E-Drexler in India —
where do all the visitors come from?

by Eric Drexler on 2009/11/02

Rosa recently returned from Ashoka meetings in Chennai and Hyderabad, reminding me of some information I’d collected about Indian visits to my website, E-drexler.com. India is enormously diverse (e.g., many cultures, 18 officially recognized regional languages, and very different state governments), and I became curious about where inside India this traffic was coming from. Here’s a map showing where visits originated during an interval of about five days:

Visitors to E-drexler from India

I was impressed with the broad geographic distribution of visitors, and I’ve also noticed that, in comparison to readers from the U.S., readers from India tend to focus on the hard-core technical content of the website — for example, the Nanosystems content and Technology Roadmap downloads, relative to softer material like my bio or Engines of Creation.

This widespread interest and implied level of knowledge both fit with what I encountered when visiting India (especially at IIT Delhi and IISC in Bangalore), and they are also consistent with the quality of Indian education in science and mathematics. For example, Indian parents with children in U.S. schools reportedly have a problem if they move back: In math, their children are least 2 years behind their peers, and must take classes at a lower grade level.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

fiaorsh November 5, 2009 at 6:32 am UTC

Please try not to be so sweepingly generalized about the Indian educational system, even in the science and math.

“This widespread interest and implied level of knowledge both fit with what I encountered when visiting India (especially at IIT Delhi and IISC in Bangalore), and they are also consistent with the quality of Indian education in science and mathematics.”

No doubt Indians will feel flattered, since they are always desperately in need of any westerner’s approval. However that is an absolutely nonsensical observation.

Your experience has perhaps been with those who belong to the fraction of the top percent of people who get to attend the IITs and IISCs in India. To top that, those are institutions that still do not rank in the top 100 of the world’s best educational institutions, despite their oh so glorious scientific and technical education.

Look at the real statistics and ground realities, and you will discover that the Indian educational system, at high school or college level is abysmally bad for the incomprehensibly vast majority of people in India. The dysfunctional system has actually lead an alarming decrease in functional literacy and the inability to generate a coherent or articulate thought for most, including the educated elite.

Taking your approach if I look at people I only know from Stanford, Harvard and MIT and consider them the representatives of all Americans, well then all Americans are absolute geniuses!

MyMyMy November 5, 2009 at 2:37 pm UTC

fiaorsh, you have to remember something:

“The 25% of India’s population with the highest IQ’s…
… Is GREATER than the total population of United States.” - Did you know? by SingularityU

Eric Drexler November 5, 2009 at 6:03 pm UTC

@ fiaorsh — Thanks for your remarks, which note important questions and facts relevant to understanding Indian education as whole. My response grew into this post “Indian education, top to bottom”.

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