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A dancer, a yogi, a chef, a coder and an angel investor wish they had NEP-like vocational courses growing up

A dancer, a yogi, a chef, a coder and an angel investor wish they had NEP-like vocational courses growing up
BI India/BCCL
  • The National Education Policy has given students the flexibility to choose from across sections like arts, science, commerce, sports and other vocational subjects.
  • We talk to successful people who share how the existence of such options back then would have brought them closer to their dreams, sooner.
‘I dropped out of school because they couldn’t teach me what I wanted to study’ how many times have you heard this sentence from successful people today because they wanted to be more than live within the boundaries of maths, science and arts.

Today, the National Education Policy has removed those barriers and has given students the flexibility to choose from across sections like arts, science, commerce, sports and other vocational subjects.

This move has been welcomed by all as it offers students to build life skills or follow their passion from early on.

Successful people from different backgrounds today share their thoughts on how things would have been different if they had the option when they were studying.



Dr Ritesh Malik, a doctor, angel investor and co-founder of Innov8

Dr Ritesh Malik, a doctor, angel investor and co-founder of Innov8
BCCL

Dr Malik founded the co-working space Innov8, which was acquired by OYO in 2019. He’s also one of the most active angel investors.

"I actually never wanted to be a doctor. I have 37 doctors in my family already and that’s why I had to pursue medicine. But having said that, my ideal choice would have been economics and biology, because I was passionate about both subjects. I was very intrigued in biotechnology as well. Unfortunately, I ended up taking physics, chemistry and biology, without maths to actually take the all India pre-medical exam."

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Sarvesh Shashi, Yogi and founder of Sarva

Sarvesh Shashi, Yogi and founder of Sarva
Sarva

Sarvesh Shashi dropped out of college to pursue yoga. He has gone on to build one of the most known yoga studios in India – Sarva. The startup is funded by top celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Malaika Arora, Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput.

It needn't have been just yoga, but say if I had the opportunity to do BComm (Bachelor’s degree in commerce) and on the parallel also take up something like cricket or yoga as a course, it would have been different. Then this whole idea of passion becoming a profession would have absolutely narrowed down. It’s quite fascinating to see these policies come into play – is it because of the stress and anxiety people face in today’s times, or because of COVID, but whatever it may be it remains to be seen how it really plays out.

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Rajeswari Vaidyanathan, a banker turned into an accredited DanceSport trainer

Rajeswari Vaidyanathan, a banker turned into an accredited DanceSport trainer
Rajeswari Vaidyanathan

Rajeswari Vaidyanathan shifted from a successful banking career to dancing. Today, she has trained actors Ranveer Singh, Vaani Kapoor, Katrina Kaif on specific films and most recently worked on Mira Nair’s film A Suitable Boy.

We grew believing the success was in the conventional fields only. This left the art world not focused on quality and high level delivery. The people bought whatever was sold with discretion as there was no bench mark. This was my biggest hurdle and dismay as our thought process was radically different.

This new system will bring a spike in the quality in these professions, boom the industry and make it a more organised sector. What defines a top corporate is a mind that believes in success and hence delivers it. Imagine students of this mindset coming into the artworld. I wish we had this opportunity in our times, maybe I would have started dancing earlier while in the corporate world imbibing the experience required to take the dance world ahead. Maybe, International Latin would have come earlier. Maybe we will soon have business management schools offering exclusive courses to run and operate dance, music and other such schools.

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Pranav Sharma, Senior Chef at Olive Delhi

Pranav Sharma, Senior Chef at Olive Delhi
BI India

Pranav Sharma was majoring in business administration, and only after he finished college, he went on to pursue culinary arts in Australia. Today, he’s a senior chef at Olive Delhi.

If you had something like this earlier, you would have had better visibility. When you are choosing your subject or course after 12th, you would have had that vision or understanding whether you can actually pursue your passion. Also, if you have already done a course while studying, it will probably help persuade your parents about taking up your passion as a profession. My parents were very apprehensive because I came from a commerce background and initially, I even wanted to drop out to take up culinary arts. But since I was pursuing business administration, I thought maybe down the line it can help me if I want to set up my own business.

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Trishneet Arora, founder and CEO of TAC Security

Trishneet Arora, founder and CEO of TAC Security

Trishneet Arora started coding when he was barely 9 years old and was one of India’s youngest entrepreneurs. He dropped out of school and founded his own cybersecurity company. Some of his clients are Reliance Industries, Central Bureau of Investigation, Punjab Police (India) and Gujarat Police.

Having the options to choose the subjects one wants to study would have probably kept me in school. Subjects like coding and law piqued my interest. Getting a chance to study them would have helped me and guided me better towards my career options. Indian education system has come along ten-fold since I was a part of it and it is a huge progress for us to encourage the youth to master their skills instead of mainstream studies.

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