In the late nineties and the beginning of this century ,if there was one thing,about India, that made the world stop and take notice, was our growth in the I.T. sector and soon the India Juggernaut rolled over everyone to become the biggest talent pool in terms of software professionals . India’s position as the global leader in terms of being the largest exporter of Intelligence was cemented by the sheer number of highly skilled Indians working across the globe. As per pewssocialtrends, the number of Indians in USA alone grew from 19,00,000 in 2000 to a staggering 3,982,000 in 2015. A little research tells me that
38% of doctors in USA are Indians.
12% scientists in USA are Indians.
36% of NASA scientists are Indians.
34% of Microsoft employees are Indians.
28% of IBM employees are Indians.
17% of INTEL scientists are Indians.
13% of XEROX employees are Indians.
We have Indians leading some of the world’s largest companies including Google and Microsoft.
The Question to be asked is, whether as an Indian am I happy about it ?
the answer is an emphatic yes !!!
but, as an Indian am I proud of it?
No ,in fact I am Scared.
A country that has been doing so well in last 25 years, why as an Indian, I am concerned today ?
Speking as straight forward as I can be, I am not scared that we will not do well in future,
I AM SURE that we will fail.
Lets dwell a bit deeper into the stuff that we Indians have been buoyant about,
|Company & Education|
From IIT Kharagpur
M.S. in Material Sciences
from Stanford &
MBA from Wharton School ,
University of Pennsylvania
B.E. in Electrical Engineering
from Manipal Institute of Technology
M.S. from University of
MBA from University of Chicago
BS from Madras Christian College
Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
& M.S. from Yale University
I have just listed three of the most familiar names. This list can be really long, what scares me is the last qualification. Though we brag about these achievers being Indians, the fact is, that these leaders actually pursued their higher education in the United States. It was these Universities that gave them the skills and the opportunity to become professionals who have a global appeal.
Here is why,i feel,my fears about our system are not misplaced,
Concern 1 : Brain Drain
Indian education at Undergrad level has been pretty well organized in the past, but at specalization level, we have not been able to give too many options to the brighter minds. Our governments have not been able to pump in too much of cash into research, there by leaving a huge void. The smarter companies have thus been able to lure our best brains into their research labs by giving them incubators where their ideas can grow. Except for IIT’s,IIM’s and may be a few other institutes, we couldn’t do much. The result was ,that these intellectuals left onboard the first flight available.
A decade and half back, though the Brain drain was happening, today it is at its worst. As a trainer for software Engineering students for 16 years and a consultant for education abroad,today I see many students walking up to me and asking me options available abroad. They just don’t want to stay back once they graduate, they don’t even have convincing answers ,when asked why , but they are sure that they want to leave. whether its USA or Canada or Australia or Europe, they just want to leave. This trend scares the shit out of me, with loans and other financing avenues available ,studying and migrating abroad is easier than ever before.
An economic Times report stated that annually we have 3,00,000 students travelling abroad for studies.
do they ever come back ?
i guess, your guess is as good as mine. Unless we as a country do something about this immediately, we are not going to have any highly skilled professionals left to us.
Concern 2 : Too many Institutes
Late into 1980’s and early 1990’s , every child had to earn his/her seat into any course or a college of his/her choice. The institutes were limited, few made it to them and walked out brimming with knowledge ,as these colleges could provides the best of the faculties and mentors. Cut to this century, the number of institutes in each stream just mushroomed everywhere, anybody who decides, can actually land a seat in any stream. In Engineering for instance, in the entrance exam( MHT-CET ), a student needs to score a Non-zero score to be eligible for admissions. Technically,this means that the exam is just a farce.Education became a booming business and all political big wigs jumped into the arena,got the institutes , but that has send quality for a toss.Agreed ,that government has to ensure education for all, but a person with a degree ,but no skill is as good as uneducated. Off late,the government has started reducing the number of institutes, this is a welcome move.
Concern 3 : Simplifying the syllabus
Simplifying the learning curriculum is great,but,what if it makes it redundant ? in recent years,Universities have made their syllabus smaller and simpler. The exams have become easier, passing percentages have gone up, scores have been great. Isn’t it an irony that , inspite of all this the job scenario has become worse?
at professional level, we are expected to solve real world problems which are not simple. if we avoid everything difficult or trivial at learning level, we will never be in a position to execute them at working level, unfortunately this has happened in our technical education system in the last decade.The highly qualified have found no takers .
Concern 4 : not creating alternatives
The current generation of students,the millenials,think differently. They are not bound by a thought process ,which leads them to the conventional professions.They are ambitious and well informed. Unless we create the options for studying varied courses and better jobs ,these kids will fly,be it for studying film making,music,law or literature. They know what they want and will seek it.
Concern 5 : Poaching
With most countries realizing,how big a business Indian students are, every country today is laying out sops. All countries including ,Canada ,Australia,Germany ,Portugal,Italy,France ,New Zealad etc are aggressively trying to lure Indian students into their borders.It has dual benefits, you earn form them as students and then later, they become cheap hard working skilled resource for them.
Concern 6 : Tightening the noose
My Friends laugh,they think i am joking,when i am very serious ,when is say, that the national language of Dubai is Hindi.All those, who have visited UAE, Qatar,Kuwait,Bahrain,Saudia Arabia etc ,will agree that almost the entire working labour class there are Indians,Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. We have a large number of unskilled people from the sub continent working there. With Saudia government making things very difficult and other might follow soon, we now have a situation where ,the people facing lay offs there will be flying back and the unskilled here, who had middle east as an option will not be flying out. Its a sure recipe of increased unemployment here back home .The most dangerous section of the population are the job less, coz then ,they have no choice but to go to any extent to fulfill their basic needs.I scare this situation the most. we will have same number of people, but the ones staying back will all be the unskilled ones.
Unless our governments take strong,authoritative steps and create opportunity here, we as a country,will lack people who can take us forward. This can happen as early as by 2030.
i really hope, when i read this write up a decade later, i would find these things stupid, hope i am proven wrong. but, as of today,i see us failing in the next decade.
junaid Khateeb is a Trainer ,Author and education abroad consultant in Mumbai.