Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Indian dreams

A lot has been spoken about University education in India, good and bad. But in the past four years I have spent in this college, one of the best engineering colleges in India, I have observed something else. The root cause of all issues relating to University education in India lies not just in the way it is taught or the acceptance the current system gains among students, parents and recruiters. Instead I have observed that it is predominantly ingrained in the primary school education system and on a broader scale, greatly influenced by the innate mentality of the people.

As people in any third world country think, the primary objective of higher education is to ensure a secured high paying job. Passion and job satisfaction take the back seat even today when we compete against global powers for international recognition. As an engineering student I was amazed to see the response for non technical electives like Creative Writing, Marketing Management, Entrepreneurship development etc among my friends who echo the frustration of having been made to study engineering for three long years in spite of it not being their interest. So where does this ‘leading the donkey with the carrot’ scheme actually start?

It starts right in the middle school time when a child identifies his passion for cars, his admiration for a cricket player or a singer, his interests in painting etc. But how many of these children end up becoming racing car drivers, cricketers, singers or painters? Unfortunately, very few! I personally know a few friends who still carry the aspiration to become cricketers and singers, even after three years into engineering. But I think we all can predict what they will end up in a year’s time. Engineering trainees or Officers in engineering firms. Some of them might go to the USA or Europe for higher studies and sometimes even Ph.D. In general it would not be wrong to say that we simply adopt the pre existing path and make ourselves suitable for it. In other words, any dream away from the ideal career is a nightmare!

However I saw a striking difference in the approach with which people in the West take up higher education. Students in UK, I saw, tend to get into a job after their GCSE (Class 10 equivalent). These jobs are not very high paying; however there is a rule in the UK that the minimum wages for a paid work must be at least GBP 4/hour. This rule ensures that these people get the necessary financial support. After they work for couple of years, they identify their dreams and take up a university degree in the relevant field. It is important to note here that they actually end up doing what they want to and hence I believe have achieved a greater deal of success.

When I considered the reasons for the absence of such a scheme in India, I felt that primarily two factors contribute to this. One, the lack of flexibility in curriculum and absence of short term jobs for students, and two, the mentality that does not support the adventure called entrepreneurship. There is a severe dearth for good employment opportunities in India; especially the ones that allow you to learn a trade before pursuing higher education. Here education simply cannot end before one completes under graduation and then it becomes very difficult to chalk a new career away from your ‘degree’. This approach must change, and the system of financial independence for children above 18 years must be encouraged. Students above the age of 18 years must be encouraged to earn, especially with the avenues provided by internet, IT and other growing sectors. As a matter of fact financial constraints used to make this mandatory for the people of earlier generation, however the comforts of upper middle class has actually replaced it and this I think has led to stereotyping of vocational education and entrepreneurial ventures. Also this system will help alleviate the students from the distress of having to become what you never wanted to become, and also to chalk out a career for them and be more successful.

History has always supported people with focused goals and strong ambitions to emerge leaders. Unless this concern is addressed I doubt if India can convert the millions of talented youngsters into global leaders.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Kambaqt Ishq

Just came back from a movie theater here in London that played Kambaqt Ishq.
Crazy movie I must say, but indeed very different. Not a single part of the movie deals with/in India! But definitely a good watch for the stunts, beauty and the Hollywood.

The story line is not so great, and the sequence is highly predictable. Thankfully it has not got extreme emotional content nor complete absence of it. The cliche backbone of surgeons' manhandling of the surgery (Why does it always have to be the watch!!??) and fight turning love plot makes it quite a redundant Indian movie but it is well made up by the presence and action of
Sylvester Stallone and other stars!

So looking out for some action ;) , this might be the movie of your choice! :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

London dreams

Inspired by this booklet
I just picked up at Moorgate,

On my way to Wembley Park
Wondering how I got this spark

Did I really have the ability
To write a beautiful poetry

About this London city
At the same time being witty?

Three long weeks here I spent
A couple of days in Kent

Two different worlds they are
Although not very far

Buses and tubes are that what make
London to go without a break

Somewhere in this wonderland
I lost my way I understand

Crowds of people here and there
Am I in the middle of a fair?

I am told I am at Bank, a place
Unmistakeably London’s face

Well dressed people come and go
In black and white to and fro

Finance is the game they play with cash
All look tensed after the crash

Far away from the madding crowd
I know I have a different road.

I board a tube, the first I get
Into a paradise I can never forget

I almost get lost in my solitude deeper
Like Wordsworth’s beautiful reaper

All of a sudden the good lady spoke
Train is about to terminate bloke

I jumped out of my seat and wrote
High time to stop this quote.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fight in the bus

I always felt physical aggression is a reflection of the extent of lack of civilization, and hence I
felt pretty odd when i saw some guys duel in the bus in London!

Not that I have seen any thing like that in my last few weeks here. A presumably Asian guy and
his dad were traveling with us when these three people got on to the bus from Brent Town Hall.
They were of course well built, and all set to fight and moved to this guy. Pulled the collar of his shirt and dunk! His poor old dad tried to intervene, and I guess he too got a shot! Poor chap...
Then they threw him down the stairs and what happened later is mystery :P Couldn't see from my seat in the upper deck beyond this.

Guess he should be alright, probably inspired by the Australians. The Ashes always brings about tight competitions between the British and the Aussies, u know...

Psst... It was not a racial attack. They were acquaintances, possibly frnz who were fighting for a girl :P

I need to write...

This post I am sure will be a different one. Its about why you must blog?!!
I sat down to work on my report today and gosh! my pen wouldn't move an inch!

I was absolutely short of words and that too of words I know for sure. And you know what,
I was shocked to learn how my brain could pop out the hindi words for the same :P

I always enjoyed writing both long and short compositions at school. In college, I have to
write long essays (factual or fictitious) only during the exams and guess with the amount of effort
put in for it dwindling every time, I must get back to some other means (like blogging ) to
keep my interest in writing.

Lo! and here I am writing a blog post after months!

Psst... One another thing I realized... In all its bad state with my vocabulary, my brain was very good when it came to finding errors in a document. How much I love criticizing others! ;)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

To London

After many days of impatient awaiting, I got my visa and I came to London on 27 May.
Will be here until July 10.

I took my trip to London with Emirates Airlines as many suggested that it was one of the best.
Well, to that, I must say I was not particularly pleased with their service. But possibly it was
because of the vacation season and since the flight was almost full they had no time to attend to the
passengers in the economy class.

Luckily I had a good time as my television set was functioning. I watched the course of the
flight on the screen (they had a downward camera and a forward camera to give us a good picture
of what was below and ahead of us :P ), and spent my flying time with Arvind Adiga's White Tiger.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Toast to technology!

U don't need to go away from ur laptop to celebrate the new yr...