How higher education is becoming meaningless in India!


It is a really sad state of affairs in the country at the moment so far as higher education is concerned. It is more of a chore, a must do something rather than pursuing your field of interest, or striving for academic excellence. The de-facto standard in the country at the moment is to pursue a course in engineering irrespective of the field and the college, so long as it helps one get a degree at the end of four years. Which by the way, not many are interested in by the time those four years come to an end. The realization dawns a bit too late, that they were not cut up for it. The ones who lagged due to disinterest are doomed, the ones who persevered despite disinterest choose rosier avenues. At the end of which, everyone ends up on the losing side. The student loses years of his life struggling with something he hardly considered important. The college, faculty and administration spent resources on a no-returns venture.


The time has come, when parents need to lose hold of their control on the kids. It is their life, and with all due respect, the new generation is far smarter than the older one. It knows for sure what it wants. It may be a little out-of-control, but it is understanding, and given the field of interest, it is hard working. Perhaps more than the older generation. A burgeoning economy offers more career opportunities than probably there were in the pre-liberalization era. The time for ‘only doctors/engineers need apply’ in matrimonial ads is long past.

Today the youth is beating out new paths for itself, testing unchartered waters, dreaming big, following their dreams, chasing offbeat careers and making it big. While a degree in engineering or medical may still guarantee you that fat package, but the question is, is that what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.? You will not be the first, nor will be the last to ask that question.

Chetan Bhagat being the most ‘appealing’ example for the case in hand – an IIT graduate turned investment banker turned ‘ahem’ popular author. What went wrong with all those guys who chose investment banking after years at engineering. Or with Devendra Purbiya, who took to photography full time. There are examples galore. What went wrong with all these guys? Lack of realisation? Forced will? Lack of opportunity? Lack of information?

Another problem facing the country at the moment is the lack of structured guidance and information system to help equip students with the correct information at the right time. Getting to know about admission process in say National institute of photography, Mumbai may involve the candidate calling up every number listed in there, and still drawing a blank. Despite the ubiquitousness and the effective reach of the internet, phone and other mass media vehicles, our education infrastructure is lagging way behind. This is a void which needs to be filled. And no, we can’t wait for the so-called government to help us with it. About time we started helping ourselves. Wield the power of community, and ensure that the young ones reach where they want to, touching new heights.

Thoughts Welcome!

[This guest post is written by Mohammad Luqman, a student himself. He is involved with IITians for Youth, an NGO dedicated to expanding the outreach of higher education.]

  1. extragrades says

    Education has been the most neglected industry especially in developing economies. The need of the hour is to change the perspective of the people in the education

  2. Supriyo Das says

    School education will remain, because this is where education has some value…but higher education will see its doomsday very soon, even institutes like oxford or cambridge will find their places in that list. oxford's vice chancellor has come to kolkata for encouraging students to study over there…why? what for? Because the synagogue of education isn't getting monetary help from the british government.

    Actually, for a long time, we deluded ourselves thinking academia signifies something sanctified, it needs to be worshiped with incense sticks…it's only now, when we started coming out of those thoughts. What matters in the real world is earning money, your sweat and blood will fetch you that, not how many degrees you have.

    But as I said in my last post also, this realization hasn't been had by all. So, more articles like this are what we need.

  3. Vinay Palankar says

    But, its not our mistake..or, may be it is our mistake all together. This is because we are all very poor. We Indians have a hell lot of responsibilities on our shoulders to have the flexibility to take risks in life. And our goverment is responsible for all this. We don't have a proper education system. The goverment does'nt invest effectively into primary education and healthcare. Rather the goverment doest have a proper plan or scheme to take care of the country future. Rather, the money is invested into huge scams or, may be funding the Gandhi family's comforts (200 crores a year for their security). So, who's responsible…. of course us..who think Rahul Gandhi could be the best PM India could ever have.

  4. Vinay Palankar says

    Not a very good article, but something that is really relevant to our society. Our education system, culture, middle class values and attitude comes in way of being inquisitive, experimental and risk taking. Its like a cattle herd here in India, where majority of the students influenced by their families jumps in to an engineering or a medical college. With no sight of the future or, a persons own credentials and potential. Its like a meaningless life….. following the herd…aimlessly, with no introspection to ones true passion and potential. And, this on the long run, impacts the country as well. This is the main reason why there so little R&D happening in India. We may have a few Indians taking the top positions in the corporate world across the globe, but the truth we forget is that the majority of the popluation remains uneducated and unguided, and the so called engineers who graduate every year in millions, finall end up working in call centers, or for a mere 5k a month.

  5. Utkarsh Apoorva says

    Exceptionally bad article. The 'author' has supplemented lack of research with poor language and badly chosen examples. I did not expect this kind of drab from

    1. Mohammad Luqman says

      Admit the ‘lack of research’ sir, but do you really think there is a need for research to ‘prove’ that there are millions wasting their years in so-called professional courses with no direction and no prospects whatsoever, and no real interest in doing what they are supposed to be doing. About time it changed, and about time we started focusing on real issues.

    2. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Utkarsh Apoorva Thanks for your candid view. As a blog we are not biased, we publish articles that are thought provoking… If you do not agree with author's view that does not mean the article is bad. For one negative comments there are 5 positive commenters who have liked the article…

    3. Utkarsh Apoorva says

      Arun Prabhudesai in fact I agree with the author's view. I was only commenting on the literary quality and lack of new information. Somehow, when I read articles I expect to see something I didn't know before or hadn't thought of before. This one somehow did not do that for me.

    4. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Utkarsh Apoorva Point taken :)

  6. Mohammad Luqman says

    I hardly think it right to blame the ‘country’ and the ‘system’ here too. While i’ll agree with you if you say the current state of school education does not equip the students with practical skills even after going through 14years of schooling, it wont be right saying it forces one to choose their career options. It has got privatized? Undoubtedly so; depriving a huge section of population of a basic need. Prefer a safe job? With all due respect sir, its not the students that wish so. It is the parents who want their kids to have ‘safe’ jobs. Who’s to say what’s safe these days (other than being born in a political family of course).?

  7. Facility management services says

    Well, concerns are right but who to blame, our developing economy where people are afraid of taking bold decisions and always prefer a safe job or our education system which has moulded us in an orthodox fashion. Need to change things from basic level.

  8. Srivathsa Chakravarthy says

    One of the few good articles on the current state of Higher Education.

  9. Srivathsa Chakravarthy says

    One of the few good articles on the current state of Higher Education.

  10. Obvious…as it got privatized…It is just the money minded private sector which kills the sector to the large extent..

  11. Supriyo Das says

    “The ones who lagged due to disinterest are doomed, the ones who persevered despite disinterest choose rosier avenues. At the end of which, everyone ends up on the losing side”…What a realization! Brilliant.

    However, you just spoke of engineering students, which I assume because you’re one by yourself. But think of humanities students, the ones studying history, sociology, philosophy and regional languages across different colleges and universities in India. They spend no more than 5 years (graduation 3 yrs+ M.A 2 yrs) and maximum 10 years (PhD 5 years), only to realize that they don’t have any skill and have no value in the professional world. Just imagine their misery…I’ve done masters and spend another 2 years after that pursuing a career in education circuit. Then when I stepped in the industry, I realized those mark sheets (good or bad whatever) carry no value. Lost some vital times.

    Truth is, not many are aware about the danger and this disturbs me more. Higher education is a cesspool.

  12. Mithi Dey says

    Nice piece of write-up. The article is though-provoking. Many people get distracted from their dreams because of scarcity of job and expected salary package. Most youth today prefer choosing short-term success and that’s might be the reason that they earn graduation in one sector while prefer job in other sector.

  13. Dr Vikram says

    We have built a citadel without a foundation. Partly this is a result of the Nehruvian fascination with Fabian socialism. Our base is very weak and primary education is so poor at some places that we have engineers who cant understand basics at times.

  14. Bharathlisting says

    Yes , there are many coming out of colleges as engineers , doctors and mba’s . What is the result is that, no one is available for other jobs like plumbing, carpentry etc . So the system is not focusing on current atmosphere .

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