Code a product, get an investor, drop out of college, be ruthless, make it big. A skeptical summary of the startup culture. The Social Network and Pirates of the Silicon Valley made a lot of us realize we did nothing in college compared to what Zuckerberg, Gates and Jobs started. Access to angel investors and VC funding to follow an idea is enticing, a lure difficult to refuse. Vivek Wadhwa keeps repeating the importance of education trying to convince sophmores and graduates not to drop out of college. He's an Indian parent. They do that.
Performing well academically in India is an integral part of society - do well in college, get a good job, start a family and make your kids do the same. Deviation from this plan has been difficult, the past decade has seen a shift but the money isn't there to justify a lot of people opting out of education and getting into a startup (we don't have a lot of garages either). The fact that most Indians live with their parents through their academic years adds a certain pressure to follow the path. This is a cultural difference that plays an important role in grass root innovation in both countries.
Reckless risk taking when in college is potentially safer than once you've started a family, adding a lot of money to this makes it a simpler decision. Once investors in India are willing to shell out money, graduates will start following their dreams. If that were to happen, India might lose the tactical advantage it has due to the work force it churns out year after year. One of Vivek Wadhwa's argument has been that since the US laws make it difficult for international students to start businesses in the US, they will take their ideas back home. This will definitely result in a ripple effect where entrepreneurs start hiring from local colleges, end result the vibrant Valley comes to life in India at the expense of the backend workforce Indian education has produced. The cities of Bangalore and Pune are going through this phase, there is a noticeable buzz among entrepreneurs.
While Craig Barrett points out that not a lot of Americans go for STEM, Indians do and if the VC fever catches on in India we might see graduates in India opting for the startup glamor.