Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Discrimination in Indian Education

Indian elites in United States of America and other developed countries has made India so proud because of their achievements but if you really look into their background most of the people hail from India’s prestigious IITs and IIMs and also from privileged backgrounds. It is a case to analysis since India is a developing country which wants to rise to level of developed nations. Before having the aspirations to compete with developed nations we need to fundamentally overhaul our education system. It is a need of an hour because China which is also in the developing league has better system of education and playing field for all the students is almost flat.

China’s education system is centralized mean to say there is only one existence of board and common university entrance examination. Such a scenario is almost non existence in any Indian states especially in southern states. To paint a big picture we have CBSE, ICSE, State Board, Anglo Indian, GCE, etc. and list goes on. This is not to ridicule the system in place but the complexity involved in providing one of the most basic amenities to its citizens. The quality of education provided in each board differs considering and there is an informal ranking in place for students to select their board if they want to score high grades. That’s said, we are not imparting the true education to the child’s brain rather just making a choice. Why are so many boards? Why there is significant difference in the quality of education? Likewise lots of questions pops in any young ignited minds.

If any nongovernmental organization does survey in our elite IITs and IIMs to find out their true backgrounds i.e. their board of education, income status (true status), urbanite or rural. It is safe to assume that more 95% would definitely hail from urban upper middle or rich class and also from either CBSE or ICSE board. This is not to brand CBSE or ICSE board is the best but it is reality we need to concede. Why is this scenario? Does it mean rural students don’t have brains to compete? If we look below the surface we know the hard truth that those boards are highly priced. At the same time, urbanites (upper middle class) have better opportunity to train in expensive coaching class than rural students who basically lacks those infrastructures. Aren’t we denying rights to our citizens?

There are several Cinderella stories happening in India but those come to limelight when that kid usually comes to the city. Two years back there was a guy from village who worked part time in food courts and cinema theatre to fund his IAS coaching in Chennai and he cleared IAS exam in his third attempt. If we made available the same facility in his district capital or big town nearer his village, he wouldn’t have come to Chennai in first place to toil himself day and night. There are several untold stories which are often digested in the half stomach of rural students coming to cities to succeed in their academia. Most students don’t succeed because they have poor fundamentals inculcated by rural schools, not enough money to finance their coaching and culture shock in cities. To add fuel to the fire, urban students often mistreat their rural students instead of helping them.

Infosys founder Narayana Murthy once remarked in an interview, there are two Indias one is the urban India with all the information and facilities to compete with the globe; other is the rural India which is shattered in hope and live in despair. That is true case of the education provided to the students of Indian villages and towns. Aren’t they citizens of India who has to treated equally? There are still caste discriminations prevalent in Indian educations. There are several stories which are reported as well as unreported in the media that a lower caste child is mistreated by teacher or peers. China on the other hand differs in this fundamental right of a citizen. Though it is a communist country, it has provided a same education to all students no big difference in board, only difference which naturally occurs in any case is that urban students has more exposure than rural students.

Our former president A.P.J Abdul Kalam and so many distinguished people hail from villages. We need to understand that was the time when there was no big difference between Rameshwaram (Kalam’s Home town) and Ranchi. But globalization has changed the platform; there are visible inequities in cities and towns now. Kalam himself is afraid that “Will there be any Kalam from villages in next decades?” The situation persist in India says an obvious “NO”. We need to reverse this, we the people of India have to act not the politicians. We should rise up to challenge and protest to petition the Indian government to overhaul or revamp the badly hit education sector. There should be only one board of education. We need to have common entrance examinations throughout India. Multi entrance examinations have increased corruption in private institutions. Urban India has to stop the apathy in not acting to save our citizens who are not getting same education like them. We need a change like how Barack Obama has campaigned!


  1. I wouldn't agree that CBSE is highly priced. There are numerous Kendriya Vidyalayas all over India and they are damn cheap. As an Alumni of KV, I can safely say that the quality of education is very good there.

    If you consider Tamil Nadu, the main problem is the admission process to Professional Courses which seem inclined towards those who study in State Board. Thats one of the prime reason for students enrolling themselves in state board and not the CBSE.

  2. The first thing the HRD ministry should do is to unify all the different boards to form a central board - The CBSE.