Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Lakhs of Success

Now it has taken a great deal of bravery, a burnt hand, and a singed soul to take up the cudgels again and get back to what I do best, write random nonsense about absolutely nothing. Indeed my absence on the blogoshpere would have left as much a mark on it as a housefly could be expected to leave on an African elephant. (Yes, not those stupid Indian ones). But hey, since my getting back to writing would be tantamount to roughly the same, I might as well choose the latter. And on a day of revelations, it might interest you to know that the largest selling shaving cream in India(by over 100%) is manufactured in New Delhi by a large number of Sardarjis who go by the name Kochhar. Yes, I am not talking about the Gillette corporation here.

Anyway, what is really unfortunate these days is the sort of razor sharp cutting edge focus our younger generation seems to have. Most of the queries on my (ex-)college admissions guidance forum deal now with placements. And the students are hard nosed about it all... they are very particular about how many lakhs of rupees to expect in their first jobs, how many lakhs of rupees it might cost for them to give up a job and get into some sort of a higher (higher) education programme, and how many lakhs of rupees their senior earned, and how many lakhs of rupees might be on offer at so and so branch. In short, the students of today seem less preoccupied about what they hell they would like to spend studying for the next four years of their lives..and more about..you guessed it..lakhs of rupees.

All of this is done, however, without taking into account exactly HOW those lakhs of rupees are disbursed to the students concerned. No one asks about the companies involved, or the work, or how exactly to go about getting better grades or the specifics of a branch. Indeed, at that level, 17 years old, having just cracked a major exam it should be the least of your worries which branch you choose or which company you would like to get placed in. Indeed all that any average 17 year old should be worried about are bikes, and girls. And well, moeny seems like a very logical way to go about getting girls...and of course bikes. And ipso facto, IITians, and engineering graduates in general, do seem to be able to generate a lot of money. Insane amounts of it, judging by the astronomical spurt in starting salaries these days.

Which is why it would seem justified to take your eyes spectacularly off the ball here, dear reader. I dont really think jobs aound here are judged by the quality of work, hours you need to put in or the scope for future growth. Indeed, passion does not figure very highly on the jobseekers shortlist of desirables. Nor should it. We are a country where half the population lives and dies without figuring out what it wants to do, forget about what it would be good at. No one knows what their interest is here. Mostly, it is either handed to them, or they resign to it hoping that they really wouldn't end up worse than the other guy. And it doesn't matter because as long as our education system remains results oriented(as it needs to be in order to support a billion people) people would only look at the sort of money they can make, as opposed to the sort of work they can do.

Now none of this matters, because our services output is like the proverbial elephant, and our students are the proverbial houseflies. The only difference is success, and once you get out of the lakhs of rupees mentality(and yes, it IS pretty difficult) you realise that it is not about what your education can do for you.

It's about what you can do with your education.

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