Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The beginning of the beginning

In my earlier post, I spoke about the predicted downfall of Indian IT/ITES industry. The comments were on either side and one of the points that came out was the quality of India products. Be it manufacturing or services, India hasn't been spokes of much about for its quality. India Inc. has not spent significantly on R&D. In case of manufacturing, R&D requires huge investments in terms of infrastructure where as in case of IT/ITES, the investment needs to be on people along with that on infra. Now, for a better R&D in ITES, are we equipped peoplewise? To begin a massive overhauling in the outlook of the industry, where do we begin?
We begin where it all begins. Education. Let me talk a bit about education.
Do we have an education system that promotes an inquisitive mind? (a mind that will R&D!)Or are we simply creating labour, such large in number and so abundant in supply that nobody bothers about the quality .The price of this labour is bound to go down. When we boast of a large number of engineering grads. are they built (or taught) to be research fellows or to be mere labour?
We will have to start from primary education. An education system that is designed to teach kids to question and challenge. Inventions can not be expected from people who have been taught to accept things as they are. Not at least in competitive numbers. I don't totally deny the originality of our generation. But we haven't been conditioned to think like innovators. The education system that we are a product of still reads 'out of the box' as 'stupid'. Although we are capable of making path-breaking studies today, they are not sufficient to race ahead and stay there.
We will need an entire generation of Einsteins and an educational system that may not turn every kid into an Einstein, but will at least condition every mind to appreciate him.
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