Its difficult in India to dream big. Almost everyone around you expect you to play safe. This becomes even more frustrating when even your teachers tell you to keep backup options. I know it only makes logical sense to make backup plans, but that also means you are wasting precious energy towards other things when you should be doing something else. Let me tell you the applications for MS/PHD in US are not easy, even though the steps may seem easy enough. You have to take a hard look at your profile and see how you can improve your profile and experience at every point of time. It takes considerable preparation to start the process. Then there are the SOPs and CVs to write. They require considerable extent of self-searching and self-discovery otherwise it never comes out right. There are a considerable load of other things but may be I’ll write about that some other day. The thing is it is time consuming and takes a fair bit of effort. Its difficult to do this as well as preparing for GATE/CAT when I don’t really want to do an MBA or study M.Tech in India. It feels like wasted time. But I have been literally inundated with shocks, exclamations and amazement when I tell people I have not applied for either GATE or CAT or XAT or MAT or whatever other exams you may think of. I AM NOT INTERESTED.
They say that, because they can’t really see anything other than that. Young people, gifted people in India only want to become engineers/doctors/cricketers. Anything else and you are pushing it too far with your parents. I am sure the world must wonder where are the athletes, painters, scientists when we in India have a supply market of over 1 BILLION individuals. China are producing them, why can’t we? The answer is very simple. The people are short-sighted and NO! I don’t mean that in a derogatory sense. They just are. They lack the knowledge of the possibility that people can earn substantial amount of money playing computer games (COMPUTER GAMES!!! Total waste of time – as will be heard by EVERY child in India), playing professional football (do you want to earn enough to feed your family or not?), honors in sciences has become a sort of stigma (only those students do honors who can’t do engineering). These are just some replies students in India get when deciding on THEIR!!! careers (because our parents and relatives know better).
This is the sad situation, but thankfully due to the economic slowdown students are being interested in other branches and career paths as well. The slowdown has been a boon for Indian education. The next generation of Indians will have considerably more percentage of science students (not engineering or medical). Maybe Indian education IS changing. At the core of it are some highly educated Indians who are returning to India after many years in the education systems of abroad. The future of India is brighter than it was before. Soon it will make more sense – INCREDIBLE INDIA!