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Indian Education System There are many serious flaws in the Indian education system.

The Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen said recently that the main problem was the lack of emphasis on primary education. After Independence, the Government chose to emphasize technical education over primary education, and consequently we have world class technical institutions but not enough good schools for children. There are many school dropouts, who do not even have a basic education and a shortage of teachers at the primary level. The Government is trying to remedy the situation by implementing the Right to Education Act and Sarva Shikhsa Abhiman, but this very well could be the reasons for losing out to China in being the worlds next superpower.

Another thorny issue is the emphasis on rote learning over critical thinking. The Indian education system is the legacy of the British Raj and was originally designed to produce clerks for the British empire. There needs to be greater emphasis on critical thinking in a world, which is undergoing change at a bewildering pace. Students end up learning a lot of facts but cannot think for themselves and thus fall victim to many humbugs.

Also, unlike the American system, there is more emphasis on theory than on practice. Many Indian students though well versed in theory, find it difficult to apply these very same principles in the work place.

There also needs to be greater linkages between the corporate world and the world of education. The skills taught in the schools and colleges often are not applicable in the workplace and students are ill served. This is not healthy in an era of public-private partnerships. However, it must be noted in passing that many individuals like Azim Premji are trying to remedy the situation. As a consequence, most innovations seem to originate from outside India. Indian universities also do not find a place in world rankings.

There needs to be greater well-roundedness in our education system. We seem to be producing graduates, who are technically skilled, but lack even rudimentary knowledge of other disciplines. This is not serving us well in today increasingly interconnected world, where emotional intelligence is key. Today, the job requirement often involves getting along with diverse people in teams and emotional intelligence is more important than regular intelligence.

Another issue is the lack of ethics in todays education. In todays dog eat dog world, some would say ethics are an anachronism. But the resurgence of religion shows this not to be the case. Our education system does not give importance to values, leave alone religion. Many business leaders like Narayan Murthy have spoken about the importance of value based education.

Finally, Indian universities are hopelessly bureaucratic in their functioning and suffer from the lack of autonomy and flexibility that characterizes their American counterparts. This coupled with an outdated syllabi, that prioritize facts over method, can leave many students stifled and seeking to migrate to greener shores. However, as the cost of an American education continues to be prohibitively expensive, the advent of American universities in Indian soil is eagerly awaited.