Wednesday December 12, 2018

Indigenous schooling panacea for India’s developmental woes

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By Dr. Kallol Guha

The overall development of any nation, community or group depends not on their physical infrastructure or on the volume of foreign investment pouring into their midst, but on how their indigenous schooling has culturally conditioned their human resources to take part in a sustainable and inclusive growth of their nation and themselves.

Political parties and leaders frequently speak of vikas or ‘development’ even as they chase public offices for themselves and even their children as a lucrative career option. They vow to bring in vikas if they are elected to the chair, but smartly bypass any discussion on why this vikas eluded the nation over the past 68 years.

These politicians or their affiliated parties don’t talk about the core strategy of national development- conditioning the quality of human resource through a thoroughly indigenous schooling system, rather than imitating the foreign schooling process which would marginalize one’s own culture and make people lose all sense of self-respect.

This is exactly what went wrong in India. It is by no means impossible that such an approach towards development does in fact stretch the imagination of certain politicians who are simply not matured enough, intellectually or culturally, to grasp the human significance in the developmental process.

A more likely factor is could be that many politicians deliberately ignore the factor of human-development in national development because their loyalty is towards the Anglo-American Axis power ever since 1947.

Many politicians are simply the caretakers of the foreign interest in India.

One must realize, it was the transfer of power from the colonial masters to their brokers which is termed as ‘independence’. This ‘independence’ is different from gaining freedom through mass struggle which is what Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad tried to do.

It is amusing to conjecture what happens to the inner fabric of a nation where the history of independence is systematically falsified.

Heroes of freedom struggle are branded as terrorists or are phased out with silence. Martyrs are ignored and marginalized. The brokers of power-transfer from foreign occupation to their agents (the Mir Zafars of today) control national administration.

Corruption, underdevelopment, degradation of human resources and cultural erosion, have for all practical purposes made India an appendage of the West or a client state of the Anglo-American axis. The situation in India now is the most natural outcome of a system based on lies and deception.

As long as India is wrapped up in the Anglo-American Axis tentacles and resources worth trillions are transferred to them (as was revealed during India Against Corruption Movement), local and international marketing forces of the Axis Power will continue to propagate India as the “largest Democracy” and brand it with “Freedom of Press”.

There is no sign of a truly effective government designed after the ideas of Azad Hind Fauz, emerging in the political scenario of India. If it does, the Axis power and their Indian clients– the Anglophonic press and a large section of the Anglophonic Indians– would be one of the first to oppose them.

India has had a long tradition of being ruled by minority foreign powers. After the Afghans, Persians, Turks and British, it is now the turn of the Anglophonic Indians to rule modern India. In this context, the 90 percent of Indians who are not Anglophonic have no chance of leading a dignified life through the development of their own language, culture, and heritage.

They can, at best, expect to survive on the left-overs of the Anglophonic ruling class, who in turn thrive on the legacy of their Anglo-American masters and call it ‘development’.

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Google Proposes Its First Urban Development Project

The current agreement leaves ownership of data issues for later shows that it wasn't properly drafted and means patents derived from the data will default to Google.

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Heated streets will melt ice and snow on contact. Sensors will monitor traffic and protect pedestrians. Driverless shuttles will carry people to their doors.

A unit of Google’s parent company Alphabet is proposing to turn a rundown part of Toronto’s waterfront into what may be the most wired community in history — to “fundamentally refine what urban life can be.”

Sidewalk Labs has partnered with a government agency known as Waterfront Toronto with plans to erect mid-rise apartments, offices, shops and a school on a 12-acre (4.9-hectare) site — a first step toward what it hopes will eventually be a 800-acre (325-hectare) development.

High-level interest is clear: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alphabet’s then-Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt appeared together to announce the plan in October.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

But some Canadians are rethinking the privacy implications of giving one of the most data-hungry companies on the planet the means to wire up everything from street lights to pavement. And some want the public to get a cut of the revenue from products developed using Canada’s largest city as an urban laboratory.

“The Waterfront Toronto executives and board are too dumb to realize they are getting played,” said former BlackBerry chief executive Jim Balsillie, a smartphone pioneer considered a national hero.

Complaints about the proposed development prompted Waterfront Toronto to re-do the agreement to ensure a greater role for the official agency, which represents city, provincial and federal governments.

So far the project is still in the embryonic stage. After consultations, the developers plan to present a formal master plan early next year.

Google
Trump Also Expands Google Criticism to Include Facebook, Twitter. VOA

Dan Doctoroff, the CEO of Sidewalk Labs, envisions features like pavement that lights up to warn pedestrians of approaching streetcars. Flexible heated enclosures — described as “raincoats” for buildings — will be deployed based on weather data during Toronto’s bitter winters. Robotic waste-sorting systems will detect when a garbage bin is full and remove it before raccoons descend.

“Those are great uses of data that can improve the quality of life of people,” he said. “That’s what we want to do.”

Sidewalk Labs promotional materials promise “a place that’s enhanced by digital technology and data, without giving up the privacy and security that everyone deserves.”

Doctoroff said the company isn’t looking to monetize people’s personal information in the way that Google does now with search information. He said the plan is to invent so-far-undefined products and services that Sidewalk Labs can market elsewhere.

“People automatically assume because of our relationship to Alphabet and Google that they will be treated one way or another. We have never said anything” about the data issue, he said. “To be honest people should give us some time. Be patient.”

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Google has collaborated with Getty images. Wikimedia Commons

But that wasn’t good enough for Julie Di Lorenzo, a prominent Toronto developer who resigned from the Waterfront Toronto board over the project. Di Lorenzo said data and what Google wants to do with it should be front and center in the discussions. She also believes the government agency has given the Google affiliate too much power over how the project develops.

“How can [Waterfront Toronto], a corporation established by three levels of democratically elected government, have shared values with a limited, for-profit company whose premise is embedded data collection?” Di Lorenzo asked.

Di Lorenzo asks who will own the autonomous vehicles. “Is the municipality maintaining the fleet or forcing you to share your vehicle?” She also asks if people who don’t want their data collected will be allowed to live there.

The concerns have intensified following a series of privacy scandals at Facebook and Google. A recent Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on iPhones and Android devices store location-tracking data even if you use privacy settings that are supposed to turn them off.

Google
The Alexa Echo Dot devices include the official Saint Louis University logo and are equipped with specific skills to provide information on local events and campus life. VOA

“It gives all of us pause,” Waterfront board chair Helen Burstyn acknowledged.

Bianca Wylie, an advocate of open government, said it remains deeply troubling that Sidewalk Labs still hasn’t said who will own data produced by the project or how it will be monetized. Google is here to make money, she said, and Canadians should benefit from any data or products developed from it.

“We are not here to be someone’s research and development lab,” she said, “to be a loss leader for products they want to sell globally.”

Ottawa patent lawyer Natalie Raffoul said the fact that the current agreement leaves ownership of data issues for later shows that it wasn’t properly drafted and means patents derived from the data will default to Google.

“We just can’t be too trusting of corporations,” she said.

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An empty chair reserved for Google’s parent Alphabet, which refused to send its top executive, is seen as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg accompanied by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on ‘Foreign Influence Operations and Their Use of Social Media Platforms’ on Capitol Hill. VOA

But Burstyn, the Waterfront Toronto chair, said the upcoming master plan will address data concerns. The agency wants to make Toronto a global hub of a rising new industry, she said.

“Everybody gets worried about the digital and technology aspects that might run amok,” she said. “I don’t worry about that as much as I see the opportunities for developing a really interesting, innovative community.”

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Adam Vaughan, the federal lawmaker whose district includes the development, said debate about big data and urban infrastructure is coming to cities across the world and he would rather have Toronto at the forefront of discussion.

“Google is ahead of governments globally and locally. That’s a cause for concern but it’s also an opportunity,” Vaughan said. (VOA)