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The New Stuff

8 new IITs and 7 new IIMs???

Read & heard as headlines at many channels that Govt. has proposed to set up 8 new IITs, 7 new IIMs, more Institutes of Science & Information Technology…Hmmm definitely a great idea but is it possible to have more IITs & IIMs???
I guess it’s quite easy to make such announcement without considering the long-standing problems which are prevailing in our country in setting up premium institutes like IIT & IIM. Such premium institutes not only require high standard infrastructure rather they also need premium faculty too. With the current state of career in academics in India, almost 30 to 35% of the faculty seats are vacant in most of the premium institutes. Quite high standards have been laid down as recruiting criteria for faculty members at all premium institutes but there is no proper thought being given about the compensation & other benefits which these faculty members should receive. An IIT or IIM pass out fresher easily gets 2.5 to 3 times (maybe more) more salary than its faculty members plus the kind of growth which a corporate world promises or to be more relatable I should say the kind of growth which a foreign university promises to its faculty, an Indian prof can never get such growth even in premium institutes of India. Govt keeps on announcing the increase in faculty position at universities & colleges but what’s the point of such increase when a large portion of existing seats are lying vacant? How about these facts which can really leave us pondering:

  • Not even 1% of the current educated population in India opts for academics as their first preference of career. It is in most of the cases considered as compromise or last option of career.
  • In addition to the 2.5 to 3 times higher salary which a fresher draws in corporate world as compared to the faculty members who have taught him in the institutes, what is more disturbing is to have a look on the hike which these faculty members get over a period of time… On an average a professor gets a hike of Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000 in his salary & that too not annually rather in most of the cases it’s after every alternate years… In fact I remember I read it somewhere that an average IIT graduate draws more salary in his first or second year of career than an IIT director...
  • As per the normal standards, the teacher:student ratio in professional colleges should be 1:6 & in regular colleges it should be 1:10 whereas in India its somewhere between 1:10 to 1:14 for professional colleges & 1:20 to 1:40 for regular colleges. And this ratio trend is changing really at a worrying pace.

Considering the current salary packages, acute shortage of faculty members, ever declining interest of people in academic position & all other existing critical problems, is it possible to have new premium institutes like IITs & IIMs??? Well, I think no, atleast not till the time we have a re-look at our existing policies…

Ah, one peaceful day in my life

Last weekend after a long long time, finally we managed to a take a weekend break & decided to drive down to any location where we can get a resort booking… & finally after lots of trials & effort we managed to get a booking for 1 night at Tusker Trails in Bandipur… hah Bangaloreans & their love for weekend trips… leaves hardly any scope for any last moment booking availability.

Well, finally we managed to reach Bandipur (read more about Bandipur in my travelogue here), the place was so beautiful & drive was great but what made me super-excited was the fact that there was no mobile network available over there… Oh man, what a joy; that meant I would not receive any calls that day… Such a big relief & I just felt that this holiday would be perfect simply because I would NOT get any calls for work as well as other stupid things like credit card, personal loans etc etc… J…. Wah what a joy & it indeed proved to be such a great day, such a peaceful day without my mobile phone continuously ringing (rather screeching) in my ears. On a normal day many a times I get so irritated by the calls at all possible odd hours & this funda of 24x7 availability on official mobile phones that I just exasperatedly wonder “who the hell on this earth invented the mobile phone?”

Mobile again is also a classy example of we becoming slaves to technology. Till I guess last 4-5 years mobile phones were just “nice to have” kinda stuff in India but now if you don’t have a mobile phone you will be seen as one of those primitive men or primordial human beings. Its being categorized as one of the basic necessities of life & it has got as much “must-have” status as much as clothing & shelter have got in our lives. Well, I understand it has made our lives lot easier but I think it has made lives equally miserable too. Anybody can contact you anytime & you are left with no time for yourself ( …If I start writing the miseries which mobiles have brought to our lives, I think my list will never end). Now people just don’t talk while they need to talk rather they talk while working, driving, cooking, walking, exercising, shitting & when not!!! I sometimes wonder can we now survive without our mobile phones at all & what will happen to the world when suppose there will be absolutely no mobile connectivity for a week…JJJ… well, I don’t know about others but I think I will surely enjoy that one peaceful week.

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