Not sure how many of you are on facebook. One clip doing the rounds is an IAS topper saying how much his father sacrificed to make him an IAS.

He talks of his father selling his land. He talks of not having a house to live, but still studying for his IAS.

His father says I would have sold my kidney to make my son an IAS officer. And the son says proudly that his father used to go walking, but insisted that the son should go by auto…because he has an exam.

I quite liked the sacrificing spirit. However, I did not like the video on 2 grounds:

1. The father (and presumably) son duo did not know anything about IAS as a career – except that the guys had tremendous power.  Normally to the normal person authority means huge sums of money (this is a Bihar story, so dowry too).  If he is planning to be an honest officer, is this job of a great attraction? Frankly I do not know or do not have an answer. After all each person has to answer that question for himself / herself.

2. Parents spending on kids is fine, but within limits. For one such ‘success’ of getting into IAS, surely the world is full of IAS dropouts and rejects. How will such fathers recover their investments? I really do not know. Even this kid did not look like a 22 year old. He must have been about 26-7….so there is an opportunity cost also.

Should parents sell off everything to educate their children? Not asking people who have money for EVERYTHING…

Asking those parents who have (say Rs. 5 Lakhs) – should they give it to his FATHER who needs the money for treatment of cancer, or his daughter who wants it for her MBA (or marriage) or use it for his own retirement?

Not easy answers, needs some soul searching and cruel decision making powers. To me it is scary!

3. Also look at the huge risk involved. If the son has an accident (therefore incapacitated to hold a job, or dies) what happens to the father’s old age.

It is easy to applaud the results of a risky journey, it takes a risk manager to understand the risks that the person undertook while doing the trip.

All the best to the IAS officers…and may this kid do well.

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  1. “I believe that a reform is needed and educational loan needs to be made unsecured loan without needing any gurantee by parents”

    who will bear the risk? dont tell me the govt (aka taxpayer should).banks need to do their own creditworthiness assesment.if market innovations can improve it fine.lets not dump it on the taxpayer -because if you tell politicians that it should be done this way,they will not hesitate to dump it on the taxpayer and the unborn children

  2. Amazing Ankur Lakhia. An unsecured educational loan to an undeserving candidate! It would be the Indian equivalent of NINJA loans – No Income No Jobs loans!

    Frankly I would not mind lending to a student of IIT or IIM with just a guarantee, deposit of passport and lien on his future earnings. One step lower, I will not. Loans get repaid because there is a compulsion. Agree with Pravin ‘who will bear the risk’ – if even the parents do not want to? Not me. A future employer perhaps. Scholarships yes, NINJA no.

  3. @ Subra & Pravin,

    Well…I have not suggested that tax payers should take the risk. Risk is to be with bank. Banks need to form their own criterias for landing and take full responsibility for any NPA arising out of student loans, just like any other landing, instead of getting parents to gurantee repayment. Only thing RBI / Government can do is to include such landing eligible for priority banking criteria for banks.

  4. ‘explicit and binding’ versus ‘moral and non-binding’.
    Once upon a time it used to be ‘moral and binding’

  5. Excellent thought provoking question..I cant take that decision .. however i like the way Subra is providing practicality to emotional decision making process of an Indians

  6. sir i m now really a gud fan of u…i say yes logically ur damn correct but somehow ppl find their childrens’ happiness much above than their happiness…it is the fact that even after their children is stable, their future will be stable but still..parents are parents…just incomparable..

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