The PhD Pool

Everything works like a factory. Schools feed the raw material to colleges and colleges to universities
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Representational ImageFile/GK

In the popular movie, ‘3-idiots’, Ranchhod-das tells Priya that her father is not running a college but a factory, manufacturing donkeys every year. A similar satire can be drawn if we choose to draft a story for another such movie from our part of the world.

Our colleges are churning graduates and universities, post graduates, then all of them swim in the PhD pool. Everything works like a factory. Schools feed the raw material to colleges and colleges to universities.

Most of it is raw till the end, only a few get processed and refined. With such a limited end-product, a factory would truly shut up the next day. Life is after all, a profit and loss statement. But here in the educational institutions, the (un)processing goes on and on for eternity.

Why this kolaveri kolaveri de, one may ask? If NEET is a standard examination to choose candidates for medical graduation, why should we retain other modes of selection?  Similarly, if JEE is to pick up the lot for engineering, why should we engineer them from elsewhere.

If UGC-CSIR NET/JRF shall decide the aptitude for teaching and research, what are others furthering into. For God’s sake, let the successes have a sanctity and the competitions a credibility. 

Enabling choice after choice and chance after chance to ensure a success to everyone disgraces the very essence of success. It promotes mediocrity and demotes the merit.

The zeal and zest with which the youngsters would sit in a competition is gradually zeroed because they can make to it through one or the other mediocre platforms.

With the result, students are no more serious, success is no more a rare feat and competitions are no more cut throat.  Therefore, all around us we have a pool of medical doctors, engineers and other professionals without a hallmark and hence not worth the job market.

The scene is especially worst with the holders of doctoral degrees, more so in literature, humanities and life sciences. Doing PhD is a very casual affair in our student community.

They do it by hook or by crook. They do it anyway. During this period, men work for livelihood and women get married, have children and get set well in the family. A PhD in true sense of term should not let you do anything else in life, especially big. 

The same degree at oxford and at other places of academic prestige is a crowning achievement and would necessarily land you high in life. People stake a great deal of things in life so as not to compromise the quality of doctoral degree.  But PhD at our place has rather turned into an acronym for a Phishing Degree.

This raises a few concerns as follows. Earning livelihood and getting married are the two great necessities in life but why are these necessarily done in the era of doing PhD. Is PhD so manageable with other things in life and how always.

Or is it a fun funda or a bogus baggage. What has prompted the government in place to make all recruitments through JKPSC and JKSSRB by significantly reducing the weightage of higher degrees.  Why do we need to revisit the procedures. Why are they so easy to be through.    

Again, it comes from ‘3-idiots’ that with mediocrity one may save his chastity and honour during the four years in college but will be constantly molested for next 40 years of life.

And that is what exactly is happening. The unemployment graph has been exponentially rising over the years, despite all tags, prefixes and suffixes against our names. Earning does not always come from learning. Iqbal falls in place to say

jis khet se dahqāñ ko mayassar nahīñ rozī

us khet ke har ḳhosha-e-gandum ko jalā do

One may gain knowledge even without acquiring a degree but acquiring a job will always need the desired skill, upcoming and updated. The survival of fittest always holds good.

Therefore, what is in the air is the idea of innovative startups. Better late than never, for the governments to be at it.

One such event lasted at SKICC Srinagar from 9 to 11 November urging people, especially the students for self-entrepreneurship.

The innovative ideas may come from a school-child, a house-wife, a local shopkeeper or a mini work-sector.

Let us apply the mind, the raw mind, the processed mind, the educated mind, the uneducated mind, the young mind and the aged mind, all alike. Mind is the means, mind is the measure.

Mind is the peer, mind is the power A wise man has said, to understand the immeasurable the mind must be extra-ordinarily quiet and still.  So relax and chill.

Take the life as it comes to you together with the mind within you. Let all degrees and desk-works remain indoors. Let the minds glow to lit the life. The raw intelligence is awesome.

Dr. Qudsia Gani, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Physics, Govt. College for Women, Srinagar

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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