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Social and political Values and Systems in India.

Education and training of bureaucrats in India

 

Introduction

Bureaucracy/Civil Services may be considered to be all the Government services – Financial, Technical and specialists as well as managerial and generalist – engaged in the governance of a nation, professionally recruited, permanent, paid and properly trained in various disciplines of administration. It assists the elected representatives of the people in matters of governance. Since bureaucrcy/Civil Services are the only permanent link between successive elected governments, they play a vital role in governance of the country and guiding the social changes and economic developments in desired direction, specially in the case of less developed or developing countries, where society is in a state of transition.

Task of governance

Of all acts of civilized society of modern times, governance is one of the most difficult tasks despite there being many changes in the strategy, structure and management techniques. It has become so difficult and complex, because it has to deal with issues – political, economic or social, that directly affect public life of living human beings, which are full of psychological and sociological complexes and prone to unpredictable behavior.

In governance of a country, there are two players – governing-body/government and people. Quality of governance depend on variables like characteristic of the nation, form of government, social structure, nature, behavior and value system of people. Governance, usually done by the civil services of a nation, relates to process of implementing decisions and organizing activities of government according to a set of rules and precedents, which govern relations between individual citizens and state.

Expectations of masses

After French and Industrial Revolutions, the values of mankind changed considerably. Misery and poverty, once regarded inevitable, were no longer acceptable and thus came into being the concepts like `Welfare State’ and `Developmental Administration’ – the former being the objective and the later the machinery to achieve these objectives.

Concepts of ‘Welfare state’ and ‘development Administration’

While a welfare state takes care of its people from `womb to tomb’ and aims at improving the quality of life of its masses, the instruments deployed for achieving welfare goals – national reconstruction and development – is that of the Developmental Administration through the institution of Civil Service. Continuous modernization, higher productivity, rapid advance in social justice, demand to improve the quality of service and rising aspirations of the people with spread of education and awareness have been continuously posing new problems for governance.

Role of pre-entry education

Learning/education before entering into various jobs is to develop mental and moral faculties, which have a material bearing on the formation of character. It embraces within itself reading, observation and thought. Education is usually given for increasing knowledge and understanding. It cultivates attitudes of the students, so that they are better adjusted to their working environment.

Formal education can be provided at three levels – School, University and Job. Education is meant not only for a fixed period or for theoretical or academic pursuit of knowledge leading towards award of degrees. In its wider sense, it is a continuous process for complete upbringing of the individual right from his birth to death.

Role of training

As against this the training is primarily concerned with preparing the trainees for certain lines of action, which are delineated by technology and by the organization, in which he works. `Training’ improves the administrative output – quantitatively and qualitatively. It is a function of helping trainees to acquire and apply knowledge and skills, which they do not possess, but are needed by the organizations, of which they are a part.

Importance of training to meet the challenges

There has been a growing realization, in the recent years, all over the world that after recruitment into civil services, training is necessary for gearing the bureaucracy to meet the challenges of modern times and make the services more effective, efficient and goal-oriented.

It is training that imparts knowledge, shapes attitudes, cultivates skills and builds work-habits. Training becomes more important because education of the recruits before entering into different branches of civil services is mostly degree-oriented instead its being job-oriented. Training fills up the gaps between learning and practical requirements.

Types of training

Training could be both, formal and informal. Formal training may further be divided into four categories –

  • pre-entry training,
  • foundation training,
  • in-service training, and
  • Post-entry training.

Purpose

Each one serves a different purpose. The pre-entry training prepares candidates for all sorts of jobs including civil service. Foundation training equips new recruits to Civil Services with understanding of political, social and economic infrastructure of the country as well as familiarizes them with the atmosphere, in which they have to work. In-service training takes over the training tasks initiated by foundation training and fills in the gaps inherent in informal training. Post-entry training is not directly related to the work of a trainee, but helps him in a long run. Informal training is to train the officials on job, so that they could acquire administrative skills through practice.

Training strategies

Training strategies developed, so far, are that of academic strategy, laboratory strategy, activity, action program strategy, person-development strategy and organization development strategy. The selection of appropriate strategy depends on factors such as training goals, resources available for training.

Methods or techniques

Various methods or techniques deployed for giving training are field training, lectures and talks, study-tours, delegations, syndicate method, conferences, seminars and group discussions, case-study, role play exercise, management games, simulations, sensitivity training etc.

How to choose a training method?

Choosing a training method for a program depends on the training objectives, training needs, available time, skills and facilities. Right diagnosis of training needs thorough job-evaluation and research, clear objectives, right selection of training method, top level support, selection of right type of personnel for right type of program and proper evaluation help in making a training program successful. Training of civil services in Modern India

Civil Services in India

The Indian Civil Service has a long historical background and is a product of centuries, and so is the case of its Education and Training. The system of Indian Civil Services has progressed slowly but steadily under three regimes – the East India Company, the Crown and the Indian Republic. In matter of Training, it has passed through the system of Education and Training in pre-independent India, mixture of the legacy of the colonial past and the requirements of Independent India and then the existing system.

Training system during East India rule

Lord Cornballs (1786-1793) was the first to realize the importance of training the higher civil servants, and drew the attention of the Directors of the Company towards this issue. As a result, thereof, an East India College was established on May 12, 1805, at Halleybury, England. It had closed it in June 1855, due to opposition and criticism in responsible quarters. With the closure of Haileybury College, a system of competitive examination was introduced, in 1855, for recruitment to various Higher Civil Services, under the Crown.

Training system under the Crown

Amongst all the civil services under government of India, emphasis was given only to the Initial/foundation training of ICS & IP Officials, which were responsible for maintaining law and order throughout the country. Recruits to central services were trained on the job under the supervision of senior officers during their probationary period.

ICS recruits were given formal education and training for one year in one of the four universities – Oxford, Cambridge, London or Dublin. They were, then, sent to India to have field training for a year or so. IP recruits were sent to provincial training institutes for their formal education, after which they were also given field training. The probation period for all the services was two years. These services during British-India were exclusively trained to retain the Imperial Power and were manned mainly by British people. These two services were the `Steel-frame of the whole structure’ of British Empire.

Scene after Independence

The post-Independence era brought about fundamental changes. The Indian Government now became the Government of a Welfare State bent upon socio-economic development of the masses rather than attending routine regulatory functions. The leaders of free India were suspicious of the capacity of the civil services of British India to carry out the welfare plans. They wanted to re-organize the administrative structure.

But the events immediately after the independence, such as partition of the country into India and Pakistan, migration of civil servants to Britain and Pakistan, unification of states etc., made it imperative not to disturb the then existing administrative structure. Consequently, save minor changes here and there, the administrative machinery set up during the Raj moved into the post-Independent era with many traditions of Imperial past.

General framework of the Civil services, recruitment system, training system, generalist supremacy, anonymous character procedure oriented system, salary-structure, centralization of power, caste considerations in recruitment to higher services and apathy towards masses were some of the legacies of the British India.

Training System after Independence

Independent India recognized the role and importance of Education and Training for inculcating the qualities of leadership, supervision, efficiency in communication, decision making etc. in its higher officials and also for changing their attitudes. Such a recognition is evident from the successive Five Year plan documents, reports of Administrative Reforms Commission and other Committees – all stressing the need for planned and systematic programs of training for officials at various levels.

As a result, there has been a quantitative expansion of training institutes and courses, as well as qualitative improvements in the schemes of Education and Training. A bold step, in this direction, was taken by creating a cell, in 1968, known as ‘Training Division’ in the Ministry of Home Affairs for general coordination and stimulation of the training system.

Grouping of training Institutes

Various Training Institutions created for stimulating foundation/in-service and refresher training courses can be grouped in three categories –

  1. Institutes run by the Government of India,
  2. Institutes run by the State Governments, and
  3. Autonomous/Private Institutes.

These institutions impart foundation as well as in-service through plan and non-plan programs to senior officers of different departments at various stages and in various disciplines. Training in those areas, where adequate facilities are not available within the country, is given abroad under bilateral agreements and aid-programs.

Training system for IAS

Government of India pays maximum attention to the training of IAS personnel even today as they occupy practically all the strategic and top-level posts at the center and states. Immediately after selection, the successful candidates of IAS are sent to the National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, for induction training. The probationary period for them to get professional training is divided into Phase I, field, and phase II training.

The Academy portion of the phase I training

The Academy portion of the phase I training gives them theoretical understanding of their job. The focus of this course is on the organization and functioning of the district administration, both, in its developmental and regulatory aspects. Special emphasis is given to the role of administrator in rural development. Winter study tour of two months is a part of the seven months phase I training, during which they are attached to Public Sector Undertakings, Agricultural Universities, Bureau of Parliamentary Studies and National Development Board. They also spend a week amongst tribals to understand their problems.

Field training

Then comes the field training for a year or so, which is the most important part of their training. The components of field training are – Institutional training in provincial staff colleges, training at district headquarters (treasury training and collectorate training), village attachment, block attachment, revenue attachment, sub-divisional attachment, independent development charge, survey and settlement training, agriculture training and secretariat training etc. The Academy as well as state governments are supposed to watch the performance of the trainees during various facets of field training.

Professional training phase II

After the field training, the professional training phase II starts. It is designed to bring together their theoretical understanding and practical field observation. It also prepares them to hold posts in real life. After it they are sent for army attachment also. The performance and involvement of the trainees in different training programs, their participation in co-curricular activities and their general bearing, behavior and attitudes is taken into account for the purpose of assessment.

In-service Training

The Government pays equal amount of attention to their in-service training, so that they could be exposed to latest theories, methodologies, concepts etc. developed either within the country or abroad. It is ensured that each and every IAS officer gets in-service training at appropriate time.

Training System in Indian Railways

Amongst other services under government of India, the system of education and training in Indian Railways is worth to be seen. Indian Railways is a training conscious ministry, which has made many efforts to improve the health and wealth – mental as well as material – of its employees. It comprises of almost fifty percent of the cadre strength of government employees. It is the only department in the government of India, where a large number of class I and II services under one umbrella are there, each serving to different functional areas like finance, operation, health engineering, security etc.

Specialized training institutions of its own

Indian Railways have set up their own specialized training institutions for higher supervisory cadres such as Indian Railway traffic Service, Indian Railway Accounts Service, Indian Railway Personnel Service, Indian Railway Protection Force and Railway Board Secretariat Service etc. These are Railway Staff College Baroda, Indian Railway Institute of Advanced Track Technology, Jamalpur, Indian Railway Institute of Signal Engineering and Telecommunications Secunderabad and RPF training college at Lucknow.

There are some managerial services, where only a graduate degree is required. For Technical Service, graduation in that particular discipline is required such as Indian Railway Service of Engineers (Civil Engineers) Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers, Indian Railway of Service of Mechanical Engineers, Indian Railway Services of Signal and Tele-communication Engineers, Indian Railway Service of Stores, Indian Railway Medical Service.

Intensive formal training

After their selection into various services through competitive examinations, the recruits are given intensive training – initial as well as in-service – to equip them with necessary knowledge of their specialized discipline in particular and of others in general. The probation period for all the services is of two years except Indian Railway Traffic Service, where it is three years and Railway Medical Service, where it is three months.

Foundation training is given to the recruits of all the services at National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. After that they are given professional training – theoretical as well as practical – for their respective disciplines in various institutions of Indian Railways. There are adequate arrangements for in-service training also.

Education and training system not up-to satisfaction

Although considerable attention has been paid so far by the government to the Education and Training of civil servants in government of India, yet it has been far from being satisfactory or not able to bring out the desired results.

Civil services still represent people’s collective hopes for a better and fairer future. Politicians usually remain ill-equipped to manage the nuances of everyday governance. A well-trained, disciplined dedicated, efficient civil service having sense of spirit- de- corps could rise to meet the challenges of twenty first century. It could still continue to provide a steel-frame to hold together an otherwise fissiparous idea of India. Article 311 of the constitution reflects the faith of constitution makers in human virtue over greed, faith in sense of public service over private gains and faith in moral and intellectual integrity over weak character. Somehow, that generation born and bred in an atmosphere of social sensibility has withered away.

Bureaucrats are already protected by the Constitution. The constitutional protections were provided to guarantee the moral and intellectual resilience of steel frame. The people of vision, hard work and meticulous scholarship are replaced mostly by scrupulous persons with low morals. The continuation of the privileges and powers led them to non-performance, incompetence, corruption and acts of outright criminality. It is the most profound betrayal of ideals of Indian Republic.

Most of the officials, at present, are high in intelligence but low in integrity. They treat powers granted to them with the base instincts of dishonesty and exercise their mind for private gains at public expense. They manage their authority to get high returns. Result is numerous scams and scandals. Many ambitious bureaucrats have collaborated with political bosses and business class. There are low demands on their accountability and efficiency. A few of them in order to play safe simply look the other way while some irregularity is being committed. There are a very very few courageous officers amongst bureaucrats, who dare to be different and do not succumb to temptations and listen the call of their soul and conscience. Such persons are the hopes of the nation.

In an era of globalization and liberalization, where the rationale of the services is being questioned by public -the voters and taxpayers, the faith of public in institutions of governance needs to be restored.

How to build a responsible and efficient civil service?

Building up of responsible and efficient civil servant does not start from the day, they join the civil services, but right from the day they start their education. The pre-entry education has a vital impact on the personality building, outlook and maturity of the prospective citizens, whether or not they join the civil services. The pre-entry education should be comprehensive in scope and sound in nature, so that it could provide firm foundation for the continuing education of higher civil servants.

Weaknesses of pre-entry education system

The general pre-entry education system, especially the higher education in India is increasingly becoming unrelated to national needs and aspirations, in-efficient, wasteful and non-functional. If the pre-education is not up-to the mark and training after their recruitment is correctional in nature, effectiveness and efficiency of work-force would receive a set-back. A much more massive effort for training would be called for.

Weakness of present day recruitment system

The present system of recruitment seems to be suffering from grave weaknesses, which is adversely affecting the efficiency of civil service itself. It is frustrating the effort of national reconstruction.

Present system of recruitment is degree-oriented instead of job-oriented. It is  academic in nature and favors the examination minded candidates. Assessment of different subjects offered for competitive examination poses difficulties in evaluation of comparative merits.

Post-entry Training System

Training system after recruitment into the civil services also suffers from grave weaknesses. The training system is too general in nature. Duration of initial training is insufficient. There is lack of time and interest among senior officers towards training of young officers. Government does not pay enough attention to the services of technical nature. Generalist supremacy in the services is hampering technological advancement. Selection of trainers is not always satisfactory. Usually unwanted/unsuccessful officers are posted to the training institutes. Contrary to it, usually armed forces send to its training institutes some of its best officers as trainers.

Suggestion

Question arises as to how to make the system effective. Seeing the inherent weaknesses in Indian education and training system + recruitment system, it is suggested that the recruitment to various Higher Civil Services should be made immediately after higher secondary education at a raw age, when the minds of candidates are in a formative stage.

Advantages

It could be done through an open competitive examination as is being done for Defense Services or some mechanical engineers of Indian Railways. It would facilitate the Government to arrange properly for their continuing education and intensive and comprehensive training at various administrative colleges and training institutions.

It would not only make it possible to have the intellectual knowledge and qualities required for performing their specific jobs, but would also inculcate in them emotional qualities and capacities required for doing their jobs such as social purposefulness, ability to understand the administrative and political implications of a problem and resourcefulness in solving them, capacity for team work and flair for leadership, which are basic requirements of any welfare administrators.

The idea of such an Education and Training is not new to India and has proved to be successful in Defense and Railways.

Other organizational changes

Some other organizational changes, through not directly related to training, could, to a great extent, help in increasing the effectiveness of the education and training of Higher Civil Servants.

  • Political masters should encourage civil servants to give frank advice.
  • The independent Indian needs smooth relationship between politicians and civil servants.
  • There should not be any undue political interference in the working of an administrator.
  • There should be working partnership between generalist and specialist.
  • The salary structure should be reasonable and just otherwise the situation would lead to inefficiency and corruption.
  • Therefore, there should be unified civil service with integrated pay structure, so that government could bring a sense of equity amongst various disciplines of civil service of their choice and would enable the candidates to go in for the service of their choice and aptitude and the government would be able to gain the full contribution of scientists, engineers, doctors, economists and officers of other disciplines.
  • There appears to be no scientific and sound rationale for keeping a substantial differential in the pay scales and career prospects of IAS and non-IAS, because in no way IAS personnel are superior to others either in intelligence, or in quality or recruitment, or in degree of responsibility or in nature of job or inequality of work-load.

Following steps could be taken to improve and to make the existing Education and Training System more meaningful and effective –

  • Foundation training should be made compulsory for all higher services – whether technical or non-technical;
  • The government and training institutions should be strict, so that trainees could take their training seriously;
  • Training should be service oriented;
  • Since 70% of the Indian population lives in villages, the officials should be familiarized soundly and intimately with the conditions, organisations, needs and aspirations of village people;
  • The higher civil servants should be trained to lead a simple life;
  • The super structure of skill, knowledge and efficiency should be raised on the foundation of discipline;
  • Senior officers should pay adequate attention and time to the training task;
  • The government should create a working atmosphere in the offices so that qualities like receptivity, originality, initiative, courage and sympathetic attitude towards masses, could be developed fully, while working;
  • The three partners in training – the organization, the training institute and the participant – should interact out of knowledge and understanding;
  • The training needs should be assessed properly by conducting job-evaluation and research and onward studies;
  • Instead of depending upon foreign material, adequate training material should be prepared and developed locally;
  • Right methods and techniques should be chosen for various training programs;
  • Selection of trainees for in-service training should be done with great care;
  • Enough motivation should be there for trainees, so that they can take their training seriously;
  • Top-level officers should give full cooperation to training activities;
  • Every training program should be evaluated properly;
  • There should be regular program review sessions;
  • The selection of the trainers should also be done with great care.

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Education and training of civil services | | 6 Comments

‘Modern system of Employments’ and ‘Need for training’

 “The need for training arises in order to stay abreast with the new developments and to grow and mould oneself in accordance with the emerging needs of the time.” 

 Issue

In modern times, unemployment-underemployment is one of the burning problems before all the nations. It is a big challenge for the governments to assess correctly the enormity of the problem and analyze rationally the reasons of unemployment.    

  • Recent economic depression, an outflow from agriculture and occupational shifts from artisan to unskilled employment in agriculture has further aggravated the problem. The number of marginal workers has been growing for the last few decades. The process of modernization has adversely affected employment prospects of unskilled workers, especially in rural areas.
  • New kinds of occupations are being continuously added to the traditional jobs of pre-industrial-society of earlier days. Many traditional occupations have become obsolete. With it, different kinds of problems are cropping up every day. The more the problems, better equipped the people should be to face the challenges and meet new demands of modern times.
  • Continuous increase retrenchment in the organised sector in the number of educated unemployed in the organised sector due to recent economic depression is a worrying feature. According to a survey, in India, the educated unemployment in India is increasing by 7.5 per annum. 9 million people were unemployed in Nov 2005 10.7% (2010). Most of the unemployed persons are employable mainly in organised sector, which had stagnated at 10% to 12% level for the last 40 years.
  • In addition to all this underemployment or unemployment of semi-educated youths has created innumerable social complications, in addition to the economic dimension of unemployment itself. Neither enforced employment nor compensated employment can be a substitute for employment.

It is a matter of concern for almost all the nations to look for everything that is possible to solve the problem of unemployment. How to provide ‘employment to all’ and put people back to work in the present scenario of economic distress? How the energies of its youth should be utilized for constructive purposes?

Employment before modernity

Before modernisation, masses were usually busy in their hereditary/traditional occupations. Skills were learnt more on job under the training and guidance of ‘elders’ already there on various jobs/occupations. For attaining more skills or furthering their future prospects masses did not depend on formal education, certificates/degrees/diplomas or on formal centres of education and training i.e. schools/colleges.

The manner, in which hereditary occupational knowledge and skills were transferred and developed, was through practice and experience; not through formal classroom lectures, which often kills originality and verve of people. The system led society to have more production, economic efficiency and specialization in different areas/activities like spinning, weaving, pottery making, bead making, seal making, terra-cotta, handicrafts, brick-laying, metal work etc.

Uneducated masses got the benefit of the knowledge of learned sages and Munies in ancient India. On the basis of their scholarly researches and experiences, the sages prescribed certain guidelines in the form of rituals to for the benefit of common men and keeping order in the society. In modern times, this job is done by the national governments by enacting laws and making people to follow them. 

Demands of modern times

Modern governments have taken up the responsibility of providing jobs for all without analyzing how to make it a reality. Without building efficiency, and expanding infrastructure to absorb surplus people into workforce, the efforts have ended up with half employment or quarter employed disgruntled men and women workers. It has not succeeded in concealing their inefficiency.

The government is more concerned about increasing the figures of literacy officially rather than preparing youth for employment by developing the required skills. It will not help a nation to provide gainful employment for all.

This is an age of specialization. Knowledge, skills and the need for specialization in present space age have been growing faster than human ability to handle it. As specialisation increases more, as knowledge advances and as new type of occupations emerges into the scene with industrialization, modernization and liberalization process, life becomes more ans more complex. Gone are the days to depend on Jacksonian theory that any man with common sense and some intelligence can perform any kind of work.

Neither education nor training alone can serve the purpose

In modern times, for sustainable development, neither education nor training alone can serve the purpose. There is a need for ‘education for all’. Education develops an understanding of social and economic problems and of society and public affairs generally. But only education does not prepare a person for any specific job. Such an ability comes through a combination of Training and Education. A focus on training alone does not cover the necessity of modifying behavior, attitudes and beliefs, which form part of education. Training confines itself to study of job – skills and knowledge related to a trainee’s immediate functions.

 ‘Education’ and ‘Training’, both are needed

For solving the problem of unemployment, it is necessary to impart new knowledge, new skills and to inculcate new attitudes in the youth of the nation through a well-planned and systematic arrangement of both ‘education’ and ‘training’. A well-planned education and training system would enable youth to get employed gainfully, to contribute to and guide the social changes and development into desired direction. It would help the nation to achieve its goals within time and cost parameters.

Meaning of education 

Education has unfortunately been misunderstood to be academic or theoretical studies leading to award of degrees. The scope of education is much broader. Education connotes the process of increasing knowledge, understanding and attitudes of the candidates.

In its wider sense, education embraces reading, observation and thought. It is a continuous process. It is identified with the complete up-bringing of the individual from the childhood. Within its jurisdiction, it embraces the formation of habits, manners and character and mental- physical aptitude.

Difference between education and training

Liberalization and Globalization has opened up many new opportunities in job-market for all. There are very few tasks, which could be performed well now without some measure of knowledge about subject-matter, training and specialization. Knowledge, nature, degree of specialization and professional norms for different kinds of jobs require can be geared up by planning proper education system and tailor-made training programs for each and every discipline in order to prepare youth for their future roles.

While education deals mostly with knowledge and understanding and enables people to get better adjusted to their working environment, training deals with understanding and skill. In modern times, one of the primary objectives of education is also to help youth to choose and decide their activity/career.

What is training?

 Training helps individuals to improve their performance in their particular area of work. It is primarily prepares an individual for certain lines of action, which are delineated by technology and by the organization in which he works. It is a process, by which the attitudes, skills and abilities of trainees to perform specific jobs are increased.

Training helps individuals to acquire and apply knowledge and skills, which they do not possess, but are needed by the organizations of which they are a part.

A Role of training

Training is one of the primary means of building up competence and effectiveness of people in general. People in developing or under developed nations face difficulties due to rapidly changing and turbulent environment. Training prepares to deal with the complexities of real life – the pressures, the limited resources, the choices and uncertainties, the conflicting motives etc.

For reducing heavy demand on capital and scarce resources, skills and its application need to be inculcated in youth by proper arrangement of training.

Initial/foundation training

Initial training becomes necessary, because new-entrants, while joining work force take some time and effort to understand and adjust oneself to the environment. The purpose of  training is to prepare employees to do their job well and to reach to their full potential. It fills in them confidence, will and strength to do their jobs well.

Continuing system of education and training

Not only initial education and training, but also there is a need for continuing education and training, even in industrially developed nations. Its need has been felt for reducing adolescence among work-force and organizations in the face of relentless technological innovations.

Importance of training

Training, not force, promises what is essential to modern technologies and economic systems – flexibility in action through understanding and confidence, inventiveness, initiative and ability to make decisions and also respect for the contributions of others and readiness for collaboration with others. One can depend on force for action, but such an action would be short-lived. It is only training, which can lead to sustained, self-generating action.

Whether it is a developed nation or an underdeveloped or developing nation, training has always been considered necessary for an action. Training has always been a large-scale activity in India.

Employability and training in ancient India

In ancient India, assignment of work was based on certain truths, facts of life and principles.

Principles behind the ancient system

It was believed that the whole world of activities was a result of complex intermixing of three basic qualities of human nature – goodness (Satwa), Passion (Rajas) and dullness (Tamas). `Goodness” was associated with purity, peace and knowledge; `Passion” with comfort and action; and `Tamas” with ignorance, sloth, sleep and carelessness.

These qualities determined the tendencies, potentialities, limitations, traits and character of individuals and give them direction for action. It makes individuals different from each other in attitude, aptitude, physical and mental capacity, aspirations, like and dislikes, inclination and expectations.

All the functions needed for the maintenance and growth of the society were divided into different occupations. On the basis of natural endowments, intelligence, aptitudes, attitudes, skills, personal needs and other innate characteristics, different functions were assigned to different social groups.

Salient features of the ancient system

Following were the salient features of employment and training in ancient India :-

Employment and honor for all

The unique system of ancient India provided employment, dignity and honor for all. Clear-cut definition of rights and duties for each group was based on its traditional occupation. It developed clear vision of one’s responsibilities. Separation of rights and duties combined with the principle of inter dependence provided its own system of checks and balances over arbitrary use of one’s authority. There was an automatic decentralization of authority.

Initially, according to “Smritis” it was not birth, but the qualities and deeds of an individual, that fitted him into a particular group. Later on, upbringing, atmosphere and convenience tended to make these groups hereditary. People found it more economical to practice one’s traditional occupation. The system saved them from confusion or unhealthy competition.

Even in modern world, when there is full freedom to an individual to choose a job of his liking, people usually prefer to join their family occupations. It has been seen that a Marwari, traditionally belonging to business community, invests his money in share market with more ease and confidence than a graduate from other communities possessing a degree in business management.

Natural training without investment

The system inheritance of different functions led the people to acquire basic qualifications and learn tricks of the trade within their families itself from their elders. It transmitted from one generation to another the knowledge, values, skills and expertise in a natural way. People, while growing up, learnt the secrets of their trade, hidden intricacies, solutions of their occupational problems, informally from their elders. It gave them confidence. Being in constant contact with the family occupation, it was natural for the people to learn maximum about their traditional occupations. It evolved an atmosphere, where a high level of Specialization and wisdom in different areas of activities could be achieved.

High level of excellence

The manner, in which these hereditary occupational skills were transferred, was through practice and experience; not through formal classroom lectures, which often kills originality and verve of people. It led society to have more production, economic efficiency and expertise in almost all the areas and activities.

The system served as a spawning bed for social and technical skills. By its very nature, it encouraged the development and preservation of local skills. There was a tendency to bring in the most diversified skills to high level of excellence. It was encouraged with religious and semi-religious sanctions.

Developed a common bond

The system developed a common bond underlying their activities and minds. There was closeness and cooperation within each and every group, engaged in common occupation due to common callings, common problems, and common solutions. It led to accomplish skill, specialization, success and happiness, decentralized authority and resources, made management within each unit effective and organized human and social behaviour in tune with the objectives of the society.

No confusion or unhealthy rivalries

It avoided rivalry or bitterness for pelf, power or position amongst different sections of society.

There was no unemployment, no confusion and no frustration on matter of work, because every body had his traditional occupation. Each and every group served the community having a feeling that it, too, was contributing something to the society. ‘Adharma” (immoral behavior), “Alasya” (laziness) and Agyan (ignorance) were held responsible for evils, exploitation, and miseries of the people.

Change in scenario

In the 19th century during British rule, modernisation and industrialization process has changed the scene.

Modernisation and industrialization

Industrial revolution has made many traditional jobs obsolete, less paying, more hazardous or time consuming. Outcome of such a development has been casualty of workers first, afterwards their work style, commitment, motivation and culture. Work culture has changed.

White collared jobs

White collared jobs gained importance and popularity. Menial work was considered derogatory More a person withdraws from physical labour, more honoured, civilized and qualified he/she is regarded by modern society. The trend of easy and quick money started.

Casualty of workers first, afterwards their work style

Many traditional occupations were discredited. Indian handicrafts and cottage industry were destructed. Efforts, sense of direction and manufacturing skills of millions of artisans, craftsmen and weavers were scattered. Outcome of such a development has been casualty of workers first, afterwards their work style, commitment, motivation and culture. They lost their creativity, sense of achievement and pride.

Majority of them could neither enter into modern sector, nor could stick to their traditional occupations. Very few of them could join modern occupations. In the near absence of industrial, commercial or social service activity, most of them had no option, but either to join band of agricultural labourers, industrial workers and marginal labour for their survival or increase number of unemployed or under employed.

System benefitted “Haves” only

Some young entrepreneurs, having education, money and awareness, did market survey and hijacked many discarded traditional occupations. They modernized such disdained and contemptuous jobs like mechanization of fishing or leather industry and made them profit oriented.

Even less capital-intensive occupations like that of barber or washermen have been overtaken by educated middle class. They re-christianed them as saloon, laundry etc and employed those poor traditional workers, who were earlier practicing such occupations independently.

Twenty first century India

Modern India has everything a nation needs for development. Total labour-force is about half a million. It is estimated that by 2020, India will have the largest and youngest labour force in the world. Its average age will be less than 30 years.

There is no dearth of talent, intelligence, quality or knowledge in any given area. There is ttremendous amount of skilled and unskilled manpower, all kinds of raw materials, a good legal system, a huge market and potential to export virtually everything, provided the cost of its inputs are kept at international levels. India is the 11th largest economy in the world and is 4th largest purchasing power parity.

It is the world’s youngest country and land of entrepreneurship with largest number of self employed. About 52% of Indians are self-employed, about 55% in rural communities and 41% in urban areas. Many of these (about 20%, according to the international labor organization) are at the bottom of pyramid. Bringing together India’s creativity in entrepreneurship and youthful dynamism would ultimately allow for sustained inclusive growth in the process of tiding over the slowdown.

Recent global financial and economic turmoil, India has shown that it has talent for creativity in the face of adversity. It has the capacity to emerge without much difficulty from the crisis.

Unemployment

Magnitude of unemployment in India is alarming. Majority of unskilled workers live in rural areas. Over the years, the number of unemployed has increased. In 1951, the total number of unemployed was 3.3 million, in 1990, it was 13.09 millions.

Rural India is home to 72.26% of country’s 238 million households and 10.1% of its workforce is unemployed compared to 7.3% in urban areas. In addition to unemployment their sufferings doubles because of low availability of social security benefits for Indian workforce.

It is reported that 70% educated youth is unemployable, as they could not fit well for job requirements. The skill deficit becomes more acute in professional courses where 90% are unemployable. It will not help the nation to move forward. As far as unemployment is concerned, nine million people were unemployed in Nov 2005; it was about 10.7% in 2010.

Policy-makers have to assess what are the reasons for such a large number of unemployed? How far, global economic downturn is responsible for increased unemployment rates? And how the situation can be improved?

Pressures on workforce

Since 1990, the workforce is facing tremendous pressures due to globalization and liberalization of world economy and consequent structural adjustment. The shift is more towards irregular, casual, temporary or contractual employment affecting adversely the quality and condition of employment.

There are challenges of talent crisis, rising multi-generational workforce, increase in the global worker mobility, organizational changes and cultural issues emerging from the fast pace of business changes of the past decade. Manufacturing and service sectors would provide more lasting results.

The present system of education and training has failed to produce skilled workforce for various jobs/disciplines and instill in them relevant knowledge, skills and sense of responsibility. What is required for their development is learning, acquiring required knowledge and skills through a well-planned system of education and training. It would enhance their wisdom, confidence, and will power, courage to face the challenges and move forward without crutches.

India’s vision 2020

India vision 2020 aims at education for all, increased employment etc, but its implementation itself is a big challenge for policy makers.  The nation only requires matching/coping with the changing demands of the modern times by upgrading skills of urban and rural workforce. As a nation, it needs to tap its abundance of talents and its wealth of entrepreneurial talent, which thrives outside the country in alien countries.

It seems that under present circumstances, creation of a sound system of education and training is urgently required for improving unemployment situation and prepare the youth to meet new challenges/to deal with the competitive and complex situations of the day. Proper training would improve performance of new entrants and contribute to organizational growth.

Seniors’ guidance, protection and unbiased feed-back about the strengths and weaknesses would make the youth familiar to their workplace. People would feel comfortable in their work environment.

Types of unemployment

Problem of unemployment is quite alarming in India. Mass unemployment or under employment is one of the major causes of deprivation and disparities. Any body, who is not gainfully employed in any productive activity, may be called unemployed.

Unemployment can be of two kinds: –

(1)  Voluntary unemployment – out of job of one’s own desire either because of higher wages or does not want to work at all.

(2)  Involuntary unemployment – when persons are able and willing to work, but can not find jobs.

Unemployment may be further divided into following groups:

Rural

(1) Disguised Unemployment – People apparently seem to be employed, though enough work is not available for all. It is perennial in nature.

(2) Seasonal Unemployment – A large number of people engaged in agriculture remain idle for about six months in a year.

Urban

(1) Open Unemployment – People willing to work have no work. It mainly includes uneducated and unskilled people migrating from rural areas to city and illiterate urban people.

(2) Underemployment– it is similar in nature to disguised unemployment. It results, when a person contributes to production less than what he is capable of.

(3) Educated Unemployment

Employment may increase due to –

–         Increased Unemployment due to economic crisis/depression, as has been seen recently or earlier in 1929.

–         Seasonal unemployment.

People have to be put back to work.

Occupation-wise distribution of work-force

In present scenario of economic distress, one should be able to make maximum utilization of available resources of men, money and material within minimum time limit. Occupation-wise distribution of work-force is as following –

– Agriculture 52%

– Service-sector 34%

– Industrial- sector 4%

Still agriculture is the dominant employer (57%) followed by construction (7.2%), manufacturing (6.7%) and community services (6.3%). The alarming number of unemployed indicates the urgency of labour force to be moved from agriculture and allied activities to manufacturing and service sectors.

Reasons for unemployment

The main reasons for such a large unemployment is:

Too much dependence on agriculture

RP Dutta, in his widely quoted book ‘India Today’, has pointed it out as early as in 1940, “The millions of ruined artisans and craftsman, spinners, weavers, potters, tanners, smelters, smiths alike, from the town and from the villages, had no alternative, save to crowd into agriculture. In this way, India was transformed from being a country of combined agriculture and manufacturers into an agricultural colony of British manufacturing capitalism.” The position is still more or less the same.

Loss of traditional occupation

In ancient India, there was no unemployment. Every body was busy with his traditional occupation. There were traditional social control mechanisms to check the people from getting confused in this matter. However, rising aspirations of people unmatched with skills and qualification and absence of traditional social control mechanism lead many to become unemployed.

Low wages

Low wages especially in unorganized sector distracts many people from taking up any job. Such people are in a constant search of a job.

Work-Culture

Most of the youngsters believe in the concept of ‘easy money’. Present trend to earn easy money makes many young men not to work at all. For smart people, it is better to beg, borrow or steal.

Ignorance and unawareness

Ignorance and unawareness about opportunities available cause many to remain unemployed.

Laziness

There are many lazy people, who prefer to be parasite and live on their near and dear ones or sustain themselves through help, which may come from any source.

Modern system of education in India

Literacy rate in India was 12.2% in 1947. Now according to 2001 census, it has increased up-to 64.8% (73.3% male and 53.7% females).

Gaining mere knowledge is not the purpose of learning. As Khalil Gibran has said, a little knowledge that acts is worth more than much knowledge that is inactive. Also, one whose knowledge is confined to books can not use his knowledge wealth when the need for them arises. Knowledge, the object of knowledge and application of the knowledge – all the three are equally important for motivating to take a wise action.

The stress on quantitative increase has subverted all the attempts to improve the quality of teaching and learning or preparing youth for employment by developing the required skills. It has led to continuous fall in the standard of higher education.

The quality of education is such, that it hardly makes majority of students either intellectually competent or motivated to do their work hard or do constructive work in a responsible manner.

Modern system of education-training and employment                              

Earlier, especially during mid twentieth century, there were very few options that ensured a secure and successful career for educated youth like government services, medicine, engineering or teaching. With changing times and widened horizons, many new careers emerged. Today there are ample of choices in matter of profession. A youth can choose an innovative and creative career. Careers in gemstone designing, mass media, fashion designing, legal profession or in management are becoming very popular. Specialization in each area has again created in each area many new opportunities. Only in present neck to neck competitive world, an individual requires to attain necessary qualifications.

For a long time, a simple graduate degree has been considered to be the master-key for getting a nice and respectable career, giving status, authority and final reprieve from manual work. Gone are the days for the Jacksonian principle of “Jack of all, but master of none”.

The government is more concerned about increasing the figures of literacy officially rather than preparing youth for employment by developing the required skills. Modern society considers a simple graduate-degree to be the master-key for getting a nice and respectable career, giving status, authority and final reprieve from manual work. This has led to some serious social and administrative complications.

The requirement of degrees for getting white collard jobs has resulted in over-crowding the institutions of learning. The stress on quantitative increase has subverted all the attempts to improve the quality of teaching and learning. It has led to continuous fall in the standard of higher education.

The need of a university degree as a Passport for starting nice and respectable career has made a mockery of higher education. Mass education at College and University level has become order of the day. It has also led to a decline in the academic standards and students’ discipline regional imbalances in the growth of educational institutions and politics in the temples of learning. Since Independence, there has been much criticism about the requirement of university degree as an education qualification for all kinds of jobs in organised sector.

It has failed to develop in students skills for employability, self-entrepreneurship and self-employment. There are very few individuals who understand the importance of knowledge, work hard, sincerity.

At present, the soul objective of education for modern youth is not so much learning and acquisition of knowledge, but to acquire more/higher degrees and get a white collared job in order to improve ones status. Such an attitude by-passes the need to educate all and costs negligence of primary and higher secondary education.

The youth of the day, only pay-package matters. They do not bother much about aptitude and attitude or about channelizing their further education and training accordingly.  

Pursuit of material success is super-most objective in the minds of young students. Too much importance is being given to academic background, career and good earning. There is virtually no stress on quality of life, humanity, compassion and self discipline. The system is making majority of youth selfish and intolerant to others. They are drifting almost rudderless without sense of direction.

Such a narrow mind-set has put tremendous pressure on higher education system. The demand is met at a great cost. A large number of new substandard and superfluous institutions are being created every day to meet the demand.

The examination and evaluation system tests only a narrow range of skills, especially those of memory and suffers from grave errors, so much and so, that people question the legitimacy of a modern education system itself.

Bookish-knowledge and award of degrees through formal education without effective training-systems does not help the people to move forward. It has failed to develop in youth skills for employability, self-entrepreneurship and self-employment. It is reported that 70% educated youth is unemployable, as they could not fit well for job requirements. The skill deficit becomes more acute in professional courses where 90% are unemployable.

The present scheme of education and training has failed to instill in masses relevant knowledge, skills and sense of responsibility. It has failed so far to produce such a workforce, which is either intellectually or skill-wise competent or motivated to do constructive work in a responsible manner.

Standard of general education has deteriorated considerably. It is incapable to produce much-needed dynamism in youth. Higher education appears to be irrelevant in equipping youth with required knowledge and skills for getting gainfully employed or for preparing new entrants into workforce to perform their jobs well. There is an urgent need to develop a good system of training.

Training

In modern times, there are very few tasks, which can be performed adequately without acquiring some measure of specialization through education, training or experience. The nature and the degree of specialization require to be geared according to the needs that have to be met.

In order to enhance creative thinking and meet future challenges of 21st century, the focus of the authorities should be on inculcating in youth knowledge and innovative skills for each and every discipline of the nation. Time and again it has been proved that progress and specialization go together.

It is not only quality of mind, which is required to do a job efficiently and effectively, but also needs the subject-matter contents in their minds. The qualities and knowledge needed for different kinds of jobs differ from each other to a great extent. Well-planned training programs enhance knowledge, nature, degree of specialization and professional norms for various jobs and gear candidates up for their future roles. Without proper training work suffers.

Foundation training

There is a need for a well-planned initial or foundation training for new-entrants at the time of joining work force, as it prepares them to understand and adjust them-selves to new environment. It encourages youth to make full efforts for improvement and prepares them-selves to meet new challenges/to deal with the competitive and complex situations of modern times. A sound system of education and training helps in organizational growth and better performance of new entrants.

Seniors’ guidance, protection and unbiased feed-back about their strengths and weaknesses during foundation training play a big role in making new-entrants familiar of their workplace and comfortable to one’s work environment. Highly interactive and participative initial training develops overall personality of trainees.

Suggestions

Catch them young and train them

Only when degrees lose their present life and death significance, then only a sound system of further education and training could be created. Students could plan rationally about their learning/higher education or training, career and future course of action. They could channelize/utilize their learning, training, efforts and energies to settle down in life smoothly and well in time.

The principle of Catch them young and train them well in different occupations should be followed. It would give enough time to new-entrants into the work-force to get acclimatized with new atmosphere and be equipped with intellectual, moral and physical qualities, essential to perform different kinds of jobs effectively and efficiently.

  • It would also ensure that degrees loose their significance vis-a-vis jobs. At the same time, it would avoid over-crowding in universities and colleges.
  • It would make the task of training easier as the minds of trainees are in the formative stage. It will deepen amongst trainees the awareness of professional norms.
  • It would give enough time to trainees to get a feel of their specific discipline. It is well known that Indian Engineers, especially from IITs and Indian Doctors, who get four or five years professional training are in great demand abroad.
  • Diversification at proper age would save their money, invaluable time and energies of youth, right now wasted purposelessly. It will avoid postponing their career decisions for long. Job seekers would get enough time and opportunity to find out various avenues open to them according to their attitude and aptitude.
  • It would facilitate training institutes to take a purposeful approach to articulate the essential intellectual, moral and physical qualities, attitude and knowledge in different areas. Training institutes can plan rationally about imbibing required knowledge and skills in new entrants into various professions through a sound job-oriented system of education and training.
  • Proper training would inculcate in youth intellectual knowledge, qualities, attitudes and skills according to the increasing and diversified needs of the modern job-market, such as social purposefulness, public service consciousness, ability to understand socio-political and economic implications of their work, resourcefulness in solving day to day practical problems, creativeness, dynamism, up to date knowledge in their particular discipline, capacity for team-work, good fellowship, ability to cooperate, alertness in grasping a situation and quickness in assimilating relevant facts and confidence. It would facilitate the job-marked to have right type of people for different kinds of profession. The demand for more job-oriented courses would also increase.
  • The candidates belonging to the vulnerable sections would be especially benefited. With a purpose to empower people of underprivileged sections of society with employment skills, recently in India the system of community colleges has emerged. It came into existence in 1996 with establishment of Madras Community College. Now there are 206 community colleges existing in 17 states. There are four types of community colleges – for the urban poor, the rural poor, people belonging to tribal areas and women.

Government is not yet so much interested in training people properly in their traditional occupations as it is in increasing literacy data. Most community colleges are the result of initiative taken by private organizations. Internationally community colleges offer an associate degree, which gives students lateral entry into a university. Main features of community colleges are – access, flexibility in curriculum equal opportunity and quality in training. India has adopted US model. But whereas in America emphasis is more on work skills, in India, it is on job as well as life skills that include language, computing, fluency in speaking and writing and the knowledge of English.

March 15, 2011 Posted by | Education and training of civil services | | 2 Comments

Education and Training

 

          A little knowledge that acts is worth more than much knowledge that is inactive. … Knowledge, the object of knowledge and application of the knowledge – all the three are equally important for motivating to take a wise action. Gibran

Knowledge, skills and specialisation in present space age have been growing faster than human ability to handle it. New kinds of occupations are being continuously added to the traditional jobs of pre-industrial-society of earlier days. Different kinds of problems are coming up every day. The more the problems, better equipped the people should be to face the challenges and meet new demands of modern times.

Therefore, for sustainable development of a nation, it is necessary to impart new knowledge and new skills and to inculcate new attitudes in the youth of the nation through a well-planned and systematic arrangement of education and training. A well-planned education and training system would enable youth to contribute to and guide the social changes and development into desired direction and help the nation to achieve the goals within time and cost parameters.

Meaning of education 

Education has unfortunately been misunderstood to be usually academic or theoretical studies leading towards award of degrees. The scope of education is much broader than of training. Education connotes the process of increasing knowledge, understanding and attitudes of the candidates.

In its wider sense, education embraces reading, observation and thought. It is a continuous process. It is identified with the complete up-bringing of the individual from the childhood. Within its jurisdiction, it embraces the formation of habits, manners and character and mental- physical aptitude.

Difference between education and training

While education deals mostly with knowledge and understanding and enables people to get better adjusted to their working environment, training deals with understanding and skill. In modern times, one of the primary objectives of education is also to help youth to choose and decide their activity/career.

What is training?

 Training helps individuals to improve their performance in their particular area of work. It is primarily prepares an individual for certain lines of action, which are delineated by technology and by the organisation in which he works. It is a process, by which the attitudes, skills and abilities of trainees to perform specific jobs are increased.

Training helps individuals to acquire and apply knowledge and skills, which they do not possess, but are needed by the organisations of which they are a part.

A Role of training

Training is one of the primary means of building up competence and effectiveness of people in general all over the world. People in developing or under developed nations face difficulties due to rapidly changing and turbulent environment. Training prepares to deal with the complexities of real life – the pressures, the limited resources, the choices and uncertainties, the conflicting motives etc.

For reducing heavy demand on capital and scarce resources, skills and its application need to be inculcated in youth by proper arrangement of training.

Initial/foundation training

Initial training becomes necessary, because new-entrants, while joining work force take some time and effort to understand and adjust oneself to the environment. The purpose of  training is to prepare employees to do their jobs well and to reach to their full potential. It fills in them confidence, will and strength to do their jobs well.

Continuing system of education and training

Not only initial education and training, but also there is a need for continuing education and training, even in industrially developed nations. Its need has been felt for reducing adolescence among work-force and organisations in the face of relentless technological innovations.

Importance of training

Training, not force, promises what is essential to modern technologies and economic systems – flexibility in action through understanding and confidence, inventiveness, initiative and ability to make decisions and also respect for the contributions of others and readiness for collaboration with others. One can depend on force for action, but such an action would be short-lived. It is only training, which can lead to sustained, self-generating action.

Whether it is a developed nation or an underdeveloped or developing nation, training has always been considered necessary for an action. Training has always been a large-scale activity in India.

 Training alone?

In modern times, for sustainable development, there is a need for programmes, which may not have a direct bearing on one’s’ job, but which are calculated to develop an understanding of social and economic problems and of society and public affairs generally. Such an understanding comes through a combination of Training and Education and not training alone. A focus on training alone does not cover the necessity of modifying behaviour, attitudes and beliefs, which form part of education. Training confines itself to study of job – skills and knowledge related to a trainee’s immediate functions.

Training has always been a large-scale activity in India.

 

March 14, 2011 Posted by | Education and training of civil services | | Leave a comment

Improvements required in education system for better future

 

The whole of Education system in India, from primary education to adult literacy programs to rural schools to vocational institutes and research universities needs complete overhaul on a priority basis. The present scheme of education and training has failed in introducing dynamic and responsible citizens for the nation. It has been a neglected area for a pretty long time. 

At present the quality of education is such, that it hardly makes majority of students either intellectually competent or motivated to do innovative and constructive work in responsible manner. It only encourages students to concentrate all their attention to get white collard jobs. That tendency has resulted in over crowding the institutions of education and training. The stress on quantitative increase has subverted all the attempts to improve the quality of teaching and learning. It has led to continuous fall in the standard of education.

The examination and evaluation system tests only a narrow range of skills, especially those of memory and suffers from grave errors, so much and so, that people question the legitimacy of a modern education system itself. Education at all levels put an undue strain upon the nerves of the Indian students and makes them crammers, imitators and unfit for original work and thought. It lays emphasis on giving students ready-made knowledge, systematically and neatly organised in the form of lessons, units and text book. It does not provide the basis for creative thinking. At all the stages of education, from preliminary through secondary right up-to the college stage makes mind a store-house of knowledge. It not only discourages original thinking, but also efforts for pursuit of excellence. It incites youth to chase blindly for success materialistically, which is mainly based on ruthless competition. 

Education is based mainly on physical and social sciences. It has eroded human values considerably. Power of science and technology, economic exploitation and political manipulation have given way to indefinite possibilities of doing harm and have debased human nature. In fact, man has not only lost faith in his fellow beings but also in himself, leading to violence all over.

Education in Western advanced countries especially in USA, makes people politically and economically independent, but people there mostly become emotionally broken/unhappy. There, people are concerned about the decay of family and community feelings. In India, traditional values and systems inculcates strong familial and social bonds in people, but there is a dire need to develop in students, political and economic independence and community values (like values of inclusion, attitudes and qualities needed for becoming responsible citizens and participate in democratic processes with confidence).

Education has unfortunately been misunderstood to be academic or theoretical studies leading towards award of degrees. True education is a relentless process of becoming. It is growth and consciousness. Its purpose is human excellence – improvement in the form of thought and action and full control over one’s objective self.

`Education’ is a continuous process and conscientious effort to increase knowledge and understanding as well as shaping attitudes of students enabling them to get adjusted nicely to their environment. The development of the mental and moral faculties, which has a material bearing on the formation of character is the task of education. In its wider sense, it embraces reading, observation and thought. It is identified with the complete up-bringing of the individual from the childhood. Within its jurisdiction, it embraces the formation of habits, manners and character, and mental and physical aptitude. Its primary concern is opening out the world to students, to know their aptitude, select their career, their way of living and understand rationally their own as well as their society’s interests.

A sound education system develops in students power of concentration and capacity of attention and observation. It ensures physical, intellectual as well as emotional and ethical integration of students. It gives them confidence and makes them aware of their real self and their place in cosmos.

It is high time, when the whole system of education needs to be designed carefully, because of India being a a democratic country with a great diversity and many inequities. Whole of the education system should should be formative more than informative. Following changes it requires to be made at various level –

Primary Education

Instead of being a weapon of uniting the people and an instrument of social integration, the way the present education system has evolved or developed, the temple of learning i.e. schools have become a source of dividing the society into two watertight compartments – “Haves” and “Have-nots”. Government or government aided schools cater the needs of poor. It is cheap, but does not maintain good standard. Private schools caters the needs of elite section of society. It is very costly and poor people can not afford. Private schools could be encouraged but in a transparent manner with effective regulatory system.

In 1964, Kothari commission of education condemned the separate, unequal school system in India, but so far little has been changed. He recommended an equitable – not uniform- education for schools be they government, government-aided, local body or private. In most advanced countries like US, Canada, Britainand several Europeon countries, there are fully funded government school system providing education of equal or near equal quality to all children. Common schooling system means –

  • a system of education of an equitable quality to all children irrespective of their caste, creed, community, language gender, class, social status and physical or mental ability.
  • Minimum infrastructural arrangements.
  • Qualified and trained teachers with an optimal teacher-student ratio.
  • A decentralized school management with adequate autonomy and representation of parents.
  • Common curriculam, with comparable syllabi applicable to all school but with adequate flexibility relating to text books, teaching-learning process etc.

Apart from this, the whole of the primary education require certain improvements, like –

  • To give more importance to character forming, for which modern families with both the parents earning, do not have time.

  • To implanting in the minds of young children those values and attitudes that will influence their entire perception of life.

  • to inculcate right values in them.

  • To prepare students to understand and adjust oneself to the environment,

  • To guide students to manage their daily lives, to organise their time schedule wisely.

  • To enable them not only to become responsible citizens, but also leaders of their society.

  • to care for other members of their society and their surroundings.

Secondary or vocational education and training – Along with reforms at school level, a change is required at Secondary level education also – be it general or professional. It is supposed to inculcates in students, attitudes to get better adjusted in their environment and skills needed to get employment and promote innovative attitudes and depth of perception. Education at this level requires –

  • to encourage in students desire to learn, develop abilities to stand on their own and contribute directly to the growth of national economy.

  • to impart knowledge and skills to get jobs.

  • to discover, explore and initiate new themes on their own.

  • to weave all lessons in language, history, geography, science and vocational skills, around topics in such a way that it makes students aware of the requirements, ways and means of the 21st century’s word.

  • To enable them to to look at concerns of their community and surroundings.

  • To encourage students interest in social and political issues, through well structured projects and to participate in welfare projects initiated by the government, municipal authorities and other agencies.

  • to discuss problems of their surroundings like improving sanitation system, availability of water in far off areas, needs of poor people, health problems and development of infra structure and to suggest solutions. 

Seeing the present inefficiency of some state boards in providing quality of education and keeping some standard, having different curriculum and emphasizing different aspects of education, it is advisable to have a unified central board for the whole country to maintain uniform standard of education throughout the country. It will give equal opportunities to all children irrespective of where they are from. Such an education system would inspire students to change their behaviour for better future. The very feeling that they can make a difference to the lives of their own communities, may boost up their leadership qualities and confidence level.

Higher education

 Recently Yashpal Panel on Higher educational said that it neither,”excites students” nor ‘equips graduates for the real world”. It points out bakruptcy in the intellectual banks. 

Recently Yashpal committee has slammed Ministry for permitting “chaotic expansion in higher education”, “its nervous and hurried step in starting new central universities” allowing undergraduate education to rot and swallowing autonomy through, “ intrusive bureaucracy and mindless regulations”.(TOI,P. 9, 9.3.09)

Higher education is supposed to enable student to reach their full potential to do their jobs well on one hand and on the other to be helpful for organisational growth and its better performance. It is supposed to enable students –

  • To develop a rational outlook and capacity to resolve their own as well as others issues and conflicts realistically and harmoniously,
  • To play a more effective role in different areas of knowledge, economy and development affoirs at national and global world.
  • To acquire more knowledge, create new knowledge and transmit it to others.
  • To discriminate between right and wrong rationally.
  • To resist evil and exploitation
  • To remain honest in their dealings with others.
  • To be confident, upright and bold in presenting their views.
  • To appreciate others point of views, qualities and vitues.
  • To inspire youth to own responsibilities, to meet challenges of real life anf to have courage to face consequences of their actions.
  • To understand and express permanent values of society, in which they live, along with the development of natural talent, knowledge and power. 

 Following univarsity Reforms have been suggested by various committees –

  • Universities should be self regulatory bodies.

  • Universities be made responsible for academic content.

  • Curricular reforms to be topmost priority of the commission for higher education.

  • Undergraduate programs to be restructured to allow mobility

  • No single discipline or specialised university to be created

  • IITs and Iims to be converted to full fledged Universities.Single accreditation window for all higher education institutes.

For overhauling its education system, first step is to get rid of ‘License Raj’ in education. Then only India would succeed in transforming its educational institutions into centres of excellence. Government urgently needs to stop over-regulating them.  Students may be able to grow to their fullest stature and contribute their utmost for the establishment of a peaceful, just, healthy and happy social order.

Only sound system of education and training  could transform millions of its ignorant and illiterate children and youth into fireflies, carrying the light of knowledge for themselves as well as for others and re-model India into a more sensitive, inclusive and better society.

 

July 5, 2010 Posted by | Education and training of civil services | | 4 Comments

Education in India – ‘Ancient’ and ‘Modern’

     “A little knowledge that acts is worth more than much knowledge that is inactive. … Knowledge, the object of knowledge and application of the knowledge – all the three are equally important for motivating to take a wise action.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Khalil Gibran

Issue

In India, illiteracy of a large number of people has turned the visions of ‘Education for All’ into empty dreams. Especially, population explosion has put a heavy pressure on its available infra-structure. India has the world’s largest population of illiterates. According to 2011 census, literacy-rate has gone only up to 74% from 65%. For males it has risen to 82% from 75%, for females to 65% from 54%. In absolute number, the figure of illiterates is alarming. No nation can afford to have a large number of its population to remain illiterate, ignorant and unskilled.

Education and the masses

In ancient India, education was confined within a very small section of Indian society. It was not so much that common people were debarred or denied access to education because of discrimination, as it was 

  •  Method to educate –  In the past, because of the method of education, education remained confined within a very small section of the society. In absence of any written material, priestly schools in India had devised a most remarkable and effective system of transferring knowledge to succeeding generations in form of hymns. They restricted it only to those, who possessed brilliant feats of memory and capability to keep its extreme sanctity.
  • Masses remained away from formal education, even when everything was put together in the epics – ‘Vedas’, ‘Smritis’, ‘Sutras’, and ‘Upnishads’, because of the medium being Sanskrit.
  • Masses were busy in their hereditary/traditional occupations. Skills were learnt more on job under the training and guidance of people already on the job/occupation. For attaining more skills or furthering their future prospects masses did not depend on formal education, certificates/degrees/diplomas or on formal centres of education and training i.e. schools/colleges.
  • The manner, in which hereditary occupational knowledge and skills were transferred, was through practice and experience; not through formal classroom lectures, which often kills originality and verve of people. The system led society to have more production, economic efficiency and specialization in various areas of activities like spinning, weaving, pottery making, bead making, seal making, terra-cotta, handicrafts, brick-laying, metal work etc.
  • But still, illiterate masses got the benefit of the knowledge of learned sages and munies. On the basis of their scholarly researches and experiences, the sages prescribed certain guidelines in the form of rituals to be followed by common men.

Part I

Education in Ancient India

Steps

Knowledge was passed on orally from one generation to another in ancient India. Education involved three basic processes, one, which included ‘Sravana’ (stage of acquiring knowledge of ‘Shrutis’ by listening). Two, ‘Manana’ (meaning pupils to think, analyse themselves about what they heard, assimilate the lessons taught by their teacher and make their own inferences,) and three ‘Nidhyasana (meaning comprehension of truth and and  apply/use it into real life).

Education and women

In ancient India women were given equal right to education and teaching. Women seers like ‘Gargi’,‘Gayetri’ or ‘Maitreyi’ were prominent participants in educational debates and proceedings of ‘Parishads’ (Assemblies). It was mostly the Brahmins followed by Kshatriyas that received education at the gurukuls, while boys from the lower castes learnt their family trade from their fathers.

Educational institutions of repute

Few of most important universities of ancient India were Taxila (being the first university of world established in Seventh century B.C.), Vikramshila University and Nalanda University (built in 4 A.D). Huan Tsang in his records mentioned the university of Taxila to be at par with Nalanda and Vikramshila Universities.These institutions were considered to be the best Universities of its times in the subcontinent and an honour to ancient Indian educational system.

Takshila University was famous for medical studies. Varanasi was famous for religious teachings. In the South, Kanchi was famous for its studies while the Vallabhi University was no less. There was a galaxy of eminent teachers like Panini- well known grammerian, Kautilya- the minister of Chandragupta Maurya and Charaka – a medical teacher of repute.

Nalanda university – Nalanda was supposed to be the highest learning centre not just for India, but also for the entire South Asia. Students from foreign countries like China, Japan, Korea used to come here for higher studies. It had eight colleges, one of it having four storied building and around 10,000 students and teachers on its roll cards. It was one of the earliest examples of residential cum learning complex.

No bar

Individuals from humblest origin were highly educated and were respected in Indian society as great achievers. Vashishtha, the principal of conservative school of Brahmanism, was the son of Uravshi, a prostitute. Vishwamitra, the quintessence of Vedic Brahmanism and maker of Gayatri Mantra, was a Kshatriya. Aitreya, after whom sacramental part of Rig-Veda is named as Aitreya Brahamana, was the son from a non-Aryan wife of a Brahman sage. Vyasa of Mahabharata fame was the son of a fish-woman. Balmiki, an untouchable according to present standards and the original author of Ramayana, is highly respected all over India.

An ocean of knowledge in a jar”

Ancient Indian philosophy and Vedic literature contained “an ocean of knowledge in a jar.” It was supposed to be a magnificent example of scientific division and orderly arrangement of rules, in a few words, in different branches of human knowledge, covering almost all the aspects of life, be it phonetics, arts, literature, medicine, polity, metrics, law, philosophy, astrology or astronomy. It spoke of everything- on staying healthy, social evils, improving concentration and tenets of behavior, which are relevant even today.

‘Rituals’

The substance of the knowlegde, learning and research work of Rishis-Munis (sages and saints) was put in the form of rituals for the benefit of common-men. Certain practices/guidelines were shaped in the form of rituals by intellectuals and prescribed for the benefit of commom men. These rituals and guidelines inspired people to lead a harmonious and healthy life.

Spot out gems

With a rational mind, raising it from ignorance, one can understand the greatness of Vedic literature. A knowledgeable person can spot gems from this ocean of knowledge; pick them up and leave like worthless pebbles the undesired, obsolete elements developed into the system with passage of time.

Revival of ancient knowledge

During second half of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentith century, Swami Vivekanand, Rama Krishna Mission and Theosophical Society of India tried to familiarize the Western World, too, to the charm and graciousness of the ancient gold mine of knowledge, which had inspired not only Indians, but foreigners as well. Intellectuals from various countries have translated it in their own languages and reinterpreted it for a rational mind.

As India progressed from ancient to medieval, its education system deteriorated. Various factors were responsible for the degradation of such an efficient and most ancient education system of the world.

Part II

Modern education before Independence

Modern education system

Modern education system was implanted by British rulers. Before the advent of British in India, education system was private one. In 1835, Lord Macauley introduced modern education in India. It was the introduction of Wood’s dispatch of 1854, known as Magna Carta of Indian education that laid the foundation of present system of education and changed the scenario. The main purpose of it was to prepare Indian Clerks for running local administration. Under it the means of school educations were vernacular languages, while the higher education was granted in English only. British government started giving funds to indigenous schools in need of help and slowly some of the schools became government aided.

Reasons for introducing modern education

Finding it too costly and perhaps practically impossible to import enough Englishmen to man the large and increasing number of subordinate or lower posts in administration, British rulers planned of educating Indians in such a way that they “should through western education get Anglicised in terms of both cultural and intellectual attainments”. Lord Macauley clearly said that, “we must at present do our best to form a class, who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.”

Welcoming modern education

The atmosphere was completely ready for Lord Macauley to lay the foundation of modern education in India by 1835. Missionaries and their supporters as well as National leaders, intellectuals and Reformers not only welcomed but exerted pressure on the company to encourage and promote western education in India. Missionaries believed that modern education would lead the people to adopt Christianity. Humanitarians, intellectuals and nationalist leaders considered modern education “the key to the treasures of scientific and democratic thought of the modern West” and the best remedy for social, political and economic ills of the country.

Outcome of modern education

In 1844 through an Declaration knowledge of English was made compulsory for Government employment. The traditional Indian system of education gradually withered away for the lack of official support. The government made English medium schools very popular. English as Official language alienated the masses from the educated Indians. Because of modern education and new employment opportunities, many traditional occupations became obsolete.In near absence of industrial, commercial or social service activity, people in India were forced to depend on modern education and Government jobs for their respectful earning. Modernisation of occupations and industrialisation processes increased role of formal education and training for furthering future prospects of people.

The universities at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras were started in 1837 and higher education spread rapidly thereafter. For scientific and technical education, only three Medical Colleges one each at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras was established by 1857. There was only one good engineering college at Roorkee.

National leaders, intellectuals and reformers

Modern education not only produced persons to fill the lower levels of administration, as desired by the rulers, but also produced national leaders, intellectuals and reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Dadabhai Naoroji, Ferozeshah Mehta, Gokhale, Gandhi, Jinnah, Ambedkar, Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Moti Lal Nehru, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose, Patel and many more. They took upon themselves the responsibility to build a modern, open, plural, culturally rich, prosperous and powerful India out of a fragmented, poverty stricken, superstitious, weak, indifferent, backward and inward looking society. In short , they believed that –

  • Western literature and philosophy would give Indians the understanding of liberal, scientific, democratic and humanitarian ideas thought of Western World.
  • It would make Indians aware of the real issues hampering the progress of Indian society.
  • Modern education would improve the life of common men and conquer ignorance, hunger, poverty and disease.
  • It would open the key to the treasures of Scientific and Democratic thought of Western World.
  • Principles of Democracy would spread rapidly across the nation and finish imperialism and tyranny.
  • It would remedy many social, political and economic ills of the nation.

Brahmins ahead of others

Initially, it was an impoverished group of Brahmin and caste Hindus in search of livelihood, who desire to live with dignity and honor opted for modern education. Gradual displacement from their source of income after decline in financial status of their patrons – Princes and Zamindars, appalling poverty of Brahmins compelled them to opt for modern education.

Reason being their poverty, not discrimination

Sir Alfred Croft, Director of Public Instruction in Bengal wrote to Rev. J. Johnston in 1881, “We know well that any considerable increase in the fees paid by college students would compel many to withdraw. It seems not to be fully understood… how poor the middle classes that flock to our colleges really are. Half the students live from hand to mouth…. And yet though, far behind in point of wealth, they correspond to, and are in fact the only representative of our professional classes at home, and the pressure on them for the means of subsistence is so great, that they must either be educated or go to wall.”

Their poverty gets confirmed by a study done to examine the annual income of the guarantors of 1271 Brahmin Students enrolled at Ferguson College, Pune from 1885 to 1895. According to it, 76% of the Chitpavan Brahmins guarantors belonged to the low or medium income groups. Similarly of the 277 Deshastha Brahmin guarantors, 70% came from low or medium groups.

They being natural learners and pursuers of knowledge utilized new type of employment opportunities created with introduction of modern education in 1835. They were quick and far ahead of other communities to grasp almost all the opportunities in these spheres. Their long tradition and undisputed role in the field of knowledge and learning, their intelligence, sincerity and hard work helped them even after independence to secure important places in the modern society.

Why masses deprived of modern education

Except for a few, masses could not avail the advantage of formal modern education. Relentless effort of missionaries and reformers could educate a very small number of people. Reasons being:

  • Modern education was very costly and, therefore, unaffordable by the masses.
  • Masses did not see any immediate use of education. It was more important for them to work and arrange two square meals day.
  • The emphasis was on English medium education system.

Served double purpose

Introduction of modern education had served adouble purpose for the British rulers – they got the credit for the amelioration of the Indian society. But at the same time, through it, they devised a unique method of distribution of power, kept balance of power and prolonged their rule in India by keeping the natives busy in their in-fights.

Impact of modern education

The second half of the nineteenth century saw the impact of modern education on the minds of Indians as under: –

  1. Christian missionaries brainwashed many people especially the poor by preaching and educating them and developed in their minds a complex about the primitiveness of Indian society, influenced them towards the alien culture and then converted them into Christianity. With the help of British rulers, Christian missionaries and religious minded Westerners like William Webberforce or Charles Grant, they succeeded in converting many persons into Christianity.
  2. National leaders, social reformers, educated people and intellectuals welcomed rationality and other good features of Modern English education. They also got alarmed at divisive policies of the rulers. It led them to lead the national movement. They understood the real issues hampering the progress of Indian society. These organizations had purely an economic and social thrust. They fought against social evils caused by ignorance, superstitions or irrationality like untouchability and inhuman treatment to women, Sati, Polygamy, child marriage, and many others prevalent at that time. Emphasis was laid on education and science. They criticized the mumbo-jumbo of rituals and superstitions created by some selfish people to entangle the ignorant and poor masses.
  3. Reformers got alarmed at the erosion of Indian Culture. Organizations (like Brahma Samaj founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1828) in Bengal, Prarthana Samaj in Maharashtra (1867), Arya Samaj (1875) founded by Swami Dayanand in Northern India, Rama Krishna Mission, Theosophical Society of India (1879), Dev Samaj in Lahore and Servants of India society) interpreted religion rationally and advised people to remain firmly rooted to the Indian Culture and not get swayed away by the glamor and materialism of alien culture.
  4. Back to Vedas’-Therefore,they organized people, held confrences, published articles and undertook internal reform efforts through Sanskritization. They gave a call for “Back to Vedas” and advised people to set free Hinduism from all degenerate features. It was not the Hindu principles, but the practices, which went wrong. Vivekanand said,’It is we, who are responsible for our degeneration.’

Swami Vivekanand, who founded the Rama Krishna Mission, “Each nation like each individual has a theme in this life, which is its center, the principle note, around which every other note comes to form the harmony. If any nation attempts to throw off its national vitality, the direction, which has become its own through the transmission of centuries, nation dies.”

Divisible policies of the rulers

Many national leaders and intellectuals got alarmed at the divisible policies of the rulers. They realized the impact of British racial discrimination in the areas of education and jobs and their repressive policies elsewhere. They realized the impact of British racial discrimination. Economic loot, political subjugation, assertion of lordly superiority over the subject on the ground of race, assumption of a haughty exclusiveness, persistent insulting and supercilious behavior towards all Indians, exclusion of Indians from all places of authority and responsibility and denial of their capacity for self-governance united Indians against British rule. The destructive character of repressive policies of British rulers lit the fire and gave birth to national movement.

Part III

After Independence,

After independence, even relentless effort of reformers, government and NGO’S only a small could educate a very small number of people especially from amongst backwards. Masses could not avail the benefit of modern/formal education. It is not so much because of resistance from caste Hindus, as for other reasons.

Reasons for not succeeding in ‘educating all’

It is falsely accused and propagated by some intellectuals, leaders, reformers and supporters of Reservation/Affirmative Action Policy that privileged upper castes have taken advantage of modern education to establish or reinforce its traditional dominance. They prevented lower castes from getting educated or promoting their status in modern society. However, as modern history points out, on the contrary, it was mainly impoverished group amongst Brahmin and caste Hindus opting for modern education, who were in search of livelihood,.

Impoverished group

Impoverished group of caste Hindus looked upon modern education as means to earn their living respectfully. Therefore, when modern education was introduced, they, opted for costly Western Education and devoted their scarce resources on it.

Costly nature –General masses have not still availed the benefit of modern education. Reasons for illiteracy of a large number of people are many. Quality education is still very costly for common men and, therefore, unaffordable for masses. Costly nature has tended to make it a monopoly of the richer classes and city dwellers.

Population explosion – Population explosion has put a heavy pressure on available. There has been insufficient infrastructure. There is lack of quality education and training systems in government or government aided institutions. Masses do not see any immediate use of education. It still is more important for the poor people to work and arrange two square meals a day.

Importance of English language in modern world

With the changed scenario due to globalization, liberalisation and revolution in Information Technology, English has been accepted internationally as a means of communication. Therefore, learning English language has become necessary to get a space in international world. Education through foreign medium is a difficult task. Earlier English medium had already put undue strain upon the nerves of the Indian students.

Alienation of masses

The language of majority of people is Hindi. However, stress on English medium education and English language is more than it was before independence. After Hindi, English language is being spoken especially by educated Indians, mostly belonging to upper echelons of the society. Increasing importance of English has alienated further the masses from educated ones.

Short-comings of present education system

There are some deficiencies in the present Education system, some of which have been inherited from the British. There are many internal as well as external many pressures on the system, because of which quality of education suffers.

External pressures – Externally, recent social changes and larger political turmoil have affected adversely the whole atmosphere. Some changes took place in the recent past in the character, role and inter-relationship of the six main constituent of the national elites – the political executive, the legislators, the businessmen, the organised workers, the surplus farmers and the bureaucrats. Narrow loyalties, sectional interests and sub-cultures like – favouritism, nepotism and corruption have fast become an accepted way of life.

Result is that communal, regional and caste conflicts and unhealthy competition between different sections for power and pelf are increasing every day. Powerful lobbies desire to have exclusive hold on scarce resources of the nation. Few persons and groups, who have the power in their hands and who control almost every walk of national life are working to deny justice to common men. The reflection of all these social evils is found in the educational system as well.

Internal pressures – Based on colonised British Grammar School type education has made Indian students crammer, imitators and unfit them for original work and thought. It has not taught them to have pride in their surroundings. The more they get, the farther they are removed from their surroundings and at the end of their education, they become estranged from their surroundings. They are loosing their natural character, because they are getting away from their traditional aspirations and values in preference to the western materialism. Alienation of modern generations from their roots and culture alarmed Gandhiji and he said, “My real education began after I had forgotten all that I had learned at School”.

Erosion of Indian culture – Modern education has disassociating Indian people from their traditional way of learning, classical roots and knowledge. With it have faded Indian values, philosophies and traditions, which had taught Indians the spirit of tolerance and firm belief in the principle, ‘Live and let live’ has always been the part of Indian ethos. Indians believe in ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – the whole world is one family.

 C. Rajgopalachari had said, “If there is honesty in India today, any hospitality, any charity— any aversion to evil, any love to be good, it is due to whatever remains of the old faith and the old culture”. Tolerance, truth, Ahimsa, peace and non-aggression are the hallmark of Indian culture.  

What should be the limit of tolerance – The people in India endure injustice and unfairness until they are pushed right upto the wall. Many times in the past, Indians had accepted oppression and exploitation without much protest, while such situations would have led to bloody revolutions elsewhere in the world. Even today, the people are tolerating the corruption, scams, scandals and criminal activities developed in political sphere, as well as inefficiency seeped deeply in administration without much protest. People needs to be taught not to tolerate injustice and raise their voice against it peacefully.

Influence of West

Present education system has given rise to a group of Indian intelligentsia which is influenced in a big way by social, political, economic norms of western world and their way of living. It vehemently denounce culture, character and social value system of India. It regards the culture of the land as indefensible, responsible for creating many discriminatory social values. The number of such people is increasing. The more its number of such persons grows, especially amongst Indian intelligentsia, the more intolerant, people would become.

Influence on modern youth

A drastic change is visible in the values, behavior and etiquette of a new educated neo- rich youth of elitist class, which has emerged especially in Metros. Their life style and value system are being gradually replaced by the Western ones. They want to enjoy pleasures of modern life at any cost without any restriction. They are more conscious of their rights and want to enjoy life fully in any possible way without any bondage. They do not like any restriction/comment on their behavior or way of life. Loosening grip of social bondage and observances have made many of them selfish, self-willed and arrogant. Some of them have become so intolerant and aggressive, that they out-rightly discard all social norms and etiquette.

Their thinking and value systems are quite different from the older ones. Most of them generally regard Indian value system as rubbish and its epics as irrelevant. They set their own rules. Their yardstick of smartness is interest in stock exchanges, glamor, pubs, parties, discos or late night culture, which gives rise to many kinds of social problems. With growing cult of materialism and consumerism, finer values of life are disappearing fast. Lust for material gains, comforts, craze for luxurious and glamorous life style has made them so insensitive that they hardly feel anything about the hardships and agonies of the ‘have-nots’. Friendship/relationship prospers only if these cost-effective. Otherwise people do not hesitate in showing their helplessness due to lack of time or energy. The persons, who readily help people in need are considered fools in modern society.

Objective of education?

Gaining mere knowledge is not the purpose of learning. As Khalil Gibran has said, a little knowledge that acts is worth more than much knowledge that is inactive. Also, one whose knowledge is confined to books can not use his knowledge wealth when the need for them arises. Knowledge, the object of knowledge and application of the knowledge – all the three are equally important for motivating to take a wise action.

Pursuit of material success is super-most objective in the minds of young students. It is making them more and more selfish and intolerant to others. They are drifting almost rudderless without sense of direction. Academic background, career and good earning is important in life for happiness and satisfaction, but more important is living a quality of life, humanity, compassion and self discipline for enjoying life fully.

Once more, India has to be made a hub of knowledge creation. It will be a big blunder, if it fails to do it now. India’s massive human resource needs to be cultivated through sound system of education and training to get out of the rut of mediocrity. The system of education and learning should be such that it could the faculties of human beings ‘in proper manner towards proper objectives, channelize the desires and energies of Indian people towards proper objectives and right activities. Discipline and productivity are necessary for education.

Winding Up

Amalgamate Indian Culture with western Mechanism

Eastern part of the world surpasses the West by no small measure on issues of culture-starting from Egypt and moving eastward through Mesopotamia, Indian sub-continent, China and south east Asia. Indian culture has kept, thousands of years old XYZ alive, despite hit after hit on our successive generations from outsiders.

When it comes to advancement in knowledge and science it is the west that has led the world. Looking at the mechanism of expansionism and spreading out, the west has always had the upper hand. Otherwise how could a nation of a handful travel the world over and thrust its imperialism on it. A segment of this group, by sheer hard work and patience, threw the imperial mechanism overboard and built up a nation, living in which is a dream of every young person. In short, the above discussion throws up following important issues –

  1. Importance of knowledge in education can not be denied. Purpose of education has unfortunately been misunderstood to mean acquiring as much academic knowledge as possible, leading towards award of degrees. But equally important is inculcating skills in all the vocations according to aptitude of different individuals through practical training for overall development of nation. Training in different vocations should be given when minds of individuals are still in formative stage. Training becomes necessary for applyng knowledge in real life.
  2. There is no doubt that modern education has given to India the key to the treasures of scientific and modern democratic thought. It is the west that has led the world in advancement in technology and science. It opened up the doors for liberal and rational thinking. It widened the mental horizons of Indian intelligentsia during nineteenth century. However, somewhere it got derailed and now the system of education at all the stages, from preliminary through secondary right up-to the college stage makes mind just a store-house of knowledge and discourages creative thinking.
  3. India surpasses the west by no small measure on issues of culture. It is one of the oldest living culture in the whole world, despite hit after hit on it in the past during alien rule.
  4. For building an ideal structure for education, an amalgamation of eastern culture and western methods, liberal thinking and advancement in science and technology of the West would be the best for future generations. would be the best.
  5. The world is now a global village. Thanks to revolution in areas of information, communications technology and travel apparatus. It will be good if the forces of both – culture and systems – could be combined and a charter of an ideal education blueprint could be evolved for future generations.. Why not we combine the forces of both these, Culture and Mechanics, and evolve a charter of an ideal education blueprint for our future generations. Technology advances have brought us to a stage where every concept is an option! Why not cash upon it.

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Education and training of civil services, General | | 738 Comments

Role of education in 21st century

Long, long ago, Newton had said that he was ‘like a child, who is picking pebbles at sea-shore while the great ocean of knowledge lies before me’. Since then, knowledge has grown enormously at a much faster speed than human ability to cope with it.

Technological advancements of twentieth century, especially during post 1970’s due to revolution in the field of information technology, have changed the whole scenario. Entering into world of knowledge is like going into a dense forest. Only way out is to develop clarity of thought/mind, as to what one wants to know and make sincere efforts to pursue relevant knowledge in that specific area

Also it is equally important to upgrade knowledge continuously. As Alvin Toffler, renowned writer has said, “The illiterate of twenty-first century will not be those who can not read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”

Purpose of education

Unfortunately, meaning and purpose of literacy and education is misunderstood. Literacy does not merely mean the knowledge of three ‘R’s, nor does it mean only academic or theoretical studies/knowledge leading to award of degrees. Increasing knowledge-base through available information is also not the purpose of learning. Bookish-knowledge and award of degrees through formal education without effective training-systems neither serve any purpose nor lead the people to get employed gainfully.

As Khalil Gibran has said – knowledge, the object of knowledge and application of the knowledge – all the three are equally important for motivating to take a wise action. A little knowledge that acts is worth more than much knowledge that is inactive. One, whose knowledge is confined to books, can not use his wealth of knowledge, whenever required.

The scope of education – The scope of education is much broader. It is a continuous process. It means complete up-bringing of the individual starting from the childhood till end. In its wider sense, literacy and education embraces within itself reading, observation, thought and its application in real life situations. Within its jurisdiction, also comes formation of habits, manners, character, attitude and aptitude along with imparting knowledge. Learning at each and every stage of life increases knowledge-base, understanding and attitudes of a person.

A well-planned and sound system of education inspires human beings to control their senses, mind and intellect, so that they could be adjusted better in real life’s environment. It guides people to achieve their goals within time and cost parameters and to channelize their efforts towards desired direction. In short, a sound education system imparts knowledge, shapes attitudes, cultivates skills and builds work habits of the people.

Distinction between action, forbidden action, and in-action – Knowledge has been considered essential for the purpose of giving activities, their due meaning and value. According to Hindu philosophy even a wise man may get puzzled without knowledge about do’s and don’ts. It is only after the acquisition of knowledge, that a person understands the real nature of work and could distinguish correctly between action, forbidden action and in-action.

India and its Education system

High regard for knowledge- India has always given importance to and showed a high regards for knowledge, wisdom, virtues, characters and will power. According to Indian philosophy, ‘Wealth of knowledge is supreme among all forms of wealth’. (Vidya dhanam sarvadhana pradhanam). Therefore, knowledge is the greatest thing to be sought after. A human being is human because he has the organic capacity to think and seek knowledge.

More importance to knowledge than wealth – Unlike India, in Western countries, more importance is being given to creation of wealth. Wealth is the ultimate aim of the people, yardstick of success and a status symbol. Traditional India was not so materialistic. Its systems had separated pursuit and achievement in knowledge from temptations of worldly comforts, wealth or power-politics. According to Indian philosophy, when a person runs blindly after money and forgets about the real purpose of knowledge, both wealth and knowledge vanishes from their lives. The only judicious way to generate wealth and gain power goes via the path of true knowledge.

Knowledge as the base of ranking – Earlier the greatness of a person, institution or a nation was judged on the basis of the degree of righteousness and justice. Greatness of a nation was judged with which its administration governed lives of the common men or their character. It was not on the basis of the size of a state, its military power or its treasury/bank-balance. Similarly, in the society, a person or a caste was ranked on the basis of knowledge, discipline and moral standards, and not on the basis of material success, muscle or money power or of having controlling power over the destiny of common man.

Respect for knowledgeable persons – In ancient India, apart from Brahmins, others were also paid respect by the society for their learning, character, spirituality and ability to guide general masses. The system was quite liberal in this matter. It gracefully accepted the right and opportunity to get to the top from the humblest origin and earn the respect of the whole society. For example, Vashishtha, the principal of the conservative school of Brahmanism, was the son of Uravshi, a prostitute. Vishwamitra, the maker of the very Gayatri Mantra, the quintessence of the Vedic Brahmanism, was a Kshatriya. Aitreya, after whom the sacramental part of Rig-Veda is named as Aitreya Brahamana, was the son from a non-Aryan wife of a Brahman sage. Vyasa of Mahabharata fame was the son of a fish-woman (belonging to Mahr community – Dalit according to present standards and to which Dr Ambedkar, the messiah of Dalits belonged).  Balmiki, an untouchable according to present standards, the original author of Ramayana, is highly respected all over India. None of them were not ashamed of their origin. They still hold a very high position in general public minds.

Close connection between Knowledge and hard work -For acquiring knowledge, training mind in a scientific manner and concentrating energies of mind, one has to struggle, work hard, make sincere efforts and face many challenges in life. Now-a-days, courage to struggle or work hard is missing except in a few students, who still keep the fire of seeking knowledge burning all the time. Without hard-work, search for knowledge remains incomplete and superficial.

In ancient India sages (Rishi-Munies) had worked day and night to acquire true knowledge. The love for knowledge inspired many students to walk from different parts of the country to centers of learning at that time like Taxila or Nalanda. A powerful Emperor, like Ashoka the great, thought it his duty, to bow before the monks as a mark of my deep respect for their learning, wisdom and sacrifice. What matters in life, are not a person’s status or position, but his virtues and wisdom. Only when you have raised yourself up from ignorance, can you recognize the greatness of a few in a sea of humanity.

For creating modern civilization, sincere knowledge seekers in Western world also did not care for inconveniences or challenges. They had sacrificed their time (for about two centuries), energies and comforts in search of knowledge. Then only they could develop great modern scientific knowledge, technique and wealth.

Education in modern India

Sixty four years after independence and self-rule, literacy-rate has gone up to 74% from 65%. For males it has risen to 82% from 75%, for females to 65% from 54%.  In absolute number, the figure is alarming. No nation can afford to have a large number of its population to remain illiterate, ignorant and unskilled.

Constraints

That all is not well in education system in India – has been noted by distinguished academicians, policy-makers, political leaders, other eminent persons, commissions and committees. Now and then, they have pointed out its failures in one area or another. It has always been felt that Modern education has become increasingly unrelated to national needs and aspirations, insufficient, wasteful and dysfunctional.

In addition to what constraints that have already been existing in the education system, many more external and internal problems, paradoxes and constraints have cropped up.  Some defects in modern education based on colonised British Grammer School type education, were pointed out by  Gandhiji like –

  • It is based upon foreign culture to the almost entire exclusion of the indigenous culture.
  • It ignores the culture of heart and hand and confines itself simply to head
  • Real education is impossible through foreign medium.

External Constraints – Externally, socio-economic and political pressures have violated its identity and autonomy. Some changes have taken place in the recent past in the character, role and inter-relationship of these main constituent of the national elites – the political executive, the legislators, the businessmen, the media persons, the organized workers, the surplus farmers and the bureaucrats. It brought into the forefront some undesirable social changes and political turmoil. It has affected adversely the whole atmosphere in the field of education as well.

Population explosion has put a heavy pressure on present education system and its available infrastructure. Narrow loyalties, sectional interests and sub-cultures like – favoritism, nepotism and corruption have fast become an accepted way of life. Result is that communal, regional and caste conflicts and unhealthy competition between different powerful lobbies are increasing every day to have their exclusive hold on scarce resources available in the field of education or for power and pelf.

Few persons and groups, who have the power in their hands, control almost every walk of national life and are working to deny justice to common men. The reflection of all these social evils is found in the educational system as well.

Internal Constraints – Internally the system has been fractured along the lines of discipline deteriorating standard of education in general and student sub-culture. Slowly but steadily, the education system lost its capacity to equip the younger generation with relevant knowledge and skills for enabling them to get gainfully employed and to perform their jobs with a sense of responsibility. It has failed to produce much-needed dynamism in youth as well. Now people have started questioning the legitimacy of a modern education system itself.

 Disintegrate society – Instead of being an instrument of social integration, education system divides people into two groups – ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. There is government or government aided schools that give education to poor masses. It is economical, but do not maintain good standard. On the other hand there are private schools, which caters mainly the needs of ‘Haves’, because it is very costly.

Deteriorating standards – After independence, India is facing a rapid deterioration in standards of education. In the past, though education was thinly spread, it had maintained some standard. Now in an attempt to do quantitative expansion of education, quality of education suffered a lot. The examination and evaluation system tests only a narrow range of skills, especially those of memory. Standard of general education has deteriorated considerably and suffers from grave errors.  In addition to it, there is lot of interference and control of the government at every stage of the educational process.

Unfit for original work – Education system in advanced countries makes student a lively, inquisitive and original thinking person. There, it has been able to develop certain special qualities like regards for laws of the nation, awareness, contempt for hypocrisy, sympathy for underdog and courage to resist cruelty or misuse of power and authority. An educated youth in India generally fails to display genuine social conscience.

Store-house of information – Importance of information in knowledge, which provides the basis of all the thinking, cannot be denied. However, present education system at all stages of education, from preliminary through secondary right up-to the college stage makes mind a store-house of information/knowledge and discourages original thinking. It lays emphasis on giving students ready-made knowledge, systematically and neatly organized in the form of lessons, units and text book.

English medium – English medium puts extra strain upon the nerves of students and makes them crammers, imitators and unfit for original work and thought. Masses remains deprived. System is producing mostly the youth, who are unable to express clearly in any language, including their own and lack woefully the competence and confidence to assume responsibilities.

Early childhood Teaching –  Early childhood learning plays a vital in improving the quality and quantity of learning. Latest brain researches tell that first 2000 days are the most important in a child’s life, when children develop learning strategies, learn how to think and problem-solve. Children are born with billions of brain cells. Unless these are interacted with properly, they actually die off. Such programs needs to be developed that encourage the synaptic connections between those cells.

Early childhood Teaching, instruction and methodology is necessary for developing lifelong qualities in children. It is necessary to understand the importance to encourage Children to think, ask questions and develop problem-solving ability in them. There  should be more interaction between adults and the children.

Higher secondary, the weakest link in Indian education system – Higher secondaryeducation is considered to be insufficient and a weakest link in Indian education system. It needs sincere efforts to improve the Academic standards, curricula and methods of teaching at higher secondary level. In western countries the standard of higher secondary education is sufficiently high to ensure recruits of higher intellectual attainment to join various jobs at this stage.

Degree-oriented: The whole system of education and employment is degree oriented. Degree is the master-key to a nice and respectable career giving status, authority and final reprieve from manual work. Such a narrow mind-set has put tremendous pressure on higher education system.  A large number of new substandard and superfluous institutions are being created every day to meet the demand.  Government also encourages mass entry into universities and colleges. Rush in institutions are of such students as well, who want degree as a passport and are not interested in studies. Such students seize every opportunity to spoil the academic atmosphere and breed indiscipline.

Indiscipline- There is a growing unrest in the student community. Youth of the day want to be absolutely free from all compulsions. For them, discipline and observance of rules are supposed to be unnecessary and irrational. They have no respect for rules/discipline/morality or for elders, teachers or authority. Their interests lie in all that is sensuous, in material gains and in enjoying pleasures in life. Indiscipline in student’s world leads to chaos and violence. It makes people slaves of their weaknesses.

Employability – One of the major aims of education is to make youth employable. At present it is difficult to find out and recruit well qualified persons for various jobs in government, public or private sectors. At pre-employment stage, education needs to be comprehensive in scope and sound in nature for making youth acceptable in job-market. It needs to be supplemented by rigorous foundation training telling the fundamentals of their specific jobs and inculcating in them relevant knowledge and skills, otherwise effectiveness, efficiency and quality of work gets a setback. At present, all the basics about their jobs are told to employees after their join work-force, which requires a much more massive effort in order to make employees do their jobs well.

Unrealistic Manpower Assessment – Assessment of manpower requirement for economic growth is not done rationally according to national needs. After Independence, the need for technical people was felt and in recent past for management experts. The Government created large number of professional institutions in these areas without assessing the needs of the nation. It resulted in educated unemployment. A large number of scientists, doctors, engineer’s technicians and management graduates have to go abroad in search of suitable jobs.

Therefore, for streamlining the performance of people at work after employment, most essential and fundamental requirement is that the character and scope of pre-employment educational system should be redesigned in such a way, that it could continuously provide men and women of vitality, vigor, initiative and imagination with intellectual accomplishments, qualifications and soundness of character needed in different disciplines and at different levels at job market.

Where the fault lies? – For all these lacunas, students blame teachers, teachers blame students. Both together try to blame educationists. They, in turn, attack social system. The present system of education can not be changed or improved overnight. It needs concentrated efforts of all – students, teachers and the society. Then only a larger base of skilled and trained manpower could be created.

Conclusion

Rational thinking needs to be done about the real problems and the role of education in modern life after understanding its basics, fundamentals and aims correctly.

The requirement of a university degree as a Passport for starting nice and respectable career (white collard jobs) has made a mockery of higher education. Such an attitude has by-passed the need to “educate all”, resulted in negligence of primary and higher secondary education and in over-crowding the institutions of learning. The stress on quantitative increase has subverted all the attempts to improve the quality of teaching and learning. It has led to continuous fall in the academic standards and students’ discipline, regional imbalances in the growth of educational institutions and politics in the temples of learning.

In the present times of neck to neck competition, one should continuously upgrade knowledge. It is the best way to create a larger base of skilled and trained manpower. Education should instill in students problem-solving attitude and develop the courage to meet the challenges of real life bravely. Instead of offering excuses or blaming others for one’s failures and dissatisfaction, it should inculcate in students the spirit to face the difficult situations in life and make efforts to change their destiny themselves. Education must teach people always try to have control over ones life’s situations and to stand up on his own feet rather than depending on others for moving forward. Success in life depends on developing capacity and courage to take right decisions at right time.

Only sound system of education and training can provide a lasting solution for various problems, people are facing today. It can lead the youth towards rational, positive and creative thinking. It would make youth capable to make right decision at right time, plan rationally about their career that would suit to their attitude and aptitude and to shoulder their responsibilities properly. It would enable them to act judiciously and promptly, give them courage to avoid out-dated traditions and dogmatic ways of doing things, courage to face realities and challenges.

April 9, 2010 Posted by | Education and training of civil services | | 26 Comments

Impact of Modern Education on Indian society before Independence

Impact of Modern Education on Indian society before Independence

Introduction – Foundation of modern education in India

In 1835, Lord Macauley laid successfully the foundation of modern education in India. The sole purpose was to educate Indians in such a way that they “should through western education get Anglicised in terms of both cultural and intellectual attainments”.

Issue

Served Double purpose – Introduction of modern education had served a double purpose for the British rulers- they got the credit for the amelioration of the Indian society. Also at the same time, through it, they devised a unique method of distribution of power, kept balance of power and prolonged their rule in India by keeping the natives busy in their in-fights.

After the introduction of new modern education system, the traditional Indian system of education gradually withered away for the lack of official- support. And with it, Indian people got dis-associated from traditional way of learning. 

Purpose of introducing Modern education

Lord Macauley clearly said that, “we must at present do our best to form a class, who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.” 

Why?

The reason of introducing the modern education was that it was too costly and practically impossible to import a large number of Englishmen to fill up the large and increasing number of subordinate or lower posts in administration.

Emphasis on English medium

The emphasis of British rulers was on English medium education system. In 1844 through a Declaration knowledge of English was made compulsory for Government employment. It made English medium schools very popular.

Introduced new system of higher education

The universities at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras were started in 1837 and higher education spread rapidly thereafter. Since the British were not much interested in scientific and technical education, only three Medical Colleges one each at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras was established by 1857. There was only one good engineering college at Roorkee.

Modern education produced many national leaders, intellectuals and reformers

Modern education not only provided personnel to fill the lower levels in administration, as desired by the rulers, but also produced national leaders, intellectuals and reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Dadabhai Naoroji, Ferozeshah Mehta, Gokhale, Gandhi, Jinnah, Ambedkar, Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Moti Lal Nehru, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Neta Subhash Chandra Bose, Patel and many more. They took upon themselves the responsibility to build a modern, open, plural, culturally rich, prosperous and powerful India out of a fragmented, poverty stricken, superstitious, weak, indifferent, backward and inward looking society.

Impact of Modern education

Access to liberal thoughts of Western philosophers – As was thought, modern education offered to Indian people access to the thoughts of many liberal thinkers, like Locke, Mill Roussseau Voltaire, Spencer and Burke. Also it familiarised Indians with the knowledge about English, French, American revolutions. Western literature and philosophy widened the mental horizons and knowledge of Indian people.

Atmosphere, completely ready

At the time when modern education was introduced, the atmosphere was completely ready. Different sections of society had welcomed it wholeheartedly for different reasons. They not only welcomed, but exerted pressure on the company to encourage and promote western education in India.

British rulers in India – As hoped, British rulers found modern education very economical and convenient y the rulers. It provided personnel to fill the lower levels in administration and made it possible to keep contact with local people.

Missionaries welcomed modern education – Missionaries and their supporters found that modern education would encourage local people to adopt Christianity in large numbers. Christian missionaries brainwashed many people especially the poor by preaching and educating them and developed in their minds a complex about the primitiveness of Indian society, influenced them towards the alien culture and then converted them into Christianity. With the help of British rulers, Christian missionaries and religious minded Westerners like William Webberforce or Charles Grant, they succeeded in converting many persons into Christianity.

Indian intelligentsia, key to enter Modern World- For Indian intelligentsia, Humanitarians and intellectuals considered modern education the best remedy for social, political and economic ills of the country. The intellectual ferment was strongest in West Bengal, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Intellectuals and their organizations had purely an economic and social thrust. They were aware of the real issues hampering the progress of Indian society. They also got alarmed at the erosion of Indian Culture and divisible policies of the rulers. 

National leaders – The understanding of liberal, and humanitarian ideas thought of Western World gave birth to Indian national leaders.  Educated national leaders welcomed rationality and other good features of Modern English education. Modern education equipped them with the intellectual tools, with which they could fight the oppressive British Raj. They realized the impact of British racial discrimination and their repressive policies on the Indian people.

National movement gained momentum – The destructive character of British imperialism lit the fire and gave birth to national movement. Economic loot, political subjugation, assertion of lordly superiority over the subject on the ground of race, assumption of a haughty exclusiveness, persistent insulting and supercilious behavior towards all Indians, exclusion of Indians from all places of authority and responsibility and denial of their capacity for self-governance united Indians against British rule. They tried to bring social awakening and awareness amongst masses about their rights.

Modern education for reformers – Modern education highlighted the weaknesses, rigidity and harshness of society towards the weaker sections of the society. It had attracted the attention of the intelligentsia and reformers towards social evils, which had developed in the system.

Spread awareness amongst people – Social reformers fought against many social evils caused by ignorance, superstitions or irrationality like Sati, Polygamy, child marriage, and inhumane treatment to women, untouchablity and many superstitions prevalent at that time. They criticized the mumbo-jumbo of rituals and superstitions created by some selfish people to entangle the ignorant and poor masses. Emphasis was laid on education and science.

Organized people with emphasis on education and science Reformers organized people and made them aware of social evils like Brahma Samaj, founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in 1928, inspired the people of Bengal, UP, Punjab, Madras and other provinces, to form similar organizations and interpret religion rationally.

Advised people to remain firmly rooted to the Indian Culture – Social Reformers advised people to remain firmly rooted to the Indian Culture. They tried to revive their own rich ancient culture and prevent the masses from being swayed away by the glamour and materialism of alien culture. They talked about the greatness of Hindu Vedic culture and about Vedas as the source of all knowledge and truth. Swami Vivekanand founded the Rama Krishna Mission tried to reveal to the world Indian Philosophy and culture.

Organisations like Brahma Samaj (1928) in Bengal, Prarthana Samaj in Maharashtra (1867), Arya Samaj in Northern India, Rama Krishna Mission, Theosophical Society of India (1879), Dev Samaj in Lahore and Servants of India Society took up the job to awaken the masses.

Some reform institutes like Vivekanand’s or Rama Krishna Mission or Theosophical Society of India tried to familiarize the Western World, too, to the charm and graciousness of Indian Culture.

Opened the doors of education for all sections

The new education system opened the doors of education for all sections of Indian society to get educated irrespective of caste or creed. Earlier Muslims were more dependent on the use of sword. Only few could get the opportunity to study in Madarsas (Muslim’s educational institutions).

Brahmins, quicker to gain from modern education

Brahmins, having learning background earlier, were quick to opt for modern education with a purpose to earn something respectfully for their livelihood. With the result, they were able to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Modern education in the job-market. Non- Brahmin communities lagged behind in matter of modern education and the opportunities offered by it.

Some adverse affects of modern education on Indian society

Disassociated people from traditional way of learning – While welcomed by different sections of society, the new system of education had some adverse affects also. It had disassociated Indian people from their traditional way of learning and livig, their classical roots and indigenous knowledge. Along with it faded Indian values, philosophies and traditions.

Divided Indian people – Census operations started by British Government in India for administrative purposes and the purpose prolonging its rule in India along with the disparities created by modern education had divided Indian people into water-tight compartments (SCs, STs, OBCs, Upper castes and minorities etc).

Loosened the bonds of caste system and led to casteism – Modern education had loosened the bonds of caste system, which kept discipline in various sections of society and believed in inter-dependence. It also made Indians to loose their faith in social values and systems. So much and so that some groups of Indian society considered the social practices and customs prevalent in India as indefensible.

Costly nature of modern education – Though British rulers opened the doors of education to all, they were not concerned much about mass education. The costly nature of education tended to make it a monopoly of the richer classes and city dwellers. Initially, it was an impoverished group of Brahmin and caste Hindus in search of livelihood, who in desire to live with dignity and honour opted for modern education. Except for a few, masses could not avail its advantages despite the relentless efforts of missionaries with an aim to convert poor people into Christianity. 

Reasons for masses being deprived of the benefits of modern education – Only a small number of persons could be benefitted from Modern education. Reasons being:

  • Modern education was very costly and, therefore, unaffordable by the masses.
  • Masses did not see any immediate use of education. It was more important for them to work and arrange two square meals day.
  • The relentless effort of missionaries and the reformers could educate a very small number of people from amongst them.
  • The medium of instruction was a foreign language – English.
  • English gaining importance as the language of elite section of society alienated the masses from them.

Conclusion

Modern education did produce manpower, as desired by the rulers. But it also generated groups of visionary national leaders and reformers. The second half of the nineteenth century saw the impact of modern education on Indians.

Swami Vivekanand and many others gave a call to “Return to Vedas”. He said, “Each nation like each individual has a theme in this life, which is its center, the principle note, around which every other note comes to form the harmony. If any nation attempts to throw off its national vitality, the direction, which has become its own through the transmission of centuries, the nation dies.”

September 17, 2009 Posted by | Education and training of civil services | | 10 Comments

Why training necessary for civil servants?

 

Of all acts of civilized society of modern times, governance is one of the most difficult tasks as it deals with issues – political, economic or social, that directly affect public life of living human beings, which are full of psychological and sociological complexes and prone to unpredictable behavior. In order to make the persons engaged in governance i.e. civil servants well-versed with the changes in the strategy, structure and management techniques, and gear them to meet the challenges of modern times and make the services more effective, efficient and goal-oriented, training becomes necessary. It is training that imparts knowledge, shapes attitudes, cultivates skills and builds work-habits. Education of the recruits before entering into civil services is mostly degree-oriented rather than job-oriented. Training is supposed to fill-up gaps between learning and practical requirements. What is the difference between education and training? What are the types of training? What are the requirements, techniques and methods to impart training? This project tries to find out the answer to all these questions with context to higher civil services in government of India.

In order to make officials engaged in governance i.e. civil servants well-versed with the changes in the strategy, structure and management techniques, and gear them to meet the challenges of modern times and make the services more effective, efficient and goal-oriented, training becomes necessary. It is training that imparts knowledge, shapes attitudes, cultivates skills and builds work-habits. Education of the recruits before entering into civil services is mostly degree-oriented rather than job-oriented. Training fills up the gaps between learning and practical requirements.

Independent India recognised the role and importance of Education and Training for inculcating the qualities of leadership, supervision, efficiency in communication, decision making etc. in its higher officials and also for changing their attitudes. Such a recognition is evident from the successive Five Year plan documents, reports of Administrative Reforms Commission and other Committees – all stressing the need for planned and systematic programmes of training for officials at various levels.

Although considerable attention has been paid so far to improve the system of Education and Training of officers, yet much more is required to be done. It has not been able to bring about the desired results for removing the short-comings of the present system and for making public services more efficient and effective.

August 15, 2008 Posted by | Education and training of civil services | | 3 Comments

Education and training of civil servants in Govt of India

 

The Indian Civil Service has a long historical background and is a product of centuries, and so is the system of its Education and Training, which has progressed slowly but steadily under three regimes – the East India Company, the Crown and the Republic of India.  

The post-Independence era brought about fundamental changes in the system. The constitution of India is based upon the concept of `Welfare State’. It follows the principle of `Justice: Social, Economic and Political’. It desired socio-economic development of the masses rather than only to attend routine regulatory functions. The responsibility of implementing welfare plans and developmental policies is assigned to Higher Civil Service. 

In order to make the persons engaged in governance i.e. civil servants well-versed with the changes in the strategy, structure and management techniques, and gear them to meet the challenges of modern times and make the services more effective, efficient and goal-oriented, training becomes necessary. It is training that imparts knowledge, shapes attitudes, cultivates skills and builds work-habits. Education of the recruits before entering into civil services is mostly degree-oriented rather than job-oriented. Training fill-ups the gaps between learning and practical requirements.

Independent India recognised the role and importance of Education and Training for inculcating the qualities of leadership, supervision, efficiency in communication, decision making etc. in its higher officials and also for changing their attitudes. Such a recognition is evident from the successive Five Year plan documents, reports of Administrative Reforms Commission and other Committees – all stressing the need for planned and systematic programmes of training for officials at various levels.

Although considerable attention has been paid to the system of Education and Training of officers, yet it has not been able to bring out the desired results. For removing the short-comings of present system and for making public services more effective, some improvements in the system requires to be done. 

August 13, 2008 Posted by | Education and training of civil services | | Leave a comment

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