Tuesday, June 3, 2014

India's new HRD minister Smriti Irani

Smriti Irani is India's new HRD minister and she is not a graduate. Thats the news and everybody is talking about it. Now I am not a BJP guy but an aam aadmi. Still I guess that shouldnt stop me from being on her side.

Now, let me tell you that I am one who thinks that India's sports bodies should be run by sportspeople and not politicians but I wonder why when it comes to education I am ok with a rather less educated HRD minister.

Perhaps because I am a pedagogue by heart and I put learning above knowledge. I think education is everybody's business. Everybody learns...even an illiterate. Perhaps the learning of an illiterate is more experiential than the lettered. And mind it experiential learning is what everybody wants.

I am thinking of giving some absurd examples of Shatrughan Sinha being a succcessful Health Minister and Lalu being  a successful Railway minister...but let me refrain from that logic and follow the pedagogic line.

What India requires is not a Hoxbridge educated person as the Education Minister but a person who understands learning. We talk about 3 idiots and about how the education is not delivering what is wanted because we put something else in the forefront rather than learning. We are more interested in having the correct definition of a machine and less interested in the simplicity of what it is ( 3 idiots style). Similarly, we are more interested in a educationally defined HRD Minister rather than a learning oriented HRD Minister.

I think academic qualification is no merit for being a HRD minister as long as a minister understands the learning needs of the people of India. That ways Raju Hirani or the script writer of 3 idiots would be a better HRD minister. And why not...what we want in India is someone sensible to be at the helm of affairs at HRD...and who knows it is Smriti.

Also, let me make it clear that I am not against a highly educated HRD minister but for me the first criteria is the person being open to learning. As I say many a times, a gold medalist in Physics may not be the best physics teacher. A second class in Physics person may be a better teacher.

I am not a great fan of Modi but I happened to listen to one of his speeches long time back (one of the numerous he made in the run up to the elections)..I think at a college in Delhi. And he reiterated that he would like to create the best teachers so that they can impact this country. Now if Smriti got that then I think a lot could be done in the HRD ministry because I am in for a strong teacher education oriented HRD ministry.

All the best Smriti.

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