onlineThe government of Maharashtra’s experiments with technology — ostensibly to improve systems — seem to be a series of disasters as far as one can tell. What should be a relatively simple procedure of progressing from the SSC to the HSC stage has instead mutated into a monster that is causing heartburn to innocent students, their parents and educational institutions. Online admissions were sold as the one-cure solution to all the earlier problems. Instead, the online process has turned into the problem itself. Launched with much hype at the hands of Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in the presence State Education Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, the online admission system has turned out to be an online fiasco. Courtesy, the system today almost 10,000 students are floundering without admission to any college at all. The lapse lies in the muddled thinking that online admissions would somehow provide all the answers. As they say in the technological universe — garbage in, garbage out. When the people behind the entire system apply no imagination and simply rely on software, well, these are the results. Much as we live in a cyber world, we must still accept that technology is but a tool. As this admissions process has shown, technology has not been able to give Mumbai’s students what they want or need: the loss of human interface may in fact has cost some of them very dearly, in education terms. Those left out by the online system now have no option but to run from college pillar to college post, begging for admission. Education gets maximum lip service from both our nation’s thinkers and from a few savvy politicians. However, our track record and ground reality shows that ad hoc decisions, ill-formed thinking and bad planning are all sending us into a downward spiral. What has happened in Mumbai could well be replicated in Maharashtra next year and may easily happen anywhere in India as well. In many aspects of life, it is government apathy which creates problems. Here it is government interference. Rather than leave the matter to experts and educationists, bureaucrats and politicians have interfered at every possible step. Now someone has to sort out the mess they have created because the state’s one-cure solution to all admission problems – “the much hyped online system” has become a problem itself. Sana Warsia – NMTV News.

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