THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 12 September 2018 (Encouraging young minds)

Encouraging young minds 

Mains Paper: 2 | Issues relating to Education From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Education ecosystem 
Mains level:  Exploring scientific ideas is difficult in India’s education ecosystem 


  • Education system in India hardly played any role in moulding the child prodigy and this was also rather the case with Manjul Bhargava (Fields medal 2014).
  • Subhash Khot, won the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize in 2014, had more of an Indian education — a bachelor’s degree in computer science at IIT Bombay.
  • The question, therefore, is, why has our education system not produced any Fields medalists, especially when there is no dearth of talent?

Loopholes in education system 

  • The the opportunities and training that these talents receive — or fail to receive rather the lack of these.
  • India devoted to training students of mathematics and identifying and nurturing talent is the Mathematics Training and Talent Search, which was started 25 years ago,
  • In 1993. There are also programmes that train students to compete in the Mathematics Olympiad.
  • Mr. Khot is a two-time International Olympiad silver medallist.

India and France a comparison

  • France population close to 6.5 crore, has about 3,000-4,000 scientists.
  • It also boasts of 12 Fields medallists.
  • This is comparable to the U.S., which has much more in terms of resources, according to Sinnou David, a mathematician and professor at Sorbonne University, France. 
  • The existence of schools like the École normale supérieure, in Paris, where a number of Fields medallists were trained.
  • But one cannot simply create such schools out of thin air. 
  • They must be nested in a balanced network of universities, teacher education systems, and most importantly, a solid base in school education.


  • It’s claiming that such honours are not what India needs now. 
  • It while top prizes are not themselves a solution to all problems that beset education in India,
  • They remain a characteristic of a healthy educational ecosystem. 
  • Only such an ecosystem can create enough space for young minds to explore abstract mathematical and scientific ideas freely and in turn challenge the boundaries of existing knowledge.

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  With reference to Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme,consider the following statements:
1. It aims to improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years.
2. Pregnant and lactating mothers form a target group of the scheme.
3. District health centres are used for providing all services under the Scheme.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 2 and 3 only

Answer:  B

Mains Questions:
Q.1) Exploring scientific ideas is difficult in India’s education ecosystem.

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