Why is India failing to understand the vitality of Social and Pure Sciences? Why do people believe in these areas of study being unimportant? Is India stuck in this growing orbit of engineering and medical study dominance? The author puts across the fabricated suppositions that parents and students are weighed down by and most importantly that has discouraged scores of students from chasing their passion.
I am 19 years old. Finished my primary and secondary education, my high school and about to finish my under graduation in less than a year in Mumbai. Being a native of this mega city now, I have always realized and felt that the society, in general plays a very vital role in your life be it education, marriage and so on. The Indian society today is plagued with such false and illogical pre conceived notions about so many things which in turn are harming our prospects. One such walk of life which is rocked with such absurd assumptions is Education.
I would want to speak as a proud Arts student throughout my article. We live in a country where subjects like Economics, English Literature, History and Political Science are considered to be for those students who either aspire to be teachers, civil servants or who are good for nothing. The story is no good for Pure Sciences like Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics which in recent days have not only lost their sheen and importance as a subject but have found themselves in a situation where colleges are shutting departments because of no takers. Where are we heading today? Being among one of the world’s fastest growing economies, why do students and parents of an intellectually stimulating Indian society lack so much of introspection or rather respect for these subjects. There have been days where my blood has boiled listening to the kind of comments parents pass on social and pure sciences. “Oh yes, you could ask your daughter to take up a LIGHT subject like Economics.” “What is the scope an Arts degree holds? Where is it going to take you? “Arre Beta, Apne toh 89% score kiya hain 10th main. Arts kyu le rahe ho? Science lelo zindagi set ho jayegi”. These are remarks every student who has taken up Arts is subject to. While students fight for seats to study Economics in Princeton University and the London School of Economics, we are a country who believes Economics will only make us either a bank employee or a teacher or anything trivial that fits an independent being’s imagination. Even a noble profession like Teaching today finds itself in a position of disrespect in India.
Is this country heading towards an Engineering and Medicine revolution? Or rather are we already a part of this nasty revolution. One could study the most meaningless branch of engineering or rather to be polite, one could study a branch of engineering which is not even close to the cognitive ability, aptitude and the interest that the student holds, but if somebody with everything in possession studies a social or pure science it is considered to be low in stature. I originate from a state, which has been the pioneer in this unhealthy revolution. Every district, every village approximately in Tamil Nadu today has an engineering college with a fancy name. Every time I attend a wedding or a family gathering, I like any other teenager is asked the question of what am I going to do ahead. Journalism is what I say and the person in front of me then decides to either give me a lecture on how journalism isn’t safe for “Indian Women” or how her son or daughter got an engineering degree from a college which is completely unheard of and is sitting in a fancy “so-called” MNC in either Bangalore, Hyderabad or Chennai with a salary not even quarter of the money that was invested in the name of fees and even donations, in some cases. For me, the biggest reason behind this injurious revolution, I would say is the lack of introspection among students and parents. Scoring a 90%+ in your 10th grade exams doesn’t make you fit for a seat in IIT, Bombay or IISc, Bangalore. Indulging in 1001 tuitions and studying for 24 hours for 2 years in no way is going to change your cognizance which is natural and inherent.
So many students today study engineering and medicine, not by choice but by force. Why is this obsession? The unreasoned notion of these degrees fetching you upscale jobs have also proved to be wrong in recent days. Except a handful of premier institutes’ pass outs, others find them in job profiles completely contradicting their course of study with a salary which was not with which their parents got them into an engineering college. How many engineering students today pursue research in their area of specialization? Or how many students today in India study the above said lavish degrees with the required interest and ability. Being brilliant in Word and Excel doesn’t qualify you for a Computer Science degree in the IIT’s. No law in this country states or claims that after scoring a 90%+ one should aspire to join the IIT’s or become a Chartered Accountant. Everybody can rightfully pursue what one wishes to and the others have no right to demean others and their course of study.
The multiplicity of boards has also complicated matters. Parents who have children studying in boards apart from the State board generally and rather sadly possess this very unsanitary assumption of State board students being useless or even worse not owning the ability to speak fluent English. I am a State Board student for 15 long years and I don’t think I have dismal or poor English writing or speaking skills. Every educational curriculum in India has its own shortcomings and strengths including the supreme IB and the so called insignificant State Board. I can’t comment for other state boards but I can vouch for the Maharashtra State Board. Studying in a specific education board does not translate into you and your child being the next Marie Curie or William Shakespeare of this world. Everything ultimately boils down to your respective acumen and brainpower.
I may have sounded very “anti- engineering students” here. But one must note times have forced me to be so blatant and brash while I was writing this. For 5 long years the variety of bizarre statements I have been ears to has made me actually voice my opinion on this very complex matter. Some may get very critical of me and this article after reading but all I wish to say is, you can study whatever you want. Whether you have the intellect or not. Similarly let us study what we want to. I have grown up dreaming of becoming a journalist. I will not give up on them just because people around me find Humanities and Journalism petty. Till then, I will also wish and pray for a Humanities revolution to hit this country, when people finally realize that Economics or any other social or pure science for that matter holds the same magnitude and substance just like a branch of Engineering. A very small request to every parent reading this, Gone are the days when Humanities and pure sciences held no value. We live in a dynamic world where a static, obsolete mind cannot survive. Times change, so does the needs and demands. The magic of this world is that it is so multifaceted that every choice taken by every life will find itself fulfilling its purpose and finding itself in application and also ultimately resulting in flying colours. I hope you get the message J