Timorous Times

EducationWorld October 2019 | Postscript

After almost four decades in the media, one has arrived at the dismal conclusion that it’s a haven for jealous mediocrities. There’s no tradition of acknowledging a good story of another publication. Instead it’s normative to just swipe and plagiarise the work of rival publications and convert it to one’s own use.

This observation is prompted by a confessional essay featured in the Sunday Times of India (September 8) by Swaminathan Aiyar, ToI’s star columnist who discovered that India is down in the dumps because “something deeper has gone seriously wrong”. And after over half a century in economic journalism and punditry, Aiyar has come to the conclusion that the “main reason is our third-rate education system” which “can produce no more than a thin veneer of world-class graduates… who are just unemployable”. That it is imperative to radically reform the country’s moribund education system from nursery-Ph D, was repeatedly communicated to Aiyar when EducationWorld was launched 20 years ago. But despite your editor’s prior acquaintance with him, Aiyar churlishly declined to acknowledge this publication. Even when our now repeatedly published schema to mobilise an additional Rs.6.37 lakh crore for investment in education was sent to him for critiquing, Aiyar didn’t respond.

Regrettably, this grudging clerical mindset is ubiquitous in Indian media. Despite EducationWorld having published the world’s largest schools ranking survey last month and a few editions of Times of India according it banner headlines, the editors of the major metros irrationally declined to report it. Lighten up Guys! Media ethics mandate journalists to publish important news without fear or favour. ToI won’t collapse if you give a small whiff of oxygen to this relatively tiny publication.

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