Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Laws and lows of new markets
The newly sworn in United Democratic Front (UDF) government had its first brush with scandal when it was known that the education minister who is also a prominent Congress leader had managed to secure a seat for his daughter in a private medical college run by CPI(M), commonly referred to as Marxist Party in Kerala. Soon after another scandal broke out – here the villain (or victim?) was a prominent leader of DYFI, the youth wing of the so-called Marxist Party. His sin was that he managed a seat for his offspring in the same college, in the NRI quota. When the shit hit the fan both leaders apologized and decided to send their children to other institutions.
Market. People come there to buy and sell and the rules should be the same for all; this is a fundamental principle of the market. A market wont work if you frame rules that force a few people to sell and buy products at a regulated price. It has its own rules, regulations and status. It shouldn't become something like politics where anyone can do anything. Don't try to degrade market to that level.
Suppose you have 100 seats in professional colleges , and suppose again that the government decides to increase it to 110. Students' agitation would start the next day, it is compulsary (I am talking about the situation till a few years ago). Increasing the seats would result in an increase in the supply of graduates of a particular profession in the employment market and the demand should automatically decrease. The prices (i.e., the wages or salary) also would crash. So the agitation is an advance strike against that impending price crash.
The big difference between the seat market and the labour market is that in the seat market the college managements are monopolies and cartels – the producers can set the prices and the buyers have no choice. In the labour market it isn't possible. Unfortunately this is not a socialist set up either. If you can believe the socialist pundits, in a socialist system the moment a child is born the state decide on the quantum of every thing he needs, from safety pins and electricity to medicine and medicine man and start producing these accordingly. But this is a bloody capitalist society and not only the number of safety pins but even the number of doctors are determined by the market.
Nowdays, everything held sacrosanct by conventional wisdom and common sense are turning out to be utter stupidities. So better reserve your comments on subjects you don't know. It is a clear indication of your stupidity if you feel indignant at the news of a Congress minister securing a seat for his offspring in a private professional college run by their arch enemy the 'Marxist' party (CPI-M) by paying hundreds of thousands of rupees.
The entity we used to call 'bribe' in our student days has become something prestigious called 'payment'. This is the price you pay for getting admitted for a professional degree course. Whether the buyer is a Congress minister or the treasurer of the state unit of DYFI, product is the same. Were it a few years ago, the education minister would have lost his job if he paid bribe to obtain a seat for his son. There is no need for it to happen today. Nobody is sure why the minister and the DYFI leader gave up the medical seats – was it because they still harbour elements of stupidity or was it to make the public stupid?
The stupidity according to common sense does not end there. Nobody would pay eight to 15 million rupees to study a subject which could fetch you a job with a salary of 10 to 50 grand! The conventional idiots don't know how to make huge profit from intelligently investing one or one and a half crore rupees. These are days when doctors get big commissions for canvassing patients for expensive surgeries. There is no conditionality that you should canvass only patients in need of surgeries! These guys who invest the capital know how to profit from it, so don't cry for them. You needn't even ask why the lofty communists are running such colleges and doing such things. They can run such shops and live decently till the day socialism arrive. The only thing is that their rates should be a little less than that are charged by education business run by all the communal and casteist mafia of the state.
Your conventional thoughts about social justice etc., will not sell in this market. Nobody would dare to suggest that merit and not money should be the criteria for higher education. A group that enjoys reservation status like the scheduled castes is the NRI. Unlike the SCs you need not even be a NRI to enjoy this reservation benefit – you should have a NRI to point at, that's all. In Kerala to see someone with no family member abroad you will have to search tribal colonies. So anybody with money can buy a seat and become a doctor. God will take care of the patients who consult that guy.
We should all work together to free our public workers from the shame of begging the non- resident Keralites to avail MBBS seats for their children. Is working day and night for the welfare of Keralites less honourable than working as NR Keralite in gulf ? Just as SC/ST/NRI, political workers should also be given a quota for seats in the professional colleges. Poor parents they are, finding no time to serve their children, amidst the rush to serve the people. Ten or fifteen percent reservation will do. Do not worry about the payment; they are not far behind the NRI people when it comes to money.