Practically Speaking

We are living in a rapidly shrinking world. Every aspect of our life, especially in business, is becoming leaner and more streamlined. Consequently, now we no longer have local markets but talk in global terms. And globally speaking, the recent crisis has given way to a subtle shift in power; from the hands of the West to that of the East.Speaking of the future, we have read about many a prediction concerning India and China becoming the new business hubs of the world. Pretty soon we will be seeing hordes of individuals flocking to these two countries to set themselves up. Although this will prove beneficial in the development of our country, a certain section of society will be severely challenged by this new ‘threat’, if it can be called that. And that section is us- the Youth of India.

It is no secret that our country’s education standards are not up to the mark when looked at with a global perspective. The very fact that we have managed to be successful as individuals gives the assuaging proof that we have a lot of potential. However, pretty soon, this is not going to be enough in the global race to success. We will not only be competing amongst each other, but also against the best minds of our generation from across the world. It is highly important for us to have a solid foundation, because we may no longer get a chance to ‘prove’ ourselves in the place of work. This presents us with two options. The first would be to reform our education systems right from the primary section. Since this may involve continuous head butting with the Government, it may be a futile experience, which leaves us with one plausible alternative; that of making our higher education system more practical oriented.

Practical components in studies, in the form of internships and part time work, have been gaining importance in the past few years in India. Students in the country, as well as companies’, are recognizing the benefits that they can get from this kind of a setup. Some of these advantages include a real world perspective, a chance to assimilate their learnt theories and a lesson in logical decision-making as far as students are concerned. It also gives them a chance to confirm their career choice and learn about work ethics, as well as how to survive in a working environment. However, the rewards are not only one-sided. Companies get enthusiastic youngsters, budding with ideas and different perspectives of looking at things.

Recognizing these advantages of internships and part time work is all well and good, but the fact of the matter is that there are very few such opportunities available for the students in our country. Most of the available posts are taken up by MBA graduates and the others are left to get in through family or friends. Maybe this is the fault of the way our courses are run. There is hardly anytime left to go off to work due to the various commitments of students at their college, and companies are obviously not expected to be very flexible in this aspect. A little elasticity on both the sides may just ease the way for the students. Also, the colleges can help out by establishing a strong alumni base and using them to get internships for their students.

In conclusion, I would like to say that the global circumstances have become more challenging and it would get the Youth of India nowhere if we were to bank on our degrees and academic qualifications. Work experience is the name of the game today and to be deprived of it could lead to a serious scarcity of options in the future for us.

Anita Dhillon

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