Eazy Foreign Languages

This blog is about German and French Language in Vijayawada. Articles, poems, songs and experiences of poolabala

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mall culture in India


Mall culture

Deals in Foreign brands, rules Indian minds.
A slow poison that bites into our value system.

Spanish Macarena or Asejere Las ketchup or Albina Casablanca, or Beyonce diva  or some other Rock, Jazz, Pop or even mix of world music – Middle Eastern, Arabic, French or gypsy welcomes you into an exotic world of extravagantly emblazoned interiors, the walls bedecked giant size posters of half naked supermodels Adriana Lima Beatriz Barros, Laetitia  casta or Alessandra intoxicates your senses and literally  transports you into a tinsel world. In the fairy land of giant size images you feel like a Lilliputian. Tommy Hilfiger, Swatch, Arrow, Louis Vuitton and Nike. There is no room for Gandhi or Abdul Kalam. A mall can never mind or remind its customers of Gandhi. So forget about them. Even you had better forget about Indian culture. Shopping malls are centers for disseminating foreign culture. The teenagers in low-cut jeans hang out in groups, cappuccino is sold at kiosks. Try to feel like a reckless looking child in the poster with spiky hair and guitar in hand. Or wear his clothes to share his feelings. A mall has none of the features of Indian. McDonald’s, Lacoste, Pizza Hut, Benetton, Subway, Marks & Spencer. There is no room for Dal bati churmas or Kashmiri kahwas, idly sambar, Puri or vada. It’s a thriving place for international culture and a battle ground for the international brands, it is a wrestling ring for people to wrestle with their own psyche. Malls are surely slow poison which bites into our value system.

Decline of Mall culture in America:

Mall culture in the United States is coming to an end as the U.S. economic downturn causes people to reduce their trips to malls or stores forcing more shops to close and leaving malls deserted. While malls continue dwindle in America, that pioneered them they have gained momentum in India. According to the International Council of Shopping centers, malls in America are reshaped for a different purpose or torn down for the space as Americans developed aversion to malls. As they have always been, Indians are both quick and good at picking up what is being discarded in the west. The rise of Shopping malls is axiomatic of their naïve craving for western lifestyle. People are welcoming this new trend with open arms, unaware of what might be the consequences of this new culture. Crowded streets, traffic congestion, pollution problems, extravagant electricity consumption, withering of traditional arts, frenzy consumerism, worst of all is shopohalism, addiction for shopping which has joined the list after cigarette and alcohol. a kind of a physiological disorder.


Mall not only deal in goods but also deals with people. Malls deal with the shopping habits of people and more particularly rules their senses. Customers could best be enticed in a controlled environment. The mushrooming of the Indian malls followed by Crossroads, the country’s first mall opened in 1999 has transformed shopping habits of the people as much as the culture which is gradually fading into obsolescence. On the super highway of western fashion shopping malls are raising curtain to western credo creating mall freaks. What becomes of our traditional arts and culture? What is to become of these massive structures when the trend changes as in America? Malls are tangible evidence of India's new economic vigor. The upbeat weather at the malls is exciting and inviting. All-in-one stores, with everything from groceries and vegetables to footwear, clothes, cosmetics, furnishings and electrical items available under one roof, a growing middle class with higher disposable income, the metro and the urban crowd is heading towards these  escalating shrines of consumerism in droves, for a better living. Although much of rural India remains in deep poverty, many urban Indians are becoming richer and malls are the best places for them to do away with their disposable incomes. For some, it is a way to chill out on movies and food in air conditioned ambience.

Why many a mall has bitten the dust?
What are the blues associated with malls? Why are malls not successful?
Why most malls could not make a profit in India?
On weekends and on festivals, malls compete with a mela. One can see carnival-like atmosphere with no elbow room for the visitors. But is evident from Indian business history that many malls have bitten the dust. Trinethra Super Market Limited, Hyderabad was a multiple outlet retail store network founded in 1986 with a vision to set up 100 Retail Outlets within 3 years all over Andhra Pradesh to achieve a turnover of Rs 300 crores. Where is Trinetra now? Many people come to the mall to look around, but very few actually buy anything. Ninety percent of young people go to a mall just too waste time. Ten percent of the visitors are actual customers. Amid the glint of interiors the business is sluggish, and many shops are in despair. Those who wanted to be retailers settled as Discount shops. Some shops in mall have no break even after years. India's mall boom is premature for the country's level of economic development.  India's real estate developers are in a frenzy to cash in. They are planning to build hundreds of malls. "If all the planned malls do come up, 70% of them will fail," predicts Vikram Bakshi, managing director of McDonald's which is a prominent attraction in numerous Indian malls is. It's very likely that quite a few of the new malls will see occupancy rates of only 50%. Shop keepers in malls acknowledge that they pay more for rent and electricity than if his store were outside. Middle-class Indians are still hesitant about spending in malls because they think prices are bumped up to meet the costs. Another concern is that India doesn't yet have the infrastructure needed to support all of its new malls. The rich class customers use cars to go to malls create traffic congestion besides parking problems. Malls use their own diesel generators which cause smoke pollution.  But state and local governments are all glad to encourage it because they get great prices for the land. In the numerous half-empty malls that reflect the inability our inability to plan and regulate the growth of malls most people waste time and so do the shop keepers.

Malls in Vijayawada.

Vijayawada is a developing city and no doubt it needs bigger and more sophisticated shops to cater to the needs of its increasing populace. Once we had small shops where
People used to stand outside the counter to buy. People used to buy different things form different shops. When departmental stores came they offered the convenience of buying
all things in one place.  Chain shops like Reliance, Spencer and More added more comforts and customers got a choice of picking what they want.  Now-a-days, malls are spreading to smaller cities. In Vijayawada the malls are on the rise. Kalanikhetan, Chandana Grand, RS Brothers, M&M and Charmas most of the shops were set up in giant complexes. They fondly call themselves shopping malls. The latest shoppers stop is apparently the biggest mall with four cinemas. Once can easily guess that the craze for bigger and bigger establishments. The craze is on the rise but not the need. When the government can not afford to supply power to the common people without cuts it is necessary to decorate malls with colorful electric bulbs that consume thousands of watts each day? We are embracing the lavish lifestyle of the western society disregarding the traditional arts and our culture. The weavers in Andhra Pradesh are in a pitiable condition.  Several other artisans of this land are emaciated. The world renowned traditional workers of Bombay such as Bombay Dabbawalas are losing hope about their 120 year old saga of a traditional occupation. In the tide of emerging new culture Dabbawalas are going to be washed out soon. As people switched over to pizzas and burgers their future is going to be murky and dismal. Traditional arts are on last legs and if things go at this rate they will certainly be brushed off. Today we can find only some traces of Burra Katha, Oggukatha after the advent of cinema as a popular medium of entertainment which has badly hurt the Traditional stage artists. Retailers are unable to stand the competition of malls which are sucking customers like leaves. Changes are inevitable; however, positive changes are welcomable.  I much fear that the eventuality of the current trend is total extinction of traditional arts and serious damage to our culture. Shopping malls also serve as cool avenues of lovers. The Malaysian Prime Minister raised objection when he saw a big hording of a western model. He asked whether there was no model in Malaysia as beautiful as her and saw to that the model is replaced. When malls don’t care for culture or art, people ought to. They are the people.  What ever is the size and name of the shop its function is same.  Some tailors call themselves fashion designers.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Schools or Karkhanas?


Schools or Karkhanas?
In the Past: A student would say “Wow! I got a seat in that reputed College”
Now:  The college management would say “Wow! We got a new student” One can understand the plight of education. The values in education withered away with the advent of corporate giants like Sri Chaitanya,NRI Narayana, Bhasyam, Nalanda, Corporate education assumes the trends of a mafia racket in the state.

These corporate business houses resort to crude business strategies with the sole agenda of admissions and turned teaching staff into peddlers and ultimately made education a door to door business.  They have successfully caught the pulse and weakness of the parents on which they laid firm foundation for their magnificent dream castles. In the name of fulfilling the students’ dreams they have fulfilled their dreams. Successful students are few failure students out number the successful students. Majority students slave out their time and lose their money, health and sometime life unable to withstand the corporate pressure. This is the truth. Majority students pay for the minority success. But the truth is hidden under the carpet. Advertisements camouflage the facts. Corporate gimmicks win. The annual private market size for the segment I – XII is estimated at 22 to 26 thousand crores. The corporate eyes are fixed on this figure but not on education or values. The picture that emerges in surveys is appalling - 60% of students aged 7 to 12 can not read a simple paragraph according to PRATHM’S ASER survey.

In their latest report National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) said that Indian IT firms reject 90% of college graduates and 75%of engineers because they're unemployable Recently Mr.Chidambaram stated that 90% of Indian graduates are unemployable.  What is the hidden meaning in this statement?  What does it imply? It implies that there are plenty of jobs in the market but there are no suitable candidates. Why are they not suitable? Don’t they have the qualifications? They have qualifications but they don’t have qualities. Their language and communication skills are hopeless. The Indian student has admirable qualifications, excellent scores or grades but alas they are not fit for good jobs. They are nothing but waste for the corporate companies. So they just throw them out. This is the sad reality. This is what 90% students realize at the fag end of their studies. Then who are preparing these hopeless graduates?      
But who is to be blamed? Who is responsible for this pathetic situation? Let’s question differently. Who is producing this waste? Our schools and colleges. Especially our corporate schools that sell big dreams like EAMCET, IIT, JEE, JIPMER etc. They're the trail blazers and trend setters. All other small schools inevitably struggle in the same way for their survival. Before the advent of these corporate schools students better off. Now students are getting marks but they can’t read, write or speak clearly. How can anybody employ them? In Bhasyam Schools at least 30 engineering graduates are working as hostel wardens. What is the god of getting Engineering degree or good marks?

Corporate Schools or Kharkahanas?
Education is the name of a business and corporate education aims at exploiting the rich and the upper middle class. Maybe some parents chose them under the spell of five star ambience created by the schools while some parents chose them for marks. Anywhere majority of the students are losers for the sake of minority students in the corporate schools and colleges. The actual statistics reveal the facts. The truth lies on the surface and it is evident.

The corporate educational set-up in the country under-prepares the students. It takes wrong and incompetent people for teaching jobs. Their sole objective is to economize heavily on teachers salaries. Magnificent building, expensive furniture, the tinted glasses, the air-conditioned class rooms. They have every thing so neatly set before your eyes. Any thinking mind gets the obvious doubt whether they are Schools or Karkahanas.

Sri Chaitanya, Narayana, Nalanda, Kesav reddy, Gautam Model,Bhasyam, NRI all are the pieces of the same roll of cloth who are in a rush to make big money. They spend heavily on advertisements to create a make-belief that their school is a different world - a paradise.  They entrust this eye catching job to professional ad makers like Eye-ads who successfully depict smiling faces in hi-tech environment. Luxury, lavishness. Should we commercialize education so much? Can’t we make it simple? Schools are the places where we can try to lessen the commercialization; we can’t use media for this purpose because media is highly commercial. But very unfortunately these schools are more commercialized than media.

The big bait
After all the show there should be bait. 
The marks. 580,  590 (but what avail?) The banners that exhibit the Marks are the life line of the schools now-a-days. They shout like hawkers in the TV ads. 6,6,6, 7,7,7, 9,9,9, 12, 12, 12, 16, 16, 16, 18,18, 18. You keep hearing. They keep shouting. But unfortunately  parents fall for these sounds. The corporate coffers are filled. It sounds good to send a child to a corporate school. 

All that glitters is not gold.  
Glitters and gadgets can’t add  quality to education. Who can add quality to education? What are the actual inputs in the education?  The comforts?  The computers?  The gadgets? None but the Skilled and experienced teachers.  Quality teachers are available but the managements are reluctant to attract cream by paying high salaries. After all the criterion for hiring in education industry is just to monitor the class. In many schools the bright students are often better than the teachers. What is the hiring philosophy of the schools and colleges? It is one and the same in most schools “Hiring Cheap labour”. There is hardly any difference between the salary of an ayah and of a teacher in majority schools. Most often teachers who work for low wages are given appointment without second thought. That’s why a very high percentage of teachers in Vijayawada, Hyderabad and Visakhapatan fall in the salary range of Rs.2000 to 5000. A very small percentage of teachers are above Rs.8000.  You will be surprised to know that a corporate college in Vijayawada recently appointed an English lecturer for a monthly salary of Rs.2800. It is easy guess for anybody to determine the kind of goods delivered to students. No scribe can describe how the corporate managements torture the teachers. It is better described by Shakespeare. If available the corporate managements would like to buy robots for 500 or 1000. It is one time investment for them. They can put the robot teachers in cupboard after day’s work. They don’t ask for leave. They don’t look for Sundays. They don’t ask for increments. Most importantly they don’t express their views. But it is for their bad stars they don’t have robot or gadgets available for teaching. What about the students?

Now –a-days we see almost every school using the same high flown language. e- learning, Holistic approach, Student centric approach, stress free environment are hackneyed by the corporate schools. Shaping global citizens, making world leaders are also widely used quite without thought. But how many people believe their words? Even they are not serious about what they say. If they were serious they would act differently.

Unethical trends in Andhra Pradesh
Srichaitanya institutions are either mills or poultries. Certainly they are not schools or colleges. Teachers work like salves.  Students are Child labor. Their movements are monitored by hi-tech gadgets. The human element in learning is totally missing here. They have to work as per the program with the objective of Ranks. A student wakes up at 4.30 am and his day begins. It ends at 10.30 pm. This is the pitiable campus life of SriCahitanya student. Eighteen hours of work! Yes. That’s all. This is creative learning. The students need at least seven to eight hours of sleep in that tender age. But who cares? The students associations like ABVP keep quiet. Perhaps they have been silenced with a corporate strategy. Even Sundays these children have no off. What they become in future God knows but they will surely become child labour in the corporate schools.

That’s why Suicides. A large number of students 15 and 22 years in Andhra Pradesh account for the most number of suicides which has the second highest rate of suicide in the country after West Bengal. Though the official records of the National Crime Records Bureau state that almost 1.5 lakh suicides and 10 lakh attempts take place annually in India, the actual figures are higher. “The 2010 crime reports indicate that on an average, there are 43 suicides in AP every day, Between April and June 2010, 52 students from corporate colleges committed suicide due to academic pressure.

 Ranks or marks are education. Ranks get students admissions into Engineering or
Medicine in premier institutions. Success is getting seat in IIT and going to America which is a service to their motherland or else joining a multinational company with a huge salary which is service to society. A job in a local company with a small salary is understood as life spoiled. This is the credo in corporate schools. Is it education or Craving for wealthy living?  Corporate school managements are responsible for not educating the parents who are no less responsible to the misery of our country.

In his open heart talk on ABN Dr.B.S.Rao Said “ 90% of IIT students work for foreign countries” The students aim at IIT, JEE, AIEEE, JIPMER. The corporate Kharkahnas start the foundry work. Thank God we did not have this corporate mess long ago lest Abdul Kalam would have settled abroad. Swamy Vivekananda would have studied medicine and settled in UK instead of going to America on a spiritual mission. Can the corporate schools inspire their students in Kalam or Vivekananda’s path with their crude commercial ways?  Look at their business promotion strategies.

Whole sale and retail business perspective in Education.
When you buy fruits, clothes or stationery in bulk quantity it is common that you get good discount from any merchant. The more you buy the less is the price. Educational institutions follow the same philosophy. Get your friends and join in a group then your fee will be much less.

Door to door Marketing.
In a highly competitive market people must go to the door of the customers. It is true. But can an educational institute do the same? You may say “no”. But it is “yes” for the corporate educational institutes. Chaitanya, Narayana, Nalanda, Bhasyam and many others have marketing staff. Some schools and colleges prefer to send their teaching staff
to this direct marketing activity. The teachers must oblige the marketing duty given by the school lest they should forget about their job.  After all the objective of Educational institutions is admissions.

Role of Agents in Admissions.
Another feasible business strategy adopted by the corporate schools and colleges is appointing agents. They give teachers with reputation especially those who are running tuition centers successfully a lum-sum of say Rs.50,000 along with admission forms. The teacher recommends a corporate school or college get the form filled by the student and also collects the fee. He gets his commission. Thus they justify the role of a commission agent more than that of a teacher.

Hi-Tech mafia racket?
The community became is sophisticated and notorious racket that it became an organized crime group. The modern corporate schools are extremely effective at raising children people who could not possibly develop any character.

Corporation Schools are far better
The Private Schools in Andhra Pradesh are undoubtedly offering better amenities when compared with the Government Schools. But still the results of the Government Schools in Andhra Pradesh are getting as good as their private counterparts!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Interview with the architect of IRMS


 Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor's sake
Stand fast and suffer long. …

Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly...
They build a nation's pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.

..Ralph Waldo Emerson

A high profile technocrat, corporate leader, finance expert, President - Surya Soft Inc. Project Manager and Architect of Citigroup, Sr. Management Consultant IBM. To sum up he is a global leader. A visionary Mr Vijay Penmatsa, the architect of IRMS is ready with his Integrated Rural Management System that creates

Million jobs in agriculture

In the USA he served leading international companies Woolworth, Sprint PCS, GE, National Gypsum, Pfizer, Price water house coopers. This accomplished global leader, the most sought after personality has come back to India with a strange reason to fulfill his earthen dream that radically transforms Indian Agriculture into to an organized sector and changes the fate of the farmer. He is on the mission like a soldier battling with bureaucracy, deterred by red tapism, disappointed by political apathy yet striving to bring golden era in agriculture sector with his brain child, a non-profit scheme, Integrated Rural Management System (IRMS) He is on the move. He has been knocking at the doors of ministers, politicians, bureaucrats to invigorate Indian Agriculture to serve the country with the underlying spirit: Jananee janma bhoomischa … swargaadapi gareeyasi

With his invincible leadership and dynamism coupled with burning nationalistic zeal Mr. Vijay K. Penmatsa is forging ahead with his mission which is a process and a cause of paradigmatic change in the field of agriculture for the accomplishment of a noble task of emancipating the farmer from the clutches of middlemen and several odd persisting problems by joining loose ends in agriculture. Mr. Vijay is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen. More than a dream IRMS is a strategy and beyond a strategy it is an effective solution to successfully integrate and maximize available resources.

In toto IRMS is a vision, a mission and a golden touch to the present emaciated and drooping agriculture sector that wipes tears and brings cheers.

IRMS does not simply imagine what does not yet exist but provides a glimpse into the possible future based on scientific study and practical work. Mr. Vijay is not only a visionary who can see what might happen some day but also an eternal optimist who strongly believes that tomorrow or the other tomorrow or the other tomorrow has in store  for the farmer bright days, golden glory, new dignity  that gives him a socio economic status on par with IT professionals. At this out it might look like a fairy tale but it is not hard to believe only if you go through IRMS a whole some plan emanated from perfect realm of futuristic thought of Mr. Vijay K. Penmatsa.
The present agriculture scenario is in India going from bad to worse. Far from being unprofitable it is shameful, humiliating and hopeless. It is suicidal to farmers and shame on the nation that one who feeds the nation is reeling under hunger pangs and embracing death as an ultimate resort. The recent crop holidays in the state are declaring a high alert.

Where is the government’s will? The government often resorts to temporary measures like loan waivers and subsidies which are half measures and so futile. The governments hither to could not think in the right direction with a clear mind.  It is very clear that lack of political will and inadequate executive body is making agriculture a non-profit sector day by day… the current pseudo democratic system is always roaming  around self-centric vote banks leaving the key sector like agriculture and rural sectors behind.. A passionate agriculturist and renowned business process architect Mr. Vijay Penmetsa (NRI) returned to India from USA and created a holistic approach to make agriculture sector more profitable as an organized sector. His self-sustainable approach will make villages rich, independent and reduces urban migrations.  This scheme was initially published and discussed at a full length in 2009 Congress election manifesto of Andhra Pradesh and later on this was removed from the manifesto fearing that this might derail Late. Sri Y S Rajashekar Reddy’s co-operative farming concept.

IRMS a holistic approach
It is the time for a holistic approach:  Even if the governments say that they have the will power and financial strength we can’t believe them in the absence of a credible policy. IRMS was designed after taking inputs from farmers, local markets, millers, middlemen, local un-organized mandis and several intellectuals like Prof. M.S Swaminathan, M.P, “Father of Green Revolution”,  Sri N.R Narayana Murthy, Ex.Chairman for Infosys, Dr. Sandeep Pandey, Ramon Magsaysay Award Winner, co-founder of Asha foundation

IRMS has been specifically designed to handle the challenges posed by the unique features of Indian agriculture like unorganized workforce, price fluctuations, instability of farm supplies, weak infrastructure and involvement of numerous intermediaries, among others. Over a million employment opportunities can be created through IRMS without spilling a rupee from government’s budget. IRMS can handle drought stricken areas effectively through better insurance packages. Reliable statistics provided by IRMS will help the government to support farmers during natural calamities and in implementing other schemes.  IRMS will catalyze rural transformation that will help alleviate rural isolation, create more transparency to the farmers, workers and improve their productivity and incomes.

Real-time information, customized knowledge and infrastructure facilities provided by IRMS will enhance an organized workforce and the ability of farmers to take decisions to align their farm outputs with market demand, securing quality & productivity. IRMS eliminates unnecessary intermediation, multiple handling and transaction costs to benefit the farmer for an enhanced productivity and better farm gate prices. Village internet kiosks managed by non-political elected bodies will enable the rural community to access ready information in their own language. The benefits of this scheme will be passed to the urban sector either directly or indirectly. The initial phase of the project would involve establishment of a pilot for an effective model of employment and agriculture services. In the long run, IRMS services can be integrated to proposed Common Services Centers (CSCs) scheme under the National e-governance Plan (NeGP) of the Government of India.

We all the how important is the rural sector. But how are the rural sectors today? How miserable are the Indian farmers and Indian weavers! As Sarojini Naidu writes in her
INDIAN WEAVERS “weaver weaving at the break of day… Weavers weaving at fall of night… Weavers weaving in the moon light chill. One can enjoy the beauty of the poem
But in spite of working like machines they are unable to make both ends meet.  Worse is the case of farmers. Agriculture is looked down upon by the educated class who passionately choose IT. As Arundati Roy writes in her “God of small things” the educated Indians who serve American clients paid highly and the rest are engaged in their struggle for survival.

In fact rural sector plays a vital role in India. It produces nearly 25% of the GDP, feeds a billion people, and employs 66% of the workforce. IRMS is the first and foremost Public Private Participation (PPP) program. IRMS, a self-sustainable system is not reinventing the wheel or it is not dumping any of the existing system; it is just combining the existing bits and pieces together with seamless transparent business processes.
As we all know, some of the reforms that are triggered and implemented by global markets for some good reasons are widening the gap between the rich and poor in India. On the lines of our Poojya Baapuji and we all believe that the country will prosper only when the rural sector is strong. IRMS, a true shadow of the real GRAMA SWARAJYAM will offer a self sustainable system with good governance. People of India are pretty confident that the current government will abide by its responsibility to win the confidence of the people and is committed to improve the system by adopting best-in-class processes.  

In the current scenario, rural employment and crop management is very fragile and there is tremendous scope for improvement. There are a few popular Government sponsored
e-governance projects in different forms like e-Seva in Andhra; DC*Suite in Kerala;
 e-district in Tamil Nadu; Jan Sewa Kendra in Gujarat etc. Mostly, they offer common civil services like Issuance of Certificates, Social Welfare benefits, Ration Card related services, collection of taxes, user fees etc. National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) was launched with very good goals but some more attention needs to be paid on the diversity of village characteristics and skill sets of rural workers.

 Mr. Vijay’s team requested for permission to implement a pilot project in one district in each state at least two states to create enough sample data for financial modeling to work with insurance companies and resource suppliers. This scheme was widely discussed with Her Excellency Smt. Pratibha Patil, Honorable President of India many times at different platforms, in her presence in Rashtrapati Bhavan and Raj Bhavan, Mumbai this was discussed with Planning Commission, PMO staff, executive body of NREG schemen and many Union Ministers like Sri Sharad Pawar, Salman Kurshid, Haryana Chief Minister, several agriculture ministers, and agriculture commission chairmen. And also this was discussed with Sri Ashok Chavan, Sri Shankar Naryanan, Governer of Maharashtra, Council Chairman, Ex. Chief Minister of Maharashtra and with his agriculture ministers and commission chairman multiple times in Mumbai.

World class professionals with different expertise and tremendous exposure to agriculture,  change management, process orchestration, financial modeling, and best-in-class supply chain and distribution systems have been empanelled for this IRMS project, which aims at realization of the objectives at about one or two pilot districts in at least two States. The objective behind this exercise to develop a model that can be optimally replicated in all other districts of those states.  A project like IRMS can easily attract unconditional funding from international banks to implement the commercial project. Former Infosys chairman Sri N R Narayana Murthy offered his support for the pilot project but still the project didn’t start….. Why? What is lacking in India? IRMS can create over a million jobs without depending on government budget.  It can cut 50% of the funding that is being misutilized under the name of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme But still the project didn’t launch why? What are we lacking?


Mr.Venakat .P the associate editor of Journalist interviewed
The Architect of IRMS – Mr.Vijay.K.Penmatsa.

Q: Where do you hail from?  Where did you have your schooling?

A: Well I hail from an agriculture family from West Godavari
I studied at Jalagaparru near Bheemavaram. I was with my grand parents later on
I moved to Visakhapatnam and also studied there.

Q: What was your line of study? What was your specialization?
BS, Electorics from AVN College Visakhapatan and MBA, Marketing & Production Management  from  Regional College of Management


Q: When did you move to the USA?
I worked in India for four years before I left for the USA in 1996. I worked in Cement Corporation of India before moving to the USA, I was the youngest Regional Manager but I couldn’t stand the laziness so I resigned on the same day.

Q: When, where how did you get such a plan as IRMS?
I got this plan while I was carrying out my Research in the US. As I told you I hailed from agriculture family. My father and my ancestors were in agriculture. So I know the condition prevailing in agriculture in India pretty well. And I also know the problems of farmers through personal experience. When I was working for Andhra development forum I used to come to India and used to three weeks to one month. During this time I Studied Mundies (local markets) as well as international markets. I was a consultant in the US working for a high pay on hourly basis. My job was to advise companies.  Though I was very busy I used to think and work a lot on Agriculture in India. I never lost track of my country. There was and there is an irresistible urge to strengthen this unorganized sector

Q: Is there any person or incident that served as inspiration for IRMS?
My father always used to incur losses. A small farmer suffering loss is different but
In spite of having 30 to 40 acres of land he suffered losses most times. Small farmers
Had hard time during draught conditions (during TDP regime) This led farmers to commit suicides.  All these incidents are inspiration.

 Q: What are the objectives of IRMS?
Bringing all un-organized rural artisans to the organized workforce sector.
Ensures secure and continued employment.
Helps the farmers by supplying essential inputs like fertilizers, seeds, pesticides, financial assistance, machinery, technical know-how etc.
Providing guaranteed and timely workforce to the farmers and rural businesses for stable prices with pre-defined/authorized delivery work standards.
Provides accurate demand and forecasting tools for better crop planning.
Canalized all the financial assistance and bank loans with guaranteed repayments.
Facilitate micro-credit, micro-leasing, machinery rentals and storage yards to the farmers.
Ensures annual hardship allowance/bonus for the qualified workforce.
Both farmer (land owner/lease holder) and workforce will be insured Rs. 2 lacs for accidental death and Rs. 50, 000 for each accidental occurrence.
Ensures social security after the age of 65 years to both workers and lease holder
are some of the objectives of IRMS

Q: Who are the important people you met in connection with IRMS?
M. S Swaminathan, Dr. Sandeep Pandey, Dr. Kuldeep Nayar, K.Raju, IAS- Principle Secretary- Rural Development.  Special invitation by Her Excellency Smt. Pratibha Patil to a conference at Maharashra Governor's Bungalow.  I also met Sri Ashok Chavan, Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Sri Shankar Narayanan, Governor of Maharashtra, Sri Balasaheb Thorat,  Agriculture Minister of Maharashtra, Agriculture Commission Chairman, Planning Commission and PMO Team and many intellectuals.


Q: How do you feel about people you met?
The politics people want only survival. All time and energy is focused only on politics. They hardly have anytime to think about anything. Mostly they were egoistic. They don’t want outsider’s advice. Agriculture Minister has no time to think of reforms.. People who have no clue about agriculture were nominated to important positions for example  J.V. Somayajulu is a Chartered Accountant. He was nominated as Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture.  Dr Chakrapani encouraged me a lot.


Q: Apart from the knowledge are they willing to change the position of agriculture?

No, they are afraid of bringing changes. I guess the Agriculture Minster will have no work if IRMS is implemented.

Q: How do you differentiate between co-operative farming and IRMS?

In Cooperate farming farmers collect farms. They have work together.
Though it is not impossible it is difficult in Indian conditions. Politics
caste and religion many create problems.

Q: How does it handle problems?

IRMS is a non profit organization. We implement it in every village. It is a national level program not just a state level program. IRMS offices are set up in every village which are equipped with touch screen computers. The villagers enter the data in computer in Telugu
Or in any other regional language. The farmer enters the crop he selected for example cotton plantation. He also enters when he is going to plant cotton, how many urea bags he wants. He also enters the pesticide requirement. Farmer enters all this data for his own benefits. The work force will also enter their availability. The farmer sends a job card for them. IRMS ensures availability of fertilizers, pesticides seeds and eliminates brokers with the help of  real time data bank.

Q: What is the future of agriculture? People lost hope on agriculture no-a-days?

Without a holistic plan like IRMS the agriculture sector will remain as unorganized sector. There are so many loose ends needed to be connected. I hope IRMS will do it.


Venkat.P
Associate Editor
Journalist




An Effective English Teaching Methodology


A Unique Method of Teaching based on Student Psychology

With the fast spread and easy availability of technology every field of human activity is aided of technology.  The laborious and cumbersome earth work in both agriculture and Civil Engineering has been heavily mechanized where as in travel & tourism, telecommunication and banking the work is heavily computerized. While all the key fields utilize technology to the maximum there is one field which relatively inadequately utilizes technology. That is the field of education. Exploring all the possible ways of using technology and exploiting it to the fullest extent expedites learning and enhances the pleasure of learning. Student psychology plays vital role in Teaching or Learning and it’s a fact that audio visuals elicit greater interest than blackboard. While teaching through media a teacher can take extra leverage it is like adding acetone to petrol for extra mileage.

Learning through media /Audio visuals in teaching.

The concept of using audio visuals in teaching is not new. It is at least as old as a decade. The concept being discussed here is new. It is not simply using audio visuals in a class room. There is a whole lot of difference between using audio visuals and learning through media. This concept depends on Common human psychology in general and student psychology in particular.

What is the common human psychology?

In any part of the world, in any communication context audience ability is more important than the language competence of the speaker. The speaker may be highly sophisticated in terms are vocabulary and pronunciation (English) but the speaker always minds ability of his audience lest he should lose listeners. So every speaker tries to match with his audience ability and tastes. The former helps listeners to understand the speaker’s language and the latter helps to understand the speaker. Explaining the same idea to a group of uneducated street vendors and scientists or doctors requires different vocabulary, examples and even style of speaking. Basically the aims are enlightening and pleasing. Language should not only be simple but also be popular.


Why Common human psychology is not applicable to teaching?

In most states of India English is a familiar language but not popular. People keep learning but they neither learn no use English well. Even in schools and colleges (including professional colleges) here English is scantily used. This is indeed a big curse. People should not choose a language suitable to audience in schools and colleges because they have the responsible for both imparting the language and inculcating habit of speaking English. These are the two corollaries of teaching English. English medium schools and institutions offering education in English must undertake the responsibility. An average English teacher in Andhra says “The students are of village background they can not understand English” and explains the lessons in Telugu. He or she uses little or no English in classrooms. Moreover for all practical purposes on the campus he or she uses Telugu.

"SHE" is worse than "He" in English Medium schools 

Majority of schools in villages, small and medium towns and even cities follow a canon in appointing teaching and non teaching staff. They look for people who work for low salaries.  House wives are a boon for them whose motto is to work and support the family financially. They don’t have big demands. Their chief consideration is a close work place. Schools are comfortable places for them. Since man is the main bread winner he comes for a higher salary. So the school managements are comfortable with housewives. So they appoint them as lady teachers regardless of their quality qualification and English knowledge leaving the care and standards to the wind. Let the students go to dogs what they care. When the schools managements tell parents “We take care of your children as you do” it is not enigmatic. Their meaning is plain.  They take care as baby sitters do. Finally English is absent both in theory and practice in English medium schools. A few expensive schools are different but that will not help. The conclusion is English medium schools are dominated by Telugu speaking teachers.The result is students are deprived of proper exposure to English. They mask their insufficiency they embark on “We are respecting our mother tongue” (instead of we respect our mother tongue). This is the negative atmosphere through which the teacher has to heave them through. Understand the background is as important as tilling the ground before sowing.

Creating ideal conditions

English Language teaching or learning flourishes only under ideal conditions. Ideal conditions promote confidence in learners so students can learn easily. Good schools are those which lay strong foundation to ideal conditions. So are good teachers. In other words they create and maintain environment suitable for learning English. In the absence of such suitable environment leave alone teaching English even speaking English is not possible. Creating ideal conditions is a task in itself. If the teacher succeeds in establishing the ideal conditions half the battle is won. This is nothing but putting the student in learning mode. If the student is not in learning mode the more talented a teacher is the more repulsive the students become. All his efforts become futile and he will become a fiasco.

Preparing the student to receive English language as life skill is a very important parameter. It is just like making a bed for the plant. The teacher has to play the role of a gardener and should cultivate English, nurture skills in students. This should be done cautiously, strategically and practically. Just like the part of the ship under the water is equal to the part on the water line, the language work outside the classroom must be as much as class room work. There should be handful of students who can always speak English with one another. This is an immense help to the teacher as well as the learner. This makes the students desirous of learning English as a life skill. But this is a hard task.

Language is never taught. It is acquired.  The actual teaching of a language is quite effective in a place where it is a living language. Learning Tamil is very effective in Tamilnadu.  All people use it naturally all the time. This creates a need, belief and confidence in the learners. The same can be created even for English. Those who don’t know English are those who are not exposed to English. So they do not believe that they can use it naturally, and frequently.  The best way is to teach English is to expose the student and to dispel his myths. There are so many myths in the minds of the learners of English. They are about pronunciation, usage of vocabulary, sentence structure etc. Take the word suite. A learner doesn’t actually believe that people pronounce it as sweet. First comes the stage of surprise. Then comes the stage of accepting. When the learner is consistently exposed to the same pronunciation he transcends his fears and believes that it is natural and he too should speak like that. Many people speaking English is better than one person speaking English. Use of media (print and electronic) in teaching English helps teacher keep the learners abreast with English usage both written and spoken form.

Use of print media in teaching

It is due to lack of exposure the students English remains poor. A teacher can really succeed if he aims at developing certain habits like reading news paper and watching T.V. rather than focusing on only classroom teaching. The teacher can collect cut sheets of the news paper head lines. He may also use digital cam to take snaps of Headlines of various news papers. From my own experience I appraised the student’s knowledge as far below the requirement. When three hundred head lines were shown to a hundred students a few students know 20 to 30 words. But all students realize that only if they read the head lines their scope for improvement is tremendous. Day by day the teacher can objectively show these words. Expose them to different columnists. Letters with sound English language published can also be shown. The snap shots or web downloads can be projected using an LCD projector to a big class comfortably. This is much better than writing English vocabulary on the blackboard. Student not only develops idea about vocabulary and language usage.  Many students make it a habit to read books and news papers.

Use of electronic media in teaching


Gone are those days where students had no choice but to read to improve their language. Teachers used to say. Read, Read and Read.” In these days many national and international channels telecast news, debate, discussions and interviews. But unfortunately the learner can not receive polished English language. So the teacher can tune his ear to such English. Teacher can record or download such programs (videos) and can expose the students explaining what is spoken. He can use short programs of 5 min length so that he can show more videos than one. Gradually he can serve question papers with 5 or 6 questions. Thus a teacher can both train the student on the listening skills and pass a habit of watching such programs. Good learning habits are as important as learning from a class. After all self learning and self help methods are most sought after in education.

Letter to Telugu Association of London



Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you very much for your response. I never thought that somebody read my
letter as I received only an auto-generated reply. I read your Pdf magazine. It is nice.
Both Y.S.R and Chandra Babu appreciated TAL. Babu in his letter clearly mentioned 
that we have to pass on Telugu language to progeny in its pure and pristine form.
I have a point to make here. The present Telugu generation uses some kind of 
language which can hardly be called Telugu. I am not making a fine point. 
It is my anguish. Today Telugu is spoken in Andhra Pradesh with superfluous 
English words. For example: Use చెయ్యండి , Taste చెయ్యండి, నేను  like చెయ్యను.


I personally feel that they are vulgarians.  I have been a writer and artist and especially a lecturer for nearly two decades I have been watching Telugu spoken by students closely. Trust me, Telugu exists in this way today. I don't know about London but here in A.P the situation is very bad.

I wote a comdey(play) by name కంచర గాడిద  to highlight this unwanted development and  I have been performing it many schools advising children to use Telugu respectfully.  

One more dimension is Filthy language. The use of Filthy language in day to day life in every sentence is horrible. The Telugu cinema successfully forcefully and forcibly infused into the minds of Telugu people. Compare the dress of heroines of old and modern movies or contrast the language used by them. The language used by old generation heroes and heroines. There is prolific use of Filthy words like 
" నీయమ్మ" నీయబ్బ"  "దొబ్బింది" Heroines easily use these words. 

Cinema is a powerful medium through which we can educate people about our culture. I don’t mean that they have to make an entire film on culture. The French films are gentle. I watch French films. I am a professional French translator and German Teacher too. The gentleness and respect for language are extinct  in  Telugu  films  today .

The solutions are many.  I request TAL to look at the root. You need not move from London through your correspondence and influence it is easily possible. I am very sorry. I wrote to you for accommodation only to get a human response. But I got a humane response. Thanks for your courtesy. I have my students in London. I would like to meet in London in March. I will be glad if you reply to this letter.

Thank you,
Venkat

What you can do with Foreign Languages?


In an increasingly globalized world, foreign language proficiency is more important than ever. Learning another language has personal, academic and social benefits.  Foreign language is valuable asset and a credible career choice.
                            
Unfortunately in India students target technical courses for MNC careers and so language skills have taken back seat. Engineering orientation in education is depriving students of a very valuable opportunity of acquiring language skills. But don't worry your English knowledge or fluency is neither helps nor hurts if you want to learn a Foreign Language.

Which Foreign language?



Why foreign languages?

This is an obsolete question as more and more people are aware of Foreign Languages. So it is worthwhile to mention the advantages of learning foreign languages rather than discussing " why foreign languages?"  Learning a foreign language raises curtain to Cognitive, Social and Economic benefits.

Cognitive benefits: Brain science has discovered that functional plasticity of the human brain is driven by language, knowing a foreign language can actually change the brain's anatomy.

A: Children: 





Many children with foreign languages go abroad, perform and win laurels. Children in foreign language programs have tended to demonstrate greater cognitive development, creativity, and divergent thinking than monolingual children. Several studies show that people who are competent in more than one language outscore those who are speakers of only one language on tests of verbal and nonverbal intelligence. When children are adequately exposed to two languages at an early age, they are more flexible and creative.many schools in the remote parts of Telanga are showing interest in introducing Foreign languages. 



B: Adults: Foreign Language Study results in better performance on standardized tests such as the SAT. Research has shown that having studied a foreign language one can understand one’s own language better. Foreign language study can also raise one’s abilities to function in other spheres of life. Adaptability increases as an outcome of foreign language study. A student is exposed to unfamiliar ideas while learning a new language thus adaptability and diversity are easy for him or her. By learning a new language, one can expand his horizons of thinking that reinforces one’s own identity and self-confidence. Foreign languages are complementary for Good Careers. 



Economic benefits: plenty of opportunities for people with a foreign language. There are high paid jobs available in India for French or German speakers. Look at the google image. you can search yourself.

Careers for Foreign Language experts: A student with command on any foreign language has an edge over the others. Employees who can communicate in foreign languages are always a blessing for the employer. IT professionals with a foreign language serve as a bridge between the employer and foreign clients. People with foreign languages has ample opportunities in Travel and Tourism, Technical and Engineering , Media and Arts.  One can be a freelance Interpreter, Translators and Teacher and can work from home also.




EFL – Eazy Foreign Languages
Kanna street Beside Modern Super Market,
Nr. Benz Circle, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Ph: 9700877409. writer.poolabala @gmail.com



Eazy foreign languages in Vijayawada offers the best French training in Vijayawada. French and German classes go with all fun  and all practice. The French teacher is French language expert and a polyglot who speaks six foreign languages. He is a renowned foreign languages author and the first ever French novelist from Andhrapradesh and also from India. Eazy foreign languages offered French classes in Vijayawada to students from various parts of the Andhrapradesh. Students keep coming from other states of India as well.   you can type "French classes in Guntur" " French classes in Tenali" in youtube to find the videos of the students from these places. The performance of the student impresses any one who wants to learn a foreign language.