It is not easy to gain admission at an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and every year, only two per cent of all applicants who attempt to crack the entrances manage to secure a seat in them. I have always wondered why selection to IITs is considered to be so precious until I joined IIT Gandhinagar.
What is it that makes them different from other colleges and universities? Why is it the dream of almost every Indian student to be educated in these institutions at some point of their lives? Why are the parents and teachers of these students sacrificing everything just to see them studying there? Certainly, the IITs must be offering ‘something’ so priceless and irresistible that it is worth all the pain and hard work.
These questions swam in my head as I filled out the GATE form during the last year of my bachelor’s program and managed to grab a seat for the Master of Technology course. That is when I realised what all the hype was about. Read | JEE Advanced 2017: This Ranchod will remind you of Aamir Khan’s role in 3 Idiots, click here
What makes IITs different from other institutions is that they pull our focus towards how we can apply what we have studied in the real world. The assignments encourage the technique of ‘brainstorming’ and there is a free sense of interaction between students and professors on the feasibility of projects. Adding to this, the laboratories contain world-class equipment and there are constant quizzes, competitions and exams to keep us on our toes.
We get our due of recognition with students winning trips to some of the world’s most precious universities for international conferences, global competitions and placements at world-class companies. Students also get an opportunity to meet eminent professors, scientists and Nobel laureates while also being made eligible for fellowships, scholarships and financial assistance on projects. Many even take part in student-exchange and internship programmes with the world’s best universities including MIT and Harvard. Read | IITs launch portal to help women aspirants through admission process, click here
Students are also encouraged to pursue their hobbies and extra-curricular activities in order to not miss out on overall development. In short, the students do not have to search for opportunities; the IITs present them with such breaks every other day.
The concept of IITs was initiated just before the independence of our country with the aim to produce successful technologists who would contribute towards the development of our nation. IIT Kharagpur was the first acknowledged IIT in 1956. Since then 16 such institutes have been established and 7 more are newly approved.
IT industrialist and co-founder of Infosys NR Narayana Murthy says students leave the country because our nation does not provide enough attractive opportunities for the brightest minds. The government in collaboration with IITs should take strict measures to stop this ‘brain-drain’ and encourage our talented engineers to work of our country by providing them with due remuneration, recognition and opportunity.