What Country Needs Today is Not More IITs, but An IIT in Every Non-IIT!

The easiest thing I can do in my life is to find a job with a 10 lakh plus CTC! Well, this is what any IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) alumni roams around wearing and this attitude of theirs has certainly kept them success hungry, compelling the recruiters to camp in their campuses. This story is about an event organised by NASSCOM under their unique initiative called 10, 000 start- ups. Amazingly, though it was an event meant for aspiring entrepreneurs, the area was looking very young and enthusiastic, almost like an under 22 cricket team’s dressing room. It became more clear as the introductions were being made- ‘final year IIT Kharagpur’, ‘just out of IIT Madras’, ‘3rd year IIT Bombay’,sort of introductions. Today, we proudly have 16 IITs nationwide which can produce not more than 9, 985 engineering geniuses across different verticals annually, 5 IITs more are lined up to add on to the list. Their spirit and confidence, cannot be easily found in most of non- IIT students and this is the barrier which has to be broken.

But how? And why would they do so?

I have no complex against the IITs or with its alumni but the reason behind this argument is quite simple- IITs are the best technology institutes and are producing quality Indian ambassadors year on year- this is nothing but a proven fact. Spotting this reason alone, it is impossible and not correct for the Government to setup an IIT in each district of the nation. Not just that, but it is also more about those million odd aspiring engineers who get admitted with nearly 3, 300 technical institutes across the country annually. Just for not cracking the JEE for any xyz reasons, is it justice for them not to get a top quality education? There is a 100 % campus placement guarantee for an IITian and a 99. 9 % guarantee for a NITian, but what about the rest? Some reports published on this issue have stated that nearly a generation of engineers are just unemployed and about half a million plus frustrated engineers have taken jobs for which they are overqualified and, hence, underpaid. The engineers in questions are the ones who hail from the non- IITs, non- NITs and the non- top 50 institutes of India. AAs of now, all the 16 IITs are placed among top 50 technical institutes of the country. Only 3 Indian institutes have managed to find a place in the list of “Top 300 institutes of the world” and no prize for guessing that all the 3 are obviously the IITs. So may I ask, where are the others? Present scenario proves that the IITs are the master institutes who do not have an academic competition from outside, and if this is continued, they will certainly manage to retain the numero- uno brand always, and so the fate of lakhs of other students will be at stake forever. This is where the Government has to poke in and deal with. If creating more IITs is hard then at least regulating the existing private and Government managed institutes to perform up to standards is the only valid choice left.

JEE manages to get the best of the best Indian talent into the IITs where only 2% of the applicants get admitted. Ok, agreed. But does this make others that uncompetitive? Certainly not! The difference also in the careless attitude of most of the other institutes actually. Regulations should be mandated in such a way that every faculty on board of an institution must carry a strong industry experience. It is because most of them who teach today are paper tigers who broadcast good academic background but fail to present the actual value in practice- who are practically outdated! Disastrously most of the industry rejects get into teaching. Wow! What could they offer is best answered by those students who are underemployed and unemployed- isn’t it? It’s high time that all the poor performing institutes are directed to consider their college environment as not just a campus but also as an ecosystem which could offer its students a concrete network, a true research experience, industry exposure, which is not just meant to get marks but enlighten with some real stuff, provide ignition to innovation and much more.

An ambition and the confidence level of a student can be boosted by amalgamating all this into the education they would get. If the college ecosystem is evolving, then the thought process of a student is also evolved. Well, the IITs again have a distinction in this! We hear private managements who edge reasons of Government spending hundreds of crores on IITs and NITs on their infrastructure and stuff. Well, a valid reason to point a difference but they have failed to learn that the present day Indian corporates are so social minded that they have set aside a fund which collectively adds up to many times more than what the Government parks for technology. One should have the will to actually reach, put-forth and get that to improvise. Now, for building top laboratories, it is a will that is more essential and money comes second. It is also a prime time for the Government to consider a national level policy for technical education.

The slogan of IIT- Roorkee says, ‘To be the fountainhead of new ideas and innovations in science and technology and continue to be a source of pride for all Indians’. Let this be the source of inspiration to all ‘just another engineering institutions’ across the nation. Its time you inspire from an IIT and aspire to become one as well!

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