Sunday, May 23, 2010

One Missed Call: A new language in itself!

What do you think is the most common method of communication among the youth today?

SMS’, Mobile phone calls, Facebook messages, Orkut scraps, MMSs, Voice mails all are losing out to a mode which does not even figure on the list.

How does one contact the friend who’s inside his house when you are standing outside but you don’t want to waste a call on it as well? Yes, you guessed right, you give him a missed call. This highly popular mode of communication now figures among one of the constants of teenage life. How do you know if your girlfriend’s dad is around or not? You give her a missed call and if she gives you one back, it’s safe! This is a foolproof method as it eliminates risk and at the same time is pocket friendly.

How else is it used? There are much better examples as well. What do you do when your money runs out and you need back up? There is only one eternal saviour at all those times (and if you are at college, those times do come, often!!). That individual is called Dad! And how do you contact him? Of course, you give him a missed call and he will call you back, as is his duty to. Almost the whole lot of students at university never ever call home. They always give missed calls and the poor folks at home have to call back.

This rapidly increasing segment of the mobile using population has users among the senior population as well. Grandpas and Grandmas are also giving missed calls to their middle aged wards to get them to call back. And if you think that’s all you are gravely mistaken. How do you get your friend in the other row to look at you when you want to share a private joke about the professor? You give him a missed call and he will promptly turn and look at you.

These are just a few examples of how a simple thing such as a missed call influences the life of a teenager (and a wider diaspora as well). There may be other instances where the missed call is used and of which we might have no idea at all.

If such is the situation, how do we know what a teenager thinks, what he might use at what stage and what he might shun? What is evident from such phenomenon is that a one size fits all just doesn’t work across all parts of the population.

Therein lays the challenge for the researcher!

Sairam Krishnan
THE destination to connect with the Indian Youth.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Education Imbroglio

                                                                 THE EDUCATION IMBROGLIO

What do the Indian youth of today feel about the educational scenario? A country with almost as many students as the population of most countries, India has always been an intellectual powerhouse. Most of the world’s best and most brilliant brains come from India. But why does the disparity still prevail among society. Why aren’t we able to develop fully? The answers do not lie outside, but within.

Most students in the burgeoning Indian middle class are brought up with a very narrow minded approach to careers. It’s either medicine or engineering. Anything else is just not acceptable. Why? Mostly because the parents feel that saying that their son is a doctor or an engineer is far better than anything else. This puts the student under tremendous amount of pressure and he has no say in this matter. The world is teeming with opportunities. But the kid is just not allowed to look at them.

Apart from this is the whole situation here in our country, where the system thrives on learning by rote and gives absolutely no importance to the learning that goes with it. And of course, burdening the student with so much coursework that the creativity of the young mind never has time to flourish. The whole expression of youth is gone, lost to useless tussles at drawing a biology record book or writing 45 pages of a book report he never liked anyway. How many artists, poets and film makers would we have lost in this way? The top ranker is a guy who knows nothing about the concepts of electromagnetic theory but would know which page and paragraph in the book it falls on.

The best minds go out of the country. Then who teaches our children, you ask? Those who do, choose teaching as a last resort. The quality of teachers has gone down because; there isn’t any money in it. This is atrocious, part of a vicious circle that leads our country further and further down the drain.
Of course, not everything is lost. The system still produces the most brilliant scientists, researchers and software professionals in the world. The point to be carried forward here is the leaps we would make on the world stage with just a little bit of effort and common sense. There’s so much to do in this world. Let me do it. 

This is what the young people of India say:

I am like this only.

Sairam Krishnan