Business Sutra 5: Education

Business Sutra: CNBC, Videos 15 Comments

Telecast on CNBC on 3 July 2010

We don’t enjoy education even though we know education is good for us; it is a little bit like exercise or health food. In this episode, Menaka and I discussed ancient Indian thoughts on education. The key idea here was that knowledge has to be taken by the student. Unless a student is motivated, no learning can take place. In modern education, motivation is provided using the carrot (promise of a job) and the stick (lower status) approach. But that does not stir the imagination of students. They feel like domesticated animals who resent training. So they get easily distracted. So they scream in joy when the bell rings and school ends. I feel that today trainers behave like professional – their job ends with showing the power point presentation in the stipulated period of time. Because everything is controlled – the content, the timings of trainings. Education efficiency is measured without considering effectiveness.  The trainer is often far removed from the field and hence not taken seriously. I feel, training should be part of the job. Unless one creates a replacement for oneself, one must not be promoted. Thus one has to give Saraswati to get Lakshmi. This is not easy but we need to relook at education and ask ourselves – who loses if the student does not learn, and the teacher does not teach. First episode deals with experiential learning, the second with coaching and the third with student motivation.

Segment 1: Ram’s education

Segment 2: Crossing the Vaitarni

Segment 3: Vikram and Vetal

  • Prashant Dipakbhai joshi

    very good explanation of the education and its need.. modern education requires a lot of thinking and changes from the roots…..

    The confluence of the myth and present is a very impressive thing… today students are not aware the myth this is a good way to mingle them….

  • Jigar Shah

    Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik

    Business Sutra is Great! Thank you for sharing so much knowledge.
    Do suggest some good books that you like.

    Jigar Shah

  • Arvind Vyasaraya Ballal

    Very good, there is so much to learn from your sutras keep the good work,and spread the good message

  • Srini

    I dont know Sir, I really dont and I am stuck.

    I heard and found it to be True – “Dhairay Vasati Lakshmi”, but I cant, just cant go against the laws (which I have broken but with slight). I dont know if I should be doing it again (such as, lying about my house rent, about my wealth (which is zero) and so on).

    Case on point, in my earlier company, I logged in and went to give an interview, came back and continued the work. Reason? – my shit Boss would make it difficult for me to leave the company and would force me to resign (thereby putting a daag on me) as I broke a cardinal rule. But to hell with him, I kept reminding this to myself, went ahead and did make it through the interview. I did this twice and was not caught.

    I dont even know if this be the appropriate place to post, but…

    But you know, man I am Fan of yours. No I havent read any of your books and I am not sure I will in the coming days! But reading your site makes me feel good, like the one about Janaka and Kahoda (centuries have gone but we still have them amoungst us) and so on. Infact, each of your article is too great to put in words.


  • Srini

    Also, would you have stories about the Muh May Ram Bagal May Churi types? You know people who are very pally pally with you but stab you with/without you coming to know? Please do share!

  • Indranath

    Hi Devdutt

    Indeed a very candid comment which exposes the “Education system” where we have been a part in the past and presently our kids are in.

    In fact I have always thought , isn’t it that the system or process of “Training and development” which we commonly find in enterprise workplace in business should be a mandatory for teachers for schools in the country as well.

    Unfortunately the maturity (intellectual as well as the emotional) levels of teachers in today’s schools (at least in many if not all) are not found to that expected level to be capable of bringing up a “personality” development in a child.

    Aside It has also been found that as a “kind of taken for granted situation” teachers of lesser calibre are alloted the classes of junior and kids classes as if they were least important and its only that a kid grows up to a certain standard the school looks up at him / her for a tangible benefit.

    I personally feel it is primary requisite for a teacher to graduate or develop himself and herself (only for the sake of imparting the value of education) to level of mentor or coach and increase his or her intellect in a way that it helps and only helps the young seeds to sow and germinate into a full grown tree .

  • Saikumar

    Awesome……Good to see those videos..Good work and keep going.


  • Ajay K. Merchant

    Dear Dr. Devdutt,

    I think your lectures are very enlightening and very interesting. It enables one to soak a lot of knowledge and help light up the path.

    It would be great if schools could teach what you have been saying and I am sure it would be very useful for children.

    I also think a subject like this could address a lot of the evils in our society.


  • Jigar Shah

    Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik

    Do not stop before Busibness Sutra 100.
    It is awesome and addictive.

    Jigar Shah

  • Rajiv Ramaswamy

    Wonderful! Love all 3 examples and the Vetals explanation is something I have never heard… been hearing and wondering all the stories and its logic but never the fact that this was problem solving!


  • sir FYI ahilya was not in an act of extra marital affair but she was a victim of professional jeliously of lord indera with ahilyia’s husband and also she was subjected to satify indera’s lust for ahilyia. The msg here from shree ramayana from ahluia episode is, this world is a KOTHRI OF KAJAL and hence no one can excape a bit of KAJAK but one must be careful, vigilent and beware of ones SANGATI ie whome you stand and associate with. tks n rgds sanjay

  • shivam

    great sir

  • Richa

    Absolutely a superb comparison. I feel that to understand the wisdom you dispense, one needs to have or atleast be open to wisdom him/her self.
    Everytime I hear you, I visualize and along side experience whatever you say. It is but obvious that there is a lot of practical utility of your ideas as long as one can properly understand them to be able to mould them to one’s advantage.

    Thanks n Regards,

  • Richa

    teaching is not just science but also and art and u present a right blend of both. Awesome!!

  • Mandar Kulkarni

    Sir, In the second segment you said “In the process of giving knowledge the teacher learns many more things. The best way to improve your understanding is to teach.”
    Whereas in the 3rd segment, you said,”The place where training happens is cremation ground. The guru has nothing to gain by the training. He is paid anyway. Who gains from the participation? it’s the trainees.”

    Isn’t that contradictory?