Those who have followed the remarkable rise of India as a major destination for the world’s high technology companies,may want to read a series of articles by Amy Waldman in the NYT.
Starting about forty years ago, India started seven major Indian Institutes of Technology where the admission is highly competitive.Out of nearly two hundred thousand who compete only 12,000 are selected, a selection rate of 6% which is more stringent than Harvard or MIT.These students go on to becoming an elite professional class that runs many corporations in India and abroad.
Similar Institutes are in operation in Management and in Biological Sciences.
The impact of this educational revolution is only now being felt in the US.It is gathering momentum as India plans to add more such institutes in the coming years.
The reason these Institutes are successful is because they focus on technology only and do not dilute the work by meandering into sociology and politics and other issues.The students are absolute masters at calculus,computer science,physics and chemistry.No other diversions are allowed.
India has many other fine univesrities but the IIT’s are a special case because the institutes function as a true meritocracy in a society laden with caste privileges and corruption.That makes them unique and gives them popular sanction.
Waldman says that the revolution is now spreading to the elementary and secondary schools in urban and rural India.That is because people have come to realize that education represents a way out to a better life for the vast majority of the people as India’s economic prospects improve and it needs highly trained engineers, scientists and designers.Prime Minister Singh, who studied rural economic development at Harvard believes that his major task will be to bring industry and education to rural India.
With that India would have crossed a milestone.So, brace for the assault on the world’s markets by more Indian corporations like Mittal Steel,Reliance Industries,Tata Motors and Ranbaxy Labs (pharmaceuticals).
Personally I prefer the way India has picked itself up by its bootstraps instead of terrorism and such.