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The Print concocts Cambridge survey conclusions about ‘most Indian girls students aspiring to become journalists and psychologists’

While it is entirely possible that The Print is in possession of some secret census report by Cambridge Assessment International Education, we would go out on a limb here and say it is highly unlikely.

The Print led by Shekhar Gupta appears to have published some fictional figures from a global study conducted by Cambridge Assessment International Education. The Global Education Census explores the education experience for teachers and students around the World.

The Print, run by Shekhar Gupta has been known to further many falsities. This time too, they seem to have landed themselves in an inexplicable situation. Based on the Cambridge Assessment International Education census report, The Print published an article headlined, “Most girls in India aspire to become psychologists or journalists: Cambridge survey”.

The Print article on the census

The Print in their report, states, “As many as 77 percent of girl students in India aspire to become journalists or writers while 91.2 per cent want to be psychologists, a latest global survey finds. In comparison, 83.4 per cent of boys aspire to be software developers, 8.8 per cent want to be psychologists and close to 22 per cent want to take up journalism as a profession, reveals the survey based on multiple-choice questions.”

Screenshot of The Print article

The figures, however, appear to be contrary to the findings of the census which is publicly available. As per the Cambridge Assessment International Education census, medicine and engineering are the most popular career aspirations of Indian students.

The Cambridge report states:

“23% of Indian students say they want to be a doctor/dentist, 23% an engineer and 16% a software engineer – more students in India said the latter than any other country surveyed”.

Apart from the career aspirations of Indian students, the survey also discovered that Indian teachers use blackboards in the classroom more than their counterparts from any other country. India, along with China, also has the highest number of students taking extra classes at 58%. Indian students are also the most in extra-curricular activities. Indian parents also take a keen interest in their ward’s education.

In fact, the report quite clearly states that Engineering and Medicine still remain top choices among Indian students. It is thus surprising and inexplicable where The Print got its data from. No publicly available census conducted by Cambridge Assessment International Education reaches the conclusion that The Print seems to have reached. We are unaware whether The Print has some secret document that the Cambridge Assessment International Education hasn’t released in the public domain yet.

Even at the face of it, the assertions that psychology would be one of the most popular vocations among young students would seem outlandish.

The Indian Express too covered the census report and even IE does not corroborate the claims made by The Print report.

In the entire Cambridge Assessment International Education census report, the word “Journalism” appears nowhere. The word “Journalist” appears only two times.

The first time the word “journalist” appears in on Page 25 where the report quotes a student saying they would like to either be a filmmaker or a journalist. This is a quote from one student only.

The second time the word “journalist” appears in the census report in while talking about Teacher demographics. It was a passing mention among a host of other vocations that define the ones who have shifted their career to teaching.

In fact, the word “Psychologist” also appears only twice. It appears the first time in this very list of vocations.

The second time the word “psychologist” appears in the Global Education Census Report 2018 is again in a quote from a student from Malaysia.

Both the vocations mentioned by The Print as the go-to vocations for young girl students only two times each and both times, they weren’t cited as the most preferred professions of Indian girl students.

In the census report by Cambridge Assessment International Education, there is no mention of any statistic related to how many students want to take up journalism or

Therefore, it is unclear from where The Print got its figures from.

While it is entirely possible that The Print is in possession of some secret census report by Cambridge Assessment International Education, we would go out on a limb here and say it is highly unlikely. We are unsure if they have access to a separate report because defying all journalistic prudence, the research report itself has not been linked back as a reference in the article.

If The Print report is based on the current census that has been made public, the Shekhar Gupta led publications seems to have concocted a conclusion that was appealing to them.

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Nupur J Sharma
Editor, OpIndia.com since October 2017

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