Friday, June 26, 2009

Online Admissions Servers Crash, MNS run riot.

The headline today morning in the paper - Online Admissions Servers Crash, MNS run riot.
I am a proponent of increasing IT in general, and when i read about the Online Form filling for junior college admissions, I was very happy and very very afraid. I was happy since it was extremely necessary for such a system, as the old system of slogging it out in the rains to each college was a waste of time and energy, and stress for parents more than kids.

I was afraid of the whole new system because of all the bitter experiences i have had with government agencies handling IT matters. Every time i have had to log on and view my engg admission details or even as menial as to see a new notification on these government run websites, it invariably takes half of my day. Earlier i used to blame it on my dial-up connection, but even with broadband they still remain the same.

So when this headline flashed in the papers today, I was left feeling both the pain of the students, the pain of the few good government men who thought of making this system work. How much do the IT technicians or administrators who wrote the source codes for these admissions network get paid. Do they even know the seriousness of the work they do. Do the officials overseeing them know the mental trauma just one website crash can cause to the thousands of students out there. Believe me you there are many frail parents out there than there are students. Or are the officials still working with the chalta hai (let things be) attitude, which is the bane of Indians in general. We live with a very short memory span and sooner rather than later things will be pushed under the rug. We have to get rid of this attitude.

Hence again when i saw the attack that was done on the Maharastra Knowledge Corporation Limited office, i was sad that again MNS workers have resorted to violence to resolve any matter. But then I thought about the chalta hai attitude, that must prevail within the governing bodies of MKCL. I don't support this violence, but a question arises in my mind that, Is this violence a stick on the knuckles of the MKCL to take things seriously and act more responsibly?
I am glad to see that there is a support structure for students in distress for such things where politics can flex its muscles. Reminds me of the lost ABVP. looks like MNVS is looking to take that mantle away from the shiv sena supported ABVP like the parent MNS is trying for every other thing. Let me stay away from this topic for now.

But surely there was a way that the crash of the admissions site could have been taken care off. I spoke to a few friends of mine working in some of the top IT firms in India. They said that before any such site, even for internal purposes are set live in their firms, there are rigorous tests and overloading done on the servers to ensure that once the site went live, there would be no hiccup. Who holds the MKCL accountable for this small but important failure??? Can anyone answer that.

All i am asking is, 'Will some heads roll at the MKCL to ensure that no such thing happens in the future?'. 'Will the MNVS be held responsible for riot and vandalising?' 'If so will they be duly punished or will the officials sit quiet not to stir the party bosses?'

I am happy that the papers are bring to notice the inadequacies of our education e-governance systems. I am happy there are groups out-there to help students realise their goals, with or without force. I am happy people are raising questions. I am happy that even though with their inadequacies there is still will in the government to bring in e-commerce and e-governance and bring education to the masses. (read about the MKCL here - I just wish that they had more tangible and plausible and measurable goals stated on their website. If i were to set such goals at my organisation, our division head would roll his eyes and say that you are wasting your and my time, and dismiss the paper from his presence.

Also read about MNVS here - They have listed some good work they have done on their website. Loved the part about the work they intend to do for Valentines Day celebrations in Mumbai.

I shall dedicate another blog on another article about how some 'International Schools' who charge people 2 years CTC for admissions and then have tie-ups with 'Private Coaching Classes' to extort even more money. Untill then.

Cheers and Listen to MJ... Let his music live on :)

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