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What saddens me most is that scarcity of education makes this story possible. The fact that there are so few seats for so many candidates and that the rich have their own inside channels to getting their kids admitted are other reasons for being very careful.

What really is needed is the lifting of this scarcity so that everybody can learn to the best of their abilities not just a handpicked few (and not just because they happen to be poor!)

This is exactly what happened in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. In 1985, when I finished high school, there were less than 10,000 seats in the whole state of (about 60 million people). Today, there are more than 150,000. Today, practically any kid that wants to attend an engineering college can get into one, and many seats actually go unfilled. The quality of the education is spotty, but really, what this education achieved is a kind of placebo effect - give confidence to people, which is what Kumar also describes. This explosion in number of colleges directly played a role in the emergence of the IT industry, which is primarily based in southern India.

I wrote about it in 2006: http://blogs.adventnet.com/svembu/2006/01/19/a-not-so-brief-...

I reposted it now at Zoho: http://blogs.zoho.com/general/why-it-happened-in-southern-in...

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