Saturday, October 8, 2011

Where are the best brains of our country???

Dear Readers:This post is published on the site ''News that Matters Not".

"Apart from the top 20% of students who crack the tough IIT entrance examination and can "stand among the best anywhere in the world," quality of the remaining 80 per cent of students leave much to be desired,"
This statement came from Infosys' chairman emeritus, Mr. N.R.Narayan Murthy, and was received with a thundering applause by a Pan IIT audience. The first thing which struck me was if not in IIT's, where are these bright minds, as referred to by Mr. Murthy going..?It further intrigued me that what suddenly made him come up with such a 'sweepingly high handed' remark. After much pondering I contemplated that the number of IITians joining Infosys must have been considerably rising..:P
On a serious note, according to Mr. Murthy, the mushrooming of coaching institutes is a deterrent to the quality of students qualifying for arguably the toughest exam in the world. But, I would like to ask him a question, ‘Do you think the current curriculum followed in any of the higher secondary boards sufficient to crack JEE?’ The students go to the coaching institutes because they produce results and they are pretty much visible. As they say seeing is believing. As a matter of fact 95% of the students clearing the JEE have reportedly been taking coaching in some form or the other. I believe there is nothing wrong in it, obviously if one strives to be among the best he would not care for the means, and he shouldn’t either. With the framework of the education system entirely dependent on rote learning, there is no way one can have the cutting edge without some extra guidance. Ultimately it all comes down to the vicious circle of the education system, coaching industry and the Joint Entrance Examination, with the IITians becoming a soft target now and then, more so, in the recent past.
My point here is that why take a dig on the students, rather than doing something to restructure the current education system to prevent the so-called influence of the coaching "mandis" like Kota, who just help the so-called not-so-good students with the so-called pattern recognition techniques and make them clear the exam. On the retrospect I believe even if such not-so-good students are able to clear this exam they are probably much smarter than the bright kids and are able to find the loopholes in the system, optimize their efforts accordingly and cash on it..! Why make a fuss over it…??Don’t we believe in getting the smart people on the table!! I know it sounds a bit rhetorical but then, do spare a thought.
Good research in India is as scarce as hen’s teeth and in this context I would like to put this question to Mr. Murthy, an IIT alumnus himself, why don’t you come forward and invest in quality research. Why do you need to ask the government to fund it? When you are setting your sight on making the quality of research in India at par with the MIT’s and the Harvard’s, why don’t you yourself take a stand as the Googles and the Microsofts?? Moreover in India a PhD.  student is looked down upon by the undergraduates and most corporate do not even recruit them. How are you possibly going to change this prejudiced mindset, another impediment to quality research work in our country?
Some understandings I generated for the falling standards are: the increased quota system (I didn’t want to bring it here, but then had to), the no. of attempts for JEE going down to 2, since 2006, the increasing number of IIT’s, the decreasing number of world class faculties, all lend a hand to the declining standards of IIT, but the bottom line is: Come what may, they are still the best!
All said and done, I want to know why Chetan Bhagat (another IIT alumnus…sigh,,!) cannot mind his own business (if at all he has any) and has to poke his nose in every other news relating to IIT, a publicity stunt?? I hope not, but sounds very probable considering his new book release was on the cards. I just hope he doesn’t sit down on a fast (which seems to be the coolest thing today) next time someone takes the IITians to task! After all, after Sex and SRK, the new phrase is Sex and IIT’s sell. On the hindsight I also expected Mr. Jairam Ramesh to come up with furore against Mr. Murthy, but sadly he did not.
Finally, a man of the stature of Mr. Murthy, having all the resources at his behest, should probably come up with measures to ensure that only the best passes through this filter of JEE, and rather than demeaning the efforts of the 17-18 year old kids, should be focusing his energies on nurturing these minds to put India higher on the global map.

Signing off,
A non-IITian, who would have liked to be in an IIT, even if it meant to be a part of the remaining 80%.

P.S: I just hope CB doesn't come up with a loooooooong post in this Sunday's TOI editorial.


Saru Singhal said...

Seems like everyone is heading for a war of thoughts these days. Personally, I believe even the non IITians are very intelligent and it was just a matter of luck that they couldn't crack the entrance. Anyways, there is enough politics all around. Chetan Bhagat saying body shops...Nicely written...

Nirvaan said...

@Saru: No doubt the non IITians are very intelligent, but then dis certainly doesn't mean that the IITians are poor students..Ofcourse the word game is on..btw thanks a lot...:)

umashankar said...

All that sound and fury signifying what? If your outburst is based on today's bitter truth about the education system, Mr Murthy's remark is not without streaks of reality. You know where some of the best brains, if not all, are going? Just withering away under s dysfunctional system.

Nirvaan said...

@umashankar:true that Mr. Murthy's remarks has streaks of truth, but he had to tone down his approach..Wat i want to say is ther's no use complaining when he has the power to change the sad plight of the Indian education system...that's about it!!

bwsketches said...

I am also an IIT aspirant and how the hell am i supposed to crack JEE when in school i am taught physics by a teacher who used to teach me social science in class 4.
I have immense respect for Mr. murthy, but times have changed and it is time we start thinking about conducting exams like SAT in india

TheBluntBlogger said...

:) NRN made a remark and Bhagat Chetan had a field day for his upcoming book! I have worked wit IITians and in a nation obsessed with the prestige-institutde-obesession its time people let their children follow their heart.

The Blunt Blog

Nirvaan said...

@bwsketches: true..dats exactly wat was on my mind, when i wrote about amending the education system...Its time they do take the necessary measures.
@Blunt: yes and with the diverse options available, probably the students must also be encouraged to take up different professions..

bwsketches said...

And if they want to keep it the same way, then at least see that schools also provide quality education so that we don't have to go to coaching institutions who demand big bucks
Imagine to pay 1.5 lakhs for tuition and people pay
And raise the level of CBSE so that it comes close to that of JEE

Jai Hanuman said...

yes.Its better to improve the education system instead of blaming students.

Nirvaan said...

@bwsketches: i second u..!

Rahul Bhatia said...

It is not the institution but the individual excellence that ultimately matters! Dhirubhai Ambani, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates all prove the point!

online iit sample papers said...

I guess we have to blame the marketers for being so creative and convincing.

Sneha Sunny said...

You've won an award... :-) Check the link:

divya ranjith said...

Well written Nirvaan..

reddynithin said...

Regarding CB..Dont you think if someone abuses your past college/school or its student you should react to it in wat so ever.Thts wat CB has did and has been doing.
Btw we will be glad if you mention your university(if at all u have a degree and I am sry if u dont.)

PS:Not a fan of CB.I will react if someone abuses my college.Certainly IITian.

hari said...

Changing Indian education system? what are you talking? Mr. Murthy would never even think of such things...he would definitely end up failing...! :)

muktamanassu said...

Interesting volley of thoughts my friend. I do agree to your view, it makes least sense to play the blame game. There's talent everywhere, it is just that we have to sane enough to recognize it and nurture the same. As for the distinction, I do agree that IITs produce great brains but yet, there are better ones who are the non IIT'ians too :)

Nirvaan said...

@Rahul:Absolutely true..!
@online IIT: well, i guess that's what their job is...and they are doing it pretty well..")
@Divya,@Sneha: Thanks a lot..:)
@hari: After this episode certainly seems so..
@muktamanassu:I totally second u..:)

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