[Updated : January 2018]
In India, the Education is treated as a noble occupation on ‘no-profit-no-loss’ basis. This fact is reiterated by the Hon. Supreme court in various Judgments. Thus, those who establish and manage any educational institutions are not expected to indulge in profiteering or commercialize this noble activity. With respective to this objective, the court did not give complete freedom to the educational institutions in respect of right to admit the students and also with regard to fixation of fee.
But all is not well in education. The education sector is treated as noble occupation so as to prevent any concentration of knowledge, and keep opportunity to education open to all. But the reality is far different and there is obvious concentration of knowledge. The rural, urban divide has widen further. Further, In India we politicize everything, and education is not exception to it. Education that was suppose to liberate our mind, well we have corrupted the tool itself.
Rather than going philosophical in the beginning let me present some facts based on few dimensions ranging from basic literacy to academic research and job market. In 2009 I wrote my first post on this topic – 14 facts about Indian education system and a remedy Today I am going to revisit the topic, raise some questions and update the data.
1. Basic Literacy – Quality Vs Quantity
FACT: In India, a person aged 7 years and above who can both read and write with understanding in any language is considered as literate. This puts Indian literacy at 74.04%.
Is this sense of literacy good enough?
According to ASER report, in 2016 a quarter of all children in standard 8 in rural India were unable to real standard 2 level text and unable to solve a 3 digit by 1 digit division problem.
In 2017, ASER assessed age group of 14 to 18. They found that About 25% of this age group still cannot read basic text fluently in their own language. More than half struggle with division (3 digit by 1 digit) problems. Only 43% were able to do such problems correctly.
#ASER report takes sample from rural India, the statistics for Urban area will be different. sadly i did not come across any NGO who has published report on it.
2. Teaching quality
FACT: As on March 2016, 5 lakh sanctioned teaching posts are vacant country-wide. (source)
Even with the right to education, The quality of school education hasn’t improved. A recent study found that in rural north India on an average day, there is no teaching activity in about half” of the primary schools.
In the age of specialization, paradoxically, even today there is no formal training for the technical education teachers! While the teachers in schools and colleges once in while goes on strike to get their entitled monthly pays! leading to serious consequences like delays in results. (source)
No wonder hardly anyone aspires to be a teacher and it is viewed as one of the last resorts of ’employment’. Teaching should be an activity filled with passion, devotion and creativity sadly today it is filled with apathy, ignorance and business as usual sense.
3. Enrollment in education
Gross Enrollment Ratios: it means Proportion of students enroll for higher education after passing from a lower level. i.e. How many students enroll for 11th after passing 10th and so on.
The GER at elementary school level is about 97% which subsequently reduces to 25% till the child reaches higher education.
(GER) at the Secondary (Classes IX-X) and Senior Secondary (Classes XI- XII) levels are 62.7% and 35.9%, respectively leading to a combined GER for Class IX-XII at a considerably low 49.3% . (source) I.e. About 1/2 drops out.
In 2009, Just one out of nine children finishing school joined a college. In 2017 the ratio has improved to 25.2%. i.e. one in 4 student in looking forward to take a degree/ diploma course.
In 2016-17, the (GER) for Higher Education in India has increased to 25.2% according to a report released by Ministry of Human resource development. Tamil Nadu tops in country with 46.9 per cent gross enrollment ratio. Thus in terms of quantity we have leaped forward.
4. Investment on Education.
According to census 2011 data, About 28% of Indian population falls in the age bracket of 0-14. And 41% of India’s population is below the age of 20.
Unfortunately, the government spending on Education is on decline since 2013-14. It was 4.57% in 2013-14, it declined to 3.65% in 2016-17. With Inflation of 5-6% in account, The spending has declined in real terms as well.
Although, It will be unjust to blame a government of developing country out-rightly as the resources are scarce and government has to trade-off certain priorities. But how can you justify trade-off in education? after all its people that must matter the most and democracy explicitly asks for informed opinion, thus making education a topmost priority. How an informed opinion will be shaped if the mind is unable to process the information?
5. The plethora of Institution
According to government data, India has whopping 38498 colleges!
As per Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2018, None of Indian colleges made into the top 250 institutes. And only IISC Bangalore and IIT Mumbai made into the top 500 institutes.
How many of these colleges are learning from the premiere institute? or try to establish any point of contact/ experience exchange? answer mostly is none, because of arrogance of university administration who are in love with their age old rules and bureaucracy and don’t allow such ‘defiance’. However, today thanks to internet students can indulge in such defiance, provided information is available on the web and someone to guide them in accessing such information.
(Feel free to read the university act and AICTE act to feel the rigidity of these institutions in terms of learning methods)
6. Quality of education : Output/ Outcome
About a decade ago, ASSCoM-McKinsey study showed that only one out of Ten Indian students with degrees in humanities and one out of four engineering graduates are employable.
There are about 6,214 engineering and technology institutions which are enrolling 2.9 million students. In 2016-17 Aspiring Minds, conducted an employability-focused study based on 150,000 engineering students who graduated in 2013. They find that As many as 97 per cent of graduating engineers were looking for jobs either in software engineering or core engineering.
However, only 3 per cent had suitable skills to be employed in software or product market, and only 7 per cent were able to handle core engineering tasks.
Why would an IT company hire this burden when IT sector itself is facing tough times? clearly there is a need of mind-shift. The administration at universities and colleges need to take cognizance of the fact that – the college curriculum is outdated and new learning opportunities are available at MOOCs such as coursera.org and udemy.com. But that altruist behavior of going one step beyond prescribed job duty is largely lacking in our culture.
7. Pupil- Teacher ratio
Pupil-qualified teacher ratio :Average number of pupils per qualified teacher at a given level of education. less students per teacher implies better teacher-student interaction, a mentoring role which is hardly executed by the teacher.
According to The All India Council for Technical Education the ratio should be 20:1 i.e. one teacher per 20 students. This ratio till last year (2016-17) was 15 students per one teacher. (The AISHE report indicates this ratio at an average of 22!)
The The University Grant Commission has recommended this ratio for Under Graduate programmes 1:15 in the media and mass communication departments, while the ratio should be 1:30 for social sciences and 1:25 for the science stream.
The regulators – UGC and AICTE don’t talk in same ratios, while reality indicates a different ratio all together. I hope you can see the chaos!
What is the significance? The most significant question in this regard is – What is the UTILITY of maintaining this ratio and does college administration knows it? do they train their teachers? every parent need to ask this question to the principle before admitting their child to a college. (sum up point no. 5 and 6, and relate with this point.)
8. Quality of education : Input.
On an average most Indian universities revise their curricula only once in five to 10 years but even then they get defeated in both letter and spirit. The disconnect is glaring in engineering and technical courses where teachers never undergoes any formal training regarding teaching. Even if a teacher learns such skill, he is bound by rigid curriculum designed by university and AICTE.
Fortunately, and finally there is a ray of hope. As per news, AICTE chairman is mulling over introducing the social sciences and humanities in the technical education. This is a much welcome step, however, who is going to teach it and how it will be taught? that question remains unanswered.
We need the students to learn the art of reasoning and argumentation. There is a chance of bringing synergy among the erstwhile ignored social sciences, humanities and the binary technical education.
9. Syndicate of education mafia.
Over-regulation by the government and a multiplicity of agencies have seen higher education stagnate and corruption become institutionalized.
FACT: In India, 77.8% Colleges are privately managed and 20.1% of the Colleges are having enrollment less than 100 and only 4.1% Colleges have enrollment more than 3000.
(source – The AISHE report 2016-17, page no. 6)
The institutions which have less than 30 percent enrollment for five consecutive year will be asked to stop their operation from 2018. Accordingly, AICTE is going to shut down 300 Engineering colleges and another 500 are under scanner of Ministry of human resource and development.
How this unplanned mushrooming of engineering colleges developed?
There is a sophisticated cartel operational in Indian education sector. The level of corruption has also touched even the higher judiciary. There is a case in supreme court related with Prasad Education Trust’s medical college. In the CBI inquiry, it is revealed that even highest judiciary is also involved in this bribery case.
years After the dismantling the corrupt institution – Medical council of India, that looked after medical education in India, The government and medical fraternity is yet to resolve the impasse. As of 2018, Restructuring the Medical Council of India to eliminate corruption NITI Aayog have proposed replacing the compromised MCI with a new National Medical Commission (NMC), outlined in a draft Bill known as the National Medical Commission Bill of 2016. (source)
At least Healthcare should be a sensitive issue in India, but the apathy towards the regulation of this sector shows how low the government evaluates human life in India.
10. Ray of Hope : MOOCs.
Distance enrollment constitute 11.45% of the total enrollment in higher education, of which 55% are female students. However, these courses lack vitality of a full time course mainly due to lack of direct guidance or dialogue from qualified teacher. The distance educations need to go online MOOC mode.
Online education industry will be a $1.96 billion industry by 2021 according to a research conducted by KPMG, along with with insights from Google search.
The government is considering to allow 15% universities to offer online degrees. These courses/ degrees will be of non technical nature (excluding engineering and medical). Universities accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and rated A+ will be allowed to offer such courses. The rules in that regard will be notified by first quarter of 2018.
Apart from these formal channels, emerging MOOCs in India are Byju’s that focuses on academic learning while websites like neostencil, talentsprint focuses on competitive exams.
11. Education and value of life.
India has one of the world’s highest suicide rates for youth aged 15 to 29, according to a 2012 Lancet report, which illustrated the need for urgent interventions.
According to National Crime Records Bureau, 2403, 2646 and 2413 suicides were committed due to failure in examination in the country during 2014-2016. This should be a shocking revelation. However, even today most of the colleges don’t have any professional psychiatric to council the students. Further, the teachers themselves lack any understanding of millennial psyche.
The colleges of humanities and that of Technical education need to conduct workshops together to share their field of knowledge. This exchange will create win-win situation, the technical students will learn about complexities of life, while the Humanities students will learn about scientific thinking, positivism and practical aspect of technology. Who knows perhaps we will get out Durkheim analyzing stress and depression in our youth.
12. Education abroad
Indian students now spend $7 billion to go abroad and study in foreign universities because of the poor quality of education at home. Yet the government drags it feet over permitting foreign universities to set up shop in India. Where in same cost we can successfully implement and run around 10 more IITs.
But this doesn’t concern current Indian government as it has put on hold the plan to let in foreign universities. Rather, it is going to focus on building domestic world class universities! (source)
13. Status of Research and Development : Beyond academics into future.
- A national survey on the status of research and development in the country has shown that the gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) has more than tripled from Rs. 24,117 crore to Rs. 85,326 crore in the decade from 2004-05 to 2014-15. and it crossed the Rs. One lakh crore mark in 2016-17 reaching up to Rs. 1,04,864 crore.
- The Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy, 2013 envisages increasing R&D expenditure (from current level of 0.88%) to 2% of GDP with enhanced participation of private sector through policy and reform processes. But India is stuck to the level of 0.88% since past few years.
- Government participation in R & D is around 55% which is highest compared to mere 7% in UK and 37% in mexico. Though India topped the list with regard to the government’s participation in R&D, it hit the bottom in terms of participation of institutions of higher education.
- The share of institutions of higher education in R&D in the other countries varied from 7% in China to 40 % in Canada, as compared to India’s a mere 4%.
- 81.3% of R&D expenditures incurred by central government sources came from just eight major scientific agencies :
- Defence Research and Development Organisation – 37.8%
- Department of Space (16.6%),
- Department of Atomic Energy (11.6%),
- Indian Council of Agricultural Research (11.4 %),
- Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (9.5%),
- Department of Science and Technology (7.7%),
- Department of Biotechnology (2.9%)
- Indian Council of Medical Research (2.4%)
During 2015-16 46,904 patents were filed. Out of them, 28 per cent or 13,066 were filed by Indian residents. As per WIPO report 2016, India is ranked 10th in terms of resident patent filing activity.
Implication : The government is largest contributor to R & D but with the government funds comes government red tapes! This is also restricted by trade off that government needs to make such as expenditure on a moon mission 2018 and expenditure on weather forecast system. There is a need of increasing private participation in R & D.
The wisdom or aspiration often flows from R & D, the quality of research further motivates students and other aspirants to endeavor into a field of knowledge. For this to happen, there is need of establishing dialogue. Unfortunately this perspective is not widely shared among University administration. Its like modern caste system – An IITan will get R n D exposure while the Mumbai university student will stay with dead syllabus.
14. Education and Jobs – the conclusion.
More than half of the country’s population is young i.e. Up to 30 years of age. Almost 18% per cent of them or 31,50,31,984 are between the ages of 18 and 24. If they are equipped with both knowledge and skills, they could drive India’s entrepreneurial and Competitive spirit and make it into global power.
Implication : keeping that in view The government of India has appointed Dr. Kasturirangan committee to frame the New Education Policy (NEP) that will be operational from 2020. it will be critical to focus on teachers and teacher education to ensure quality education. Also, any education policy henceforth must establish a rapport with future rather than romantic relation with past. Educators need to stimulate intellectual debates and reestablish the argumentative traditions of ancient India, perhaps the only worth quality to inherit from the past.
The present government has established ministry of skills to stimulate and promote skills based education instead of illusion of having an engineering degree. The skill based training coupled with government’s focus on manufacturing sector can create more jobs for youth. However, at present jobs are not visible as expected and India is going through a paradoxical phase – Jobless growth.
Summing up : Education, Health and basic policing should be the fundamental utility and backbones of a developing society. Sadly not only they are overburdened in India, they are on verge of breakdown. This collapse will not make any immediate sound, it will be silent collapse which will eventually destroy the youth and then the society as whole. To prevent this, a prompt corrective action is needed.
In the wake of globalization and network governance, it is high time that government must wake-up to the reality that education has been commercialized a long ago. Perhaps government knows it, after all who owns these plethora of mushrooming colleges? pinpointing the problem is equally hard to finding solution to the mess of education sector in our country.
But one day it will change. Slowly and incrementally, as people will start demanding what they deserve. The regulators will use their authority in right spirit like the recent crackdown on deemed universities. We are a democratic country and as George Bernard Shaw has pointed out, Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.” if we think we deserve better, we need to raise such issue more often, only then change is possible.
Till then, our education sector is dead, like John snow. Lots of hopes, aspirations and potential but dead and not going anywhere and ”Melisandre” is not in north yet to resurrect it.
(Ps: you need to know Game of thrones to understand analogy)
why, mr. Anderson, why? why, why do you do it? why, why get up? why keep fighting? do you believe you’re fighting for something, for more than your survival? can you tell me what it is, do you even know? is it freedom or truth, perhaps peace – could it be for love? illusions, mr. Anderson, vagaries of perception. temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose. and all of them as artificial as the matrix itself. although, only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. you must be able to see it, mr. Anderson, you must know it by now! you can’t win, it’s pointless to keep fighting! why, mr. Anderson, why, why do you persist?
frankly speaking what i have discussed in this article has very less to do with this video clip but what i want to highlight here is that the computer and machine is really killing the human aspect of human being, its also my personal experience.
I know that this movie matrix holds a really deep philosophical values and one need to relate those things with the real world to assimilate that. But that is the problem! To relate an idea one needs sound, healthy and open mind: an intuitive thinking mind. I believe every human being has it; by birth the nature fits it inside our brain. (it`s my humble request to readers to use it while reading this post!) This intuitive thinking mind makes us human being; and as human being we also get gift of emotions. We are all emotional by birth. we feel pain, love, affection, jealousy, grudge, anxiety, fear, worry, happiness, nervousness, comfort, disdain, scorn, contempt and many more list of emotions are endless. (and that is the problem!)
going back to the clip, how can agent smith feel these emotions? Poor fellow is an artificial intelligent program which lacks emotions and hence empathy. Neo (Mr. anderson) being human being can only feel these emotions that is why Neo ardently says ‘because i choose to!’. That is what I am trying to deal in this article, understanding emotions: the greatest asset of human being: to empathise others emotions. Let’s be human beings and not machines.
Human beings are emotional by birth and since childhood these emotions shape our habits. But as we grow up we start getting numb towards these emotions due to changed social values. We start getting extrovert rather than introvert. The external pleasure starts mattering more to us than anything else as a result we become numb towards our intrinsic feelings; the external mirage of feelings simply puts on coatings on our tender human mind which was self conscious once.
As years pass the result of these coatings is, we feel emotions as they reach into their secondary, ternary or beyond mode; that is in its extreme forms. And we act to suppress these emotions in its extreme form. Our decisions are greatly shaped by these extreme emotions today and mostly these extreme emotion driven decisions creates catastrophic results. Let me put it in simplest form with following example,
Bob is a student. Bob wants to learn about management theory so purchases a book related with that topic: a 700 pages bulky book. Now he is all exited to read that book as the book is most recommended by his subject teacher and bob knows that by reading that book thoroughly his all questions will get satisfying answer. So with that excitement bob starts reading the book. First 10-20 pages all is going well, next 20 pages bob starts feeling restless as he finds that to get hold on idea of management he has yet to cover 600+ pages more which makes him nervous. Simple reason behind this is bob just want his answers in shortest possible duration he don’t want to wait till those 600+ pages. As he progresses further, 50-60th page his excitement and anticipation turns into anxiety which is caused due to the anticipation of waiting for something which bob usually hates doing. (of course bob is a youngster belonging to the fast food generation) Now this anxiety starts projecting in bobs gestures as he begins to chew his nails and starts shaking his leg. (his mind is shouting, common dude just finish this book I am fed up of waiting!) And as this anxiety reaches its climax, bob puts the book aside; this is a basic response developed by his brain after years of training. The response is like: anxiety implies unpleasant emotion, and for any unpleasant emotion bob should get rid of it as soon as possible. To get rid of this anxiety bob opens his drawer pulls out a cigarette and starts smoking which is clearly a distraction from what bob was supposed to do: understand the management theory. Now bob`s mind is distracted and after this bob calls his friend or simply moves over his computer and start playing dotta! (some game) or the best facebook!
Here the emotions flow like, excitement-> nervousness-> anxiety-> distraction=> wasted!(this is not emotion itself, but result of previous emotions)
the whys and hows of this is very simple, this is just a single case of today’s youth. There are many such cases where uncontrolled or un-comprehended emotions causes catastrophe. The results are like, smoking, drinking, rapes, murder, abuse etc.
jokes apart, on a serious note a severe form of expression of emotional burst is rape; where emotions flows like, excitement-> arousal-> desperation-> lack of empathy-> rape. (All these feelings are coated by recklessness and/or don’t care attitude)
so a question might arise in your mind, if the science is able to analyze the situation and problem to such minute details, they even know cause of trouble then why they are not fixing it? or even if they are, what is way to deal with it?
well certainly there is a way, and science fraternity calls it emotional intelligence. which i have discussed in next part of this article.
[previous: Emotions: The essence of being Human]
To Maintain balance between intellect and emotion is wisdom
-: shree shree ravi shankar
For years our intelligent society is build upon IQ that is thinking ability and logic taking emotions for granted. Our education system, selection procedure all is based on IQ. Since we left aside emotion in this 100 or more years of course and only concentrated on single aspect of human behavior i.e. intelligence things have came to an halt and as a result we are experiencing chaos in society. We have tried to pull only one aspect of human mind keeping the vital aspect stagnant. Where it is given that both emotion and intelligence are ‘the’ things which makes us human being: different form of species that all living beings.
he solution of this lies in self awareness, putting it exact words of Daniel Goleman we need to make the society ‘emotionally intelligent’.
This self awareness, putting in simple words stands like making one aware about his feelings. In case of bob of previous example, if he realize that his excitement is root of his nervousness and his chewing nails and shaking legs adds into his anxiety, he could have controlled his emotions and preventing himself from getting distracted from his aim.
The horizon of EQ is not just limited to the single person but on large scale it is related with understanding others feelings: to empathies. I strongly believe that the most of problems in today’s society are result of lack of empathy. The IQ based society has little place for empathy as it teaches and makes us dominating and ruthless. Our education system trains us so that we will get a job but it cannot assure whether the student will live for next day or not. The stressful life, depression followed by suicide among students and young professionals is alarming but still we are not really serious about emotional values. These are all consequences of numbness towards one`s own emotions and emotions of their loving peoples: parents, friends and relatives.
One more thing I would like to add here is, as a nature’s gift and in course of evolution the females have much more developed scene of empathy and this is a well accepted fact today. Sadly in society they are not given enough room to express these skills and the existing world just makes room to accommodate them in existing rigid workspace which was once created by some men as per their preferences. We need to give enough room to females to express and utilize their empathetic skills in their work style to get optimize their natural skills. Otherwise the existing work culture can perish the emotional aspect of women’s ‘motherly touch’. some consequences of that are visible today in the young generation. This is a vicious cycle of lack of empathy since the tender mind of child shapes itself in its earliest days when it is self conscious and if it is given touch of empathy during that time, the impact lasts long on the child’s mind. I am not saying that every women then should stay in home to protect their child, here I want to revive a forgotten role of educational institutes. (which existed in our culture ages back) these institutes need to wake up for this new role of teaching emotional intelligence to the young minds.
I think the real essence of human life lies in these emotions and feeling them, it’s a gift of nature to us human beings where we can be self conscious about our own feelings. And as we empathies them we understand how others are feeling. As we grew emotionally intelligent we can deal with the sad and unpleasant feelings at its root when it starts building thus achieving optimum performance and peace at conscious level which intern adds into our intelligence resulting in maximum pleasure at work.
putting together, as per Daniel Goleman The domain of emotional intelligence stands on following pillars,
- Knowing your emotions
- Managing your emotions
- Motivating yourself
- Recognizing and understanding other person`s emotion
- Managing relationships and others emotions.
*Daniel goleman has delt with each of these topic at length in his book emotional intelligence: why EQ matters more than IQ.
The field of emotional intelligence is still very young only 20-25 years old and still research is going on yet the results are strong enough to believe in its utility and correctness. As Indian we have very strong reason to believe in it. If any of reader is familiar or following any form of meditaion, vipashana then I don’t need to give explanation for this since all of them talks about self awareness. Now EQ is putting that in more comprehensive form and what I think is rather than fighting and wasting time in claiming the fame for EQ we should strive to imbibe those skills to make the society a better and sustainable place to live for next generations.
*dedicated to Mr. K. M Pathi n my parents who taught me emotional intelligence and related interpersonal skills.
previous article: The essence of engineering and technology
“There is much in the world to make us afraid.
There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid”.
~Frederick W. Cropp
Risk is a most interesting part of life and a characteristic of the youth! If directed in proper way the risk can be managed without any sort of hazard. Fear is always associated with the risk, it’s an interesting feeling some people fear the ‘fear’ and restrain themselves from the challenges, While some embrace their fears and achieve greatest success in their life. What make them successful is they take calculated risks by believing in their self rather than just following adhoc methods. It is these ‘calculated risks’ which converts the hazardous risks into opportunities and hence success.
watch the following video, its not explicitly related with technology but the implicit message is more important… to DARE.
Complexity and risks are inherent in the technology, so rather than staying away from it and being dependent on somebody else, one should run towards it just like shown in video. The complexity, risk and fear are inherent part of engineering and technology one should accept this eternal truth and just go for it with scientific temper.
Remember in technology if your logic is correct based on scientific fact, nothing can go wrong as long as you are working with scientific temper. Your calculated risk in such cases will always turn as risk of opportunity making your experiment a fruitful event.
The Risk in general terms…
To be expert in techworld you need to be more practical than just cramming the theory. In fact it’s not at all difficult to execute most of the part of theory into practice. A lot of risk is obviously inherent in all these activities but you should be always ready to accept these risks. In plain English ‘risk is likelihood of occurrence of a hazardous event and the consequences associated with it, like some injury or financial damage‘. Risk is of two type risk of failure and risk of opportunity. There is something known as calculate risk. Risk is calculated, when you know what you are doing and you can predict possible consequences based on your observations and previous knowledge. A risk is called as risk of failure when the risk in the project becomes reality and causes catastrophic effects on the project, that is failure. In most of the cases Risk becomes reality due to ignorance and unawareness. It is possible to control every risk if we adopt a proper strategy to deal with it.
when you accept a new endeavor or a project, always some sort of risk is associated with it. You recognize the risk involve in the project and you still carry your activity and you successfully achieve the result managing all the risks cautiously then the risk in such cases is called as risk of opportunity. it is called as opportunity since such risk not only boosts your confidence but also motivates you to pursue next level in your work, opening new doors of possibilities. ‘Nothing succeeds like success’ just like that. this also increases your credibility in the society and between your colleagues.
Converting a Risk into Success.
To understand above theory let’s put together it in practice with following video clips, again it is not directly related with the technology. But you can easily relate it with what i want to convey, ‘converting risk of failure into risk of opportunity and hence success’.
the clip is from movie Shaolin Soccer. The clips are from hindi translated version of the movie. There are 2 clips, in first part the actress is shown as a chef in a small hotel where she cooks pastries using her special kunfu-skills. Watch how she uses her talent,
in next part when the team`s goal keeper suffers from injury and the team has no replacement, the actress turn in to the game as replacement player, Despite of the fact she has never played a single game of football. what happen next is this article is all about.
let me help you to relate the concept, in this scenario the ball is most crucial and volatile aspect of the game. If it enters in her goal post then for her team it is failure, but if it is in opponents goal post then it is success. Considering what had happened with previous keeper, standing in front of the ball was a risk, risk of injury. considering that she was playing her first football game there was also risk involved in she acting as goal keeper. overall there were two risks of failure- risk of injury and risk of scoring goal. but in spite of all this she accepted the challenge and stood to defend the goalpost. when the opponent player got hold on the ball she kept faith in her skills and by using then she converted the catastrophic impact of ball into a mild attack and hence prevented the goal. Then she got full command on the ball using her skills again. i.e. she converted the risk of failure into risk of opportunity; an opportunity to score goal on opponent. With teamwork finally her team did score the goal and emerge as the winner of the game.
Life is all about this: identifying your skills, having faith in it and using them when the situation demands. Risk is muddled up by the fear factor, just overcome your fear, perceive the problem at its root, just be yourself and deal with the problem… you are bound to be successful. So to convert a ‘risk of failure’ into ‘risk of opportunity’ followed by ‘success’ you need to understand the system, know your skills, identifying your mentors and have faith in all.
If you have seen the video cautiously then you will notice that the girl uses her kung-fu skills as situation demands, for cooking, for mixing the flour, for catching the pot, and finally while playing football. that’s what optimization, flexibility and adaptation is all about. Just like that you too can relate your skills like reading, dancing, singing etc. with your study, play and even while working in techworld. (if not exactly the skills at least the side products, confidence being one of them.)
- Technology is for all
Let me clear something about the technology world, it is not like that this area is a privilege of someone or you need to be gifted or something like that, neither it is fact that this is male chauvinistic field. Infact girls can also do equally well if they believe in their selves. As per my observation its natural female tendency to be on safe side and tendency to restrain from the risk factor and hence complexity of technology. girls should look to break this ‘illusion of control‘.
You should be always ready to take risks in this field, not just calculated but sometimes risk as it is without prior knowledge of the activity. in any case the experiment fails then you should have a mitigation strategy to bring the system back to normal.
What drives the engine of progress in the world of technology is your anxiety, patience and never giving up attitude- ‘A real warrior never quits’. (watch kung-fu panda, it is one of my favorite movie) all of these driving agents needs engineering spirit as their driver, vision of the engineer. as discussed in the article, essence of engineering and technology the two aspects, engineering and technology are interrelated and complies each other.
- Illusion of control
Illusion of control is anything that holds you back from taking an action just because you think you are not worth of doing it. the concrete wall of assumption in which you try to enclose most volatile thing in the world… your mind. Problems, mistakes, fear all of these lies in your perception- illusion of control,‘your problem is not actually your problem, your reaction to the problem is actually your problem’.
Therefore you must let go the illusion of the control to achieve the greatest success, what you truly deserve. To break the illusion of control you must break the wall and be open to accept the truth. your own mistake will help you a lot, learning from history is very crucial aspect of our life, one who learns from own mistakes as well as others mistakes achieves the heights in less duration with less pain. (Hard work is inherent part of success so I say less pain (: )
Remember the last glory you achieved and keep in mind that you have done this before and now you are going to achieve it again. It really works but just don’t give up at all, you will be successful.
- Learning from the mistakes…
Your passion for the work that’s all matters, success is just matter of time, because in life no body ask how badly you fail but they always look upon how you stood up after falling. This is the most important lesson your should always remember in your failures, don’t keep crying after being fail, as failure is also relative term and momentary truth. It doesn’t mean that you are not going to achieve it ever but just not at that time.
In such situation you should analyze the system to check which risk became reality and if there was something unexpected factor which caused the damage. Learning from the mistake is what I call this. Learning from the mistakes and avoiding repetition of mistakes is crucial aspect of engineering and technology education. One irony is that you are always open to do new mistakes, as most of the discoveries are accidental not intentional. But it’s also very important to learn from the mistakes each time.
learning from the mistakes involve taking note of own mistakes as well as listening to the advice of your mentor or experienced person to reduce risk. It also include learning lesson from others mistakes. This activity helps in self criticism and acts as barrier in yourself and the evil of ego.
- Help yourself
While working you should always try to do things on your own based on some guidelines. It can be based on your previous knowledge or guide lines from manual or blog. If you came across any difficulty try to solve it using Google and if that also don’t work, ask your trusted guide. A guide can be anyone, topper of your class, your subject teacher or any teacher, your friend. Just make sure that he actually knows about the technology about which you are going to ask.
to get clear cut idea how it works just check out the following flowchart. the flowchart is how we people learn any new software, i have learn photoshop just like that!
So all along this article I want to say that, risk is inherent part of technical education and rather than fearing it, one should accept it as a challenge and just go for it based on own logic and past experience if any. Learning process should be on going while doing any project. The doors of technology are open for such persons only and are independent of any other factor.
i know that this article was a bit of heavy so i am writing this part separately,
- always have faith in yourself in your skills. never underestimate yourself.
- have faith in your mentors, teachers and technology. respect them.
- success and failure are momentary truths so don’t get over exited by success and depressed by failure. enjoy it n learn from both.
- never repeat your mistake, although you are free to do new mistakes but learning lesson from it is most important. (this doesn’t mean your work should be error prone (; )
- don’t run away from the problems and difficulty, just go for it with scientific temper and test the fruits success that you truly deserve.
- ‘an original is hard to find but easy to recognize’: know your skills sharpen them with help of your mentors, role model but never loose your originality. don’t discard yourself, be more of it.
- ‘opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work’. don’t run away from the work, optimize it for your benefits. your assignments are just another form of opportunity, have you ever thought of it in this way?
- ‘keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadows’. (follow the above 7 steps and you will never regret for what you are and what you are doing)
in the next article i have tried to introduced you with the world of open source. open source is something which cannot be told what it is one has to be there to feel it. (just kidding, this blog is also part of open source.) nevermind! check out the next part of article, open source true essence of freedom.
This article is dedicated to one of my favorite teacher and friend Ms. priya nagwekar, who imparted above mentioned skills in me n all my friends during our academics, by concealing the complexity of engineering management stuff in general terms.
previous article: the inconvenient truth about engineering
Engineering As defined by Wikipedia, ‘Engineering is the discipline, art and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize solutions to the needs of society’.
In plain English engineering is ‘what the engineers do’. Or in today’s context at least what they are supposed to do.(It’s very risky to say what engineers do is engineering! That’s why I am writing this post)
Definition defines engineering perfectly that’s beauty of Wikipedia! So engineering is about the application of skills of individual or the persons associated with the work. As engineering students it is your duty to acquire these values during the four years course and impart these engineering skills in yourself. The skills and expected transitions associated with it are discussed in the next part of this article.
Someone might tell you that such skills are inborn or something like, that but let me promise you it’s a C.R.A.P. and just ignore any such advice. Every person has some skills and you also have some. its just that you might not be aware of it and in this course of engineering you are supposed to discover them. all you need is a good teacher. It’s a good teacher who helps the students to direct these verities of skills into the skills required for engineering. (just like a converter!). So it’s a matter of good teacher and it’s your duty to look for such good teacher and follow guidelines issued by him. All you have to believe in your teacher n yourself with a scientific temper.
Scientific temper as defined by Wikipedia, ‘Scientific temper describes an attitude which involves the application of logic and the avoidance of bias and rigid ideas’. While working with scientific temper you should be always open to the new ideas even if it threatens your current believed system. Discussion, argument and analysis are vital parts of scientific temper. Elements of fairness, equality and democracy are built into it. This temper gets developed as per your anxiety. This is inherent part of engineering and technology.
Let me give you small example as how scientific temper may work, all of you use mobile phones and send 100s of SMS daily but have you ever wonder why SMS is limited by 160 characters only? 160 is not in power of 2 (2^(any whole number) != 160)which means it’s not data compression size which limits the SMS size! Then what it might be? Thinking in such way for our daily activity is what the scientific temper all about.
There are more values which reflects the true spirit of engineering but for that aid of technology is needed so I have discussed it separately in last part of this article.
As a professional engineer or engineering student you should always remember that, true essence of engineering lies in your daily behavior, it lies in how we treat the people, how you handle the situation. This is what makes the difference between other fields people and engineers. ‘Creating plan with cool mind and executing it with full zest is what defines the true engineering spirit’. the engineering advantage really works and you gotta feel the power of knowledge, it’s amazing.
The essence of Technology
Technology as defined by Wikipedia, ‘Technology is the usage and knowledge of tools, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization’. In plain English It is an application of science to solve problems. Technology comes from necessity. You have a problem to solve, so you invent the solution. You must use technology or innovate new technology to solve the problem.
Since the invention of wheel, probably the first machine technology has changed life of human radically, and engineers have evolved the technology based on their innovations. Most technology is to defer labor, reduce human efforts and to make life of human simpler. Therefore while thinking of technology your approach should be in this way only: to make life simple.
Technology is often a consequence of science and engineering. Although engineering and technology overlap most of the times, there is very subtle difference between technology and engineering which is discussed in next section.
The true essence of technology lies in its complexity, risks and never giving up attitude. Complexity and risks are inherent in the technology. The complexity and risk have something more integrated with it and I have discussed it separately in the article ‘calculated risk of opportunity’ :- the basic strategy to work with technology successfully. Rather than staying away from the complexity and risks and being dependent on somebody else to do these jobs, one should go for it with proper planning. Your never giving up attitude and patience helps you greatly in all these activity.
Engineering science and technology are interrelated and interdependent phenomenon and complies each other. So let us discuss them together to get most of from it.
The essence of Engineering and technology
Technology always helps or results in productivity and marketing while engineering is all about the skills required to achieve it. In the language of IT, engineering is more of software aspect while technology is the hardware aspect. Engineering is about the ethics and skills while working or solving a problem and technology is application of science with help of engineering skills for innovations. So science technology and engineering are actually inseparable things and one should pursue them as a single entity.
How to do it? well read all further part of this article.
To get better idea about engineering technology and all, check out following diagram,
Confused? Don’t be, As I said you earlier complexity is inherent part of technology! So just give away this illusion of control that technology is difficult or complex and believe me after some time you will find these things simple and in fact you will also learn to talk and write with such complexity. How to break this illusion of control is discussed in the article, ‘calculated risk of opportunity‘.
You find this confusing since you are not familiar with it. you haven’t read enough technical stuff, infact it largely depends on your habits, I don’t know how often you read something knowledgeable not fiction. So reading is most essential part of learning, you don’t have to be reading like arts students, 1000s pages book… no not at all, technology is not that difficult either, unlike history or politics students where each concept largely differs from other and not necessarily happen for a good reason, in tech world things are always related and happen for a certain reason to make things better. So if you study something about mobile OS then you can always relate this with computer OS, if you study layered architecture in networking then yes you can always relate it with all other layered architecture.
All you need to push up your anxiety and greed to next level for search of knowledge and will to know things: how stuff works.
In next article 12 transitions from academic to corporate life i have discussed the skills required for engineering and after that , i have discussed about the risk and complexity of technology in the article, calculated risk of opportunity. you can read either of article first. the articles are framed based on the diagram shown on this post, however going with the sequence is always recommended.
previous article: Open source : true essence of Freedom
The digital divide refers to the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology, and those with very limited or no access at all. It includes the imbalance both in physical access to technology and the resources and skills needed to effectively participate as a digital citizen.
A digital citizen commonly refers to a person that participates in society using a certain amount of information technology (IT). IT engineer is supposed to be by default a digital citizen. So being a digital citizen he is supposed to be familiar with the basic technologies and should strive to expand it in the society.
Unfortunately there is digital divide between the text books and real-time technology, teaching methods and the technology that they teach, students knowledge and existing technology. This digital divide is not created intentionally, it’s practically impossible to keep-up with the pace of technology. therefore It is necessary to bridge this divide by means of open source. Open source has the potential to bridge the divide seamlessly but for that faith, little commonsense, patience and hard work is required. The open source is easily accessible via internet. The internet is not available for free of cost, little financial support is also needed. But that’s part of professional education.
To get idea how things have changed just check out following video, the video is created by Brunswick school of US , it is not important who has created it, what is said in the video: the message that’s all matters.
So it is very necessary to upgrade things as per changing environment, adaptation that’s what we call it. Such kind of environment is available today on the web; you just need to take note of it.
I hope that you have read the first 3 article before turning to this article. If not then at least check out 12-transition-from-academics-to-corporate-life this article as that is the final goal of all this and blog.
Some thing about social divide,
one inconvenient truth about today’s eduction system is that, it is seemingly moving away from the social aspect and is dedicated more towards producing man power ready for job. thus designed education is framed in a such way that it has hardly any dimension than touches social or environmental aspect of life. where as ideally it is expected that education should liberate the students, what i mean by liberate is discussed in this article, Education is that which liberates if you really want to know about aim of your education then you should read it. further it is also expected that by getting liberated from the outdated social structure one should develop scientific temper (which i have discussed in the essence of engineering and technology ) to understand and develop ration thinking attitude to reason the activities happening in the society and in day to day life.
This can be considered as another divide, social divide, where education is dedicated towards creating labors rather than producing creative, critical thinking minds who will solve the problems as if they are playing with them. i will elaborate this concept in last article moving towards a sustainable life of this series of articles. right now lets get back into technology world considering the current system.
The following point are framed considering computing as the baseline thus they are largely applicable for IT and computer related engineering only, but one is free to relate it with their respective field of learning.
Something about academics.
Many time I came across the queries from students as we found lectures very boring and we just hate the attendance rule.
Well it’s not just you but I have also faced this situation, but look at this from an optimist perspective, these lectures enhances your tolerance towards torture J the hard time help you in developing patience. So while sitting next time for such boring lecture tell your mind that this is all for my goodness. Attendance rule is made compulsory since students take frequent common offs. And as per university ruling 75% is made compulsory so just be patient soon this rule will be relaxed, trust me 😉
There are some activities which you can do on your own to make teaching learning process interesting, you should discuss this with your seniors and class teacher.
Role of class teacher
In my engineering college FAMT, along with some senior teachers I put forth concept of class teacher but due to administrative reasons the actual concept got foiled and instead of friendly councilor it turnout as a police supervisor. Well can’t help it, but still the roles of class teachers are there but they are hidden so here I am going to discuss then, as I put the idea of class teacher.
“The class teacher should be a senior faculty from department having excellent communication skills, his role will be of proactive nature anticipating the problems of students and suggesting solution on them. Class teacher will be guide for student in entire semester making students aware about the dangers and opportunities in coming semester and current semester. He will also play a key role in extirpating corruption from academics and will help in developing the 12 transitions skills described in earlier article. It will also introduce students with the senior faculty of academics which will help in sharing of experience and opportunities. ‘A pioneer of open source’. “Although officially it is not written in the notice the logic behind class teachers still the same. So now its students responsibility to approach the respective class teacher and get solution on your difficulty.
“No sacrifice, no victory”
Since there is no shortcut to the success, for doing all this you will have to sacrifice some of your current life style leisure. But with proper planning we can most of from both leisure and success. It is not like that you are supposed to be studding for 16-20 hours a day, it is not compulsory to be in isolated doing your study… nothing like this. Daily 2-3 hours work depending on your capacity that’s all. infact after doing all these activities you are free to give time for your friends for leisure. Choice is all yours whether to be stuck with the outdated system, stay in illusion of unawareness or accelerate with the outside technology giving proper air to expand the wings of your talent and aspiration and stay competent of world-class standards… choice is all yours…
why to sit in lecture? it su*ks…
hmm…do you really have any option? what if you were in corporate company? so better accept the fact that you have to be in lectures for 5-6 hours. once you accept this now apply some creative methods to spend the time either for creative purposes or for time pass choice is all yours. during my academics i used to carry books for boring theory subjects, and as the teacher starts his/her lecture i used to underline that part from the book, it was an amazing activity since while doing this i used to understand the concept plus i was able to catch the mistakes of the teacher. just have this clear equation in your mind above 95% attendance= 5 marks for free + recognition from the teacher which helps in viva and teamwork. so if your friend is not sitting in lecture be it dont run behind him, be little selfish and get the marks and recognition. besides being in lecture and answering teachers question is what a students duty.
how to manage open source stuff and study?
IF YOUR A CRAMMER FOR LAST FEW YEARS THEN THIS CAPS MESSAGE IS FOR YOU… “OPEN SOURCE+SYLLABUS STUDY IS ONLY POSSIBLE IF YOU CARRY THE ACTIVITIES AS PER ETHICS ON REGULAR BASIS”
it is very easy to manage both the activities. in fact as earlier said, your journey in BE will be cakewalk if you took good effort to dig the roots of technology with help of open source.
how to do it then?
for becoming expert IT professional you must be reading the reference book of the subject. the techmax is a piece of crap another illusion to make you crammer mindless robot… why to learn technology without understanding what it does? and how it works? such data collected by cramming is not of any use. so read the reference book, for any new term, look for its elaboration on wikipedia. on wikipedia you will find more related terms so just go on clicking till you fill satisfied by the information. don’t just go on reading entire article read it till you get idea. the reference books contains images, work flow diagrams that plays crucial role in your answers. try to memorize it. other important activity is reading of technical magazine like digit.all these activity will help you in enhancing your technical language which will intern will help you in writing your exam papers.
your new syllabus is totally dependent on the application layer so you are also supposed to concentrate on the application layer i.e. software and features provided by it without concerning how it works at hardware level. such knowledge will help you in writing your assignments too. don’t copy the assignment the activity of assignment is an opportunity to express your self and your understanding for technology. it is also an opportunity to win the trust of your teacher. so give your best efforts to write assignments. you are free to use wikipedia and other sited as reference.
But why to take so many efforts while the company is ready to pay handsomely with a ‘good’ package.
You are right. but just read the following part and then think again.
- the good package can be really ‘good’ but tell me, what factors decides the goodness of the package?
- have you ever realize that you really deserve only that much goodness or your worth is more than that?
- how much sustainable it is going to be?
- Besides have you ever realize what is your worth by your own?
- Why to set your cost with respect to a job package?
- How you ever realized level of your talent and potential?
- don’t you think your job package should be directly proportional to your talent, skills and capacity to work?
If answer for all the questions is yes then you will not be just reading this blog, in fact just like me you would be doing something what you enjoy doing the most.
Nevermind you have still enough time… the college time is golden opportunity to challenge the limits to test yourself so take every opportunity to test yourself your talent, potential and calibrate your worth. Collect information about the techworld and keep checking with your interest as what activity you like the most, what factors motivates you. In this way you will realize your true strength and weakness. Infact it is believe that your BE project should reflect your field of interest and should support you in building in-depth knowledge about it. just like if someone finds his field of interest is web then his project should be dedicated for web development. The 12 steps described in previous article will help you in this whole exercise of discovering yourself.
All I want to convey to u is, don’t keep your talent underdeveloped, identify your talent and flourish it. you have 3 complete years to discover your true worth make most of it and avoid future frustration. depending on your worth if you find that you are not good in any IT skill no problem the ‘good’ package job is for you only, whatever efforts u have taken while learning engineering so go for it!!!
in next article i am going to discuss the essential ingredients that are needed to be master of technology, i will publish it soon.