Our education system is totally geared to producing sterile graduates who are fit for nothing productive... Yet, befuddled parents are spending more and more on education of their children
Mark Twain, whose real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens, wrote: "Education isn't everything. A cauliflower is only a cabbage with a college degree."
Taking the other tack, education in India is nothing. All the deluded cabbages go to college and come out as mere cabbages with college degrees. Very few transmogrify into cauliflowers and most of these cauliflowers go to the US, or the IITs and the IIMs, from where they go on to jobs abroad at princely salaries-and sometimes get caught in insider trading cases. They probably form less than one quarter of one-per cent of the population.
What happens to the cabbages that remain cabbages but with college degrees? They have stepped on to a walkway of a life of frustration, helplessness and shattered hopes and false ambitions which were pumped into them by society, their parents and, as Alexander Pope, the satirical English poet, put it, "what nurse and priest have taught".
In theory, a college education is supposed to get the student a job. But, what chance has a simple BA or BSc of landing a job even as a lower division clerk in a tahsildar's office. So the pitiable little ones languish. Parents force girls to get married. I know of a case of a girl who passed MBBS but was pressurised to get married; she was even prevented from working as a doctor after marriage.
The point of all this is that our education system is totally geared to producing sterile graduates who are fit for nothing productive (except making children). Even those who go on to do third-rate diploma courses in fourth-rate computer or management academies (which have proliferated like rabbits) cannot find jobs.
For instance, experts say that 70% of the young people who apply for jobs in industry are unemployable. The Economist magazine has also reported that a same percentage of applicants in the IT sector are unemployable.
Yet, befuddled parents are spending more and more on education of their children.
A survey by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) states that between 1999 and 2009, expenditure on food increased by about 70% among rural families and 78% among urban ones. But the spending on education jumped up by as much as 378% in rural areas and 344% in urban areas. Even after correcting for inflation, the expenditure on education increased by a phenomenal 162% in rural areas and 148% in urban areas during the period.
What a waste of hard-earned money. We have to change our system of education so that it creates productive citizens who can get jobs and are happy that they are earning something to support their families.
There are hundreds of studies by experienced and thinking people suggesting a big shift towards a productive education system. One of them is to teach tenth standard and Plus-2 students a skill which makes them attractive to employers, like handling a lathe, a CNC machine, repairing cars and two-wheelers, tailoring, plumbing, carpentry, electrical work, the list is endless. Two years of such study and we will have millions of happy and productively employed young people.
PARTING KICK: Now to something not really connected to this subject, but not really unconnected either. Mark Twain's aphorism implies that intelligence and quick thinking are more than sufficient to get along in life. Take the example of Suresh Kalmadi who is intelligent enough to claim that he has dementia and frequent loss of memory and hence is not mentally fit to be tried in the Commonwealth Games case.
I can visualise a scene in which a panel of neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists and lawyers is quizzing Kalmadi on his claims.
Question: What is your name?
Kalmadi: Suresh Kalmadi.
Question: So you remember your name. No loss of memory here?
Kalmadi: No sir, but there are a lot of things that I don't remember.
Question: And what are the things that you don't remember?
Kalmadi: Sir, I don't remember that I was the head of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee. I don't remember that I and others siphoned away thousands of crores from the funds allotted for the Games. I don't remember that I am now imprisoned in Tihar Jail.
(R Vijayaraghavan has been a professional journalist for more than four decades, specialising in finance, business and politics. He conceived and helped to launch Business Line, the financial daily of The Hindu group. He can be contacted at [email protected].)
Earlier, credit was offered at a credit score of 500-600 points, but now most of the banks prefer 700-900 points score
During the last few years, banks have been looking for greater benchmark scores to extend loans to consumers, a Cibil official said.
"Earlier, credit was offered at a credit score of 500-600 points, but now most of the banks prefer 700-900 points score," Credit Information Bureau India managing director A Thukral said.
The credit bureau introduced the Cibil TransUnion score which is mostly used for retail loan. Through advanced analytics, this score assigns a number from 300 to 900 to a borrower based on the credit history. The higher the numerical value of the score, the lower the risk associated with the individual.
Mr Thukral believed differential interest rate might come into play in future and banks based on risk profile would fix the interest rate. Cibil was also working to introduce data depository for insurance, telecom and micro-finance sector.
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