Yes, we are being taught crap in colleges in India... Yes i screwed my acadmics to gain a bit more insight on the practical side..(eventough i still keep forgetting how a transistor works).. and Yes, many people have said many things on how to fix the system... but whats the use...
Lets see what one of them wants to say.. : Sudheendra Kulkarni - Why India needs to learn how to teach
Now what this guy says is truly correct, its the right way to fix the system, but its hard to visualise how to actually go on implementing those "renovation stunts". I mean the stuff presented in the article is simple enough to be understood.. you dont have to be a PhD in economics/engineering/psychology/sociology to understand what the dude is saying.. but there is no way a simple common man can come up with actual implementation plans for this. I look at people now a days.. they dont have the bloody time to think anything... You tell them that we have a problem... you even go ahead and tell them that this could be the solution .. but still that isnt enough, because they wouldnt know how to implement the required plan of action. We know that bureaucracy is a big killer, but if you ask a commn man on how he would propose to eliminate it, he wouldnt have a clue.. so why talk about only the abstract part of the solution, why not tell people specificly what to do... Prof. Gadre has a better take on it..see:
This article appeared in EFY a few quarters ago.. and I was into robotics and had already got my HAM license by then.. and thats when i first mailed him. I know him ever since.
Getting back to the topic, when we read Prof. Gadre's take on it, we actually get to understand what we could do actually do about it.. Get a hobby: Robotics or HAM. This is simple enough for people to understand. Common people can encourage their children to take up such hobbies.. and the plethora of technical event held by so many colleges (no matter how sub standard and no matter how much MBA giri they involve) can really sustain their interest in such hobbies..
But has any one thought of the root cause of the whole damn problem???????
The problem is that in India and other such developing nation, we still have to "FIGHT" for our daily living. Earning enough money to run our families isnt something we do pleasurably but some thing which kills some of us. Look at the people in Mumbai for instance.. The roads are crap, the autorickshaws have no suspensions, Buses and trains are jampacked and arent comfortable enough and lead to physiological pains, the offices and homes of the worker classes are never located nearby and so the whole damn mass of people have to travel so many kilometers in those crapped up modes of transportation that no one has time to think freely...
All this stress uses up all the RAM and processing power of your brain. You hate your work because your family didnt have any money to allow you to pursue your dreams of a career that you liked or you didnt take up the job of your choice because they didnt pay you well there.. Engineers turn themselves into MBA just to earn more money... and then end up sad internally even though they might have enough money for a prosperous life... Why????? because you see that the people with lesser money suffer a lot... but then look at all these people.. when it comes to travelling everyday to work and back , none of them is any better.. yes the rich people have cars of their own and they dont have to suffer the fists and elbows of the crowded trains and buses everyday.. but they still get stuck in traffic jam.. You call this civilised??? I dont..
Even if you have more money, you cant spend your time in your car while transiting from office to home thinking up new ideas, there is nothing inspiring to look outside the window to get the ideas from (we are talking about Mumbai here).. You just get ideas for stupid anecdotes for your next presentation (remember the dudes with the umbrellas doing the morning business under the kurla flyover on eastern express highway??).
So wasting hours just trying to stand up straight and breathe in those trains and buses is tiring to the core.. so when do you think up new ideas to be a better human, a better society, a better nation???
So when even after fighting so much, a person's basic physiological and safety needs are just satisfied, how can you expect him to focus on higher needs? see Maslow's hierarchy of needs
In Delhi there is another reason which impeads free reasonable thought. People are just too trying "jugaads" to earn more money (by hook or by crook) to show off!!... and yeah they "HAD" the transportation problem there too.. But with the setting up of the Metro Rail, that is solved to a very very large extent. In fact Metro is a great leveller. Its no longer cool to take out your brand new merc to travel from one end of the city to the other when you have a sexy air condition Metro Rail. Besides Since it moves above the ground in most places, a ride in one of those is actually pleasant (you can enjoy the scenery/landscape) and people can actually spend time reading or thinking about the next big thing while travelling.. so whether its the rich or the poor, both pay up the same amount of fare and both travel happily... and so feel good and think nice thought while doing so.. thats being civilised.
There are some people (including myself) who can think perfectly well in even in the crapped up transportation of mumbai too... but by the time they reach home they are just too busted to write their thought down and propagate them... and thats the reason why i get very little time during which my mind is fresh active and free to actually write them down properly enough...today is one of these days..
Today in the afternoon, while returning from dadar, I couldnt find a working Coupon Validating Machine at Dadar station so I looked around to buy a card ticket to Andheri, but the lines were so damn long that i decided to travel without a ticket.. and i was ready to bore the consequences if caught. And it happened. The TC caught me at Andheri station and fined 250 rupees. Well thats why they say time is money... In case of travelling, i would rather sacrifice money and reach the destination comfortably and early rather than standing in long queues and allow people around me more time to pass me their infectious diseases by sneezing without covering their faces... You cant think free thought when you are really really sick.. and The Air conditioner at the office only makes it worse... I wonder how fast they can build the metro in mumbai...
We were ruled over by british for 250 years and 60 years later, we still arent free.
My Boss Mr. Bhupendra Bhate (SBU Head, L &T EmSyS, Mumbai) had narrated a nice observation to us during his intro speech.. He identified a region (parallelogram shaped) on the world map that included the United Kingdom and the surrounds. He said that more than 70% of the discoveries and invention had come up in this region. Why? because the environment around them had forced the people to innovate.. eg. the Holland people built Dikes to "keep the sea away" and so became good at construction ... and he went on to give many more examples... but one think to realise is that there was another factor in all this... the dudes in those parallelogram also conquered the rest of the world and created frenzy all around while maintaining peace and civilisation in their own homes. This way all the basic needs of the people in their own land were satisfied and they created new things and came up with new ideas. The rest of the world couldnt do so when they were ruling it (Imperialism - the fine art of conquering the world). The Americans were the first to get freedom and hence become prosperous first and hence became civilized earlier than the rest of the world...
And hence came up with so many inventions...
In India, besides the fight for basic needs, there are always terrorist bombings and criminal activities going on.. and still some stupid leaders call us an IT superpower... right now we do IT only for a living... we can do a million times better we didnt have to worry about whats going to happen tomorrow...and with terrorist activities increasing everyday... we dont even know if we would make it thru the next day alive!
What s the solution to all this?? IT companies (or any other companies for that matter) should make it a point to setup new office very close to residential areas and should make sure that their employees are happy by providing them help (by means of loans or subsidised rents or by actually constructing apartments) in obtaining a resediantial place very close to the office... That way they dont have to tire themselves out by travelling so much... of course there are a million other ways to help in achieving a higher level of civilisation .. you can think up more ways during the free thinking time that you get after you have shifted to a place near your office!!!
Hope you remember me!!
Yogesh Desai from EMSYS Mysore and now in Munich.
I find your blogs very fascinating ...