Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Go to the root of the problem!

Go to the root of the problem!

Conversation between Sriram and Natarajan Amirapu


jairam ramesh commented that IITs, IIMs are good only because of students not because of lecturers. He said IIT and IIM students are world class but not lecturers. No real research is being done in these institutes. He also rightly said that a governmental research organization never attracts young talent which is totally true. I also experienced the quality of professors there. Most of them teach outdated content (content of 1950s) which is no where used in industry.

Now a days UPSC is also posing a question to candidates with IIT background in civil services interviews “Whether IITs are good for conducting JEE only or research”.

Natarajan Amirapu:

I read the news yesterday and also the comments accompanying the report in Economic times. Yes, he was right to an extent. But, where is the problem? If we want to help, we have to go to the root.

Swami Vivekananda said that he wanted "root and branch reform". The point posed by the minister is universal. The solution is in the educational system itself. Swamiji taught that the twin national ideals are renunciation and service and asked us to intensify the nation in those lines and the rest would take care of themselves.

It is not that people are not capable of doing research and producing work that is useful to the nation. It is just that they don't find enough motivation. Where does it come from? In the news item, there was some discussion as to how low the salaries are. But, would that solve the problem? No. Never! Because, the motivation in human beings comes from some where else. That is the HEART. Without the heart going out to do work no worthwhile research would turn out. Here come the idea of renunciation and service. Men should give up the idea of self and go and work like soldiers who are ready to lay down their lives any time. Where is the idea of selflessness taught in our text books? All the professors in the universities are busy calculating their arrears, all their lives! I don't want to be negative, but that is what we see.

OK. If this is the state of affairs, then what is the solution? Let us make a beginning. Are we prepared to lay down our lives or are we simply discussing things till we drop dead vain? Where is the man who is prepared to the his bit? Where has all the patriotism gone? Let me quote our Swami Vivekananda here -

This national ship of ours, ye children of the Immortals, my countrymen, has been plying for ages, carrying civilization and enriching the whole world with its inestimable treasures. For scores of shining centuries this national ship of ours has been ferrying across the ocean of life, and has taken millions of souls to the other shore, beyond all misery. But today it may have sprung a leak and got damaged, through your own fault or whatever cause it matters not. What would you, who have placed yourselves in it, do now? Would you go about cursing it and quarreling among yourselves! Would you not all unite together and put your best efforts to stop the holes? Let us all gladly give our hearts' blood to do this; and if we fail in the attempt, let us all sink and die together, with blessings and not curses on our lips.

He also said,

Give me a few men and women who are pure and selfless and I shall shake the world.

Yes, the problem is himalayan. But the only solution is when we put aside our petty desires and baseless fears that we will be able to do some good to the nation.

Kindly excuse my mad scribbling. The pain directly hits my heart.

1 comment:

  1. The problem with Higher education Institutions in India is that they rarely collaborate with Industry. Govt funding ensures that the salaries are paid. If a researcher has to earn his funds through collabrations with market forces/industry then there will be greater emphasis on original research.
    Secondly who you are matters more than what you do in academia.
    Thirdly, our schooling manufactures conformists.
    A professor of Physiology once asked a class "What would happen if the sun rose in the west instead of East?" The post graduate class has a tough time coming up with answers because it just could not think of the possible impact.
    It should be remembered that institutions are products of society.
    Lastly, should we expect to be taught at graduate level. At that level the "teacher" is expected to be a facilitator/ motivator not a tutor.
    I would love to hear from Mr.Jairam ramesh as to what all those brilliant students of IITs and IIMs are doing.
    Obviously they are not becoming teachers at IITs and IIMs!
    So what is his government doing about it?!!!