Entrance Exams

The Future of Academia?

The Future of Academia - Career beyond JEE and NEET
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Our fathers lived a different life than the rest of us, says any one born after 1980. Back then a degree or a recommendation would have gotten people into a job. Sure the government jobs were hard to get but hey, life was easier back then. But now it’s not the honeymoon period of academia. The old adage of “only need to pass” has been thrown out with the need to get more than anyone else in the whole world (India) being the norm. The relentless pursuit of the imaginary rainbow of “know it all “is the present agenda.

What do I mean by the previous paragraph? Well, what I mean to say is that the entry into academia has become harder and frustrating to get into places with each passing decade. Almost 5 lakh students need to fight over about 10,000 engineering seats writing JEE main this year alone in India. The trend, I believe, started in the west where the proud education board of the government introduced kindergarten entrance exam to multitudes of gormless baby boomers who had a hard time to understand that the time you mostly associate with innocence and wonder should not be spent trying to learn superficial knowledge that you learn at a later date to prepare for another exam that they will need to take.

Life was and is pretty grim for those who are born into the family who believe medicine or engineering are the only professions worth following and anything else may as well be a dialog of futility as the traditional and uncompromising mind set of the parents are cancer to the creative minds of their progeny. One should wonder how many authors or artists had their creative sparks put out and had their great and prosperous future replaced by a great and not so prosperous life.
One which would have them spend hours on end at work only to have them be unemployed if they do not measure up in the corporate plan or if they are not married to any one of the board members or are relatives of said board members.

The engineering and medical fields have this problem in a humongous scale with millions of students urged by their uncaring parents to pick up the tool and practices of their supposed ‘career’ goal and cause the whole lot of people to surrender their right to choose their education over the choice of being the doctors of men or the doctors of machines, wherever their fate may lay in their future. So, the next headache for the ones who would choose (see: forced) to be an engineer or a doctor is the exams they will have to write to help join their chosen profession i.e. JEE MAIN for engineers and a plethora of other exams for medicine. Both of which have cut offs, which will have to be met, failing the same would result in a situation where the student will be forced to write it again. But before you can conjure the story of “Robert the Bruce and the spider”, be warned as the test can only be take 3 times in total, meaning-like baseball you’re out after your third strike.

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Vishal Arora

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