There has been rampant criticism aimed at the Maharashtra government’s decision to elevate the legal drinking age from 18 to 25. While the government claims that this has been done to reduce alcohol consumption – which I don’t believe – much of the sardonic and loud-throated complaints ask why the young man or woman can be trusted to get married, vote for the country, procure a driving licence and join the army at 18 but have to wait 7 years more to take a drink. I believe that that is a superficial argument, one that contends only the temporal legality of the issue. Clearly, reducing consumption cannot be a valid reason to impose the limit because it is tied in directly with the cosmopolitanism of the city. In fact, there are some state governments that thrive on regulated sales of the elixir. I think the government is trying to ensure that the consumers are, more often than not, capable of behaving responsibly. As has been the traditional case, the end is appreciable and the means, not at all. Responsibility that is state-instituted cannot afford to target the individual directly but through means more widespread and accessible in the public eye.

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Why won’t the BCCI deploy the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS)? Does it believe that some essence of the game is violated by having the umpires umpired? In fact, if the influential cricket board is so reluctant to bring in the UDRS, shouldn’t it also do away with the third-umpire recourse that on-field umpires take? After all, it was instituted only in 1992 to reduce the chances of a wrong decision. If the board argues that the third-umpire comes into play only when the on-field umpire openly expresses doubt or the incapacity to judge a situation, then is the refusal to deploy the UDRS an indication of a willingness to let the game depend on the self-confidence of the umpires? It’s necessary to understand the UDRS as being an adage to the decision-making system as such, and that its deployment shouldn’t betoken exclusive policies; instead, it should be subjugated to the same policy perspectives as the current third-umpiring fixture is.

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Does education have any provisions for students to reinterpret boredom or the more pertinent “free time” as a chance to effect change? Because, the way I see it, what young people do when they have time to spare is look for those resources that will aid them in effectively biding it. Instead of enforcing upon students the importance of innovation and then expecting them to voluntarily act on it, wouldn’t it be better to integrate provisions to mechanize efficiency and innovative departures? As result of this, education becomes decentralized and empowers the student to reintegrate the concepts being taught in the classroom with everyday tasks by way of organizational changes. For four years between when I was 13 and when I was 17, I interpreted education as anything that happened between 8 AM and 4 PM. In the young student’s mind, this discretization needs to be deconstructed and reassembled as a contiguous process.

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I’m a compulsive autodidact and whatever I teach myself, I teach myself in phases. Since the start of this year, it has been geopolitics and political philosophy, and to that end, Samuel. P Huntington’s Political Order In Changing Societies has been an invaluable investment. Here’s a quote I like:

“What’s good for General Motors is good for the country” contains at least a partial truth. “What’s good for the Presidency is good for the country”, however, contains more truth. Ask any reasonably informed group of Americans to the identify the five best presidents and the five worst presidents. Then ask them to identify the five strongest presidents and the five weakest presidents. If the identification of strength with goodness and weakness with badness is not 100 per cent, it will almost certainly not be less than 80 per cent. Those presidents – Jefferson, Lincoln, the Roosevelts, Wilson – who expanded the powers of their office are hailed as the beneficent promoters of the public welfare and national interest. Those presidents, such as Buchanan, Grant, Harding, who failed the defend the power of their institution against other groups are also thought to have done less good for the country.

Institution interest coincides with public interest. The power of the presidency is identified with the good of the polity.

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Being an engineer or a doctor in India is more valuable (in terms of remuneration and job security) than being a social scientist or a chartered accountant: essentially, the country’s needs are met, which provides for the value of the qualification. However, in recent times, a growing investment in the education sector has resulted in the rapid expansion of the industry – corroborated further by the developing infrastructure – to the point of India possessing a superabundant supply of scholars but a lack of skilled labour. Students, with the opportunity to study anything and be valued for it because of the opening up of markets and foreign direct investment (FDI) becoming more prevalent than before, are pursuing the option while the nation stands witness to a decrease in the amount of skilled labour it has invested in the development of. Therefore, the process of modernization in an “open” world becomes more arduous than in a world that does not permit global repercussions for local decisions. Does this necessitate a shift in the target of policy-making, i.e. investment away from education and toward employment? Production has shot through the roof. It is, after all, time to retain.

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