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...Man holding a bottle of liquor while driving. Representational Image. In April, a young model, Sonika Chauhan, died in an accident in Kolkata. A prominent film actor has been charged with culpable homicide in the case. This tragedy bought us a few days of attention to the murderous mess that our roads have become. The attention did not last. Yet, in 2015, nearly 1.5 lakh people died in traffic accidents in India. And a lot of that was a result of reckless driving. Motorcyclists, and especially pillion riders, drive quite casually without helmets in most of the country. Driving in one’s lane and signalling before one turns is at best optional, and in all likelihood, an admission that the driver is a sissy. And there is the menace of drunk driving — often invisible until the accident has occurred and the driver or passengers are dead. Sobriety checks on strategic locations by the police is not enough to control drunk driving. Rather, the police need three things: Laws, tools, and the right strategy. The good news is that the police are finally getting the laws and the tools they need. ...Indian Express on July 6, 2017, 12:38 a.m.
...Digital learning is here. The number of online courses are exploding. Many of the most famous scholars across fields are being lured by the promise of being able to reach a global audience to record Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs. In 2015, there were 35 million learners taking online classes from 570 universities. And we in India should be very grateful that it is happening. We talk a lot about the demographic dividend we are about to get, but less about how to convert all that talent into the skills that we need. In particular, our entire system of higher education is desperately short of teachers; most new business schools and engineering schools survive on part-time professors who travel from institution to institution, delivering bread and butter courses. Even the best colleges, universities and institutes have large numbers of jobs at the professorial level that have been unfilled for years. ...Indian Express on Feb. 16, 2017, 12:31 a.m.