One of the most belittling comments about teachers, unfortunately with more than an iota of truth in it, was made by famous Irish polemicist George Bernard Shaw. To paraphrase: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.” In India, where education, from the primary to higher levels, is in shambles, with minuscule islands of excellence, a lot of people find great truth in Shaw's words. Yet, however criminal it may be for a teacher to be absent, vengeful, incompetent and callous, the buck actually does not stop at him or her alone.
William Shakespeare died on 23 April, 1616, 400 years to the day. The body of work of the most famous English language writer is familiar to millions of readers, whose imagination it has captured steadfastly through four centuries. Shakespeare's plays are always contemporary, finding meaning and relevance in the times they are read or produced. Shakespeare finds application in disciplines ranging from literature to medicine to business. Yet William Shakespeare--the person--has always remained shrouded in enigma.
Extensive and excellent research is usually published to dissect a policy <em>after</em> it is implemented instead of providing a sound <em>basis</em> to one. It is imperative that academics are made aware of these shortfalls so that they base their studies, report their evidence and steer their message in a manner that is useful for policymaking.
Nutrition policymaking is a much neglected sector. On one hand there is no significant research in the Indian context, and on the childhood obesity and non-communicable diseases are on the rise, burdening the already fragile healthcare system. The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), or any other competent body, needs to undertake an exercise like the USDA to formulate research-based dietary guidelines for India.
Prohibition is back in the limelight with the Supreme Court upholding the Kerala government's new liquor policy which bans drinking in public and restricts its serving to 5-star hotels. However, is prohibition a panacea to the ills related to alcohol consumption? Certainly not.