Education

IIT: Dream Destination for Engineers

Every year more than one million students fight for the mere thousand seats to get into the top notch technological institute of the country. The institutes which was established by the first Prime Minister of our democratic country with a vision that these will act as a guiding light in building the industrial, scientific and technological edifice of the nation. He had hoped that these institutes would provide valid and vital inputs in building huge dams, power plants and industrial production units – and so spearhead the technological force of the nation. In other words, these institutes were established with an express concern to advance the bubbling aspirations of post-Independence India’s historic tryst with the project of modernity. With India being emerged as the powerful country after the looting for more than two centuries by the Englishmen. The leaders of the country wanted to uplift the citizens through professional higher education, so the IITs were build to provide the world class learning to the upcoming generation who will build the new India. IITians have proved themselves as well. They have brought glory to our nation, painted the name of the country all over the world. But, it would not be fair if we talk about just IITians, engineers from other institutes as well have made us all proud through their skill and dedication.

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are among the most difficult schools in the world to get into. The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) is certainly a tough nut to crack in the world of engineering. But everyone who aspires to get through this competitive exam has a clear goal, which works as the driving force behind all the hard work. We cannot rule out the lure of a dream IIT or branch that makes students go to great lengths. The students have to go through cut-throat competition as the JEE (Joint Entrance Examination), which is conducted for taking in students to these IITs leads to a selection rate of 0.1% only. So, it's quite obvious to get the best. But, have we all ever thought that what's the need to work this hard for IIT. Is it worth the hard work? Then the answer is, YES. First thing, it's the name which will provide you the prestige and pride in life. The other benefit is that it is sure that you will get into the best companies of the world if you have calibre in you and have taken the studies seriously. An IIT will transform you in unimaginable ways. If you decide to get into an IIT, you will have high chances of landing a job in one of the best companies. Of course, you have to work towards turning your dreams into reality during your college years. IITs teach students valuable skills required for managing events and boost their confidence to face the challenges posed in front of them. IITians have established a very solid base in business & academics worldwide. Your years in college will help you learn the importance of networking and entrepreneurship. These life skills help students become aware of the latest technologies and become self-sufficient to create their own firms at a very young age. IITs provide students much more than just an academic learning. They have the power to change your life if you are willing to work hard to achieve your goals. One cannot hope for a better platform to get started on the journey towards success.

As every great thing faces criticism likewise these top institutions also deals with the condemnation  of the public. This has intensified after they failed to be among the top 100 universities in the QS and the Times Higher Education global rankings. Many also tag these institutions not more than glorified engineering colleges. With million graduates sitting unemployed after pursuing engineering is the question on the integrity of the colleges and among these unemployed youth many are from IIT as well. Students dropping out of IIT is also a questionable issue. Some also consider that IIT is over hyped and the mad race for the JEE is something to worry about. No doubt IIT is an excellent college for engineering. But many think IIT is not the only path to success. For a student who has not been able to get through in the JEE, does not mean it’s the end of their career. People have created a huge hype about IIT due to which many other equally reputed colleges and institutions like NIT’S, BITS Campuses, Delhi University  have been overshadowed. Speaking of getting admission in IIT, it is not the only success mantra as thought by many. There are so many stalwarts from different industries like Mukesh Ambhani, Indira Nooyi Laxmi Mithal and many more who have achieved success without graduating from IIT. Also, there are many well known personalities who even though cleared the JEE exam opted not to join IIT. This itself proves that, it is not just the college that matters for an individual’s success.  The recent research about the jobless engineers is the reality check to think about why Indian parents only want their children being  an engineer and doctor.

Unfortunately, the current scenario of engineers in India is completely different. In today's competitive global market where every year  more than 1.5 million engineering graduate come out of their academics, only few get placed. So,  now the question arises, why is the majority graduates in this field deemed unemployable? This question needs to be answered soon otherwise there is going to be a huge crisis in engineering sector. Over 80 per cent graduates are unemployable. On one side we have government boasting about "Make in India" and generating new jobs. On the other side we have mass-produced students coming out of colleges with no inkling of how to get a job.  Now, if we focus globally, the most important question arises, does world needs so many engineers. The answer is big , YES. The world needs in plenty well-equipped, talented graduates with the right attitude. There are job opportunities for those who have the potential. In addition, opportunities for self-employment are also plenty for innovative and energetic minds.

In the last few years, engineering colleges have been springing up like wild mushrooming in India. From 1000 colleges to almost 40000 colleges, where 40 percent seats left vacant because of less admissions shows how ignorant we all have became. Many new engineering colleges are coming up every year. The AICTE grants them approval if the infrastructure and faculty requirements are in place. But one needs to examine the demand and supply. The reason behind the poor enrolment is attributed to a near-stagnated job market for engineers or availability of a glut of career options for students from non-engineering fields. The job placement figure is even worse if you see only the standalone figure for last year, which stood at a paltry 40 percent. After a series of extremely disappointing numbers like these, the apex technical education body of the country - the AICTE - is now considering asking colleges with less than 70 percent occupancy to wind up and shut shop. The quality of education in the country is worsening. The reasons for such a poor state of affairs are various, including corruption at various levels, poor infrastructure facilities like labs, and lack of skilled teaching faculty.

The above given facts are very disheartening, But, it should not affect all engineering students. The placement in this academic year have showed a positive result and it is a ray of hope.  IIT Kharagpur, Delhi, Bombay have seen a growth from last few years placement record. Top multinational companies have visited the campus and are providing the best opportunities to the students.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the primary segments companies are seeking graduates for across campuses. The salary package they are offering is on raise from last record.   The wave of offers with great numbers is a positive signal for engineering students across campuses.  Prominent companies which made offers included Google, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Tata Steel, Flipkart, L&T Construction, Mahindra & Mahindra, TVS Motors, HSBC, JP Morgan, Qualcomm, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Master Card and Capgemini. This has proved that world wants to take the help of Indian minds to prosper their set up. IIT have always passed if we talk about the quality of education they provide.

 

People also question about the admission process of the IIT through JEE. . As many as 12 lakh students appear for the JEE Main examinations out of which about 2 lakh are shortlisted to appear for the JEE Advanced. Out of these, only about 12,000 students make it to the top engineering colleges – the Indian Institutes of Technology or the IITs. Over the years, these examinations have become tougher and more competitive. But, have we all ever thought about if not this, then what's the alternate option? For every one seat there are 1000 students. In this scenario, what can be the best exam? If 10 students are competing for one seat then you may have a process of selection but, in this scenario, it will be a process of elimination.  As a result, JEE has become tougher simply because of the number of students taking that exam. And we want an objective way of admitting students. There has always been a lot of discussion in the council and everyone wants to admit children who could not clear the JEE but are extra ordinary. The problem is not with the exam, the problem is we don’t have good second tier institutions. There are IITs and then there is nothing. The next level institutions are so far below. The students are equally good, if you go to an NIT, the students are exceptionally good, some more so. What divides the students who are in IITs and NITs is not aptitude but perhaps speed. Maybe, our students can solve a problem in 15 seconds and NIT students can solve the same problem in 30 seconds, but in real life what difference does it make? Just because some students could do it 15 seconds they came to IIT and those who could do it in 30 seconds went to NIT. . Exams have to be eliminating because beyond IITs there is a void. And the void is not of infrastructure…increasing the number of seats is not difficult. All it would take is perhaps one more building. The problem with NITs and other technical institutes is good quality of faculty.

In our country there is a lack of good faculties. In IIT campuses only there are so many seats are vacant for the teaching staff. So, it's obvious that in other institutions there is a dearth of capable faculties. Institutions  do not have people at that level who we can be recruited to train the brightest minds, help with research, innovate and motivate. It is basically the quality of faculty which is hurting these institutions. And, the fact that only Indian Nationals can be offered recruitment at IITs and NITs and other government colleges creates further roadblocks. Recently in an interview, Director, IIT Delhi said that, we must recruit foreign faculties in IITs.  He said, we want students to indulge in research work as well instead only landing for the finance.

IIT is worth all the hard work and dedication in life but one should not stick along the trend of the society, you are special in your own way. If one is unable to get into these institutions that does not mean you are bright enough or less than anyone, it's just you have some other big things waiting in your life. Whatever happens, happens for the reason.