Indians, especially the ambitious ones, have never had it easy. Be it any field – career, education, marriage, acquiring wealth – there is one thing that we can be sure of : competition.
Competitive public examinations have taken the entire game to a whole new level. The magnitude changes dramatically from sixty students in a classroom to several lakh students competing fiercely to get into the top engineering, medical and management institutions. Our very own IITs and IIMs highlight this effectively. The cut-offs are soaring higher and higher every year due to lack of good colleges. We become a part of this rat race of getting a rank or a percentile to find stability in life.
India has the world’s third largest higher education system, next to The United States and China, which comprises of approximately 800 universities, 39,000 colleges and a capacity of enrolling more than 20 million students. It is not something to be proud of as India has one of the lowest higher education enrolment ratio of only 25.8%. Known all around the world for having one of the largest technical and scientific manpower reserves, only 3% of engineering graduates in 2017 had the required skill set to be employed in software market and only 7% were able to handle core engineering tasks. Indian education system is producing machines who by heart everything from the prescribed curriculum which is revised only once in 5-10 years. The world is constantly evolving, our subjects are not.
According to latest available data from the National Crime Records Bureau, a student commits suicide every hour in India. Academic stress is a major reason for suicides in India and the pressure continues beyond college. Students are forced to join coaching factories at a young age of 13 or 14 where they cram till they are 18 to get admission into “prestigious institutions” like IIT. There are few who dream of being a student of such an institute and are successful in getting an eligible rank. There are few who dream the same but fail in getting a rank. Lastly, there are those who are forced to dream.
India has all the needed resources which aren’t being utilised effectively. Every sector has a lot of potential to grow if the right people skilled in that area are being able to find the right career opportunity for them. Almost half the country’s population is below the age of 25 years. If they are adequately furnished with the suitable skills and knowledge, they could steer India’s entrepreneurial and competitive spirit and make it into a global power.