This post is only for my Indian readers.
At 15, I moved to Bihar to live with my grandmother. I noted a remarkable reduction in average intelligence. Most of my peers had never studied anything other than applied sciences and math. Even those they studied solely to qualify a competitive exam. They thought that they were intellectually ahead of the nation. They were behind.
In my previous school, guys were modest, not too confident of their intellect. They didn’t have much expectation from life. They engaged in all sorts of activities, such as sports, music, and art. They developed a variety of skills. They understood life more because they had lived more. Thus, they were more mature. In my new school, a few states away, kids were told from a very young age that engineering and medicine are the only two ways. That’s why they took no interest in anything but the sciences. They remained intellectually undeveloped. They lacked physical fitness, too.
Since IITs were hyped, schools advertised the alumni who qualified for IIT even if they couldn't read. Schools were not created to produce engineers but literate and empowered citizens who can read and understand their rights and duties. At my new school, no one listened to language teachers because language scores did not matter. People made fun of teachers who taught history and political sciences. Why wouldn’t they? They would have preferred not having any history and language education. Neither helps in JEE.
Ever since JEE became central to Indian education, students started studying only math and science. In fact, they didn’t study math and science either. They only studied numerical problems and processes they needed to solve problems on JEE practice tests. Whenever I talked about Physics, most of them could not hold a reasonable conversation with me, not even my teachers. Of course, reason did not matter either. To sum it all up, most of my peers at my school knew nothing but how to solve numerical problems in physics and maths. I attributed all of it to the mayhem of JEE. Indeed, it is a curse.
PS. This episode happened in 2011-2013, my last two years of high school.