Sunday, November 12, 2017

Last Emperor of China and Mughal Empire of India

I always recommend people to see "Last Emperor" movie about Pu Yi, who was the last emperor of China. His rule was only in name and restricted to only the Imperial Palace (Forbidden City). The movie won nine Academy Awards including that for best picture and best director in 1987. 
It depicts how Britishers manipulated the emperors of China in late 19th and early 20th century. The plight of an emperor restricted to just the palace, not allowed to meet the people or event to see them is poignantly depicted. It evoked an eerie comparison with our history of 1750-1857, during the twilight of the receding control of the Mughal Empire in India. Last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was also confined to his palace (Lal Qila).  His rule was only in name and its jurisdiction was limited to only the Lal Qila. The broader narrative of the two last emperors needs to be compared. Pu Yi and Bahadur shah zafar were both captives of their palaces. Both may have wanted to do some thing for their nations but were raised singularly unequipped to take over the emerging challenges. China was the action replay of subduing several proud nations with illustrious history including that of India. Bahadur Shah Zafar met with an ignominious death in exile in late 19th century. 
Yearning to do something but utterly powerless. How British colonial masters destroyed the pride of nations subjugated by them.   
However, Pu Yi's end came in communist China. A nation trying to come to terms with its colonial subjugation in a violent revolutionary reaction. Eventually, the identity created by the communist china morphed into a resurgent China. Now we see China has bounced back! Is there any future for Muslims in India to bounce back?

I wish someone can produce a similar movie on Last Mughal Emperor. "Last Emperor" is one of the most beautifully produced epic.  It is a must see to appreciate how the ethos is captured, highlighted by its exquisitely haunting music score. . It is worth the investment of time and effort in absorbing the  great expanse of history of a great nation; Last days of the imperial china under British with intense military politics under which the control is being fought between British and Japanese super powers, and then reasserting itself into a communist China. It has a wonderful characteristic performance of Peter O'Toole, of none other than "Lawrence of Arabia" fame. He plays a role of a tutor that is similar, but not as prominent, as the one played by TE Lawrence in the fall of the Ottomon Empire.  Peter O'Toole plays Reginald Johnston, who was the tutor of child king, and movie is based on his memoirs in his book. 
For appreciation the movie must be watched with respect and without disturbance, in a quiet time and place. I watched it when it was released at Barton Creek Mall of Austin Texas with Imran Baqai,  Nasir Rahman Khan,  and others. 
Has seen it several times since with my children.
An experience that you will never forget.


  1. Remembering the last Mughal emperor

See also: 

Why I am a Faculty Member

Why I am a faculty member:
(1) Meeting a student who graduated a long time ago and who comes over and tries to make me recall  him and his batch. Then reminds me of one of my lesson that he remembers to this day and that has changed his life.  This is the great fulfilling experience that can never be gotten elsewhere.
(2) Company of youth keeps me focused on future and gives me hope for the future. Reason I am an optimist.
(3)Aspirations of youth keep me young as I help them achieve their visions. Gives energy
(4) Youth keeps teaching me new things, dealing with new ideas, and how to innovate.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Narratives Designed to Dishonor Popular Choice and Support Neo-Colonialism

There are several narratives that have been fed to the masses to serve the interests of neocolonialism in developing countries. Neocolonialism enables the super-powers to maintain their hegemony on developing countries during the post-colonial world through dictatorships and kingship. The narratives are crafted to serve the political and economic interests of super-powers through exploitation of  resources and people of developing countries.  Primary objective of these narratives is to rob the power of decision making from the people, and to stultify the evolution of democratic aspirations and to stop the growth of self-governing and self-improving institutions. These narratives help in  perpetually destabilizing the developing countries   by supporting dictators, kings, or autocrats, and creating turmoil through civil strife or wars,  and installing weak unrepresentative heads of governments. These meta-narratives enable the neo-colonial unelected elites to maintain their hegemony on the resources of the country in the service of the super powers. Here is a list of 10 top major Neo-colonialism Supporting Narratives that have promoted political instability, rule of dictators and un-elected elites in Pakistan since independence and have stultified democratic evolution: 
Colonialism: White master exploited the poor people.
Neo-colonialism: White Master + Black Master together exploit the poor people.

  1. Majority of People are illiterate, therefore, democracy is not suitable for Pakistan. 
  2. All politicians are corrupt. 
    • This narrative is supported by a sub-narrative that Pakistan's problems can be "solved by shooting all the corrupt".
    • Such a sweeping generalization is not only contrary to truth, but, also hides a sinister narrative which states that dictatorial governments are angel-clean. It also suggests that there is no corruption in state and government institutions such as courts and military enterprises. 
    • All of these narratives can only be verified through transparent  across the board accountability through  uniform open trial of politicians,  generals,  judges, and bureaucrats with no holy cows. 
    • The narrative implies that choice of Pakistani people is bad. It ignores that the process through which political parties develop and filter the choice of leaders as they rise from ranks to the top leadership role is stultified by dictatorships that ban politics and is also stultified by the ever present threat of impending dictatorship during civilian rule. 
    • Stultified politics resulting from political engineering of polls and political leaders had been the history  since independence.  
    • See also: Why no PM of Pakistan has ever completed his/her tenure? 
  3. Jinnah was secular (ref 11th Aug speech) and his actual message has been distorted by our history books. 
    • There are several sub-narratives to this narrative. These are (i) establishment of Pakistan was a British conspiracy, (ii) Two-nation theory is fake history
    • This narrative is responsible for discrediting the existence of Pakistan itself. This narrative keeps Pakistan perpetually destabilized as its destiny remains under question. The constitution of Pakistan can never get the sanctity and loyalty in the presence of this narrative. 
    • This narrative tries to sweep under the carpet the fact that Pakistan was formed by the votes of the people in 1946. The slogans and campaign of that time are recorded and preserved in papers. However, this fact is totally ignored in the service of attacking the existence of Pakistan. 
    • See also: Blaming the Founding Fathers for Our Mistakes: Case of Pakistan
  4. Pakistan cannot progress without a strong decisive leader. Pakistan will breakup in the absence of a strong dictator. 
  5.  Politicians are either traitors or have links to enemy countries.  All Pakistani problems are because of politicians. 
  6. Mullah lobby had been determining the fate of Pakistan. 
    • Heads of governments and major ministries have not been mullahs. However, the objective of this narrative is to discredit the popular aspirations of people and prop the unelected elites. 
    • This narrative is a defensive ploy to again ignore the aspirations of the people during the 1946 elections. 
    • See also: SC Interpretation of Sadiq and Ameen in Disqualification of PM Nawaz Sharif

Following is the operational result of these narratives:
  • Castigation of "all" civilians as bloody corrupt or traitor
  • Eulogizing of dictators as panacea, despite decades of failures.
  • Condoning of law breakers and constitution breakers
  • Perpetual pandering to IMF, World Bank, USaid,...
As can be seen from the above analysis of narratives that the objectives of "neo-colonialism" handlers of 3rd world countries like Pakistan and Egypt, Iraq, Syria, BD, Sudan, Nigeria, Algeria,.... had always been the following:
1. Perpetual instability
2. Dependence on foreign war aid n arms
3. Rule of the elites, for the elites, by the elites
4. Disdain of elected representatives
5. Fear of democracy and rule of constitution and law
6. Love for single-call-UTurn dictatorships

See Also:

Recollection of an Unforgettable Recitation of Majaz's Nazr-e-Aligarh

Today on Facebook I saw a video of some old students of Aligarh University reciting the official anthem in New York with a great deal of energy and lilt. This brought a recollection of a day in 1990s when I was dusting the bookshelf of my father Syed Ahsan Hyder and picked "Aahang", a collection of poetry by Majaz.  My father was an aligarian of 1930s, and a contemporary of Majaz, who also used to frequent our family gatherings at Masood Manzil, hostel of our family in Aligarh, where several of my father's cousins and relatives used to stay and study at Aligarh University. My father picked up the book, took out the poem  "نذر علی گڑھ"  and started reciting it in such a beautiful manner that its rhythm and fondness still resonates in my mind. He would sometimes do this in times when he was in "vacant and pensive mood". I can still see him vividly deriving so much pleasure  from the recitation. The recitation was full of fondness of memories of an era long gone, a time well spent, friendships often recounted. I could see this recollection bringing to him that "bliss of solitude" which is associated with time and experiences associated with cherished memories. To me this recollection fills my heart with pleasure and sways with the emotions and aspirations and ethos of that time. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

How to Create Love for Poetry: A Tribute to Sir Ghalib Raza of ICB

Over the last 25 years as I desperately try to connect my students with the joy of reading and poetry, at universities and at schools , I realize the worth  of what Sir Ghalib Raza was achieving in my school days. He was making us "feel" the poetry, not "understand" it. Poetry is meant for "feeling" the emotions which are being expressed by the poet. You kill the poetry by trying to "explain" it. This is the story of how Sir Ghalib Raza imbued love of poetry in me and other students. He would not make us labor with "explanations"  but would rather focus on evoking the "feelings". He knew that once a loving association is developed, understanding will follow naturally in good time. He would enjoy reading the poetry immersed in the emotions being expressed. He loved poetry and he infected us with that love.  Thank you, Sir Ghalib Raza, for cultivating in me this love for poetry and literature.
My association with Sir Ghalib Raza started on the wrong foot. I was in class 8th at Islamabad Model School for Boys (now ICB), in G-6/3, adjacent to the famous Covered Bazar (which was razed a few years ago). It was first or second week of the new term. When Sir Ghalib Raza entered the class most of the students were talking to each other. He may have noticed some disturbance in the class, and he thought that I was the one making it, and the first thing he did was to come and slap me. I used to be a really quiet student at that time; always very careful not to get on the wrong side of any teacher. This  was my first time in life being slapped, and I cried. When I reached home, I was still disturbed and shared my perplexing experience with my mother. My mother arranged a meeting at the school a few days later. She met with Sir Ghalib Raza, and discussed the issue. I think the matter was resolved amicably and Sir Ghalib Raza's attitude towards me changed drastically. Of course, I never gave him an opportunity to be cross with me ever again. He would later on always call me as Irfan-e-Hyder, and I think he was the only one who called me with this twist that actually improved the meaning of my name.
I can still recall his athletic built, his fair complexion, his hazel, brownish-green eyes. He was among the smartest of the teachers at the school, looking specially dashing in his Pakistan flag color blazer with Pakistan emblem indicating his participation in an international event where he had represented Pakistan. We could see him in the morning conducting fitness exercises for the male and female teachers. Exercises for teachers included jogging, stretching, warm up, etc. I learned to copy many of these movements during my early morning exercise regime at my home, and still seem to repeat these movements when I exercise. Several year later, I would learn of his romantic, colorful and adventurous side of his handsome personality.

From that 1975-76 session, I recall his love for Urdu poetry. He seemed to have in his memory immense poetry related to every conceivable situation which he could recall effortlessly. His recitation was correct,  balanced and amazingly wonderful and without accent. I still recall his explanations of poems and "ghazals". They were less about pedantic details, critical appreciation of the style, or focusing on form or measuring the meter. They were more about beautiful and emotional evocations with copious references to  excerpts from romantic poetic works emphasizing a relevant theme.

I recall vividly three of his recitations in class that were delivered in his distinctive style. First one is from the ghazal of none other than the most romantic of Urdu poets, Shair-e-Rumaan, Akhtar Shirani: 
mai aarzo-e-jaaN likhon , ya Jan-e-aarzo 
tu he bata day , naz say emaan-e-aarzo 

I later discovered its beautifully fluent rendition by Munawwar Sultana. Whenever, I hear the song, I can see Mr Ghalib Raza reciting it teht-ul-lafz.

The second piece was no wonder, again from Akhtar Shirani:
tā ḳhuld-e-barīñ le chal! 
ai ishq kahīñ le chal! 

sansār ke us paar ik is tarah kī bastī ho 
jo sadiyoñ se insāñ kī sūrat ko tarastī ho 
aur jis ke nazāroñ par tanhā.ī barastī ho ​

I now come to his wonderful rendition of a  poem of which only two verses had remained stuck in my mind for the last over four decades, I vaguely remembered that the poet was Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi. The two beautiful ashaar were:
Maang ki tarh teRhi sayyaarain, teRhi leekhoan say kutnay na paaen
mein in chatanoan peh bethi tujh ko dohay sunaati rahoon gi;
The poem related to a young wife looking at her husband tilling the soil of the fields as she carried the lunch to him at mid day, and waiting for him to join her on a rock nearby. The way Sir Ghalib Raza recited the poem deeply immersed in the scenery and engrossed in the imagery depicted in this poem is a treat for me till this day. I can visualize him reciting the poem each time I think about that class session way back over 4 decades ago in 1975. I can see his face red with emotions. I can see him in his trance actually living the situation of that young wife of the tiller singing for her husband. In that moment his emotions and feelings were felt by us in a transmission that connected him to the hearts of all the students. I can still visualize him standing there in front of the class reciting the poem. I don't think I understood at that time all the meanings of the verses or the depth of emotions and messages. But I experienced the feelings that he was feeling and expressing in his ecstasy. In that moment, I fell in love with poetry. I enjoyed it then and I enjoy that experience now whenever I think about it.

I had been searching for that poem for a long time. My Sargodha Board Urdu textbook of 1976 is long gone and forgotten except the couple of ashaar that I found stuck in my mind. Today I had the great fortune of having Mr Hammad Rasheed, a lover of literature and poetry, some how pulled out the poem from Internet. It is actually by Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi:
 تھپکی : ایک کسان عورت کا اپنے شوہر سے خطاب 
I was waiting for this information. I am now completing this post which had been lingering in my draft folder for years. Thank you Hammad Rasheed Sb. for reconnecting me with the poem and that experience. The context of the two couplets that had been stuck in my mind for so many decades are now again much clearer, and what a pleasure it is to remember and recall that experience of his rendition:
جھٹپٹے تک ابھی ہاتھ تیرے
ہل کی ہتھی سے ہٹنے نہ پائیں
مانگ کی طرح سیدھی سیاریں
ٹیڑھی لکیروں سے کَٹنے نہ پائیں

میں یہاں اِں چٹانوں پہ بیٹھی
تُجھ کو دوھے سُناتی رھوں گی
اپنی آواز کی تھپکیوں سے
ہاتھ تیرا بٹاتی رھوں گی
The full poem is copied at the end of this post to highlight how poems highlighting the feelings and emotions should be used for kindling love of reading and poetry rather than dry analysis and dead erudition.
Mr Salman Siddiqui, a renowned academic, often says that if you want to make people hate poetry ask them to explain the poem or paraphrase it or explain the style, or explain the context. Poetry is not about context or analysis. Poetry is about emotions and feelings. 

I think this is so true. Our curriculum and text books prefer explanation of poetry over feelings and intellectual analysis over heart felt emotions. Instead of developing interest in poetry,  the analytical approach of critics teach us to hate all those poets whose life events we were forced to memorize and "tarz e kalam" that was thrust down our throats. We could not understand those sentences and therefore hated pedantic explaining of details that we found in no way connected with the emotions that the poet was actually feeling, experiencing and then expressing. No wonder most of us hate poetry to an extent that we have stopped enjoying it and have even started hating Urdu itself. 
Later I learned about his romantic life that was full of adventure. He had passion and was romantic. As someone said: Poetry is an infectious disease.  It can not be taught.  It can only be caught.  And it can only be caught by someone who already has the disease. 


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Why Dictator Generals are Weaker than Civilians Rulers in Withstanding External Pressure

There is a widespread "myth" that what Pakistan needs is a "strong leader" (a savior on horseback) who will come and conquer all our issues and problems in no time. There is a mythical belief that Pakistan is stronger in withstanding external challenges and pressures when ruled by military dictators than when it is ruled by the civilians. This post describes a tale of two encounters that belies this myth. First is the situation arising from India's nuclear explosions in 1998 when a civilian was the prime minister and the second is the situation arising after 9-11 when a dictator was in power.
As can be seen from the comparison of the two situations, a civilian PM was better able to withstand the US pressure than a military dictator who made a u-turn on a single call for Assistant Secretary of State. Whereas a civilian PM did not buckle under intense international and US pressure, a military dictator easily submitted to all the demands in no time. Analysis of these two situations can help us in understanding why neo-colonialism requires dictators and monarchs in developing countries; rulers who can easily be brow beaten into submission. Neo-colonial demands are difficult to achieve in a civilian democratic (even a sham) dispensation. Developing a democratic consensus among large diverse populations is messy and takes a lot of time. However, dictators provide an easy way out for getting the things done by the powers playing the great game.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Doctrine of Necessity from CJ Munir to Judge Khosa: Role of Judiciary in the Service of Neocolonialism

Doctrine of Necessity ver 2.0: SC Judge Khosa (2017) "To do a great right, do a little wrong"!
Doctrine of Necessity ver 1.0: SC CJ Munir (1954) "Necessity makes lawful that which is unlawful".

Doctrine of Necessity Ver 1.0: During 63 years from 1954 to 2016 had sent home 15 prime ministers, imposed 4 martial laws, and slapped on Pakistanis dictatorial rule of over 35+ years in the service of neo-colonialism which has been detailed in my post on Costs of Justice Munir's Doctrine of Necessity: 4 Martial Laws and 35 years of dictatorships.

Doctrine of Necessity ver 2.0: As per the comments of Judge Khosa and Judge Ejaz Afzal would be remembered for decades and centuries made during the hearing of Panama Case Judgement. The questions are (1) How many PMs will it depose? (2) How many martial laws will it germinate? (3) How many years of dictatorial reign will it perpetuate???

Parallel of Judge Khosa's Point of View with CJ Munir's Doctrine of Necessity 

  • Need for a "Great Right" is always an immediate "Necessity". In a developing country fighting perpetually for its survival and always going from one life threatening emergency to another, savior's on horseback aided by creative judges will always find a "necessity" to serve a "great right". 
  • If necessity can turn "unlawful into lawful", then a "little wrong" can always be committed for obtaining a "great right"!
  • What quantifiable measure can determine some "necessity" as "unavoidable" and what measurement can turn some "right" into a "great" right?
  • Who determines "necessity" and who determines "great right" is a fundamental question? Should a few un-elected judges decide what is the "necessity" and what is the "great right"?
  • Is deciding in favor of "wrong" and "unlawful"    the prerogative of the judiciary? Is serving a "great right" and "necessity" when it is neither constitutional nor lawful their mandate?
  • Judges should strictly decide on the basis of law and constitution by remaining strictly within it's bounds. Changing a constitution is always the right of the people. However, neocolonialism dictates that this right should never be given to the people to decide. It should always be usurped through military Dictators or their handmaiden judiciary (see details below).
  • The dominant view of neocolonialism is that people are unworthy of deciding about what is right and what is wrong. What is necessity and what is not. This right has to be decided by the legacy of the colonial raj as enshrined in the unelected elites and powers of the status quo. Our history tells us about this un-holy alliance of the judiciary, military and the educated elites in disenfranchising the people. 
  • Doctrine of necessity and the hidden status quo powers have been making this decision of deposing our elected prime-ministers. None of the elected prime ministers have been allowed to complete their term. See my post: Why no PM of Pakistan has ever completed his/her tenure?
  • Destiny of Neo-colonial Pakistan appears to be a series of governments where the hidden status quo forces of neocolonialism dictate the decisions either as a first umpire or the second umpire or the third umpire. Even in an apparent civilian rule, it all depends upon the third umpire lifting his finger to fold up the setup. The 3rd umpire famosly did not lift the finger in 2014 despite Imran Khan waiting for it on the container [1,2,3], but eventually did in 2017 through their old and trusted allies, the judiciary.  

neo-colonialism or neo-imperialism is the practice of using capitalism, globalization and cultural imperialism to influence a developing country in lieu of direct military control (imperialism) or indirect political control (hegemony). It was coined by Kwame Nkrumah in the context of African countries undergoing decolonization in the 1960s. 

In Neo-Colonialism, the Last Stage of Imperialism, Kwame Nkrumah wrote:

In place of colonialism, as the main instrument of imperialism, we have today neo-colonialism . . . [which] like colonialism, is an attempt to export the social conflicts of the capitalist countries. . . .

The result of neo-colonialism is that foreign capital is used for the exploitation rather than for the development of the less developed parts of the world. Investment, under neo-colonialism, increases, rather than decreases, the gap between the rich and the poor countries of the world. The struggle against neo-colonialism is not aimed at excluding the capital of the developed world from operating in less developed countries. It is aimed at preventing the financial power of the developed countries being used in such a way as to impoverish the less developed.[5]

To Do a Great Right, Do a Little Wrong

Judge Khosa quoting Christopher Marlowe and then Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice admits that his judgement is like Bassanio to Portia saying "To do a great right, do a little wrong”! Pp 169-170 from April 20, 2017 SC Judgement is reproduced below:
[Begin Excerpt]
The precedent to be set by this Court through the present petitions should in fact be a warning to all those rulers who try to subjugate all the organs of power, enslave the institutions of accountability and then in a false sense of security and invincibility proclaim as Christopher Marlowe’s ‘Tamburlaine’ did by boasting that

“I hold the Fates bound fast in iron chains,
And with my hand turn Fortune's wheel about,
And sooner shall the sun fall from his sphere
Than Tamburlaine be slain or overcome.”

While dwelling on the subject of setting a dangerous precedent by a court of law I am also reminded of the old bard William Shakespeare. The power of literature for commenting upon a reality through the medium of fiction is fascinating and an amazing example of the same is the following part of Shakespeare’s play Merchant of Venice which, though written hundreds of years ago in foreign climes, appears to have been written for nothing but the present case being handled by us in a different millennium and in a different continent. While trying to avoid execution of an
oppressive judicial decree regarding payment of money by another Bassanio beseeched the Duke as follows:
“Yes, here I tender it for him in the court;
Yea, twice the sum: if that will not suffice,
I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart:
If this will not suffice, it must appear
That malice bears down truth. And I beseech you,
Wrest once the law to your authority:
To do a great right, do a little wrong,
And curb this cruel devil of his will.” 
which imploring was immediately retorted by Portia in the following strong words:
“It must not be; there is no power in Venice
Can alter a decree established:
'Twill be recorded for a precedent,
And many an error by the same example
Will rush into the state: it cannot be.”
and then what happened to that decree is another story. The punch lines in the above mentioned excerpt appear to be “Wrest once the law to your authority: To do a great right, do a little wrong”.  
Fortunately for me, there is no wresting the law to me authority and no little wrong is to be done by me to do a great right in the matter of issuing a declaration against respondent No. 1 because the original jurisdiction of this Court under Article 184(3)........
[End Excerpt]

See Other Posts on Panama Case Judgement:  

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Myth: Government Universities Cost Less than Private Universities

This post explores the myth that Public Universities Cost Lower than Private Universities. I think the average cost per student per year of a public university is much more than that of a private university. Given below is a preliminary analysis. A more detailed analysis is required.

2005-2006 Analysis of Public sector universities indicates that:
  • HEC funding per student (2005-6) ~ Rs 75 k 
  • Additional fees paid per year per student
    • Typical fee: ~ 25 k (For universities like KU) 
    • Exorbitantly: ~ 150 k (IBA, NUST) 
  • Total Average cost per year = 100k – 225k 
  • Land acquisition and capital investment through PC-1s and other external funds would be extra and would amount to hundred of millions of rupees of funding per year to each public sector university.
Private Sector HEIs in 2005-06 in Karachi were typically costing a student less than Rs. 100 k. Mind you these universities took not a single penny from the tax money collected from the poor!

In 2012, the average cost per student per year had climbed up for many public sector universities to over Rs. 200k. Whereas, many private sector universities in Karachi had fees around half. Remember, this would include operational costs as well as capital costs. Whereas the Rs.200k per student per year operational
costs of public sector universities does not include capital and development costs, which is an additional tab to be picked up by the poor taxpayers.

According to the budget documents Rs 79.5 billion has also been earmarked for Higher Education Commission (HEC) including Rs 21.5 billion under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) and Rs 58 billion on account of current expenditure, showing an increase of 13 percent as compared to Rs 51 billion earmarked for 2015-16. [1]

The amount comes to around Rs 200k per student for on-campus students of government universities. Please note that this does not include the land grants and other allocations. This is directly from the federal budget.

The per student cost of a government university must also include the cost of all the officials of all the ministries responsible for making the government universities work. This cost should also include:
  1. Cost of HEC personnel, administration, staff and operational costs responsible for calculating, approving, sanctioning, monitoring of any funding requirements for the government universities.
  2. Cost of all the accreditation bodies for Engineering (PEC), Business (NBAEC), Computer Science etc. I think currently there are over ten such bodies and many others are in the process of formation. Their operational costs must be computed and distributed over the public universities. This function in US and other countries is typically performed by independent professional bodies with little or no tax money involved. 
  3. Cost of Ministry of Finance, AGPR, Planning Commission and other ministries responsible for disbursements of operational budgets, pensions, sanctioning and monitoring of PC-1s and their funds, decision making etc. 
  4. Cost of provincial departments and Governor secretariat's responsible for sanctioning of leaves, appointments, projects planning etc. 
  5. Cost of all the capital investments through land allocations, grants, funds through other government agencies. 
  6. Cost of all the USAID and development funds loans and advances along with their interest payments
You add up all these costs and you will find out that the total cost per student per year, can come out to be at least ten times the per student cost of the private universities. Please note once again the private universities are not using the tax money of the poor people.

Now the justification of all these costs is on the basis of social equality and equal opportunity for the poor people of Pakistan. There are two major arguments:
  1. There are many public universities whose fees are much more than several private universities. This should not be allowed. Example, IBA's cost is Rs 150k per semester which is much more than most private sector universities. 
  2. Why can't the government calculate all the money that it is spending on the public universities divide it by the number of poor students that it wants to support and give that as a hardship scholarship vouchers to the poor students. Let the poor students shop around for a university that would let them study with that voucher. I think this may be a more equitable distribution of money. It would then be channeled to the more efficient universities who can give the best quality for the least amount of money. This is how the market dynamics play out. 

[1] Report

This write-up is an extended rehash of the ideas presented in a talk on "Five Major Myths of Higher Education" made at the CIO Conference, March 2009 at Sheraton, Karachi. See another link

Presentation originally made at CIO Conference, March 2009 at Sheraton, Karachi.
The links and write-up below is an extended rehash of those thoughts:

5 Myths of Higher Education in Pakistan

  • Presentation originally made at CIO Conference, March 2009 at Sheraton, Karachi.
  • The links and write-up below is an extended rehash of those thoughts:
Myth #1: Our backwardness is because we lag behind in Science and Technology
Myth #2: There is mushrooming of Higher Education Institutions in Pakistan
Myth #3: Impact Factor research measures real impact
Myth#4: Public universities cost lower than private universities 
Myth#5: Bigger infrastructure (land, building, equipment) means better education

Sunday, September 3, 2017

How Readers are Created. Ecosystem that Produces Readers

How can we create readers and an ecosystem where readers can thrive. How do we make reading a contagious disease when our educational institutions from schools to universities have become mass producers of functional illiterates [1]. Universities complain that they are getting intake that has studied English for 12 years but have no reading comprehension and no expression. The employers are complaining that graduates coming out of the universities can not even write a single page of correct English. This is a dismal situation. How come we are producing functional Illiterates who are defined as people who know how to read but are not readers, and those who know how to write but are not writers! How can we reverse this?

Friday, September 1, 2017

How Literature Review of a PhD Dissertation Presents the State of the Art: Synthesis vs Listing

Quality of literature review is what majorly differentiates a PhD Thesis from an MS Thesis. The qualitative difference is in the digestion and synthesis of the existing work into a framework on which your research contribution and sequence can stand. This synthesis of existing work in the topic area should itself be worthy of a publication. Digestion of the existing papers is represented by a list of factors or parameters that you have identified on which you can compare and and contrast the existing literature. Not all parameters are relevant to all the papers. Hence, parameters are separated into different subsets. For each subset, a table can be constructed through which papers relevant to the subset parameters can be compared and contrasted. Analysis of these parameters provide you with the explanation of the gap or the problem area which is then articulated in the form of a problem statement.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Facebook Encourages Unethical Behavior: Metaphysics of Social life based on Lies, Ignorance, Bigotry

Why social media has become the primary source of fake news. Why people in social media communities are likely to become extremists, bigoted, and unlikely to hear or see content that is against their beliefs. Technology is not value neutral. It comes with its own baggage of values. Facebook, Whatsapp, twitter have enabled the technology that gives voice to the baser instincts of humans. It has provided a platform for mass dissemination of lies, fake news, slander, false allegations, lampooning, extremism and bigotry by removing the social costs of these vices. It has disconnected the responsibility of the people from their speech and behavior. Identities of person who have been complicit in the generation of fake news and slander are now hidden. People who started the rumor are no longer easy to identify, trace and track. There is a need to do research on the metaphysics of social media: Lifestyle of social media determines its own metaphysics, which creates its own intentions and generates its knowledge as described in the post  From Lifestyles to Metaphysics

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How Schools Teach Students to Hate Reading: Mass Creation of Non-Readers

Schools are producing graduates who know how to read but are not readers. They have become non-readers (functional illiterates) because the schools have taught them to hate reading! Schools typically use a curriculum and methodology that consists of senseless and meaningless worksheets and exercises which the students are forced to do repeatedly, continuously and ad-nauseam. And, when they resist, they are punished with F-grades, labeling and humiliation. These meaningless tasks and exercises and their resulting punishments teaches the students to hate reading and convinces them that ALL reading is so tedious, so boring, so frightful and accompanied with so much punishment that it is inconceivable that reading can ever be pleasure and fun. This is how we are producing non-readers, who believe that reading books is unreal, irrelevant, and disconnected with the challenges of life.