Saturday, June 14, 2014

Should India change national education policy from 10+2+3?

On 26th May 2014, after a very long time India got a Prime minister with absolute majority, means we got someone who can deliver what he says. Prime Minister Narender Modi is the second prime minister from BJP, the first being Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. People have lot of expectations from this regime, especially due to their electoral slogan “Ache din aayenge”

In his maiden speech PM beside many other things emphasized upon skill development and the lack of research in India especially in the fields of Agriculture[1]. He is not wrong India has a very poor research performance in all fields. Research is not something which a person does only in/after PhD, research is a way of life and unless our students are taught research from the beginning, they will never understand the concept of research.

A good way to improve our contribution in research is in analysing what is different between our education and education provided by countries with maximum number of patents and publications. Two countries which lead in theses area are: China and US. Let us see how, our education policy differs from theirs.

If we want a true comparison we should start from school education, but since that is not my field of expertise I concentrate on undergraduate programs offered by theses countries and us. Our National education policy as of now is 10+2+3 policy that is our undergraduate programs are of three year duration. But both China[2] and US offers four year undergraduate program, with emphasis on research and dissertation and independent project work in all fields. In US[3] there is an option of both two year and four year undergraduate program, with two year degree referred as associate degree to meet with need of skilled/ vocational mid level jobs.

As the American president W J Clinton has said: “It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics, because discrimination, poverty and ignorance restrict growth, while investments in education, infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase it, creating more good jobs and new wealth for all of us”.
Even the UNESCO report on research in developing countries emphasizes that developing countries should focus in research for growth[4]. India should concentrate on both providing skilled employable youths and a good research platform, and if this requires going through our national education policy and changing it, we should do it. We should introspect and make a national policy which has scope for skilled youths and cultivate research.



Saturday, May 3, 2014

Summer Internships

Summer holidays are about to start, it is fun time for most students. But there are always those few looking ahead, in school they spend holidays preparing for entrance exams and in college it is project work, summer training or internship.

The first question that arises is why?
Why at all should we go for internship/project etc? Well in some technical courses it is mandatory to go for such internships, such as in M.Sc/M.Tech one has to do a necessary six months project. Even if it is not mandatory, the work you do, the experience you gain adds up to your resume. Making you ready for the final step of education, i.e. job, the placements.


When?
The next question that arises is when? In the first year, second year, third year or fourth year of graduation. Well ideally from first year, because it is never too early to start building a career. But from second year onwards one must go for internships.

Where?
Once you have decided to do internships, the next big question is where? A big firm, a small company, or an academic institute. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Working in a big firm means a big name attaching in your resume. A small company means you may get more responsibilities to deal with. And an institute means you most probably will gain research experience.

In my opinion, the criteria of choice should be based on what work will you be doing in that particular place. If what you learn is good, interests you academically, and gives you skills which make you employable then its good, otherwise you are wasting your time.

How to apply?
Normally all good companies have an internship form on their website, which you can fill and wait for response. Due to large number of engineering students there is lot of competition, and yes it helps if you know someone there.
Most Academic institutes put it up on their noticeboards alternatively you can go to the website of individual college and get information about the faculty and their research areas. And write to them individually. 

What to do in the duration of internship?
First be regular, whether you are asked to come everyday or not. And in case you need to take a break, inform your supervisor beforehand. Go with an attitude to learn, obey the protocol of the organization you are working in, as every institute have its own culture. Try to maintain team spirit.

How much money will it cost?
Well again depending on the place of your internship in good companies you get paid for the internship. Most companies like MTNL etc now charge for the internship and treat it more like a hands on course. And most academic institutes offer it for free.


Well good luck with your hunt for internship!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

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