol some have been putting out on Goanet on
all the negative aspects of Goa.

Wish you the best as you settle-down.....or decide to fly-off again.

Best wishes - Bosco
bantaogoa
2004-03-01 07:03:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frederick Noronha (FN)
We have many problems, yes. But I still love being here. Being in Goa
gives me a feeling that my work matters, and an ability to understand the
context. FN
I forgot to mention this most critical aspect, that being here in Goa,
you get the greater satisfaction that "You can make a difference" ...
as opposed to say being in America, where for the most part considered "foreign labor for hire" without much of a say or impact !

At the same time we do need Goans to constantly critique the state of affairs in Goa in a "constructive" way ... and sometimes one does need
to resort to vitriolic to get the "susegado" Goan machinery to move
on things ! I would say that we need more "watch-dog" type activists
in Goa to keep prodding on for "Continuous Improvement" across the state
as things tend to be easily get lost in a file gathering dust in a corner.

For example, we hear about a lot of "projects" approved by the government,
but many of these "approved projects" are sitting in files gathering dust.
One much needed "watch-dog" group activity is needed to see that once these
projects are "approved" that work on them commences "immediately".

In Goa, the machinery has the attitude of doing things "Tommorow" but the
"Tommorow" never comes !

We also need a "watch-dog" group to see that projects are untertaken with high-quality standards. There is a lot of corruption in this regard, where for example, a project is approved for a certain amount, but the work is undertaken at a sub-standard level, and money is siphoned off, by compromising on the quality.

For example, It seems that the Margao Municipality has undertaken to paint
around the Municipal garden fencing... but a number of sections of the
fencing are fallen apart, pieces of the concrete sections coming off and
exposing the steel re-enforcing bars ... A good quality engineering work
would be to first fix and patch up all these broken pieces in the boundary all around, and then apply the new paint. Instead of just painting over the
broken pieces ... This is the kind of bad work that is much needed to be vocied out and critiqued !!!

-- Brian


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Frederick Noronha (FN)
2004-02-06 22:36:02 UTC
Permalink
Research does count
-------------------

Goa does have among the
highest literacy rate
in the country, but the
question that needs
to be asked is how
good is the "quality
of the literate"

By Brian Antao, Ph.D.

Goa has embarked on a great mission towards educational reform in the state.
This is a particularly good effort, considering that Goa has the highest
literacy rate in the country, the Goa educationists have not rested on this
laurel and have embarked to further improve the "quality of education" in
the state.

Goa does have among the highest literacy rate in the country, but the
question that needs to be asked is how good is the "quality of the
literate". Goan graduates find it difficult to secure high quality jobs
across the country. We find many of the Goans, not pursuing higher studies,
but migrating to the Gulf and the merchant shipping sector for low quality
jobs, that pay comparatively well as compared to similar jobs in the
country.

In a recent newspaper article, one Goan engineering educationist claimed
that the engineering courses offered in the Goan colleges are based on the
best text-books available in the field, and attempted to blame the students
for their poor performance. In another pertinent comment-article by a former
IIT-Madras director, that appeared in the Indian Express, he blamed the
exam-centric Indian education system where it is possible to study only 60%
of the curriculum and obtain 80% in the examinations. The problem we have in
Goa is that many of the educationists have been "blaming the students" for
their poor performance.

These attitudes of Goan educationists of "blaming students" for poor
performance is not going to result in improving the quality of education in
the state, however much the system is reformed. Some teachers claim that
the student is not motivated. Another prominent Goan claimed he left his
teaching job, as he seemed to be addressing his lectures to only five or six
students who were motivated in the class. Thank you for leaving, for one
must say that you have failed as a teacher to motivate the students of your
class.

A good teacher is also a motivational speaker, not an arrogant blow-horn.
Does the Goan education system have the feature of private appointments with
the teachers, which is prominent in the developed countries, where students
can spend one-on-one time with their teachers to get their doubts cleared?
Instead, in Goa, we have spawned off an eco-system of tuitions and coaching
classes, a concept that is alien in the developed countries.

Coming back to the claim made by one of Goa's engineering educators that the
curriculum is drawn from the best textbooks in the field. This is the
biggest problem that promotes "text-book" based cramming. Engineering is a
very "practical" field and one simply cannot be a good engineer by cramming
from a prescribed textbook for the course.

Today, the core problem in Goa's education infrastructure is that it
completely lacks the research aspect. This text-book approach of education
does not in any way prepare students for a "research" career. Many of the
technology and other scientific innovations take root at the various
research programmes at the universities in the developed world. For example
the first computing machine the ILIAC, that has led to the entire generation
of the computing field, was built as part of a research programme the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. So was the Internet browser,
commercialized by spinning off the company Netscape.

Goa needs to develop and introduce research and innovation skills to
students early from secondary school onwards. Introducing into the
curriculum research assignments can bring this about. These research
assignments take different forms depending on the subject. In technical and
science subjects, would involve assigning students a research oriented
problem, that they go off and solve and arrive at an innovative solution
that which they cannot simply copy from a single text book or a guide.

It is important that from the secondary stage onwards, the course curriculum
is not based on a single-text book, but a selection of reading list for the
subject that the student has to refer to during the course. The course or
subject definition is not drawn from the text-book but is defined in terms
of topics and sub- topics that compose the course and subject. And the
student is then motivated to study these topics and sub-topics from the
reading list provided.

In terms of engineering education, for example, one cannot acquire mastery
in a programming language by cramming from the best available textbook just
the syntax of the programming language. To learn to be a good programmer,
one has to go through the exercise of writing for oneself dozens of programs
that address the different aspects of computer problem solving, and going
through the entire practical cycle of compiling these programs on a
computer, debugging them and ensuring that they work and solve the problem
definition.

The second core problem in terms of a lack of research culture in Goa's
education framework is at the Goa University level. Again the problem is
with the way the faculty is structured and operates.

In the developed countries all the faculty members above the "lecturer"
grade have to compulsorily have their own on-going research programme in
their field of specialization. This applies not only to the science, medical
and technology areas but also in the basic arts. At the end of the academic
year, it is not only the students that undergo evaluation, but the faculty
undergo continuous evaluation as well. At the end of each semester, for each
course, students are asked to fill out a "teacher or course evaluation"
forms. This also ensures that the faculty is upto- date with the latest
developments in the field.

By definition a "lecturer" is of course only a lecturer, which is a purely
teaching job, and usually the number of lecturer positions are limited and
on a temporary basis called in to fill in when there are not enough regular
faculty to teach the entire range of courses offered by the University. The
lecturer position is not a step in the ladder of progression, and often
senior post-graduate students who have excellent records are called in to be
a lecturer or an instructor in a course.

It is because that the faculty at the University level in countries like the
US are required to have their own research programmes and bring in research
funding to support the programme that many Indian and foreign students are
able to avail of scholarships to study there. Students are hired by a
professor as a research assistant to work in their research programme. Full
time faculty has to acquire grants to support their research from different
sources, both the public and private sector.

Goa University needs educational reform too, moving to spearheading
research. It can learn from the overseas experience, where bringing in
research funding is a tough process, which involves writing a high-quality
research proposal, which outlines which new area, or new problem that will
be researched. Research proposals also include such factors as how many
students will be supported and involved in the programme.

With India moving in the direction of "developed" status, it is essential
for Goa to keep in step and for Goa University to also reform its pattern of
education and move in the direction of being a comprehensive research and
teaching university.

How is the current Ph.D. programme of the Goa University structured, keeping
aside issues of quality? Ph.D. programmes in the developed countries are
resident programmes and don't involve a mere compilation of a Ph.D. thesis.
A typical Ph.D. programme at the leading US varsities involves a series of
stages: first passing a qualifying exam, which is usually the entrance to
the programme. This qualifying exam is not a statewide gala-affair, as exams
in India tend to be. This internal exam comprises both written and oral
sections, to screen out candidates who don't make the grade.

This is followed by compiling an Area Paper, a tough exercise, where one has
to do a comprehensive study and research the developments in his or her
proposed Ph.D. research topic, identify the past work that has been done in
the field and define his or her Ph.D. research problem in such a way that it
does not re- invent the wheel or replicate work that has already been done
in the field, and usually involves a global search.

This ensures that research done at the universities keeps advancing the
state-of-the-art. In addition, the Ph.D. student has to carry out teaching
assignments, as a Ph.D. from a leading US university prepares its graduates
for a range of career choices which include directly entering into a junior
faculty position or taking up a private sector position.

Another aspect for development for Goa University is the Management
programme. The University took the baby step in this direction and set up
the department of Management Studies, which has grown to a certain level of
maturity. It is now time to spin it off into a full-fledged Goa School of
Business and Management (GSBM) on the lines of the IIMs.

For setting up the GSBM the Goa University should seek the mentorship,
partnership and guidance of one of the leading business and management
schools, either the IIM network or even look more ambitiously to the more
world-renown business schools such as the London Business School on INSEAD,
France. Andhra Pradesh has set up an International school of business that
has a link-up with the London School of Business.

With a little bit of genuine motivation, a lot can be accomplished.
The problem with many a Goan is that vital aspect of a lack of motivation.
Many Goans also tend to be techno- phobic. Resistance to change and a lack
of a desire for continuous improvement is another stumbling block in the
path to progress. Not to mention the certain seniority-based hegemony that
prevails and suppresses talented youth from advancing.

At the same time, the mandatory retirement limits imposed also cuts many
talented senior individuals who still have the capacity to perform at a high
level of competence. Our own current Prime Minister who is well past the
retirement age is a good example of some one who is governing the country
based on performance and competence factors.

The retirement system needs to be reformed, and based on performance and
competence as well as allowing a voluntary aspect to it. Goa once took pride
in having a susegado culture. In today's dynamic world that has changed much
it would be a shame to say we still have a susegado mind-set!
bantaogoa
2004-02-26 05:12:27 UTC
Permalink
The article was a general article emphasizing on various issues that
should be factored in to improve the educational infrastructure in Goa,
with a strong emphasis to increase the focus on developing "research
ability" in students from an early stage. And yes as such there are
a number of issues that are not directly connected, but are relevant in
the broader context of improvinig the educational infrastructure. The
article by the way appeared originally as an Op-Ed in the O'Herald.

As for the respondent's comments that such a frame-work does not exist
even in the developed world is really not an issue of contention in terms
of improving education in Goa. Just because things don't exist elsewhere
in the world, does it mean that Goa cannot take the leadership and be a
first to implement its own path-breaking system ? He talks about the education system the world over not producing leaders but followers, and yet expects Goa to be a "follower" and not a "leader". He boasts of having 7 years of teaching experience in a developed country but is not able to contribute any fresh new ideas that one would expect from someone with that much of real experience.

The system of education in the developed countries to a great extent is more "open-ended" allowing one the freedom to be what one wants to be. It is not so much "production" oriented, producing neither employees nor employers! Where as it is the system in India which is NOT open-ended and
more "production" oriented.

To also point out, particularly to the many Non Resident Goans, who have left Goa and have settled in other countries and take this position of sitting on an almighty throne and looking back at Goa as being a backward under-developed village. Things are progressing mighty well in Goa. Many of whom were un-willing to accept that Goa was adjudged as India's Number One overall state. The basket-of-crabs mentality of destructive criticism prevails particularly among the Non Resident Goan community on their view of Goa. It's time many of them visited Goa and looked around and see for themselves the amazing developments that are taking place.

Some feats to note:
The Konkan railway based in Margao have developed the Sky-bus metropolitan transit system, a first of its kind in the world which has been granted a US patent, and many developed countries have expressed interest in the technology.

The National Institute of Oceanography(NIO) based in Goa, Dona Paula, has many Goan Scientists working who have made many notable discoveries and have been awarded international patents. The last Director of NIO, Dr. E. DeSa has just been appointed to a prestiguous post at the UNESCO based in France.

The other day a resident Goan, said to me, which was a great compliment, that I was very different from the many Non Resident Goans who come down to Goa on vacations etc. he said in Konkani (sp?) "Eh dushre yetah te sogle beshteleh, feh, feh, feh kohn shapondah sangon woita, kai korepah yeanah"

Another day, I was amused by a Goan youth who had returned after just a year's stay in the US, and was trying too hard to put on an American accent while speaking that he was totally incoherent more than being impressive on his newly acquired American accent :-)

PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15 years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how nicely Goa has been developing and improving and growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute constructively to the growth and development...

Cheers !
-- Brian

George Pinto goanet at goanet.org
Wed, 11 Feb 2004 16:54:46 -0800 (PST)

The author makes a number of good points in the article, though they are not necessarily connected
(example who is a lecturer, the lack of research, cramming, etc.). However, after 7 years
teaching at a University here in California, I can suggest two fundamental flaws with educational
systems the world over (not just developing countries and Goa):

1. The system is geared to produce employees, not employers. Followers, not leaders.
Crowd-pleasers, not trail-blazers. This is a malaise which also affects the Goan psyche and leads
to comfort as second-class citizens in various institutions (educational, religious, political,
etc).

2. Learning without a sense of social and civic activism. I do not consider an education complete
or even good without creating in the student a passion for justice and equality. If a student (or
for that matter any adult) does not pursue justice, they are not educated. The world we live in,
full of injustices, demands no less. Science, engineering, math, etc. without the humanities and
ultimately a sense for justice (and truth) is incomplete.

George




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Marlon Menezes
2004-02-26 09:13:25 UTC
Permalink
Brian,

I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?

I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.

Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
bantaogoa
2004-02-26 15:25:50 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

Well, I had not pre-planned to move back to Goa, But came down
on an extended break, happened to "re-discover Goa" and have continued living here and have decided not to return to the US. The quality of life for a foreigner in the USA from my personal experience went down-hill
drastically since September 11, though it was going down-hill from much before. ?And you know with all the constant tension and Asians being put under the scan of suspicion was unsettling.

After I arrived in Goa, it was such a breath of fresh air ... the atmosphere is so calm and peaceful ... and it felt more like being at home.
I realized that in all the time I spent in the US I never quite got down to
getting that feeling of "being home" and never really felt like it was
a place I could call "home"

In addition I had a horrible experience ... an experience with the classic
American Bigot. A crazy woman based in Texas where I lived who never even saw me, but only had heard of me through one of her friends who happened to know me began making serious accusations that I was a "terrorist". This woman was a classic case of the American Xenophobe who have a problem dealing with "Intelligent" foreigners. This woman was so twisted that she went to the extent of claiming to be an authority on India, and that there were No Catholics or Christians in India. And she went about accusing me of actually being a "Muslim terrorist" who had changed his name to a Christian name and lying about being a Catholic and all such really extremely demented stuff. It is so typical of Americans who have such
grossly WRONG and demented perceptions about the rest of the world
but will go about with such an arrogance to impose their WRONG beliefs.
I have too much of pride and self-esteem to put up with such ridiculous
bull-shit! This is the kind of shit that I won't tolerate or put up
with, even if offered a million dollars!

As for the USA, I really enjoyed the time when I was a student and in academia, but it was like night and day after that in the real world. I
always wondered what happened to all these American folks who are good
and nice when they are in the collegiate environment, but once they
get out in the real world go down-hill. Things have changed too a lot in
the USA, and I think what once used to be called the "American Dream" has
become more of an "American Nightmare"... Now it is the "European Dream" !!

Besides after coming down to Goa, I have also realized how "insular"
the USA is. From Goa, I have access to more news and information about
the rest of the world, that what one has in the USA. Even the regional
Goan newspapers have better "global" news coverage than the American
media. I have also discovered the more exciting challenges that Europe
and England have to offer... my future plans are open and I am exploring
a number of options that include, staying on in Goa, if a business plan
I'm working on comes through, to exploring opportunities in England or other parts of developed Europe.

If you see Goa for example, it is a popular tourist destination with
Europeans, and the Europeans are definitely a much more cultured and
classy lot. I have got a chance here to see and mingle with a lot of
the European tourists and they are a much nicer, cultured, mannered,
decent and pleasant lot. As compared to the American who seems
like such a "rough-neck" in comparison... The term Americanus Redneckus
is quite apropos !

A problem with the American "psyche" as such is that they tend to view the
world in terms of "stereotypes"... for example if an American knows one
Indian who is a convenience store worker, he/she would most stupidly
conclude that all Indians are convenience store workers. Which was quite
evident by the shocking public remark made by Hillary Clinton, who aspires
to be an American President -- She said "Was'nt Mahatma Gandhi a gas station worker"

In America, one has to be able to distinguish the American Xenophobe, from the racist. A lot of Americans are very Xenophobhic about "Intelligent" foreigners... Americans like to think that by default, simply because they are Americans they are smarter than the foreigner, and feel more comfortable with the less smart foreigner... as a result Americans are more a bunch of "smart-asses" and "smart-alecs" than "Intelligent" ... I read somewhere that "Intelligent American" is quite the oxymoron --
probably originated from the French who have quite a disdain of Americans,
but one which is quite justifiable.

Returning to Goa is really great ... if you have some capital saved up
and have a bit of an entrepreneural spirit it is perfect ... you can set yourself up in a nice independent business and relax and enjoy the great
"Goan ambiance"

Besides, Goa is growing and developing in all fronts ... there are ample of
recreational opportunities ... football is particularly a hot favorite...
there are a dozen of different leagues at different levels, and matches
played all over the place from the top Indian National Football league
to the lowest division league...

There's a thriving pub, bar, nightclub and music scene, which however is
more concentrated in the North Goa tourist belt centered around Calangute.
Goa has also evolved its own genre of music called "Goa Trance" which
is quite popular in Europe, its a genre by itself and if you want to
make a comparison perhaps it comes closest to some of the music by the
German Group DA ROOT

In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector which has gone un-noticed as the latest
fad is on Information Technology and every body talks about the Major
Indian IT hubs in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Goa is actually a "best kept
secret" in terms of being a major "Pharma Hub" But efforts are underway
to build up the IT sector as well in Goa.

In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA... and a dollar or a rupee goes a much longer way here!
You can stretch things and live comfortably with a better quality of
life, better social interactions, without having to worry about the issue
of being a second-class citizen in a foreign land. Here you are at home,
you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!

In terms of the financial aspects, unfortunatly the "salary scales" in India are still too low and leave much to be desired, but Goa on the other
hand has the highest per-capita income in India, you you can expect a higher than average income in Goa. The best bet is going into business
for yourself... and if you have a little bit of ingenuity, you can create
enough of niche opportunities for yourself. The basic infrastructure for
that is quite good here in Goa, and the amount of initial capital required
to get started is not too demanding. Besides the banking and finance industry has developed quite a bit and you have all the facilities, such as
all types of loans etc.

So if you have to go to a foreign land its good to make some good money, save it up and return back to good old Goa, where it is home and home is
where the heart is !

Cheers !
?-- Brian
Post by Marlon Menezes
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
? -- Brian
__________________________________________________________________
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Marlon Menezes
2004-02-28 19:33:36 UTC
Permalink
I am sorry to hear that Brian had a series of negative
experiences in the US after leaving university. I do
agree that things have gotten a little less
comfortable after 9-11, but I believe this has much to
do with the policies of this present administration
than the public at large.

Contrary to his experience, I have found my work
environment to be as, if not more positive than what I
experienced in graduate school. Perhaps this is in
part due to me living in the silicon valley, which has
long been a melting pot of various cultures and
nationalities.

Americans and for that matter Goans, come in different
shapes and sizes. All those wonderful Americans you
interacted with in academia could not have simply just
disappeared. Maybe they all moved to California :)

While I do like Goa, there are also many qualities of
the US and specially California that I also love. I
do know that there are a number of older Goans on
goanet who evenly split their residences partly in
India and N.America or Europe. Looks like these lucky
people are getting the best of both worlds. On the
other hand, if one wants to make a contribution to
Goa, I believe it is better/easier to make the move
when one is relatively young and therefore better able
to recover if things turn south.

If I were to make a list of the positives and
negatives of Goa, I would come up with the following:

Positives:
1) Family
2) Great food and mangoes :)
3) Ability to made a worthwhile contribution to Goa
with modest amounts of money (but a lot of time)
4) Low cost of living
5) You can't get thrown out of your own country
6) Accelerating economic growth
7) Cheap labor

Negatives:
1) Financial - if one does not have the finances to
back one up, the only option to earn significant
income may be by starting a business, which carries
with it, its own set of risks.
2) Lack of familiarity of local processes which often
seem alien, inefficient and unnecessary.
3) Corruption, bureaucracy, clueless officials/ rules
and procedures being made on the fly and subject to
change change without notice!
4) More difficult to get cutting edge labor in Goa (as
opposed to Bombay, Banglore etc).
5) Limited network of friends and contacts
6) Language

The above is a rather simplistic list of positives and
negatives. I'm sure there are others out there who can
refine or add to this list.

Marlon
Post by bantaogoa
Hi,
Well, I had not pre-planned to move back to Goa, But
came down
on an extended break, happened to "re-discover Goa"
and have continued living here and have decided not
to return to the US. The quality of life for a
foreigner in the USA from my personal experience
went down-hill
drastically since September 11, though it was going
down-hill from much before. ?And you know with all
the constant tension and Asians being put under the
scan of suspicion was unsettling.
Alfred de Tavares
2004-02-28 22:39:33 UTC
Permalink
Dear Brian,
When you answer MM, please try and include some information I need in also
taking the steps you have taken: How much monthly budget would you consider
necessary to live in Goa comfortably but not extravagantly? Housing expenses
not included.
Aklfred de Tavares,
Stockholm, 2004-02-28
From: Marlon Menezes <marlon at goacom.com>
Reply-To: goanet at goanet.org
To: goanet at goanet.org
Subject: [Goanet]moving back to Goa
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 01:13:25 -0800 (PST)
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
_________________________________________________________________
Add photos to your messages with MSN 8. Get 2 months FREE*.
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bantaogoa
2004-02-29 06:54:34 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

I'm not the one to dismiss an entire culture in a stereotype,
as most often is the tendency with Americans to do. I have
had many positive and wonderful experiences, which many others
I am sure have had too... but it would be more beneficial for other
Goans to hear of the negatives so that they can be prepared better when they encounter similar situations... after all you don't want to paint a too rosy picture that all is fine...

Maybe I was a little spolit having been to graduate school at Vanderbilt
University, which is one of the nicer socio-cultural as well as, well
ranked American Universities, which has a higher quality of student population(the upper crust), than what the average American is like.

I have been to the silicon valley many times, and I'd say it is one
of the better places in America to live in, but is is an exception and
not the norm. I am also quite the explorer, and have travelled very widely
across and seen quite a bit of America, including many of the "off the
beaten path" areas and town-ships... and experienced the "real Americana", and have met some real nice genuine Americans too... and can distinguish the Mississipi accent from the Alabama one, though many would simply say that it is the southern one, but franky there is a shade of a difference !

In general I would say that just the way that there is a wide gap between the rich and the poor in India, there is a similar gap between the good
and not-so good Americans!

Psychologists will tell you that when some one is put under a situation
of extreme stress or adversity, it brings out a person's true character.
September 11 was such an adversity that brought out the true character of
Americans and most of it was not quite so good !

America which once was a bastion of the "humanitarian democracy" has progressed more towards being a neo-fascist police state. America has many "sophisticated" suppresive controls in place. On the other hand Britain has been progressing towards being the more "compassionate
democracy" and the formation of the European Union is a development
towards more of "unification" as opposed to the more isolationist
path that America is heading to. For all the talk about America being such an open democracy ... how many Americans of Indian origin have been
able to rise to a high-ranking political position ? If you look at Britian, we have Keith Vaz, a British-Goan who is a Member of the
British parliament, in addition to a couple of other Indian origin MPs, as well as a couple of Indian origin "Lords" ... members of the upper house of the Lords! Britian also has more stringent "anti-racist" laws !!

After all, where-ever you maybe it does take some amount of "individual"
effort to make it within whatever framework that exists, and this frame-work differs from place to place, and you have to navigate through the negatives and use the positives to your advantage !

Cheers,
?-- Brian
Post by Marlon Menezes
I am sorry to hear that Brian had a series of negative
experiences in the US after leaving university. I do
agree that things have gotten a little less
comfortable after 9-11, but I believe this has much to
do with the policies of this present administration
than the public at large.
__________________________________________________________________
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Bosco D'Mello
2004-02-29 17:39:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by bantaogoa
In addition I had a horrible experience ... an experience with the classic
American Bigot.
RESPONSE: Don't we have our fair share of Goan Bigots. Take a step further -
don't we have our fair share of Goanetters who continue to espouse bigotted
views. And in some cases they have the desired effect ......they turn-off people.

Don't we "stereotype" others too ?? "Stereotyping" people is not an American
monopoly.

In 6 months, you definitely have noticed the same !!!
Post by bantaogoa
Besides, Goa is growing and developing in all fronts ... there are ample of
recreational opportunities ...a thriving pub, bar, nightclub and music scene,
In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector. But efforts are underway to build up the IT
sector as well in Goa.
In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA...
Here you are at home, you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!
RESPONSE: Thanks for that refreshing view of Goa. Yours is not the first
positive email on this subject I have received in the last couple of months and
it's very unlike the incessant vitriol some have been putting out on Goanet on
all the negative aspects of Goa.

Wish you the best as you settle-down.....or decide to fly-off again.

Best wishes - Bosco
bantaogoa
2004-03-01 07:03:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frederick Noronha (FN)
We have many problems, yes. But I still love being here. Being in Goa
gives me a feeling that my work matters, and an ability to understand the
context. FN
I forgot to mention this most critical aspect, that being here in Goa,
you get the greater satisfaction that "You can make a difference" ...
as opposed to say being in America, where for the most part considered "foreign labor for hire" without much of a say or impact !

At the same time we do need Goans to constantly critique the state of affairs in Goa in a "constructive" way ... and sometimes one does need
to resort to vitriolic to get the "susegado" Goan machinery to move
on things ! I would say that we need more "watch-dog" type activists
in Goa to keep prodding on for "Continuous Improvement" across the state
as things tend to be easily get lost in a file gathering dust in a corner.

For example, we hear about a lot of "projects" approved by the government,
but many of these "approved projects" are sitting in files gathering dust.
One much needed "watch-dog" group activity is needed to see that once these
projects are "approved" that work on them commences "immediately".

In Goa, the machinery has the attitude of doing things "Tommorow" but the
"Tommorow" never comes !

We also need a "watch-dog" group to see that projects are untertaken with high-quality standards. There is a lot of corruption in this regard, where for example, a project is approved for a certain amount, but the work is undertaken at a sub-standard level, and money is siphoned off, by compromising on the quality.

For example, It seems that the Margao Municipality has undertaken to paint
around the Municipal garden fencing... but a number of sections of the
fencing are fallen apart, pieces of the concrete sections coming off and
exposing the steel re-enforcing bars ... A good quality engineering work
would be to first fix and patch up all these broken pieces in the boundary all around, and then apply the new paint. Instead of just painting over the
broken pieces ... This is the kind of bad work that is much needed to be vocied out and critiqued !!!

-- Brian


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Frederick Noronha (FN)
2004-02-06 22:36:02 UTC
Permalink
Research does count
-------------------

Goa does have among the
highest literacy rate
in the country, but the
question that needs
to be asked is how
good is the "quality
of the literate"

By Brian Antao, Ph.D.

Goa has embarked on a great mission towards educational reform in the state.
This is a particularly good effort, considering that Goa has the highest
literacy rate in the country, the Goa educationists have not rested on this
laurel and have embarked to further improve the "quality of education" in
the state.

Goa does have among the highest literacy rate in the country, but the
question that needs to be asked is how good is the "quality of the
literate". Goan graduates find it difficult to secure high quality jobs
across the country. We find many of the Goans, not pursuing higher studies,
but migrating to the Gulf and the merchant shipping sector for low quality
jobs, that pay comparatively well as compared to similar jobs in the
country.

In a recent newspaper article, one Goan engineering educationist claimed
that the engineering courses offered in the Goan colleges are based on the
best text-books available in the field, and attempted to blame the students
for their poor performance. In another pertinent comment-article by a former
IIT-Madras director, that appeared in the Indian Express, he blamed the
exam-centric Indian education system where it is possible to study only 60%
of the curriculum and obtain 80% in the examinations. The problem we have in
Goa is that many of the educationists have been "blaming the students" for
their poor performance.

These attitudes of Goan educationists of "blaming students" for poor
performance is not going to result in improving the quality of education in
the state, however much the system is reformed. Some teachers claim that
the student is not motivated. Another prominent Goan claimed he left his
teaching job, as he seemed to be addressing his lectures to only five or six
students who were motivated in the class. Thank you for leaving, for one
must say that you have failed as a teacher to motivate the students of your
class.

A good teacher is also a motivational speaker, not an arrogant blow-horn.
Does the Goan education system have the feature of private appointments with
the teachers, which is prominent in the developed countries, where students
can spend one-on-one time with their teachers to get their doubts cleared?
Instead, in Goa, we have spawned off an eco-system of tuitions and coaching
classes, a concept that is alien in the developed countries.

Coming back to the claim made by one of Goa's engineering educators that the
curriculum is drawn from the best textbooks in the field. This is the
biggest problem that promotes "text-book" based cramming. Engineering is a
very "practical" field and one simply cannot be a good engineer by cramming
from a prescribed textbook for the course.

Today, the core problem in Goa's education infrastructure is that it
completely lacks the research aspect. This text-book approach of education
does not in any way prepare students for a "research" career. Many of the
technology and other scientific innovations take root at the various
research programmes at the universities in the developed world. For example
the first computing machine the ILIAC, that has led to the entire generation
of the computing field, was built as part of a research programme the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. So was the Internet browser,
commercialized by spinning off the company Netscape.

Goa needs to develop and introduce research and innovation skills to
students early from secondary school onwards. Introducing into the
curriculum research assignments can bring this about. These research
assignments take different forms depending on the subject. In technical and
science subjects, would involve assigning students a research oriented
problem, that they go off and solve and arrive at an innovative solution
that which they cannot simply copy from a single text book or a guide.

It is important that from the secondary stage onwards, the course curriculum
is not based on a single-text book, but a selection of reading list for the
subject that the student has to refer to during the course. The course or
subject definition is not drawn from the text-book but is defined in terms
of topics and sub- topics that compose the course and subject. And the
student is then motivated to study these topics and sub-topics from the
reading list provided.

In terms of engineering education, for example, one cannot acquire mastery
in a programming language by cramming from the best available textbook just
the syntax of the programming language. To learn to be a good programmer,
one has to go through the exercise of writing for oneself dozens of programs
that address the different aspects of computer problem solving, and going
through the entire practical cycle of compiling these programs on a
computer, debugging them and ensuring that they work and solve the problem
definition.

The second core problem in terms of a lack of research culture in Goa's
education framework is at the Goa University level. Again the problem is
with the way the faculty is structured and operates.

In the developed countries all the faculty members above the "lecturer"
grade have to compulsorily have their own on-going research programme in
their field of specialization. This applies not only to the science, medical
and technology areas but also in the basic arts. At the end of the academic
year, it is not only the students that undergo evaluation, but the faculty
undergo continuous evaluation as well. At the end of each semester, for each
course, students are asked to fill out a "teacher or course evaluation"
forms. This also ensures that the faculty is upto- date with the latest
developments in the field.

By definition a "lecturer" is of course only a lecturer, which is a purely
teaching job, and usually the number of lecturer positions are limited and
on a temporary basis called in to fill in when there are not enough regular
faculty to teach the entire range of courses offered by the University. The
lecturer position is not a step in the ladder of progression, and often
senior post-graduate students who have excellent records are called in to be
a lecturer or an instructor in a course.

It is because that the faculty at the University level in countries like the
US are required to have their own research programmes and bring in research
funding to support the programme that many Indian and foreign students are
able to avail of scholarships to study there. Students are hired by a
professor as a research assistant to work in their research programme. Full
time faculty has to acquire grants to support their research from different
sources, both the public and private sector.

Goa University needs educational reform too, moving to spearheading
research. It can learn from the overseas experience, where bringing in
research funding is a tough process, which involves writing a high-quality
research proposal, which outlines which new area, or new problem that will
be researched. Research proposals also include such factors as how many
students will be supported and involved in the programme.

With India moving in the direction of "developed" status, it is essential
for Goa to keep in step and for Goa University to also reform its pattern of
education and move in the direction of being a comprehensive research and
teaching university.

How is the current Ph.D. programme of the Goa University structured, keeping
aside issues of quality? Ph.D. programmes in the developed countries are
resident programmes and don't involve a mere compilation of a Ph.D. thesis.
A typical Ph.D. programme at the leading US varsities involves a series of
stages: first passing a qualifying exam, which is usually the entrance to
the programme. This qualifying exam is not a statewide gala-affair, as exams
in India tend to be. This internal exam comprises both written and oral
sections, to screen out candidates who don't make the grade.

This is followed by compiling an Area Paper, a tough exercise, where one has
to do a comprehensive study and research the developments in his or her
proposed Ph.D. research topic, identify the past work that has been done in
the field and define his or her Ph.D. research problem in such a way that it
does not re- invent the wheel or replicate work that has already been done
in the field, and usually involves a global search.

This ensures that research done at the universities keeps advancing the
state-of-the-art. In addition, the Ph.D. student has to carry out teaching
assignments, as a Ph.D. from a leading US university prepares its graduates
for a range of career choices which include directly entering into a junior
faculty position or taking up a private sector position.

Another aspect for development for Goa University is the Management
programme. The University took the baby step in this direction and set up
the department of Management Studies, which has grown to a certain level of
maturity. It is now time to spin it off into a full-fledged Goa School of
Business and Management (GSBM) on the lines of the IIMs.

For setting up the GSBM the Goa University should seek the mentorship,
partnership and guidance of one of the leading business and management
schools, either the IIM network or even look more ambitiously to the more
world-renown business schools such as the London Business School on INSEAD,
France. Andhra Pradesh has set up an International school of business that
has a link-up with the London School of Business.

With a little bit of genuine motivation, a lot can be accomplished.
The problem with many a Goan is that vital aspect of a lack of motivation.
Many Goans also tend to be techno- phobic. Resistance to change and a lack
of a desire for continuous improvement is another stumbling block in the
path to progress. Not to mention the certain seniority-based hegemony that
prevails and suppresses talented youth from advancing.

At the same time, the mandatory retirement limits imposed also cuts many
talented senior individuals who still have the capacity to perform at a high
level of competence. Our own current Prime Minister who is well past the
retirement age is a good example of some one who is governing the country
based on performance and competence factors.

The retirement system needs to be reformed, and based on performance and
competence as well as allowing a voluntary aspect to it. Goa once took pride
in having a susegado culture. In today's dynamic world that has changed much
it would be a shame to say we still have a susegado mind-set!
bantaogoa
2004-02-26 05:12:27 UTC
Permalink
The article was a general article emphasizing on various issues that
should be factored in to improve the educational infrastructure in Goa,
with a strong emphasis to increase the focus on developing "research
ability" in students from an early stage. And yes as such there are
a number of issues that are not directly connected, but are relevant in
the broader context of improvinig the educational infrastructure. The
article by the way appeared originally as an Op-Ed in the O'Herald.

As for the respondent's comments that such a frame-work does not exist
even in the developed world is really not an issue of contention in terms
of improving education in Goa. Just because things don't exist elsewhere
in the world, does it mean that Goa cannot take the leadership and be a
first to implement its own path-breaking system ? He talks about the education system the world over not producing leaders but followers, and yet expects Goa to be a "follower" and not a "leader". He boasts of having 7 years of teaching experience in a developed country but is not able to contribute any fresh new ideas that one would expect from someone with that much of real experience.

The system of education in the developed countries to a great extent is more "open-ended" allowing one the freedom to be what one wants to be. It is not so much "production" oriented, producing neither employees nor employers! Where as it is the system in India which is NOT open-ended and
more "production" oriented.

To also point out, particularly to the many Non Resident Goans, who have left Goa and have settled in other countries and take this position of sitting on an almighty throne and looking back at Goa as being a backward under-developed village. Things are progressing mighty well in Goa. Many of whom were un-willing to accept that Goa was adjudged as India's Number One overall state. The basket-of-crabs mentality of destructive criticism prevails particularly among the Non Resident Goan community on their view of Goa. It's time many of them visited Goa and looked around and see for themselves the amazing developments that are taking place.

Some feats to note:
The Konkan railway based in Margao have developed the Sky-bus metropolitan transit system, a first of its kind in the world which has been granted a US patent, and many developed countries have expressed interest in the technology.

The National Institute of Oceanography(NIO) based in Goa, Dona Paula, has many Goan Scientists working who have made many notable discoveries and have been awarded international patents. The last Director of NIO, Dr. E. DeSa has just been appointed to a prestiguous post at the UNESCO based in France.

The other day a resident Goan, said to me, which was a great compliment, that I was very different from the many Non Resident Goans who come down to Goa on vacations etc. he said in Konkani (sp?) "Eh dushre yetah te sogle beshteleh, feh, feh, feh kohn shapondah sangon woita, kai korepah yeanah"

Another day, I was amused by a Goan youth who had returned after just a year's stay in the US, and was trying too hard to put on an American accent while speaking that he was totally incoherent more than being impressive on his newly acquired American accent :-)

PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15 years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how nicely Goa has been developing and improving and growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute constructively to the growth and development...

Cheers !
-- Brian

George Pinto goanet at goanet.org
Wed, 11 Feb 2004 16:54:46 -0800 (PST)

The author makes a number of good points in the article, though they are not necessarily connected
(example who is a lecturer, the lack of research, cramming, etc.). However, after 7 years
teaching at a University here in California, I can suggest two fundamental flaws with educational
systems the world over (not just developing countries and Goa):

1. The system is geared to produce employees, not employers. Followers, not leaders.
Crowd-pleasers, not trail-blazers. This is a malaise which also affects the Goan psyche and leads
to comfort as second-class citizens in various institutions (educational, religious, political,
etc).

2. Learning without a sense of social and civic activism. I do not consider an education complete
or even good without creating in the student a passion for justice and equality. If a student (or
for that matter any adult) does not pursue justice, they are not educated. The world we live in,
full of injustices, demands no less. Science, engineering, math, etc. without the humanities and
ultimately a sense for justice (and truth) is incomplete.

George




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Marlon Menezes
2004-02-26 09:13:25 UTC
Permalink
Brian,

I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?

I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.

Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
bantaogoa
2004-02-26 15:25:50 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

Well, I had not pre-planned to move back to Goa, But came down
on an extended break, happened to "re-discover Goa" and have continued living here and have decided not to return to the US. The quality of life for a foreigner in the USA from my personal experience went down-hill
drastically since September 11, though it was going down-hill from much before. ?And you know with all the constant tension and Asians being put under the scan of suspicion was unsettling.

After I arrived in Goa, it was such a breath of fresh air ... the atmosphere is so calm and peaceful ... and it felt more like being at home.
I realized that in all the time I spent in the US I never quite got down to
getting that feeling of "being home" and never really felt like it was
a place I could call "home"

In addition I had a horrible experience ... an experience with the classic
American Bigot. A crazy woman based in Texas where I lived who never even saw me, but only had heard of me through one of her friends who happened to know me began making serious accusations that I was a "terrorist". This woman was a classic case of the American Xenophobe who have a problem dealing with "Intelligent" foreigners. This woman was so twisted that she went to the extent of claiming to be an authority on India, and that there were No Catholics or Christians in India. And she went about accusing me of actually being a "Muslim terrorist" who had changed his name to a Christian name and lying about being a Catholic and all such really extremely demented stuff. It is so typical of Americans who have such
grossly WRONG and demented perceptions about the rest of the world
but will go about with such an arrogance to impose their WRONG beliefs.
I have too much of pride and self-esteem to put up with such ridiculous
bull-shit! This is the kind of shit that I won't tolerate or put up
with, even if offered a million dollars!

As for the USA, I really enjoyed the time when I was a student and in academia, but it was like night and day after that in the real world. I
always wondered what happened to all these American folks who are good
and nice when they are in the collegiate environment, but once they
get out in the real world go down-hill. Things have changed too a lot in
the USA, and I think what once used to be called the "American Dream" has
become more of an "American Nightmare"... Now it is the "European Dream" !!

Besides after coming down to Goa, I have also realized how "insular"
the USA is. From Goa, I have access to more news and information about
the rest of the world, that what one has in the USA. Even the regional
Goan newspapers have better "global" news coverage than the American
media. I have also discovered the more exciting challenges that Europe
and England have to offer... my future plans are open and I am exploring
a number of options that include, staying on in Goa, if a business plan
I'm working on comes through, to exploring opportunities in England or other parts of developed Europe.

If you see Goa for example, it is a popular tourist destination with
Europeans, and the Europeans are definitely a much more cultured and
classy lot. I have got a chance here to see and mingle with a lot of
the European tourists and they are a much nicer, cultured, mannered,
decent and pleasant lot. As compared to the American who seems
like such a "rough-neck" in comparison... The term Americanus Redneckus
is quite apropos !

A problem with the American "psyche" as such is that they tend to view the
world in terms of "stereotypes"... for example if an American knows one
Indian who is a convenience store worker, he/she would most stupidly
conclude that all Indians are convenience store workers. Which was quite
evident by the shocking public remark made by Hillary Clinton, who aspires
to be an American President -- She said "Was'nt Mahatma Gandhi a gas station worker"

In America, one has to be able to distinguish the American Xenophobe, from the racist. A lot of Americans are very Xenophobhic about "Intelligent" foreigners... Americans like to think that by default, simply because they are Americans they are smarter than the foreigner, and feel more comfortable with the less smart foreigner... as a result Americans are more a bunch of "smart-asses" and "smart-alecs" than "Intelligent" ... I read somewhere that "Intelligent American" is quite the oxymoron --
probably originated from the French who have quite a disdain of Americans,
but one which is quite justifiable.

Returning to Goa is really great ... if you have some capital saved up
and have a bit of an entrepreneural spirit it is perfect ... you can set yourself up in a nice independent business and relax and enjoy the great
"Goan ambiance"

Besides, Goa is growing and developing in all fronts ... there are ample of
recreational opportunities ... football is particularly a hot favorite...
there are a dozen of different leagues at different levels, and matches
played all over the place from the top Indian National Football league
to the lowest division league...

There's a thriving pub, bar, nightclub and music scene, which however is
more concentrated in the North Goa tourist belt centered around Calangute.
Goa has also evolved its own genre of music called "Goa Trance" which
is quite popular in Europe, its a genre by itself and if you want to
make a comparison perhaps it comes closest to some of the music by the
German Group DA ROOT

In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector which has gone un-noticed as the latest
fad is on Information Technology and every body talks about the Major
Indian IT hubs in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Goa is actually a "best kept
secret" in terms of being a major "Pharma Hub" But efforts are underway
to build up the IT sector as well in Goa.

In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA... and a dollar or a rupee goes a much longer way here!
You can stretch things and live comfortably with a better quality of
life, better social interactions, without having to worry about the issue
of being a second-class citizen in a foreign land. Here you are at home,
you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!

In terms of the financial aspects, unfortunatly the "salary scales" in India are still too low and leave much to be desired, but Goa on the other
hand has the highest per-capita income in India, you you can expect a higher than average income in Goa. The best bet is going into business
for yourself... and if you have a little bit of ingenuity, you can create
enough of niche opportunities for yourself. The basic infrastructure for
that is quite good here in Goa, and the amount of initial capital required
to get started is not too demanding. Besides the banking and finance industry has developed quite a bit and you have all the facilities, such as
all types of loans etc.

So if you have to go to a foreign land its good to make some good money, save it up and return back to good old Goa, where it is home and home is
where the heart is !

Cheers !
?-- Brian
Post by Marlon Menezes
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
? -- Brian
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Marlon Menezes
2004-02-28 19:33:36 UTC
Permalink
I am sorry to hear that Brian had a series of negative
experiences in the US after leaving university. I do
agree that things have gotten a little less
comfortable after 9-11, but I believe this has much to
do with the policies of this present administration
than the public at large.

Contrary to his experience, I have found my work
environment to be as, if not more positive than what I
experienced in graduate school. Perhaps this is in
part due to me living in the silicon valley, which has
long been a melting pot of various cultures and
nationalities.

Americans and for that matter Goans, come in different
shapes and sizes. All those wonderful Americans you
interacted with in academia could not have simply just
disappeared. Maybe they all moved to California :)

While I do like Goa, there are also many qualities of
the US and specially California that I also love. I
do know that there are a number of older Goans on
goanet who evenly split their residences partly in
India and N.America or Europe. Looks like these lucky
people are getting the best of both worlds. On the
other hand, if one wants to make a contribution to
Goa, I believe it is better/easier to make the move
when one is relatively young and therefore better able
to recover if things turn south.

If I were to make a list of the positives and
negatives of Goa, I would come up with the following:

Positives:
1) Family
2) Great food and mangoes :)
3) Ability to made a worthwhile contribution to Goa
with modest amounts of money (but a lot of time)
4) Low cost of living
5) You can't get thrown out of your own country
6) Accelerating economic growth
7) Cheap labor

Negatives:
1) Financial - if one does not have the finances to
back one up, the only option to earn significant
income may be by starting a business, which carries
with it, its own set of risks.
2) Lack of familiarity of local processes which often
seem alien, inefficient and unnecessary.
3) Corruption, bureaucracy, clueless officials/ rules
and procedures being made on the fly and subject to
change change without notice!
4) More difficult to get cutting edge labor in Goa (as
opposed to Bombay, Banglore etc).
5) Limited network of friends and contacts
6) Language

The above is a rather simplistic list of positives and
negatives. I'm sure there are others out there who can
refine or add to this list.

Marlon
Post by bantaogoa
Hi,
Well, I had not pre-planned to move back to Goa, But
came down
on an extended break, happened to "re-discover Goa"
and have continued living here and have decided not
to return to the US. The quality of life for a
foreigner in the USA from my personal experience
went down-hill
drastically since September 11, though it was going
down-hill from much before. ?And you know with all
the constant tension and Asians being put under the
scan of suspicion was unsettling.
Alfred de Tavares
2004-02-28 22:39:33 UTC
Permalink
Dear Brian,
When you answer MM, please try and include some information I need in also
taking the steps you have taken: How much monthly budget would you consider
necessary to live in Goa comfortably but not extravagantly? Housing expenses
not included.
Aklfred de Tavares,
Stockholm, 2004-02-28
From: Marlon Menezes <marlon at goacom.com>
Reply-To: goanet at goanet.org
To: goanet at goanet.org
Subject: [Goanet]moving back to Goa
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 01:13:25 -0800 (PST)
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
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bantaogoa
2004-02-29 06:54:34 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

I'm not the one to dismiss an entire culture in a stereotype,
as most often is the tendency with Americans to do. I have
had many positive and wonderful experiences, which many others
I am sure have had too... but it would be more beneficial for other
Goans to hear of the negatives so that they can be prepared better when they encounter similar situations... after all you don't want to paint a too rosy picture that all is fine...

Maybe I was a little spolit having been to graduate school at Vanderbilt
University, which is one of the nicer socio-cultural as well as, well
ranked American Universities, which has a higher quality of student population(the upper crust), than what the average American is like.

I have been to the silicon valley many times, and I'd say it is one
of the better places in America to live in, but is is an exception and
not the norm. I am also quite the explorer, and have travelled very widely
across and seen quite a bit of America, including many of the "off the
beaten path" areas and town-ships... and experienced the "real Americana", and have met some real nice genuine Americans too... and can distinguish the Mississipi accent from the Alabama one, though many would simply say that it is the southern one, but franky there is a shade of a difference !

In general I would say that just the way that there is a wide gap between the rich and the poor in India, there is a similar gap between the good
and not-so good Americans!

Psychologists will tell you that when some one is put under a situation
of extreme stress or adversity, it brings out a person's true character.
September 11 was such an adversity that brought out the true character of
Americans and most of it was not quite so good !

America which once was a bastion of the "humanitarian democracy" has progressed more towards being a neo-fascist police state. America has many "sophisticated" suppresive controls in place. On the other hand Britain has been progressing towards being the more "compassionate
democracy" and the formation of the European Union is a development
towards more of "unification" as opposed to the more isolationist
path that America is heading to. For all the talk about America being such an open democracy ... how many Americans of Indian origin have been
able to rise to a high-ranking political position ? If you look at Britian, we have Keith Vaz, a British-Goan who is a Member of the
British parliament, in addition to a couple of other Indian origin MPs, as well as a couple of Indian origin "Lords" ... members of the upper house of the Lords! Britian also has more stringent "anti-racist" laws !!

After all, where-ever you maybe it does take some amount of "individual"
effort to make it within whatever framework that exists, and this frame-work differs from place to place, and you have to navigate through the negatives and use the positives to your advantage !

Cheers,
?-- Brian
Post by Marlon Menezes
I am sorry to hear that Brian had a series of negative
experiences in the US after leaving university. I do
agree that things have gotten a little less
comfortable after 9-11, but I believe this has much to
do with the policies of this present administration
than the public at large.
__________________________________________________________________
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Bosco D'Mello
2004-02-29 17:39:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by bantaogoa
In addition I had a horrible experience ... an experience with the classic
American Bigot.
RESPONSE: Don't we have our fair share of Goan Bigots. Take a step further -
don't we have our fair share of Goanetters who continue to espouse bigotted
views. And in some cases they have the desired effect ......they turn-off people.

Don't we "stereotype" others too ?? "Stereotyping" people is not an American
monopoly.

In 6 months, you definitely have noticed the same !!!
Post by bantaogoa
Besides, Goa is growing and developing in all fronts ... there are ample of
recreational opportunities ...a thriving pub, bar, nightclub and music scene,
In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector. But efforts are underway to build up the IT
sector as well in Goa.
In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA...
Here you are at home, you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!
RESPONSE: Thanks for that refreshing view of Goa. Yours is not the first
positive email on this subject I have received in the last couple of months and
it's very unlike the incessant vitriol some have been putting out on Goanet on
all the negative aspects of Goa.

Wish you the best as you settle-down.....or decide to fly-off again.

Best wishes - Bosco
bantaogoa
2004-03-01 07:03:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frederick Noronha (FN)
We have many problems, yes. But I still love being here. Being in Goa
gives me a feeling that my work matters, and an ability to understand the
context. FN
I forgot to mention this most critical aspect, that being here in Goa,
you get the greater satisfaction that "You can make a difference" ...
as opposed to say being in America, where for the most part considered "foreign labor for hire" without much of a say or impact !

At the same time we do need Goans to constantly critique the state of affairs in Goa in a "constructive" way ... and sometimes one does need
to resort to vitriolic to get the "susegado" Goan machinery to move
on things ! I would say that we need more "watch-dog" type activists
in Goa to keep prodding on for "Continuous Improvement" across the state
as things tend to be easily get lost in a file gathering dust in a corner.

For example, we hear about a lot of "projects" approved by the government,
but many of these "approved projects" are sitting in files gathering dust.
One much needed "watch-dog" group activity is needed to see that once these
projects are "approved" that work on them commences "immediately".

In Goa, the machinery has the attitude of doing things "Tommorow" but the
"Tommorow" never comes !

We also need a "watch-dog" group to see that projects are untertaken with high-quality standards. There is a lot of corruption in this regard, where for example, a project is approved for a certain amount, but the work is undertaken at a sub-standard level, and money is siphoned off, by compromising on the quality.

For example, It seems that the Margao Municipality has undertaken to paint
around the Municipal garden fencing... but a number of sections of the
fencing are fallen apart, pieces of the concrete sections coming off and
exposing the steel re-enforcing bars ... A good quality engineering work
would be to first fix and patch up all these broken pieces in the boundary all around, and then apply the new paint. Instead of just painting over the
broken pieces ... This is the kind of bad work that is much needed to be vocied out and critiqued !!!

-- Brian


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Frederick Noronha (FN)
2004-02-06 22:36:02 UTC
Permalink
Research does count
-------------------

Goa does have among the
highest literacy rate
in the country, but the
question that needs
to be asked is how
good is the "quality
of the literate"

By Brian Antao, Ph.D.

Goa has embarked on a great mission towards educational reform in the state.
This is a particularly good effort, considering that Goa has the highest
literacy rate in the country, the Goa educationists have not rested on this
laurel and have embarked to further improve the "quality of education" in
the state.

Goa does have among the highest literacy rate in the country, but the
question that needs to be asked is how good is the "quality of the
literate". Goan graduates find it difficult to secure high quality jobs
across the country. We find many of the Goans, not pursuing higher studies,
but migrating to the Gulf and the merchant shipping sector for low quality
jobs, that pay comparatively well as compared to similar jobs in the
country.

In a recent newspaper article, one Goan engineering educationist claimed
that the engineering courses offered in the Goan colleges are based on the
best text-books available in the field, and attempted to blame the students
for their poor performance. In another pertinent comment-article by a former
IIT-Madras director, that appeared in the Indian Express, he blamed the
exam-centric Indian education system where it is possible to study only 60%
of the curriculum and obtain 80% in the examinations. The problem we have in
Goa is that many of the educationists have been "blaming the students" for
their poor performance.

These attitudes of Goan educationists of "blaming students" for poor
performance is not going to result in improving the quality of education in
the state, however much the system is reformed. Some teachers claim that
the student is not motivated. Another prominent Goan claimed he left his
teaching job, as he seemed to be addressing his lectures to only five or six
students who were motivated in the class. Thank you for leaving, for one
must say that you have failed as a teacher to motivate the students of your
class.

A good teacher is also a motivational speaker, not an arrogant blow-horn.
Does the Goan education system have the feature of private appointments with
the teachers, which is prominent in the developed countries, where students
can spend one-on-one time with their teachers to get their doubts cleared?
Instead, in Goa, we have spawned off an eco-system of tuitions and coaching
classes, a concept that is alien in the developed countries.

Coming back to the claim made by one of Goa's engineering educators that the
curriculum is drawn from the best textbooks in the field. This is the
biggest problem that promotes "text-book" based cramming. Engineering is a
very "practical" field and one simply cannot be a good engineer by cramming
from a prescribed textbook for the course.

Today, the core problem in Goa's education infrastructure is that it
completely lacks the research aspect. This text-book approach of education
does not in any way prepare students for a "research" career. Many of the
technology and other scientific innovations take root at the various
research programmes at the universities in the developed world. For example
the first computing machine the ILIAC, that has led to the entire generation
of the computing field, was built as part of a research programme the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. So was the Internet browser,
commercialized by spinning off the company Netscape.

Goa needs to develop and introduce research and innovation skills to
students early from secondary school onwards. Introducing into the
curriculum research assignments can bring this about. These research
assignments take different forms depending on the subject. In technical and
science subjects, would involve assigning students a research oriented
problem, that they go off and solve and arrive at an innovative solution
that which they cannot simply copy from a single text book or a guide.

It is important that from the secondary stage onwards, the course curriculum
is not based on a single-text book, but a selection of reading list for the
subject that the student has to refer to during the course. The course or
subject definition is not drawn from the text-book but is defined in terms
of topics and sub- topics that compose the course and subject. And the
student is then motivated to study these topics and sub-topics from the
reading list provided.

In terms of engineering education, for example, one cannot acquire mastery
in a programming language by cramming from the best available textbook just
the syntax of the programming language. To learn to be a good programmer,
one has to go through the exercise of writing for oneself dozens of programs
that address the different aspects of computer problem solving, and going
through the entire practical cycle of compiling these programs on a
computer, debugging them and ensuring that they work and solve the problem
definition.

The second core problem in terms of a lack of research culture in Goa's
education framework is at the Goa University level. Again the problem is
with the way the faculty is structured and operates.

In the developed countries all the faculty members above the "lecturer"
grade have to compulsorily have their own on-going research programme in
their field of specialization. This applies not only to the science, medical
and technology areas but also in the basic arts. At the end of the academic
year, it is not only the students that undergo evaluation, but the faculty
undergo continuous evaluation as well. At the end of each semester, for each
course, students are asked to fill out a "teacher or course evaluation"
forms. This also ensures that the faculty is upto- date with the latest
developments in the field.

By definition a "lecturer" is of course only a lecturer, which is a purely
teaching job, and usually the number of lecturer positions are limited and
on a temporary basis called in to fill in when there are not enough regular
faculty to teach the entire range of courses offered by the University. The
lecturer position is not a step in the ladder of progression, and often
senior post-graduate students who have excellent records are called in to be
a lecturer or an instructor in a course.

It is because that the faculty at the University level in countries like the
US are required to have their own research programmes and bring in research
funding to support the programme that many Indian and foreign students are
able to avail of scholarships to study there. Students are hired by a
professor as a research assistant to work in their research programme. Full
time faculty has to acquire grants to support their research from different
sources, both the public and private sector.

Goa University needs educational reform too, moving to spearheading
research. It can learn from the overseas experience, where bringing in
research funding is a tough process, which involves writing a high-quality
research proposal, which outlines which new area, or new problem that will
be researched. Research proposals also include such factors as how many
students will be supported and involved in the programme.

With India moving in the direction of "developed" status, it is essential
for Goa to keep in step and for Goa University to also reform its pattern of
education and move in the direction of being a comprehensive research and
teaching university.

How is the current Ph.D. programme of the Goa University structured, keeping
aside issues of quality? Ph.D. programmes in the developed countries are
resident programmes and don't involve a mere compilation of a Ph.D. thesis.
A typical Ph.D. programme at the leading US varsities involves a series of
stages: first passing a qualifying exam, which is usually the entrance to
the programme. This qualifying exam is not a statewide gala-affair, as exams
in India tend to be. This internal exam comprises both written and oral
sections, to screen out candidates who don't make the grade.

This is followed by compiling an Area Paper, a tough exercise, where one has
to do a comprehensive study and research the developments in his or her
proposed Ph.D. research topic, identify the past work that has been done in
the field and define his or her Ph.D. research problem in such a way that it
does not re- invent the wheel or replicate work that has already been done
in the field, and usually involves a global search.

This ensures that research done at the universities keeps advancing the
state-of-the-art. In addition, the Ph.D. student has to carry out teaching
assignments, as a Ph.D. from a leading US university prepares its graduates
for a range of career choices which include directly entering into a junior
faculty position or taking up a private sector position.

Another aspect for development for Goa University is the Management
programme. The University took the baby step in this direction and set up
the department of Management Studies, which has grown to a certain level of
maturity. It is now time to spin it off into a full-fledged Goa School of
Business and Management (GSBM) on the lines of the IIMs.

For setting up the GSBM the Goa University should seek the mentorship,
partnership and guidance of one of the leading business and management
schools, either the IIM network or even look more ambitiously to the more
world-renown business schools such as the London Business School on INSEAD,
France. Andhra Pradesh has set up an International school of business that
has a link-up with the London School of Business.

With a little bit of genuine motivation, a lot can be accomplished.
The problem with many a Goan is that vital aspect of a lack of motivation.
Many Goans also tend to be techno- phobic. Resistance to change and a lack
of a desire for continuous improvement is another stumbling block in the
path to progress. Not to mention the certain seniority-based hegemony that
prevails and suppresses talented youth from advancing.

At the same time, the mandatory retirement limits imposed also cuts many
talented senior individuals who still have the capacity to perform at a high
level of competence. Our own current Prime Minister who is well past the
retirement age is a good example of some one who is governing the country
based on performance and competence factors.

The retirement system needs to be reformed, and based on performance and
competence as well as allowing a voluntary aspect to it. Goa once took pride
in having a susegado culture. In today's dynamic world that has changed much
it would be a shame to say we still have a susegado mind-set!
bantaogoa
2004-02-26 05:12:27 UTC
Permalink
The article was a general article emphasizing on various issues that
should be factored in to improve the educational infrastructure in Goa,
with a strong emphasis to increase the focus on developing "research
ability" in students from an early stage. And yes as such there are
a number of issues that are not directly connected, but are relevant in
the broader context of improvinig the educational infrastructure. The
article by the way appeared originally as an Op-Ed in the O'Herald.

As for the respondent's comments that such a frame-work does not exist
even in the developed world is really not an issue of contention in terms
of improving education in Goa. Just because things don't exist elsewhere
in the world, does it mean that Goa cannot take the leadership and be a
first to implement its own path-breaking system ? He talks about the education system the world over not producing leaders but followers, and yet expects Goa to be a "follower" and not a "leader". He boasts of having 7 years of teaching experience in a developed country but is not able to contribute any fresh new ideas that one would expect from someone with that much of real experience.

The system of education in the developed countries to a great extent is more "open-ended" allowing one the freedom to be what one wants to be. It is not so much "production" oriented, producing neither employees nor employers! Where as it is the system in India which is NOT open-ended and
more "production" oriented.

To also point out, particularly to the many Non Resident Goans, who have left Goa and have settled in other countries and take this position of sitting on an almighty throne and looking back at Goa as being a backward under-developed village. Things are progressing mighty well in Goa. Many of whom were un-willing to accept that Goa was adjudged as India's Number One overall state. The basket-of-crabs mentality of destructive criticism prevails particularly among the Non Resident Goan community on their view of Goa. It's time many of them visited Goa and looked around and see for themselves the amazing developments that are taking place.

Some feats to note:
The Konkan railway based in Margao have developed the Sky-bus metropolitan transit system, a first of its kind in the world which has been granted a US patent, and many developed countries have expressed interest in the technology.

The National Institute of Oceanography(NIO) based in Goa, Dona Paula, has many Goan Scientists working who have made many notable discoveries and have been awarded international patents. The last Director of NIO, Dr. E. DeSa has just been appointed to a prestiguous post at the UNESCO based in France.

The other day a resident Goan, said to me, which was a great compliment, that I was very different from the many Non Resident Goans who come down to Goa on vacations etc. he said in Konkani (sp?) "Eh dushre yetah te sogle beshteleh, feh, feh, feh kohn shapondah sangon woita, kai korepah yeanah"

Another day, I was amused by a Goan youth who had returned after just a year's stay in the US, and was trying too hard to put on an American accent while speaking that he was totally incoherent more than being impressive on his newly acquired American accent :-)

PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15 years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how nicely Goa has been developing and improving and growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute constructively to the growth and development...

Cheers !
-- Brian

George Pinto goanet at goanet.org
Wed, 11 Feb 2004 16:54:46 -0800 (PST)

The author makes a number of good points in the article, though they are not necessarily connected
(example who is a lecturer, the lack of research, cramming, etc.). However, after 7 years
teaching at a University here in California, I can suggest two fundamental flaws with educational
systems the world over (not just developing countries and Goa):

1. The system is geared to produce employees, not employers. Followers, not leaders.
Crowd-pleasers, not trail-blazers. This is a malaise which also affects the Goan psyche and leads
to comfort as second-class citizens in various institutions (educational, religious, political,
etc).

2. Learning without a sense of social and civic activism. I do not consider an education complete
or even good without creating in the student a passion for justice and equality. If a student (or
for that matter any adult) does not pursue justice, they are not educated. The world we live in,
full of injustices, demands no less. Science, engineering, math, etc. without the humanities and
ultimately a sense for justice (and truth) is incomplete.

George




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Marlon Menezes
2004-02-26 09:13:25 UTC
Permalink
Brian,

I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?

I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.

Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
bantaogoa
2004-02-26 15:25:50 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

Well, I had not pre-planned to move back to Goa, But came down
on an extended break, happened to "re-discover Goa" and have continued living here and have decided not to return to the US. The quality of life for a foreigner in the USA from my personal experience went down-hill
drastically since September 11, though it was going down-hill from much before. ?And you know with all the constant tension and Asians being put under the scan of suspicion was unsettling.

After I arrived in Goa, it was such a breath of fresh air ... the atmosphere is so calm and peaceful ... and it felt more like being at home.
I realized that in all the time I spent in the US I never quite got down to
getting that feeling of "being home" and never really felt like it was
a place I could call "home"

In addition I had a horrible experience ... an experience with the classic
American Bigot. A crazy woman based in Texas where I lived who never even saw me, but only had heard of me through one of her friends who happened to know me began making serious accusations that I was a "terrorist". This woman was a classic case of the American Xenophobe who have a problem dealing with "Intelligent" foreigners. This woman was so twisted that she went to the extent of claiming to be an authority on India, and that there were No Catholics or Christians in India. And she went about accusing me of actually being a "Muslim terrorist" who had changed his name to a Christian name and lying about being a Catholic and all such really extremely demented stuff. It is so typical of Americans who have such
grossly WRONG and demented perceptions about the rest of the world
but will go about with such an arrogance to impose their WRONG beliefs.
I have too much of pride and self-esteem to put up with such ridiculous
bull-shit! This is the kind of shit that I won't tolerate or put up
with, even if offered a million dollars!

As for the USA, I really enjoyed the time when I was a student and in academia, but it was like night and day after that in the real world. I
always wondered what happened to all these American folks who are good
and nice when they are in the collegiate environment, but once they
get out in the real world go down-hill. Things have changed too a lot in
the USA, and I think what once used to be called the "American Dream" has
become more of an "American Nightmare"... Now it is the "European Dream" !!

Besides after coming down to Goa, I have also realized how "insular"
the USA is. From Goa, I have access to more news and information about
the rest of the world, that what one has in the USA. Even the regional
Goan newspapers have better "global" news coverage than the American
media. I have also discovered the more exciting challenges that Europe
and England have to offer... my future plans are open and I am exploring
a number of options that include, staying on in Goa, if a business plan
I'm working on comes through, to exploring opportunities in England or other parts of developed Europe.

If you see Goa for example, it is a popular tourist destination with
Europeans, and the Europeans are definitely a much more cultured and
classy lot. I have got a chance here to see and mingle with a lot of
the European tourists and they are a much nicer, cultured, mannered,
decent and pleasant lot. As compared to the American who seems
like such a "rough-neck" in comparison... The term Americanus Redneckus
is quite apropos !

A problem with the American "psyche" as such is that they tend to view the
world in terms of "stereotypes"... for example if an American knows one
Indian who is a convenience store worker, he/she would most stupidly
conclude that all Indians are convenience store workers. Which was quite
evident by the shocking public remark made by Hillary Clinton, who aspires
to be an American President -- She said "Was'nt Mahatma Gandhi a gas station worker"

In America, one has to be able to distinguish the American Xenophobe, from the racist. A lot of Americans are very Xenophobhic about "Intelligent" foreigners... Americans like to think that by default, simply because they are Americans they are smarter than the foreigner, and feel more comfortable with the less smart foreigner... as a result Americans are more a bunch of "smart-asses" and "smart-alecs" than "Intelligent" ... I read somewhere that "Intelligent American" is quite the oxymoron --
probably originated from the French who have quite a disdain of Americans,
but one which is quite justifiable.

Returning to Goa is really great ... if you have some capital saved up
and have a bit of an entrepreneural spirit it is perfect ... you can set yourself up in a nice independent business and relax and enjoy the great
"Goan ambiance"

Besides, Goa is growing and developing in all fronts ... there are ample of
recreational opportunities ... football is particularly a hot favorite...
there are a dozen of different leagues at different levels, and matches
played all over the place from the top Indian National Football league
to the lowest division league...

There's a thriving pub, bar, nightclub and music scene, which however is
more concentrated in the North Goa tourist belt centered around Calangute.
Goa has also evolved its own genre of music called "Goa Trance" which
is quite popular in Europe, its a genre by itself and if you want to
make a comparison perhaps it comes closest to some of the music by the
German Group DA ROOT

In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector which has gone un-noticed as the latest
fad is on Information Technology and every body talks about the Major
Indian IT hubs in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Goa is actually a "best kept
secret" in terms of being a major "Pharma Hub" But efforts are underway
to build up the IT sector as well in Goa.

In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA... and a dollar or a rupee goes a much longer way here!
You can stretch things and live comfortably with a better quality of
life, better social interactions, without having to worry about the issue
of being a second-class citizen in a foreign land. Here you are at home,
you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!

In terms of the financial aspects, unfortunatly the "salary scales" in India are still too low and leave much to be desired, but Goa on the other
hand has the highest per-capita income in India, you you can expect a higher than average income in Goa. The best bet is going into business
for yourself... and if you have a little bit of ingenuity, you can create
enough of niche opportunities for yourself. The basic infrastructure for
that is quite good here in Goa, and the amount of initial capital required
to get started is not too demanding. Besides the banking and finance industry has developed quite a bit and you have all the facilities, such as
all types of loans etc.

So if you have to go to a foreign land its good to make some good money, save it up and return back to good old Goa, where it is home and home is
where the heart is !

Cheers !
?-- Brian
Post by Marlon Menezes
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
? -- Brian
__________________________________________________________________
Introducing the New Netscape Internet Service.
Only $9.95 a month -- Sign up today at http://isp.netscape.com/register

Netscape. Just the Net You Need.
Marlon Menezes
2004-02-28 19:33:36 UTC
Permalink
I am sorry to hear that Brian had a series of negative
experiences in the US after leaving university. I do
agree that things have gotten a little less
comfortable after 9-11, but I believe this has much to
do with the policies of this present administration
than the public at large.

Contrary to his experience, I have found my work
environment to be as, if not more positive than what I
experienced in graduate school. Perhaps this is in
part due to me living in the silicon valley, which has
long been a melting pot of various cultures and
nationalities.

Americans and for that matter Goans, come in different
shapes and sizes. All those wonderful Americans you
interacted with in academia could not have simply just
disappeared. Maybe they all moved to California :)

While I do like Goa, there are also many qualities of
the US and specially California that I also love. I
do know that there are a number of older Goans on
goanet who evenly split their residences partly in
India and N.America or Europe. Looks like these lucky
people are getting the best of both worlds. On the
other hand, if one wants to make a contribution to
Goa, I believe it is better/easier to make the move
when one is relatively young and therefore better able
to recover if things turn south.

If I were to make a list of the positives and
negatives of Goa, I would come up with the following:

Positives:
1) Family
2) Great food and mangoes :)
3) Ability to made a worthwhile contribution to Goa
with modest amounts of money (but a lot of time)
4) Low cost of living
5) You can't get thrown out of your own country
6) Accelerating economic growth
7) Cheap labor

Negatives:
1) Financial - if one does not have the finances to
back one up, the only option to earn significant
income may be by starting a business, which carries
with it, its own set of risks.
2) Lack of familiarity of local processes which often
seem alien, inefficient and unnecessary.
3) Corruption, bureaucracy, clueless officials/ rules
and procedures being made on the fly and subject to
change change without notice!
4) More difficult to get cutting edge labor in Goa (as
opposed to Bombay, Banglore etc).
5) Limited network of friends and contacts
6) Language

The above is a rather simplistic list of positives and
negatives. I'm sure there are others out there who can
refine or add to this list.

Marlon
Post by bantaogoa
Hi,
Well, I had not pre-planned to move back to Goa, But
came down
on an extended break, happened to "re-discover Goa"
and have continued living here and have decided not
to return to the US. The quality of life for a
foreigner in the USA from my personal experience
went down-hill
drastically since September 11, though it was going
down-hill from much before. ?And you know with all
the constant tension and Asians being put under the
scan of suspicion was unsettling.
Alfred de Tavares
2004-02-28 22:39:33 UTC
Permalink
Dear Brian,
When you answer MM, please try and include some information I need in also
taking the steps you have taken: How much monthly budget would you consider
necessary to live in Goa comfortably but not extravagantly? Housing expenses
not included.
Aklfred de Tavares,
Stockholm, 2004-02-28
From: Marlon Menezes <marlon at goacom.com>
Reply-To: goanet at goanet.org
To: goanet at goanet.org
Subject: [Goanet]moving back to Goa
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 01:13:25 -0800 (PST)
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
_________________________________________________________________
Add photos to your messages with MSN 8. Get 2 months FREE*.
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bantaogoa
2004-02-29 06:54:34 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

I'm not the one to dismiss an entire culture in a stereotype,
as most often is the tendency with Americans to do. I have
had many positive and wonderful experiences, which many others
I am sure have had too... but it would be more beneficial for other
Goans to hear of the negatives so that they can be prepared better when they encounter similar situations... after all you don't want to paint a too rosy picture that all is fine...

Maybe I was a little spolit having been to graduate school at Vanderbilt
University, which is one of the nicer socio-cultural as well as, well
ranked American Universities, which has a higher quality of student population(the upper crust), than what the average American is like.

I have been to the silicon valley many times, and I'd say it is one
of the better places in America to live in, but is is an exception and
not the norm. I am also quite the explorer, and have travelled very widely
across and seen quite a bit of America, including many of the "off the
beaten path" areas and town-ships... and experienced the "real Americana", and have met some real nice genuine Americans too... and can distinguish the Mississipi accent from the Alabama one, though many would simply say that it is the southern one, but franky there is a shade of a difference !

In general I would say that just the way that there is a wide gap between the rich and the poor in India, there is a similar gap between the good
and not-so good Americans!

Psychologists will tell you that when some one is put under a situation
of extreme stress or adversity, it brings out a person's true character.
September 11 was such an adversity that brought out the true character of
Americans and most of it was not quite so good !

America which once was a bastion of the "humanitarian democracy" has progressed more towards being a neo-fascist police state. America has many "sophisticated" suppresive controls in place. On the other hand Britain has been progressing towards being the more "compassionate
democracy" and the formation of the European Union is a development
towards more of "unification" as opposed to the more isolationist
path that America is heading to. For all the talk about America being such an open democracy ... how many Americans of Indian origin have been
able to rise to a high-ranking political position ? If you look at Britian, we have Keith Vaz, a British-Goan who is a Member of the
British parliament, in addition to a couple of other Indian origin MPs, as well as a couple of Indian origin "Lords" ... members of the upper house of the Lords! Britian also has more stringent "anti-racist" laws !!

After all, where-ever you maybe it does take some amount of "individual"
effort to make it within whatever framework that exists, and this frame-work differs from place to place, and you have to navigate through the negatives and use the positives to your advantage !

Cheers,
?-- Brian
Post by Marlon Menezes
I am sorry to hear that Brian had a series of negative
experiences in the US after leaving university. I do
agree that things have gotten a little less
comfortable after 9-11, but I believe this has much to
do with the policies of this present administration
than the public at large.
__________________________________________________________________
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Only $9.95 a month -- Sign up today at http://isp.netscape.com/register
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Bosco D'Mello
2004-02-29 17:39:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by bantaogoa
In addition I had a horrible experience ... an experience with the classic
American Bigot.
RESPONSE: Don't we have our fair share of Goan Bigots. Take a step further -
don't we have our fair share of Goanetters who continue to espouse bigotted
views. And in some cases they have the desired effect ......they turn-off people.

Don't we "stereotype" others too ?? "Stereotyping" people is not an American
monopoly.

In 6 months, you definitely have noticed the same !!!
Post by bantaogoa
Besides, Goa is growing and developing in all fronts ... there are ample of
recreational opportunities ...a thriving pub, bar, nightclub and music scene,
In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector. But efforts are underway to build up the IT
sector as well in Goa.
In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA...
Here you are at home, you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!
RESPONSE: Thanks for that refreshing view of Goa. Yours is not the first
positive email on this subject I have received in the last couple of months and
it's very unlike the incessant vitriol some have been putting out on Goanet on
all the negative aspects of Goa.

Wish you the best as you settle-down.....or decide to fly-off again.

Best wishes - Bosco
bantaogoa
2004-03-01 07:03:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frederick Noronha (FN)
We have many problems, yes. But I still love being here. Being in Goa
gives me a feeling that my work matters, and an ability to understand the
context. FN
I forgot to mention this most critical aspect, that being here in Goa,
you get the greater satisfaction that "You can make a difference" ...
as opposed to say being in America, where for the most part considered "foreign labor for hire" without much of a say or impact !

At the same time we do need Goans to constantly critique the state of affairs in Goa in a "constructive" way ... and sometimes one does need
to resort to vitriolic to get the "susegado" Goan machinery to move
on things ! I would say that we need more "watch-dog" type activists
in Goa to keep prodding on for "Continuous Improvement" across the state
as things tend to be easily get lost in a file gathering dust in a corner.

For example, we hear about a lot of "projects" approved by the government,
but many of these "approved projects" are sitting in files gathering dust.
One much needed "watch-dog" group activity is needed to see that once these
projects are "approved" that work on them commences "immediately".

In Goa, the machinery has the attitude of doing things "Tommorow" but the
"Tommorow" never comes !

We also need a "watch-dog" group to see that projects are untertaken with high-quality standards. There is a lot of corruption in this regard, where for example, a project is approved for a certain amount, but the work is undertaken at a sub-standard level, and money is siphoned off, by compromising on the quality.

For example, It seems that the Margao Municipality has undertaken to paint
around the Municipal garden fencing... but a number of sections of the
fencing are fallen apart, pieces of the concrete sections coming off and
exposing the steel re-enforcing bars ... A good quality engineering work
would be to first fix and patch up all these broken pieces in the boundary all around, and then apply the new paint. Instead of just painting over the
broken pieces ... This is the kind of bad work that is much needed to be vocied out and critiqued !!!

-- Brian


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Frederick Noronha (FN)
2004-02-06 22:36:02 UTC
Permalink
Research does count
-------------------

Goa does have among the
highest literacy rate
in the country, but the
question that needs
to be asked is how
good is the "quality
of the literate"

By Brian Antao, Ph.D.

Goa has embarked on a great mission towards educational reform in the state.
This is a particularly good effort, considering that Goa has the highest
literacy rate in the country, the Goa educationists have not rested on this
laurel and have embarked to further improve the "quality of education" in
the state.

Goa does have among the highest literacy rate in the country, but the
question that needs to be asked is how good is the "quality of the
literate". Goan graduates find it difficult to secure high quality jobs
across the country. We find many of the Goans, not pursuing higher studies,
but migrating to the Gulf and the merchant shipping sector for low quality
jobs, that pay comparatively well as compared to similar jobs in the
country.

In a recent newspaper article, one Goan engineering educationist claimed
that the engineering courses offered in the Goan colleges are based on the
best text-books available in the field, and attempted to blame the students
for their poor performance. In another pertinent comment-article by a former
IIT-Madras director, that appeared in the Indian Express, he blamed the
exam-centric Indian education system where it is possible to study only 60%
of the curriculum and obtain 80% in the examinations. The problem we have in
Goa is that many of the educationists have been "blaming the students" for
their poor performance.

These attitudes of Goan educationists of "blaming students" for poor
performance is not going to result in improving the quality of education in
the state, however much the system is reformed. Some teachers claim that
the student is not motivated. Another prominent Goan claimed he left his
teaching job, as he seemed to be addressing his lectures to only five or six
students who were motivated in the class. Thank you for leaving, for one
must say that you have failed as a teacher to motivate the students of your
class.

A good teacher is also a motivational speaker, not an arrogant blow-horn.
Does the Goan education system have the feature of private appointments with
the teachers, which is prominent in the developed countries, where students
can spend one-on-one time with their teachers to get their doubts cleared?
Instead, in Goa, we have spawned off an eco-system of tuitions and coaching
classes, a concept that is alien in the developed countries.

Coming back to the claim made by one of Goa's engineering educators that the
curriculum is drawn from the best textbooks in the field. This is the
biggest problem that promotes "text-book" based cramming. Engineering is a
very "practical" field and one simply cannot be a good engineer by cramming
from a prescribed textbook for the course.

Today, the core problem in Goa's education infrastructure is that it
completely lacks the research aspect. This text-book approach of education
does not in any way prepare students for a "research" career. Many of the
technology and other scientific innovations take root at the various
research programmes at the universities in the developed world. For example
the first computing machine the ILIAC, that has led to the entire generation
of the computing field, was built as part of a research programme the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. So was the Internet browser,
commercialized by spinning off the company Netscape.

Goa needs to develop and introduce research and innovation skills to
students early from secondary school onwards. Introducing into the
curriculum research assignments can bring this about. These research
assignments take different forms depending on the subject. In technical and
science subjects, would involve assigning students a research oriented
problem, that they go off and solve and arrive at an innovative solution
that which they cannot simply copy from a single text book or a guide.

It is important that from the secondary stage onwards, the course curriculum
is not based on a single-text book, but a selection of reading list for the
subject that the student has to refer to during the course. The course or
subject definition is not drawn from the text-book but is defined in terms
of topics and sub- topics that compose the course and subject. And the
student is then motivated to study these topics and sub-topics from the
reading list provided.

In terms of engineering education, for example, one cannot acquire mastery
in a programming language by cramming from the best available textbook just
the syntax of the programming language. To learn to be a good programmer,
one has to go through the exercise of writing for oneself dozens of programs
that address the different aspects of computer problem solving, and going
through the entire practical cycle of compiling these programs on a
computer, debugging them and ensuring that they work and solve the problem
definition.

The second core problem in terms of a lack of research culture in Goa's
education framework is at the Goa University level. Again the problem is
with the way the faculty is structured and operates.

In the developed countries all the faculty members above the "lecturer"
grade have to compulsorily have their own on-going research programme in
their field of specialization. This applies not only to the science, medical
and technology areas but also in the basic arts. At the end of the academic
year, it is not only the students that undergo evaluation, but the faculty
undergo continuous evaluation as well. At the end of each semester, for each
course, students are asked to fill out a "teacher or course evaluation"
forms. This also ensures that the faculty is upto- date with the latest
developments in the field.

By definition a "lecturer" is of course only a lecturer, which is a purely
teaching job, and usually the number of lecturer positions are limited and
on a temporary basis called in to fill in when there are not enough regular
faculty to teach the entire range of courses offered by the University. The
lecturer position is not a step in the ladder of progression, and often
senior post-graduate students who have excellent records are called in to be
a lecturer or an instructor in a course.

It is because that the faculty at the University level in countries like the
US are required to have their own research programmes and bring in research
funding to support the programme that many Indian and foreign students are
able to avail of scholarships to study there. Students are hired by a
professor as a research assistant to work in their research programme. Full
time faculty has to acquire grants to support their research from different
sources, both the public and private sector.

Goa University needs educational reform too, moving to spearheading
research. It can learn from the overseas experience, where bringing in
research funding is a tough process, which involves writing a high-quality
research proposal, which outlines which new area, or new problem that will
be researched. Research proposals also include such factors as how many
students will be supported and involved in the programme.

With India moving in the direction of "developed" status, it is essential
for Goa to keep in step and for Goa University to also reform its pattern of
education and move in the direction of being a comprehensive research and
teaching university.

How is the current Ph.D. programme of the Goa University structured, keeping
aside issues of quality? Ph.D. programmes in the developed countries are
resident programmes and don't involve a mere compilation of a Ph.D. thesis.
A typical Ph.D. programme at the leading US varsities involves a series of
stages: first passing a qualifying exam, which is usually the entrance to
the programme. This qualifying exam is not a statewide gala-affair, as exams
in India tend to be. This internal exam comprises both written and oral
sections, to screen out candidates who don't make the grade.

This is followed by compiling an Area Paper, a tough exercise, where one has
to do a comprehensive study and research the developments in his or her
proposed Ph.D. research topic, identify the past work that has been done in
the field and define his or her Ph.D. research problem in such a way that it
does not re- invent the wheel or replicate work that has already been done
in the field, and usually involves a global search.

This ensures that research done at the universities keeps advancing the
state-of-the-art. In addition, the Ph.D. student has to carry out teaching
assignments, as a Ph.D. from a leading US university prepares its graduates
for a range of career choices which include directly entering into a junior
faculty position or taking up a private sector position.

Another aspect for development for Goa University is the Management
programme. The University took the baby step in this direction and set up
the department of Management Studies, which has grown to a certain level of
maturity. It is now time to spin it off into a full-fledged Goa School of
Business and Management (GSBM) on the lines of the IIMs.

For setting up the GSBM the Goa University should seek the mentorship,
partnership and guidance of one of the leading business and management
schools, either the IIM network or even look more ambitiously to the more
world-renown business schools such as the London Business School on INSEAD,
France. Andhra Pradesh has set up an International school of business that
has a link-up with the London School of Business.

With a little bit of genuine motivation, a lot can be accomplished.
The problem with many a Goan is that vital aspect of a lack of motivation.
Many Goans also tend to be techno- phobic. Resistance to change and a lack
of a desire for continuous improvement is another stumbling block in the
path to progress. Not to mention the certain seniority-based hegemony that
prevails and suppresses talented youth from advancing.

At the same time, the mandatory retirement limits imposed also cuts many
talented senior individuals who still have the capacity to perform at a high
level of competence. Our own current Prime Minister who is well past the
retirement age is a good example of some one who is governing the country
based on performance and competence factors.

The retirement system needs to be reformed, and based on performance and
competence as well as allowing a voluntary aspect to it. Goa once took pride
in having a susegado culture. In today's dynamic world that has changed much
it would be a shame to say we still have a susegado mind-set!
bantaogoa
2004-02-26 05:12:27 UTC
Permalink
The article was a general article emphasizing on various issues that
should be factored in to improve the educational infrastructure in Goa,
with a strong emphasis to increase the focus on developing "research
ability" in students from an early stage. And yes as such there are
a number of issues that are not directly connected, but are relevant in
the broader context of improvinig the educational infrastructure. The
article by the way appeared originally as an Op-Ed in the O'Herald.

As for the respondent's comments that such a frame-work does not exist
even in the developed world is really not an issue of contention in terms
of improving education in Goa. Just because things don't exist elsewhere
in the world, does it mean that Goa cannot take the leadership and be a
first to implement its own path-breaking system ? He talks about the education system the world over not producing leaders but followers, and yet expects Goa to be a "follower" and not a "leader". He boasts of having 7 years of teaching experience in a developed country but is not able to contribute any fresh new ideas that one would expect from someone with that much of real experience.

The system of education in the developed countries to a great extent is more "open-ended" allowing one the freedom to be what one wants to be. It is not so much "production" oriented, producing neither employees nor employers! Where as it is the system in India which is NOT open-ended and
more "production" oriented.

To also point out, particularly to the many Non Resident Goans, who have left Goa and have settled in other countries and take this position of sitting on an almighty throne and looking back at Goa as being a backward under-developed village. Things are progressing mighty well in Goa. Many of whom were un-willing to accept that Goa was adjudged as India's Number One overall state. The basket-of-crabs mentality of destructive criticism prevails particularly among the Non Resident Goan community on their view of Goa. It's time many of them visited Goa and looked around and see for themselves the amazing developments that are taking place.

Some feats to note:
The Konkan railway based in Margao have developed the Sky-bus metropolitan transit system, a first of its kind in the world which has been granted a US patent, and many developed countries have expressed interest in the technology.

The National Institute of Oceanography(NIO) based in Goa, Dona Paula, has many Goan Scientists working who have made many notable discoveries and have been awarded international patents. The last Director of NIO, Dr. E. DeSa has just been appointed to a prestiguous post at the UNESCO based in France.

The other day a resident Goan, said to me, which was a great compliment, that I was very different from the many Non Resident Goans who come down to Goa on vacations etc. he said in Konkani (sp?) "Eh dushre yetah te sogle beshteleh, feh, feh, feh kohn shapondah sangon woita, kai korepah yeanah"

Another day, I was amused by a Goan youth who had returned after just a year's stay in the US, and was trying too hard to put on an American accent while speaking that he was totally incoherent more than being impressive on his newly acquired American accent :-)

PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15 years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how nicely Goa has been developing and improving and growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute constructively to the growth and development...

Cheers !
-- Brian

George Pinto goanet at goanet.org
Wed, 11 Feb 2004 16:54:46 -0800 (PST)

The author makes a number of good points in the article, though they are not necessarily connected
(example who is a lecturer, the lack of research, cramming, etc.). However, after 7 years
teaching at a University here in California, I can suggest two fundamental flaws with educational
systems the world over (not just developing countries and Goa):

1. The system is geared to produce employees, not employers. Followers, not leaders.
Crowd-pleasers, not trail-blazers. This is a malaise which also affects the Goan psyche and leads
to comfort as second-class citizens in various institutions (educational, religious, political,
etc).

2. Learning without a sense of social and civic activism. I do not consider an education complete
or even good without creating in the student a passion for justice and equality. If a student (or
for that matter any adult) does not pursue justice, they are not educated. The world we live in,
full of injustices, demands no less. Science, engineering, math, etc. without the humanities and
ultimately a sense for justice (and truth) is incomplete.

George




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Marlon Menezes
2004-02-26 09:13:25 UTC
Permalink
Brian,

I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?

I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.

Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
bantaogoa
2004-02-26 15:25:50 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

Well, I had not pre-planned to move back to Goa, But came down
on an extended break, happened to "re-discover Goa" and have continued living here and have decided not to return to the US. The quality of life for a foreigner in the USA from my personal experience went down-hill
drastically since September 11, though it was going down-hill from much before. ?And you know with all the constant tension and Asians being put under the scan of suspicion was unsettling.

After I arrived in Goa, it was such a breath of fresh air ... the atmosphere is so calm and peaceful ... and it felt more like being at home.
I realized that in all the time I spent in the US I never quite got down to
getting that feeling of "being home" and never really felt like it was
a place I could call "home"

In addition I had a horrible experience ... an experience with the classic
American Bigot. A crazy woman based in Texas where I lived who never even saw me, but only had heard of me through one of her friends who happened to know me began making serious accusations that I was a "terrorist". This woman was a classic case of the American Xenophobe who have a problem dealing with "Intelligent" foreigners. This woman was so twisted that she went to the extent of claiming to be an authority on India, and that there were No Catholics or Christians in India. And she went about accusing me of actually being a "Muslim terrorist" who had changed his name to a Christian name and lying about being a Catholic and all such really extremely demented stuff. It is so typical of Americans who have such
grossly WRONG and demented perceptions about the rest of the world
but will go about with such an arrogance to impose their WRONG beliefs.
I have too much of pride and self-esteem to put up with such ridiculous
bull-shit! This is the kind of shit that I won't tolerate or put up
with, even if offered a million dollars!

As for the USA, I really enjoyed the time when I was a student and in academia, but it was like night and day after that in the real world. I
always wondered what happened to all these American folks who are good
and nice when they are in the collegiate environment, but once they
get out in the real world go down-hill. Things have changed too a lot in
the USA, and I think what once used to be called the "American Dream" has
become more of an "American Nightmare"... Now it is the "European Dream" !!

Besides after coming down to Goa, I have also realized how "insular"
the USA is. From Goa, I have access to more news and information about
the rest of the world, that what one has in the USA. Even the regional
Goan newspapers have better "global" news coverage than the American
media. I have also discovered the more exciting challenges that Europe
and England have to offer... my future plans are open and I am exploring
a number of options that include, staying on in Goa, if a business plan
I'm working on comes through, to exploring opportunities in England or other parts of developed Europe.

If you see Goa for example, it is a popular tourist destination with
Europeans, and the Europeans are definitely a much more cultured and
classy lot. I have got a chance here to see and mingle with a lot of
the European tourists and they are a much nicer, cultured, mannered,
decent and pleasant lot. As compared to the American who seems
like such a "rough-neck" in comparison... The term Americanus Redneckus
is quite apropos !

A problem with the American "psyche" as such is that they tend to view the
world in terms of "stereotypes"... for example if an American knows one
Indian who is a convenience store worker, he/she would most stupidly
conclude that all Indians are convenience store workers. Which was quite
evident by the shocking public remark made by Hillary Clinton, who aspires
to be an American President -- She said "Was'nt Mahatma Gandhi a gas station worker"

In America, one has to be able to distinguish the American Xenophobe, from the racist. A lot of Americans are very Xenophobhic about "Intelligent" foreigners... Americans like to think that by default, simply because they are Americans they are smarter than the foreigner, and feel more comfortable with the less smart foreigner... as a result Americans are more a bunch of "smart-asses" and "smart-alecs" than "Intelligent" ... I read somewhere that "Intelligent American" is quite the oxymoron --
probably originated from the French who have quite a disdain of Americans,
but one which is quite justifiable.

Returning to Goa is really great ... if you have some capital saved up
and have a bit of an entrepreneural spirit it is perfect ... you can set yourself up in a nice independent business and relax and enjoy the great
"Goan ambiance"

Besides, Goa is growing and developing in all fronts ... there are ample of
recreational opportunities ... football is particularly a hot favorite...
there are a dozen of different leagues at different levels, and matches
played all over the place from the top Indian National Football league
to the lowest division league...

There's a thriving pub, bar, nightclub and music scene, which however is
more concentrated in the North Goa tourist belt centered around Calangute.
Goa has also evolved its own genre of music called "Goa Trance" which
is quite popular in Europe, its a genre by itself and if you want to
make a comparison perhaps it comes closest to some of the music by the
German Group DA ROOT

In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector which has gone un-noticed as the latest
fad is on Information Technology and every body talks about the Major
Indian IT hubs in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Goa is actually a "best kept
secret" in terms of being a major "Pharma Hub" But efforts are underway
to build up the IT sector as well in Goa.

In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA... and a dollar or a rupee goes a much longer way here!
You can stretch things and live comfortably with a better quality of
life, better social interactions, without having to worry about the issue
of being a second-class citizen in a foreign land. Here you are at home,
you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!

In terms of the financial aspects, unfortunatly the "salary scales" in India are still too low and leave much to be desired, but Goa on the other
hand has the highest per-capita income in India, you you can expect a higher than average income in Goa. The best bet is going into business
for yourself... and if you have a little bit of ingenuity, you can create
enough of niche opportunities for yourself. The basic infrastructure for
that is quite good here in Goa, and the amount of initial capital required
to get started is not too demanding. Besides the banking and finance industry has developed quite a bit and you have all the facilities, such as
all types of loans etc.

So if you have to go to a foreign land its good to make some good money, save it up and return back to good old Goa, where it is home and home is
where the heart is !

Cheers !
?-- Brian
Post by Marlon Menezes
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
? -- Brian
__________________________________________________________________
Introducing the New Netscape Internet Service.
Only $9.95 a month -- Sign up today at http://isp.netscape.com/register

Netscape. Just the Net You Need.
Marlon Menezes
2004-02-28 19:33:36 UTC
Permalink
I am sorry to hear that Brian had a series of negative
experiences in the US after leaving university. I do
agree that things have gotten a little less
comfortable after 9-11, but I believe this has much to
do with the policies of this present administration
than the public at large.

Contrary to his experience, I have found my work
environment to be as, if not more positive than what I
experienced in graduate school. Perhaps this is in
part due to me living in the silicon valley, which has
long been a melting pot of various cultures and
nationalities.

Americans and for that matter Goans, come in different
shapes and sizes. All those wonderful Americans you
interacted with in academia could not have simply just
disappeared. Maybe they all moved to California :)

While I do like Goa, there are also many qualities of
the US and specially California that I also love. I
do know that there are a number of older Goans on
goanet who evenly split their residences partly in
India and N.America or Europe. Looks like these lucky
people are getting the best of both worlds. On the
other hand, if one wants to make a contribution to
Goa, I believe it is better/easier to make the move
when one is relatively young and therefore better able
to recover if things turn south.

If I were to make a list of the positives and
negatives of Goa, I would come up with the following:

Positives:
1) Family
2) Great food and mangoes :)
3) Ability to made a worthwhile contribution to Goa
with modest amounts of money (but a lot of time)
4) Low cost of living
5) You can't get thrown out of your own country
6) Accelerating economic growth
7) Cheap labor

Negatives:
1) Financial - if one does not have the finances to
back one up, the only option to earn significant
income may be by starting a business, which carries
with it, its own set of risks.
2) Lack of familiarity of local processes which often
seem alien, inefficient and unnecessary.
3) Corruption, bureaucracy, clueless officials/ rules
and procedures being made on the fly and subject to
change change without notice!
4) More difficult to get cutting edge labor in Goa (as
opposed to Bombay, Banglore etc).
5) Limited network of friends and contacts
6) Language

The above is a rather simplistic list of positives and
negatives. I'm sure there are others out there who can
refine or add to this list.

Marlon
Post by bantaogoa
Hi,
Well, I had not pre-planned to move back to Goa, But
came down
on an extended break, happened to "re-discover Goa"
and have continued living here and have decided not
to return to the US. The quality of life for a
foreigner in the USA from my personal experience
went down-hill
drastically since September 11, though it was going
down-hill from much before. ?And you know with all
the constant tension and Asians being put under the
scan of suspicion was unsettling.
Alfred de Tavares
2004-02-28 22:39:33 UTC
Permalink
Dear Brian,
When you answer MM, please try and include some information I need in also
taking the steps you have taken: How much monthly budget would you consider
necessary to live in Goa comfortably but not extravagantly? Housing expenses
not included.
Aklfred de Tavares,
Stockholm, 2004-02-28
From: Marlon Menezes <marlon at goacom.com>
Reply-To: goanet at goanet.org
To: goanet at goanet.org
Subject: [Goanet]moving back to Goa
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 01:13:25 -0800 (PST)
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
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bantaogoa
2004-02-29 06:54:34 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

I'm not the one to dismiss an entire culture in a stereotype,
as most often is the tendency with Americans to do. I have
had many positive and wonderful experiences, which many others
I am sure have had too... but it would be more beneficial for other
Goans to hear of the negatives so that they can be prepared better when they encounter similar situations... after all you don't want to paint a too rosy picture that all is fine...

Maybe I was a little spolit having been to graduate school at Vanderbilt
University, which is one of the nicer socio-cultural as well as, well
ranked American Universities, which has a higher quality of student population(the upper crust), than what the average American is like.

I have been to the silicon valley many times, and I'd say it is one
of the better places in America to live in, but is is an exception and
not the norm. I am also quite the explorer, and have travelled very widely
across and seen quite a bit of America, including many of the "off the
beaten path" areas and town-ships... and experienced the "real Americana", and have met some real nice genuine Americans too... and can distinguish the Mississipi accent from the Alabama one, though many would simply say that it is the southern one, but franky there is a shade of a difference !

In general I would say that just the way that there is a wide gap between the rich and the poor in India, there is a similar gap between the good
and not-so good Americans!

Psychologists will tell you that when some one is put under a situation
of extreme stress or adversity, it brings out a person's true character.
September 11 was such an adversity that brought out the true character of
Americans and most of it was not quite so good !

America which once was a bastion of the "humanitarian democracy" has progressed more towards being a neo-fascist police state. America has many "sophisticated" suppresive controls in place. On the other hand Britain has been progressing towards being the more "compassionate
democracy" and the formation of the European Union is a development
towards more of "unification" as opposed to the more isolationist
path that America is heading to. For all the talk about America being such an open democracy ... how many Americans of Indian origin have been
able to rise to a high-ranking political position ? If you look at Britian, we have Keith Vaz, a British-Goan who is a Member of the
British parliament, in addition to a couple of other Indian origin MPs, as well as a couple of Indian origin "Lords" ... members of the upper house of the Lords! Britian also has more stringent "anti-racist" laws !!

After all, where-ever you maybe it does take some amount of "individual"
effort to make it within whatever framework that exists, and this frame-work differs from place to place, and you have to navigate through the negatives and use the positives to your advantage !

Cheers,
?-- Brian
Post by Marlon Menezes
I am sorry to hear that Brian had a series of negative
experiences in the US after leaving university. I do
agree that things have gotten a little less
comfortable after 9-11, but I believe this has much to
do with the policies of this present administration
than the public at large.
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Bosco D'Mello
2004-02-29 17:39:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by bantaogoa
In addition I had a horrible experience ... an experience with the classic
American Bigot.
RESPONSE: Don't we have our fair share of Goan Bigots. Take a step further -
don't we have our fair share of Goanetters who continue to espouse bigotted
views. And in some cases they have the desired effect ......they turn-off people.

Don't we "stereotype" others too ?? "Stereotyping" people is not an American
monopoly.

In 6 months, you definitely have noticed the same !!!
Post by bantaogoa
Besides, Goa is growing and developing in all fronts ... there are ample of
recreational opportunities ...a thriving pub, bar, nightclub and music scene,
In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector. But efforts are underway to build up the IT
sector as well in Goa.
In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA...
Here you are at home, you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!
RESPONSE: Thanks for that refreshing view of Goa. Yours is not the first
positive email on this subject I have received in the last couple of months and
it's very unlike the incessant vitriol some have been putting out on Goanet on
all the negative aspects of Goa.

Wish you the best as you settle-down.....or decide to fly-off again.

Best wishes - Bosco
bantaogoa
2004-03-01 07:03:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frederick Noronha (FN)
We have many problems, yes. But I still love being here. Being in Goa
gives me a feeling that my work matters, and an ability to understand the
context. FN
I forgot to mention this most critical aspect, that being here in Goa,
you get the greater satisfaction that "You can make a difference" ...
as opposed to say being in America, where for the most part considered "foreign labor for hire" without much of a say or impact !

At the same time we do need Goans to constantly critique the state of affairs in Goa in a "constructive" way ... and sometimes one does need
to resort to vitriolic to get the "susegado" Goan machinery to move
on things ! I would say that we need more "watch-dog" type activists
in Goa to keep prodding on for "Continuous Improvement" across the state
as things tend to be easily get lost in a file gathering dust in a corner.

For example, we hear about a lot of "projects" approved by the government,
but many of these "approved projects" are sitting in files gathering dust.
One much needed "watch-dog" group activity is needed to see that once these
projects are "approved" that work on them commences "immediately".

In Goa, the machinery has the attitude of doing things "Tommorow" but the
"Tommorow" never comes !

We also need a "watch-dog" group to see that projects are untertaken with high-quality standards. There is a lot of corruption in this regard, where for example, a project is approved for a certain amount, but the work is undertaken at a sub-standard level, and money is siphoned off, by compromising on the quality.

For example, It seems that the Margao Municipality has undertaken to paint
around the Municipal garden fencing... but a number of sections of the
fencing are fallen apart, pieces of the concrete sections coming off and
exposing the steel re-enforcing bars ... A good quality engineering work
would be to first fix and patch up all these broken pieces in the boundary all around, and then apply the new paint. Instead of just painting over the
broken pieces ... This is the kind of bad work that is much needed to be vocied out and critiqued !!!

-- Brian


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Frederick Noronha (FN)
2004-02-06 22:36:02 UTC
Permalink
Research does count
-------------------

Goa does have among the
highest literacy rate
in the country, but the
question that needs
to be asked is how
good is the "quality
of the literate"

By Brian Antao, Ph.D.

Goa has embarked on a great mission towards educational reform in the state.
This is a particularly good effort, considering that Goa has the highest
literacy rate in the country, the Goa educationists have not rested on this
laurel and have embarked to further improve the "quality of education" in
the state.

Goa does have among the highest literacy rate in the country, but the
question that needs to be asked is how good is the "quality of the
literate". Goan graduates find it difficult to secure high quality jobs
across the country. We find many of the Goans, not pursuing higher studies,
but migrating to the Gulf and the merchant shipping sector for low quality
jobs, that pay comparatively well as compared to similar jobs in the
country.

In a recent newspaper article, one Goan engineering educationist claimed
that the engineering courses offered in the Goan colleges are based on the
best text-books available in the field, and attempted to blame the students
for their poor performance. In another pertinent comment-article by a former
IIT-Madras director, that appeared in the Indian Express, he blamed the
exam-centric Indian education system where it is possible to study only 60%
of the curriculum and obtain 80% in the examinations. The problem we have in
Goa is that many of the educationists have been "blaming the students" for
their poor performance.

These attitudes of Goan educationists of "blaming students" for poor
performance is not going to result in improving the quality of education in
the state, however much the system is reformed. Some teachers claim that
the student is not motivated. Another prominent Goan claimed he left his
teaching job, as he seemed to be addressing his lectures to only five or six
students who were motivated in the class. Thank you for leaving, for one
must say that you have failed as a teacher to motivate the students of your
class.

A good teacher is also a motivational speaker, not an arrogant blow-horn.
Does the Goan education system have the feature of private appointments with
the teachers, which is prominent in the developed countries, where students
can spend one-on-one time with their teachers to get their doubts cleared?
Instead, in Goa, we have spawned off an eco-system of tuitions and coaching
classes, a concept that is alien in the developed countries.

Coming back to the claim made by one of Goa's engineering educators that the
curriculum is drawn from the best textbooks in the field. This is the
biggest problem that promotes "text-book" based cramming. Engineering is a
very "practical" field and one simply cannot be a good engineer by cramming
from a prescribed textbook for the course.

Today, the core problem in Goa's education infrastructure is that it
completely lacks the research aspect. This text-book approach of education
does not in any way prepare students for a "research" career. Many of the
technology and other scientific innovations take root at the various
research programmes at the universities in the developed world. For example
the first computing machine the ILIAC, that has led to the entire generation
of the computing field, was built as part of a research programme the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. So was the Internet browser,
commercialized by spinning off the company Netscape.

Goa needs to develop and introduce research and innovation skills to
students early from secondary school onwards. Introducing into the
curriculum research assignments can bring this about. These research
assignments take different forms depending on the subject. In technical and
science subjects, would involve assigning students a research oriented
problem, that they go off and solve and arrive at an innovative solution
that which they cannot simply copy from a single text book or a guide.

It is important that from the secondary stage onwards, the course curriculum
is not based on a single-text book, but a selection of reading list for the
subject that the student has to refer to during the course. The course or
subject definition is not drawn from the text-book but is defined in terms
of topics and sub- topics that compose the course and subject. And the
student is then motivated to study these topics and sub-topics from the
reading list provided.

In terms of engineering education, for example, one cannot acquire mastery
in a programming language by cramming from the best available textbook just
the syntax of the programming language. To learn to be a good programmer,
one has to go through the exercise of writing for oneself dozens of programs
that address the different aspects of computer problem solving, and going
through the entire practical cycle of compiling these programs on a
computer, debugging them and ensuring that they work and solve the problem
definition.

The second core problem in terms of a lack of research culture in Goa's
education framework is at the Goa University level. Again the problem is
with the way the faculty is structured and operates.

In the developed countries all the faculty members above the "lecturer"
grade have to compulsorily have their own on-going research programme in
their field of specialization. This applies not only to the science, medical
and technology areas but also in the basic arts. At the end of the academic
year, it is not only the students that undergo evaluation, but the faculty
undergo continuous evaluation as well. At the end of each semester, for each
course, students are asked to fill out a "teacher or course evaluation"
forms. This also ensures that the faculty is upto- date with the latest
developments in the field.

By definition a "lecturer" is of course only a lecturer, which is a purely
teaching job, and usually the number of lecturer positions are limited and
on a temporary basis called in to fill in when there are not enough regular
faculty to teach the entire range of courses offered by the University. The
lecturer position is not a step in the ladder of progression, and often
senior post-graduate students who have excellent records are called in to be
a lecturer or an instructor in a course.

It is because that the faculty at the University level in countries like the
US are required to have their own research programmes and bring in research
funding to support the programme that many Indian and foreign students are
able to avail of scholarships to study there. Students are hired by a
professor as a research assistant to work in their research programme. Full
time faculty has to acquire grants to support their research from different
sources, both the public and private sector.

Goa University needs educational reform too, moving to spearheading
research. It can learn from the overseas experience, where bringing in
research funding is a tough process, which involves writing a high-quality
research proposal, which outlines which new area, or new problem that will
be researched. Research proposals also include such factors as how many
students will be supported and involved in the programme.

With India moving in the direction of "developed" status, it is essential
for Goa to keep in step and for Goa University to also reform its pattern of
education and move in the direction of being a comprehensive research and
teaching university.

How is the current Ph.D. programme of the Goa University structured, keeping
aside issues of quality? Ph.D. programmes in the developed countries are
resident programmes and don't involve a mere compilation of a Ph.D. thesis.
A typical Ph.D. programme at the leading US varsities involves a series of
stages: first passing a qualifying exam, which is usually the entrance to
the programme. This qualifying exam is not a statewide gala-affair, as exams
in India tend to be. This internal exam comprises both written and oral
sections, to screen out candidates who don't make the grade.

This is followed by compiling an Area Paper, a tough exercise, where one has
to do a comprehensive study and research the developments in his or her
proposed Ph.D. research topic, identify the past work that has been done in
the field and define his or her Ph.D. research problem in such a way that it
does not re- invent the wheel or replicate work that has already been done
in the field, and usually involves a global search.

This ensures that research done at the universities keeps advancing the
state-of-the-art. In addition, the Ph.D. student has to carry out teaching
assignments, as a Ph.D. from a leading US university prepares its graduates
for a range of career choices which include directly entering into a junior
faculty position or taking up a private sector position.

Another aspect for development for Goa University is the Management
programme. The University took the baby step in this direction and set up
the department of Management Studies, which has grown to a certain level of
maturity. It is now time to spin it off into a full-fledged Goa School of
Business and Management (GSBM) on the lines of the IIMs.

For setting up the GSBM the Goa University should seek the mentorship,
partnership and guidance of one of the leading business and management
schools, either the IIM network or even look more ambitiously to the more
world-renown business schools such as the London Business School on INSEAD,
France. Andhra Pradesh has set up an International school of business that
has a link-up with the London School of Business.

With a little bit of genuine motivation, a lot can be accomplished.
The problem with many a Goan is that vital aspect of a lack of motivation.
Many Goans also tend to be techno- phobic. Resistance to change and a lack
of a desire for continuous improvement is another stumbling block in the
path to progress. Not to mention the certain seniority-based hegemony that
prevails and suppresses talented youth from advancing.

At the same time, the mandatory retirement limits imposed also cuts many
talented senior individuals who still have the capacity to perform at a high
level of competence. Our own current Prime Minister who is well past the
retirement age is a good example of some one who is governing the country
based on performance and competence factors.

The retirement system needs to be reformed, and based on performance and
competence as well as allowing a voluntary aspect to it. Goa once took pride
in having a susegado culture. In today's dynamic world that has changed much
it would be a shame to say we still have a susegado mind-set!
bantaogoa
2004-02-26 05:12:27 UTC
Permalink
The article was a general article emphasizing on various issues that
should be factored in to improve the educational infrastructure in Goa,
with a strong emphasis to increase the focus on developing "research
ability" in students from an early stage. And yes as such there are
a number of issues that are not directly connected, but are relevant in
the broader context of improvinig the educational infrastructure. The
article by the way appeared originally as an Op-Ed in the O'Herald.

As for the respondent's comments that such a frame-work does not exist
even in the developed world is really not an issue of contention in terms
of improving education in Goa. Just because things don't exist elsewhere
in the world, does it mean that Goa cannot take the leadership and be a
first to implement its own path-breaking system ? He talks about the education system the world over not producing leaders but followers, and yet expects Goa to be a "follower" and not a "leader". He boasts of having 7 years of teaching experience in a developed country but is not able to contribute any fresh new ideas that one would expect from someone with that much of real experience.

The system of education in the developed countries to a great extent is more "open-ended" allowing one the freedom to be what one wants to be. It is not so much "production" oriented, producing neither employees nor employers! Where as it is the system in India which is NOT open-ended and
more "production" oriented.

To also point out, particularly to the many Non Resident Goans, who have left Goa and have settled in other countries and take this position of sitting on an almighty throne and looking back at Goa as being a backward under-developed village. Things are progressing mighty well in Goa. Many of whom were un-willing to accept that Goa was adjudged as India's Number One overall state. The basket-of-crabs mentality of destructive criticism prevails particularly among the Non Resident Goan community on their view of Goa. It's time many of them visited Goa and looked around and see for themselves the amazing developments that are taking place.

Some feats to note:
The Konkan railway based in Margao have developed the Sky-bus metropolitan transit system, a first of its kind in the world which has been granted a US patent, and many developed countries have expressed interest in the technology.

The National Institute of Oceanography(NIO) based in Goa, Dona Paula, has many Goan Scientists working who have made many notable discoveries and have been awarded international patents. The last Director of NIO, Dr. E. DeSa has just been appointed to a prestiguous post at the UNESCO based in France.

The other day a resident Goan, said to me, which was a great compliment, that I was very different from the many Non Resident Goans who come down to Goa on vacations etc. he said in Konkani (sp?) "Eh dushre yetah te sogle beshteleh, feh, feh, feh kohn shapondah sangon woita, kai korepah yeanah"

Another day, I was amused by a Goan youth who had returned after just a year's stay in the US, and was trying too hard to put on an American accent while speaking that he was totally incoherent more than being impressive on his newly acquired American accent :-)

PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15 years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how nicely Goa has been developing and improving and growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute constructively to the growth and development...

Cheers !
-- Brian

George Pinto goanet at goanet.org
Wed, 11 Feb 2004 16:54:46 -0800 (PST)

The author makes a number of good points in the article, though they are not necessarily connected
(example who is a lecturer, the lack of research, cramming, etc.). However, after 7 years
teaching at a University here in California, I can suggest two fundamental flaws with educational
systems the world over (not just developing countries and Goa):

1. The system is geared to produce employees, not employers. Followers, not leaders.
Crowd-pleasers, not trail-blazers. This is a malaise which also affects the Goan psyche and leads
to comfort as second-class citizens in various institutions (educational, religious, political,
etc).

2. Learning without a sense of social and civic activism. I do not consider an education complete
or even good without creating in the student a passion for justice and equality. If a student (or
for that matter any adult) does not pursue justice, they are not educated. The world we live in,
full of injustices, demands no less. Science, engineering, math, etc. without the humanities and
ultimately a sense for justice (and truth) is incomplete.

George




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Marlon Menezes
2004-02-26 09:13:25 UTC
Permalink
Brian,

I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?

I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.

Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
bantaogoa
2004-02-26 15:25:50 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

Well, I had not pre-planned to move back to Goa, But came down
on an extended break, happened to "re-discover Goa" and have continued living here and have decided not to return to the US. The quality of life for a foreigner in the USA from my personal experience went down-hill
drastically since September 11, though it was going down-hill from much before. ?And you know with all the constant tension and Asians being put under the scan of suspicion was unsettling.

After I arrived in Goa, it was such a breath of fresh air ... the atmosphere is so calm and peaceful ... and it felt more like being at home.
I realized that in all the time I spent in the US I never quite got down to
getting that feeling of "being home" and never really felt like it was
a place I could call "home"

In addition I had a horrible experience ... an experience with the classic
American Bigot. A crazy woman based in Texas where I lived who never even saw me, but only had heard of me through one of her friends who happened to know me began making serious accusations that I was a "terrorist". This woman was a classic case of the American Xenophobe who have a problem dealing with "Intelligent" foreigners. This woman was so twisted that she went to the extent of claiming to be an authority on India, and that there were No Catholics or Christians in India. And she went about accusing me of actually being a "Muslim terrorist" who had changed his name to a Christian name and lying about being a Catholic and all such really extremely demented stuff. It is so typical of Americans who have such
grossly WRONG and demented perceptions about the rest of the world
but will go about with such an arrogance to impose their WRONG beliefs.
I have too much of pride and self-esteem to put up with such ridiculous
bull-shit! This is the kind of shit that I won't tolerate or put up
with, even if offered a million dollars!

As for the USA, I really enjoyed the time when I was a student and in academia, but it was like night and day after that in the real world. I
always wondered what happened to all these American folks who are good
and nice when they are in the collegiate environment, but once they
get out in the real world go down-hill. Things have changed too a lot in
the USA, and I think what once used to be called the "American Dream" has
become more of an "American Nightmare"... Now it is the "European Dream" !!

Besides after coming down to Goa, I have also realized how "insular"
the USA is. From Goa, I have access to more news and information about
the rest of the world, that what one has in the USA. Even the regional
Goan newspapers have better "global" news coverage than the American
media. I have also discovered the more exciting challenges that Europe
and England have to offer... my future plans are open and I am exploring
a number of options that include, staying on in Goa, if a business plan
I'm working on comes through, to exploring opportunities in England or other parts of developed Europe.

If you see Goa for example, it is a popular tourist destination with
Europeans, and the Europeans are definitely a much more cultured and
classy lot. I have got a chance here to see and mingle with a lot of
the European tourists and they are a much nicer, cultured, mannered,
decent and pleasant lot. As compared to the American who seems
like such a "rough-neck" in comparison... The term Americanus Redneckus
is quite apropos !

A problem with the American "psyche" as such is that they tend to view the
world in terms of "stereotypes"... for example if an American knows one
Indian who is a convenience store worker, he/she would most stupidly
conclude that all Indians are convenience store workers. Which was quite
evident by the shocking public remark made by Hillary Clinton, who aspires
to be an American President -- She said "Was'nt Mahatma Gandhi a gas station worker"

In America, one has to be able to distinguish the American Xenophobe, from the racist. A lot of Americans are very Xenophobhic about "Intelligent" foreigners... Americans like to think that by default, simply because they are Americans they are smarter than the foreigner, and feel more comfortable with the less smart foreigner... as a result Americans are more a bunch of "smart-asses" and "smart-alecs" than "Intelligent" ... I read somewhere that "Intelligent American" is quite the oxymoron --
probably originated from the French who have quite a disdain of Americans,
but one which is quite justifiable.

Returning to Goa is really great ... if you have some capital saved up
and have a bit of an entrepreneural spirit it is perfect ... you can set yourself up in a nice independent business and relax and enjoy the great
"Goan ambiance"

Besides, Goa is growing and developing in all fronts ... there are ample of
recreational opportunities ... football is particularly a hot favorite...
there are a dozen of different leagues at different levels, and matches
played all over the place from the top Indian National Football league
to the lowest division league...

There's a thriving pub, bar, nightclub and music scene, which however is
more concentrated in the North Goa tourist belt centered around Calangute.
Goa has also evolved its own genre of music called "Goa Trance" which
is quite popular in Europe, its a genre by itself and if you want to
make a comparison perhaps it comes closest to some of the music by the
German Group DA ROOT

In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector which has gone un-noticed as the latest
fad is on Information Technology and every body talks about the Major
Indian IT hubs in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Goa is actually a "best kept
secret" in terms of being a major "Pharma Hub" But efforts are underway
to build up the IT sector as well in Goa.

In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA... and a dollar or a rupee goes a much longer way here!
You can stretch things and live comfortably with a better quality of
life, better social interactions, without having to worry about the issue
of being a second-class citizen in a foreign land. Here you are at home,
you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!

In terms of the financial aspects, unfortunatly the "salary scales" in India are still too low and leave much to be desired, but Goa on the other
hand has the highest per-capita income in India, you you can expect a higher than average income in Goa. The best bet is going into business
for yourself... and if you have a little bit of ingenuity, you can create
enough of niche opportunities for yourself. The basic infrastructure for
that is quite good here in Goa, and the amount of initial capital required
to get started is not too demanding. Besides the banking and finance industry has developed quite a bit and you have all the facilities, such as
all types of loans etc.

So if you have to go to a foreign land its good to make some good money, save it up and return back to good old Goa, where it is home and home is
where the heart is !

Cheers !
?-- Brian
Post by Marlon Menezes
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
? -- Brian
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Marlon Menezes
2004-02-28 19:33:36 UTC
Permalink
I am sorry to hear that Brian had a series of negative
experiences in the US after leaving university. I do
agree that things have gotten a little less
comfortable after 9-11, but I believe this has much to
do with the policies of this present administration
than the public at large.

Contrary to his experience, I have found my work
environment to be as, if not more positive than what I
experienced in graduate school. Perhaps this is in
part due to me living in the silicon valley, which has
long been a melting pot of various cultures and
nationalities.

Americans and for that matter Goans, come in different
shapes and sizes. All those wonderful Americans you
interacted with in academia could not have simply just
disappeared. Maybe they all moved to California :)

While I do like Goa, there are also many qualities of
the US and specially California that I also love. I
do know that there are a number of older Goans on
goanet who evenly split their residences partly in
India and N.America or Europe. Looks like these lucky
people are getting the best of both worlds. On the
other hand, if one wants to make a contribution to
Goa, I believe it is better/easier to make the move
when one is relatively young and therefore better able
to recover if things turn south.

If I were to make a list of the positives and
negatives of Goa, I would come up with the following:

Positives:
1) Family
2) Great food and mangoes :)
3) Ability to made a worthwhile contribution to Goa
with modest amounts of money (but a lot of time)
4) Low cost of living
5) You can't get thrown out of your own country
6) Accelerating economic growth
7) Cheap labor

Negatives:
1) Financial - if one does not have the finances to
back one up, the only option to earn significant
income may be by starting a business, which carries
with it, its own set of risks.
2) Lack of familiarity of local processes which often
seem alien, inefficient and unnecessary.
3) Corruption, bureaucracy, clueless officials/ rules
and procedures being made on the fly and subject to
change change without notice!
4) More difficult to get cutting edge labor in Goa (as
opposed to Bombay, Banglore etc).
5) Limited network of friends and contacts
6) Language

The above is a rather simplistic list of positives and
negatives. I'm sure there are others out there who can
refine or add to this list.

Marlon
Post by bantaogoa
Hi,
Well, I had not pre-planned to move back to Goa, But
came down
on an extended break, happened to "re-discover Goa"
and have continued living here and have decided not
to return to the US. The quality of life for a
foreigner in the USA from my personal experience
went down-hill
drastically since September 11, though it was going
down-hill from much before. ?And you know with all
the constant tension and Asians being put under the
scan of suspicion was unsettling.
Alfred de Tavares
2004-02-28 22:39:33 UTC
Permalink
Dear Brian,
When you answer MM, please try and include some information I need in also
taking the steps you have taken: How much monthly budget would you consider
necessary to live in Goa comfortably but not extravagantly? Housing expenses
not included.
Aklfred de Tavares,
Stockholm, 2004-02-28
From: Marlon Menezes <marlon at goacom.com>
Reply-To: goanet at goanet.org
To: goanet at goanet.org
Subject: [Goanet]moving back to Goa
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 01:13:25 -0800 (PST)
Brian,
I think there are a lot of Goans living abroad who
share your sentiments. Can you tell us what made you
decide to leave the US. Also, what sort of
disappointments and pleasant surprises have you
experienced in Goa in terms of your career, social
life, day to day chores, finances and overall quality
of life. Furthermore, did you consider other parts of
India or just Goa and if so why? What sort of pitfalls
should an expat look for when planning the move?
I understand some of these questions may be very
personal which you may not be willing to answer. I
think your insights will be very useful for us expats
thinking of moving or returning to Goa/India. I have
only vacationed in Goa, moje konkani sucks and I cant
drink more than a peg of feni even if my life depended
on it, but the charm and chaos of Goa still beckons
me.
Marlon
(btw, I think we did briefly meet each other at the U
Post by bantaogoa
PS: I studied and lived in the USA for over 15
years, and frankly had enough of it. After returning
to Goa... I have discovered to great delight how
nicely Goa has been developing and improving and
growing and thriving. And I intend to contribute
constructively to the growth and development...
Cheers !
-- Brian
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bantaogoa
2004-02-29 06:54:34 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

I'm not the one to dismiss an entire culture in a stereotype,
as most often is the tendency with Americans to do. I have
had many positive and wonderful experiences, which many others
I am sure have had too... but it would be more beneficial for other
Goans to hear of the negatives so that they can be prepared better when they encounter similar situations... after all you don't want to paint a too rosy picture that all is fine...

Maybe I was a little spolit having been to graduate school at Vanderbilt
University, which is one of the nicer socio-cultural as well as, well
ranked American Universities, which has a higher quality of student population(the upper crust), than what the average American is like.

I have been to the silicon valley many times, and I'd say it is one
of the better places in America to live in, but is is an exception and
not the norm. I am also quite the explorer, and have travelled very widely
across and seen quite a bit of America, including many of the "off the
beaten path" areas and town-ships... and experienced the "real Americana", and have met some real nice genuine Americans too... and can distinguish the Mississipi accent from the Alabama one, though many would simply say that it is the southern one, but franky there is a shade of a difference !

In general I would say that just the way that there is a wide gap between the rich and the poor in India, there is a similar gap between the good
and not-so good Americans!

Psychologists will tell you that when some one is put under a situation
of extreme stress or adversity, it brings out a person's true character.
September 11 was such an adversity that brought out the true character of
Americans and most of it was not quite so good !

America which once was a bastion of the "humanitarian democracy" has progressed more towards being a neo-fascist police state. America has many "sophisticated" suppresive controls in place. On the other hand Britain has been progressing towards being the more "compassionate
democracy" and the formation of the European Union is a development
towards more of "unification" as opposed to the more isolationist
path that America is heading to. For all the talk about America being such an open democracy ... how many Americans of Indian origin have been
able to rise to a high-ranking political position ? If you look at Britian, we have Keith Vaz, a British-Goan who is a Member of the
British parliament, in addition to a couple of other Indian origin MPs, as well as a couple of Indian origin "Lords" ... members of the upper house of the Lords! Britian also has more stringent "anti-racist" laws !!

After all, where-ever you maybe it does take some amount of "individual"
effort to make it within whatever framework that exists, and this frame-work differs from place to place, and you have to navigate through the negatives and use the positives to your advantage !

Cheers,
?-- Brian
Post by Marlon Menezes
I am sorry to hear that Brian had a series of negative
experiences in the US after leaving university. I do
agree that things have gotten a little less
comfortable after 9-11, but I believe this has much to
do with the policies of this present administration
than the public at large.
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Bosco D'Mello
2004-02-29 17:39:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by bantaogoa
In addition I had a horrible experience ... an experience with the classic
American Bigot.
RESPONSE: Don't we have our fair share of Goan Bigots. Take a step further -
don't we have our fair share of Goanetters who continue to espouse bigotted
views. And in some cases they have the desired effect ......they turn-off people.

Don't we "stereotype" others too ?? "Stereotyping" people is not an American
monopoly.

In 6 months, you definitely have noticed the same !!!
Post by bantaogoa
Besides, Goa is growing and developing in all fronts ... there are ample of
recreational opportunities ...a thriving pub, bar, nightclub and music scene,
In terms of employment opportunity, Goa has a strong concentration of
the "Pharmaceuticals" sector. But efforts are underway to build up the IT
sector as well in Goa.
In terms of quality of life, I'd say I love it much better here in Goa
than in the USA...
Here you are at home, you are the son of the soil and no questions about that!
RESPONSE: Thanks for that refreshing view of Goa. Yours is not the first
positive email on this subject I have received in the last couple of months and
it's very unlike the incessant vitriol some have been putting out on Goanet on
all the negative aspects of Goa.

Wish you the best as you settle-down.....or decide to fly-off again.

Best wishes - Bosco
bantaogoa
2004-03-01 07:03:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frederick Noronha (FN)
We have many problems, yes. But I still love being here. Being in Goa
gives me a feeling that my work matters, and an ability to understand the
context. FN
I forgot to mention this most critical aspect, that being here in Goa,
you get the greater satisfaction that "You can make a difference" ...
as opposed to say being in America, where for the most part considered "foreign labor for hire" without much of a say or impact !

At the same time we do need Goans to constantly critique the state of affairs in Goa in a "constructive" way ... and sometimes one does need
to resort to vitriolic to get the "susegado" Goan machinery to move
on things ! I would say that we need more "watch-dog" type activists
in Goa to keep prodding on for "Continuous Improvement" across the state
as things tend to be easily get lost in a file gathering dust in a corner.

For example, we hear about a lot of "projects" approved by the government,
but many of these "approved projects" are sitting in files gathering dust.
One much needed "watch-dog" group activity is needed to see that once these
projects are "approved" that work on them commences "immediately".

In Goa, the machinery has the attitude of doing things "Tommorow" but the
"Tommorow" never comes !

We also need a "watch-dog" group to see that projects are untertaken with high-quality standards. There is a lot of corruption in this regard, where for example, a project is approved for a certain amount, but the work is undertaken at a sub-standard level, and money is siphoned off, by compromising on the quality.

For example, It seems that the Margao Municipality has undertaken to paint
around the Municipal garden fencing... but a number of sections of the
fencing are fallen apart, pieces of the concrete sections coming off and
exposing the steel re-enforcing bars ... A good quality engineering work
would be to first fix and patch up all these broken pieces in the boundary all around, and then apply the new paint. Instead of just painting over the
broken pieces ... This is the kind of bad work that is much needed to be vocied out and critiqued !!!

-- Brian


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Bernado Colaco
2004-03-01 11:05:32 UTC
Permalink
. We should just
Post by Frederick Noronha (FN)
perhaps be more broadminded in respecting the
decision of those who opted
to move elsewhere (for whatever reason), just as the
critics among them
should refrain from attempts at convincing others
that Goa/India is the
worst place in the planet.
Goans are tired of being part of a third world
community. Maybe our new hero returned from the US may
turn the tables for Goa.

Not the wrost place on earth before 61 I guess!!

B. Colaco





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bantaogoa
2004-03-02 04:46:12 UTC
Permalink
Geee ... hope I can live up to your expectations of
being a new "Hero" on the block and hope they are not
on the lines of the Bollywood Hero ... and who will
be my leading lady ??? perhaps the Goanet moderator
Viviana !!!, of whom we have not heard much of lately
wonder why :-)

-- Brian
Post by Bernado Colaco
Goans are tired of being part of a third world
community. Maybe our new hero returned from the US may
turn the tables for Goa.
Not the wrost place on earth before 61 I guess!!
B. Colaco
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Viviana
2004-03-02 22:03:43 UTC
Permalink
Brian -

Your favorite moderator has been busy with family, work, entertaining,
etc. Since my father made films in Hollywood, I see no reason why I
can't now join Bollywood, do you? :-))

Viviana
... and who will be my leading lady ??? perhaps the Goanet moderator Viviana !!!, of whom we have not heard much of lately wonder why :-)
-- Brian
C Fernandes
2004-03-02 23:40:03 UTC
Permalink
Perhaps, it will be a PERFECT role for the PERFECT woman

Cip
London

-----Original Message-----
From: goanet-admin at goanet.org [mailto:goanet-admin at goanet.org]On Behalf
Of Viviana
Sent: 02 March 2004 22:04
To: goanet at goanet.org
Subject: Re: [Goanet]Re: moving back to Goa


Brian -

Your favorite moderator has been busy with family, work, entertaining,
etc. Since my father made films in Hollywood, I see no reason why I
can't now join Bollywood, do you? :-))

Viviana
Viviana
2004-03-03 16:07:55 UTC
Permalink
Cip - you're scaring me. No more driving around Hollywood for you!

Viv
Post by C Fernandes
Perhaps, it will be a PERFECT role for the PERFECT woman
Cip
London
Marlon Menezes
2004-03-03 09:39:19 UTC
Permalink
--- bantaogoa at netscape.net wrote:

For all the talk
Post by bantaogoa
about America being such an open democracy ... how
many Americans of Indian origin have been
able to rise to a high-ranking political position ?
If you look at Britian, we have Keith Vaz, a
British-Goan who is a Member of the
British parliament, in addition to a couple of other
Indian origin MPs, as well as a couple of Indian
origin "Lords" ... members of the upper house of the
Lords! Britian also has more stringent "anti-racist"
laws !!
-->
I really dont think you can compare the absence of
Indian political leaders in the US to the situation in
the UK.
The Indian population as a percentage of the total is
far smaller in the US than the UK and their physical
presence in the US has been much shorter for obvious
reasons. Specifically, the south asian population is
around 0.5% of the US population while it is about
2.5% in the UK. Furthermore, the south asian
population is very ghettoized in the UK thus
increasing their chances for political representation.

Even so, there are signs of increasing and effective
political activity by Indians in the US. Bobby Jindal
recently almost won the governership of the southern
state of Louisiana - probably still a home to many
white extremist groups. In Maryland, Kumar Bharve is
the majority head of the state legislature, while in
California, Ro Khanna has a good chance of unseating
incumbent Tom Lantos for his congressional seat.

On a national level, there are a variety of Indian
dominated lobby groups such as the hoteliers lobbyists
(the patel-motel fellows), the pro India caucus and a
variety of Indian political action committees.

However, I do have to agree with your general thesis
that south asians have suffered to a greater degree as
a result of the policies enacted by the present
adminstration. Just as the internment of the
Japanese-Americans half a century ago, I suspect this
period will also be viewed negatively through the eyes
of history.

Marlon
Gabe Menezes
2004-03-03 11:48:04 UTC
Permalink
Marlon Menezes wrote:-



Furthermore, the south asian
Post by Marlon Menezes
population is very ghettoized in the UK thus
increasing their chances for political representation.
RESPONSE:-

I'm sure Hon Keith Vaz would raise his eyebrow, to be informed, that he
represents a Ghetto community in Leicester.

Cheers,

Gabe Menezes
Gabe Menezes
2004-03-03 21:29:56 UTC
Permalink
Furthermore, the south asian
Post by Marlon Menezes
population is very ghettoized in the UK thus
increasing their chances for political representation.
I'm not going to crush balls as the Americans say, we do not have ghettos
in the U.K. - some poverty stricken areas but nothing like what is seen in
America.
The only place that might be anywhere close to being called a South Asian
ghetto may be Bradford. The Asian community in Britain live in almost all
areas; for instance the Wembley area, Tooting and Southall might be called
Asian catchments areas I would not refer to these areas as ghettos.

Cheers,

Gabe Menezes.
Marlon Menezes
2004-03-03 17:49:46 UTC
Permalink
Read carefully. Your words, not mine!
Marlon
Post by Gabe Menezes
RESPONSE:-
I'm sure Hon Keith Vaz would raise his eyebrow, to
be informed, that he
represents a Ghetto community in Leicester.
Cheers,
Gabe Menezes
Miguel Braganza
2004-03-03 21:42:16 UTC
Permalink
Dear Viviana,
That is a nice thought. If not Bollywood, you are welcome to Gollywood to
make a Konknni film with Brian. Goa IFFI cna showcase the Goanet talents.
From: Viviana <viviana_coelho at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Goanet]Re: moving back to Goa
Since my father made films in Hollywood, I see no reason why I can't now
join Bollywood, do you? :-))
Viviana>
bantaogoa at netscape.net wrote:>
... and who will be my leading lady ??? perhaps the Goanet moderator
Viviana !!!, > > -- Brian

If not in flesh and blood[ on the sets of Gollywood], we could perhaps see
you on the celluloid. ;-) Desmond is in town,too.

Viva Goa.
Miguel


---
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Marlon Menezes
2004-03-04 05:32:15 UTC
Permalink
Just wanted to clarify that I did not intend to use
the word ghetto in a derogatory sense or to signify a
poverty striken region, but rather to signify large
concentrations of an ethnic community within a small
geographical area.
Marlon
Post by Marlon Menezes
Furthermore, the south asian
Post by Marlon Menezes
population is very ghettoized in the UK thus
increasing their chances for political
representation.
I'm not going to crush balls as the Americans say,
we do not have ghettos
in the U.K. - some poverty stricken areas but
nothing like what is seen in
America.
The only place that might be anywhere close to being
called a South Asian
ghetto may be Bradford. The Asian community in
Britain live in almost all
areas; for instance the Wembley area, Tooting and
Southall might be called
Asian catchments areas I would not refer to these
areas as ghettos.
Cheers,
Gabe Menezes.
bantaogoa
2004-03-04 03:55:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marlon Menezes
-->
I really dont think you can compare the absence of
Indian political leaders in the US to the situation in
the UK.
The Indian population as a percentage of the total is
far smaller in the US than the UK and their physical
presence in the US has been much shorter for obvious
reasons. Specifically, the south asian population is
around 0.5% of the US population while it is about
2.5% in the UK. Furthermore, the south asian
population is very ghettoized in the UK thus
increasing their chances for political representation.
In that respect... the Hispanics have grown to be
the largest minority group in the US... how many Hispanic
"Senators" are there ?

Your arguments however make you seem to be part of the C.I.A.
propaganda/disinformation machine (kidding), maybe you could
make this American propaganda on some America-net for the
American zealots to wallow in their mire. You might
be better served to re-channel you zealousness to make the "Goan"
propaganda, instead of trying to marginalize Goa, while make
this American propaganda.

Here are some not so rosy facts --
The USA has the largest number of "Convicted Criminals" in the
world !

In terms of Standards of living ranking of nations, the USA
ranks somewhere as low as 15th -- there are "FOURTEEN" other
countries in the world that offer you a better standard of living
in the world ! With Norway being ranked at the Number ONE spot
as providing the best standard of living. Incidently my cousin has
recently moved to Norway and can attest to that.

Here's an interesting article --

United Nations: Nordic Countries Best Place to Live in the World
The Nordic countries have the best standard of living in the world, as per the Human Development Report published by the United Nations

Best Standard of Living in the World

The Nordic countries are overall the best countries to live in the world, according to the Human Development Report which is published annually by the United Nations. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland figure among the top countries on the UN index because of their high levels of education, democracy, income and public health.

The Human Development Report (HDR) is an annual independent study commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme and published into more than a dozen languages. The HDR measures the wealth of nations by the standard of living of their population and considers several indexes related to life expectancy, education, economy and environment.

Economists, philosophers and political leaders have long emphasised human wellbeing as the sole purpose of economic development. A successful community is not that which has one wealthy member and nine living in poverty, but that one where all members of the community have succeeded in achieving a high standard of living. The HDR measures whether the national income of a nation is creating an environment for its people to enjoy a life with good health services, political freedoms, security against crime, greater access to education and a satisfying leisure time.


Norway tops the index for third consecutive year

The Nordic countries have always performed very well in the United Nations' HDR, all figuring within the top 15 countries on the index. Among the Scandinavians, Norway has become the best performing Nordic country in the report after ranking number one in 2001, 2002 and 2003, heading the Development index for the third consecutive year.

In Norway, 99 percent of the population can read and write, there are 413 doctors per 100,000 citizens, the average life expectancy is 78.4 years, and the Norwegians are even wealthier than ever before. The famous Nordic social welfare state remains efficient and provides the Norwegians with a first class health, education and benefits system, which is financed through their taxes.

Norway has also topped the lists for being among the most generous countries in the world in terms of foreign aid donations on a per capita basis, and for their green environmentally friendly policies.

However the Norwegian society is the most developed in the world, the average Norwegian is still known to complain nonetheless. The current discussion topics in Norway range among the waiting lists for medical care, the shortage of nursing homes and the cuts in police and school budgets.


Quality of Life, Income, Education and Life Expectancy

If we would only focus on per capita income statistics, we would perhaps be surprised to hear that the inhabitants of the small central European nation of Luxembourg are the wealthiest in the world, with an average salary of $53,780. The average salary in Norway is $45,000 but the Nordic countries are above all known for being an egalitarian society; of the seventeen richest countries in the world, Sweden ranks first as having the fewest people living in poverty and the fewest illiterate people, while other rich countries such us the United States have the the most, showing that stark inequality persists even in middle or high-income countries.

Education is one of the pillars of the Nordic society. Illiteracy is practically non existent from Iceland to Finland, and the free national education systems breed some of the most skilled workforce in the world. Moreover, when it comes to equality between women and men, all the five Nordic countries top the index and score again the highest; Iceland takes the lead in terms of emancipation, followed by Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland on the fifth position.

You may now be convinced that people in the Nordic countries live well, but they also live long. The HDR averages life expectancy on the Nordic countries between the 77.7 years of Finland and the 78.9 of Norway. Japan has the longest life expectancy with the average Japanese living up to of 81.3 years.


The rich are richer and the poor are poorer

If the average Norwegian lives 78 years, a child born in Sierra Leone will probaly die before reaching the age of 35. Sierra Leone's average life expectancy is 38.3 years, this is half that in Norway. If all Norwegians are literate and enjoy free education payed by the State, at the other extreme, only 36% of adults in Sierra Leone can read. The average salary in Norway is $45,000, but the average per capita income in Sierra Leone is only $470.

In fact, if the best places to live in the world are found in Europe and north America, the 25 countries at the bottom of the HDR index are all in Africa. Overall child life expectation, adult literacy rate and many other advances have been made in the last 30 years, yet we still see unacceptable levels of deprivation in people's lives across the world: illiteracy, pollution and poor sanitation, poverty and hunger...

Millions of people from the Scandinavian countries have emigrated out of their homelands during the last centuries to escape poverty and war. Today, the Nordic nations are prosperous and stable countries which have made impressive gains in the developing world and have demonstrated the possibility of eradicating poverty. When it comes to building a prosperous society, the Nordic countries should be taken a role model for the developing and developed nations of the world.


-- Brian Antao


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bantaogoa
2004-03-04 04:04:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marlon Menezes
Furthermore, the south asian
Post by Marlon Menezes
population is very ghettoized in the UK thus
increasing their chances for political representation.
The American bleeding-heart liberal who comes to India
and heads for the slums in Calcutta or Bombay to get an ego-boost
and morality high that India is a poor starving third world country,
like the Yorkshire Pig who sits in the dirt and feels all-mighty
proud, these Americans like to come to the Indian slums to "feel"
almighty good about themsleves.

Well I have been the Indian who has seen the "American slums" which
are plentyfull ... not just the ghettos, and the projects but also
the "white-trash" trailer parks !

? -- Brian

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Bosco D'Mello
2004-03-05 03:08:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by bantaogoa
Here are some not so rosy facts --
The USA has the largest number of "Convicted Criminals" in the
world !
RESPONSE: If the Indian courts could clear all their backlog cases, we may
overtake those lousy Merry-kans !! After all those thieving, corrupt, oggling at
women, bharatis......... :-)
Post by bantaogoa
With Norway being ranked at the Number ONE spot as providing the best
standard of living. Incidently my cousin has recently moved to Norway and can
attest to that.
RESPONSE: Uh-OH !! Brian is leaving Goa's beaches for Norway's Fjords !!
Post by bantaogoa
In Norway, 99 percent of the population can read and write,
RESPONSE: The 1 percent must be those illegal, thieving, corrupt, oggling at
women, bharatis......... :-)
Post by bantaogoa
The American bleeding-heart liberal who comes to India and heads for the
slums in Calcutta or Bombay to get an ego-boost and morality high that India
is a poor starving third world country,
RESPONSE: Have you only noticed the American bleeding-hearts ?? Are Americans
the largest or close to largest visitors to India ?? I hope you are not
referring to Desi-Americans.......like Marlon ..... ;-)
Post by bantaogoa
Well I have been the Indian who has seen the "American slums" which
are plentyfull ... not just the ghettos, and the projects but also
the "white-trash" trailer parks !
RESPONSE: You sound like you have seen a lot of Merry-car.....besides getting
the fancy academic programs while you were there.

You're spouting so much anti-Merry-can lately that you may displace some of
those infamous names on the terrorist list........;-) unless you're running for
office in Goa on an anti-Merry-can agenda !!
Post by bantaogoa
I have been a strong advocate for Goa being the permanent venue for IFFI and
the best arguments to support Goa being the permanent venue for IFFI, can
best be described by making a comparison to Cannes !
RESPONSE: I share your thoughts on this subject. Whether we like the Govt in
power or not....this should be a bonus to Goenkar businesses - large and small
and to the average Goan in terms of development.

Best wishes - Bosco
Bosco - Goanet Volunteer
2004-03-05 04:00:18 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 4 Mar 2004 10:08:29 +0000 (GMT), CORNEL DACOSTA <cornel at btinternet.com>
wrote:

Goanetters,

I think Gabe is right in that, in the USA there are distinct racial Ghettos.
Drive around any large city in the States for this graphic realisation to hit
you immediately.

In contrast, there are no racial ghettos of the American type in the UK.
However, there are some significant Asian community groupings as in Bradford and
Southall for example. These community groupings are usually, but not always, in
economically poorer areas for mutual community support. This also happens to
poorer white groups. As soon as any individuals or groups can get out, they do
so to economically better areas. This can be done relatively easily- whereas in
the States this happens with only the wealthier ethnic minorities.

The reality that the Americans will work together, but not live together has
invariably stopped me taking jobs in the States even when the money was better
because I passionately believe that human dignity is indivisible. There were
other reasons too, including the gun culture and gross individualism and
capiltalism.

To conclude, I think it is not helpful, despite the clarification I provided
above on Ghettos, to say that for any ethnic minority, one place is a lot better
than any other. Our fellow diasporic Goans, whether in Portugal, USA, Canada,
Australia/NZ or the UK, have their own sets of problems to deal with consequent
to choosing to live in white dominated lands for economic or other reasons. In
many respects, many do not think that Goa is any better either. If they did,
they would be returning in droves, minimally to make room for those dying to get
out to the West!

Cornel
bantaogoa
2004-03-06 04:09:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bosco D'Mello
Post by bantaogoa
Here are some not so rosy facts --
The USA has the largest number of "Convicted Criminals" in the
world !
RESPONSE: If the Indian courts could clear all their backlog cases, we may
overtake those lousy Merry-kans !! After all those thieving, corrupt, oggling at
women, bharatis......... :-)
===> Consider this fact that the total overall population of America is
just about 1/4 the size of India, so imagine the density ratio
of the convict in the US !
Post by Bosco D'Mello
RESPONSE: Have you only noticed the American bleeding-hearts ?? Are Americans
the largest or close to largest visitors to India ?? I hope you are not
referring to Desi-Americans.......like Marlon ..... ;-)
===> Seems like Marlon tops the list :-) :-)
Post by Bosco D'Mello
RESPONSE: You sound like you have seen a lot of Merry-car.....besides getting
the fancy academic programs while you were there.
===> Yeah quite a bit of the "REAL" America much more than what many
the merry-cans themselves have you might have say. Though I have
not been to Disney-world or 6-Flags !!!
Post by Bosco D'Mello
You're spouting so much anti-Merry-can lately that you may displace some of
those infamous names on the terrorist list........;-) unless you're running for
office in Goa on an anti-Merry-can agenda !!
===> Well you should see all the "India bashing" that has been
going on in many a forum from these very same merry-cans
getting xenophobic about the "off-shoring of jobs"... All these
merry-cans would easily make it to an Indian "terrorist watch
list"... In this regard Brazil has the right attitude to deal
with many of the mad-merry-can policy ... when the merry-cans
introduced the finger-printing and photographing of people
entering the country, Brazil is the only country that turned
around and introduced the same policy for all merry-cans. Its
time other countries the world over take a page from the
Brazillian book and give these merry-cans a taste of their own
mad medicine !!

For me, Merry-ca is as the merry-cans would say:
"Been There Done That" ... its off to many of the more
greener pastures the wider world around us has to offer !!!
Which also includes, GOA which by the way for may parts is a
much greener pasture :-)

Cheers !
-- Brian



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bantaogoa
2004-03-06 13:03:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bosco - Goanet Volunteer
On Thu, 4 Mar 2004 10:08:29 +0000 (GMT), CORNEL DACOSTA <cornel at btinternet.com>
In
many respects, many do not think that Goa is any better either. If they did,
they would be returning in droves, minimally to make room for those dying to get
out to the West!
Cornel
===> One has to travel the world over to acquire the wisdom of the many
? ? ?ways of the world !

? ? ? ? ? -- Brian

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Marlon Menezes
2004-03-08 22:04:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by bantaogoa
In that respect... the Hispanics have grown to be
the largest minority group in the US... how many
Hispanic
"Senators" are there ?
--->
The US had its first and so far only "hispanic"
senator in the 1950s and 60s. The term "hispanic" as
used in the american context is a white american term
to cover a wide range of spanish speaking people from
the vast region of central and south america. Contrary
to what people think, they are not this monolith
culture and have deep differences and divisions
between themselves.
Other minorities have also had their "own" senators,
such as the Arabs and the Japanese. I believe we are
going to see greater Indian-American political
successes soon, specially considering that the Indian
community in the US has the financial muscle and the
organizational skills to do it.
Post by bantaogoa
Your arguments however make you seem to be part of
the C.I.A.
propaganda/disinformation machine (kidding), maybe
you could
make this American propaganda on some America-net
for the
American zealots to wallow in their mire. You might
be better served to re-channel you zealousness to
make the "Goan"
propaganda, instead of trying to marginalize Goa,
while make
this American propaganda.
Here are some not so rosy facts --
The USA has the largest number of "Convicted
Criminals" in the
world !
Yack, yack! You were asked whether there is an active
amature athletics movement in Goa that members from
the general public can participate in. I have been
looking for athletics clubs I can train with whenever
I come down to Goa. I'm not too sure what this has to
do with american propaganda!

Contrary to what you think I think, I know Goa is a
great place - which is why I want to move there
permanently if the means permit me to do so. Unlike
the lost prodigal who has suddenly rediscovered the
beauty of Goa, there are many of us who have continued
to maintain our roots with our homeland. Dont know
what you have been reading (or smoking), as I believe
the US is headed in the wrong direction, thanks to the
brilliant leadership (NOT!) exhibited by the
quadrangle of evil: Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz.

Hopefully, Bush will lose his next erection battle,
Cheney will finally succumb to his 25th heart attack,
Rumsfeld will be diagnosed with Alzheimers and
Wolfowitz will be mobbed by the those thousands of
"cheering Iraqis".

Nevertheless, the US continues to be the world's
predominant economic, scientific, cultural and
economic power in the world today. If things are so
bad in the US, it does not help explain why there
continues to be a net influx of people from Western
Europe and Canada to the US.

Looking forward, the real issue is whether the so
called "developed world" can adapt to the challeges
they will face with the rise of nations such as China
and India. I suspect if there is any nation that can,
it will be the US as opposed to the relatively
lethargic larger economies of W.Europe, ie. Germany,
France and Italy. In the short to medium term, I think
the US is in for some very difficult days ahead.

Marlon
Mervyn Lobo
2004-03-09 01:11:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marlon Menezes
Hopefully, Bush will lose his next erection battle,
Cheney will finally succumb to his 25th heart
attack,
Marlon,
1) Correct me if I am wrong but, according to the
Canadian press, Bush lost the first election battle
and still became President.

2) Since you seem to be knowledgeable of the US
political system, do you know of any organisation I
can send money to, to help Bush in this years
campaign. The dude and his team are invaulable to
anyone who is shorting the US$ and longing gold. :-)
Mervyn2.0





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Seb dc
2004-03-09 06:15:21 UTC
Permalink
Mervyn 2.0,

If god has given you in abundance, why don't u divert them to some goan
organisations!!! they know more better ways of using the funds.

BTW you could also run for elections & get rid of the corrupt level to some
extent:-)

Seb

- HAVE A NICE DAY -


----- Original Message -----
From: Mervyn Lobo <mervynalobo at yahoo.ca>
To: <goanet at goanet.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 09, 2004 5:11 AM
Subject: RE: [Goanet]Indian political activity in the US


|
| Marlon,
|
| 2) Since you seem to be knowledgeable of the US
| political system, do you know of any organisation I
| can send money to, to help Bush in this years
| campaign. The dude and his team are invaulable to
| anyone who is shorting the US$ and longing gold. :-)
| Mervyn2.0
|
|
|
|
|
| ______________________________________________________________________
| Post your free ad now! http://personals.yahoo.ca
|
| ##########################################################################
| # Send submissions for Goanet to goanet at goanet.org #
| # PLEASE remember to stay on-topic (related to Goa), and avoid top-posts #
| # More details on Goanet at http://joingoanet.shorturl.com/ #
| # Please keep your discussion/tone polite, to reflect respect to others #
| ##########################################################################
|
|
Marlon Menezes
2004-03-09 05:17:43 UTC
Permalink
Last time I checked, with the exception of Quebec and
maybe Newfieland, Canada was an integral part of the
United States. So be careful what you wish for!

On a more serious note, non-US residents can still
financially support the anti-Bush campaign by
supporting organizations such as moveon.org
Since the president of the United States is the
defacto ruler of the world, those of you who wish to
see a change in US foreign policy should consider
putting their money where their mouths are.

Marlon

ps. I am not a big fan of some of the leftist policies
of groups like moveon .. but sometimes one must choose
the lesser of the two evils.
Post by Marlon Menezes
Post by Marlon Menezes
Hopefully, Bush will lose his next erection
battle,
Post by Marlon Menezes
Cheney will finally succumb to his 25th heart
attack,
Marlon,
1) Correct me if I am wrong but, according to the
Canadian press, Bush lost the first election battle
and still became President.
2) Since you seem to be knowledgeable of the US
political system, do you know of any organisation I
can send money to, to help Bush in this years
campaign. The dude and his team are invaulable to
anyone who is shorting the US$ and longing gold. :-)
Mervyn2.0
Mervyn Lobo
2004-03-10 01:07:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marlon Menezes
Last time I checked, with the exception of Quebec
and maybe Newfieland, Canada was an integral part
of the United States. So be careful what you wish
for!
Marlon,
All I know is that ever since Canadian troops marched
to Washington D.C. and burnt down the White House, the
barbarians on our southern border have remained our
best friends............
Post by Marlon Menezes
On a more serious note, non-US residents can still
financially support the anti-Bush campaign by
supporting organizations such as moveon.org
Since the president of the United States is the
defacto ruler of the world, those of you who wish to
see a change in US foreign policy should consider
putting their money where their mouths are.
I am dirrecting my $$$ to George Soros' initiative. Am
quite confident he knows what he is doing.
Post by Marlon Menezes
ps. I am not a big fan of some of the leftist
policies of groups like moveon .. but sometimes one
must choose the lesser of the two evils.
I don't think you have much of a choice. The Bush
administration made 3 million jobs disappear in the
last 3 years. If he manages to steal the elections
again, be pro-active, sell your house and get on a
plane and head back to Canada :-)

Mervyn2.0


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Mervyn Lobo
2004-03-10 01:19:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Seb dc
Mervyn 2.0,
If god has given you in abundance, why don't u
divert them to some goan organisations!!! they know
more better ways of using the funds.
BTW you could also run for elections & get rid of
the corrupt level to some extent:-)
Seb,
I think I have given my fair share to Goan
organisations (in Goa.)

As far as curruption in Goa is concerned, only the
residents there can get rid of currupt politicians. It
amazes me that every time I go to (and especially
south) Goa, everyone shouts that the representatives
are criminals. Yet these very same people get VOTED
into office again and again.

Mervyn2.0





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Frederick Noronha (FN)
2004-03-10 22:31:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mervyn Lobo
As far as curruption in Goa is concerned, only the
residents there can get rid of currupt politicians. It
amazes me that every time I go to (and especially
south) Goa, everyone shouts that the representatives
are criminals. Yet these very same people get VOTED
into office again and again.
Who decides?
-----------

In theory, it is the 9,32,439 registered voters who are going to decide the
two names that represent Goa in the Lok Sabha. In reality, it is the egos
and agendas of a handful of key power-brokers that will say how things shape
up. Therefore, political decisions in the state need to be taken with both
transparency and accountability -- not behind closed doors, by small
coteries, and in a manner that keeps everyone guessing what the real agenda
is.

Our political scenario today is a cross between a chaotic marketplace, and a
crashing stock-market where each broker wants to make the most.

Take the UGDP. It has no pretensions about being able to win any one of the
two Lok Sabha seats; neither does it have any "national-level" perspective.
In recent times, its role has been largely one of mopping up support in the
minority Catholic segments and gain anti-Congress, anti-incumbent votes.
For the BJP, this is a god-send. Parties like the UGDP can at least block
the Congress from winning a few critical seats in areas which the BJP could
never dream of conquering, thanks to the latter's self-defined brand image.

Then there are parties like the CPI, which while being more principled in
making its presence felt at every election (though not in every seat), have
made the contesting of the elections little more than a ritual in which
they're sure to lose.

After a whole lot of noisy promises, the so-called 'Secular Front' in Goa
threatens to come unstuck. Will it get derailed even before getting started?
It could, thanks to the badly cross-purposed plans of its self-declared
leaders and short-sighted visionaries. Those trying to broker this political
marriage seem to now realise that transferring all Congress votes to the MGP
in North Goa would be an uphill struggle, thanks to the political ghosts of
the past. If Goa is to belatedly move away from communally-polarised
politics, then it probably makes sense to see not just Hindus and Christians
but Muslims too jointly negotiate political space, minus the mistrust that
sees each other like an alien enemy from Mars.

This reality apart, the enthusiasm of politicians like ex-CM Pratapsing Rane
in reportedly pushing for giving the North Goa seat to the MGP is also
suspect. This is already being read in various ways -- from not wanting to
antagonise a chief minister he hardly effectively opposed as the Leader of
the Opposition... to not wanting to take on responsibility for a likely
Congress defeat. At the end of the day, all politicians appreciate that the
election result would depend largely on that much talked-of 'index of
Opposition unity', which the BJP has so far worked smartly to its advantage.
But all our politicians are clear: they want unity on their own terms. If
not, a lost seat is preferable.

Veteran editor Vinod Mehta puts its realistically when he says: "There are
millions in this country who passionately support the Congress and
reluctantly put up with its present leader. They support the party's sane,
decent, inclusive vision: a plural, secular, non-communal, non-casteist
India committed to rescuing the 400-million citizens of our republic who are
clearly not 'shining' because they do not know where their next meal is
coming from. However, when I see the durbar around Sonia, when I see the
combination of terror and awe on their faces as they approach her... I am
not surprised that the Congress has fallen hook, line and sinker for the
trap laid out by Messrs Mahajan, Venkaiah and Jaitley." We need not blame
Soniaji alone; look what's happened to the party leadership in Goa too.

For the BJP, known to play by its wits at every election, this is not just
another election. On these results depend the image of BJP's "grip" over
Goa, the future of the Parrikar government, and even the long-term fate of
the BJP in Goa. Finally, the game of electoral 'chess' that has been played
with increasing cynicism of late -- a weak candidate against a Dr de Souza,
someone propped up to topple Victoria "Mummy" Fernandes,
you-help-me-and-I-help-you deals, and more... -- are going to turn even more
critical.

The electorate has many reasons to be watchful.

FN
Marlon Menezes
2004-03-10 03:07:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mervyn Lobo
I don't think you have much of a choice. The Bush
administration made 3 million jobs disappear in the
last 3 years. If he manages to steal the elections
again, be pro-active, sell your house and get on a
plane and head back to Canada :-)
Mervyn2.0
Mervyn and my fellow Canadian Goan subjects:

Moving (back) to Canada from the US is akin to simply
changing rooms in a sinking ship. Perhaps a better
option would be to change ships, ie., move back to Goa
:)

On a more serious note, I would not want to pin all
the blame on Bush though. The US would have lost jobs
irrespective of who was in power. If only he would not
bust the budget on his phony war on terrorism, not to
mention his extremist right wing christian agenda
which amongst other things is impacting R&D in the US.
On the other hand, the anti-free trade policies of the
opposition will not be a great thing either. Indian
industry would probably prefer Bush to Kerry.
Regardless, it seems like all governments like to
spend money - some tax, others just borrow.

It does not matter who wins the next elections. I
suspect there will continue to be a giant sucking
sound of jobs from here to India for a long time to
come. Those of us who live in the silicon valley see
it happening right in front of our eyes and within our
own companies. Painful as it is, it does make a lot of
economic sense. The only question is, am I next?!

Marlon
Bosco D'Mello
2004-03-11 02:26:49 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 9 Mar 2004 20:19:15 -0500 (EST), Mervyn Lobo <mervynalobo at yahoo.ca>
It amazes me that every time I go to (and especially
south) Goa, everyone shouts that the representatives
are criminals. Yet these very same people get VOTED
into office again and again.
Mervyn2.0
RESPONSE: Arre Mervyn 2.0........kitem uloitai re.......Saiba Bogos.....Who says
Goans are voting in criminals over and over again...you're probably referring to
those Liberals in Canada.....please show me the proof and the pudding.......
Samja....proof-proof....(very humbly - I ask because I do not know - Please tell
me that I am wrong....)

Now don't come back to me and say those are famous last words and all that
gibberish........I'm now packing it in - yet......

I know everything else about Goa because I'm reading Goanet and Goan
newspapers.....and all my friends and familia are emailing me regularly except
what Mervyn 2.0 is saying.........nobody says the same thing as Mervyn 2.0......
please ignore Cecil if he contradicts me......@#$#$%$@#$%@#$%.....he has a habit
of doing that !!! Cecil....meet me on the ferry boat...dakoita tuca.....

Listen Mervyn 2.0.......seems you don't know.....Goans are good people....we
have always been good people.....arre bore mure ami....pre-1961 and
post-9/11....hic....I mean post-1961.....I'm not sure what happened during
1961.....we may have to ask Padre Loiola....who was studying French in 1961 in
Goa......French....French.....celebrating the Bastille....even to this day..:-)

It is those conniving, theiving, bakshish-taking, oggling at women, bharatis
(read Indians) who keep voting for those criminals......oh-wait-a-minute....am I
sounding like somebody else.....let me change things a little......blistering
barnacles.....thundering typhoons......be gone you lot of Mossambis, Pumpkins,
Guavas, Turnips......I'm breathless......somebody please continue for me......

Somebody with pearls of wisdom....said all of Goa ** PROBABLY ** would have been
Muslim.....or that our passports would ** PROBABLY ** have been green......Can
you imagine if Aliens had landed in Goa before Vasco da Gama......the man **
PROBABLY ** would have received a rude shock....he arriving in a boat (stuck in
the pani) and ALIENS on saucers (skimming all over)....and he ** PROBABLY **
would have joined them on an inter-stellar journey.....and blazed a trail for
all Goans.......and we would have been masters of the universe.......all **
PROBABLY ** !!!

I'll be baaaaaak - Bosco

PS....I almost forgot.....

India is my country.....
All bharatis (read Indians) are my brothers and sisters.....
oh geez....can't remember the rest from my Grade 6 Civics class....;-)
bantaogoa
2004-03-12 05:22:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mervyn Lobo
As far as curruption in Goa is concerned, only the
residents there can get rid of currupt politicians. It
amazes me that every time I go to (and especially
south) Goa, everyone shouts that the representatives
are criminals. Yet these very same people get VOTED
into office again and again.
Maybe there is corruption in the "election process", Know?

-- Brian


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bantaogoa
2004-03-12 05:38:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marlon Menezes
Looking forward, the real issue is whether the so
called "developed world" can adapt to the challeges
they will face with the rise of nations such as China
and India.
It does not seem that the "developed world" composed of
some countries such as the US and Australia are NOT quite
excited by the prospects of India and China emerging
from developing to developed status... on the contrast
their reactions to the prospects are quite on the
"Xenophobic" end of the spectrum ... of course what they
think does not alter the reality of the pace of developments.

If the US has brought about protectionist measures on "off-shoring
of jobs"... the many Indians who are wasting their energy complaining
about it should simply "boycott" the US in this sector and do business
with the rest of the "wider-world"!

To quote the title of one of Richard Feynman's non-technical
books, which is "What Do You Care What Other People Think?"

Now ... Richard Feynman ... is a "Hero" that I deeply admire ...
who perhaps is one of the most well-rounded and balanced individuals
with a refreshing and "original" perspective on many an issue.

--Brian


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Bernado Colaco
2004-03-01 11:05:32 UTC
Permalink
. We should just
Post by Frederick Noronha (FN)
perhaps be more broadminded in respecting the
decision of those who opted
to move elsewhere (for whatever reason), just as the
critics among them
should refrain from attempts at convincing others
that Goa/India is the
worst place in the planet.
Goans are tired of being part of a third world
community. Maybe our new hero returned from the US may
turn the tables for Goa.

Not the wrost place on earth before 61 I guess!!

B. Colaco





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