The world’s ascendant education superpower?

Look, who’s seeing India as the “world’s ascendant education superpower” while we break our heads of how bad it is getting and send of our kids to the United States, Australia and Europe?

Japan, is who.

Martin Fackler reports in The New York Times reports that bookstores are filled with titles like Extreme Indian Arithmetic Drills and The Unknown Secrets of the Indians. Newspapers carry reports of Indian children memorizing multiplication tables far beyond nine times nine. Japan’s few Indian international schools are reporting a surge in applications from Japanese families. And Indian education is a frequent topic on talk shows.

Read the full story: Losing an edge, Japanese envy India’s schools

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14 Responses to “The world’s ascendant education superpower?”

  1. tarlesubba Says:

    and we should be envious of the hungarians.

    tagged as: betta, doora, nuNapu, henDathi, aDige pakkadmane

  2. tarlesubba Says:

    maggi paaTha, ka guNita obiraayana kaalada deNige. nammour yen kosadiddu hosatu?

    Scientist expresses concern over falling education standards

    Prof Srinivasan who hails from Kolar spoke to media persons on Wednesday in detail about the status of education and research in India. He also explained the progress of his works and research at the International Council for Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

    There is no adequate teaching staff in the universities and colleges in India. The laboratories lack even basic equipments. Under such circumstances, it is very difficult to maintain good quality of education, he felt.

    Mr Srinivasan expressed concern that the present generation, in its mad rush for money, has forgotten values like honesty, dedication, commitment and hardwork. Everyone wants easy money, and the urge to earn quick money has overpowered all other aspects of life, he observed.

    He said that ICTP, which functions with the support of UNESCO, International Centre for Atomic Energy and other international organisations provides opportunities for meritorious scientists coming from developing nations. Every year about 5,000 to 6,000 scientists from different countries visit ICTP for guidance of which 250-300 are from India, he added.

    Replying to a query on the proposed nuclear deal of India with the USA, Mr Srinivasan said the agreement will have no effect on the fuel and energy sector in India.

    Speaking on energy conservation, he urged for tapping alternative energy sources such as solar energy which is available in abundance in the nature. If developed countries including America and Canada considerably cut down on the consumption of electricity they will be contributing significantly in resolving the problem of global warming, he said.

    Mr Srinivasan is in India to participate in a seminar organised by the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

  3. Girish Says:

    Tarle, right on target. doorada betta yavaglU nuNNage.

    Before we even begin to believe in this superpower sh*t, how about providing decent classrooms, text books, clean drinking water, toilets and other basic amenities in schools to majority of our children?

    I pity the Japanese kids in these Indian run “International” kindergartens. What a bunch of misfits they will turn out to be. It is one thing to be fascinated with exotic things. But to associate quality and prestige with everything exotic is plain stupid.

  4. Bhaskar Chatterjee Says:

    I am not sure how much average Indians are aware, but Japan’s rise in late 19th century was a great inspiration in the formation years of Indian nationalism in first decade of 20th century. Partition of Bengal, the defining moment of Indian nationalism, derived great inspration from Japan’s win over Russia.

    Its no wonder, Shinzo Abe in his speech before Indian Parliament paid glorious tribute to Swami Vivekanand, Sister Nivedita and underlined the role played by Japanese raianssance man Tenshin Okakura. (Full speech of Abe can be found at

    As Japan is now kind of questioning its identity (the very reason why Shinzo Abe became PM at such an young age)- whatever respect Japanese are now showing to Indian education should be looked into that broader perspective.

    Japan has many cultural similarities with India. Very popular Japanese ANIME like “Avatar”, works of legendary directors like Miyazaki are testament of that cultural closeness.

  5. Bhaskar Chatterjee Says:

    Tarle: You are absolutely wrong. Go and visit any university, lab, reserach institutes in Western Countries- you will see tons of Indians working based on their sheer academic ability.

    I think there are data to prove, Indian (and Chinese) constitute some 40-50% or more of key American hightech research instutes. Indian students perform regularly much above average in any school districts anywhere in USA.

    The poor infrastructure in Indian universities, colleges are because of political mismanagement- it has little to do ability of Indian students and teachers. Go and grab the collar of Marxist ideologues who define policy, people like Arjun Singh et al. Its they who are the culprit.

    There was a memorable piece by Suketu Mehta in the NYTimes last year where he expressed anxiety of American students vis-a-vis Indian Students.

    Even Bill Gates regularly refers to quality of Indian students whenever he talks about american educational system and its drawback.

    My friend, its good time to change the perception.

  6. Alok Says:

    You can’t see the Indian educational system as one big coherent blob of teachers-students-infrastructure and make sense of this report.

    If you see it as a set of distinct sytems, catering to different sets of students, it makes more sense.

    The rich and the middle class can access some of the best schools and best undergrad education (in Asia, if not in the world), but even their money cannot buy the kind of quality research facilities and faculty available in institutions outside India. Therefore, brain drain of scientists and researchers. Job prospects are great because of well, ahem, IT, and also the many, many MNCs who are entering India, apart from established Indian companies who want to expand. Naturally, they look to recruit from the best graduates, so these colleges and universities get a better name, and attract more good students for undergrad study.

    On the other hand, the poor and lower middle class have always been dependent on the Government monopoly on rural education, and this starts them off with a huge setback. Considering the shoddy way in which schools there are run, it is little surprise when we find out about high dropout rates, poor pass percentages, and unemployable graduates.

    It is no surprise if the former category of institutions are admired and sought to be emulated, even by Japan.

  7. Aashadabhoothi Says:

    Lets be fair and give our Indian education system its due. I agree with Mr Chaterjee on many counts. However we should understand that in the primary education arena there are two different and distinct education systems in India. We have the educational institutes for the middle class and above and the system for the poor classes. The middle class education system for primary schools is owned mostly by the private enterprises and they are quite okay and maintain a high standard of learning. It is from these institutes we have produced the best of our engineers and doctors. These are the people who have made a mark in the international arena. Although our education culture does not allow for too much of innovation and exploration we have done quite well. But what is pathetic is the government run schools which are free and through which the poor of country who are in majority try to get educated. Most people who attend these government schools rarely make it beyond the primary schooling stage.

  8. HalliHudga Says:

    while its inspiring to see developed countries trying take a leaf out of our education system, lets not get carried away too much.. we need to fix our education system so that at least basic primary education is ensured for all kids

  9. Sathya Says:

    Modalu namma iskool meshTrige osi paaTha yeLbeku. Allujjodrinda konethnaka yeLkoTTu avru ikaLana tiddovange maaDbeku. Fist we should improve our teachers, they should bo taught right from brushing their teeth to every thing. How many of them are committed to work. ONce upon a time their salary was very poor, now it is OK but they indulge in local politics etc and therebythe waste their energy and time

  10. Sanjay Guha Says:

    Poor Japs. May god help them

  11. gundabhat Says:

    keep dreaming……..

  12. Anonymous Guy Says:

    The japanese go through various strange cultural phases:

  13. Koppal Haida Says:

    Hmmmm.. I think the Japs forgot to visit JNU

  14. Bevu Bella Says:

    When one scandal after another is hitting Mysore university, this blog poting appears. As some one who taught in IITs I will tell what went on there. They are like 5 star hotels with glitsy reception and roach-infested kitchen. The only difference between Mysore U and an IIT is in the former dirty linen is washed in the public, and in the latter we used to hide them beoyond the reach of inquisitors.

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