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Why Did The New Government Ignore All Career Options That Don’t Need IITs And IIMs

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By Shreya Sarin:

Dear Mr. Jaitley and Mrs. Irani

I write to you today about the budget you released for your government a few days back – and I was actually very impressed with it. The idea of using Braille on currency notes especially caught my eye, and I must say it’s very commendable of you to come up with such an innovative idea. As I read through the newspaper article, something else attracted my attention too — you are planning to open 5 new IITs, IIMs and 4 new AIIMS. As a Humanities student (humanities without math) I am concerned about my higher education in this country.

Indian students

I was hoping that the new Government would look beyond Science and Math and come to terms with the fact that apart from Engineers and Doctors, there are other career options available; ones that don’t require IITs, IIMs or AIIMS. The condition of education in this country is already in the dumps, what with Delhi University having cut offs as high as 100%.

With even the most reputed Indian colleges focusing more on the theory aspect of the courses rather than the practical ones, is it any surprise that the people of my generation want to get out of this country for education as soon as possible? We have been told that Delhi University is one of the most prestigious universities of India, but I ask you, does being “one of the most prestigious universities of India” mean anything at all?

Our best universities are nowhere to be found among the best education institutes of the world – and even the below average American universities offer a better quality education than the top Indian ones do. Our CBSE textbooks still run according to the 2006 census; the ninth grade economics textbook telling us that one in every four Indians live below the poverty line. I am sure that these statistics have changed, but with our books not upgraded and such archaic facts being taught to us, how do you expect us to be informed about the situation in the country?

What with rote learning being one of the key characteristics of our education system (ignorance and mundane content being the others), as students, we grow up to lack individuality, authenticity, and creativity when we work in our respective careers. The word innovation is as alien to us, as the word research (in its true sense, I mean – and not just copying content off the internet). We just follow, as leadership skills are another thing rarely taught in Indian schools.

As a student interested in Journalism, I request you to open your eyes to creativity, vision, and expressiveness, and support people like me, who don’t take up math and science- not because we can’t do it, but because we choose not to. I request you to make the Indian education system so dynamic, that it not only makes us want to stay here, but only brings in other students interested in quality education from all around the globe to India.

A Humanities Student

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  1. Anitha Choudhary

    Appreciate this article!!! There is no point in blaming parents who force their kids to choose the most commonly trodden paths of science and maths when the education system of our country is itself inclined to these career paths. The creativity and enthusiasm of Indian students is curbed right at the school age, thanks to the mundane methodologies of teaching and the futile ranking system which only results in manufacturing machines and not innovative minds who can change the face of our country. There is a lot of talent buried in our country, only a rightful education system and world class institutes can extract that out, transforming our country to the most sort after place for higher education. This a dream too far from becoming into a reality considering the current plight of our education system but believe me its not impossible. If our government is focused on improving the quality and does the needful, there is surely a lot of hope.

  2. Nikita Jain

    Very rightly said !! But the real concern is not giving more importance to any particular field of studies. The need of the hour is quality of education that is imparted. According to me, the Right of Education must give us the right of equal education which the student gets to enhance with his own creativity and capability. The resources should be made available to every student.. Be it IIT Bombay or any local college. In this way, we can have more ideas coming and the institutions must provide a platform to showcase them. Rather than asking the Government to do it, if the educational institutes themselves empower their resources (read Students), India can invariably gain a respectable position, be it engineering, humanities or Media.

  3. Tarun

    I appreciate the good intent behind the article but the facts and logic given by the author seem pretty naive. I believe that as a fast developing nation there is nothing wrong in the emphasis given on Science. What is wrong is the education system prevailing in the country where people are afraid to take up any other fields. As a society also we need to learn the fact that education system or infact even growing up means making oneself independent and worthwhile. A child needs stand up to his own decisions be it the education he desires or the marriage decision. No education system can teach you individuality. And according to me we are really not studying “science” the motive of which is to find answers to basic existential questions. Science is part of every profession or stream of education.
    To conclude, I would say that at present most often only elites have the privilege to choose their stream of education or go abroad to study without considering the financial or social impact. And that acc. to me is really unfortunate.
    Also regarding what we are being taught, I would like to inform our humanity student cum journalist to look around the country especially beyond the tier 1 towns to know the real situation of India. The figures regarding poverty is very much correct. Its that we elites don’t get the opportunity to analyse the real situation. In this regard I feel our education system does a good “democratic” job to show the real state.

  4. Veda Nadendla

    The beauty of your article is that it is entirely from the point of view of a humanities student, without math! There, it’s out of the bracket. I am one of you and I believe that the opportunities for non science and math students are not sufficient and we definitely need better quality education. I appreciate your article. You and I are lucky that our skills are being portrayed on forums such as this. Cheers!

  5. Abhinav

    Very nicely depicted and very rightly said that the focus of our education system needs a tilt. Career options are not limited to Engineering and Medical. Opening new IIMS & IITs is no doubt a boon to the education system but likewise such developments are surely missing in other fields.

  6. Siddhant

    Even though I am a science student, I completely agree with the article. The emphasis on science in India is a little too high. It is well known nowadays that India manufacturers engineers like toffees, so bringing up more colleges for the same is just going to add fuel to the fire.
    Also I really dont think students are at all “afraid” to take up other streams, and the concentration of students in various streams is quite equal. So biased attention towards only those belonging to science is quite unfair.

  7. shreya

    thank you

  8. Neha Jha

    I couldn’t agree more with your statement. I faced a hell lot of problems and questions from everyone when I decided to opt for humanities. Well, for those who think ‘we can’t make money’, I m proud to say that I bagged my 1st job at the age of 20 and I’m doing well since with various new opportunities. I was very disappointed with Smriti Irani as she favours what people already force their kids to go for! Its quite frustrating! Also, many people think literature people are childish, away from reality.That’d be far from the case. I’m very sorry to say this, but because of excessive importance given to engineering, most of them regard themselves as the best! I m yet to meet an engineer who doesn’t boast a lot and treats others as inferiors. I don’t know if we can ever have a time when we’ll be respected!

  9. amish sagar

    I was having science in my +2 i gave al the engineering entrances and cleared many of them and getting many opportunities to go in to a good engg. college but i wasnt of my interest and then i change my mind and decided to do that i persnally want without thinking about the what people se about scope n all and i took admission in delhi university history honours and m very happy and xcited persuing my higher education with a subject i like.
    and i completely agree with you..

  10. anon

    Seems like a naïve 4 year old has written this article.
    The society, not the government is at fault. The ratio : Number of Engineering seats/Number of Applicants is extremely low. In fact, it is the lowest compared to any other mainstream field (Mind you journalism is mainstream).
    The government responds to public demand, which is their job. If you want to blame the public for pursuing a field that has the highest returns, then don’t just blame Indians, blame the entire species.
    The prime concern in India is currently to make education accessible to most of the citizens. Its about priorities, boosting quality stands second on that list and mostly because it doesn’t suck to begin with.
    Its very easy to sit your ass down and blame the whole fucking nation without doing 10 minutes of actual research.
    The best Indian colleges are not spotted on top of lists because they graded extremely low on infrastructure and living conditions. This is because the government has a limited budget as Indian universities don’t receive donations from multi-billion dollar corporations.

  11. Dhruvika

    i agree with what you have to say. I took up engg. because i was afraid of not getting opportunities after taking journalism. the situation such is because of an unwritten,unstated ideology of society and the fear of standing out of the herd.

  12. Voice of reason

    to start with, the article is really well written, i do agree that non – science courses are not given enough importance in India. even from the social perspective, Medicals and Engineering fields are given much more importance then other fields, esp humanities ( without maths) . I have done my Engineering and have traveled across the country, this exposure made me realize that this divide between Science and non – science fields exist in a more prominent way in tier 2 or tier 3 cities, where even if you mention that you are an engineer esp from a govt college then you are actually treated differently.

    but let us now try to understand as to why this happens. India being a developing country and one with huge population, there is a lot of competition for landing with the right job ( depends on your definition of that) and to a vast majority of this country the same can be achieved though pursuing a course in Engineering or Medicals. but can we blame them for the same, no we can’t and to explain that let me give an example. I come from the small and beautiful city of Shillong, where just like the rest of the country, Engineering or Medicals are the most sought after fields. The simple reason being, students who take up such fields at least get a job, dont ask what they do whether they work in a BPO or are really into R&D etc, but they have jobs. The Society there looks at them as successful examples as no matter what, they are at least able to provide for themselves. Being a small city obviously the scope for journalists or writers is virtually non existent ( the city has around 5 daily news papers in total ) and hence people really do not want to enter into a world of uncertainity by following non-science courses.
    For my engineering i was given a seat in Mumbai in a govt college, and i saw that the world here was much different. yes, ofcourse science streams enjoyed a premium status, but the divide was not as high as in any other small city and the simple reason being, here people could see that a commerce student is doing as good as an engineer, a writer has scopes in the film and television industry and so on. Thus they do value other streams as well.
    So to conclude, while i agree to what you have mentioned in the article, but the govt is not doing anything wrong, all it is trying to ensure is that more people get jobs. Increasing the number of colleges for humanities will not really improve the situation unless we create equal job opportunities for the students and currently, Engineering is actually such a field where in you atleast get a job………

  13. Voice of reason

    As for our institutes are not ranked among the top universities in the world, please do some research on that. the entire ranking system depends on various parameters, and mostly it is the living standards, industry exposure etc where we fail, not in terms of actual syllabus or content.

    do you really think that if our education system was so bad, we would have seen so may Indians rise up to the highest levels in MNCs, people who have completed their education in India. A degree from An IIT or an IIM is valued in every country irrespective of the ranking of these institues…………… Indian students are also said to have one of the best foundations for Maths…

  14. Anuj Jain

    Nice articulation Shreya..
    I completely agree with you even though i am a software engineer.
    I would gently like government to focus more on political education right from the school.
    Child, even the educated parents want there children’s to learn politics.
    If today’s generations start understanding about the backend of politics then they will surly come up with new ideas like how to grow friendly relationship with neighbouring countries, how to earn money from foreign even they are not doctors or engineers.
    Again I do agree there are lot more things to do…
    Keep up the good article.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. shreya

      thank you so much 😀

  15. CEOmultinational

    i really appreciate this kids view but the fact is that in order for a brighter future with salaries ranging 5-6 crores per year you mostly require one of those institutes i myself being from MIT believe that the courses i learned are more application based and useful than my IITian compatriots ,but that’s reality kid for a good jb you need those institutes

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