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IIT E-Summit 2018: What the Youth Want From Indian Education System

Posted on Dec 18, 2018
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According to the youth of today, our education systems need to thorough shaking up. They had some of the most interesting insights about our education. It’s time we listened to our youth and take their suggestions into consideration.

Our Education System Needs to Be Revamped to Keep Up With the Times

Walking down the long, winding road inside the IIT-Bombay campus on the morning of the E-Summit 2018, you couldn’t help but be rivetted by the razzmatazz put up by the E-Cell division of IIT-B. The spotlessly clean roads were flanked by huge flex boards, banners, and posters of the biggest and the best thought leaders of the world. Mark Zuckerberg smiled back, while Elon Musk looked on with a grim expression. Indian change leaders such as Arundhati Bhattacharya, Shiv Khera and Tanmay Bhat watched over the thronging crowds that were here to pick the best brains and launch their own careers in a new trajectory.

The youth was everywhere. In halls. In the cafeteria. Loitering around the booths. Waiting outside seminar halls. Posing for pictures. Patiently queued up to get into some of the high-octane sessions. They were here for a reason. They wanted answers. A blueprint. A chalked path. A brainwave. Anything that could make them the next big thing on the Internet. They knew that the answers would be here, inside the campus of IIT, in one of these seminar rooms.

“Technology will rule in the next era. Those who master technology will be the next Zuckerberg or Larry Page.”

As the Editor in Chief of ReachIvy.com, I had the opportunity to interview at least 15 young minds. They were forthcoming with their views, never shy of media or people. They liked the fact that somebody was listening. They were ready for the show and tell. So here’s what I gathered from my interviews with the students of India.

1.Education System in India Needs an Overhaul.

According to the youth of today, our education systems need to thorough shaking up. We are still stuck in a distant era, and not keeping up with the business imperatives, and employability. The current education system does not equip a recently graduated engineer or commerce or arts student to get into mainstream jobs, as their educational qualifications fall short of industry expectations. While India produces the highest number of employable graduates in the world, we fall below world standards in terms of quality of teaching methodology, teaching resources, and ‘industry’ experience. Our current academia focusses so much on theoretical inputs, that there is little scope for enterprise, self-learning, and intellectualization.

2.They are Highly Enthusiastic to Become Entrepreneurs.
With jobs drying up, it is not surprising that most engineers and graduates want to walk through the fire of entrepreneurship. The wind is in our favor, they say. With the Indian government backing up entrepreneurial ventures, with angel investors and VCs shopping for the most promising startups, the youth feels that entrepreneurship is the wagon they want to hitch to a loaded investor. Unfortunately, they haven’t really thought through the whole process of business, as their sights are locked only on the finances, not on the big picture.

3.Technology Is the Key Driver to Any Business.

Good or bad, blame it on technology! Our digitally transformed world is ready for a revamp of business models. From retail to ecommerce, from restaurants to online food delivery, from schools to MOOCs, we have been slowly weaned out of the physical world, to integrate with the World Wide Web. Technology will rule in the next era. Those who master technology will be the next Zuckerberg or Larry Page. Our Indian young minds strongly believe that India is at the crux of a technological revolution. And they don’t want to miss riding the crest when it hits.

4.Failures Are Important Stepping Stones.
Me: “What if you fail?”
Responder 1: “How can you learn without failing? Of course, we are going to fail. I’ve come to learn how to climb up after failing.”
Responder 2: “We are still young! We can afford to fail.” (grins)
Responder 3: “I think I can stomach a failure than a boring life at a job.”
I think to myself. Is this sheer bravado, or has the youth really made up their mind and decided to apply for unemployment texas and bankruptcy for the love of entrepreneurship?

5.Adequate Management Knowledge, Engineers Can Become Successful Entrepreneurs.
To jump the high wall, engineers feel that they just need some brushing up on basic management skills. More specifically, they want to pick up skills on networking, business strategy, communication, negotiation and business projections. That’s why engineers prefer to pursue an MBA after completing their graduation. They question: why can’t our education system equip engineers with a semester of management subjects? That way, they wouldn’t need to go for yet another 2-year course.