The one-exam-for-all proposal is another example of how Early Man used to function, when his brain was not fully developed. If I get ill on the eve of this ONE EXAM or maybe spoil my paper, tell me where do I go. We are middle-class people, unlike you. You sought to just milk the IITs’ existing reputation with little substance to back your claims and thereby diluted it to no end, for selfish votebank issues. Trust me, even the slightly educated are NOT voting for you in the next elections.
Disrespected and Ill-reputed Minister,
But this, dear minister, is absolutely unacceptable. You are playing with the lives and dreams of an entire generation with your stupid schemes and utopian ideas. For your information, IITs and IIMs are the institutes which put India on the world map. Opening up dozens of them has already diluted Brand IIT, but it seems you aren’t satisfied yet. The “Man on a Mission” that you are, I believe you will rest only when you blend IITs with the mediocrity that the rest of our country is used to.
The first time it was when you opened so many new IITs to “provide better opportunities” to the students. The students know they aren’t as good. The companies know they aren’t as good and there goes your money down the drain with seats in these “IIT’s” lying vacant. You could have waited a few years until you had the infrastructure or the academia to match the ones existing. But no, you are like the “colony ke naïve Sharma uncle and Geeta aunty” who think “IIT, Arre waah bahut Badhiya”. You sought to just milk the IITs’ existing reputation with little substance to back your claims and thereby diluted it to no end, for selfish votebank issues. Trust me, even the slightly educated are NOT voting for you in the next elections.
Then, you went ahead and said that you will give a greater weightage in admissions to Board marks to end the coaching menace, thus “reducing the stress and financial burden on the students”. It could have been a good idea, if the Board exams weren’t unfortunately a test of rote learning instead of understanding. For all I know, the examination system in India ain’t changing until my grandson dies, and hence your proposal is crap. Also, the Andhra Board gives 95% marks away like lollipops and the UP board gives 85% marks to the toppers with a contorted face. How will a bunch of over-intelligent people like you normalize these scores to ensure uniformity? Probably you’ll hire people like yourself and come up with some other superb innovation. For all you care, you might have just extinguished the dreams of lakhs of small-town students.
Jairam Ramesh may have been correct in his assessment that IIT professors are “not that good”. And your noble schemes, I’m glad to announce, will bring in similar “not so good” students into IITs, thereby solving the problem of mismatch. Brilliant. But I can only warn you about the rigours of IITs. A student who has lived in your “stress-free” environment might not be able to handle it and we may have more cases of you-know-what. Isn’t there enough blood on your hands already, minister??
The one-exam-for-all proposal is another example of how Early Man used to function, when his brain was not fully developed. If I get ill on the eve of this ONE EXAM or maybe spoil my paper, tell me where do I go. We are middle-class people, unlike you. We like to have a backup and hence the JEE, AIEEE combination made some sense. Yeah, you did not think of that. I will not say that JEE is something prestigious and should be put on a pedestal and worshipped but the one thing it has done across 50 years, is that it has given to India, some really extraordinary and eminent people.
The payback scheme is another absolutely superb idea. Seriously, who all were in the drafting committee?? My guess: Rakhi Sawant, Navjot Sidhu, Bappi Lahiri, KRK and Arindam Chaudhury and of course You, sir. Such capitalist nonsense could have been brewed only by these geniuses. You say that the fees are insufficient to support IIT and yes I agree to a large extent. But then, where does the money that we do pay, go?? At IIT-B, we live in 6×8 rooms, face frequent water shortage and eat food that is at best cow worthy. Where does the money go?? I think we all know where.
An average IITian earns Rs 6–8 lakhs per annum at the beginning of his career (contrary to the popular and misplaced belief), and if he lives in an expensive city like Mumbai or Bangalore, from where in hell will he bring the money to pay you back? And why is this duty of payback only imposed on the general-category students. The “Others” who live with them, study the same subjects, use the same facilities and get similar paying jobs in the end. Why can they also not support IITs? Is it only the general category’s job to help support the IITs, even though they are slowly being marginalised by the ridiculous malaise of reservation? How much will you keep screwing us, sir, over and over again?
If you really must, increase the fees marginally and gradually. Rope in well-positioned alumni for funding. They are more than generous and willing to help their alma mater. We understand our duties towards IIT and if and when we can, take my word, we surely will contribute. Do not burden a free spirit at the very onset of his career.
Here is a suggestion, which could be useful if I already am not sounding like RSS to you. Go ahead with the unification. It is indeed needed and I am all for it, considering how chaotic it is. But, begin from the beginning at least. You cannot expect Suresh Raina to hit sixes off short pitched balls when all he has done his entire life is, thwacked knee-heighters over midwicket. Give the students a Unified Board Exam first. Standardise that according to the needs of higher education, and consult some sensible people. It is going to take some doing to manage all of that, but why opt for the easy-but-damaging way out! For God’s sake, do not tamper with higher education without improving and implementing things at the grass root primary and higher secondary level.
I can only hope you get some perspective and leave IIT alone. My worst fear is of you trying to make the IIT curriculum less rigorous and hence produce lazy, good-for-nothing, unskilled engineers instead of the well-polished ones. That would indeed be Doomsday. There was a lot more to say but I am fearful you will teargas me. Or you might just unearth the scandal of the Unpaid Booze I sneaked into campus last night, and put me in for life.
An IITian who is relieved he is passing out before you mess things up
(Illustration: Harsh Veer Jain)