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CLARIN

Adios Buenos Aires? Why Moving Argentina's Capital Is A Dangerous Idea

For the Argentine daily Clarin, the proposal backed by President Kirchner to move the capital to a much smaller city is not just wrong for practical reasons, but a sign of something more sinister.

The Cathedral of Santiago del Estero
The Cathedral of Santiago del Estero

-OpEd-

BUENOS AIRES — While Argentina still faces the threat of a national default, the country has been in the news for another reason: the growing number of public figures, including President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who favor proposals to move the nation's capital from Buenos Aires to the much smaller (and apparently much, much quieter) northern city of Santiago del Estero.

Kirchner and others say the move could heal the breach between Buenos Aires, a cosmopolitan urban area with 12 million residents, and the country's interior. However attractive it may sound, the capital's transfer could quickly worsen the overall state of the country.

It's true that moving the capital is more common than some might think. Over the last century, there has been on average one move every six years, with examples including switching the capital of Brazil from Rio de Janiero to Brasilia, from Almaty to Astana in Kazakhstan, and from Yangon to Naypyidaw in Myanmar.

The stated reasons for such moves range from traffic problems in overpopulated capital cities to the need to develop backward regions or balance regional rivalries. Other governments point out the need to protect themselves more from foreign threats, real or imagined.

And yet, there is perhaps another threat lurking below the surface: the specter of political agitation. In the history of political uprisings, capital cities have had a prominent role in determining the nation's destiny. A small group in the capital can shake the government the way larger but more distant groups can't.

So one can begin to see why an unstable government might want to move the capital from a populated city to an isolated location, just as the junta in Myanmar did.

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Society

India Higher Education Inferior Complex: Where Are The Foreign University Campuses?

The proposed UGC guidelines are ill-conceived and populist, and hardly take note of the educational and financial interests of foreign universities.

Image of a group of five people sitting on the grass inside of the Indian Institute of Technology campus.

The IIT - Indian Institute of Technology - Campus

M.M Ansari and Mohammad Naushad Khan

NEW DELHI — Nearly 800,000 young people from India attend foreign universities every year in search of quality education and entrepreneurial training, resulting in a massive outflow of resources – $3 billion – to finance their education. These students look for greener pastures abroad because of the lack of quality teaching and research in most of India’s higher education institutions.

Over 40,000 colleges and 1,000 universities are producing unemployable graduates who cannot function in a knowledge- and technology-intensive economy.

The Indian government's solution is to open doors to foreign universities, with a proposed set of regulations aiming to provide higher education and research services to match global standards, and to control the outflow of resources. But this decision raises many questions.

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