Let us first go through the hype created about IITs. If we look at headlines on Times of India website the headline goes this way
‘For IITians today, home is where the moolah is’.
I am including the link here in case the headline is replaced with another headline. Check the headlin here
On 5 Oct, 2006 TimesOf India ran another story on IITians saying that
“IITs slide down global excellence league”.
Here is the link Check the headline here
Again on Oct 13, 2006 TimesOfIndia ran one more story on IITians saying
“IITs ranked number 3 in the world”.
Here is the link Check the headline here
Inside the article the author Rashmee Roshan Lall cited several agencies who ranked IITs at 3, 4, 57 etc. No basis for their ranking was provided. It just looked like a number game. However, the author picked the best number in the headline. I really can’t fathom the change that took place between these two dates for the difference in rankings. However, it may be possible that the author rehashed the same content into two different stories and ran it on 2 different dates. Is our media creating lots of hype?
Coming back to obsession on IITians;
TimesOfIndia and IndianExpress took it upon themselves the pain of pumping too much about nothing on IITs and ignoring the bigger picture in India of which IIT is just a part. I want to be clear here that i have nothing against IIT and believe that we still have to do a lot before we can compare it with MIT. Comparing IITs with MIT, California University, and Berkeley is a joke. By this iam not trying to trump IITs but trying to place the facts before you all.
Let us first shed light on the first myth.
The myth is “Getting into IIT is 10 times harder than getting into MIT”. This is the most ridiculous statement you will hear among desis. The simple fact here is supply and demand. There are few IIT seats available and large number of students trying to get into it. It is just a bottleneck which we are projecting it as though only best students make it to IITs. Off course, if there are 100 seats and 10000 students applying for them, however hard the entrance test may be, only bright students get into it. It definetly make sense to say then that getting into MIT is lot easier, but projecting it as though the standard of MIT is lower than IIT is laughable.
The next myth is Harvard + MIT + Princeton = IIT. I can’t stop laughing on this one. How at all anyone can come to this conclusion unless he is mentally disabled and has no knowledge about MIT, Harvard, and Princeton.
One last but not the least myth is “IITs produce gems”. This is again not true. The IITs take gems and produce gems. That’s all to it. Can anybody here tell me what IIT gave to India? Compare this with what MIT gave to America and the world. Getting into MIT is easier and getting out is harder. Once you get out of MIT, you are real gem. This is the biggest difference between IIT and MIT. Except ‘I’ and ‘T’ there is nothing to compare between these two institutes. Almost all major innovations happened in United States and most of them are from their prestigious institutes and universities like MIT and yet they don’t boast as much as we do about IITs. Instead of relying on foreign agencies research which is most of the time to gain attention of millions of Indians, we should do our own in-house research and compare our institutions with korea, japanese, chinese institutes. We should compare number of patents filed, number of innovations made etc. If IIT is such a great institute which can churn gems, then why are we not adding such institute in every city and attracting more Indian and foreign students? Why are we scared to implement full blown reservation system in premier institutions, if we are sure that IITs can produce gems?
Note: I am not an IITian and there are several IITians who share my view and painted a better and fair picture of IIT on web. You are free to google and find it.
Let us next go through Shilpa shetty episode. Many in Indian media took advantage of this incident to bring home the 'Shining India campaign'. Are we really looking for too much attention from west? One of the headlines roared 'India shines behind Shilpa's tears'. Almost most of the media projected as if entire Britian was racist. This is very bad. This was the best case to highlight the human tendencies in genreal with some examples of racism in our own society. Even we Indians are racists. Don't we keep Shudras outside of our homes, Temples? Don't we call 'North Indians', South Indians', 'Sambhar', 'Tamilians'. Don't we bash Americans, Muslim world? Instead of educating our masses, we kept on signing 'Indian shining' song all through the episode and made it look like we won a world cup, when Goody exited. I insist that playing by the rules of the game, Shilpa should have answered appropriately instead of shedding tears.