on 09 August, 2013
The NOT-SO Great Indian Educational Race
For the last 6 decades education commentators, journalists and the like have been hammering upon the idea of The Great Indian Educational Race which has inflicted generations of students year-after-year. However, after numerous realisations in the recent past and learning about the Western ideals of education, I strongly feel that the race you and I put ourselves through is actually NOT all that great and, like my physics professor in drop year once said, "the system has just produced waves of PIGs - Poor Indian Graduates".
As I sit in my first Electrical Measurements lecture and the professor in full gusto speaks about the prospects of electrical engineering, he skims over a supposedly crazy proposition of electrical grads doing LLB (law) due to the numerous legal infarctions in the electrical markets nowadays. Immediately, my mind is transported to the delicious prospects of an education where I could simulatenously play with induction motors (The instrument which 3 Idiots immortalized) and blow my lungs out defending imaginary criminals in moot courts. Snapping back to reality, that I am, unfortunately, part of the much hyped Great Indian Educational Race and, dealing with Wattmeters and their application is in store for me at least in the immediate future.
The core issue here is that for the last sixty years, the education system has been ultra-rigid and too stubborn to grow out of its old British Raaj structure. In the era, where universities of the West are offering fast-track courses, multi-disciplinary specialisations and numerous other flexible features to suit the interests of students and need of the industry, India is still stuck in a rut making pseudo changes which are almost cosmetic in nature without many far-reaching consequences at the grass-root level.
As elections 2014 are round the corner, NaMo, Cong-I and the other usual suspects will be cooking up various schemes to entice the junta for their “valuable” votes. They should seriously be considering taking decisions to make education in India far more flexible and student-oriented as a potent weapon to win over the elusive intelligentsia. We have seen numerous speeches made by authorities about India’s goals to produce Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and tons of other similar promises, but, unfortunately, the numbers actually converting them is far lower than what it can be and it maybe for the best to rectify higher education policies to make some changes.
Let me elucidate by giving some examples of the West. University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) offers a fantastic undergrad course called the Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology which as its name states allows students to take up typical engineering courses along with accounting, economics, marketing and management courses. Top American grad schools at universities like Stanford and Harvard offer Joint Degrees such as MBA and Law or MBA and Public Policy.
Although my whole effort may seem whiny and cranky, it is still the unfortunate truth of the present scenario. As I can only hope that the future holds better prospects, I am unfortunately reduced to struggling with gaining acceptance of my pursuit of debate and economics as a complement electrical engineering which I hope to achieve. I will take off and return to The Race on hand (which I am still very much a part of) and continue my tryst with transformers, macroeconomics and debates alike.
Image Credits - Cheap and Chalu blogspot
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