Friday, February 25, 2011

Unfair Grants And Waivers

An article in today's edition of Times of India grabbed my attention. The article "Tax waived on gratis WC tickets", stated that a waiver of entertainment duty was granted by the Maharashtra state on complimentary World Cup tickets given to the cricket clubs and associations. This when the cricket clubs are extremely rich and the state in dire financial straits. Welcome to the Indian Cricket Tamasha 2011 !!!

The state's rationale is that complimentary tickets don't have an entrance fee component and since there is no entrance fee, the entertainment duty also cannot be charged. I definitely did not get this argument. It does not seem logical; in the first place why is there no entrance fee for complimentary tickets? So a privileged few not only get these tickets without standing in line for hours but also avoid paying fees and tax. They get to have their cake and eat it too!

View this in the light of the scene in Bangalore a couple of days ago where scores of people stood in line for hours for 7000 tickets available at the counters. Also note another article in the same newspaper stating that the cost of renovation of the Wankhede Stadium today stands at nearly Rs.300 crore.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tri Valley university scam

There are quite a few universities like Tri Valley in the United States, established solely to make money by providing student visas to non-immigrants. Some of these so called universities offer master degrees and some only have short-term courses in technology, English language, QuickBook training, etc. The ones offering short-term courses are more like visa shops for non-immigrants.
During our time in the US, I was exposed to some of the workings of this system, if you can call it that.

What brought about the emergence of this excuse of an institute/university? My take....

For a lot of people from our country, US continues to be the dream land, the ultimate place to be in. A lot of children are groomed to choose engineering or such courses of study in a bid to ensure their passage to the US. Right from the time when the child is in school, the parents chart an education path to lead to an entry into US. If the child misses the bus to study bachelors, then masters it is or there still remains the PHD. This kind of single-mindedness brings about a desperation in the child to remain in the US however he can, prompting some drastic measures at times.
Do keep in mind this is only the means of an entry to the land, lots more needs to be done to stick it out there.

Where do we lay the blame for a Tri-Valley like scam? the one who induced the need to stick it out in an alien country come what may or the one who saw the means to mint money out of this need or the one who tried to make it in the alien country or with a little twist ... the politicians who will not let India be US-like.