Little Myriad Smiles

Graduate Manufacturing Industries a.k.a. Universities

Posted on: February 1, 2010

“A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into speculation, and art into pedantry. Hence university education.”

-George Bernard Shaw

An ideal prelude from somebody who lived fifty-nine years ago for a contemporary rumination like this…amazing, isn’t it? Yes, Mr. Shaw has again proved himself to be the high priest of cynicism juxtaposed with contemplation.

What’s the big deal in getting a college admission, right? Well, most of you can claim it was a piece of cake. For some, all it took was to shut themselves in a room for two long years and bury themselves under a pile of books and some others were just lucky enough to be born with a silver spoon in their mouth (ka-ching)!

Education has come a long way in India from Gurukul system of education to the present-day scenario. But the quality of education has waned steadily over the years. And with each passing day it’s further going downhill, which inevitably brings us to the question of why a country who boasts off thinkers and scholars like Tagore, C.V. Raman or Abdul Kalam is in such a plaintive state?

So, are our universities graduate manufacturing industries? When was the last time we saw a Nobel Prize being brought home in physics or chemistry? Back in 1930, if Sir C.V. Raman could win a Nobel Prize in Physics, why are we unable to produce more Nobel Laureates (strictly referring to that handful of people who are still in this country)?  A familiar set of questions that we keep on asking ourselves but prefer to sit tight and do nothing about it.

With a literate population of 400 million, a lack of talent or intelligence is certainly out of question. In fact our country can boast of an I.Q. level par excellence. But the big yen for professional courses among the youngsters of today for quick money poses a big threat to our education system. Opting for a B.A. or B.Sc. degree is scorned by the society as there’s an erroneous credence that people who opt for such courses are those whose academics are way poor. What a pity! If there’s a veritable interest in a student to study the professional courses, fine…but if you are in it for the glamour it offers in terms of a lucrative job and if it’s the ring of money that allures you, I must say that our country is in a pathetic state. The saddest aspect of modern India is that brilliant young minds are ready to mug up( even if they can’t make heads or tails out of it) and spew it on the paper and by our university standards, since the number of paper you write determines your marks ,mugging up does pay! “Write any hocus-pocus. Make sure you write a good intro and then add any claptrap to it. Exams are all about filling up the paper”, the latest mantra of the would-be professionals (it might be a giggle to read this but surely, it has a pitiful side to it)!!!

Luminous minds rehabilitated into muggers…a face of India that we are espousing and fathoming. Basically, our universities have become huge industries that transform raw materials called “students” into finished products called “professionals”, raring to go work like machines, muted to everything that’s going on around. This might sound far-fetched to some, but the reality can’t be ignored. The chief reason for this is that academic motivation is no longer in the picture; all that is left is economic motivation.

With brain drain looming large and the attitude of those who are left behind being this, our country is handicapped and undoubtedly incurring a big loss. “The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them”. An education system aimed at academic motivation and not economic motivation should be our priority. It’s imperative that we start it right from the school level. We have to evolve ourselves into a broad-minded society where each and every stream of study has its own importance and weight age. Hopefully, our universities then will not be seen as a graduate manufacturing industry; rather as a temple of education.

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8 Responses to "Graduate Manufacturing Industries a.k.a. Universities"

Prescient stuff. I’ve been a vocal supporter of this school of thought.

But there are institutes in the country that aren’t ‘factories’. Looking back, in the beginning, none of them were factories! All institutes catered to pure transfer of education. Then came these ‘lucrative’ jobs, which forced average joes like us to join up a course that we’re not interested in for the sake of money. We’re the founders of these ‘educational factories’.

If every one of us takes a decision to pursue a field of study that we’re passionate about – this won’t even surface. But then there’s the question of employment. But even that can be answered well. Even if a person’s field of study isn’t exactly ‘lucrative’ – if he excels in the field, he does and will succeed. There are countless examples in real life – of people who’ve reached the pinnacle of success, following their heart.

Then there’s the issue of revamping the education system – it needs one thing badly, innovation! Those who innovate are considered as third class citizens in this appalling system. Changing mindsets is the only way to properly modify the scheme of things.

But therein comes the essential problem – it’s easy to mould the minds of uneducated people. But how do we change the minds of ‘highly qualified’ people with closed minds?

Tough job. But we can always be optimistic.

(Looks like the comment is as long as the post!)

Good rumination buddy!The very question that you voice here is the dagger that hangs above our educational system. Unfortunately,these so-called ‘highly qualified’ people are not ready to open their minds which is precisely why we were forced to be a part of this ‘educational factory’.And I concur with you this time… we can cling on to hope and optimism.Maybe,things will change for the better 🙂

P.S.I don’t mind long comments as long as you comment!

Finally, someone’s going the optimistic way. *Relief*.

And the comments will always be LONG! 😛

hehe..d article dat won d best english prose 4 slate’09..lov 2 c it here..:)..!!

Yeah!Thank you for selecting my article.The cash prize did count(grins)!

🙂

Good One!!

nice writing,keep up the good work.

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