Sunday, November 23, 2008

IIT Brand- Measures to sustain it

IIT Delhi Alumni Association jointly with IIT Kharagpur Alumni Association organized a Panel Discussionon on `IIT BRAND -Measures to sustain it' on 22nd November 2008 (Saturday), at 5.30 P.M., Seminar Hall, IIT Delhi where PANELISTS were Dr. Shashi Gulhati, Ex- Professor, IIT Delhi, Prof. P.V. Indiresan, Ex - Director, IIT Chennai, Mr. Manoj Mitta, Senior Editor, Times of India, Dr. Y.P. Singh, Ex - Professor IIT Kharagpur and Mr. Pradeep Gupta, Chairman, Cyber Media (India) Limited. As a customary duty ascribed to Secretary, IITDAA I had to propose vote of thanks towards the conclusion of the event. Following is part of my talk which I think may be of some interest to concerned people.
............First come first, thanks to Prof. Indiresan who solved a long pending puzzle going on in my mind by sharing the fact that vice chancellors are paid seats. Sometime back I met VC of a reputed university and felt that there has been a heinous wrong in appointing this person as VC of this reputed university and I believed somewhere deep that some wrong is going on somewhere and today I got my answer. Today evening we witnessed a truly enlightening discussion and I must say that discussion held here should and will influence the authorities concerned whenever they deal with topics such as IIT Brand. It was truly a discussion straight from the heart. I don’t know how but there must be a way, may be through stake holders group as suggested by PG and Dr. Gulhati, to tell and convince people in power to give a patient hearing to the unbiased discussion which took place today in this hall. Such a discussion can be expected only from fearless people. I think that people in power, people who decide don’t really know the repercussions of what they decide and they are unaware of ground realities. I don’t think that any well wisher of the country and humanity at large would decide to open more IITs when there is scarcity of resources to meet the demands of the present IITs. Today, all problems are everybody’s problems. World look up to institutions like IITs to solve the large scale problems as cited by Mr. Saluja in his inaugural address the humanity is facing today. An institution which is so important should not be touched unless it is absolutely warranted. I received an email from Mr. Chetan, an alumnus of IIT Delhi saying that how many IITians have really restricted their area of work to what they studied at IIT and then gave a list of IITians who have excelled in non-technology areas. I would like to tell Mr. Chetan with your due permission that institutions of excellence like IITs help its students outgrow the education it provides and help them become solution providers be it through technology or otherwise. Guru is the one under whom the students learns not only the subjects but learns the very art of learning and that’s what happens at IIT and I have witnessed it. Thanks to Mr. Manoj Mitta, Senior Editor, Times of India who brought before us the ongoing anomalies in cut off system of JEE and I am sure that IIT is listening and soon will come out with a proposal on how to address the concerns raised.
Thanks to Dr. Y. P. Singh for sharing with us the brain-drain joke and sir, it is true across the sectors including the Bharat Ratna award. Apparently it does seem that unless you are drained, you are not a brain i.e. only a drain brain is a brain and others are not. In my experience, I am yet to come across an incident where someone living in this country without having any affiliation with any political party has been honored with a prestigious award.
Dr. Gulhati, even though Govt may not have a direct say in the IIT system but the game Govt is playing is much deeper than our eyes can penetrate to. The Govt by enacting mechanisms with ulterior motives is weakening the system and then they will instill their people through whom the politicians will do proxy ruling over IIT system. I do see a parallel of this in Kashmir problem. Pakistan by force and other illegal means has been successful in implanting its people in the valley and now is advocating the mechanism of self-determining system to decide the fate of valley. It is Pakistan’s people and hence they will definitely opt for to be in Pakistan............................... ....

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