Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that schools and colleges in the country have been "over academised" with more concentration on the degree than on talent and learning.
The minister was speaking at the launch of the reference book titled "An Expert’s Guide to the Top 101 Entry-Level Jobs for MBAs and Graduates" by author T. Muralidharan here on Thursday.
"We’ve over academised our schools and colleges. We have spent too much time concentrating at the curriculum and skills that can deploy talent rather than on learning, said Sitharaman.
"I wouldn’t hesitate in saying that we have been looking down on talent thinking that’s not important and you should be qualified to get a degree. Our scoring process is over-driven towards passing the exam. Everything comes down to what you do during that exam," she added.
"We have youngsters who are not keen on academics. I think we are overburdening them by giving them things, they don’t want. If you look at their talents, inclinations, interests, they are far ahead of what the school is offering," she explained.
Referring to the Wadala girl who dropped out of formal schooling at the age of 12 and secured a place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), defying the undue weightage given to marks and degrees, the minister said, "the admission process in Indian schools won’t accommodate her because she doesn’t have the tenth class certificate".
"We push our children to what they don’t want and it can eventually create problems in their lives in the future".
She described the book by Muralidharan as "of great use for not just those seeking jobs but also the government which is looking at every opportunity to find ways to create jobs".
"This book can be the raw material for a lot of things".
The book helps identify 101 job roles for nearly 2 million new entry-level vacancies for graduates in the next six years.
The author said, "Most of the graduates start looking for jobs shortly before and immediately after graduation. Under extreme placement pressure, most choose the first available job and realize within three months that it is not the job they want to do".
"There is a desperate need for job counselling in the campuses and every graduate has to make an informed choice. Every parent must ensure that the child reads this book before taking up any job," he added.
Noting that the Prime Minister’s major concern during every cabinet meeting is the creation of jobs, Sitharaman said, "This government has definitely put an effort. The ministry is in the process of doing its job. We are not confining ourselves to India based agencies and institutions."
"Skills mapping is happening. Many of the international universities across the globe who have the recognition are willing to come in and associate with us."
"From the point of commerce, we are pushing ahead to one thing. We negotiate with countries abroad to have a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA). We are trying that our degrees are recognized in abroad."
She emphasised on the point that counselling of children is important throughout.
"Counselling is another thing that can make a lot of difference. It should not be done just at the last point but during the period of the course," she concluded.