"Heroes know that things must happen when it is time for them to happen. A quest may not simply be abandoned; unicorns may go unrescued for a long time, but not forever; a happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story"


Saurabh Mahajan, reporting live from Semester Exams, Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology- an institute whose mandate is creating Biotechnologist for the 21st century India.

One more semester of bullshit exams, tensed bullshit faces, bullshit teachers, bullshit questions, bullshit answers, bullshit happiness because you could answer every bullshit question the Teacher tried to scare you with.

We have a plant taxonomy exam. “THE VIVA”!! What are the economically important alga? The Gymnosperms? The Angiosperms? What is heterospory? Identify the same bullshit specimen they showed you during the laboratory course. Nothing on what recent article you have read, nothing about a new company you found which produces antibodies from moss cells, nothing even about the forest you have visited, the plants you saw... Who cares? They just want to do their duties and feel happy that they are creating Biotechnologists for the new century India. उपकारच वाटतात साल्यांना.

चिडचिड होते. कितीही ठरवलं की, यासगळ्याकडे लक्ष नाही द्यायचं. Look at the positive side. Whatever little they are trying to do. पण नाही सहन होत कधी-कधी… Why? Why cant they be humans trying to excel for their own sake? If not, then for the sake of their children, their society, their nation…Bullshit!!

Education System

Now I am trying to identify how close we are to such an education system.

I am reading the National Policy on Education (1986, revised in 1992). According to the NPE the essence and role of education (among others) is to-

1. Create individuals with scientific temper and an independent mind and spirit.
2. Create manpower for all levels of economy and Research and Development.

“Education is an investment for the present and future. This cardinal principle is the key to the National Policy on Education”

2 points are very notable-
1. Absence of focus on creating able individuals to achieve the above goals. There is no discussion on what qualities must such an individual have and how education can help achieve them. The education policy seems to focus on the social and developmental goals that education has to meet in general.
2. And if education is seen as an investment, what are the criteria to judge the returns and does the education policy ensure the returns.
The specific aims of higher education have been identified as-

1. Dissemination of specialised knowledge and skills.
2. Producing teachers for the system.

I can identify 3 components (in hierarchy) for achieving these goals-

1. A proper organization of higher education institutes and coordination amongst
2. Infrastructural facilities in these institutes.
3. Efficiency of the grass root teaching and learning process.

Obviously, problems persist in all the 3 components and absence of any one component can lead to severe impediment of the output.

Being a student the teaching and learning process is the closest to me. I will try to identify the problems with this component.

Changing the system

’जाग्रुती यात्रे’ बद्दल वाचत होतो.

“You could be one of the 450 people selected to join the yatra which kicks off on 1st May 2008. We are seeking participants between the age of 18-25 to apply, especially those who have an interest in learning how to scale up grass roots social and business initiatives. If your application is succesful, you will have the opportunity to meet and learn from the real heroes and change makers of India and pick up on invaluable, life changing experience.”

As a part of their application they have asked us to fill up a questionnaire.

One of the questions was- “What is the single biggest challenge that India faces in the next decade? What will be your contribution towards addressing the challenge you mentioned above?”

I think that the biggest challenge before us as a country is to increase the efficiency in grass root processes in every sector including education, governance, bureaucracy, industry and commerce. For achieving optimal efficiency in any process apart from the suitable infrastructure it is necessary that the human resource involved is competent and willing to achieve the optimal efficiency. This will happen only when every individual realises his full potential and expresses it for achieving efficiency. So, the challenge is to create a society which will produce such individuals.

There are many factors that should form the part of such a society. The foremost being an education system conducive to our aim. (So the reforms have to inevitably begin with the educational system) What are the elements of such an educational system?