Tuesday, January 6, 2015

India and education - the conundrum continues

I wrote about the poor quality of graduates available for hire in India in 2010 here.  Having had personal experience to validate the above, while the only globally top tier Indian academic strength I have worked with have been the India Institute of Technologies and perhaps couple more technology and scientific institutes at most.  Four years on from my blog in 2010, the academic capitalism in India continues to further dilute the already poor pool of capable Indian educated candidates for hire.  See my blog on what I term as academic capitalism here.

The World in 2015 by the Economist's laments:

"If your five-year-old starts school in India in 2015 she will be ready to enrol at university in 2028. That is also the year when India’s population should pass 1.45 billion and become the world’s largest. By then, will there be enough high-quality graduates to ensure the country’s prosperity? No chance—unless a rotten education system is fixed first."

For a country with aspirations for the future, the prospects given current numbers are bleak for sustained economic growth.  The US's economic growth's backbone has been its universities that have defined what scientific research and development, and its engineering applications through education can create.  20th Century is full of these examples.  More poignant is the inflow of talent from across the globe to reinforce this trend.

"Varun Aggarwal of Aspiring Minds, a company that surveys student capabilities, estimates that if university exams were run properly, 70% of students would fail. Of 700,000 engineering graduates in India each year, he reckons only 3% are employable without many months of post-recruitment training. Only 15% of computer-engineering graduates could complete a basic task set in one assessment, he says. Language and other “soft” skills are often poor."

Is India starting to follow the education's commercialization trends I spoke about here what I termed as copy and paste knowledge creation?

As my good friend Dr. Farrokh Mistree emphasizes and I agree, generally speaking of higher education, so does the article conclude for India:

"But still there is no serious funding for research. Only when that is in place will an Indian university make it into a global top 200. Not in 2015, but with luck before 2028."

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