Education In India Has Become A Commercial Commodity, Says Former ISRO Chairman
Eminent scientist and former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair recently said that education in India has become a commercial commodity. He also criticized the tendency of political parties to make college campuses a training ground for budding politicians. He said that no real education was happening at the campuses and students were being assessed on their ability to memorize topics rather than on their ability to understand concepts of a subject.
Highlighting the plight of education in India he told PTI,"That's why the education system has deteriorated considerably. Result is that the people who come out even after graduation or engineering, they are not employable. They don't have the basic understanding of the subject, don't have the skills for applying knowledge for practical applications and this is resulting in a pathetic situation."
He also said that quality of education has become the first casualty at many private institutions whose prime aim seems to be to increase student intake and make money. He said,"I think basically education has become a commercial commodity these days rather than acquiring excellence in knowledge."
He pointed out that institutes such as IITs and IISc, Bengaluru have been maintaining their standards but mostly because these institutes grab the best of talent. However, he said that even these institutes needed to improve the quality of education to make an impactful mark from the global perspective.
He held the view that politics and education should not be mixed with each other. He said, "Today, there is a bad tendency. There are many political parties who want to use these institutions for building up their cadres, and that should be stopped."
He said that instead of influencing students on campus, political parties should start a separate institute for training politicians.
Nair said that the focal point of education should be improvement of observation, analytical, and communication skills of students, with a leaning toward cultivating moral values.
He said, "These should form the basis of primary education. Once the foundation is strong and you show them the way how to acquire knowledge, that is sufficient. There is no point in just doing 10,000 answers by-heart, that will not take you anywhere. Education system should be an enabler, that kind of change is required."
Nair also regretted the lack of talented people in the teaching profession and added that those who were in the profession are not being given proper and professional training.
He said that quality is must have in the teaching profession and that teachers also need to be evaluated periodically. He also advocated adopting basic lessons from 'Gurukul system' particularly a strong personal relation between the teacher-student and the parent. He said,"That ambience has to be created. Evaluations should not be based on annual exam. It should be constant evaluation where the parent also participates in a very scientific manner. Moral studies have to be given strong base in early part of education."
He also advocated the three language (Hindi, English, and local language) policy and said that it should be adopted in all the states. Hindi is a link language, English has become mandatory for our system, and basic education can be imparted in a much more efficient manner in local language.
Emphasizing on the scientific nature of Sanskrit, he also favored giving students an option to study Sanskrit.
(With Inputs from PTI)