Recently an Engineering student from IIT, Hyderabad committed suicide by jumping off from the third floor of campus building. As per his suicide note with a mail sent to his friend, he attributed the reason for taking this extreme step to depression. This is not the first time that students are committing suicides due to stress and depression in India. Recently we have heard students hanging and killing in IIT Madras, IIT Assam, IIT Hyderabad, AIIMS, BHU etc. Many incidents have occurred in the past citing competitive exams, competition in every phase of education in India and evaluation based on ranks.
It seems that we need to widely introspect our education system not only on the infrastructure front but make students ready to face real life challenges. I firmly think that this needs to changed completely and there should be more emphasis on value based practical education system bringing the best skills and talent out of the students in more friendly manner. Many education experts think that we are producing students with certificates but hardly few can take it to the practical level. For example a Mechanical Engineer passing out from 90% of Engineering colleges in India do not have practical knowledge or can repair a motor bike by their own or even deal with basic practical machinery, its the same with other courses as well.
Many students in India from Childhood are made to mug up the theory part and parents tend to run behind the marks and ranks of the children rather than identifying and nurturing the inbuilt skills in them. There is social mindset in India that people are ranked based on the money they earn or socially acclaimed courses or jobs they wish to do like a doctor or engineer etc. But hardly few treat their children of making socially responsible human who can add value to the nation with his inbuilt skills. This same reflects with many educational institutes starting from school to universities where marks are weighted and averaged mostly on theory but hardly few emphasize majorly on technical and practical skills. This is pushing young budding minds to shun their inbuilt capabilities and run in the never ending race and some give up with stress and depression and ending lives which is painful and shocking.
Thanks to startup ecosystem which started budding in new India some young and innovative talents are coming out but this seems more on the service sector and digital arena. Indian education system needs to concentrate more on science, technology and innovation and we need to prepare young students practically to come-up with great inventions in the next decade. The biggest asset India today has is, its young population and still we lack the practical skill sets to cope for the next challenges. Skill India program in India had become mere a paper advertisement rather than creating ground breaking changes. Many technology based factories outside India thrive and look for a region where cheap and skilled work force. India had made substantial progress in IT and Digital skill sets, but now its the time to recreate the same in other sectors like machinery, agriculture, science and technology.
Hope the Union and state governments look into this as a long term mission, irrespective of the parties who come to power. If we succeed in making practical value based education a reality, these young minds will become the workhorse for the nation or else will be full of unemployed unskilled labour in the coming generation.