Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Education in India

Jawaharlal Nehru had a vision in setting up the IITs . He wanted them to be colleges where the brightest of the bright students of India could study in a productive environment . Ok, so how do you know who is the brightest of the lot ? Well, that's what we got the IITJEE for .
The IITJEE is meant to separate those gifted few who are more intelligent than the others . The select few who are expected to become world leaders in their respective fields . The guys who can change our nation through their innovation and intelligence .
Not any more .
Till now, the grading system has been such that students are selected only if they clear individual cutoffs in all three- Math , Physics and Chemistry . With this year , this sytem has been changed . As of now, there exists only a total cutoff , i.e. even if u are not good in math , you can slog like an ass for a couple of years and score high enough in your chemistry section to get through to IIT . Well, what will happen IN IIT is altogether a different matter (for starters , 98 students failed in MTH101 , the most basic course in math taught at IIT Kanpur , among the most recent batch) .
The IITs have made mistakes before and still managed to keep going at the top of the race . But this one forces people to wonder if this kind of a downward trend continues , will the IITs be held in the same esteem as now by the recruiting companies ??
Apart from this , we have the usual corruption cases on some of our faculty here ; absurd amount of stupidity in handling sensitive issues like mental stress and suicides ; extra-ordinary emphasis on academics (yeah , I know....this is a technical institute) , etc. , etc. .
Our Board here had the bright idea of making our 18 week semester into a 17 week semester in order to reduce stress levels among students . Yes, you got that right ....and just that....no decrease in no. of exams or the syllabus ....this directly implies that we have more to study in lesser time ; but this somehow seems to have passed through certain thick skulls without affecting their thought process .
On a higher note for education in India though , we have our first B school in the world top 100 and no, it's not any of the IIMs . Infact , ISB (Indian School of Business) has been ranked way,way ahead of the next Indian B school , IIM Ahmedabad . ISB stands tall at #20 , while IIMA is at around the 140's mark on the world front .

On the other hand , we have a mega university coming up in Orissa , the Vedanta University . The university, which would be entirely a not for profit venture has been gifted with an endowment of US $ 1 billion from Anil Agarwal , an Indian businessman, who heads the London based Vedanta Resources corporation . With a campus size of more than 6000 acres and an estimated campus population of 500,000 at its full strength , this will be a small town in ti's own right. Chk their site for more details .

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