Sunday, September 09, 2012

Recruiters scrapping aptitude tests – A good sign?

(This is something that I wrote long back...but never got it published anywhere. So, just posting it here. )

Science educators across the country have been discussing the need to improve the Indian educational standards, particularly calling attention to the “pattern recognition” type of training in the current educational system1.  Researchers have been calling the need to inculcate ‘irreverence’ in science education2, 3. However, it is not only the educational and research institutes that play a role in setting the standards of the graduates. Students’ motivation to learn, apply and achieve are, in part, inspired from the recruiters. Particularly with the engineering colleges, majority of the students aim to get placed in the IT companies. Thus the IT companies, or any other recruiting company for that matter, play an important role in setting the standards as to what to expect from graduates. In this line, the aptitude tests that these recruiting companies conduct as a form of screening the potential candidates has been helping to set the necessary levels of ‘thinking’ that a graduate should possess. Whether these aptitude tests are indeed up to the standards is a question of separate debate and discussion though.  The recent news article that appeared in Hindu ( shows a policy change towards what recruiting companies want from students. The news article says that the companies are looking for “consistent performers”. A consistent performer from our current educational system is one who has successfully been able to recognize patterns among words and numbers and was able to reproduce it effectively without error in exams. Moreover, this initiative is also a bias against the ‘late bloomers’. There can be no reason to discriminate the late bloomers against ‘consistent performers’. Such initiatives do not facilitate the goals that educators and researchers are aiming to set up. Recruiting companies should realize their role in education and devise recruiting strategies based on discussions and views from educators and researchers. With a long-term vision, recruiting companies along with academicians can, and have the ability, to transform Indian educational system and hence the society as a whole. 


1.            Mohanan, K.P. (2010) Entrance examinations for science and technology. Curr. Sci. 99:1321.
2.            Mashelkar, R.A. (2010) Irreverence and indian science. Science. 328:547.
3.            Balaram, P. (2010) Irreverence and advancement. Curr. Sci. 98:1155-1156.

A misconception

A major misconception that I am currently seeing is that people, in general, think that those in the teaching profession know "everything".