Higher education

I am a firm believer of German model of education. It might have its demerit, but I truly respect its spirit.
The German law says that every citizen has a right to pursue both primary as well as higher education at the institute of his/her choice. As long as he fulfills the required prerequisites, then no educational institute can bar him to select any course/degree he wants.

I also admire the US educational system.
Anybody can open a university. There are cases when the universities were opened just as a memorial of their dear departed son. This mechanism ensures limitless supply of seats and colleges actively compete to enroll the best talent. The courses need to be modified each year (no this years question paper is not a rehash of the previous 5 years question paper) so that they attract prospective students.

The fees are high, but the univs offer generous scholarships, TA and RAs to ensure that deserving candidates are not able to afford it. Scholarship is not seen as a grant, but as an investment by the college. It is to attract the brightest minds that can potentially turn into brand ambassadors for the University and also enhance the learning and experience of the whole batch.

However Indians have come up with a unique higher education system:
A license raj crippled with the curse of Eklavya Syndrome.
more on education system on

We have returned to the same old Gurukul system where by limiting the access to education, the higher castes can maintain its stature. We have created a small rank of elite colleges who are respected by the society not because of the knowledge it imparts, but because of the rigorous selection process.

good education is not picking up the brightest handful of the students wasting their 4 years and then boasting about their success. Its should be like a book… anybody who has time to go through it is eligible.

I see education as an enabler who prepares the youth to take up challenges and drive the development of the nation. However we end up subsidizing the education of a bunch of pomp ass IIT/IIM graduates who have huge egos and the only mission in life is to migrate to USA never to come back.

When you talk about education, people talk about reservation. I say, open 50 more colleges so that nobody who aspires to be educated is denied of it. Nobody talks about reservation in govt run primary schools.. why? simply because there are more seats than the people aspiring to take them.
For the country’s GDP to grow at 10%, the supply of educated professional workforce should increase by at least 15%. If you say that there should be a World Class university in each district of this country: I would say…. For a population of a billion and the world’s largest source of youth this is too little.
However the reality is:
1) In last 40 years we created only one IIT (Guhathi). And at least in this decade there are no plans of having a new campus.
2) We create 20 new NIT by renaming existing RECs. A new IIT by renaming University of Roorkee. Somebody tell me how does this eyewash matter?

However I am also against government allocating a bulk of the money I pay through Educational cess to subsidize Colleges rather than educate the 30% illiterate citizens we have. Opening private operators in high school education, medical care has definitely increased the cost of these services.
But I am ok with it. After all my government has limited funds and these private players have ensured that there is quality in the system. Indian Higher education on the other hand is rotten because private players are so much restricted.

So the only solution we have is to open up Private Universities. Allow FDI in education. And I thank Arjun Singh for giving his approval.


18 thoughts on “Higher education

  1. @ammar
    you can read all you want about a car, but unless u actually sit behind the wheel… u can never learn how to drive a car.

    I might be arguing both sides now….. but I guess ur college realizes that and encourages students to take up summer internship in real industry for this very reason.
    they educate you the basics in the classroom… and teach modern and advanced topics like satellites and mobiles. and have ties with the industry so that students can practice what they have learned


  2. Hey Pegasus…Education itself is a gamble..yesterday to answer ur query about Lawyers studying in UK , I called a friend who did his LLB from NALSAR and masters from UK. The first thing he said was
    ” I regret it..I did not gain anything , except that the fad got me a good job here..but masters in India is even pathetic “.He had great words for NALSAR though.
    As you said , starting quality education centers in India is very important.


  3. //starting quality education centers in India is very important.//
    actually Arjun Singh has already taken a step in this direction…. I am very much hopeful that private univs will pinch in fast enough… the scarcity of quality graduates is the only reason why salaries are rising 15-20% p.a. even though there is not perceivable improvement in productivity.

    //Education itself is a gamble//
    i beg to differ… in an eklavyan society u throttle the supply so much that whatever crap that comes out of the pipeline is as valuable as gold.

    //” I regret it..I did not gain anything ,//
    I really appreciate his honesty. most people know their CAT, JEE scores were their biggest achievement… but are too scared to acknowledge that.


  4. //I meant u take a chance when u choose the institution //
    i would say the risk of choosing the correct stream/profession is much higher…
    1) it should match ur aptitude…
    2) the market should value it.
    and getting a perfect match is nearly impossible…. (i screwed up… not once but twice)

    risk of choosing the institute…
    i would say that is negligible… as long as u confine ur search to premier institutes and talk to 2-3 people in that industry before committing.


    • Yeah, I enjoyed her early Pern books (esp the first one Dragon Flight & sqeeul, and Moreta). Loved how real her dragons were, and I had a crush on F’lar/F’nor when I was a kid too The latest ones written by her son seem to be a rehash of old plots though (epidemics, travelling in time, etc) so I haven’t been reading them.


  5. //1) it should match ur aptitude…
    2) the market should value it.
    and getting a perfect match is nearly impossible…. //
    You could’nt have put it better !!


    • I have to agree, the last ones with her son just don’t have the same spark. I’ve only read one. It’s just not his world, and not his thing (even though she helps him of cosure with the plot and all that). I hope eventually he goes on to write something that is more him . I met him at DragonCon this year, very nice guy. He’s writing to keep the world of Pern alive, because he’s worried that when his mother passes the world of Pern will die with her. I admire the sentiment. But he needn’t worry it will live on, I have no doubt.


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