Monday, May 17, 2010

What does the Indian Youth think about the current state of education?

It’s admission season once again and colleges and universities across India are heavily advertising to attract quality students to their doors. Again, the courses heavily in demand are engineering and medicine. But what do the young people themselves feel about it? Are they satisfied with the current system in India?

In India, what has to be understood clearly is that the opted field of Education is not just a choice taken by the student, but by the whole family establishment. India still retains a close knit family structure, where the decision making authority is rested heavily with the elder in the family. Here there arises a situation where the student’s personal views take a backseat to what the family sees as the best option. And this best option is a result of alarming peer pressure, common in Indian society and most of the time; the student is not even consulted during this process. The options given might be just which college do you want to join and which course. The decision that the student must take up engineering is considered foregone and not even worth asking the student.

Says Priya(name changed), a 12th grade student from Trichy, who will take up engineering at a private college this year “There was never a talk at home regarding what I was going to do after school. Everyone at home expected me to join engineering and so I will”. When asked if she was interested in engineering she says “I’m a biology student and have no idea about it.” She is a budding guitar player and is part of a band. What is possible if this girl studies music and pursues what she is good at? We will probably never know.

Many people realise after their engineering or medicine, that this was not what they wanted to do. And a career change is not optional, but inevitable for such people. Vinoth(name changed), an entrepreneur in Pondicherry had the same dilemma. Unable to complete his engineering, simply because he never really liked it, he let go of it and now runs a successful BPO in his home town. “I always wanted to be a businessman. So, when I knew this wasn’t going to work out, I immediately started my business and I’m doing pretty well.”

But there are also rebels, meaning students who opt out of what the society forces upon them and do what they want to do. Gayathri(name changed), from a Private University in Tamil Nadu, studied chemical engineering for a year before she realised that she wanted to be a journalist. After two months of convincing her family, she now studies Mass Communication at the same University. This is what she says. “I knew what I wanted to do and I did not want to be caught up in doing what everyone else was doing for the sake of it. I had to struggle a bit to convince everyone but it was worth it”

Hence it is no surprise that Krea found that 97% of our Facebook respondents feel that our educational system should be improved. The respondents consisted of a sample of young Indians who form part of Krea’s Facebook page "I am like this ONLY". The poll reveals the general mood of the younger Indian generation.

What is notable here is that India still produces the world’s most brilliant workforce.

Imagine what we’d be like if we tweaked our educational system just a bit more!

Sairam Krishnan
An India-centric Panel research firm with a focus on: Healthcare, Youth, Mobile


  1. very impressive. but I don't understand why you're blaming the system. its the mindset.

  2. well sai, awesome work. to add on to this, I know one of my relative who is just struggling with his mechanical engineering just for the sake of his parents. Even after he clearly stated he cant do with physics and maths, he was forced. And another relative of mine, he says : 'i just want to study engineering because my father wants to see B.E. after my name' and he says this after getting passing marks in maths. I am just wondering if it is a sacrifice what the children are doing for their parents and at the same time, if parents(only who force their children) can understand their children and not force them on educational issues, situation would be much better.

  3. Cool article...Most of what you've said is true...
    I know 2 instances in which my friends parents capitulated to their choice. But in each of those instances they knew of parents who let their children make their choices of their own free will. This way they may not always try to force their choice, which mostly is the so-called choice of society or the 'in-thing of today'.
    I feel parents should probably make their child aware of the options they could choose from but the final decision should be the child's. These days there is scope in all fields. One just has to search int he right directions.


  4. Ya Kiran... It is the mindset... But where does the mindset come from... The society right??

    Subbu... that is why our other sectors are backward still.... Even us bro... Think why we are doin our MBAs... huh!!??? :)

    Cshipra... Da u hit the nail right on the head... Options need to be given, and there are so many, each kid would probably know himself what to do... right??