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Old 29th September 2017, 11:50   #16
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Default Re: What ails our Higher Education Institutions?

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then did an MBA, which was somewhat useful
True. My MBA changed my life. And it's not just MBAs abroad, I've seen the same from my friends who worked hard at their MBA in India. In addition to the institution & the curriculum, your education is what you make of it (this is really important). What you read, who you interact with, how you think, things you analyse, your attitude, what you expose your mind to etc.

I don't know about IT or engineering, but have seen the BMS (Bachelor of Management Studies) program being taught in Mumbai and it is just top class . I wish we had such options back in our days. Then, there were primarily 3 - Commerce, Science or Arts.
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Old 29th September 2017, 12:04   #17
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I have another issue to put up -
Most of the syllabus is defined by academics from their ivory towers, and with very little application in real life. For them, the pinnacle of human achievement is a PHD or some sort of academic achievement, and all their education plans are built around that.When any request is made to put something that would give students skills that would make them employable, the popular refrain is, we are a temple of learning, not a vocational institute. Computer science professors think that their students should learn only algorithms and such. MBA profs will only teach their students the high level concepts and frameworks, and any actual practical learning is left to the students. I remember profs in our engineering college who were totally at sea in our electronics lab sessions. I recall one lecturer who was trying to figure out why a transistor amplifier circuit, running on a 12V supply, could not amplify a 1V signal with the 50 gain it had been designed for.

Now, with no offence meant to academics here, but in my not so humble opinion, the majority of academics i have encountered where i have learnt, are people who could not survive in real jobs, and the few good ones are few and far in between, and tend to be tied up doing actual research or teaching, instead of getting involved in endless committees and meetings for defining syllabuses.

So to conclude, yes, we do need education, but more along the lines of vocational education, and not the current streams.

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Old 29th September 2017, 12:27   #18
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I think the movie 3 Idiots quite nicely demonstrated what is wrong with our system. Even in Medicine, its all about cramming and vomiting in exams. No one teaches you the "Why"of stuff. Infact I appeared for USMLE exams ( USA equivalent for MBBS exams) after I passed my MBBS and they changed my whole outlook and understanding of the text that I had supposedly already aced during my MBBS college and received my degree to start practicing. I guess it is the same in most fields. Students in our colleges start mugging up for the next entrance exam that they will face after exiting the current course rather than the current course itself. And they cannot be blamed either since the entrance exams are designed in such a way. Just to cite an example, one of the MCQ questions I have always remembered till date was:
Q: What is the prevalence of blindness in India?
Options: 1. 6% 2. 6.5% 3. 7% 4. 7.5%
I am yet to find out any real usefulness of knowing that statistic.
You will never find such questions in exams abroad.
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Old 29th September 2017, 14:14   #19
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So folks; What ails the Higher Education sector in India?

Could you share your thoughts, experiences, views? No political references please. (We all know their capability)
I'd like to share my perspective about this issue. I graduated from IIT Kharagpur in 2013. Unlike what most people have been repeating on this thread, there was absolutely no subject in which we had to engage in "rote learning". There's no way anyone can get into an IIT, and get out of an IIT with a degree by engaging in rote learning. Just pick up any question paper from any subject (across all disciplines- I'm confident of not being proven wrong). You will find less than 10% questions which are fact based. The rest are based on real life problems that are created by Profs and are updated regularly. Yes, we did have 2 Profs who did not like to update their notes, but they retired and never went on to become Professors. The institutional framework is robust enough to prevent incompetence from reaching the top.

I also had a chance to work at a reputed manufacturing company for two years. While many members say that they did not use anything they learnt, I used a lot of what I learnt in the four years at IIT. I learnt how to use statistics for improving processes. I learnt how to draw process flow diagrams for the plant using elementary engineering principles. Yes, I did not need to use complex equations that I had gone through in college. However, the fact that I was exposed to the equations gave me confidence that I knew the stuff well. You don't have to use everything that you know. And you should not expect to be able to use the laws of mechanics in your work place if you're working at a bank. I've seen so many smart people work for a bank or a consulting company because they were paid better- and after 3 years the same people complain about the Indian system and how it makes them disconnected with what they learnt.

I'm now enrolled in a PhD+MBA program at NUS which was ranked the top University in Asia. How different is my learning experience? Not too different. I've taken modules from the faculty of engineering, science, medicine, management and I've even been a tutor for a lot of undergraduate students. No where do I sense that intense spirit of curiosity that's pervasive at IITs. Professors here are more decorated, but in terms of teaching capability, I'll rank my IIT Profs much better. In fact, while most people on the thread point out the absence of a practical orientation in the Indian system, I must say that there's a limit to which you can avoid going through the theory. In Business school, we learnt about pricing strategies and how that can affect the demand curve. The Prof did give an example of the first IPhone launch, but only after going through the math. Without it, you cannot appreciate the topic and you have to remember the key fundamentals of the subject to know it well- that's not "rote learning". That's putting your memory to good use.

The THE ranks institutes based on the following criteria:
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If we look at research, a large weightage is placed on "reputation". That's a very subjective topic and even the survey publishers don't elaborate much about how they get this data. Citations are important, but only for academia. And citations are very rarely a good metric to judge research quality. I might do excellent work on a solar cell process in collaboration with the industry and no one would cite me. I might spend $1 million on an experiment to show that a gold plated solar cell can be 30% efficient. That would give me a lot of citations, but how is it adding value to society? It's just a tool for furthering your research career.

What I'm trying to say is this: It is not prudent to rely on these rankings to judge how good/bad an university is. There's a huge amount of subjectivity involved. Also notice that there's a 7.5% weightage on international outlook. NUS has more than 80% foreign students in the PhD program. In India, that's not possible. We have an intensely competitive and capable talent pool within the country, and we don't have the resources to accommodate foreigners without compromising on opportunities for our citizens. That's why we lose points there.

Also, I do not know any alumnus who was contacted by the ranking agency. I know for a fact that they do not contact the company that I worked for (It's a day-1 company-highly preferred during campus placements). Any survey that doesn't give weightage to alumni feedback and recruiter reviews has a lot of subjectivity involved. I could go on about the other points too, but I'll stop here. Let's not get too upset about the rankings- NUS invests close to $1 billion every year in buying equipment, upgrading labs and increasing faculties and it's about 0.5% of Singapore's GDP. If you invest similar resources in India, you'll see an university that's much better. Just remember to keep the IAS officers and Politicians out of it.

Just to give you a reference point, the annual budget of all IITs and IISERs taken together is less than $0.5 billion in a year. And that's going down further. The current political establishment reduced funding for many projects and expected institutes to sustain themselves without government support. That doesn't work in India since undergraduates also pay a subsidized fee. In other countries, undergraduates pay a lot and that partially offsets the scholarships and faculty cost. Most universities around the world are highly (and proudly) supported by the Government.
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Old 29th September 2017, 14:20   #20
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As a recent graduate, I would like to add my observations about this system.

1. Engineering was useful, not because of the topics covered, but I learnt a lot of life skills - time management, team work, planning, writing mails to get work done, leadership and some more. Subject (electronics engg) wise, I'd rate it as a 2/10.

2. My dad's course books and mine were surprisingly same. He graduated 25-30 years before me.

3. I participated in debates, Technical paper presentations, conducted workshops, was a member in college fest committee, organised sports events, etc. These were primarily my teachers during the 4 years in college.

4. The faculty makes a lot of difference - After my 4 years, I am in touch ( and remember) only 3 of them - my physics and engineering drawing professors in the first year and the professor for micro controllers and microprocessors later. These 3 were the only ones who got me interested in the subject and I could look beyond the syllabus. Needless to say I aced in these subjects only.

5. Teachers want to stick with conventions - When I approached them to make a final year project using Raspberry Pi, I was turned down. But I'm happy to report that since then I have conducted 2-3 workshops in my college for first and second year students - they are now encouraged to explore other ideas.

6. Finally, a bit controversial point - After my 10th, nothing I learnt was something which couldn't be found on the internet / self-learnt..

I think in case of engineering, its best for companies to hire them after the 10/12th and train them on the job. Best way to learn! Or send them to other countries - this might not be feasible for all out there.
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Old 29th September 2017, 15:30   #21
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I believe our institute-industry connect (be it engineering or medical) is very poor; each one is working almost independently of the other. We are simply boasting about our IITs (and some NITs) and the country is not at all getting the due ROI. Not aiming to offend our fraternity from these premier institutes, let us ask ourselves what percentage of the pass outs from these institutes pursue their disciplines further and what percentage goes into IIMs and other streams where engineering knowledge is not at all required. And what are the reasons? Obviously we will have very similar answers to this question.
Indeed a total overhaul is required; not to forget the overhaul should also be done at the personal level. How long will we keep beating our children to think nothing beyond being an engineer or a doctor? Look at the business of these coaching classes; is there any business so lucrative?
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Old 29th September 2017, 17:13   #22
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I believe our institute-industry connect (be it engineering or medical) is very poor; each one is working almost independently of the other. We are simply boasting about our IITs (and some NITs) and the country is not at all getting the due ROI. Not aiming to offend our fraternity from these premier institutes, let us ask ourselves what percentage of the pass outs from these institutes pursue their disciplines further and what percentage goes into IIMs and other streams where engineering knowledge is not at all required. And what are the reasons? Obviously we will have very similar answers to this question.
Indeed a total overhaul is required; not to forget the overhaul should also be done at the personal level. How long will we keep beating our children to think nothing beyond being an engineer or a doctor? Look at the business of these coaching classes; is there any business so lucrative?
If you look at the big manufacturing companies in India, most of them have a few graduates from the universities you mentioned in the boardroom. They're not there because of the institute. They are there because they add a lot of value to the company. An MBA is not always a route to get a non-core job. It is very often a path to enhance and broaden your skillset. In our class at NUS, more than 40% are engineers who wish to take on leadership roles after a few years of work experience. This is the scene everywhere, not only in India. I read a survey earlier that for every rupee invested in an IIT, the country has earned Rs. 15 back. That's a ROI of 1500% and it is likely to be more in the future.

Coming back to the point about becoming an engineer or a doctor, it would be good to ask why these sectors are popular. It is because they offer decent employment opportunities. That's changing, and very soon you'll see humanities also becoming popular, but that will take time.

We do not need to overhaul what works. What's needed is streamlining the bureaucracy. At the moment, funds for a research project are released by bureaucrats who rarely know much about the subjects being discussed. You have political appointments at scientific organizations. This needs to stop. Investing in higher education is not an option for the government- it is an obligation.

One last point about textbooks being the same even after 25 years. Every book has editions and it is likely that the book that students read now is an updated version of what was in vogue 2 decades back. And fundamentals do not change, hence it is unlikely that you'll find a lot of variation in how the undergraduate curriculum is taught.
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Old 29th September 2017, 17:24   #23
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Q: What is the prevalence of blindness in India?
Options: 1. 6% 2. 6.5% 3. 7% 4. 7.5%
I am yet to find out any real usefulness of knowing that statistic.
You will never find such questions in exams abroad.


Main objective of entrance exam is not to test your knowledge but act as filter. There lies the problem.
MBBS degree holder has theory knowledge but lacks application of this knowledge thanks to ultra competitive exams which only requires to cram.
I still remember during my internship all staff were interested in us doing clerical work than teaching patient management.
For me doing PG was utmost important so used to attend coaching classes after PG rather treating patient. Now with NEET SS many trained specialist will be seen in coaching class after their MD. Government always complains of shortage of doctors but irony is 50% medical doctors are always busy preparing for exams all due to lack of cohesive education programme and only knee jerk reaction to chronic problem.

Last edited by ampere : 6th October 2017 at 10:42.
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Old 29th September 2017, 21:16   #24
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Default Re: What ails our Higher Education Institutions?

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Sorry to sound stupid, but how exactly does education (or at least what is being taught in educational institutions help people?)
About 7+ years ago, I would've said, brilliant point, I concur with you

One base point to understand is that, school, up to class 10, teaches only base or foundations based upon which further studies are carried out. Without this base, one will not know where their interest lies. Of-course, there's an artist, musician, craftsman also getting the foundation education, but its up to them to pursue or get lost in their dreams after the foundation education.

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Physics - Perhaps as...life?
Righto; physics & chemistry were absolute useless to me until I realized the importance of understand why a pressure pump is required in a RO purifier & how & why the water is contaminated despite glowing like a sparkle & what exactly is hardness in water; the other day we were moving big rocks from our compound for planting & some of them couldn't be moved, that is when fulcrum was put to use;

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History and geography (absolutely useless)
Ask Samurai san as why History is important, anyway, let me tell from my perspective. Without knowing History, one is bound to make the same mistake & fail.

Geography, I had my own share when I went to Gulf of Mannar without carrying water bottle & riding through RJ & MH during September without knowing what to expect.

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Regional Languages - Absolutely useless
Being in TN...you're saying learning regional language is useless, very sad.

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I have found absolutely no return on investment in the learning itself. the certificate itself has some value, but the bar is extremely low. People care more about attitude, soft skills, learnability etc
Very very true; but in my case, I pursued only what my mind said, SOFTWARE & I did that right from 11th. I found joy learning Basic, Fortran, Pascal, C, C++, Java, PERL, UNIX, Windows, Novell Netware, Linux, WebSphere, iPlanet, HTTP Protocol, Oracle, Sybase, SQL Server, E-COM, Site Manager, though I can admit I didn't enjoy learning COBOL. Point is, if we don't go towards what we seek, we will be forced to like what we get

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I remember during a...prosperity. Why fix something that isnt broke?
Very very brilliant point; you wouldn't believe if I said the same topic came up during one of a casual chat. I said, we could go to school, learn about biology, chemistry, geography & history & incorporate to learn about the behavior of plants, understand what kind of chemicals do plants prefer without harming them, yet keeping away from pests, understand the geography & the plant's preferences & finally, the history of farming on how the plants evolved so that we could go to the roots or how to keep up the production keeping the pace with population. I'm keeping away from biotechnology or nano technology for a reason at the moment.

But basically, what you've said is right, all we need is food, shelter & clothing. But somewhere our basic needs have met & we've started going limitless & against Nature due to greed.

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Honestly I don't see how education, especially higher education is the answer
Higher education helps when we apply what we've studied; basically our job is inline with our education, otherwise, you're right, not of much use.

Last but not the least, the satellite that goes up was with help of physics & chemistry that helped to understand the geography so that Tamilnadu Weatherman warned us in English about Vardah

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I have another issue to put up...So to conclude, yes, we do need education, but more along the lines of vocational education, and not the current streams.
Very much agreed; despite our kids school doing the same masala over & again, this is where I intervene in their studies. Will share you a real incident. When our Son was in 3rd grade, we asked him to get a chart paper & he was scared to trade with money; quite obvious that was first time. Though he knew 10-5 = 5, it took a long time for him to relate Rs 10 - Rs 5 = Rs 5. I don't know whom to blame, the school or ourselves because all of us fail to relate the education with real life & instead keep beating their brains with algorithms & theorems...which you rightly pointed out in the first post "how many of you have used s=ut+1/2 at2 in real life"

So, until that relativity is being done, every kid's brain is a programmed to think & act in a certain way that is acceptable by society in terms of education.

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Old 30th September 2017, 05:13   #25
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Righto; physics & chemistry were absolute useless to me until I realized the importance of understand why a pressure pump is required in a RO purifier & how & why the water is contaminated despite glowing like a sparkle & what exactly is hardness in water; the other day we were moving big rocks from our compound for planting & some of them couldn't be moved, that is when fulcrum was put to use;
Most of this stuff that you're talking about - simple machines, hard water etc, I recall learning in 5-7th standard. But still agree that physics, chemistry etc are very useful, and absolutely should be taught. What i do find the most useless is...
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Ask Samurai san as why History is important, anyway, let me tell from my perspective. Without knowing History, one is bound to make the same mistake & fail.

Geography, I had my own share when I went to Gulf of Mannar without carrying water bottle & riding through RJ & MH during September without knowing what to expect.
history and geography are more or less a collection of facts. Once upon a time when the internet was not available, it made sense to teach the bases, but now that it is here, all this information is just a google search away. i wasted valuable years of my life learning what millets were grown in each indian state, what a monadnock was, pages and pages about mughals, the indus valley civilization and almost nothing about the cholas or the history of my own state (Kerala). Now this information is just a search away, and wasting years of kids lives to make them by heart this is just futile. By that yardstick, there is tons of information out there - is general knowledge a higher learning subject? I recall getting into a fight with my history teacher. Even in ICSE, which has a higher focus on understanding concepts etc, she was adamant on us learning the text books by heart and writing the same for the exams. I was hell bent on understanding the content, and then writing it based on my understanding, which she said would end up poorly, as the scoring key was based on the presence of certain keywords, which may not be there if i decide to use my own words and language.

Quote:
Being in TN...you're saying learning regional language is useless, very sad.
I'm a mallu, and I was able to read and write the language by 5th standard, and any further learning was mostly literature. I have found that literature, especially poetry to be a waste of time. I once got into a fight with my english teacher about poetry being nothing but a perversion of the english language, and to prove it, I got into a poetry writing competition, handed in a few lines of randomly written prose with no meter, rhyme or punctuation, and was handed second prize
In my opinion, art, literature, humanities are all noble pursuits, and i do not deny that they enrich our lives but I do not believe they should be made compulsory education. Honestly that time could have been better used teaching maths and sciences better to kids.

The context of this discussion is that we as a country are relatively backward in terms of education, which is holding back our growth. My point being that we should focus on skills based learning than teaching of abstract concepts.

Quote:
Higher education helps when we apply what we've studied; basically our job is inline with our education, otherwise, you're right, not of much use.
My problem is that the gap between the abstract concepts and the practical challenges that we face is too huge, and most of us (at least me) find learning abstract stuff pretty hard. And instead of trying to bridge that gap, and build depth and understanding, our system simply chooses to focus on breadth, than depth. Why can't we start dropping subjects after say 5th or 8th?

For example, during engineering, we had a paper on filter design. The whole thing was more or less maths. The profs went on about teaching poles and zeros and causality and what not. Bear in mind i was actually interested in learning this. Had a tough time, and could not make head or tail of it even after going to another prof for tution. Fast forward to a few years back, when i was planning to build an active 3 way speaker system, and i went through linkwitz's site and pages on filter design. I was able to pick up in a few weeks what i could not do over several months in college.

Another example - in 12th standard, I had a hard time understanding organic chemistry. As stated before, i find understanding and applying concepts easy, but learning by rote impossible. So when faced with the task of by hearting hundreds of organic chemistry equations. I could not - that was when a friend of mine pointed me to a book called morrison and boyd, and asked me to go through the chapter on carbocation mechanism. It took me a month to go through it, and at the end of it, It was like a scene in the matrix where Neo becomes aware of the matrix and can see it. I could look at any equation, and understand what was happening. I became an organic chemistry expert overnight, and could get into arguments with teachers and win - all because of reading something the syllabus I was learning could not be bothered to go into too much depth on.
Quote:
every kid's brain is a programmed to think & act in a certain way that is acceptable by society in terms of education.
Ha, even most adults are like that, including professors. During my 5th sem, one of the rounds of circuits lab viva is component identification.
I was shown a TO3 device with the markings worn off.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TO-3
now a TO3 is just a package style, and can be used for any 3 (or sometimes more) pin semiconductor device. In the abscence of any markings, I told the external that this was a TO3 device, and I could not say anything more. The man says that its a power transistor. I counter that the TO3 case style is used by multiple devices, including voltage regulators etc. He got agitated and started shouting at me about coming without studying and not knowing what things were, and then making lame excuses to justify myself. I was prepared to get into a fight when my external gave me a non verbal cue to drop it and let it go.

Last edited by greenhorn : 30th September 2017 at 05:27.
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Old 30th September 2017, 12:06   #26
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The dismal state of primary education in India is one of the main reasons why higher education institutions in India suffer from poor learning outcomes and have abysmal research output.

This can be traced back to the period immediately after Independence when Nehru gave disproportionate focus to tertiary education in India without addressing the fundamental problems ailing primary education. This trend continued with successive governments. As a result, we have an examination system where children are put through the grinder and inculcate bad learning habits. The feeder system is broken. Unless this is fixed, neither will the quality of teaching at higher institutes improve nor the quality of students coming in.
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Old 1st October 2017, 13:25   #27
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Thank you, Folks, for your inputs. Based on these, and adding some of my own, the main issues can be summarised as under:
  1. Narrow view of education:
    -Memorising content; Knowledge centric, instead of inquiry centric.
  2. Outdated curricula:
    -Does not promote creativity or critical thinking.
  3. Commercialisation:
    -The education business, and business it is, has become a black money sump as well as a money laundering and black money generation business.
  4. Emphasis on placement rather than research:
    -Course content tweaked for placement, irrespective of discipline.
    Eg: IT
  5. Lack of qualified, experienced, trained and passionate teachers:
  6. No merit based appointments:
    -Political and monetary influence in appointments, not necessarily merit.
  7. Grants of Government on input based criteria, rather than result based.
  8. No effective tie-ups with Industry or WC institutions.
  9. Lack of intellectual courage and good governance:
    -Academics prefer to toe the line rather than speak out.
  10. Lack of Infrastructure and funds.
  11. Above all, lack of 'enabling' policy and regulation.

I have spoken to some old timers (stakeholders) and most of them are convinced that the education sector has deteriorated in quality and value. Now, this syndrome about feeling that the institution was better in 'our' time is fairly common- However, in this case, i would feel that the statement is true. Consider institutions such as AMU, BHU, MSU, and such. They were tall institutions some 40-50 years back. Instead of improving in stature, they have slipped down.

It would be necessary to understand why this has happened, before we can do something for this sector. Could Alumni and students of these Universities throw some light? Other views are welcome too.

Last edited by earthian : 1st October 2017 at 13:33.
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Old 1st October 2017, 20:52   #28
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I did my post-graduation in an IIT about 20 years back. Some of the conclusions we used to arrive at that time, which I feel is still relevant

1) IITs spend most of its energy on BTech students. This itself may be the original intent behind setting up IITs, but does not help it when coming to global ranking. Remember that IISc does not admit graduate (or under graduate, in US terminology) students

2) In the cost versus benefit analysis, Phd does not fare well. It takes a minimum of 5 years for Phd degree. You lose potential earnings and there are not many jobs that give you an edge after Phd, apart from teaching.

3) If you look at the Phd candidates, a significant percentage of them would be sponsored candidates, mainly from educational institutions. No offence to anyone, but their priority is to acquire a degree by completing minimum requirements

4) The facilities in the labs is not comparable to foreign universities. This was our perception, based on what we heard from our seniors who got admitted to foreign universities
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Old 3rd October 2017, 15:39   #29
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Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post

history and geography are more or less a collection of facts. Once upon a time when the internet was not available, it made sense to teach the bases, but now that it is here, all this information is just a google search away. i wasted valuable years of my life learning what millets were grown in each indian state, what a monadnock was, pages and pages about mughals, the indus valley civilization and almost nothing about the cholas or the history of my own state (Kerala). Now this information is just a search away, and wasting years of kids lives to make them by heart this is just futile. By that yardstick, there is tons of information out there - is general knowledge a higher learning subject? I recall getting into a fight with my history teacher. Even in ICSE, which has a higher focus on understanding concepts etc, she was adamant on us learning the text books by heart and writing the same for the exams. I was hell bent on understanding the content, and then writing it based on my understanding, which she said would end up poorly, as the scoring key was based on the presence of certain keywords, which may not be there if i decide to use my own words and language.


I'm a mallu, and I was able to read and write the language by 5th standard, and any further learning was mostly literature. I have found that literature, especially poetry to be a waste of time. I once got into a fight with my english teacher about poetry being nothing but a perversion of the english language, and to prove it, I got into a poetry writing competition, handed in a few lines of randomly written prose with no meter, rhyme or punctuation, and was handed second prize
In my opinion, art, literature, humanities are all noble pursuits, and i do not deny that they enrich our lives but I do not believe they should be made compulsory education. Honestly that time could have been better used teaching maths and sciences better to kids.
After you have found your path, after you have chosen a career, you could think that anything else that you studied on the way was waste. The idea of providing basic education, at least upto 10th class is to provide a basic understanding about how the world works. If the society does not teach its children history and geography, forget about having good politicians and bureaucrats. You wont be able to even produce good policemen. If anything you do in life requires discretionary decision making, you are bound to fail if you do not understand humanities( history, geography, civics, economics) around you.

As to regional language -- your expertise in your language will determine whether you are vulnerable to be tricked later or not. For example, think about a land deed. A person who is completely at the mercy of the notaries to understand a document vs a person who can read and understand and question the notary -- you see the difference ?
There is a huge difference between being fluent in reading and writing, say to for newspapers, vs reading a complex prose which runs into lengthy compound sentences to understand it.

Basic education is to create citizens with world view and understanding, not exactly to provide them a job. Subjects are alright. You may want to argue about content. For example, the kids do not know what exactly is a PAN card, how to take a Demand draft etc. Must go into some sort of a social skill study. Or if a 17 year old can actually write a complaint that can be accepted by a police station, describing his problem.
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Old 4th October 2017, 12:09   #30
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Default Re: What ails our Higher Education Institutions?

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Originally Posted by ashokrajagopal View Post
The idea of providing basic education, at least upto 10th class is to provide a basic understanding about how the world works. If the society does not teach its children history and geography, forget about having good politicians and bureaucrats. You wont be able to even produce good policemen. If anything you do in life requires discretionary decision making, you are bound to fail if you do not understand humanities( history, geography, civics, economics) around you.
While I agree that conceptually, history and geography are relevant, my point was that the history that was taught to me was more or less irrelevant (please read my original post) and the geography was taught in far too much depth and breadth. Civics was touched upon barely, and economics was not taught at all. Regardless, I am not debating 10th standard education (despite my personal views), we are talking about Higher education
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As to regional language -- your expertise in your language will determine whether you are vulnerable to be tricked later or not. For example, think about a land deed. A person who is completely at the mercy of the notaries to understand a document vs a person who can read and understand and question the notary -- you see the difference ?
I am not sure how teaching obscure literary works to someone who has a very clear grasp of the language and grammar helps. As for your example, I consider myself pretty well read in english, and found out only during my MBA that the word consideration in a legal contract has significantly different meaning that english, and trust me, no amount of Teaching, reading, and CAT VA courses had given me that knowledge. So i doubt plain old school english would qualify you to grasp the full implications of legal wordings!

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Basic education is to create citizens with world view and understanding, not exactly to provide them a job.
That is fine, but Higher education, especially in a country like ours should help bridge the gap between things such as views and understanding, and things such as practical applications and day to day life. When I joined a school, I was told by everybody that employment was the primary purpose of education. heck, the only reason I endured so many years of school and college was because i was told that this would be useful for a job once i grew up. History and certain subjects are increasingly becoming world views of certain parties - I have no interest in learning those , nor my children, but lets not go into that. If you tell me (or the parents of the average schoolgoing kid) that this is the purpose of education, I'm sure they would be positively discouraged!
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