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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Letters: Don't pick on the IITs - Business Standard

Business Standard  |  New Delhi  July 19, 2015 Last Updated at 22:03 IST

This refers to Anjuli Bhargava's column, "Indian Institutes of Trouble" (July 16). Let us start with the facts: About 50 per cent of the B Tech curriculum at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) consists of engineering courses. The rest comprises maths, science (that is not engineering, please), humanities and the liberal arts, management and diverse electives that you need to take to complete your degree. Next, how many of those who study BA in history, B Com or BSc in zoology actually pursue them later? So let us stop picking on B Tech graduates - and that too from the IITs - as easy targets.

On the issue of suicides, in the absence of nation-wide figures (college-wise, year-wise), let us not jump to conclusions based on statistics put out by TV channels. It is unfortunate that we have not developed community awareness on dealing with psychological lows, which are common at that age. Asking students to leave the IIT is a good step, rather than letting them succumb to the pressure. Go to Massachusetts Institute of Technology or Stanford University - the situation is the same. As for putting pressure on 14-15-year-olds to prepare for the IIT joint entrance examination, the entire society is to blame.

All the IIT directors have categorically stated that the IIT system is not designed or aligned to the methodology of QS World University Rankings. As long as the IITs are free of interference from the Executive, and only have pacts on performance with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, they will do all it takes to stand alongside the best in the world.

'Collapse' is a big word. As long as we stem the mushrooming of IITs, the current ones would not implode in quality. Let us focus on elementary and higher education, which are actually on the verge of a collapse.

Srikant Mallela Hyderabad

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