[Editorial Analysis] Where are the programmers?

Mains Paper 2: Education
Prelims level: Not much
Mains level: Scenario of technical education institutions

Context:

• There is a lack of adequate numbers of programmers in India despite having one of the largest number of.

Problems:

• Poor Concept Clarity: New graduates are often afraid of programming or lack the right understanding of basic concepts.

• Shift towards Non-Programming Jobs: Even graduates with high marks prefer to move to non-programming careers with lower salaries.

• Poor Training: Thousands of talented students drift away from highly rewarding programming careers because of poor teaching of programming. Except some elite institutions, the faculty in computer science departments of a majority of the colleges do not put their knowledge to use, to solve real-life problems.

• Poor structure of Programs: The faculty memorise programs and then go on to teach their students the same method.

• College Level Project – a sham: Students buy ready-made projects for a fee from marquee institutes to submit to the university as bonafide projects.

Solutions for Better Programming Culture:

• Focus on Trainer’s Skill level: We need computer science faculty with good programming skills.

• Use of Multiple Programming Languages: They need to be comfortable explaining or teaching computer science concepts using any computer language in the classroom. For example, data structure and algorithms (ds-algo) must be taught along with a programming language, not just as a separate theory.

• Focus on Practical Experience: A minimum of three years of software development experience for faculty should be made mandatory. The college management or even the government could step in and incentivise or bear the cost of this experience.

• Removing distinction between Theory and the Practical: the program needs to be written and executed in the classroom on every student’s laptop while theory is being taught, not in a separate laboratory.

• More Assignments: Programming assignments must be given frequently. These should be checked into some cloud repositories like GitHub.

Importance for the Student as well as industry:

• Bridging the Skill Gap: If students are guided this way, companies would be more than happy to take these students as interns. These students can assist their development team.

• This industry-academic partnership will benefit both parties, as the industry funds academic research to solve the latest real-life problems and academia provides employable and productive graduates to the industry.

Conclusion:

• Once the right programming culture is inculcated in campuses, it will unleash the huge human technological potential of India and help the country become the technological superpower of the coming decade.

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Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to the appointment of Supreme Court Judges, consider the following statements:

1. Articles 124(2) and 217 of the Constitution governs the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts respectively.

2. The Prime Minister has the power to make the appointments.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: A

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