Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Students' protests at IIT

Last week, on Saturday, the students of IIT Bombay carried out a peaceful candle-light protest against the introduction of reservations in faculty positions at IIT Bombay. The students are absolutely right when they say that this is a wrong move on part of the government. IIT Bombay is an institute, where very few candidates manage to succeed in getting a faculty position. In the past one year, my own department has seen more than three open category students (the surnames made it obvious that they were from the general category) being rejected because the interviewing team did not find them good enough. These were candidates with a Ph.D. from prestigious universties and had work experience as Post-docs with reputed advisors. Some of them held a B.Tech. degree from one of the IITs itself.

Such has been the selection procedure at IIT, that despite a shortage in the number of faculty, they are not hiring any Tom, Dick or Harry. Now, when candidates are hired just because they have a caste certificate, and not enough credentials to match the rigour of work at IIT, it will naturally lead to a drop in teaching standards. A student who enters IIT may inflict harm on just himself/herself, if he /she doesn't manage to cope up with the curriculum. However, if a teacher who doesn't meet the IIT mark, comes in to teach, he/she causes harm to entire generations of students. And if IIT is not in a position to terminate the services of the teacher, then around 35 batches of students are likely to suffer. While it is acceptable for a trainee to be of standards that may be a tad below par, you cannot accept at trainer whose skills are below par.

The Minister of Human Resource Development should understand that not everybody is cut out for every possible task. Allow the under-privileged to find their core competence based on opportunities provided to them during their training. Please do not let them occupy positions just because they have a caste certificate. No person with below-par skills should be allowed to be at a position from where he/she has a potential of damaging various careers.
Students' protests at IITSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


  1. You have written a lot. I need to catch up.

    Will comment in a while :p

  2. Some of them held a B.Tech. degree from one of the IITs itself.

    Et tu!! To kya badaa ukhaad lia if he did a BTech from IIT

    I guess, the mail that GSAA or someone sent had the best line in it that captures the stupidity of Arjun Singh

    The minimum requirement for a faculty position in IIT is a PhD. Its
    beyond any logic that a person holding a PhD is considered backward

  3. When I said "Some of them held a B.Tech. degree from IITs", I meant that IITs (atleast IITB) do not play favourites. Selection is completely impartial.

    Yes, a person with a PhD cannot by any logic be considered backward. But he/she gets jobs in the government sectors using the caste card only.

    What I intend to say is that no person should become an IIT Prof. just because he/she belongs to a certain caste.

  4. then it just goes everywhere....why should some-one become the manager of a plant or project leader if he or she has a caste certificate.

    With the prof, unfortunately, she is instrumental in shaping the thoughts of lots of students.

    No amount of protesting is going to help. All the politicians are one force when it comes to policies that will weaken the country, yet, they cannot come to a consensus for something which (apparently) is good for the country.

  5. Ideally, it does go everywhere, but the intention of the government is to uplift the downtrodden, so they try to place these people in those places where,it feels, the environment can further uplift the future generation. But if placing them leads to the downfall of the others (similar to bringing down the average), it is a cause of grave concern. Quota benefits have not been reviewed even once in the past 60 yrs.

    Places like IIT, AIIMS are sanctum sanctorum. Their faculty should not be saddled with people of a lesser merit.