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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Facts about Higher Education

Let me begin with the paragraph cited from above article: Redefining meaning of world class:-

What a pity! 18% of the worlds population (Indians) call third rate colleges as world class and continue to delude themselves. Not only that, they fight tooth and nail to fight to get into universities which are trash by any standard. To add icing to the cake, these 3rd rate institutions say that they are better than Harvard (factoring in just the exclusivity factor) or say that they are "world class". Its better that they these institutes recognize the garbage they are in and first come out of the trash can, before trying to make any claims to delusionary greatness.

Thats one reason why our colleges never look beyond national rankings. Every year, one sees different magazines coming up with headline breaking news, that some IIT has overtaken the other as the top college or that one of IIM's A/ B/ C has been ranked above the other. And the gullible Indians lap up this trash being doled out to them. Never mind that they learn nothing from such rankings because its the same trash being served in different ways year after year. And everyone is happy, the public with the hope that these institutions would help them get the "world class" status and "world class" opportunities, and the media because it sells a record number of copies of their magazines.

I don't completely agree or disagree with his views. Still, they are worth looking for introspection.

Recently, In the latest issue of Current Science, the director of NISCAIR, Dr. Gangan Prathap has written an article, Ranking of Indian engineering and technological institutes for their research performance during 1999–2008. Three esteemed bloggers has done their work of evaluation on this matter: Prof T Abi of IISc, Prof Giridhar of IITM & Cogito Ergo Sum.

I would like to present a view of my friend who wants to remain anonymous [Highly Credible Source].

Prathap's paper about the 10 years research progress at IITs/BHU/ISM/IISC. He didn't consider a few things like IITs/BHU/ISM are indeed technical institutions which specific mode towards engineering education and they should only compare that component with IISC or Jadvapur. Recently, US NEWS has done that. The rankings should be passed to as many people can be, so that the old faculty of India which is on a constant urge to nullify the best technical commodity to the entire world. ---- World's Best Colleges and Universities

A take on Old Indian faculty problem with reasons:

1: They they are nationalistic by holding PHDs of students from 6.5 to 8 years in fundamental sciences in India. They blame it to the equipments but I don't know how equipments play a role in Theoretical Physics.

2. They don't want any free transaction of knowledge in between you and the collaborator which hinders a lot of insight about the problem. Guys who really solve the problem never get to be on the committees which are meant for having discussion on the problems.

3. Most of the Indian PHD professors have anti-Btech emotions especially at IIT M/K and B. I dont know about your institute. They think Btechs leave India for their own good, but think about it, a PHD student gets a salary of 10-15K in India on a MHRD project worth 25 lacs and I have seen professors billing 1 lacs Rupees on Miscellaneous items, and Believe me he is one of the most famous Professors from India. They will never accept that a good sum of money is going to their individual pockets and they dont spend that money paying the students or buying new equipments.

4. For an equipment, they will write another grant and as usual that will get accepted. A student will be employed to set it up obviously on a low enough salary and expected to do the bullwork. Again Miscellaneous.

5. Newest of the faculty cribs: We should get higher salaries. Okay agreed. Tell me what is the quality of your publication and why should I buy your research when it doesn't solve any problem in industry, only meant for making publications at the cost of hapless students.


  1. Mostly, the research and innovation in foriegn countries are done in universities,by its professor and students. Here, in india, I really doubt the quality of professor. If there are research institutes, their interaction to these institutes(IIT's) are very poor. Salary structure and atmosphere(motivation and appreciation) is so poor that very few intelligent student can dream to do phd (in india) and be a professor.
    A good example to comprehend the quality of teacher is, teachers in our institute.

  2. Thanks for the comment Amit.The complaining part will not solve the problem. And both of us know that. In india, if you are waste and have nothing to do, then will do PHD unlike reverse in foreign countries. When the best brains fly to corporate sector, no reason to make cry. Still Salary structure and atmosphere is really deep shit. We need to become more research oriented institute like IISc to raise level of our institute.

  3. Ofcourse.....We dont need to look many of our batchmates who slogged to clear Jee, dreamed to scientific pursuits, experienced that immense thrill and joy of solving toughest questions of Irodov and S.L Loney going to land up in pure sciences ?
    None I guess...due to hurdles mentioned in post many of us will be able to share that spiritual moment of Eureka felt by scientist through the ages of discovering how nature works?
    How many of us will experience the same thrill we did when we came to know that flinging urself at 11 km/sec will free from earth's gravity(then spent entire night dreaming of how to actually do that!)
    None I guess..........this thought make me feel like a loser....

  4. Thanks for the comment Arora. What a welcome surprise. The imgaination power of ours has sublimed with scientific curosity in 4 years of life in the college. Really, we take too much granted in the college and forget to enjoy our academics and drag them as burden on our head. You are too the point, we became more experinced with time but with the heavy price of enthusiasm..



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