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Changing Face of Education in India : Then & Now

Students grooming into professionals today are well informed but not well qualified. Literacy rate has, of course increased, but the quality of education has gone down. Too many experiments with education system in India by non-educationists; like diluting the eligibility criteria to certain sections of society, compulsory promotion in professional courses like medicine for reserved category students, reservation in specialty without merit has comprehensively dented the credibility of Indian Education System. None of the Indian Institute of higher learning stands in the list of top 100 Institutes/Universities of world. CBSE and some of the state text-books are informative enough to answer in the examinations, but the basic tenet of good education ; thinking and researching is missing.
Since I am qualified in medicine, I will confine my views to medical education only. In my time, pattern of examination for medical entrance was subjectively elaborative; and not objective. “There is no atmosphere on moon” can not be answered in objective pattern. “ What is the Black – Hole of Calcutta?” These were the question asked in medical entrance test in AIIMS. The problem with objective tests pattern is that it works on the theory of Probability. It works on memory and speed; and not on analytical abilities and application of intelligence. It does not exhibit the flair for the profession. It has happened that an average student passed IIT-JEE and entered an IIT by using the theory of probability. He used the dice to tick the answers. He was playing the luck-game and he won. In the present set-up , students need not to search and research for answers, thereby depriving of the basic skills to sharpen the intelligence. Coaching classes are exploiting this vulnerability of students and parents by teaching the short – cuts to solve the questions. In the process, meaner with high memory quotient is winner over intelligent. Ability of logical interpretation and analysis is not tested.
In my time, entrance examinations were based on subjective knowledge. Questions were asked to elaborate with precision; these were brain teasers. AIIMS New Delhi and all the other good universities of world, still follow the same pattern. In fact, resume; an essay written by the applicant to the university explaining his objective in no vague terms to pursue a particular subject for , is an essential component of the application for admission in almost all the universities in United States of America. And this resume has to be original in context and thoughts. Any help in writing a resume from any one is immediately traced; as if thoughts and language have their own finger prints. And personal interview with the Dean of the faculty decides the suitability for the subject.
Today, syllabus is divided in units, and every unit has designated marks. That means a student is comfortable in leaving the difficult part of study. Gone are the days of standard text books when I had to go through Loney’s Statics, Dynamics, Trigonometery to understand the laws of Dynamics in Physics. Or for that matter, Botany by A.C.Dutta or Zoology by Vidhyarthi had to be studied thoroughly to differentiate properly between Animal and Plant Kingdom. Organic Chemistry by B.S.Bahal or Physical and Inorganic Chemistry by Bahal and Tuli were universal companion of almost all the science students, at least across India.
Forget Gray’s Anatomy or Physiology by West and Taylor; medical students read by MCQ booklets. Enjoying Boyd’s or Walter Israel Pathology as a fiction is a joke for grooming medicos these days. And Mr. Kapil Sibbal; he is from the era when doing law graduation was a time pass for office clerks in part time evening classes, has complimented by abolishing any competition in the formative year of future professionals. It may not augment well for nurturing the gray matter. One is free to argue, but all are not equal in intellectual, physical and investigative faculties. Unless best are not brought forward, we are not going to make it a first world country.

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About The Author

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Rakesh Kumar Shrivastava

Academic/Science/Research

Madhya Pradesh ,  INDIA

My profile can be writeen on the reverse of of a revenue stamp (borrowing from Khushbant Singh on Amrita Pritam).

I am a medical professional studied, practiced and taught medicine in India and USA.

Presently, working as a Consultant in Advanced Medicine in Bhopal ( India)

Like reading and writing (ocassionally).

Dr. Rakesh Kumar Shrivastava

MD(AIIMS),FACP(USA),FICA(Boston),FCCP(USA)

E-2/ 265, Arera Colony, Bhopal - 462016

Telephone : 0755- 4249973, 4249982

Mobile : +919893054254

Email: drrakeshshrivastava@hotmail.com

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