For the last few days, everyone is talking about Anita, the girl who committed suicide because she failed to get a medical seat. There are 2 questions around her death. 1) Why did a state board topper score so low in NEET and 2) Why didnt she look at options other than medical?

We will try to address question 2 . Not just Anita, several parents and even teachers at schools only talk about visible professions like engineering, medical or MBA or pilot. Every student that completes school is forced to fit their career into one of the above buckets. If he or she refuses to do it, they are labeled a failure.

So what makes the above professions visible? Why is engineering considered divine? The answer is simple. When we watch a well made movie, we first praise the hero, who is the most visible part of the entire film. Or at best we praise the director. However, we fail to recognize the efforts of the scriptwriter or the cinematographer or the editor. What makes us ignore a few occupations and go after a few others? A great car is called a well engineered car and the engineer gets the credit. A pilot takes the credit for a great flying experience. A doctor takes the credit for the correct prescription and an MBA earns praise for communicating with customers. Dont get me wrong, these occupations are well worth the praise, but what about the occupations that operate behind the scenes? Lets look at them.

As a student, do you want to make a disruptive impact on the world? If so, dont just go for medical, become a scientist. Applied sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, maths) are the pillars of disruptive innovation. Whether its a superfast car or the safest aircraft or the latest AIDS vaccine, all of them have their origins in pure science based research. No product or medicine in the world can be made without the disruptive impact of core research.

So the next time you travel in an aircraft or visit a doctor dont forget to marvel at the disruptive research that has made safe flying and powerful medication possible. Guide your kids and students to think about careers not just from the engineering or medical perspective but encourage questioning what new innovations could have a disruptive impact on the world. Motivate them to be a part of those innovations and help engineers and doctors bring products into the real world.

To put things into perspective, let us give you simple example. A chemical researcher invents a new rubber compound that prevents skidding on wet roads, which is then used by chemical engineers to design and develop tyres based on the rubber compound. These tyres are sold in millions of cars and prevents accidents. This is an example of disruptive innovation. Dont you want to be a part of it?