New Delhi: An overwhelmingly large number of students – both boys and girls – take science as a subject till class 12 but very few go up to the post-graduation level in the field, Union Minister for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said, terming the issue as an “aptitudinal crisis” in Indian society.
Singh also said in Lok Sabha that the government is “very much conscious” of the gender gap among those pursuing the study of science and that is why new projects and new schemes are being initiated each passing day.
“If you take class 12 level, you will have 80-90 per cent of the students, both boys and girls, who have science as subjects but very few of them go up to do post-graduation,” he said during Question Hour.
That means, the minister said, the students are taking up those subjects not for science per se as their goal but are looking for something else.
Maybe in class 12, they are looking for a high score to get into NEET (medicine course) or to get into IIT-JEE (engineering course). “If they succeed, that is well and good. But if they do not, then they go in for graduation for a higher score in civil services,” he said.
Singh said in the civil services, nearly 90 per cent are boys and girls who are coming from the engineering and medical streams.
“So, they do not actually go in for aptitude. Sir, there is an aptitudinal crisis in Indian society. I think that is still to be evolved,” he said.
The minister said in the recent few years, female scientists have come forward in many fields and the government has been encouraging them, besides devising special programmes for them.
Replying to another supplementary, Singh said the Modi government in the last three years has acquired a three-pronged approach in the science and technology sector.
He said these include integration of all the science streams plus industry-academia, an approach which leads to the coming up of start-ups and ensures that scientific growth is inked with sources of livelihood in order to sustain it.