I am from India as well, and very few people, as you say, aspire to be nerds. People want to be software engineers, and consultants because they believe those jobs pay exorbitantly. I am a nerd(fighter), and my fellow students humiliate me for reading about the Achaemenid empire and Fermat’s Last theorem. I am ostracised because I would rather read Agnes Grey than watch cricket.
I agree, society celebrates the Rat Race, and worships money but it does not love nerds. Being a nerd is not about money, it is about loving learning, and that too for it’s own sake. Parents don’t want their children to be nerds, they want them to be rich. Society doesn’t like nerds, it likes party-going, drinking, smoking, agreeable, noisy idiots. Nerds exist, it seems, to be rebuked and bullied when they go about their business, quietly and to suffer much worse when they express themselves.