Since Independence, successive Indian governments have had to address a number of key challenges with regard to education policy, which has always formed a crucial part of its development agenda. Improving the standards of education in India will be a critical test and it will need to resolve concerns over the content of the curriculum, as well as tackling the underlying challenges to education. India's "demographic bulge" -
the hundreds of millions of young people who will flood its job markets in the next decade is in danger of sliding into a lopsided paunch that will weigh the nation down and crimp its gross domestic product. The problem is simple: Indians are obsessed with textbook education and white-collar dreams. Most of them shy away from blue-collar careers that could guarantee them employment and income. The less formally-educated youth lack proper vocational training and are doomed to drift from one low-paying stint to another.
For a long time, academic performance in the classroom and standardized test scores have been at the top of the list for most colleges. While these priorities have been consistent, one of the new factors more colleges are paying attention to is Demonstrated Interest. Until about 10 years ago, this concept was used primarily by admission "insiders;" deans of admission or senior-level admission officers. Today, the idea of Demonstrated Interest is better known by many, but probably misunderstood by most. Deans of Admission are under pressure to enrol an exact number of students each year; no more and no less. Factoring in Demonstrated Interest has proven to be a valuable tool to achieve this aim.
Demonstrated interest is the degree to which you show a college that you are sincerely interested in coming to their school. It has become an important, subtle tool that colleges use to efficiently and accurately enrol a specific target number of students each year. Demonstrated interest is something that colleges quantify through specific reliable behaviours undertaken by potential students. Colleges can then use this quantified behaviour to incorporate into sophisticated models or algorithms that may lead them to admit students or decide how much merit aid to award. In the competitive marketplace for potential students, it is of great value to a college to have a stronger level of certainty that students are more likely to attend, compared to another applicant. Colleges gauge the interest through fairly ordinary behaviours. Making an official campus visit through the admission office is one of the most valuable ways to show the interest.
Social learning in education is now trending and turns out to be one of the most significant aspects that need to be incorporated into the practices of education with the aid of technology. It facilitates engagement, collaboration and interaction among students, teachers or anyone connected to education. There has been a wild competition for tech development in this field, and we can witness a range of outstanding tools and apps which make learning a social thing. Similarly, teachers need constant help and guidance to provide their students with the best lesson plans and resources. There are numerous tools which help teachers do so and also enhance their professional development. Here are compilations of some of the tech tools especially for Social Learning and Lesson Planning, including some that are becoming increasingly popular and widely used, that should be part of any tools for teachers list, whether for their own personal use or as educational aids in the classroom.
Advice to Student community
1. Work on a professional persona. Starting in grad school, practice professional values that impress employers. Your professors will write your letters of recommendations or they may refer you to specific job prospects; allow them to develop a positive view of you. It takes more than knowledge to land a job. Be smart about impression management.
2. Establish a strong professional direction. A postgraduate education endows students with strong qualifications that have to be guided toward an intended professional path. Research the job market to know the trends and hiring needs. Use the information to conceive a variety of professional options. Envision different professional paths and dare to think of yourself performing different occupations. Seek good mentor and listen to the feedback from mentors while deciding the process towards the information.
3. Work on the essentials. There are established professional documents and performances that employees must manage. Write your C.V. early and keep different versions of it (short and long, or different styles for different kinds of jobs). Get feedback from a reliable source. Rewrite it multiple times until you have developed the best version of yourself on paper. Practice your interview skills. Put together a panel of professors or appropriate professionals who would be willing to practice mock interviews for the job you want. Hear their feedback for improvement. Attend job seminars organized by your university's career centre or your department. Approach them and ask if they would be willing to write a positive letter of recommendation on your behalf.
4. Refine interpersonal skills. Professional success partly depends on other people. Be mindful of your interaction with others. Good relationships accrue goodwill, which translates into intangible capital. Unforeseen support and collaborations can always arise in unexpected places. Remember, you never know who will help you in the future. Understand the social politics governing workplaces (even graduate programs have them). Listening well and being attentive allows you to recognize who and what can affect your career. It also allows you to be mindful of opportunities. Practice being a sensible colleague. In grad school, the lines of friend and colleague can be blurred, but in the workplace such undefined boundaries can elicit unintended consequences. Find professional networks and cultivate positive connections. These relations can materialize into future collaborations, references, or sources of information, among others.
5. Cultivate sanity and live your life. University and professional lives are only part of the building blocks of fulfilment. It is a good practice to find significance and serenity in ordinary existence. A balanced individual communicates stability and credibility. The professional world will notice. Find interests that promote well-being in your life. Engage in meaningful activities that make you happy.
Finally, remember that knowledge does not land jobs, intelligence does; thus, be ingenious in building your professional future starting in grad school.(As Told to Amrutha Ram)
Dr. Abhijit Sarkar
A member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors London, (MRICS), he is responsible for the corporate real estate, administration, general services, facilities (soft and technical services), infrastructure, purchase and sourcing, health and safety, security, travel and MICE and so on. He has always been instrumental in writing handbooks, manuals process notes for most of the organizations. He is the board member of iNFHRA, and a recipient of recognitions for working with organizations like ICICI Securities, TNT India, Bombay Dyeing, Piramals in leadership positions.