As the 1990’s rolled around and the economic crisis hit India, the nation responded by twin cures that pulled the economy back from the brink, Liberalization and Privatization. With the turn of the new millennia around the corner, the world in general, and the First World, in particular, were introduced in a big way by computers. Programming became the new ‘it’ thing and this turned out to be the boon that Indian youths were looking for. From 1997 through 2007, the revolution soared. The US and other European countries responded to their population’s lack of capabilities to handle these new changes by opening their borders to Asian’s, particularly India, in large numbers. The huge staff that had to take the world through needed to be multilingual to break through language barriers. Indian’s fit in perfectly into the piece.
The erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh saw a huge boom in engineering colleges at the time. More than 650 colleges sprung up in the state, with Hyderabad alone accounting for 200 of them. Hectors of agricultural land were gobbled up for institutions with a very narrow set of focus. But no one cared.
America was the land of opportunity and the government seemed to be hand in glove to the idea that Indian talent can be exported out of the country rather than giving opportunities in-house. It was another example of the infamous American operation after WWII, Operation Paperclip, the umbrella operation under which Manhattan Project happened using the brains of the captured Nazi Scientists and scholars.
Indian brains have contributed greatly to the development of the human civilization. From the discovery of Zero to the foundation of astronomy, India always has had a preeminent role in the sciences. While that has always been true, a lot of critics have pointed out that in the last 5 decades, India has fallen behind. The same has been the case with another country, Germany. But is it really true?
An infamous operation carried out by the post-war USA took most Nazi Scientists of the Third Reich and took them under their wing to power their research and development to fight the cold war with the USSR. A similar strategy, albeit soft this time, was applied on India. Since India didn’t come under the spoils of war, America started selling ‘The American Dream’. A dream that promised all-round progress to Indians coming over to the USA. Scientists and mathematicians were strongly targeted. People began to immigrate en masse, called the Brain Drain, a soft Operation Paperclip on the brightest Indian minds of that time.
While the American Dream has been an American Shock, Indians stuck there and faced with the extravagant cost of travel and returning back, decided to stay on.
Their hard-fought inventions and discoveries have been termed American rather than Indian. Hence now we have a situation that says India has not given anything of note, when it has been Indians in the US, treated as 2nd class citizens by the country they forcefully adopted, providing technological brilliance to the US. The base of genetics, the staff of NASA and other place provides ample evidence of the same.
Now after all these years, when their education system has finally come up to scratch and able deliver an equal level of quality, these same Indians are now being targeted as immigrants and looked down upon as someone who has taken American jobs. They’re singled out, humiliated, targeted and looked upon as lowly since they’re not important anymore to the American economy. Trump’s policies are explicitly singling out these same people and throwing them out, with the overwhelming support of the American public.
This soft Operation Paperclip has had a wide-ranging effect on the Indian education system. The system junked regional languages in favour of English, the global language of pre-eminence at that time. Ancient knowledge passed on through literature was pushed away from libraries, instead of getting stocked with novels and journals from the west. Regional languages like Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati found themselves as the optional third language of instruction and study at schools. A wide-ranging discourse was spread amongst the public, where learning computer programming became the ultimate medicine to getting out of poverty and the middle class and join the higher elite in the society.
One thing that didn’t happen in India or Andhra Pradesh though was manufacturing or the development of an Indian programming language or even an operating system. While the whole world kept supplying America with talent, it returned the favor by giving them Operating Systems to work on, which in turn increased the world’s dependence on that country, putting them into a vicious cycle which India just couldn’t get out of. India suffered in its manufacturing capabilities too, neglecting using the homegrown talent in home projects and rather creating obstacles in the way, making these new graduates look abroad as their way out of the mess the country was in. India was also marketed as a cheap labor destination, rather than skilled labor destination, causing Indians to earn much less for the same job that others in the US were earning millions for.
Another thing Andhra Pradesh ignored was the studies for general development in the population, studies focusing on Social Sciences were ignored and left to rot in the education system.
The literacy rate of India is 72.01 by 2015 and the world average is 86.3 % where the youth literacy rate in India is 90.2 % very close to the world average 91.3 %.The state Andhra Pradesh is the second least in the nation whose literacy rate is even lower than the whole average literacy rate. Andhra Pradesh also faces the maximum number of graduate dropout with a number of 58.9% while 67.2 % in Telangana.
These dropouts are mostly from the farmers’ families associated mostly with agriculture. The basic computer knowledge in the age group of 14-29 is minimally contrasted to other states in India. In any case, the quantity of undergraduates per thousand contemplating designing is most elevated in Andhra Pradesh. Besides, the report recommends the states to advance restorative instruction. According to the report, the figure for the number of undergraduates per thousand who are seeking after expert/specialized courses is among the most minimal in AP (34) and Telangana (30), contrasted with states like Maharashtra (86), Kerala (156) and Punjab (100). However, the number of students per thousand studying engineering is the highest in AP (579) and Telangana (599).After all, these programs didn’t lead to the American Dream, these programs didn’t bring in dollars. As a result, agricultural sciences suffered, and a state like Andhra Pradesh, which is heavily dependent on agriculture, suffered too. This has led to situations where we’ve had to call for help through the import of food to feed the population, a shame for a country as blessed with fertile lands and rivers like we are.
Even though Andhra has the talent, the state has fallen for the American dream. The education system has to be revamped. Ancient methods of teaching, the Gurukul system, has to be reintroduced. After all, it produced the complete students known to mankind, proficient in all kinds of knowledge, be it science, the art of wielding weapons or others, to live the most fulfilling life. We have to get out of the clutches of the modern East India Companies, the Rockefellers’ and the De Beers of the world by adopting at an India First stance, an Andhra First stance.
Instead of sending technologists abroad, we should send technology abroad, and earn money out of that. Instead of selling the skills abroad, we should start selling products abroad. And for materials of utmost importance, Defence, mining and others, homegrown avenues to understand, utilize and exploit them should be created. High paying genres of Engineering like Nuclear, Mining, Uranium Mining and others should be taught and pushed by the government. India should promote itself as a skilled labour destination, rather than a cheap labour destination. By keeping talents inside the nation’s borders, the country and state will prosper, and in turn, the citizens will.
While the whole country has progressed and has been clocking impressive GDP growth, what has still been an area of concern is the unemployment situation at Andhra Pradesh. While the state had in Hyderabad one of the top IT cities in India, it has not translated into jobs for the local youth.
This can partially be attributed to the dipping standards of education. The textbooks have been redundant for years with hardly any progress in course material to keep it in tune with the times.
One of the hardest hit on these terms is the farmers, whose children haven’t been able to compete on equal terms at all. Hampered by the rural education system that doesn’t concern itself with holistic development of the child, these children find themselves at a distinct disadvantage when faced with competition from urban children. The government too has not shown any interest in addressing these lacunae, instead of looking the other way.
With a labour participation rate, I.e. number of people looking for employment at 44% and projected to reach pre demonetization levels of 46% to 48%, a sea change in the way we approach the creation of job-making opportunities. It has to get immediate results or else we are looking at a country of dissatisfied youth and lost the natural human resource.
The most disturbing thing is that India has, as of right now, 31 million unemployed youth. This becomes a cause of concern since this number is growing by 7% every year and we have more than 7-8 lakh graduate youth getting into the system every year near May. The job making machinery has to be kicked into action and governments have a major role to play in this.