The political establishments post the 15th August 1947 ‘Transfer of Power’ are responsible for not laying out an educational framework based on real historical facts that would have completely restored the nation’s somewhat weakened self esteem as a result of centuries long barbaric invasions and colonial oppression.
In fact, right at the start of the Nehruvian era of governance, the educationists who framed India’s educational policies as well as designed and formulated the academic curriculum, made sure that the true civilisational history of ‘Bharat’ is kept away from school text books with things getting even worse at the level of higher studies. They towed a seriously compromised ideology and brazenly peddled botched up narratives that were against the Dharmic and cultural ethos of Bharat as such narratives pleased the ‘appeased ones’. Also Read: ‘All Political Discourse Today In France Sounds Like Debate About India’
In the late 1960’s, a gang of intelligentsia started to infiltrate major academic institutions of India and began exerting their politically backed influence upon the academic discourse of our country to distort India’s history. They gave academic validation to fabricated false narratives about the identity of Indians. Deliberate attempts were made to hide the true picture of invaders and oppressors that plundered our nation with intents of loot, violence, faith conversions, ethnic cleansing, genocide as well as physical & psychological enslavement.
As a result, a huge number of people came to the conclusion that- It is the west that is capable of innovation and we should simply wait and follow. An attitude of ‘playing it safe’ and ‘being risk averse’ crept in our society that resulted in the creation of a workforce that would though learn to operate on new technologies with an enviable rate of efficiency but would rarely develop such technologies entirely on its own. That is why, if we look at various life changing technological inventions and innovations in the modern day world, Indians have either no or a very minor role to their credit in the creation of such technologies.
The Situation At Hand
The reason why we Indians do not register/command a considerable presence in the incubation stage of an idea that later evolves into a technological revolution is the lack of an extensive research and development culture backed by solid funding in our universities and various educational institutions. Our educational ecosystem has long failed to provide an environment that facilitates the optimum development of a student’s cognitive ability and decision making skills. Although, post the new government took charge in 2014, the education scenario in India has started to change for the better at a much faster rate but we still are a long long way from where we need to be.
There is no dispute or ambiguity over the fact that a huge number of Indian doctors, engineers, bankers etc. have made truly immense contributions to their respective fields/organisations. However, when it comes to inventing technologies or products in the field of surgery, medicine, robotics, super computers, heavy machinery, electronics, automobiles, aviation, encrypted communication, artificial intelligence, quantum computing etc., we just follow and contribute as a workforce in the functioning and expansion of a technology/industry that was created elsewhere.
The main reason behind this is because Indians from a very young age are not taught or trained to take risks, develop a problem solving attitude, think out-of-the-box, analyse the cause/s of failure, pursue research & development and most importantly, choose nation building over going abroad to serve foreign corporations.
All these characteristics can only be developed or inculcated in our student population if we design, formulate, implement, facilitate, promote and maintain an educational ecosystem that is strategically aimed at producing and nurturing the talent that would invent and innovate. Unfortunately, since imperialistic times, we are psychologically conditioned to become a human resource that is akin to cogs of a machine which is built by others.
Rejecting The Foreign Settlement Euphoria
Since we live in a globally connected world driven by strong individual dreams, there is nothing wrong if an Indian aspires to settle in a foreign land that promises significantly better living conditions and ample opportunities of professional growth as compared to India.
However, if we want our country to make a respectable mark in the field of research & development that would eventually open up the doors of prosperity and technological autonomy, we need Indian brains to stay in India and offer the much needed contribution to the India growth story. We need to start large-scale indigenous production that would propel India towards self-sufficiency in critical fields such as defence, communication, technology, healthcare, food, water resources and agriculture.
It goes without saying that the state needs to fulfil its side of the bargain as well when it comes to creating an educational ecosystem that 21st century India really needs. But an entire generation of professionals must come forward and dedicate themselves to nation building. We need students who are willing to pursue their higher studies not with a goal of securing a high paying job in a foreign country or a foreign corporation but with a vision of creating a self-sufficient India.
Last but not the least, always remember that- “no amount of foreign remittances would match the revenue generated after inventing something domestically that creates a huge pool of global user dependence!” Also Read: Of Vaccines, Data, And The Future: A Perspective On COVID-19 Pandemic
(Akhil Pathak is an independent writer and an observer of global politics/geo-strategic matters with special focus on issues that are directly or indirectly related to the security framework of India)
[Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs, and views expressed by various authors and forum participants on this website are personal.]