Subscribe Mahendras Youtube Channel | Join Mahendras Telegram Channel | Like Mahendras Facebook Page | Online Admission

Now Subscribe for Free videos

Subscribe Now

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

The Hindu Editorial: The Nepal reset

Mahendra Guru

Title: The Nepal reset

(Delhi and Kathmandu should rebuild ties by focussing on deliverables) 

Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s visit to India signals an important recalibration of bilateral ties. While the focus of the official pronouncements has been on connectivity. 

It is the perceptible absence of tensions in public interactions and official meetings, including with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that gives hope that the rupture in ties over India’s reservations about Nepal’s new constitution is being repaired. 

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made an unusual departure from protocol to visit Mr. Oli in Kathmandu and congratulate him for his election win even before he had been sworn in. 

It was a significant shift from 2015-17, when the five-month-long blockade of truck trade at the Nepal-India border and Nepal’s ties with China placed a severe strain on the relationship. 

For his part, Mr. Oli put aside the anti-India rhetoric of his election campaign, and came to India on his first post-election visit abroad. 

Mr. Modi promised support on development projects that meet “Nepal’s priorities”. 

A first step to the reset would be the completion of the ongoing process of updating the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship. Nepal would acknowledge that its citizens have benefited from the ease of employment and residence in India that the treaty provides. 

But India must recognise that as in all other developing economies, Nepal’s aspirational young population is also looking beyond the open Indian border for opportunities, and Mr. Oli’s desire to turn his “land-locked” country into a “land-linked” country with a merchant navy must be considered positively. 

1950 India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship 

The 1950 India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship is a bilateral pact between the Government of Nepal and Government of India aimed at establishing a close strategic relationship between the two South Asian neighbours. 

The treaty was inked at Kathmandu on July 31, 1950 by then Prime Minister of Nepal Mohan Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana and the then Indian ambassador to Nepal, Chadreshwar Narayan Singh. 

The treaty permits free movement of people and goods between the two countries and a close relationship and collaboration on matters of defence and foreign affairs. 

It enables the Nepali and Indian nationals to move freely across the border without passport or visa, live and work in either country and own property or do trade or business in either country. 

Title: Measuring excellence 

(Ranking educational institutions is useful, but the HRD Ministry’s effort needs fine-tuning) 

The “who’s who” of universities and research institutions published by the Human Resource Development Ministry, as the National Institutional Ranking Framework, 2018, should be viewed mainly as a proposition that data make it possible to assign objective credentials to some aspects of education. 

Its assessment of some of the top institutions such as the Indian Institute of Science, the Jawaharlal Nehru University, the IITs and the IIMs is unsurprising, given their record of research, peer-reviewed publications and outcomes for graduates. 

Even among the 3,954 institutions that participated, there is a clear skew towards southern, southeastern and western India. 

Participation levels are inadequate: there were 40,026 colleges and 11,669 standalone institutions according to the HRD Ministry’s All India Survey on Higher Education for 2016-17. 

The governing bodies should make available adequate financial and academic resources to colleges, particularly the younger ones, to help them improve performance. 

These are measured by the NIRF in terms of the percentage of faculty with doctoral degrees, papers published in credentialed journals, inclusivity and diversity of students, and median salaries for the graduates. 

Ranking educational and research institutes has practical uses, such as helping students make study choices, sponsors to identify research projects, and other universities to form partnerships. 

Yet, for the process to evolve and be relevant, it should be able to enroll all recognised educational institutions, not just the public ones. In the absence of such participation, older institutions with historical advantages could enjoy a higher ranking, obscuring newer entrants who may have stronger claims to excellence. 

The 2018 exercise added the disciplines of law, medicine and architecture and it hopes to cast the net wider in the future. 

This can be achieved solely by encouraging faculty to exercise complete academic freedom, without the pressure of perception management. The NIRF ranks will measure the measurable, but there will be some dimensions it may not be able to fully capture. 

Vocabulary words: 

Deliverable (noun) = A thing able to be provided as a product of a development process 

Perceptible (adj) = Noticeable (सुस्पष्ट) 

Rupture (noun) = Break or burst suddenly (बिगाड़) 

Put aside (phrasal verb) = To save something 

Rhetoric (noun) = The art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing 

Sermonise (verb) = Publicize (प्रचार करना) 

Tenor (noun) = Theme, respect (विषय) 

Susceptible (adj) = Likely or liable to be influenced or harmed (अतिसंवेदनशील) 

Meddle (verb) = Interfere, intervene (हस्तक्षेप करना) 

Diplomat (noun) = Statesman, politician, ambassador (राजनयिक) 

Credence (noun) = Acceptance, belief (विश्वास) 

Discreetly (adv) = In a careful and prudent manner (सावधानी से) 

Skew (noun) = A slant (तिरछा) 

Standalone (adj) = Able to operate independently of other hardware or software 

Obscure (verb) = Conceal, hide (अस्पष्ट करना) 

Entrant (noun) = Beginner, newcomer 

Critique (verb) = Evaluate in a detailed and analytical way (समालोचना) 

Reckon (verb) = Compute, calculate (गणना करना) 

Punitive (adj) = Intended as punishment (दंडात्मक) 

Probe (noun) = Investigation (तहक़ीक़ात) 

Torrent (noun) = A strong stream (धारा) 

Retaliate (verb) = Make an attack in return (जवाबी कार्रवाई) 

Contentious (adj) = Controversial (विवादास्पद)


Copyright © 2017-18 All Right Reserved Powered by Mahendra Educational Pvt . Ltd.