As soon as a student chooses his major as Science in class 10, the first remark comes out to be ‘Engineering? When are you joining IIT classes?’. How on Earth is a student going to grind out a marathon by just sprinting? The scrutinization begins way before you choose your stream. The JEE exams are more about how well you know your stuff rather than how much you know.
So around 13 lakh students literally grind it out to run yet another marathon which is the JEE- Advanced where only 1.5 lakh students get shortlisted. From this, around 10,000 finally get their dream of entering the IIT’s.
To understand what this fuss is all about, I visited IIT Madras’s annual cultural show Saarang and I in a way felt that this institution gives you the favorable environment for learning instead of sufficient knowledge for education. Learning and Education are two independent terms. The dictionary meaning of learning is ‘acquisition of knowledge’ where education stands for ‘the process of receiving systematic instruction’.
What you get at IIT is “Learning” and what you get at these coaching institutes is “Education”. So let us assume that you have ran hard for two years to these coaching factories by missing dates and outings and let us assume that you made it to the IIT’s by hard work and not pattern recognition. What will you do next? You’re in a place where the ideas preached here is Greek and Latin to you.
Ok, I agree, going to IIT is not just about learning. Its status and every middle-class kid like you and me want it. To quote Chetan Bhagat ‘IIT is a middle-class kids KBC’. But status at the cost of your life? Status at the cost of your enjoyment? Status at the cost of your youth? Do you think it is worth?
This is the category that I belong to. Let us now look at the other category. The genius assumed nerds. The one who starts answering even before the question is asked. These are the real champions to me. What happens in this case, is that they have a clear idea and understanding of their subject and sometimes the cruel nature of the system makes a student with lesser marks to enter the next stage by pushing you down. Thanks to our reservation system. It’s more to the reserved than the deserved.
Without making this argument more political, the points that we need to understand is that we are aspirants of success and not just the brand IIT. If you and I genuinely want to get into IIT’s, all you need is coherent and sorted practice and not 50k from your dad’s pocket.
Let’s first say bye to Kota and then think how to go about Quota!