I returned to my room and switched on the TV. It was a program on the
premier educational institutions, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and it
was in Chinese and being telecast on the ATV Network (Asian TV Network, one of
the biggest in Hong Kong and ).
This time the language did not matter, as it does not while watching the
cartoons in morning or a late night movie! I have got quite accustomed to
watching these programs now, since I have been here in China Hong
Kong for a while!
I sat down and kept watching the absorbing program for next 45 minutes without following the commentary! They showed the inception of the first IIT at Kharagpur, with the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru addressing the first convocation in 1956. It mentioned that the institute was a, Detention Camp where the freedom fighters were detained, and some rare pictures were flashed. I did not know that the first IIT was set up at a detention camp! More details about the setting up of other IITs, then followed. The interviews with glitterati alumnus like Narayan Murthy, Nanadan Nilekani, (both of Infosys), Shiv Nadar of HCL, Vinod Khosla, founder of Sun Microsystems, Arun Sarin global CEO of Vodafone, followed!
The team then went to some Indian villages and smaller towns where the young students learned the basics of Mathematics. A lady teacher demonstrated while teaching multiplication to her fifth grade students by Vedic Mathematics techniques which enhanced their computing skills manifold! In some smaller towns the classes were being held in tents, and the students were holding umbrellas to protect their notebooks from the pelting rain!
The scene then moved to some of the students pursuing their career in these prestigious institutions and the Indian Institutes of Management after going through coaching institutions in places like
Patna and . Kota
Why was this beamed in
and other Chinese cities? I have only one answer! Everyone realizes the power
of knowledge and in today’s world; knowledge is the only way to move the
ladders of success! The younger students are being influenced early in life to
take up education as seriously as being done in some remote corners of the
world which produce best of the class engineers, doctors or management
professionals! Also, the importance of learning English early cannot be underscored
as I could make out in the program!
We all have seen that education makes a great level playing ground and no longer is it necessary to have rich parents to ensure a wealthy and happier life in future! Today’s middle class in
has far more wealth and
better lifestyle than what their parents had! It is the education which has
brought about the change and acted as a great equalizer and harbinger of prosperity! India
We too, need to likewise learn, from the other nations how they manage their rivers to remain unpolluted, tackle the traffic woes, keep the cities clean, and dispose their garbage effectively, and so on! It is tiring to keep watching endless debates on corruption, political alliances and power games play day in and day out.
It is time to do some serious introspection and work in areas which could bring about greater literacy, reduce poverty, to narrow down the gap between rich and poor. It only requires a will to do and impetus on making everyone educated to take rational decisions!
PS- Image kind courtesy Google