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Saturday, May 9, 2015

IIT-B’s advisory to parents may be ‘net’ loss for students - Indian Express

IIT Bombay,stating that students tend to get distracted by excessive gaming or internet browsing,has written to parents

Written by Mihika Basu | Mumbai | Published on:July 16, 2013 1:01 am

IIT Bombay,stating that students tend to get distracted by excessive gaming or internet browsing,has written to parents of those who will join the institute this year,advising them not to provide their children with computers for the first semester.

“It has been observed that students with laptops/computers in their first semester are distracted by excessive gaming/internet and don’t experience all that the institute has to offer. We would,therefore,suggest against providing your wards with laptops for the first semester,since computer facilities for academic needs are adequately available in the institute. However,in case you feel that he will be able to learn better with a laptop/computer at his disposal,we leave it to your discretion,” says the letter.

“It is an advisory arrived at in consultation with student representatives,” said Prof Urjit Yajnik,dean of student affairs at IIT Bombay.

The letter also cautions parents against putting undue pressure on their wards to get good grades. “Students who enter this institute every year are some of the best brains in the country. Due to the competitive environment here,we have often experienced cases where students,who until then had always topped their class,found it difficult to get grades that meet their expectations. This has often led to one of two extremes: some students face excessive parental pressure,while others simply adopt an indifferent attitude,which further reduces their academic performance,” it says,adding “we hope that you would encourage your ward to put his/her best foot forward,treat the best effort from his/her side as the objective,rather than the results”.

The letter covers various aspects,including academic and hostel life,financial help and details of the institute student mentor programme for first-year students. While the letter says transition from a caring home life to the competitive environment of IIT could “occasionally cause adjustment problems” initially and that sometimes social,cultural and language differences could delay the settling process,it also assures parents that mentors help freshmen have a smooth transition.

“Ragging in any form is strictly banned on the campus. Strict penalties are in place,and mentors are always available to resolve any situations promptly. Rest assured,ragging has all but vanished from IIT Bombay. It is,however,expected that freshmen develop a healthy rapport with seniors… In fact,a healthy senior-junior interaction has been the hallmark of this institute,” says the letter.

It says that students can fit in both academics and extra-curricular activities without much stress at IIT Bombay,but proper time management is a must to ensure studies are not neglected. The letters says that the purpose of sharing various issues is to make parents aware of the academic and extra-curricular life of students. “As parents,you need not be alarmed,but mental preparation and precautionary measures would definitely help,” it concludes.