Indian Elections (part 1)

The Indian general elections are in full swing at the moment with the results due to be announced on the 23rd of May 2019. This election is key to India’s future as it determines the direction of Indian politics especially regarding deep-rooted issues such as religious communalism, agrarian distress, terrorism and corruption. The two major frontrunners for the prime minister post are Rahul Gandhi of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and India’s current prime minister Narendra Modi of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) who is seeking a second consecutive term. In this article, I seek to break down some background information important to understanding current issues of Indian politics and part 2 of this article will elaborate on the current issues themselves.


India received its independence on 15 August 1947, ending several decades of British rule in India. However, it wasn’t just India receiving independence now was it? Under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan legally became an independent country on the same day as India received her independence. Jinnah became the first governor-general of Pakistan and Jawaharlal Nehru became India’s first prime minister with the Indian National Congress (INC or congress as it is referred to) party in a landslide victory in 1952. Nehru is a respected figure in Indian politics because he was an integral member of the Indian independence struggle and worked alongside India’s father of the nation – Mahatma Gandhi. He was one of the big reasons the congress rose to prominence for the next 50 years of Indian politics. Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi and grandson Rajiv Gandhi were all prime ministers of India. Nehru’s great-grandson Rahul Gandhi is the current prime ministerial candidate from the congress. Therefore, it is safe to say that the Nehru family has greatly influenced Indian politics. It is also important to grasp this aspect carefully because the dynastic politics of the Congress is one of the reasons leading to their decline in present-day India.


The Congress party identifies itself as left of central and emphasizes on helping the lower and middle classes of India, developing the agrarian economy, facilitating wealth redistribution through more socialist policies, and uplifting minority groups [READ MORE]. Since the Indian National Congress was the first political party in India and was formed during the Indian independence struggle, a lot of consensus about what its policies would look like was formed before the constitution was ratified.


The Bhartiya Janatha Party (BJP) is the other major political party of India which rose to prominence in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. It leans more to the right and believes in capitalistic policies. The BJP is a strong believer of Hindutva which is often misunderstood as making India a Hindu nation. Hindutva in this context means to engage in positive secularism where no ethnic group or religion is given more importance than the other. While forming the constitution in 1950, Dr. BR Ambedkar introduced several laws such as political and educational quotas and reservation of seats to protect minorities in India. BJP believes that every Indian should be treated equally and is against this concept of reservations. BJP has strong links with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) whose former member was responsible for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Therefore, the concept of Hindutva has often become the breeding ground for establishing Hindu hegemony in the country. The RSS has often been associated with violent communal riots and rallies which has increased the paranoia among minority groups as time has passed. This has therefore been a common criticism especially of the urban voters against the BJP. The congress pander to these sections of the society more which is why they have a minority vote base against the BJP’s predominantly Hindu vote base. Therefore, in every way BJP is the pole opposite of the Congress both in terms of historical roots and ideologies.


Now that I have explained briefly the history of the political landscape of India, some deep-rooted issues in India are:


India-Pakistan conflict:


Following the partition of India and Pakistan there was a large population of Muslims remaining in India. This led to large-scale communal violence between the different religious groups of India (Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims primarily). Meanwhile, consequences of the partition such as border disputes began to crop up resulting in a series of Indo-Pakistani wars. The northernmost state of India, Jammu and Kashmir borders both India and Pakistan and post-partition Pakistan attacked the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir resulting in the first Indo-Pak war in 1949. The result of this was creating the line of control (de facto border) and a division of the state between India (2/3rd) and Pakistan (1/3rd). The part occupied by Kashmir came to be known as Azad Kashmir or Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK). The second Indo-Pak conflict was in 1971, when Bangladesh (known as East Pakistan at the time) claimed independence from the state-system of Pakistan with the help of India. This war ended with Pakistan surrendering and Bangladesh becoming a separate country. Finally, the Kargil war in 1999, was a period of high hostility between India and Pakistan. A few Pakistani troops crossed the line of control and occupied the Indian district of Kargil. The result was India regaining possession of Kargil and the strengthening of India’s economy due to military spending. Since then, India has received a series of attacks from Pakistani-based terrorist groups including the most recent ones at Uri (2016) and Pulwama (2018). These conflicts mostly revolve around the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir. These conflicts require strong leadership from the Indian government as both India and Pakistan possess nuclear arms and extremely powerful militaries. Foreign policy and international diplomacy always play a key role in elections in India.




Here’s a story to lighten the mood a little bit:


Note: This is a real-life story, but with several changes in details due to a lack of knowledge of the specificities in the story.


My apartment was situated in the south of Bangalore and was one of the first major apartment complex in the area. Our garbage was collected by an agency for Rupees 30 per flat and there were hundreds of them. One day, a local mafia of sorts came into the area and forcefully drove out the existing garbage collectors and began charging 10 times the original (Rupees 300) per flat. Police complaints would not work because this mafia had bribed half of them to help maintain their business and getting the local politician to help us was unrealistic as – many of them did not care or they might be in bed with this group too. To this day I do not know if the issue was ever solved.


When we think of corruption in India, we think of the Coal allocation scam or the 2G case which led to billions of dollars of losses. However, the real issue is that corruption happens at such small levels in India. If you are over-speeding, just bribe a traffic police and save yourself from a ticket or if you are selling your house then take half the selling price in paper currency to avoid paying taxes. This is why solving the issue of corruption in India is an uphill battle. It is safe to hypothesize that every Indian has engaged in an illegal transaction at least once in their lives. Tracing corruption up to such small levels is nearly impossible but that does not mean we can get as close as possible.


It was under the Congress government that major corruption scandals occurred such as the Coal allocation scam which led to 1.8 trillion rupees ($27 billion) in illegal gains to the government. The main reason for the downward spiral of the Congress party was several scams such as this; amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars in black money that could have been otherwise used for the development of India.


India has one of the most complex political landscapes in the world and explaining every single aspect of India’s political history would take a lifetime! However, I have attempted to give you a dip in the ocean that is Indian politics. In the next part of this article, I will explain the 2019 election situation and the results since it will be out by then.

Infectious Diseases among Immigrants and Refugees – What Trump says

The United States of America bears the highest immigrant and refugee population in the world, at about 47 million foreign-born people. A majority of these immigrants come from developing countries with poor living and health conditions. As a result, a significant part of the immigrant and refugee population is exposed to a diverse range of infectious disease such as tuberculosis, hepatitis B, AIDS and Ebola. However, immigrants also provide several benefits such as labour, and diversity to the US. US history has always shown inclusion of immigrants as part of its underlying philosophy. Therefore, complete restriction of immigrants cannot be a solution to the problem of infectious diseases in immigrants. Since new immigrants and refugees are transporters of infectious diseases into American soil, are more frequently affected by infectious diseases than the old immigration population, and the US screening processes require improvements, restricting the number of entries into the country can be effective in improving reducing the number of infectious diseases within the US in the short-run.

Immigrants and refugees carry with them a number of unique, infectious diseases which could be a threat to the US population. Certain infectious diseases seem to be more prominent in immigrant populations rather than the domestic US population. A survey conducted in Atlanta indicated that, in a sample of 462 African-born refugees, 44% were infected with schistosomiasis and 46% were diagnosed with the strongyloidiasis infection (Venters, & Gany, 2009, p. 336). These infections are prominent in the African immigrant population and pose imminent health hazards to the US population. Even though immunizations and disease prevention in the US has improved over the years – with the advent of policies such as Medicare and Medicaid – there are diseases among immigrants and refugees whose vaccinations have not been invented yet and can easily transmit to the US population, as immigrants continue to enter the country. Studies indicate an estimate of 238,091 people, excluding an added 109,000 cases of undocumented immigrants, are infected with T.cruzi (Chagas) – a deadly parasite, usually visible among Latin American immigrants which implants itself into the human blood stream and multiplies (Manne-Goehler, Umeh, Montgomery, & Wirtz 2016, p. 1). Chagas antibodies are alien to the US population, and no solid cures have been identified to fight the disease which makes it all the more, a bigger threat to the domestic population.

Long-settled immigrants in America are less exposed to communicable diseases than new immigrants which means that restricting new immigrants can reduce the rate of infectious diseases in the US. For example, if we examine the case of tuberculosis between old and new immigrants, we can find clear distinctions in the rates at which they are affected. The tuberculosis rate for new immigrants from Micronesia is 157 per 100,000 people, whereas tuberculosis rates for Micronesian people living in America is 62 per 100,000 people (MacNaughton, 2013, p. 308). These disparities exist because old immigrants pay taxes and contribute to the economy, therefore the healthcare system does its part for them. Since many immigrants and refugees settled in the US have access to better health facilities than their native countries, a majority of infectious diseases are more evident among recent entrants. Between 2007 and 2011, there was an overall decline of 1456 cases (-19.3%) of tuberculosis among immigrants due to a reduction in the number of immigrants in the US, especially new immigrants (Baker, Winston, Liu, France, & Cain, 2016, p. 7). The results of this study is a direct reflection of the efficacy of restricting new immigrants to the US.

The existing screening process in the US require procedural improvements as several of these screened immigrants and refugees still enter the United States with undetected diseases increasing exposure to epidemic in the US population. Asylees are not expected to report an arrival date while they seek asylum in the US. A study estimated that asylees were screened a year later than refugees due to unpredictable arrival dates, resulting in added risk of disease transmission to the US population (Chai, Cole & Cookson, 2012, p. 656). As the leading choice of country for refugees from around the world, systematic weaknesses to the screening process leaves the US vulnerable to infectious diseases. Several refugees arrive in the US without any previous immunization records, which complicates the issue of screening. If some refugees have recommended vaccinations pending, they need to be kept in appropriate settings, away from the general population, which can be an expensive affair. Some challenges of screening includes implementing cost-effective screening processes, increasing immunization to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases, and accommodating the health needs of all refugee and immigrant groups with communicable diseases (Barnett, 2014, p. 840). Until these issues of screening are solved, restricting immigrants might be the best option both financially and to prevent diseases from entering the US population.

Opponents of immigration restrictions indicate that statistics regarding new immigrants are often skewed and do not paint the complete picture, which means that restricting these new immigrants would not spur the reduction of communicable diseases in America. They claim that it is a myth that immigrants are a burden to the US healthcare system. In 2014, immigrants paid a total of 88.7 billion dollars in premiums to insurance companies and in turn these companies only spent $64 billion for immigrants’ care (Zallman, Woolhandler, Touw, Himmelstein, & Finnegan, 2018, p.1666). This means that the net contribution of immigrants to the healthcare system was positive, showing that it is not actually cost-inefficient to allow immigrants into the country and provide them with healthcare. They claim that even though restricting immigrants may be an effective short term fix for preventing diseases, the opportunity cost of their restriction to the US economy is greater.

One factor that the counterargument fails to encapsulate is that the US has a high rate of illegal immigrants and refugees who are a burden to the healthcare system. Many of these illegal immigrants cannot afford insurance and treatment for infectious diseases as they come from poor backgrounds. Federal taxpayers subsidized around $11.2 billion dollars in health care to undocumented immigrants (Conover, 2018, p.2). Illegal immigration is an undesired consequence of expansionary immigrant policies and therefore immigration and illegal immigrants must be considered in unison to reach an informed judgement of the burden of immigration on the US healthcare system.

The availability and access to vaccinations to US-born people and residents in the US has resulted in the low rates of infectious diseases among the US population. However, immigrants who enter the US from developing countries are responsible for the income of certain viruses responsible for infectious diseases that never existed in US soil before. The screening process is  expensive and the burden of funding this and public health facilities falls on the American taxpayers. Hence, restricting immigrants may be the best way to reduce the influx of diseases into the US. However the US philosophy throughout its history has been to accommodate immigrants and refugees. While restricting immigrants may be a great short term fix to the infectious disease problem, it is also important to improve the screening process and introduce cost-efficient public health facilities in the long run. This can be achieved in the long-run through technological advances in the fields of biology and healthcare.

Police Presence in K-12 Schools in the US

The Second Amendment in the US Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms in the United States of America. This amendment was adopted in 1791 within the Bill of Rights. There have been heated debates over the years, regarding the boundaries to this right and whether this should indeed be a fundamental right of American citizens. The nature and stances of federal gun laws and supreme court decisions in the US regarding gun control have been diverse, but each have sought to define the second amendment unambiguously. For example, the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 restricts an unauthorised person from knowingly possessing a firearm at a place which is considered to be a school zone. Similarly, the District of Columbia v. Heller decision brought out the sentiment that the Second Amendment protects the right of law-abiding citizens to use weapons in cases of self-defence.

Police presence in schools can be termed as a reactionary measure to the gun laws in the United States. They are a subset or a sub-debate of the larger gun control debate in the United States. Gun rights have given license for people to use arms recklessly, resulting in high rates of crimes in schools. Although, the total rate of crimes in schools has been inconsistent and prone to fluctuation since the early 1990’s, they have consistently remained between 30-50% of the total K-12 schools in the country reporting incidents of school violence (“School Associated Violent Death Study”, 2018). Since, the number of crimes in K-12 schools due to gun violence have remained fairly high, the United States public have begun to voice its concerns and opinions regarding school safety. Some big incidents in recent history is also responsible for enlarging this issue in the public’s imagination. The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012, in Connecticut saw the death of 20 children between 6 and 7 years old. Six staffers were also casualties of this massacre along with the shooter committing suicide himself at the crime scene. This is one of the largest school-shootings in the country’s history which therefore has brought more attention to the imminent problem of violence in schools and ultimately police presence as a solution.

The debate on police presence in K-12 schools comprises of several components which need to be carefully considered and addressed. There are polarized values within the US public regarding gun laws in the country. While some sections feel that the right to bear arms is a natural right and a vital part of US culture ever since its inception, others believe that gun rights are harbouring violence within the country. There are also contrasting values about whether police presence is really a solution to the violence in schools. This is because of further differences in opinions on matters such as cost-inefficiency of police presence and effects on young students. There is also differing perspectives on the issue of racism within the police and students from cultural minorities feeling targeted as a result of increased police presence in schools. These variegated factors are the driving forces which converts this debate from deliberative to controversial. The price of this controversy regarding police presence is the safety of students in schools. During the course of this debate, these differences in values and lack of public plurality will be taken into account, while coming up with solutions to some of these issues.

The purpose of this debate will be to deliberate potential measures in order to ultimately ensure the safety of children going to schools. At the conclusion of this debate, we seek to build a model for school safety in the United States with appropriate policing measures and security systems in place. In this debate, my partner will focus on the bullying prevention factor of police presence, while this argument will focus more on the criminal and violence dimension of police presence. To effectively achieve this purpose, this argument will be divided into three segments. Firstly, this argument will address the most common counterarguments made against police presence in schools and test the validity of these counterarguments. If they are valid and require attention, we will seek to find solutions to the problems brought up within these counterarguments. In this debate, both sides will be arguing for some kind of product and therefore, the issues brought up within counterarguments against police presence in schools need not be considered as a defeat to the model we seek to build, but rather weaknesses that require immediate attention. Secondly, this argument will be examining the results of policing carried out in the past few years and the policies enforced simultaneously such as the zero tolerance policies. Evidences will be presented to prove that while there may be some unintended negative consequences of police presence, it has indeed assisted the reduction of school-related crimes in the United States. The final segment of this argument will be to emphasise on all the important factors necessary to make the policing model for schools more comprehensive. This segment will focus on crafting solutions to issues such as increasing cost efficiency, helping students settle into a police present environment, and providing answers to the counterarguments or weaknesses brought up earlier in the argument. The three segments together will function as three separate premises which will converge to the conclusion that – While gun rights continue to be protected by the US constitution, building a macro model for police presence in K-12 schools is key to ensuring safety in schools and preventing any forms of crime.

Segment 1:

In the early 1990’s, due to an ascension in the rates of school violence, the government decided to sharply increase police presence in K-12 schools. A zero-tolerance policy was simultaneously enforced, following the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994, leading to tight security in schools. Opponents of these measures put forth a few key counterarguments in which they highlight some key discrepancies between the goals of these measures and what they believe to be is the reality. In most debates concerning policing in K-12 schools, the three most common premises brought about by opponents are “school to prison pipeline”, racist tendencies of policing and cost inefficiencies surrounding policing.

The overall purpose of zero-tolerance policies was to instil a sense of discipline among students and equip resource officers with some power to take stern actions against the infringement of the schools’ disciplinary policies, thereby enforcing them better. However, people point out that as a consequence more students are getting suspended and expelled from schools resulting in a “school to prison pipeline” – a phrase coined to point out that zero-tolerance policies act as a pipeline, sending more students from school to prison. For example, a 10th grade football player named Bruce, from Desoto County school in Mississippi was suspended for 21 days for holding up a gun sign in his hands. It was identified as a gangster sign due to which this gesture was seen as a violation of the school’s disciplinary code. Although, the boy claimed that he was unaware that this was a gangster sign, he was nevertheless punished. Figures from March of 2011-12 calendar year indicated that about 3.5 million students were suspended from US elementary and secondary public schools and a further 130,000 were expelled (Rosen, 2014).  Therefore, the first counterargument against school policing is that – Policing and zero tolerance policies have increased the rates of suspensions and expulsions, as students are severely punished even for minor offences. This has shifted the environment of schools from educational to hostile for most students.

By definition, zero tolerance policies were meant to punish students, if certain school disciplinary codes were broken. Its primary goal was to bring discipline within schools and reduce the rate of school crimes. Federal statistics show that the rate of crimes in schools per 1000 decreased from 155 in 1993 to 102 in 1997, just three years past the enforcement of zero-tolerance policies. School faculty in Baltimore accredit zero tolerance policies with a 31% decline in school crime in the 1999-2000 school year (Koch, 2000). These numbers prove that while the rates of suspensions and expulsions have ascended, zero-tolerance policies have fulfilled their ultimate objective of controlling school crimes. These numbers also prove the efficacy and immediacy of impact of these zero-tolerance policies, with sharp declines in crime rates just a few years past its ratification. As for the long-term impacts, serious violent crimes and assaults against students ages 12 to 18 fell by about 75% in 18 years, since reaching its peak in 1993. School violence reached a 20 year low in 2010 before slightly edging up in 2011 (Rosen, 2014). There has been a constant deceleration in the rate of crimes over the last couple of decades approximately. Although, the results of zero-tolerance policies are non-negligible, the opponents’ concerns expressed within these counterarguments are valid and this potential weakness within the policing model does entail some continual improvements. Constant amendments and revisions to the zero tolerance policies are required especially while dealing with minor school policy infringements. Punishments cannot be suspension or expulsion for all mistakes and the severity of punishments needs to be moderated better. However, with these policies equipping police officers in schools with power to control crime rates, its success over the years cannot be overlooked and therefore these policies should not be removed altogether.

The second and possibly the most common counterargument provided against police presence in schools is its racist tendencies. It is very often pointed out by the public that the number of felons from minority groups such as African Americans and Hispanics, far exceeds the number of white people arrested by the police force in schools. The enrollments of white, African American and Hispanic students are 51%, 16% and 24 % respectively, however, their expulsion rates are 36%, 34% and 22% (“Civil Rights Data Collection”, 2014). Opponents highlight these clear disparities between the number of white students expelled and arrested versus the number of students from minority groups such as African Americans and Hispanics facing the same. They feel that police officers in schools target students from minorities because they believe that most number of felons come from these cultures. Opponents argue that this targeting of minority groups by the police in schools leads to higher rates of crimes, due to the effects it has on students. Therefore, the opposite goal of increasing police presence is unintentionally achieved. The second counterargument against police presence in K-12 schools is that – The disproportionality between the rates of expulsions and arrests between students who are white and students from minority groups such as African-American and Hispanic have caused an increasing tendency among these minority groups to commit school crimes, as they feel targeted by the American population. This is linked to the issue of police oppression among minority groups.

The argument against school policing based on racism fails due to two reasons. Firstly, there is no evidence which shows that the convicted students from minority groups are indeed innocent and have been falsely charged. An analogy to explain this would be the issue of terrorism. The highest number of people convicted for terrorist activities are predominantly from Islam not because the US administration is discriminatory or religiously intolerant and label all Muslim people as terrorists but because historical data and recent incidents have shown that there is a higher probability for terrorists to be from these groups. Similarly, although there may be a possibility that African American and Hispanic students are innocent and falsely charged, there is also a strong possibility that they may have committed a crime and are henceforth expelled or arrested by the police officers in schools. Normative conclusions cannot regarding racism within the police, cannot be reached without linking the rates of arrests among minority people to the number false charges. Secondly, if there are evidences which link racism to bad policing in schools, it does not qualify as a valid argument to stop police presence in schools. Surveys point out that as of 2017, 59% of African Americans and 43% of Hispanic people feel like strangers in America. Furthermore, 30% of American citizens believe that a person’s racial or ethnic background plays a vast role in determining success in the United States (Demby, 2017). Translated into words, this means that racism as a civil issue is prevalent in the United States as a whole and not just within the police force. It is deep-rooted at various levels, ranging from white-collar to blue-collar jobs, from both liberal states to conservative states and at different public spheres. It is therefore impractical to oppose any of the aforementioned policies due to racial discrepancies. Tackling racism as a whole is the required objective to solve these problems. Due to the two reasons mentioned above, the racism argument against police presence in schools does not qualify as a practical counterargument.

The third main counterargument is the cost inefficiencies of creating a police presence in schools. Educational experts feel that police presence and security systems drain out too much money from both the state governments and schools itself. They feel that the money spent on this could rather be invested into students and staff while looking for more creative solutions to the problem of school violence. Following the shooting incident at Sandy Hook elementary school, the school board has spent 4.5 million USD to ramp up its security (DeNisco, 2014). A district in Philadelphia has budgeted about $30 million to recruit over 350 police officers – who have outnumbered the number of school counsellors and nurses (Murphy, 2018). The third counterargument therefore is – Creating a police presence in schools is an expensive affair and the opportunity costs that schools and the state administration face are sizable. Therefore, it is important to find more efficient means of ensuring students’ safety in schools and eventually move away from police presence. (This counterargument is a legitimate concern and will be addressed in the third segment of the paper)

Segment 2:

While attempting to build a model for police protection in schools by addressing all the potential weaknesses put forth in the counterarguments, it is important to answer one question: How effective has police presence been to reduce school crimes and protect schools from other threats like drugs and bullying? This segment seeks to build a case on the reasons as to why police presence in schools is necessary and effective.

School policing has been of frequent occurrence since the early 1990’s. A 2001 study by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), showed that 90% of the officers prevented between 1-25 acts of school crime in an average school year, 24 percent of officers reported taking a loaded firearm from a student or another person on campus, and 87 percent confiscated knives or other weapons with blades (“School resource Officers seeing results”). These numbers show the effect of policing in schools during its early years of implementation. A more recent study conducted by the “Journal of Police Crisis Negotiations” indicated that, the number of security guards were positively correlated to the rates of school violence (5% increase in crimes per 100 security guards). However, the number of School Resource Officers (SROs) present in schools had a significant negative correlation with the number of school crimes (13.9% decrease in crimes per 100 SROs) (Jennings, Khey, Maskaly, & Donner, 2011). This provides evidence to the fact that the introduction of armed police officers in schools has contributed to the reduction of violence in schools. As the rates of school crimes are decreasing with respect to a subsequent increase in the US population every year, police presence in K-12 schools is the most effective way to control school crimes and violence as long as gun rights are part of the constitution.

Apart from preventing school violence and crimes, SROs provide several other benefits which includes counselling for students, mentoring students about school safety, and building relationships to provide a parental presence in school yet a friend at the same time. A daily presence on campus allows students to see a different side of the police. For example in the San Diego unified school district, officers helped organize student activities, participated in school-sponsored events and donated their own time to put together bikes and serve dinners to disadvantaged families (Littlejohn, 2016). Through this, students develop a stronger appreciation for police officers and their role on campus. The San Diego Police Department provides specialized training to school officers in order to prevent problems like targeted enforcement on students and school-to-prison pipeline (Littlejohn, 2016). Unfortunately, this training period for SROs is not conducted in all places across the US resulting in some cases of police oppression.

It can be therefore concluded that, there are certain areas of improvement while enforcing policing in schools but historical data, anecdotes and evidences shows us that on a macro scale, police presence produces positive results for crime prevention, controlling gun violence, and providing students with a guiding presence in schools.

Segment 3:

During the course of this paper we have identified problems relating to police presence in schools and evaluated the success of policing in schools over the years. The notion that the first two segments attempts to convey is that, As long as gun rights continue to exist in the US, police presence is an important measure that needs to be better enforced in order to make schools safer. Police brutality, cost inefficiencies, school-to-prison pipelines are some issues that do not occur on a scale large enough to undermine the entire concept of police presence in schools. They are institutional issues that need to be resolved through training programs, and bounding norms for police officers. The results of police presence in bringing down crime rates is irrefutable, and apart from school safety, these officers also provide numerous benefits to students and teachers.

The final segment will present a model to improve police presence in K-12 schools in the US. The following model can be phrased as – DOCTOR to improve health of policing in American Schools.

Diversity in police force (D):

Cases of police brutality in schools are often linked to the issue of racial disparities between white students in the US and students from minority groups. The number of cases where students from minority groups get tased or assaulted by a police official ­– although is a small percentage, compared to the broader scenario of policing in the country – is higher than the rates of white students facing the same. The causes of these few cases of police brutality are cultural intolerance and racial profiling by police officers, misuse of power to punish people on the basis of perceived threats rather than actual threats, and the strict enforcement of zero-tolerance policies. As several of these cases of police oppression are tied with racial differences in the US, a simple measure that could be taken to address this problem is creating a more diverse police force comprising of officers from all races such as white, African-American, Hispanic and Asian. Officers from minority groups can function as neutralizing forces within the police fraternity in cases of police brutality, as they will be more empathetic to their own cultural groups.

Orientation for students to transition into better police environments (O):

Another factor that opponents point out in this debate is the impact of police presence on young students. The psychological effects of policing in schools is most commonly referred to in arguments against police presence in schools. Fear, dysphoria, and stress are some common emotions of students associated with police presence. Assisting the smooth transition into a police-present environment, for students, is essential in order to reap the benefits of policing in schools. Regular orientations between students and SROs should be conducted so that SROs can educate students about the rules and guidelines of the school, school safety, simple expectations of students and goal-setting to foster a productive time in school. These sessions can bridge communication gaps between SROs and students, increase comfort levels between them and may even lead to fewer cases of crimes as more students are getting mentored by police officers regularly.

Cooperation between community, state government and schools (C):

Perhaps the biggest issue pertaining to police presence in schools is the issue of funding this entire process. Recurring costs include the cost of paying police officers, and investing in the installation of security systems in schools. The common scepticism surrounding the funding of policing is the opportunity costs that schools have to forego in order to avail policing. The safety of students need to be the priority of every school and therefore these investments are non-negligible. However, some steps that can be taken to reduce the burden of policing on schools is to divide costs between community, schools and local government bodies. The cost of paying wages to SROs and training them can be shared by all three parties. Communities can assist their local schools by simple fundraising ideas such as crowdfunding and small contributions from all parties can bring down burden on schools drastically. A system for funding schools is not ubiquitous in the US still, which is why cost-inefficiencies are increasing burden on schools and the government.

Training for SROs (T):

Police brutality, dysphoria among students, misuse of power granted by zero-tolerance policies, racial profiling are all examples of weaknesses to policing in schools. Also, even though crime rates and rates of violent deaths have decreased over the years, the roles of police officers in schools have expanded during this time. While axing crimes is the main job of police officers, their roles as resources to students – hence the name school resource officers (SROs) – is key for this model to work. In order to address potential weaknesses and develop police officers into resource officers, training for police officers is vital. These trainings can teach them about communicating with students, managing different types of situations in schools, handling conflicts where race is involved and enforcing zero-tolerance policies appropriately. The unintended consequences of police presence in schools can be reduced, by training police officers as human resources rather than just modes of security. Trainings can make SROs more susceptible to managing the psychological aspects associated with school policing. The concept of training is similar to the concept of education, it increases the productivity of its respective students.

Optimizing security systems (O):

There have been several cases in schools where metal detectors have not detected the presence of weapons among students or other faculty members. Optimizing security systems refers to utilizing available resources completely, to avoid situations such as these. Safety in schools cannot be solely dependent on policemen but rather security infrastructures such as cameras and metal detectors need to be optimized to control the risk of crimes. The best way to achieve this is though efficiency while using resources and refraining from blind investments in cheap infrastructure which masks the deficiencies in security for students. These deficiencies can have a detrimental impact on schools as it makes them more prone to shootings and other crimes.

Reformation of zero tolerance policies (R):

The final piece of this model is reforming zero-tolerance policies especially in situations of minor mistakes by students. As mentioned earlier in this paper, a kid was suspended for holding up a gangster sign when he was unaware of this fact himself. Suspension and expulsion rates can be controlled if punishments under zero-tolerance policies are amended depending on the severity of mistakes. Tight policies for cases such as drugs, violence and bullying can be justified, however, it is in the cases of minor offences that there is a need for reform. The onus of this falls on the government and this is an issue that entails immediate action.

These six measures together forms our DOCTOR model for police presence in K-12 schools. Together, they address all the different weaknesses highlighted by opponents and adds improvements to the existing scenario of policing in schools.





India in Communism

In this essay, I am looking to analyze on what India would look like under a communist government and why certain aspects of communism might help India and its people.


Communism is a political idea where the government owns most of the property and extensively controls the industrial sector so that all classes of labor are paid to their needs and abilities and control the means of production equally. This idea was originally formulated by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. People have always branded communism as bad and unhealthy to the world. This is evident when Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an ‘evil empire’. This is because communism is always taken in the same context as totalitarianism or anarchism. People always take the example of Mao Zedong, Nikita Khrushchev and how they created more of an authoritarian government which resulted in the loss of lives of thousands of innocent civilians. Similarly, people take the example of Nicaragua, North Korea, Vietnam etc., as instances where communism has been a bad influence on the rest of the world. People argue that communism more often than not results in bad and evil governance which fails to achieve the very purpose it was constructed for. However, before we completely disregard communism as negative it is important to understand that communism merely advocates equity among social hierarchies and a greater government role in regulating economics. Just because a dictator or a bad leader chooses to employ communist policies, he does not become the epitome of communism. Before we progress through this essay it is important to get that misconception out of our heads for a broader analysis.


There is a communist party of India (CPI) which split into two factions in 1964. The head of the Marxist faction is Sitaram Yechury and the non-Marxist is Sudhakar Reddy. at the present. While BJP and the Indian National Congress from the governments in India every election it is easy to forget the CPI. So, what are the goals and proposed policies of the CPI? It’s party constitution clearly states that – “Revolutionary vanguard of the working class of India. Its aim is socialism and communism through the establishment of the state of dictatorship of the proletariat. In all its activities the Party is guided by the philosophy and principles of Marxism–Leninism which shows to the toiling masses the correct way to the ending of exploitation of man by man, their complete emancipation. The Party keeps high the banner of proletarian internationalism”. It also states that – “The Communist Party of India (Marxist) shall bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established and to the principles of socialism, secularism and democracy and would uphold the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.” It is important to note the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ which means dictatorship by the common people. Their political programme certainly does not involve authoritarian, fascist propaganda as falsely interpreted by the advocates of capitalist.


It is estimated that the top 10% of income earners in India own 55% of the income in India. Economists still back capitalism because they feel under capitalism even the poor people are generally richer than the middle classes in other countries. For example, a poor person in America would fall into the middle class category in India. Unfortunately, the situation in India is not as great as some of the other capitalist countries. The per capita GDP in India is roughly $1900 which means that with the current levels of income inequality the majority of people are living well under $1000 of income. People who live under $1.50 per day are considered extremely poor and by this standard 22% of India’s population are extremely poor. But why is poverty in India so high? India has a population of about 1.2 billion people and still increasing. The capitalist system existing in India isn’t fixing the poverty problem in India but in turn is increasing it because big firms in India enjoy the possession of a large volume of resources which aren’t efficiently employed due to a lack of regulation and corruption resulting in a loss of jobs. Furthermore, it is estimated that India loses about a trillion dollars due to corruption annually which is nearly half the size of the GDP of India. This drainage of money from the hands of the government merely increases the disparity between the rich and the poor. For a country as big as India, a capitalist system creates an increase in inefficiencies within the economy and the lack of regulation leads to mismanagement  within the government resulting in illiteracy, unemployment and ultimately poverty. It is impossible for a government to find out who’s corrupt and who’s not inside such a vast legislative body in India.


This is why communism may be the solution to India’s ongoing problems. The equal distribution of resources among the people provides everyone with equal economic power. India can still retain its democratic aspects such as elections but once a party is elected, communist power can be given to the elected government which could help introduce a system where the responsibility of economic management is taken off the shoulders of the government and given to the people. The opportunity cost to communism is economic growth but yet again an important question which needs to be asked is – Is it okay to forgo economic growth if all sections of society are assured economic equality and poverty is eliminated? For communist policies to work, there has to be democratic ideals such as election to prevent fascist tendencies, high level of education for people to efficiently manage resources given to them and a judicial body which is independent of the legislature.


Communism as an economic ideal requires democratic ideals backing it up to create a better working political system. Communism can be seen as a political experiment with odds backing its failure rather than success. However, if used right it could be an answer to several of India’s problems such as population management, corruption, and poverty.

Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – scourge or blessing?

As we analyze whether the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was indeed a good thing as many historians argue, it is important to have some context about one of the tensest periods arguably in world history.


Historical Context:


May 7, 1945 witnessed the surrender of Germany and marked a major victory in world war 2 for the allied powers which included the three big countries – USA, Britain and The Soviet Union. However, this did not end world war 2 as Japan had not surrendered yet and the United States had not forgotten about the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Japan had occupied pretty much all of east Asia including the territories of Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, Manchuria etc. The Potsdam Conference was held from July 17, 1945 to August 2, 1945 where the big three (USA, Britain and The Soviet Union) met to discuss the political climate of Germany, war reparations, controversy surrounding the Soviets and Poland. This was the second meeting of the leaders first one being at Yalta a few months earlier just before the surrender of Germany. It is a no-brainer that Stalin was unhappy with the outcomes of the Potsdam conference and this was a major reason for the eruption of a cold war between US and The Soviet Union. Just after the conference, the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945 respectively. It is estimated that there were close to 230,000 deaths with many more to follow as a result of the aftermath.


What proponents of the bombings say:


There are several historians who believe that Truman’s decision to bomb the two cities were completely justified and in fact was a good thing for both countries in the long run. The US had deployed B-29 aircrafts to fight the war against Japan. The US navy had created a blockade around Japan to cut off food supplies in order to force Japan to surrender. These B-29’s had caused a considerable amount of damage to Japan who were enraged by this. Historians claim that at this point Japan had begun to recruit their citizens into the army in order to create a large-standing army against the US. They had a philosophy of Ketsu-Go or decisive battle which by no means meant surrender. As Japan began to mobilize it is also important to note that as agreed at the Yalta conference The Soviet Union did not back the US with troops. As Korechika Anami, the war minister was unwilling to back down and he began to pursue even more aggressive tactics against the United States. This is where it gets interesting: historians believe that the atomic bombs on the military and industrial bases of Hiroshima and Nagasaki forced the Japanese emperor Hirohito to surrender and this also ended up saving way more lives than if there had been land battles. Historians say that Truman chose the “least worst of all the options”. They claim that land battles would have taken the death toll to over a million, but the bombs limited the number of death to under 250,000 people. Six days after the bombs were dropped Japan finally surrendered unconditionally which was accepted by US general Douglas MacArthur on September 2, 1945 formally marking the end of the devastating second world war.


My argument:

When it comes to deciding whether the atomic bombings were good or bad it is hard to accept the fact that this decision saved many more lives, yet it is also hard to refute it. Japan had a standing army of over 2 million with an intention of driving away the United States and defending the home islands. This clearly meant way more deaths for both Japan and America and an eventual surrender for Japan. However, when we examine the more intricate implications of the atomic bombings we can see that this decision was not all that good either. Merely saving more lives and ending the war does not mean it was a good decision. One important piece to this story is the Soviet Union. Let us pause and ask ourselves the important question – If I was Joseph Stalin and I am upset over the conclusions of the Potsdam Conference with Britain and the US, what will I feel if US drops atomic bombs in Japan and end the world war 2. Until this point the concept of ‘nuclear warfare’ was almost non-existent. Even though through the Manhattan project, US had already begun to develop nuclear weapons, nearly all other countries were pretty unfamiliar with nuclear warfare. When historians pass a judgement that the atomic bombs were a blessing in disguise, they do not consider the unintended consequences just like Truman failed to consider them. Although tensions were brewing between US and the Soviet Union already it can be said that the dropping of the bombs was a catalyst for the cold-war and this began the arms race. Even the Soviet Union began to nuclearize and soon many countries followed. Since then there have been several potential threats of a nuclear war which if happens could mean the wiping out of most of the world’s population. Examples include the Cuban Missile Crisis, Iran and DPRK’s nuclear proliferation etc. If not for the bombs, the cold war might have been stopped even before its inception and potentially the Korean war, Vietnam war etc., could have all been stopped. With about 2 million Japanese people plus less than a million US soldiers the casualties are still substantially less than about 7 million casualties as a result of US actions during the cold war and their efforts against communism.


The droppings of the bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a great short-term fix for the world war 2, but the long-term effects of these bombs continue to threaten, worry, and continue to be propaganda for fascist policies in democratic countries.

Transactional Analysis

What it really means?

At its simplest level, Transactional Analysis is the method for studying interactions between individuals. Transactional analysis (or TA) is a model of people and relationships that was developed during the 1960’s by Dr. Eric Berne. It is based on two notions, that we have three parts or ‘ego-states’ to our personality, and secondly that these converse with one another in ‘transactions’.

There are three main ego-states under the transactional analysis: Parent, Adult and Child ego -states.

a) Parent:

There are two forms of Parent we can play.

The Nurturing Parent is caring and concerned and often may appear as a mother-figure (though men can play it too). They seek to keep the Child contented, offering a safe haven and unconditional love to calm the Child’s troubles.

The Controlling (or Critical) Parent, on the other hand, tries to make the Child do as the parent wants them to do, perhaps transferring values or beliefs or helping the Child to understand and live in society. They may also have negative intent, using the Child as a whipping-boy or worse.

b) Adult:

The Adult in us is the ‘grown up’ rational person who talks reasonably and assertively, neither trying to control nor reacting aggressively towards others. The Adult is comfortable with oneself and is, for many of us, our ‘ideal self’.

c) Child:

There are three types of Child we can play.

The Natural Child is largely un-self-aware and is characterised by the non-speech noises they make (yahoo, whee, etc.). They like playing and are open and vulnerable.

The cutely-named Little Professor is the curious and exploring Child who is always trying out new stuff (often much to their Controlling Parent’s annoyance). Together with the Natural Child they make up the Free Child.

The Adaptive Child reacts to the world around them, either changing themselves to fit in or rebelling against the forces they feel.


Communications (transactions)
When two people communicate, each exchange is a transaction. Many of our problems come from transactions which are unsuccessful.

Parents naturally speak to Children, as this is their role as a parent. They can talk with other Parents and Adults, although the subject still may be about the children.

The Nurturing Parent naturally talks to the Natural Child and the Controlling Parent to the Adaptive Child. In fact these parts of our personality are evoked by the opposite. Thus if I act as an Adaptive Child, I will most likely evoke the Controlling Parent in the other person.

We also play many games between these positions, and there are rituals from greetings to whole conversations (such as the weather) where we take different positions for different events. These are often ‘pre-recorded’ as scripts we just play out. They give us a sense of control and identity and reassure us that all is still well in the world. Other games can be negative and destructive and we play them more out of sense of habit and addiction than constructive pleasure.

Complementary transactions occur when both people are at the same level (Parent talking to Parent, etc.). Here, both are often thinking in the same way and communication is easier. Problems usually occur in Crossed transactions, where each is talking to a different level.

The parent is either nurturing or controlling, and often speaks to the child, who is either adaptive or ‘natural’ in their response. When both people talk as a Parent to the other’s Child, their wires get crossed and conflict results.

The ideal line of communication is the mature and rational Adult-Adult relationship.


It is very often misconstrued that a 40-year old cannot exhibit the natural child ego-state and a 6-year old cannot exhibit that of a controlling parent. However, very often these situations could be more prominent than the regular ego-states we associate different age groups with. For example, your parents may want to go out for a movie but you have exams. So you make your parents understand that you can’t go with them. In this scenario as you are the rational figure you are in an adult ego-state, and your parents are in natural child state. In different situations, people portray different ego states and every conversation is made in an attempt to establish an adult-adult transaction.

Shortcomings I feel are important

  1. Very often in today’s world transactions involve a lot of manipulation and rhetorics which the transactional analysis fails to account. For instance, a person may put on a child ego-state to actually control the actions of another person which is a parent ego-state. The transactional analysis does not account for the used tone and implied tone in a transaction.
  2. The transactional analysis states that the ideal situation is an adult-adult transaction. In certain situations, it is much more beneficial to both parties if one takes up a child state and the other a parent ego state. Very often people’s historical background and roots play a major role in determining ego-states in transactions. An adult state may be a difficult trait for many and therefore, rational conversations can very often not be carried out with them because even if dragged into rationality the quality doesn’t remain for long especially among people like rowdies. In such cases, the adult-adult transaction cannot be carried out and even if it is the purpose and effect of the transaction not remain for long.

Emotional Intelligence

Hello everyone,


So, the past few articles have been pretty intense and quite subject based which is why I thought that I’ll share something lighter in this blog.


Recently, I undertook a course called ‘Live Life’ which enumerates about a very unique subject called emotional intelligence. Many of you may have heard of IQ or intelligence quotient but many of you may not know much in depth about EQ or emotional quotient. It’s a fact that an intelligent person would underperform in an examination if he’s not up for it and a less intelligent person would do really well  if his mindset is correct at the time of the exam. So we can safely conclude that your ‘mindset’ or emotions controls drives or controls the other functions of the brain like memory, reasoning etc. emotional Intelligence refers to the art of taking control of your own emotions knowing your state of mind in any given situation. In this course I was taught about emotional intelligence and all the strings attached to it.

The course was divided into four parts:

  1. Personal competence: This was one of the most important sections of the course because your personal train of thought and overriding personality is what stimulates emotions and very often simple concepts such as self-esteem, self-awareness and motivation play a huge role in determining a person’s state of mind. I was introduced to the topics with greater depth to give me a better idea of what exactly happens in different situations. Here, various psychological theories came into the picture: Sigmund Freud’s iceberg model, perception management and transactional analysis. Through this I could understand how people’s perceptions varied with emotions and under different ego states how people transacted or communicated.
  2. Career skills: This brushed up on some much needed interview skills and work ethics. Career skills focused on the fine line between emotional intelligence and social skills and on decision making. Methods such as Maslow’s triangle and six thinking hats were introduced to theoretically explain how career skills work and can be enhanced.
  3. Social skills: Body language, expressions play a huge role while interacting with other people and how it plays out on their emotional states. Also, social media and peer influence can take a toll on people’s mindset and thinking. These concepts were addressed in this section and a difference was drawn between healthy usages of social media to harmful ones.
  4. Financial literacy: Every teenager needs to understand and know the financial set up of his/her country. The banking system, investments and taxes are among the most fundamental concepts a person must know. So, this was added as part of the course to help teenagers understand basic financial concepts.

This was all that was taught in the course and it touched up on psychology, economics, and human resources. To sum it all up in one quote: “By thinking about thinking, you can think and act wisely”


Signing off………Akarsh B Vasisht


Calculus – A Game Changer

In modern day mathematics, calculus is probably one of the most frequently used tools and it’s development came after centuries of rigorous studies. During the ancient period any mathematical concept was termed to be calculus or in simpler words can be said that calculus was assumed to be a synonym of mathematics. However different ideas put forth by different scientists from different regions gave birth to the evolution of modern day calculus. Calculus was used by ancient people as a tool to calculate areas and volumes. For instance, early Egyptians used formulas which resemble integral calculus to calculate areas of solid shapes, Archimedes used the method of exhaustion to compute the area inside a circle and the Indians related calculus with trigonometry to give certain differentiation methods as early as the 8th century BC.

The 17th century saw the dawn of modern calculus with various mathematicians such as Blaise Pascal, Pierre De Fermat and Rene Descartes putting forth the concept of derivative. Certain concepts related to differentiation such as maxima, minima and tangential equations were created around this time especially by Fermat. Cavalieri’s theorems and methodology provided a more holistic approach to integral calculus and a refined version of the method of exhaustion. Cavalieri’s principle gave other mathematicians a foundation to work with especially after the computation of area under the x^n curve or a curve with higher degree. Also around this time Fermat created the base for integral calculus by giving the two fundamental theorems of calculus.
Majority of the modern day calculus was created by two men: Newton and Leibniz, who independently developed its foundations. Although they both were instrumental in its creation, they thought of the fundamental concepts in very different ways. While Newton considered variables changing with time, Leibniz thought of the variables x and y as ranging over sequences of infinitely close values. He introduced dx and dy as differences between successive values of these sequences. Leibniz knew that dy/dx gives the tangent but he did not use it as a defining property. On the other hand, Newton used quantities x’ and y’, which were finite velocities, to compute the tangent. Of course neither Leibniz nor Newton thought in terms of functions, but both always thought in terms of graphs. For Newton the calculus was geometrical while Leibniz took it towards analysis however the controversy surrounding them was both of them religiously preached infinitesimal calculus.
Although one could not argue with the success of calculus, this concept of infinitesimals bothered mathematicians. Lord Bishop Berkeley made serious criticisms of the calculus referring to infinitesimals as “the ghosts of departed quantities”. Ultimately, Riemann reformulated Calculus in terms of limits rather than infinitesimals. Thus the need for these infinitely small (and nonexistent) quantities was removed, and replaced by a notion of quantities being “close” to others. The derivative and the integral were both reformulated in terms of limits and definite integrals.
So when do you use calculus in the real world? In fact, you can use calculus in a lot of ways and applications. Among the disciplines that utilize calculus include physics, engineering, economics, statistics, and medicine. It is used to create mathematical models in order to arrive into an optimal solution. For example, in physics, calculus is used in a lot of its concepts. Among the physical concepts that use concepts of calculus include motion, electricity, heat, light, harmonics, acoustics, astronomy, and dynamics. In fact, even advanced physics concepts including electromagnetism and Einstein’s theory of relativity use calculus. In the field of chemistry, calculus can be used to predict functions such as reaction rates and radioactive decay. Meanwhile, in biology, it is utilized to formulate rates such as birth and death rates. In economics, calculus is used to compute marginal cost and marginal revenue, enabling economists to predict maximum profit in a specific setting. In addition, it is used to check answers for different mathematical disciplines such as statistics, analytical geometry, and algebra.
signing off…….Akarsh b Vasisht

Geometry Today

hello guys it’s great to be back. Today I am going to talk about one of the most hated topics especially for school students but probably one of the most interesting topics when we dig deep into the subject.

Math and many of its aspects are a major part of everyday life. We spend the majority of our school years studying and learning the concepts of it. Many times, the question of ‘why do we need to know these things?’ has been asked. So, in this article I am going to emphasise on the development of one subconcept of mathematics which is called “geometry” and it’s ever growing usage.

‘Geometry’ technically means ‘measure of the earth’. Geometry is the mathematics of the properties, measurement, and relationship of the points, lines, angles, surfaces, and solids. Pythagoras emphasised the study of musical harmony and geometry. His theorem was that the square of the length of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the other two sides. Johannes Kepler, formulator of the laws of planetary motion is quoted as saying, ‘Geometry has two great treasures: one of them is the theorem of Pythagoras, the other the division of a line into mean and extreme ratios, that is the Golden Mean.’ As time moved on new concepts came out from various scientists.

An ancient Greek mathematician, named Euclid, was the founder of the study of geometry. Euclid’s Elements is the basis for modern school textbooks in geometry. He created various axioms and postulates which then went on to shape modern geometry. His axioms and postulates were less of mathematics and more of mere common sense and simple logic. One such postulate was the parallel postulate: “That, if a straight line falling on two straight lines make the interior angles on the same side less than two right angles, the two straight lines, if produced indefinitely, meet on that side on which are the angles less than the two right angles.” People like Euclid and Pythagoras stated geometric concepts way before modern geometry had evolved and their theories formed a basis for modern geometry to develop. However, once various scientists came and went fresh ideas and approaches were needed to keep up with the quickly evolving science.

Some notable contributors to geometry were Rene Descartes, Isaac Newton, Leonhard Euler, and Albert Einstein.

Rene Descartes invented the methodology of analytic geometry, also called Cartesian geometry after him, which comprises of coordinate geometry as it’s called today. Blaise Pascal worked on projective geometry which is the study of geometric properties that are invariant with respect to projective transformations. This means that, compared to elementary geometry, projective geometry has a different setting, projective space, and a selective set of basic geometric concepts. Leonhard Euler who is considered to be the greatest mathematicians ever was credited for successfully relating algebra to geometry using the graph theory and number theory. Newton and Einstein contributed to develop non-Euclidean geometry and embedded calculus into geometry to find areas and volumes of irregular geometrical shapes.

The reason geometry is such an important part of mathematics is because mathematics is all about visualisation and without a visual idea it would have been nearly impossible to create mathematics as it stands today. To put this into perspective, if a person wants to measure the length between the foot of a ladder lying on a wall and the base of a wall, he would first imagine the scenario and visualise what this would look like which then makes it easier to calculate using the Pythagoras theorem. So, to answer the question asked at the start of this essay ‘why do we need to know these things?’ It is because although geometry may not be directly applied in real life it forms the basis for other mathematical operations.


signing off………..Akarsh

The Story of Indian Economics (part 2)

The Reform Period:

The main effect of the balance of payments crisis was the loss of India’s position on the global scale especially in the eyes of the World Bank. India had huge debts to repay and could not do so without the aid of the World Bank and such financial institutions. Also, due to the closed door policy of the government foreign trade was meagre and the foreign investments into the country were well below required levels. The rupee now valued 25.79 against the USD which was a massive devaluation. Like all conventional tales, when all hope is lost, the people need a hero to come to their rescue. Manmohan Singh has very often been criticized for his nonchalant stance as prime minister of India but back then he was the finance minister or “the hero” of India. Under PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh’s leadership Indian policies were reinvigorated and major changes were made. The World Bank agreed to give India financial support but in return India had to globalize and liberalize. India agreed to do so and slowly the situation started improving. Some key policies were implemented such as a more capitalist approach by disinvestment of public sector and privatization. Import substitution was removed and taxes were reduced to encourage foreign investments/trade into the country. Importance was given to industrial growth and development of the tertiary sector. All the heavy licensing procedures were abolished and the government trimmed the role of the RBI in regulating the financial sector which resulted in the emergence of various financial institutions. Also, during this time various small scale industries emerged which formed an integral part of the economy in terms of GDP and employment. By the end of Narasimha Rao’s term India was look at the end of the millennium with hope of better things to come.

The Growth Period:

When the hero marks his victory over the villain, the story still has an unfinished part that is the hero and heroine getting together and having a happy ending. Almost a decade later, Manmohan Singh became the prime minister of India. Although, between 2000-2010 India did not see the growth which met its potential but substantial improvement was there.  India’s trade as a proportion of GDP rose from 13.1 per cent in 1990 to 20.3 per cent in 2000. Economic reforms picked up pace in 2000-04 and fiscal deficits trended down after 2002 and there was a based upswing in Indian industrial output and investment from the second half of 2002. India’s Tenth Five-Year Plan (2002-07) targeted an annual growth rate of eight per cent. Along with this growth target, the government also laid down targets for human and social development. A reduction of the poverty rate by five percentage points by 2007; providing gainful employment to at least those who join the labor force during 2002-07; education for all children in schools by 2003; and an increase in the literacy rate to 75 percent by March 2007. The GDP too saw a huge upward growth.

At the present, it is the NDA government which is in full swing and India is en-route to becoming an influential and key player in the world economy and continues to improve in the Na Mo era.