Shakespeare was not the only one who could do it. Having coined the word ‘automaticarians’[1] which is self explanatory, lets move on to the topic in hand- Shimla, the erstwhile summer capital of British India.

Dotted with British times building, many of which have been declared heritage buildings, Shimla is a beautiful, blissful and bustling blend of vintage and modern. Walking through the Heritage Railway Board Building at The Mall, on one hand one admires the structural uniqueness of this beautiful building, on the other one despairs at the corridors overflowing with metal almirahs, red spit stains and garbage piled in the nooks and corners.

As one strolls through the mall, swinging umbrella, which  apart from shield against rain; is an essential protection from simians and canines in this tourist place; one comes across new and old alike. Glowing buildings of private banks vie with the State Library ( inscription on the foundation stone- ‘This Kirk Was Biiggit  Be Goodlie Men in the Year of Our Lord 1914’) containing vintage books of pre independence era;. Gaitey theatre jostles along the modern building of Mayor’s office. Statue of Lal Lajpat Rai and Christ Church are enough to take one into the era gone by; while Pizzerias remind us of our current cravings. In the Lakkar Bazaar there is a  ‘Woodstreet Café’ and there also hangs a sign on a high up balcony proclaiming “ Prince of Wales Loft”.

Sign boards mentioning ‘since1901’ or something as old makes one think of the generations gone by, stories of history written in these walls. Somewhere along the Mall is one single shop selling old books and prints. Dark and dusty interiors are in tune with the shop name ’Antiquarians’. Shop is obviously not meant for the tourists who flock around cafes and clothes shops.

Books, prints, paintings, artifacts are piled helter skelter, apparently in no particular order. It takes the eye of the connoisseur to distinguish the method in the mess. One is free to browse and inspect. Books on nature to Tibet and prints from Indian artist to British; there is wide range. However on query it was discovered that paintings and artifacts though old are not sale. They are placed to lend the tone to the shop.

Finally a steep uphill walk on the Jakhu temple road one comes across an old ( and most likely unused) post box with words “Online Letter Box Clearance”. If this is actually possible, Shimla has definitely come long way from antiquarians to automaticarians

[1] Automaticarians is coined to rhyme with antiquarians and purports to mean the people dealing with automated gadgets. In present context it refers to the IoT generation.

Spicy Pizza

In the year 1995, my cousin from USA visited India for the first time in her life. Soon she got bored with the Indian delicacies and one day desired to eat pizza. So I took her to one of the hep joints of Chandigarh. On the way , she riding pillion on my scooter, asked about the pizza recipe . I told her the usual things: crust, cheese, sauce, olives, meat etc. she was surprised, that there was no pepper. I was shocked. Why would we want to put green pepper or chillies as we like to call them, on pizza. My opinion about the food habits of American underwent sea change. These people like their food spicy.

Any way we ordered the pizza and as soon as she saw it , she exclaimed,” see pepper!” Pointing to the capsicum.

Fast forward to Twenty five years later and nowadays we are posted in the north east corner of India at the high altitude, where rations and other supplies reach with difficulty and situation had worsened due to corona virus restrictions.

One day commanding officer of our battalion noticed that a brand new OVen Toaster Grill was lying idle in the Officers’ Mess. He ordered that it be used for making pizza for jawans in the wet canteen ( nothing to do with liqueurs or alcohol). Wet canteen prepared two different snacks every day for jawans. So one day of the week was allotted to pizza.

The officer in charge smartly said,” yes sir.” And other staff in typical north eastern humility agreed,” hoga sir.”

No one in the whole battalion had baked a pizza before but theirs was not to reason why and also not how. So the most expert cook of the battalion was assigned the task to conduct research on google. It was discovered that the key ingredient yeast was not available in the local market. Although there were other ingredients like mozzarella cheese, also missing, but substitutes were available. Yeast was procured from plains and finally after some hit and trial, the first presentable pizza was ready and served to the CO.

The taste of biscuity sweet crust was offset by very hot and spicy green vegetables. It seemed that the recipe had mentioned green pepper and cook had used the local grown large sized green chillies.




Now that the children are at home without any structured homework or targets, its time to upgrade their life skills, There are plenty of online classes for all the hobbies we can think of from Aikido to Origami, from Ballet to Bharat Natyam. But these online classes get boring very quickly as there is no personal touch. It requires discipline and high degree of motivation to follow these classes everyday, without break, especially if there is only one participant in the house.


To keep children occupied and interested in something, is testing parents’ patience. On top of it, the constant refrain of “there’s nothing nice to eat” has the mothers’ tearing their hair out.


Lets Cook:

Easy way out, is teach children cooking i.e. simple cooking that we do in our home everyday. Let them come into kitchen, try out kneading flour to make rotis, take their help in vegetable chopping etc for vegetable cooking or pulao. Cooking different types of  eggs- omelette, scrambled, poached etc, making paranthas, custard, halwa, and then graduating them to make tadka for dal and finally making vegetables. Of course to keep children interested, parent will have to remain in the kitchen, but then this is family meal being cooked, so parent had to be there in the first place. We can easily up the ante by adding fancy sounding spices such as Italian seasoning, oregano, black pepper, chilli flakes or sautéed vegetables to our dishes e.g different coloured capsicum, carrots, peas.

Some easy fruit recipes include making fruit pops. Water melon pops are awesome and so is mango sorbet, With summer fast approaching different types of ice creams ( chocolate, coffee & walnut, mango) also  keep kids busy.


Let the kids clean up the shelves and wash up afterwards. Let them learn how to make sprouts and different types of sandwiches, raitas and salads. Teach them to whip up shakes and salads. Let them experiment on small scale and let them taste and eat it, as long as they are not being poisoned.


Its all about Money Honey

Another important aspect of life, which our children never get lessons in, is managing money. Our life is about earning and spending money. Studies and career focus on increasing earning capacity of ana individual but spending part is trial and error. Lets teach this to the children. This is excellent time as there is no scope for any wastage or inefficacious expenditure. So hand over some money and tell the children to keep account for a week, for a start. It is surprising how much responsible they become once the money is in their hands. Let them learn how and where to spend and where it is essential to desist. lEt them maintain written record and if some budget was fixed in the beginning, it will be interesting to know the savings or deficit.


Green Thumbs

If there is small garden or planters available, let the children mess around in the mud. My parents had a big garden as well as vegetable garden. When my sons were small, one fine day they decided that they wanted a swimming pool. So along with their older cousin they started digging up vegetable garden. I tried to stop them and my father stopped me and he said, “we are raising children, not vegetables.”


Kids love getting muddy, dirty and filthy. Let them, and also keep telling them about the different plants and the planting procedures. Children absorb like a sponge and slowly they will be able to help in digging, sowing, weeding, watering the plants and when something bears fruit, they will be justifiably proud of it. After a session in the garden let them be hosed out in the garden itself. Cleaning the muddy footsteps and dripping water inside the house is cumbersome. If possible lay a trail of newspapers on which they can walk to the bathroom.  A tired out child eats well and sleeps well.


Finally take skipping challenge with the kids. It is easy, non expensive, can be done in the court yard and quick to finish. Needless to point the health advantages of this physical activity.


The day will be over very quickly especially if the children had free run of the kitchen and garden. It might give the feeling that hurricane had had hit the kitchen but ask children clean it up, along with the parent.



She was devastated. Her own family was hell bent on destroying everything. It had taken centuries to build this empire. It was complex and beyond imagination creation.  She had given them everything they had asked, demanded or snatched. But now her own family was on the path to destruction. There was no logic at all. It was pure and simple greed. In that process family members had turned against each other, wiling to kill each other for just a little more money.

She had tried to warm them, with love and with threats. She had sent serious signals too. But the impact had been short lived. They were still at each other’s throats, without realising that it was her that they were destroying.

Enough was enough. She could not let her whole family annihilate each other in front of her eyes. She must put a stop to it. She will make them pause from their lives, sit up and listen to her. She will show them what happens when they don’t listen to her.

So, she made a very infinitesimal  but deadly statement; and the whole world stopped in its tracks.

She was Mother Nature after all



Gladly, as His suns fly

through the heavens’ grand plan

Go on, brothers, your way,

Joyful, like a hero to victory.

These are lines from Ode to Joy, poem written by Friedrich Schiller which was later adapted by Beethoven. It’s springtime and there is profusion of colour and fragrance in the air. It’s time for hope, time for joy and time for the spring in the step.

But the world is going through crisis, calamity, catastrophe, emergency and shut down. So many words to describe the outbreak of tiny, invisible virus. All this has led to is, fear and panic. Why is everyone so scared? Is it because it is highly contagious and no remedy in sight? Let’s focus on the other side – death rate is very low. I understand that low percentage can still translate into huge numbers but death does come as an end for all of us.

Instead of being pessimistic think about:- Precautions and Protections; but also about Living Life!

Now that for a change, families are enclosed together without option, why not make the best of it and get down to the business of happy families.  Together lets

  • Sing and dance
  • Learn something new ( Internet is working and it teaches everything from creative writing to rocket science)
  • Cook, eat and exercise
  • Read
  • Have a family picnic on roof top
  • Play antakashari (just like good old days)
  • Write a diary about this period ( who knows it might be next Diary of Anne Frank)
  • Play board games (with actual boards) chess, scrabble even Tambola with family members
  • Draw, paint colour – pages, clothes, pots, glasses
  • Gardening
  • Or finally just sit idle and contemplate the complex concatenation of events which has landed us all in this blissful laidback life.

So much to do and I wonder how much time we will have.


“I want to be a cooker”, announced my four year old son, as he watched me cook the meal for the day. Kitchen was the best place in the whole house, for him. Here he got “Food” with capital “F”.  But to his credit, he helped me cheerfully in every task that I assigned to him whether in kitchen or outside- prattling around, carefully balancing the dishes and their contents. Soon he was expert in making tea, coffee, Maggi noodles and different forms of eggs.

That was eleven years ago. Some where along the line he found my attempts at baking not reaching upto his high standards. At that point he asked for a good oven as his birthday present. I was more than happy to oblige. So he started with simple mug cakes, graduating to chocolate cake and to fancy orange and walnut cakes. Nowadays his walnut pies and apple cinnamon pies are too good to be true.

So, it was but evident that he will choose his career in baking. The searching and googling for the institutions and courses commenced. Sadly enough, there are courses in Hotel Management where one can specialize in baking but a specific graduate course for baking and entrepreneurship was conspicuous by absence and this enterprising career fell flat.

At the age of fourteen, the child prodigy had a book of poems published so he changed his mind and realized that he can study English, and he zeroed upon the career of a writer. His decision was further strengthened after his meeting with Ruskin Bond in the school. Unfortunately the sales of his book were nowhere near the sales of his favourite author Rick Riordan and this career was quietly written off.

As he reached class tenth, he was quite clear that he wanted to be ‘An Evolutionary Biologist’. I looked at him askance and asked him the road map for the same. He nonchalantly answered, “ I am too busy with studies, you can find everything on the net, I guess.” With no other option but to comply, I googled it. It seems that this option is available at advanced research stage.  Before that graduation and post-graduation needs to be completed with biology as a subject and that open the doors for research. But What after Research? The question required research and enquiry.

Of course kids cannot think that far ahead. For him immediate goal was to study biology. Slowly he realized that biology is not as easy as it seems. In Indian context he has to study Physics and Chemistry also along with it and Biology is unfortunately two independent subjects – Botany and Zoology. The problems compounded and expanded.

Doing the rounds of local science coaching institutes, we came across an institute providing training for pilots. The glamour over shadowed prudent thoughts and in we went to enquire in detail. At home, armed with glossy brochures and visiting cards, we settled down to discuss. Like a true finance professional, I made a cost benefit analysis sheet, and added to that the scarcity of jobs for pilots, were a big damper. Thankfully, the idea did not take off.

So we are at the end of our tether (sorry tenth) and no career choice has been made.










The Fourth Industrial Revolution is conceptualised as an upgrade on the third revolution

and is marked by a fusion of technologies straddling

  • Physical
  • Digital and
  • Biological worlds


  • The speed of change is utterly unprecedented.
  • Billions of people connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power
  • New products and services that increase the efficiency and pleasure of our personal lives.
  • Exponential increases in computing power and by the availability of vast amounts of data, from software used to discover new drugs to algorithms used to predict our cultural interests.
  • Artificial intelligence is all around us, from self-driving cars and drones to virtual assistants and software that translate or invest.
  • Digital fabrication technologies, meanwhile, are interacting with the biological world on a daily basis.
  • Ordering a cab, booking a flight, buying a product, making a payment, listening to music, watching a film, or playing a game—any of these can now be done remotely.


  • Creating the future workforce—now—is the responsibility of the very highest levels of an organization because of the complexity and the urgency of the challenge and opportunity.
  • Navigating the path towards the workforce of the future will require leaders to ask tough questions.
  • How do we: Attract and develop the new talent we need? Scale and accelerate the pace of change?
  • Make sure the people with us now don’t get left behind? Secure the right amount and type of investment in our people to prepare them?


Accenture launched original research in three parts to help leaders understand the situation and their options to act:

  • The Worker Values Index created in partnership with Gallup.
  • Econometric modeling to codify the impact of automation on labor productivity.
  • And finally, a survey of more than 10,000 workers in ten countries exploring the impact of technological advances on work today and in the future.

From this research following three task areas emerged:

  1. Accelerate Reskilling people
  2. Redesign work to unlock human potential
  3. Strengthen the Human Talent Pipeline from its source

Accenture Research Reveals

  • 40 percent of employers report talent shortages.
  • With dramatic shifts in expected skills requirements, the gap is likely to increase.
  • By 2020, more than one-third of the desired skill sets of most jobs will be comprised of skills not yet considered crucial today.
  • Business leaders need to take action when it comes to reskilling the workforce. And contrary to grim narratives in everything from “Terminator,” to “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Westworld,” the digital future of work is anything but dystopian.
  • Accenture research shows a general shortage of technology experience in boardrooms: Only 10 percent of board members surveyed report having professional technology experience.


  • US telecoms provider AT&T found itself facing a skills gap when it came to technology.
  • The company lacked talent in cloud-based computing, coding and data science.
  • To close the gap, AT&T launched “Workforce 2020” aimed at reskilling 140,000 staffers for new roles. (The company also set out the expectation that roles will change every four years.)
  • In one four-month period, employees who had undertaken retraining filled half of all technology management roles at AT&T and received 47 percent  of all promotions in the  technology organization.

Example of Auto Sector

Deutsche Bahn (DB) is turning to virtual reality to recruit talented workers to replace its older workers transitioning into retirement. DB invests in technology to differentiate itself from rival firms. Alongside targeted recruitment campaigns on Facebook, a music streaming blog to appeal to graduates and the development of an applicant tracking system simplifying the online application process, DB uses VR so candidates can “test drive” jobs before they apply.

Mercedes-Benz wanted to be a first mover in automating assembly lines. But because of the demand for hyper-personalization, robots couldn’t keep up with the rapid pace of change and the complexity of the customization options. While skilled humans can change a production line in a couple of days, robots take weeks to realign. Because of the underperformance of their robots, the company is giving people a greater role in industrialization again and aims to halve the time taken to produce a car from 2005’s benchmark of 61 hours to 30 hours. The lesson: Approach automation carefully. Think augmentation. And consider what kind of work is best suited for man versus machine.

Impact on Human Resource Function:

  • Talent Acquisition and Talent Management
  • More efficient use of resources and better time management.
  • Better understanding of people problems and possibility of anticipation also with data analytics.
  • Better and more suited work force can be identified through social media sites.
  • Virtual reality can change the face of training
  • Transactional administration work will be entirely through technology

Impact on Workforce

  • Companies will require lesser IT Professionals
  • Workforce is benefitted by quicker response and employee satisfaction.
  • Employees will be required to adapt themselves to data driven decision making.
  • Workforce in retail, finance and IT has to be reskilled.
  • Customer service jobs may go to robots who can mimic human speech patterns.
  • Manpower requirements will change towards more technology orientation.
  • It is forecasted that millions of jobs will be lost to robotics by 2020.


  • As automation substitutes for labor across the entire economy, the net displacement of workers by machines might exacerbate the gap between returns to capital and returns to labor.
  • On the other hand, it is also possible that the displacement of workers by technology will, in aggregate, result in a net increase in safe and rewarding jobs.
  • In addition to being a key economic concern, inequality represents the greatest societal concern.
  • Rise of a job market increasingly segregated into “low-skill/low-pay” and “high-skill/high-pay” segments, which in turn will lead to an increase in social tensions
  • Oxfam estimates, just 62 individuals own as much as the poorer half of the world’s population,  and that the wealth of the poorest 50 per cent fell by 41 per cent since 2010.
  • A report by the Swiss bank UBS this week said the spread of artificial intelligence and robots will harm economies like India and some Latin American countries by cutting their cheap labour advantage.





Outlook for the year 2020:

  •  Brazil, France, Germany are some of the countries that will lose out on the jobs; and jobs creation will be less than the jobs displaced.
  • Professions physicians, entertainment etc will not be at risk while telecalling operators and accounting staff may find the going tough.
  • Employment categories like office administration will decline while computer technology and financial services will gain in strength.
  • Complex problem solving remains the most important skill and creativity gains importance. How ever skills like quality control and active listening will not be important in the year 2020 and emotional intelligence and cognitive listening will gain credence.
  • The jobs of the future will be data analytics, computer professionals, architects and engineers, product engineers, specialist sales force, Organisational development managers and government regulators.




Is Panchkula Burning?


At the break of dawn, of 26 August, everything seemed quiet and normal. The roads as expected are deserted so early in morning. Crossing the residential area, as one moves towards wider roads and in sector market, signs begin to appear. Broken bottles, stones, bricks, sticks etc. litter the roads and pavements alike. Moving towards commercial areas and the landscape changes. Acrid smell of burning still hangs in the air. Charred, blackened carcasses of vehicles are visible at intervals. Cars, SUVs, trucks, motor cycles, even fire tenders, nothing escaped the fury of the mob. The silence was deafening, the scene desolate and stench mordant. The storm had wreaked havoc on the tranquil, calm city of Panchkula situated in the foothills of Shivalik Hills.

On 23rd August, sleepy cousin of Chandigarh, Panchkula was shaken out of its slumber as unconfirmed reports of vehicles being burnt by miscreants, filtered in. As a precautionary measure, schools decided to close the classes till Sunday and students were sent home in the middle of the day. As the security forces and followers of the religious leader poured in to the city, the apprehensions of violence and tensions heightened. Rumours started flying thick and fast: Panchkula has been sealed, Section 144 ( banning assembly of four or more persons at one public place) imposed, curfew imposed etc.  However residents of Panchkula snorted with disdain and one individual remarked, “what curfew and what section 144; there are hundreds of people sitting in the park right in front of our house!” Masses and masses of human beings had made the parks and pavements as their temporary homes.

The day of judgement (no pun intended) dawned clear and bright. Had the rain Gods been merciful like they were on 21st August, many people would have been alive. But it was not to be. Religious followers marched towards the centre of the things, the Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court, where judgement was to be pronounced. Hordes of people, men, women and children converged, walking with a purposeful stride, surging towards the court. Police force, Para Military and even Army had been called to maintain the peace in the city. Bus services from other states had been halted. Shops had downed their shutters as precautionary measure. Internet services had been shut down. Life had hit a pause button.

But the whole system collapsed as the Judge pronounced the religious leader guilty. Mass of humanity vented their ire at whatever came in their way: media persons, OB vans, private vehicles; everything bore the brunt of the rage of these fanatics, Reason and logic had long taken leave. It was just mob violence without rationality or reason. Gangs of human being armed with petrol, kerosene, diesel torched hotels, bank buildings, Insurance office and even tried to enter private houses. Bricks, stones sticks were flying around as the people started getting injured and cries for medical help lent the air.

Panchkula burning

As the violence escalated, the forces tried to put this down by inadequate water cannons and tear gas but failed miserably. Unable to control the ferocity of mob, security forces found themselves at the receiving end. District Magistrate also found herself surrounded by swarm of angry people, when finally security forces were allowed to use firing as the last resort. Resultantly 28 people were killed and hundreds were injured.

Next day the government declared that the situation is under control, about 500 people have been arrested and mob has been dispersed.



Photo courtsey: .Ravi Kumar /Hindustan Times


Privatisation: A New System Of Government School Education



Living near a village, where the  migrant labour from UP and Bihar reside in slum conditions, I came across many young children struggling to study. Financial situation made it impossible for the girl children to take extra help in the form of tuitions. So I stepped in to help them in their studies.  Two of such girls were in the same class as my elder son and I was shocked and distressed to find the gap in the level of education.  These girls were students of Government School.

Related image

Over the time period, I realized that some of these students in classes such as seventh and eighth were unable to write a single, simple  sentence in Hindi,  such as ,’’mera naam Seema hai”. Similarly  addition of 15 plus 5 would have them counting on their fingers.  About English, they could write the alphabet and simple three letter words. And I was supposed to help them with not only these subjects but also Social Studies and Science which they had in English medium. With such poor standards of study, it is amazing that these girls have completed class tenth successfully now.  I do not take any credit for that as I am ashamed at their level of education.


I seriously thought about what and where the things are going wrong. I had studied in a government school, for two and half years, back in 1980-1983 and I had a fair idea of the system at that time. So one day I visited their school. I was surprised and happy to see the excellent infrastructure, with proper classrooms, play fields, benches, blackboards, toilets and even laboratory and library. So what was different? I talked to students and teachers informally. It is mostly the apathy of teachers which is the main culprit. Some of the teachers were not available. Some were just not taking classes which they should have been.

And the most conscientious ones were in the class where they had either asked one of the students to read the chapter( it is different matter that reading was nowhere near what the chapter wanted to convey) or they had some notebook in hand and asked one of the students to copy out from the notebook, presumably answers of the book questions; to the blackboard. The students sitting in the class were ordered to note down these answers.  Since the student writing the notes on the blackboard had no idea what those scribbles meant and his/ her handwriting on the blackboard made the things worse, the net result was the notebooks of the students in the class contained an interesting array of squiggles.

Why was this apathy?

Who could put it right?

Why the education department not be held responsible for this utter waste of time, effort and money, in providing education,  which leads to nothing?

And what about thousands of students who consider themselves as educated but are unable to compete in the employment market?

Instead of going around in circle as to find causes and reasons, I thought what  could be the alternative to improve this sad state of affairs.


Can the government education provision be given to private sector on contract basis?

I have some experience in Government sector. In many Central government departments , vehicles are hired for usage of staff and other services. The contract for the vehicle is monthly lumpsum amount payable to the contractor which includes apart from the vehicle hire cost, fuel cost, cost of hiring driver, repair expense and has specific provisions as to the number of operational days and the kilometers to run per month, number of working hours per day, carryover of leftover kilometers in one month to next month, overtime charges for the driver and overtime kilometer expense; etc. This whole package is usually one third the total costs of owning a vehicle by the government department. Ownership of vehicle entails capital cost of buying new vehicle,  driver’s salary and other incidental costs related with permanent government employees, repair and maintenance  expenses and of course the fuel charges. Apart from the cost factor, the contract system is advantageous as to availability of alternative vehicle to be provided by the contractor, even when the hired vehicle is under repairs and maintenance.


ANSWER: Yes it can be. Lets check the modalities.


The idea is to hire out the schools lock, stock and barrel to some agency/organization/ individual  (called the contractor) who has presence in the education field with some past experience.  Each school, as to its, location, infrastructure and other factors is unique and hence each school should be treated as a separate unit.  Taking example of Chandigarh ( being a UT with high literacy rate), it has 80 secondary government schools functioning as on 30.09.2010. (source:

The budget of the Department of Education( DOE) Chandigarh shows two segregations of the schools: Elementary and Secondary schools.  ( source:

The Right to Free & Compulsory Education Act 2009 provides a justiciable legal framework that entitles all children between the ages of 6-14 years free and compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education. (source: Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Government of India,

Thus elementary education is presumably till class Eighth. Taking this as the parameter, secondary schools are 80 as on 30.09.2010. To test the waters, one school is taken as the pilot case and in this project Government Senior Secondary School Sector 45 has been taken as the Pilot Study School.


As in all government undertakings, concerned department floats a tender. In this case the upper most limit of the tender is the cost of running the school. The costs, on the basis of the budget of Department of Education Chandigarh, included are:

  1. Salaries of school
  2. Wages of the school
  3. Medical treatment expense for the school
  4. Office expenses of the school
  5. Supplies and material
  6. Other charges

Costs not taken into account for the tender purpose are Capital expenditure of constructing the school, equipment cost and cost of furnishing it, repair and maintenance expense, Inspection expenses and incidental administration expenses, scholarships and mid day meal expense. Further GSSS-45 has 123 teachers (as per SRC report of 2015-16) and 2613 students on roll (as per Enrollment,  Department of Education Chandigarh website, as on 30.09.2014).

The above six costs for the Pilot Study School, for the year 2015-16,  are as follows:



S.NO. COST COST ALLOCATED TO GMSS-45 %age of total expenditure Average expense  per staff member 

( total staff 123)

1 Sec  school salaries 47,790,451.37 92.67 388540
2 Sec school  wages 1,568,306.01 3.04 12750
3 Sec school medical treatment 353,092.90 0.68 2871
4 Sec school office expenses 599,028.61 1.16
5 Sec school supplies and material 324,132.80 0.63
6 Sec school other charges 937,636.39 1.82
TOTAL ANNUAL 5,15,72,648 100 4,04,161
MONTHLY 42,97,721 33,680


These costs have been calculated by taking the budgeted figures of the given six expenditures for the year 2015-16; and then allocating and apportioning  the same to Pilot Study School on suitable basis. (Detailed calculations and basis of allocation of costs  are given in  Annexure-I)

The tender can have provision for increasing the amount annually. In government departments norm is to increase the budget by ten percent every year. So that increase can be passed on to the contractor.


  1. The students will not be shifted out and the school will be accepted along with all the students on rolls on one particular date. ( Say, April 15 of the academic year)
  2. The policy of new admissions of students will not change and continue as it was in the previous year.
  3. School name will not change and Department of Education will remain the controlling agency.
  4. School can revert back under the direct aegis of DOE, at any point time but during the contract period, suitable notice period can be decided upon ( say one month or the end of academic quarter; whichever is later).
  5. The sports and co curricular activities prevalent in the school in the previous year will continue. In case of addition or deletion, mutual agreement of the Contractor and Department of Education is required.
  6. The contractor will be given free hand to hire teachers and other staff at his own terms but the new staff hired by the contractor, will not be government servants in any sense of the word. Also whichever existing teachers are not suitable as per the requirements of the Contractor, these will be shifted out. As there are many vacancies in other schools, Department of Education can easily accommodate them in those schools.
  7. The school will be kept clean and safe for the students, by the contractor and he will be given free hand to employ the required staff for cleaning etc; and for administrative functioning also.
  8. Contractor will be free to retain any of the existing staff ( staff should also agree to stay) or may ask DOE to transfer out any staff member, at any time. DOE will transfer out the staff member within 30 days of the request.
  9. Contractor , after receiving the transfer order, will be at liberty to relieve the staff member of the charge.
  10. The contractor will provide monthly statement as to number of teachers, staff and students attending the A set perfoma can be prepared for this purpose, which, duly filled,  can be emailed on the last day of the month by the contractor to DOE.
  11. The attendance rolls of teachers, staff and the students will be responsibility of the contractor and DOE can inspect those at any time.
  12. Contractor will be paid some lumpsum amount for repair and maintenance and will be responsible for maintaining the school in good condition. However it is obligatory upon Department of Education to handover the school to the Contractor in good condition.
  13. The expenses related to salaries, wages, medical treatment, office expenses, supplies and material and other charges ( to be specified) are to be borne by the contractor.
  14. The award for the contract will be for atleast five years and Contractor will have to show results after two years.
  15. All the prospective contractors should be allowed to evaluate the school for at least fifteen days when the tender is floated, they will be allowed to roam around the school, to assess the infrastructure available, teaching systems and students’ standards of study.
  16. The free books, uniforms and meals; scholarships etc. will be responsibility of the Department of Education and provided by Department of Education. The Contractor will focus on academics, sports and co curricular excellence only.
  17. Quarterly PTMs will be conducted by the contractor. owever practical experience shows that parents are not comfortablePractical experience shows that most parents do not feel comfortable at such meetings due to vast gap between the teachers and the parents in terms of education. However parents will be encouraged to provide suggestions for improvement in the education system.
  18. Contractor will not be allowed to charge anything over and above the prescribed fee for the government schools.
  19. In case the school intends to undertake something extra, like field trip or picnic or conduct some school function/ play / program/ sports event/ meet; then it can seek additional funds from DOE and DOE may provide the necessary funding for the same in full or in part or not at all.
  20. There can be an upper threshold limit till which Contractor can ask the students to pay for each such activity ( say Rs.100 per student for one activity). In one academic year, students should not be asked to pay more than a specified limit ( say not more than Rs.500 per student in the whole academic year).
  21. However the details of such activities, including the amount asked from the students, must be submitted to DOE, in advance.


Performance Appraisal is an important factor to understand the success of this system.

  1. As the session starts in April and in March annual exams take place. The March exams held just prior to handing over of the school to the contractor;, the written sheets, projects and other related things of all students; should be meticulously saved by Department of Education under seal and in both soft copy and hard copy.
  2. Authorised Representative of DOE can visit the school anytime without notice.
  3. The first evaluation of the contractor should take place after one year. The sheets of the students appearing in this year exam should be compared with the sheets of students of the same class of the previous year. For example if the first year of the Contractor, ends in March 2019, then sheets of class one of 2017-18 ( saved under seal) are compared with the sheets of class one of 2018-19 and so on.
  4. If the performance of the contractor is satisfactory, then after two years, appraisal in this form can be abandoned and DOE/CBSE can conduct half yearly tests to judge the continuing progress of the students.


  1. The tender should be for five years, and there should be  a fixed sum payable for each year.
  2. There can be a percentage raise each year, to nullify the impact of inflation.
  3. Payment to the contractor can be made quarterly.
  4. The expansion, restructuring, constructions, etc, of the school will be borne by the DOE and to accommodate these changes fresh tender will be called for. Hence if the first tender was for five years, then new changes ( especially of capital nature) can take effect only after five years.
  5. However in the five year period there can be requirements for new books for the library, new laboratory equipment etc. ( expenditure of capital nature), which should be incurred by DOE as it was done in the previous three years. Taking previous three years as the base as to the activities and areas where such expenditures were incurred; and adding a percentage to the amount of previous expenses, such expenses can be incurred by the DOE and these should be evenly spread out for each quarter.
  6. There should be a linkage between the number of students and payment to the contractor. If the number of student rises above ten percent of the previous year ( enrollment is as on 30th September) than proportionate rise should be given to the contractor and in case the number of student falls then proportionate decrease in payment can be made.


  Percent of students of previous year                          payment

90% to 110%                                                   As per the amount under tender agreement

>90%       ( say 87%)                                          Same percent decrease ( 13% decrease )

<110%     ( say 115%)                                        Same percent increase ( 15% increase)


Number of students can be taken as the average number of students in that quarter.


The data used here is for different years for different parameters. For example budget figures are for the financial year 2015-16, while the number of government schools and number of teachers in government schools;  in Chandigarh, have been calculated as per the data as on 30.09.2010. Enrollment of students (total number of students in high schools and secondary schools) is, as on 30.09.2014. However the data does not have any impact on the theoretical premise and possible solutions, of the study. It simply provides a basis to start with.

It is common knowledge that private schools fare better in terms of education than the government schools. This experiment can be tried in one school each, in different cities. This model combines the government control and fee structure but more professional and competitive environment. Since the idea is radical, there might be many pitfalls. But I cannot think of anything which cannot be overcome. Any takers?








( in Rs.)

Budget of 2015-16




( in Rs.)

03-00-01 Secs school salaries 1,066,543,000.00 number of teachers 2745 123 47,790,451.37 10666543000*123/2745
03-00-02 Sec school  wages 35,000,000.00 number of teachers 2745 123 1,568,306.01  35000000*123/2745
03-00-06 Sec school medical treatment 7,880,000.00 number  of teachers 2745 123 353,092.90  7880000*123/2745
03-00-13 Sec school office expenses 32,569,000.00 number of students 142068 2613 599,028.61  32569000*2613/142068
03-00-21 Sec school supplies and material 17,623,000.00 number of students 142068 2613 324,132.80  17623000*2613/142068
03-00-50 Sec school other charges 50,979,000.00 number of students 142068 2613 937,636.39  50979000*2613/142068
  TOTAL 1,210,594,000.00   51,572,648.08  
around 121 crores five lakhs and ninety four Five crores fifteen lakhs seventy two
thousand Thousand six hundered and forty eight








  1. Government of India Ministry of Human Resource Development Bureau of Planning, Monitoring & Statistics New Delhi 2012:
  3.; SCORE CARD GSSS-45;   AS PER SRC_04011000402_2015-16.pdf
  4. Government of India Ministry of Human Resource Development Bureau of Planning, Monitoring & Statistics New Delhi 2012 : REPORT 2012 :
  5. Official website of Chandigarh Administration: school Education:



Construction of House Part-IV

After such a big event, the pace of the work suddenly slacks to crawling. For a few days there is no work. Roof requires frequent watering. Any wok pending in the exterior can be undertaken. Manufacturing of gate pillars or staircase. Gate pillars can be erected only if the gate has been decided upon as to the size. Masons usually prefer to have the gate with them. After 2-3 days, the roof can be visited and construction of parapet can be started. After Lintel this is the first task undertaken. If staircase has not been constructed, mason might do that. Then shuttering is opened. First the wooden pillars are removed and then one room by one, iron plates are brought down. Suddenly the walls are transformed into a house.

Another point to be kept in mind here is that the door and window sills should be ready. As soon as the shuttering is removed, door and window sills are fixed. The mason fixes the window and door sills. The Wooden sills are treated with anti termite ( use anti termite chemical and brush these over.) The side of the sill which is to be fixed towards the wall is painted black to prevent moisture seepage. At the foot of the sills, plastic cups, which are available in the market, can be fixed to further prevent termites. Pour little anti termite in the cups after they are fixed on the sills. Fixing of sills requires clamps which are of different sizes and carpenter can tell the exact size and number required. Usually each door sill requires six and window sill requires four clamps.

That will be stage, when electrician will take over as his team fixes PVC pipes and boxes all over the house. One has to be very cautious that all the boxes are fixed as per the electricity map, which should have been drawn by the architect with your approval. Ceiling lights and fans require ceiling boxes. In case of any decorative lighting, provision for the same and power points for heaters etc. need to be taken care of. Air conditioners placing also must be decided to create provision for electric connection.

Outside in the courtyard, any skirting/ footlights required or any automatic lights required should be though about and provisions created accordingly.

Decide as to where the main switch and MCBs of the house will be placed. A wooden box will be required for this place as all the wires have to terminate here. Bathrooms require attention as to lighting, fan, exhaust fan, water heater and at least one five ampere socket.

Kitchen is a different story altogether. Apart from lighting and fan, choose between chimney and exhaust fan (usually chimney and make sure that the chimney switch is at the lower level and reachable) Apart from the switches, consider personal needs like refrigerator, water heater, RO system, Microwave, OTG, blender, toaster, juicer or any other electric gadget in use or might be used in future.

These days gas cylinders are not kept in the kitchen and hence in the kitchen gas pipe is also required. So another specialist comes into picture. It is neither a time consuming nor expensive work. Use copper pipe, have it painted black and cover with duct tape. For this decision as to whether ordinary gas stove is to be placed or cooking hob will be installed, is required. Two knobs are placed at the two terminating ends of the pipe, one linking to the gas cylinder and the other to the gas stove.

At the same time it is the time for plumber also to join in. Water pipes and storage tanks along with other listed things will be required. Apart from the water pipes, drain pipes will also be laid at this stage and drain chambers will be constructed. Here the plumbing map is essential. In each bathroom the water taps for fresh water, storage water and hot water are to be decided. If you are planning fancy fittings, decide at this stage as shower panels and cubicles require different wall pipe system. Similarly cistern and pot designs need to be decided as wall fitted cisterns require different pipe fittings. Galvanized iron pipes ( GI pipes) to be placed are painted balck and covered in duct tape, before installing.

Kitchen needs special attention as to the position of sinks, fresh water, hot water, storage water, water heater, RO system, etc.

If you are going for rain water harvesting, separate chambers for rain water will be constructed with totally separate pipelines. These pipelines will be finally linked to the rainwater harvesting chamber. At this point, find an expert to do the bore and fix the pipe for rain water harvesting. After that plumber will attach the last pipe to the chamber and then you will be required to get the chamber brickwork done.

The decision as to place for water storage tank should have been made at the beginning. Usually it makes sense to have a concrete and brick underground water storage tank. As this is required through out the construction, have it constructed from the day one at the appropriate place, chosen carefully.     (Usually one corner of backyard). If construction of water tank, from the initial stage is not feasible, then construct it after the foundations are laid but before land filling is done. It saves lot of labour. Get its lintel work done and place an iron lid over it when the land filling is done. The pipes are connected from this storage tank to the upstairs storage tanks which lead to the bathrooms and kitchen.

At many places there two different types of water, provided by the authorities. One normal and other specifically for lawns and cisterns. In that case double arrangements are required as to two storage tanks at the ground level and at least two upstairs. We had a separate one for kitchen, so three on the roof. So double set of pipes leads upstairs to the upper tanks and double set of pipes come down to the bathrooms.

This is crucial as one has to ensure that pipes are correctly linked as to hot and cold water and also as to the correct storage tank. Each storage tank on the roof is getting correct water supply both from the normal supply or through motorized water pump.

Another person to be hired at this stage is Air Conditioner fitter. For split ACs indoor and outdoor units are to be decided. As per your need and requirements, decide as to the ACs in the house and find an efficient person for this work. Make sure that the ACs is not above the electric installation like TV or over the bed. Whatever any one may say, there is always chance of leakage of water from AC. ACs fittings include, AC electric pipes, electric wires and drain pipes. That requires cutting of wall. Rates for these are segregated into different works i.e. to the length of wall cutting, copper pipe and wire and PVC pipe. Check on the quality of different pipes and also whether the wiring supports five star rated ACs. Depending upon the length of each work, the approximate cost these days is Rs.5000/- per AC fitting.

Creating provision for CCTV camera is also desirable. Another contractor is hired, who will fit the PVC pipes with wires for CCTV cameras.

While this work is going on, mason will fix the iron grill on the roof parapets and the grills on the front and back boundary wall. For this purpose 200-300 tiles ( brick tiles) are required.

This stage after lintel takes about one month.

End of part IVIMG_7027

Fixing the door sill, electric box fixed on the wall, along with the pipe is also visible.