Air, Water and Education

By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal

At the least, access to clean air and water if not education can be considered inherent right to any human being but in New Delhi, even these two basic, bare minimum necessities for human survival have become a privilege. Year after year the city is being poisoned by pollution and governments, both center and state, have simply passed the buck from one to another. New Delhi also saw student agitating against fee hike by universities and also saw those students getting pummeled by the police. So the bottom line is, does clean Air and Water and cheap, if not free Education is too much to ask for?

Delhi has a history of pollution for quiet some time now. State and center governments are all based here in New Delhi but with all the vested powers, these two entities have failed miserably in alleviating the plight of citizens in Delhi NCR. The air and water quality of the city could have been improved a long time ago, we could have converted the power plants in and around the city to run on renewables or other alternative sources, we could have brought electric buses on the streets and have improved pubic transportation to encourage people to shun private vehicles, we could have moved non-critical ministries and government offices to other cities in order to reduce the residential load, we could have used best minds to solve the garbage problem that’s piling up at an incessant rate and over time will surpass the Qutub Minar in height, we could have implemented modern treatment plants to clean Yamuna river, we could have done a lot but all we have done so far is politics.

Another cause is of Education, I disagree with JNU students all the time, I believe too much Sugar and too much liberal politics can be injurious to health and society but I found myself in agreement with students from JNU, much to my consternation, IIT, DU and other prominent institutions on the issue of fees. In India, in past few years we have seen the cost of education sky rocketing with both public and private institutions charging exorbitant fees from students and yet, the quality of education doesn’t increase proportionally. Public institutions are meant to provide a good, quality education at affordable rates so that students can have easy access to education regardless of their financial circumstances. Government colleges and universities are designed and established for public good and no public good will come out by charging more fees. Those who may think that University staff and faculty won’t get paid if the fee is not hiked are in for a surprise, staffs of government colleges, universities are salaried employees of the government and these organizations get crores in grants every year for the wellbeing of the staff, students and the institute itself.

Given the things the way they are, Delhi for sure will become unlivable by 2023. The best we citizens can do is to move out of the national capital, sooner the better.

One Comment

  1. Shifting responsibility goes against the interests of society, and this is more so with two masters at the helm of affairs!

    Will not a clear demarcation of powers as between the Centre and the Union Territory of Delhi provide the scope for a better governance ensuring at the least the basic amenities as simple as clean air and fresh water to people?

    As education is most fundamental to overall growth of a nation, it’s essential to make it affordable by making the level-playing field open to all!