Yesterday, the worst possible news for an average student came across in the Indian media, that in Shriram College of Commerce, a prestigious college of the Delhi University had a undergrad first list cut-off of 100% maximum for the B.Com Hons. programme for a science student, albeit marginally lower percentages for commerce students at the pre university public exams. A full hundred percent, for a seat in a prestigious college!! Its the mockery and absurdity of the education system which is being demonstrated. The SRCC Principal is defending the rationale that commerce students have to be given preference and that science students should become engineers! So much for inter-disciplinary learning and brotherhood. I would not be able to pursue any one of my academic interests if I would have studied in India, firstly- I would not have made it to even a Sanskrit Hons. undergrad degree (I like philosophy better) or had to pursue a distance learning program. Secondly, I have myriad interests which require some degree of flexibility in the academic system, I am presently reading Sociology at the Grad level in Singapore without any prior Social Science Background!
There is no future for an average student in publicly funded institutions in India. More private universities like Amity will flourish in the country and education is already treated as a business with Manipal as its mascot with private equity stakes in it. The grade inflation in the public exams is responsible for it as well. The maddening and cut throat competition in the public exams that are dependent on rote learning rather than individualized talent and potential leaves thousands like me to leave for greener pastures overseas. I was Blessed enough, millions of my brethren are not.
Radical reforms of the school system is required to prevent such emotional catastrophes for students and parents in the future. Entrance exams should determine the talent for such non technical under grad courses such as CAT, although not perfect but its still a good screening mechanism. For the elite schools, an admissions pie should determine competence along with scores. WE are failing millions to a second tier life by not creating enough opportunities for them. There are good private engineering universities such as Vellore Institute of Technology and BIT Mesra catering to demand. Why then Liberal Arts and Social Sciences be left behind?