To mock or not to mock that is the question...

Thanks Murtaza Amin for the post on Higher Education in India. I 100% agree to it.

Last weekend I was invited by one of the top colleges in S. India - to conduct 'Mock Interview' for their MCA 2nd year students. My interview partner was the AVP-HR one of the top NBFC group based out of S. India.

More than doing a mock interview session, we had a great time advising and motivating the students...

These are my observations/ views also shared by my partner:

1. Other than for 1 or 2 exceptions, all of them did BCA as their grad and joined for MCA - "just to do a PG"!  When ask why - they just don't know why, no one ever asked them!

2. Someone felt that going for MCA will help then learn C++ better, because they learn on C for BCA. Lucky we don't have a C+++, otherwise these colleges will start DCA also

3. Most of the girls think that they will have a better positioning in marriage market.

4. Most of the boys think that they will have a better positioning in marriage market.

5. Most of them seems to have read in <a leading local daily> that doing MCA will fetch them a better job.

6. All of them don't have any idea of the job they are going to do when they join a company - even after spending 4.5 years of their peak youth.

7. They don't know anything about the industry they are entering into - companies, jobs, market, future, education options, academics etc...

8. They just don't consider companies other than Wipro, TCS, Infosys etc as their prospective employers - the reason here is also primarily the marriage market, not their career growth or not even money!. 

9. Majority of them don't know how to communicate. I'm not commenting on their English - they don't know how to communicate in any of the languages. 

10. All of them have C/C++ in their CVs as their only language and just don't know who is K&R and don't know how to write a program, compile and make it unless then have Turbo C in front.  They don't know whats #include <stdio.h> is all about. Most of them have never seen an executable made by their C/C++ programs.

11. They don't have any programming skills (and all relevant skills), basic knowledge about data structure, algorithms etc.

12. Most of their decision are influenced by ignorant teachers, parents, friends and media - event if they think otherwise. They don't have an opinion of their own - even after becoming adults!

My Advice was mostly around:

1. You wasted the most precious 4.5 years of your life
2. You have 3 more semesters to correct what all you are missing
3. Its your life, you are in charge - you make decisions - not your parents, uncle/aunts, teachers, friends, relatives etc...
4. Work on your skills. Skills are different from knowledge - you need to develop it - whereas you can acquire knowledge in various ways.
5. Read/Listen/Speak/Watch Movies etc., so that you gain exposure and attain the right mind-set/attitude
6. Support your peers - collectively you can work on your shortcoming in the coming 3 semesters.

I really felt pity seeing most of them - victims of 'excel to get a degree - not knowledge' mentality, most of them are going to become slaves with some IT companies. Some of them will endup in teaching - circle of life!

But found few originals among them with a sense of direction and purpose for life!

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Comment by Murtaza Amin on March 20, 2012 at 12:14pm

Thank you for appreciating my post sir, I will add some more of my thoughts here.
Well, I really appreciate your concern for my fellow students, not a lot of cooperates are interested in this, as they have a lot of option available to hire from (to be precise 3.5 lakh fresh engineers every year)

and yes, most of the decisions of Indian students are not their own, mostly driven by their fellow friends or relatives who think that a degree in engineering would guarantee a job, and I don’t really feel that the students are at fault (and also not their mostly uneducated parents) well, by the way I’m a product of an another roadside engineering college in an another village in India, I didn’t even knew what IIT was when I got admission in 11th in my village.

I agree about the marriage market point that you mentioned, few friends of mine had the same thought in mind, they felt Pune is a better place to find a HOTTER GF, so let’s go to Pune, (and yes, you are right they paid around 4 lakh each)

Teachers, oh please sir, don’t get me started with this topic, I can write a book on this topic(oh, yes I shall think of this) teachers in India are the students who didn’t got a job elsewhere, so while doing their MS or ME from any other roadside college, they are working to get their pocket money.
And this is also because of the fact that Teaching as a profession is dull and also not that financially stable, we need to get more researchers to take teaching as a profession, it’s a Nobel way to return your part to the society.

Well, I work for a company in Bombay, and I’m a student too, so, as our company grew we thought of hiring some interns as we can add some value to their resumes and also get some cheap labor, but the worst part is that even after trying and trying very hard we couldn't make them understand that you are suppose to come on time and not wear anything that you wear in your college, and also to not text while someone is talking to you, so we had to throw them out in 15 days.

English? ha ha ha, you must be kidding me sir, 90% of most of the Engineering college students cannot speak their thought in front of 10 people, be it Marathi English or Hindi.
Sorry for the brevity and being a Grammar nazi.
Skills? Sorry sir, but our mostly dumb and almost over smart teachers haven’t told us about this new thing called skills, we know Exams, we know Marks, we know Mugging facts, we can copy paste in submissions, we know Infosys we know TCS, Our system (thanks to those entire education minister who are millionaires now) haven’t had any regulations for learning skills, and also we need to encourage students to look beyond TCS and Infosys and work for start ups. It’s a better learning experience.

Sir, did I mentioned you about the AICTE grade of my college? Yes, sir you are right, we are a A grade college, and sir, let me tell me about the world class infrastructure, the super clean toilets the very pleasing greenery, the state of art class room, benches, projectors and everything, and also about our super expensive hostel with a swimming pool (Yes, sir you heard it right, we have a swimming pool)
Oh, teachers and labs? Sir, Im sorry all the money my parent college granted for Jalgaon branch got exhausted while creating all those hostels, infrastructure, pools, and everything, so now we don’t invest in teachers lab instruments and all those stud that is not needed to pass a exam.
Sir, our college has 7 other Engineering colleges, 10 Diploma College, and overall 27 colleges all across MP MH. And all of them are A grade, and yes we have an unofficial tie up with AICTE, they give us a A grade for every college we open.  They are very kind sir, I thank all of the member of AICTE.

And well, let me also tell you one simple thing that I faced in my first year, I was the only student in class who stood up against the wind and to

Comment by Akshay Shah on March 16, 2012 at 8:13pm

And there are students like Kushal too, read along:

Sure Kushal, I like your enthusiasm & you are more than welcome at iweb!!

This country & IT sector needs more Kushals like you, welcome & god bless you!!!

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, March 16, 2012 7:27 PM
Subject: Important
Dear Sir,
Remember me, I mailed you few months back, I will be having summer vacation of two and half months from 6th May onward's, so I was interested to work as a trainee in your company during that period for about a month or so.        The main reason for me asking you for this was I am studying computer science and I want to know what corporate atmosphere is all about, I plan to become a successful entrepreneur one day, so it will be a good experience for me.Another reason is,I am very much unclear about what actually will I do after completing my So in all it will be a good positive for me to work with you as it may help about selecting my career path. Currently as I am in my first year I don't have any thing to write in my CV so I have not attached my CV here. I want to work as any regular employee works, I don't expect any stipend or certificate, what I want is just your experience which will help me a lot.I am ready to work as any employee from 9-5, I don't have great skills but I can comfortably work in linux atmosphere, I am good at C programming, for web I am good at HTML and CSS, I am learning php,my SQL now, I might be able to complete it by summer.I am now learning to make android,i-phone applications also.

If you are interested, please give me a reply.

Warm regards,

Comment by arnab on March 16, 2012 at 12:47am

Sadly the software industry has rotten the entire education system,no one wants to become any other engineer except software or IT( this has completely broken down the entire civil and other fields) and the education is useless, still some of these people get taken at exorbitant prices by some software companies, which ensures that the rest expect to be paid the same rates by other companies. Companies like microsoft has created programs like microsoft students to business but unfortunately its not helping, I have been trying to get students via this program but no use, of more than 300 students I connected over the last two years, I found only one student worthwhile to take as an intern, he worked with me for 3 months and got picked up by microsoft last year, microsoft took only 4 students last year but not one this year primarily because of their quality.

Comment by Akshay Shah on March 15, 2012 at 9:50pm

And the funniest part being all these IT guys are paid thru the roof!! Much more than a Scientiest, a Biologist, a Physicst & even a well qualified & experienced Engineer (NON IT Ofcourse!) or Accountant you see :-))

That's what goras can do for you, hmmm


Comment by Akshay Shah on March 15, 2012 at 9:48pm

That's why we say most IT grads are 'unemployable' in every sense!!! We startups give them the biggest opportunity of their lives which neither their parents nor their colleges did ever give them but what we get in return is 'Attrition, Attrition & damn Attrition'

Read in some survey today that less then 10% of the so called IT Workforce is actually fit for IT & its so very true!!!

What are all these colleges, institutes & the rest doing? Better we entrepreneurs start training all these chaps & the training should be 'On the Job' kinds, what say??

Akshay Shah

Comment by Rituraj Chaturmohta on March 15, 2012 at 8:48pm

Interesting observations Manoj,

However, I think the rot starts well below the ground level reality that you faced here. Our education system is designed/operated in a manner which encourages one to get higher grades/good ornamental degrees, but no skills.

What we are missing is the LIFESKILLs teaching to our younger lot. Everyone wants to look/sound cool but they lack the basic ingredients for that, so they try to make them up by lapping up as many degrees as they can which they can flout later on in any market, be it the marriage market or the job market. At the same time, the commercialization of undergraduate education has played its part in ensuring that students get good degrees, but no learning as such...

Govt. initiative to revive the ITIs thru NSDC is a welcome step but it is too little too late.. we need 500MN skilled resources by 2022, but out vocational institutes are not able to produce even 10% of this required nbr annually...

Which also means that there is a substantial business opportunity waiting to be tapped :-)

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