Well, just read an article by some NRI guy doing his intern at IIT Bombay and venting his ire at the institute’s gymkhana site.
for those who haven’t seen it.
I must say whoever this guy is he has conveniently described the ad hoc administration of the haloed technical institute of the country. The header of his article says “IIT – an outsiders perspective”, true, that he is an outsider for India but the title here consciously or not points out to the myth we live, regarding IIT and its education system.
An insiders perspective therefore is highly called for. I, studying in one of the IIT’s for the past 2 years would love to shed some of my views regarding the same. Studying in the high school i came across a wide range of people who wanted to be a part of IIT no matter what, including me. The success of the aluminis of these 5 premier institutes was resonating across the breadth of the country with the result parents left no stones unturned to guide and help their kids to reach out for that elusive berth in one of the finest colleges of the country. Coaching classes and poaching classes, everything was tried and tested. 3 lac students took to the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) coveting for that impossibly daunting task of securing a seat. Many tasted failure and many took to the moons on cracking the “most difficult examination” in the world. Luckily(?), I was one of them.
The biggest letdown for me was the education system that the institute so aesthetically followed and the teaching methodology adapted by the professors thereof. Studying an array of topics right in my first year i gradually understood that interest meant nothing here and rote learning ruled the roost. Cramming up for the midsems and the endsems few days (or even hours for some) before the exams and spilling everything just to scrape through the semesters i gradually developed a wholesome attitude towards studies, not doing it till the xams came! The professors weren’t there for me to stand up from this terrible debris as “WE” were one too many!! The teacher-student ratio here is appalling so can we really expect the faculty to personally care for their students and guide them through their adoloscence?
Whats even more disparaging is that the government turns a blind eye to this mess and is still trying to look up for opportunities that will bring this institute further down the gutter. Reservations for the OBC’s and Scheduled castes and tribes was increased to about 50% and when the feasibility was questioned they conveniently vowed to increase the general student intake to meet the original numbers. Was that solving the problem or magnifying it? Expert faculty is hard to get by these days and with the degenerate infrastructure that the institute supports one merely wonders if quality research and innovation is really what IIT drives at. One experimental setup for 5 people, badly prepared lab manuals and and poorly explained by inane instructors led to the belief that laboratory was not untouched by the magic of Mugging!
Adhering to the age old principles is not the way you would be in sync with the fast emerging technical world. The education system has to change if something meaningful is to be taken out for these brilliant minds . I don’t question the knowledge of our professors, what i do question is the means they take to impart it. I found that both the students and the professors lacked “enthu” and “tempo” to study and teach effectively. Tutorial classes was also hijacked by “The Mugging Syndrome” and exams has been left to be a scarecrow to foil away the unassuming.
To be continued..