Why India lags in Education: My take

I am a person who likes reading about Education and Pedagogy. I also wrote several LinkedIn posts and a blog about the topic earlier. This time I want to talk about why India lags in the Education sector.

India as a Superpower:

We are the second largest population and fifth largest economy in the world, have the fourth strongest military, and rank 13th among the most powerful countries. We have come a long way since independence. One sector that we aren’t still doing well in is Education. In the list of Times Higher Education (THE) of the best universities, no Indian Institute lies in the top 200. Indian Institute of Science (IIS) ranks 251 on the list, the first among Indian Institutes.

*Please note that I wrote this article in October 2022. Stats may differ in the future.

What’s the problem:

People blame the environment. They say that real learning comes more from exposure than from classes. Schools do have an important role to play. People around you also matter a lot. It’s right up to some extent. But that is not the only problem. If a person who was around you earlier can lead the top IT company in the world now, it means people around us are full of potential. There might be some other flaw as well.

Flaw not addressed:

The administration of an organization plays a key role in its success.

I have recently discovered that Management and administration in some Institutes of higher studies in India have pathetic inefficiency. It is happening even with the top institutions and agencies operating at the national level.

National Testing Agency (NTA), conducting JEE mains and NEET since 2018, does blunders now and then. They never delivered the admit cards or results of the examinations on the preannounced dates. Not even a single time.

University Grant Commission (UGC) decided to conduct CUET, a common entrance examination for all the central universities from 2022. They made this announcement in April when the academic session was about to end. Imagine you are a 10+2 student willing to pursue B.A. from JNU. You invested your sweat and blood to prepare for the entrance. After one year of preparation, you hear that the exam is not happening the same way. All the sweat and blood got wasted. This is not the peak of mismanagement. 

Mismanagement happened in the conduction of the examination. I’ve explained it in a LinkedIn post. Read here.

Technical glitches are usual. But, for an agency operating at the national level conducting entrance exams for all the central universities, you don’t expect such problems every other day. Not only in NTA but such administration flaws also happen in top Indian universities like BHU. I also have struggled so many times due to such issues. Such inconsistencies in institutions waste the time and energy of not only their employees but the students also.

Is there a solution?

After I passed out of school and joined college for a degree, I lost faith in formal education. I even doubt if a college degree is necessary to be eligible for some jobs. I don’t say they are a waste but they shouldn’t be a necessity. Students pursuing a degree shouldn’t completely rely on their college or institute for learning. That is the only thing we can do.

Rabindranath Tagore said, “The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.”

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