“ a compromise formula which includes a proposal to take top 20% students based on percentile ranking of respective boards for preparing the merit list”

How meaningless is this solution ?. Higher education in India will become the domain of the school toppers and Children of affluent parents and we wonder why half a million students leave India to study undergraduate courses overseas. Children who will never return to a country that shunned them.

Is this is what we call inclusive in RTE ?.

God Save India

Inclusive education does not mean that everyone must enter, or pass out from, an IIT. It only means that if you wanted to, you could have a shot at it. The child labourer is excluded because she can never dream of entering an IIT; she may absolutely hate IIT, but not trying to join an IIT should be her decision. Even if there is only one IIT train, every child must have access to the platform where the train comes. Of course, not everyone will get on to the train but everyone knows what to do to have a shot at the train. This is called inclusion in education. Everyone must go to school till class 12; those who work hard, and are willing to work harder still, will join an IIT. Others will, by choice, decide not to work that hard and become economists.

Shubhashis Gangopadhyay

All children are born equal and mindless politicians are trying to grade the children and youth of the nation and create a new Brahamanical Caste system in Education, which is pandering to the neo rich who can afford to send their children to elite private schools and Coaching schools.

"HRD Ministry of India wants to build castles of higher education on the bamboo scaffoldings of its schools" ~ Satish Jha

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Monday, June 3, 2013

497 - ‘IITs are incubators of intellectual prowess’ - The Hindu

‘IITs are incubators of intellectual prowess’

HYDERABAD, May 31, 2013

Veteran IIT professor Madhav Madhira at the panel discussion organised by The Hindu in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Devi Karunasri, a mechanical engineer of the IIT-Madras 2008 batch at the panel discussion organised by The Hindu in Hyderabad on Thursday.

R.Balasubramanian, Science Infrastructure consultant and professor of the G. Narayanamma Institute of Technology at the panel discussion organised by The Hindu in Hyderabad on Thursday.

R.S. Naveen Kishore, of the 2012 batch of IIT-Hyderabad at the panel discussion organised by The Hindu in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Sailesh Akella, an alumus of IIT-Madras at the panel discussion organised by The Hindu in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Sanjay Gadhalay, Business Consultant and IIT alumnus at the panel discussion organised by The Hindu in Hyderabad on Thursday.

T. Muralidharan, IIT alumnus and convenor of the panel discusssion organised by The Hindu in Hyderabad on Thursday.

The panel discussion, organised by The Hindu, comprised IIT alumni who dwelt at length on the various facets of the prestigious institutes

The role of IITs may not be limited to imparting core subject knowledge, or churning out candidates for the most happening jobs in Information Technology and Finance.

With even secretarial posts in the Central government being increasingly occupied by IIT graduates and postgraduates, the prestigious institutes have come to be viewed as incubators of intellectual prowess.

So felt ex-IITians who gathered at The Hindu office on Thursday for a panel discussion ahead of ‘Choice 2013’— the career counselling workshop for IIT and NIT aspirants. The workshop, sponsored by State Bank of India, will be held at Ravindra Bharathi on June 11.

Madhav Madhira, who has over 50 years of teaching experience in various IITs, sought to remind that IITs were initially set up to be research hubs, and not teaching institutions. What had earlier been a ‘by-product’ has become more successful eventually, dousing the institutions in its aura.

For those who pursue a career in the same stream, the knowledge of the subject becomes an added advantage by its relevance in the field, while those who arrive merely for the IIT tag will not go empty-handed either, the panellists sought to assure.

Five-year integrated courses are relevant for the first set of students, as they will get a better opportunity to explore and hone their skills in the core subjects, said Devi Karunasri, a young mechanical engineer from IIT-Madras.
Students who have enrolled for the four-year B.Tech can later shift to the five-year integrated course, but it is not possible the other way round.

Old versus new
On the choice between old and new IITs, there was the near-unanimous view that each had its own benefits. In terms of infrastructure and facilities, old IITs score over the new ones by huge margins, but the quality of faculty remains the same.

While emphasis has shifted from teaching to research in older institutions, the newer ones are more enthusiastic about pedagogy. R.S. Naveen Kishore, a 2012 graduate from the new IIT-Hyderabad, agrees that there were a few problems for the first batch, but his juniors had better facilities such as computer labs and drawing halls.

These hitches are to be resolved once the new and technologically-advanced campus comes up by 2014. Students in the old IITs, meanwhile, may have to make do with older equipment.

To a Facebook query on NITs in the North East, students were advised to keep them as last option, as their development would take more time. IIT Guwahati, however, has attractive offers for faculty, and hence may be considered, the panellists said.

Faculty shortage
The shortage of faculty is certainly an issue to reckon with, as a class of 120-140 students would be dealt with by a single faculty member in the first year. Sailesh Akella from IIT Madras said only one class is fortunate to listen directly to the lecturer, even as two other classes would just hear him through video streaming. However, at a few IITs, tutorials are being held after each lecture, which enhances the learning experience. After the first two years, the classes will be completely split stream-wise, with about 40 to 60 students per batch.

All IITs teach basic courses such as Mathematics, Physics, English and drawing during the first year, and a little of engineering and allied courses during the second. The core part of the chosen stream will be taught only in third year, to be taken to advanced level in the final year.

Choice of streams
On students blindly choosing streams based on their ranks, Sanjay Gadhalay, an IITian from the 80s felt the very system of ranking streams based on market preferences is flawed. Students should be allowed to choose the stream after completing two or three years of study, he felt.

Student suicides
The panel also discussed student suicides in IITs due to the pressure to perform.
According to Prof. Madhira, one has to work hard to fail in IIT, as there is relative grading. However, placements are the most compelling phase when students slip into depression.

“There are those who excel in allied activities and some who do good in academics. Those left out of both are usually the ones prone to depression,” Sailesh observed.

T. Muralidharan, an IITian from Youth Employability Services Centre (YESC) — the co-organisers of the panel discussion — moderated the discussion, while Prof. R. Balasubramanian from G. Narayanamma Institute of Technology and Science, engineer-turned-entrepreneur Srinivas Chakravarthi, and infrastructure consultant Chakrapani were the other IITians who participated.