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We're Wasting Our Young One's - Real Picture
Human Resources » Corporate Social Responsibility

Chrm Message From: CHRM Total Posts: 209 Join Date:
Rank: Coach Post Date: 08/08/2006 10:33:37 Points: 1045 Location: India

Dear Colleagues,

This article appeared in Daily News & Analysis and is written by Chetan Bhagat who is the author of two best-seller novels, Five Point someone & One Night at the Call Center. He really needs a pat on his back for exploring the real side of education system.

Sometime after I wrote Five Point Someone, which was about the pressures of coping in the competitive educational environment of the IIT, I met a guy from a Regional Engineering College who had read my book.

He came over and gave me a hug - and he started to cry! He said: "I'll never forget the look in my parents' eyes on the day I was rejected by IIT; and even though I now study in a prestigious engineering college, in their eyes I'm a failure."

Now, here's a kid who's been judged too harshly even before he's had a chance to face the real world.

I feel privileged and proud to have graduated from two premier institutes in India: IIT and IIM. Yet, I feel that the effort of building the brand equity of a handful of such exclusive institutions has come at a huge cost. It has fed a chronic lack of confidence in the young people of the country, by making them feel inadequate for not having made it to the big league.

There are millions and millions of young people in India - many of them excellent students - whose self-confidence is being systematically crippled in this manner. Look at the figures: last year, Harvard took in up to 20% of all applicants, or one in five applicants. In IIM, it's about one in 535: that's plain ridiculous. India's top colleges take in only about 1% of all applicants. A system that can accommodate only the 99th percentile isn't obviously doing a good job of creating enough leaders to solve the country's problems.

Our education system is simply too competitive, and it places excessive emphasise on textbook learning. The IIT or the medical entrance exams are only a test of your knowledge of physics, chemistry, and biology or maths.

If you look at people who excel in India - from Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy to film-maker Mani Ratnam -they're all people with imagination, innovation, and creativity.
But will people like that make it through such a system? I fear not.

Today, we have a pumped-up young generation, made up of perhaps the most driven people in the country. If we don't utilise their energies - if we brand them as failures for not making it to IIT and put them in Qualises to be driven to call centres every night -we're crushing their spirit and wasting them away. If India becomes just one giant call centre, it's nothing to be proud of.

Only the other day, a girl who works in a call centre wrote to say that my second book, OneNight@theCallCentre, summed up the sentiments of many others like her: she said, "We are the generation with ambition but without an opportunity."

Our education system is in urgent need of reform. As the Director of an IIT said, "Twenty years ago, we needed IITians to run factories and put up plants. Now those things can be done on remote control. Instead, our colleges should now be focussing on creating leaders."

We should stop churning out nerds and give our young ones an education in the richest sense of the term.



"To must stay in the game" - Claude Bristol

Chrm Message From: ganobadate Total Posts: 3 Join Date:  
Rank: Beginner Post Date: 09/08/2006 13:35:59 Points: 15 Location: India
There is no point blaming the system or any body else. It will set into motion the same merry go round of pointing fingers at each other.
If there is ambition in the true sense, then the opportunity is right there. These two cannot be seperated. Why should we expect someone else to provide us with opportunity?
The world is neither competitive or collaborative. It is neutral. We make it appear one way or the other by the kind of filters we use for viewing it.
If we deal with the world with compassion it will offer us bounties. Hell and Heaen are both here. It depends on the kind of choices we make.
There is an interesting story about this.
A man died and reached the pearly gates. He could choose to go to Heaven or Hell. He asked for a preview. Both heaven and Hell looked the same. In both places there was a long table laden with delicious food and fruits. In both places the people had stiff arms,which could not be bent at the elbow.. in Hell they were miserable but in Heaven there was merry making. He could not understand  the diifernce when every thing looked identical in the two places. He was asked to look closely.
On close observation, he found that in heaven people were feeding each other and patting each other.

External circumstances do not create Heaven or Hell. Our responce to them does the trick.
Love to all
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