Monday, January 25, 2016

Can Social Work Be Licensed In India

The Two Requirements to get a Social Work license in the West as I understand (with my limited perspective) are:
1. Formal Social Work Education (A promotive strategy)
2. Test for Licensing (A restrictive strategy)

Though I was worried about the latter, it seems like we have both working in India at present. UGC's NET is considered a test accepted by the Indian Government to test people for academic as well as (now) in non-academic recruitment drives too.

I am sure you would have read the headlines about 'A recent recruitment drive by Indian Oil Corporation that made NET crucial.'
NEWS: "Indian Oil Corporation is recruiting officers in marketing and human resource management. The written test for the selection process will be through University Grant Commission National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) examination, conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on behalf of the UGC." (Source:

With the two strategies in place and existing already, there would be no need to reinvent the wheel; and with no need for a new system to be formed I really don't realize why there must be a delay in 'licensing' being made compulsory and with immediate effect. There should be comfortably no delay in declaring professionals with MSW and with NET as licensed Social Workers. All we would need after that is a stamping authority to declare the same; that can be worked out signing an MoU with IFSW or any such bodies by making it clear to them about this scenario present within their disposal in India.

Ofcourse there will be objections that can be expected as in any restrictive practice; perhaps people in India know better that passing the NET will not be as easy as passing MSW once this idea is enforced. As for consensus in this regards, it is a fact that those who do not get through the restrictive strategy, will find a way to oppose the existing option and will divulge in the pretext of finding alternatives.

Now since we are used to copying models and systems directly from the West (At times with little or no relevance to our country), if these criteria are the ones we need to make Social Work a licensed professional practice in India, it is only a matter of time that we need to make this a reality by working on it fast and expose IFSW to this option already available and install a stamping authority to further move this cause. Seems as simple as that.

May be after my (ongoing) trial to include Social Work as an optional subject in UPSC, licensing Social Work with the available options must be my next attempt. What say folks?!...

In the mean time, I also need to think:
1. Is a foreign degree in Social Work acceptable for a personnel to be employed in India to practice? When it is not possible the other way around quoting irrelevance and the need to adhere to passing local tests and exams.
2. Is a foreign degree in Social Work acceptable for a personnel to teach in the Indian academia? When it is not possible the other way around quoting irrelevance and doubting our capability.
3. Can a foreigner be allowed to continue to work as a Social Worker in India?! Esp. without the knowledge of the local customs or language (criteria used to test us if we plan to go to a foreign land) and/or without undergoing a security check or signing child/elderly/gender protection policies and/or without a need to adhere to any eligibility criteria put forth as policies esp. Universities?
4. Can foreign interns who come on 'volunteer tourism' be provided tourist visas for their academic pursuits in India when the same possibility is not extended for an India intern?
5. Why is Social Work syllabus offered by different Universities different? Then how can we claim that we are professionally prepared to be the same when the foundations of our syllabuses aren't?!
6. Can those who are trained in a discipline in a University by unqualified personnel (who have not met certain standards in qualifying to be employed like NET, PhD etc.) be accepted as 'trained' professionals? Shouldn't they be disqualified automatically?
7. What must be the penalty for institutions who destroy a profession and student lives by recruiting trained yet unqualified workforce be?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Social Work Petition In The NEWS

NEWS about the appeal to UPSC demanding recognition and inclusion of Social Work as a subject has started hitting the media; and I'm just too glad :)

NEWS in Daijiworld: Social Workers have sent a petition to UPSC for inclusion of social work as an optional subject in civil exams... Click here to read the NEWS

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Whats In An Identity

Today's Hindustan Times reads, "An Italy senator said on Tuesday Massimiliano Latorre, one of the two Italian marines accused of killing two Kerala fishermen in 2012, will not return to India after being allowed to go home temporarily for medical treatment. Latorre’s deadline to return to India expires on Friday." ( Source: ) as on 13th Jan, 2016, 0915hrs. 

Arundhati Roy=Indian Writer, 
Vidya Balan=Indian Actress, 
KR Narayanan=Indian President, 
KJ Yesudhas=Indian Singer, 
PT Usha=Indian Athlete, 
KG Balakrishnan=Indian Chief Justice, 
M Fathima Beevi=First Woman Indian Chief Justice, 
Aryabhatta=Indian Astronomer, 
Adi Sankara= Indian Social Reformer, 
Kamala Das=Indian Poet/Novelist, 
Shobana= Indian Dancer/Actress, 
John Abraham= Indian Actor, 
Raja Ravi Varma= Indian King/Painter, 
Shiny Wilson=Indian Runner, 
VP Sathyan=Indian Football Team Captain... 

Interestingly did you realize that all these great ones are also "Keralites"?! When it comes to violence against fishermen along the 'Indian' coastal line, in the South'Indian' states, how come we refer to them as "Kerala", "Tamil Nadu" fishermen and so on and try to make it a state-specific issue and move it away from being a national-level concern? 

Why is it that one gets garlanded with a national identity when successful while at the same time manages to get a state-segregated identity when one is a poor farmer or a fisherman subjected to systematic violence, oppression and injustice? Just ASKing... 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Like A Boss

As far as I am concerned, foul words do come way too easily for me; yet, the Bard, beats me square with these lines like a Boss:

“A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a
base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited,
hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a
lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson,
glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue;
one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a
bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but
the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar,
and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I
will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest
the least syllable of thy addition.” 

Said William Shakespeare in King Lear; Not I. No wonder this bugger is a literary genius. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Hurt Yet Not Retired

Its interesting to see that very often we end up expecting others, maybe another individual or another institution or another organization or another association-to do what we can do ourselves. There is always the some 'other' who thinks the same way too. And at the end of the day noone does anything.

As soon as this petition was started, the 'Indian Frog' theory once again surfaced; there have been discussions about why this move was not initiated through some of the associations or through some of the so called 'established' bodies and I found blockades and subtle threats coming my way quoting some unknown reason to pull a leg rather than offer support or a gentle lift forward. For some reason, it was felt that rather than being a flimsy sleeping dog or a clumsy barking dog, a bite is required at times to establish one's presence and ascertain an identity. Perhaps just tired sleeping and barking like many, something that takes just two minutes to sign and show a presence that could deliberate action could be done through this collective initiative and hence this 'untitled' 'unnamed' 'common' petition which I think is the best way forward in this issue.

Yet, I wish there could be a better representation. Could we just make an attempt to promote this link? Not just in words or discussions or any other thing that diverts us from this cause yet to move others closer into signing this petition and reaching a dignified number (God knows how much!) and move this endeavour closer to success...

Kindly reach this link to others to get the support we require to get UPSC to include Social Work as an optional subject in the civil exams.

Click here to sign the petition demanding UPSC to include Social Work as an optional subject in the civil exams

Thank You. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Attention To All Social Workers

Friends, Indians, Social Workers :)
Kindly support this initiative: An ask to recognize and include Social Work as an optional subject in UPSC (Civil Exams).  
All that you have to do is:
1. Follow the link given below, sign the petition
2. Bring in more people from within your reach and network and do the same
3. Make the difference!

Click Here To Sign The Petition