This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Rahul Maganti. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Confessions Of An IITian: I Learnt A Lot At IIT Bombay, Except How To Be An Engineer

More from Rahul Maganti

IMPACT: Rahul’s story broke the silence around our education system and the reality of the most coveted engineering colleges in the country.

By Rahul Maganti:

Something has been bothering me for the past few days. After days of soul searching and lonely walks across the dim-lit roads of the institute across the Powai lake, it wasn’t difficult for me to understand what this abstract thing is that has been so unsettling. And, there has been a reason for the whole storm to start in my brain. In less than a week from now, I will be sitting for my placements. For many of my friends and classmates, placements are a very big thing in life where they get to take up a much hyped-high profile, well-paying job, the dreams which we were shown when we slogged nights and days preparing for IIT-JEE, frequently splashing cold water into our almost closing eyes to stay all awake in order to ace the JEE. The slogging ensured that a majority of us entered into these prestigious institutes with an eye on the ‘package’ and the ‘job’, and not on evolving into engineers and to develop technology. The worst, many of us will now end up as Investment Bankers, Analysts and Consultants, and not as Engineers as we have been trained for the past four years.

IIT Mumbai

Exactly three and a half years ago (July 2011), I got admitted into the Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science in IIT Bombay on a rainy July day when Bombay monsoons were in full flow. Today, as I am waiting for the results of my seventh semester, with just one remaining, I will have to confess, with contempt and despair, that academically I stand where I had been in July 2011. I have aged four long years, or to be precise, 40 months, during my stay here in IIT Bombay. The things I learnt and experienced here are undoubtedly numerous. The place gave me what I could have not have asked for in other institutes – a liberal space for thoughts to flourish. I have grown up all along my stay here looking at the same trees, the same roads, the same departments and the same hostels and of course, the same canteens and lounges. With every passing Bombay monsoon, I evolved as a human being pioneering different ambitions and dimensions of my life with maturity – emotional, intellectual and ideological issues, nurturing hobbies and passions. I can speak on and on of what this place has given me, but will save the same for the sentimental post which I will write towards the end of my stay here. I want to concentrate more on what I haven’t learnt.

I have enjoyed everything, literally everything, in IIT Bombay except academics, which is the main reason why I am here. The three and a half years are an academic void, which I hate to say. As I am writing this, I understand that this is going to haunt me for the rest of my life. The thought that I will leave the institute in April 2015 with the same or incremental increase in academic knowledge as I entered this institute with in July 2011 is already creeping in and is getting very hard to digest. The little I learnt during the course of mugging for exams get erased as soon as the exam is done. I am pretty much sure that I would not be able to take a paper of a course in a previous semester now.

How could I have expected something different if I had bunked classes or just attended them for the sake of the 80% attendance rule? Waking up at 8.20 AM and dragging myself to a lecture at 8.30 AM and reaching the classroom at 8.45 AM just because the professor will force the 80% attendance rule has been part and parcel of my culture and life all along the seven semesters. And, numerous of them went by with the professor singing lullabies in the Air-Conditioned classrooms. Not to forget, the seats are not too uncomfortable for a short nap either. Why would the consequence be something different if I had spent just the night before to study even for the end semester examinations? Why would I be academically equipped to be an ‘engineer’ if I don’t even go through the textbooks suggested for the course but end up mugging the few tutorial problems and last year examination papers during the last minute?

Image for representation only. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

As I end this, I am quite unsure whether this is my experience alone or the issue of a major part of the student community. I also can’t pass on a judgement on whether it is my problem or if that is the problem of the education system. But, one thing I can tell you with a certain amount of surety is that there are many students like me and the system failed all of them. Every one of them! While I don’t deny the mindset problem, I also believe that the education system can be fixed with proper dialogue and deliberations etching a progressive, inclusive and more practical form of education. While the quality of research by the professors is unquestionable, their teaching standards definitely need improvement. The fact that some professors have been successful in waking me up for an 8.30 AM class in the Bombay monsoons or a cold January winter is testimony of some wonderful professors we have. Sadly and unfortunately, they form a very tiny part of the professor community. The rigorous academic curriculum needs to be reviewed to make sure that a wider diversity is allowed to be opted for by the students. And, the most important treatment for the malaise is to disincentivize all the coaching institutions which are nothing but factories churning out to-be engineers, thus inspiring humans to run a rat race. The last one is the long-term solution. That would have saved people like me from following this race, which I became a part of, despite several and repeated attempts by my parents to convince me to take up Humanities.

All this is propelling me to now take up further studies and stay in the academic field, this time in a field where I would not be academically handicapped after one or two years. I would want to be academically proficient, at least in a single subject which I am interested in, and subjects like Political Science, International Relations and Sociology always enticed me. This has taught me a lesson for life – to never run a rat race until someone aims the gun at point-blank. I would not like to take up a job precisely for this reason and also would not repeat the same mistake and will consciously try to gain expertise in the field which I will choose out of choice and passion, but not out of compulsion and bad-faith.

Also read: Sexism In IIT Roorkee: My Observations As A Student Of This ‘Prestigious’ College

Something Is Rotten In St Stephen’s: An Ex-Student Speaks Out!

Featured image for representation only. Source: Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images
You must be to comment.
  1. Yatti Soni

    Such a beautiful draft, Rahul! (Y)

  2. Anand Ujjwal

    Oh wow, finally someone other than me, realized it. Fortunately, I self-introspected long before you did. For all the same reasons you mentioned, I left preparing from JEE in the beginning of grade 12, when I realized that I was just preparing for an exam, not increasing my knowledge. Study was just degrading my eyesight and health. I was pretty hard-core worker, and given the rat race, the power of my glasses went down from -1 to -1.7 in just a year, grade 11. In school, no teachers were interested in teaching me. They had no time for anything other than what could appear in JEE. Not only that, given the mentality of Indian teacher, I was sure that teacher in IITs would be ignorant and arrogant, too, Plus, all those student who prepare for IIT were awfully greedy. They always talked about money, jobs and girls. I feared that I would continue to have a dead social life in IIT, too , as I couldn’t tolerate greedy people. Finally, 2 year of preparation , and 4 years of study in jee would result in 6 years of utter waste of time and money ( fee of coaching institute and IIT, ( lakh/semester)) and dead social life, with little increment knowledge. With all that money, you can even start a business after 12. Keeping all these in mind, and a few other points ( let’s skip those for some other day), I stopped preparing for JEE. Since then, I have nurtured myself, and have known more about myself. My knowledge of everything has been increased tremendously. People call me crazy, and timid for running away from JEE, apparently, but I know m not. M not in IIT, but I know that I have worked harder and learnt more than those who are,

    1. VIVEK

      Lucky you to realize it so early…. you winner 🙂

    2. Anand Ujjwal

      No, it was not luck. I have been a hardcore learner ever since I was a kid, and never learnt for marks. I have always been quite a philosopher ( let’s skip the reason for now). As a result of my thoughtfulness, I learnt why I was getting shallower as I was preparing for JEE

    3. Utkarsh Phirke

      So what did you do after deciding to not do JEE? You do need Jobs and money, right?

    4. Anand Ujjwal

      Well, I decided to run a blog or start a business, or involve in network marketing, or being a poet or author( u won’t believe, but when I had time for me, I actually started writing poem and rap without much difficulty) but my parents think being a businessmen isn’t good. Anyway, what I have been doing is a secret. Let’s save it for another day.
      Actually, u can do anything u want. U just need to believe that nobody is born Scientist or singer. After I left preparing for JEE, I discovered many things that people think are god-gifted, poetry being one of them. They aren’t

    5. Anand Ujjwal

      and yes, I need money and job, but not much. If u see my lifestyle, u would know that I can live happily on less than 10,000 a month. And trust me, I don’t practice self-restraint. When you learn what you want to do with ur life, and what u care about, a company of friends is enough to make u the happiest. Then, the shine of cars and money will fade. Once, Einstein’s friend asked Einstein,” Get a degree, and take some job, how long will you be this way”
      To which he replied,” money and women are all you think. I have a question, and I need the answer. I don’t want to specialize in a branch of Physics.”

      Now, we all know that was a pretty bad advice.
      Wasn’t it?

      PS I don’t remember the exact convo. I have kept the gist of the convo

    6. Siddhant Bhartee

      Hi , I am a law student. I am fed up with the system, our education system is based on memory and when you do something for passion in India ,it usually doesnt pay well enough for you to be able to buy a flat or support yourself.
      I was thinking, we youngsters who are disillusioned with the system should try to form a community or a group of some sort and start something together maybe like an Auroville egalitarian society or an educational institution that revolutionises education. Do you guys have any ideas?

    7. Anand Ujjwal

      A year before, with the purpose of revolution, I actually started a facebook group named ‘school vs education’. Since, I have a very small circle on facebook, few people joined the group,which led to a embarrassing debacle.
      i guess, I was too early.
      If you insist, I may turn active again, and you may join me there. And if all these people who commented here join us, this may turn into a revolution. We can put our ideas there. We can have virtual conferences, and look for solutions. Trust me, I have many ideas. I just need a platform. Plus, u mentioned ur a law student. So, u may help me a lot by telling me possibilities in Indian constitution.
      However, you may start another group on meetup.com or somewhere else that seems fit to you, and I will join there.

      Just a funny solution – I came across a suggestion : there must be a rule that forces government officials and politicians to send their kids to gov. schools.

    8. Gaurav Dubey

      World will call you crazy till you earn a good living without much hardwork. world only sees us till failure after success no one cares. Is it true ? I think so and where do you live buddy and what are you doing now
      see I don't mean to…. I just mean that world never cares for people who become successful

    9. Anand Ujjwal

      First, you can not earn a good living without much hardwork, unkess you do something illegal.
      I apologize i can't understand what you mean by people not caring about successful people.
      Sadly, my ethics prohibit me from telling you where I live. But I can tel l that I am finally fixated towards becoming a public speaker

    10. BINAYAK PRASAD SAHU

      WHY DONOT WE PEOPLE ENTER INTO politics? i mean in our country we have all kind of talent like lawyr,engineer,doctor etc.but we donot have good governance that is why best brain of our nation are going out of this country.I will say here there no respect for talent at all.In politics only polarisation is taking place .i think its our responsibility to correct it.

      jai bharat

    11. Siddhant Bhartee

      Hi Binayak, my email is siddhant.bhartee@gmail.com . Contact me. ME ,Anand and a few people are forming a group and exploring a few ideas to help cause some change in the future. So email me. Anyone else too is free to do so.

    12. Avinesh Saini

      Kejru thought the very same thing. Look where he is now.

    13. Anand Ujjwal

      CM of Delhi, something most indians will die to be
      And one of my insipiration
      And my confirmation that situations do change, just keep working
      With time, he'll be greater and more influencial, more insipirational. Things change on a natural pace, rather than suddenly

    14. Payal

      I m with you siddharth.
      We must form a community and we must come together to resist the flow of disillusionment of the education system.

    15. Siddhant Bhartee

      Hi Payal, thanks for your message. Pl add me on facebook and pl join Anand’s facebook group school vs education. Through this group, we like-minded youngsters stay connected.

    16. Mohit

      Awesome decision Anand, it requires lots of courage to take decisions like this. You don’t know you have saved yourself from hell lot of burden plus we all always blame the education system but nobody will ever try to change and even if you cannot bring change just quit the system and explore something else in life.

    17. Anand Ujjwal

      are u asking me to back off?? Seriously? If I wanted to back off, I could have had ,long ago. U don’t know what I’ve been through. There’s no going back now.

      Remember the days, when were enslaved, did any think that one day he would be free? Perhaps not,but it happened.

      It may look impossible, like a miracle , but miracles happen everyday, like Rohit Sharma scoring 264 in ODI, like all of u calling me right ( in general, the commons call me crazy), etc. I believe that within the next 5 days, a miracle will happen with u. Just keep ur eyes open.

      You know, when MIchael Faraday discovered that light was an electromagnetic wave, nobody body believed him, until after 15 years when James Clark Maxwell put forth a mathematical foundation of that. See, things change. U just need to be persistent. And all those people who escaped have long been forgotten.

  3. Anand Ujjwal

    and how can I forget to share the solution , damn!!
    Here it is –

    1 . For rich people – Ask ur children not to care about any examination,and just to follow their dreams. When they complete high-school, sent them to another country for higher education

    2. For poor people – Don’t let ur children prepare for JEE and degrade himself. Save ur money. Don’t spend on coaching institute .Ask him to work-hard, study what they like the most, and help them be so skilled that they employ themselves as soon as they passed 12. After that, let them do whatever they want to do.

    IIT is a curse to our society. I have suffered its havoc throughout my school life. So, let’s ignore it to the point Indian colleges adopt some intelligible method of selection which gives opportunities to creative and genuine people, not to greedy job-hunters, to people to read because they want to, not because they are forced to.

    1. N

      you ARE an idiot

    2. Siddhant Bhartee

      Dear Anand, yes we will definitely start something. Everyone who has commented here can join us. I will join your group on facebook. And i will definitely form a group as you suggest. Please do give me your email so we can be in touch. I would like to form a group of motivated youngsters. Maybe we can all join politics in the near future to effect a change in the system. Or we can start an educational institution where learning is given its true value. If any of you’ll wish to contact me ,my mail is siddhant.bhartee@gmail.com . Anand ,do give me your email address and those of you who are interested can contact me too.

    3. Ram

      Tu Kitna Khali hai be….

    4. BINAYAK PRASAD SAHU

      you are right @ anand. actually we have to be the change be country need us.it ou responsibility give a better environment to our next generation. I think it is the right time to do something for our nation if you are trying to do that any need a supporter then please let me know i will try my best effort to make your effort succesful

    5. Payal

      You are very correct Anand..
      I m with you in your idea to revolutionize the system.
      Everybody is blaming the system..But nobody is taking a concrete stand to oppose…

      I can really help you in it..
      I think we must come together and make a change.

    6. Anand Ujjwal

      Thanks, I appreciate your willingness to help.
      I suggest you to be in touch with Siddhant. At this moment, I am too busy to co-ordinate everything. My fb group is always open for you, and all other visionaries

  4. Sharique

    hi Anand.let me tell you my story I always expected life to be better when in IIT. I was much fascinated and amazed with the quality of grey cells you guys have which I lacked.I too up engineering in a pvt college (I am not comparing my standards with you guys, I cant it would be sin).I took engg. in a hope to learn something interesting, maybe ranchordas Chanchal had been really inspiring me all the way.I had been a bright student at school with lots of curiosity.but since my 1st semester my marks started dropping gradually. my attendance too went low.and even if I had attented I lost interest.I am also enrolled in my 7th semester and shall appear for my sems soon.I can understand your impulse right I too feel it at times.I wonder what have I learnt in this 40 months.And why my career opportunities are inclined towards the it sector rather what I had learned (or know).I too blame the education system where we study to get good jobs or marks in semester. that too we study by mugging up few paragraphs of some previous question database.how badly are we screwing up our lives?hope for the best.

    1. Anand Ujjwal

      Dude, it’s disappointing. Grey cell don’t matter. I suggest you to watch interviews of the greatest creators like Albert Einstein, MIchael Faraday, Michio Kaku, Sean Carol, Neil Degrassa Tyson, Scott Dinsmore, Nancy Duarte, etc. I can go on pretty long. All of them insist only one thing, nobody is born genius. The fact that u have found what u have done wrongly is a victory itself. There are people who never learn this. For example, my mother, she still thinks I stopped preparing for Jee because I was afraid.
      And don’t compare ur standards with anyone. Everyone is different and you must not compare urself with anyone, as everyone has different aspiration attitudes. Some may call u successful because ur the healthiest, some may because ur the richest, some may because ur the most famous, some may because u line up more chicks than anyone else,etc. There are many yardsticks used by people around u, but u must be ur own yardstick

    2. Siddhant Bhartee

      Anand bro, i am impressed with your wisdom. What are you doing currently?

    3. Sahil

      @Siddhant Bhartee : Anand is currently writing lyrics for rap songs.

    4. Anand Ujjwal

      @ Shahil. That’s one of the things I do. Anyway, how do U know that ?

    5. Anand Ujjwal

      @SId, well that’s a pretty convoluted question, which I refuse to tell this moment. No offence intended

    6. BINAYAK PRASAD SAHU

      hello, shariq i think you are right bcoz i also got inspired by 3 idiots .that is why now i am in tiss .i think we all should try our best to to create awareness among student community. i think that can be done by going to school during our leisure time and motivating the young mind of this country

  5. vishwas

    For long I have felt the same… knowledge is more important marks but in the mad race for better and high paying jobs people have forgotten that. I too tried my hand at expressing the same point on my blog.

    bestvish.blogspot.com/2014/03/being-engineer-indian-version.html

  6. Vishwas

    For long I have felt the same. In the mad race for better paying jobs and comfort people have forgotten that knowledge is more important than marks. I too tried to air my point of view on my blog:

    http://bestvish.blogspot.com/2014/03/being-engineer-indian-version.html

  7. Aditi s

    To be precise its beautiful -because i can relate to it and then be convinced that mayb not going after the pay packages wa the right decision.

  8. confused

    I am a student who is hoping of getting into a top institution n i have never personally met an IItian n this is the first time i m reading an article like this. My sis is in grade 11 studying for IIT, n we have been living in saudi arabia till her 10th grade n actually there is a big difference among schools n students.
    Like, if it is academically-i mean not the way of teaching but just teaching the things from the text books n qps the coaching centres r good. But the students in her institute are way too different from the students here. The ones who study for IIT, they just care about themselves n they r not worried if they lose marks but they r worried if OTHERS GET marks. I wonder, even if they get into IIT what people are they gonna become. Who ingests this mentality in students. As far as i know there are very few cases in which the teacher encourages students cuz in many cases the students r forced to study.
    Getting into IIT is my sis’ dream, N mine is to get into IISc n please can sm1 tell me whether it is the same situation in IISc also?

    1. Somanath

      Yes, it is the same. Try for some American or European institutions. Seriously!

    2. Sidharath

      Why don’t make our institutions like European or American? The problem with us Indians is, we don’t think big. We don’t think boss.

    3. SANANDANAN R

      yes we can make our institutions the best in world if we have the control of those institutions. but unfortunately it was in the hands of politicians around the country.. v can change politics 1st and for that we almost need a revolution, not the revolution vth guns and all, but a democratic revolution to convert dirty politics into clean politics..

    4. Sanjana Gopal

      Please ask yourselves the question – Why do you want to be in IIT or IISc? I am in my 5th semester in IIT Kanpur. I have a different story to tell. I attempted JEE twice and cleared the second time with an AIR of 4916. I took up chemistry because I thought it was the most interesting choices of the ones available to me. I consulted a lot of people, even profs from other IITs before doing this. I was always clear that I wanted to do research and my choice of department was based on this ambition. After 5 semesters, I think I’m glad i screwed up JEE and took chemistry. I enjoy my courses, my department has taught me a lot, and I am beginning to see the versatility of this branch. I am working with profs on research projects, taking graduate courses (have been doing this since my second year) working hard, reading textbooks, and studying because I like to. I don’t score good grades because I dont test well ( I am not the kind of person that performs well in exams no matter how well I have studied the course material which is why i didn’t clear JEE the first time) but my grades haven’t demotivated me from my choice of career, I still want to research just as badly as I wanted to 2 years ago. I am not sitting for internships and don’t plan on sitting for placements either. I will probably stay another year at IITK to get my masters. So yeah, I was a normal, average kid that never topped school, I’m still an average student at IIT and am doing okay, but i don’t regret it and I can say for sure that I will have learnt a lot while leaving IIT. But thats only because I chose my interest ( Even if i suck at it, I still love it). If you and you’re sister want IIT and IISc for the same reasons (love of science and a future in science/ engineering) then go ahead. Otherwise, don’t because then you’re entering a rat race. But if you do, then this place has a lot to offer to you. You wont find better schools for science and engineering in India.

    5. Anand Ujjwal

      Hey, ur just like me, talk like me, passionate just like me , score bad in exams just like me, but still don’t give a fuck like me, damn. I want to be friends with you

    6. Sanjana Gopal

      Hi, I am in my 5th semester at IIT Kanpur. I am in the Chemistry Department and I have a different story to tell. Just like you and your sister, being in an IIT was my dream. I cleared JEE in my second attempt and didn’t get a very high rank so I took up chemistry because it was the most interesting field of the ones available to me. I can safely say that in just 2 and half years I have learnt a lot in IIT (and I mean academically) I always wanted to pursue research and I truly believe that if I wasn’t here, I’d never get the exposure that I am getting now. I am working on research projects with profs, taking graduate courses and learning more about chemistry than I believed could exist. I am understanding so many applications of my field and am able to appreciate these problems in a way most people cannot. So no, its not all bad at IITs and I was lucky because I could make an informed choice (I spoke to a lot of people including profs from IITB before deciding on this) and I enjoy what I am learning. I was never the topper of my school or anything, I was an average kid at school, I have an average GPA at IIT and I do okay for myself; I get bad grades , i find some classes very boring and i too think there are few things wrong with this place. But these are problems in every school in the world. If you want to be in IIT for the placements or the job opportunities, or the olympic sized pools, you should rethink your decisions, if on the other hand you enjoy science and engineering ( even if you don’t know much) then you should go ahead without giving it any more thought! I think what the writer wants to say is dont do it because everybody is doing it because its your life and you cant take it back later.

  9. Shashank

    Hi Rahul,

    I feel that your article’s pretty well written and sums up a lot of things that are prevalent with the undergraduate system in India, especially in the engineering colleges.
    Having said that, I also feel that the system reflects the inherent faults that are already existent within the Indian society, and the fact that we have failed the system in equal measures as it has failed us. Engineering in general and the IITs in particular, in that aspect, have always been viewed as middle class aspirations for a better life and not just an engineering degree and the lack of motivation to study after that just signifies that, in our minds, the target has been partially achieved.

    As far as the diversity of academics is concerned, IIT Bombay is far better than most other colleges that you’ll see. Even though you are correct in almost everything that you have written, I also got a feeling after reading the last line that this may also be an attempt to justify and rationalize your own personal decision to take up higher studies in I.R., Political Science or Sociology instead of a job, or higher studies in the engineering field.

    Here, I have some advice for you. Unsolicited, of course. International Relations and Political Science may seem an attractive proposition right now but you should first dive headfirst into the subjects and see if you actually love them and don’t just like the sound of it, or superficially enjoy the subjects. As a matter of fact, most freshmen engineers start with the aim of acing the subjects and learning a lot of practical skills but somehow within the thyristors and sintering principles, it all gets lost.

    I wish you best of luck for any future endeavors and hope that you take the best path available. Live long and prosper. 🙂

  10. VIVEK

    I would also like to mention one point here….we would have probably not even gone on to read the whole article has it been from some ordinary engineer (from some college we hardly know about)… we read it and value it because its from an IIT-an. its because we judge people by degrees and hence create a society who in disguise creates this rat race. We also need to change somewhere 🙂

  11. soumya kundra

    Lovely Post . It reflects the lives of thousands / lakhs of engineering graduates that come out of the Engineer Making “Factories” every Year . The curriculum is obsolete and mundane.
    I hope this post garners readership of students who are going to be Engineers ( Justfor the heck of it ) and they learn something from Your experience.

  12. Mithun K

    Hello,
    This is in return to the question you have raised that only you went through/going through what you have explained. The answer is No I can agree that this piece you have written can exactly portrait my previous years @ IITM. My knowledge is still the same when I came into the college, But unlike you I still do not no what I have to do after I graduate in 2016, I am sharing this article hoping that fresher’s could think about it and take a decision.

    Thank you 🙂 .

  13. Saurabh

    Placement time is very awesome time to know about ourselves. Last year I went through same process and wrote this blog.
    http://introspectinlife.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/introspecting-life/
    #goodolddays

  14. Vaibhav Agarwal

    This is precisely the difference between mit and iit’s.One should know that engineering is not easy anyday but if we have the passion and drive for it plus a want to develop the analytical skills required that we can be the best in the world, but things are as we all know too focus on placement and jobs instead of creating great engineers that can create world changing technology.Hope things will change for better in the future.

  15. Shivam Chawla

    Indian education hasnt really evolved in any way as it should have. Actually, it is also the fault of the companies that recruit students on college basis. Poor tests, poor syllabus, no practical knowledge thats what indian education is all about.

  16. Akshat Seth

    Comrade Rahul ko Laal Salaam! 🙂

  17. ankit

    first of all..amazing article..

    I think its not only with you., my friends or seniors I came across are having the same problem..
    education system can b blamed… but can’t get the way out of it…

  18. Hannibal

    Wow ! Such bullshit !! Academics are the absolute best part of the IITB experience. I am currently doing PhD at university of Illinois and sometime I wish I could just close my eyes and wake up in an IITB classroom instead. The courses are much more challenging and exciting at IITB than here. I also feel my friend circle at IITB was much much smarter than here in the US, even though this is one of the best universities in the world.

    So just stop whining ! Sadly it easy to become part of the herd at IITB and waste your time government resources on ‘lukkha’ and ‘chill’ because courses are for ‘maggus’

  19. Anonymous

    I honestly loved the post. However I would like to point out that college is a part of our lives where we are exposed to maximum distractions. I was very curious when I joined, and was always clear in terms of concepts. I never bothered about marks so it didn’t affect me much when I didn’t score as well as I’d expected initially, but it really hit me when I failed in a subject twice. That’s the first time there’d be a permanent record of my failure.
    After a lot of soul searching, I had realised, that I needed to plan. I need to know where I’m headed and where I want to be headed. I thought about how to get there. I realised, that to clear the cut off for major companies(Technical), you need to have a CGPA of 7. (Pvt engineering collg) and mine was slightly off the mark. I had then decided to study atleast enough to pull up my grades to 7. I planned to achieve this target by picking up subjects that I found interesting (or were taught by good professors) and made them my strong points. I knew that at the end of the day, I didn’t want to be a Jack of All trades but a Master of None so I chose the subjects that would help me in the career path I choose to take. And when I tried to read about them, and trust me, some textbooks are really amazing, I found out that I really enjoyed it (Also note. All preparation began only two weeks before examinations so I had ample time over the semester to work on socio-cultural activities). This positivity, helped me achieve my target as the subjects I took interest in, got me enough to cross the line by .08 in the end.
    Once you reach the placement stage, that’s when you begin to think about what you really know. And I realized that the subjects I (initially) forcefully took an interest in, were the ones I was most familiar with and I felt extremely comfortable while projecting my confidence in those subjects towards my interviewers.
    And maybe it was luck, or maybe I did deserve it, but in my first company itself, I got placed with a very respectable package.
    So although throughout college, I cursed the system and hated what it was making me and how all the expectations I had before coming there were ruined, at the end when I left a few months back, I was satisfied.
    I came in with a thirst for knowledge, which almost died. But I resuscitated it and made sure I was fluent with what I liked. At the end of the day, I come out with an average score and a sizeable paypackage, all because I turned my attitude from “Don’t care about marks at all” to “Care about marks just enough to achieve my target”. So in my opinion, it won’t be fair to say that the system failed a lot of people. Maybe a lot of people didn’t use the system well enough. Just my perspective.

  20. Reema D’souza

    Hi! I couldn’t agree more with your post. Though engineering education gives us a lot of new things to learn in life, academically we don’t learn much. I too feel that the 3 and half years that I have spent in engineering haven’t made me an engineer. There is no use of waiting for the system to change. Wish we as students could somehow manage to make small changes that would make us better engineers!

  21. Raj

    Awesome post. Love the honesty. All the best buddy!

  22. Sivakumar

    I’ve addressed and interacted with more than 30,000 students this year in numerous engineering colleges and the feeling is almost the same. Most of them come in due to various other reasons other than “passion for engineering”. Spend 4 long years just like that and then wake up at end of final semester without knowing what to do…!!! Indeed a sad state.

    My book “Become an Engineer, Not Jut an Engineering Graduate” is exactly addressing this very issue. Here is the website – http://www.becomeanengineerbook.com

  23. Sunanda

    Hi,

    Great article. And i can go on about how i couldn’t agree more as how the education system has failed me and my sibling.

    I am 23 year old, finished my degree from a reputed university in 2013. I have a younger brother who, as of now, in 2014 has dropped a year to prepare for exams (not exactly, IIT he says, but i think he wants nothing less).

    Well, i did not take any coaching for the exams, i wanted to, but my Dad was against it (thank god). I got an okay Govt College with good University affiliation, so Cheers. I had no idea, why i was doing engineering.I wanted to become a painter, (my dad said, no).. then i wanted to be an animator, Dream job – Disney. Well, no, again. So like every one else, i was to become an engineer. To be honest, i did not learn anything at college. None. At. All. I was back-bencher, drawing professor toons and stuff, major bunker of the class.. But at the end of four year, though i grew up a lot and loved the life, i felt the void of not learning ANYTHING. I read books occasionally out of interest, and it was good. Had there been more willing lecturers and learning-focused education system, i would have at least wanted to do aces.

    I then tried to prepare for GATE, which you can’t when you’ve been lazy and wasted for four years. And then i got a job in a startup. Just casually. I was a trainee, and they took me in. We were a 4-5 people startup. They made me the designer/developer I loved that job. I learnt so much in 2 years, that i finally felt like i can make up for the time wasted in the college.

    Now here’s the twist. Though that job was everything i would love, i quit a month ago. And here’s when i wish to put forward a different point of view. And i hope, i’ll not be misunderstood. After getting to do something i love, i found out the two of the ways one can have :

    1. Passion. – Involves struggle, hard work, less time for yourself (because you love the job). Its like Love.
    2. JOB – And by this i mean, a job which requires an apt amount of time, pays you fair. Something you can do the rest of your life. Its like marriage.

    All i mean to emphasize here is that, as young as we all are (probably), we might have the energy and enthu to keep this passion up, NOW, but can you do this forever, won’t we be looking for a JOB in the long run. Anyway, that’s just a thought. I am myself confused to be honest. And since this education system failed me, i am thinking of going abroad to STUDY for real, and pursue my passion without being crushed by weight of bills, (lets face it, in India, if you want to get paid fair for picking passion, you must be day dreaming), or get a govt job in India (that i am willing to give a shot for my parents, i wouldn’t want them to be alone here).

    And as for my brother, that little guy has been so burdened, thinking that this exam is what his whole life depends on. Like, this will make it or break it. And i feel like, i want him to know, that this is just an illusion. It will barely make a difference. he is stressed, doesn’t talk. he did get coaching, and it was after seeing him go through that, that i realized how fortunate he was. His actual interest lies in psychology. but i am scared to tell him to give up engineering to study psychology. I do muster up some strength to advice him to pursue it along side his engineering. Because i somehow want him to at least have a degree of engineering, in India, cuz the degree alone, can ensure some security.

    But then its just me. I again hope my words and thought are taken in the right light. 🙂

    1. Sunanda

      ..that i realized how fortunate *i was.

  24. BINAYAK PRASAD SAHU

    Actually I was preparing for IISC but I couldn’t. got selected that is why now i am in tiss .where I have got subjects which I like. In my novadaya life I have experienced such situation so that is why I have choosed tiss . do what your heart not mind It will gives u alots of pain

  25. ramesh nagda

    Rohit what u have been saying is nothing new .it is the same old crap each iitian has been saying since its inception till now .still one has full right to speak about it which u have done .
    but still it is the best .

  26. Narayanan

    IIT is not about academics or what you think but learning to think in the right way. Ways that people in other colleges are not exposed to .This is what that makes them distinct from other colleges

  27. Anju Anna John

    I have exactly the same sentiments about my 5 years at Law School. So, maybe it isn’t exactly just the IITs that need to do some good old introspection!

  28. Vignesh

    Nice article.

    All the best for your higher studies, comrade 🙂

  29. Ganesh Prasad

    So much angst! I’m an IIT graduate myself (not a topper by any means), and I feel no such thing. Perhaps my blog post will help you feel better. http://bit.ly/1xSiZ16

  30. Keshav

    You know what? I think the system didn’t fail you. I think we failed as seniors. Because six years ago when I had joined IITK, my seniors told me one thing: You decide what you want to be, not your professors, not your peers and certainly not the system. I think we could not relay this message to you. It is for this very same reason we didn’t have compulsory attendance. Professors were of the opinion that it is students’ responsibility if he wants to learn and not theirs’ or systems’ to force them to learn. I witnessed a parent being shouted down by my Topology Professor because he mentioned 75% mandatory attendance in his sentence!

    You don’t attend classes, don’t take interest in courses and then have the audacity to say that professors were shit? Where do you get the ego? Labeling yourself as a victim is pretty easy. Standing up to what you believe in requires you to be a man. But a left liberal feminist would not get that. You want your rights, not the duties associated with it. Kudos, you ruined your four years and simultaneously wasted a lot of taxpayer’s money. A true IITian!!

  31. Kanika

    Well! I thought I am the only one who feels completely botched up due to our ‘great’ education system. I realised this a tad too late, that is after working for a year and a half. Its a very unfortunate fact that even the best of educational institutes in our country thrive by selling dream jobs which actually turn you into a corporate slave or a money machine, but rarely a more learned and academically enlightened person. Moreover, there is a huge difference between what is being taught and the demands of the industry. Apart from few distinguished teachers, most of them are more interested in the cookie-cutter way of teaching. Mugging up, cheating and genuine self-study combine with research are the three methods used to pass the examinations. Most of the students resort to the first two ways as writing age old fixed theoretical answers is the key to pass the exams ….and whoaa…this fetches you the long awaited coveted degree/ diploma. The top jobs grabbed by few bright students are more than enough to reiterate the prestige and prominence of the institute. Rarely anyone cares about those students who could not do well. …and I thought a good teacher is the one who makes sure that his weakest of students become the strongest testimonies of a teacher’s efforts and success story.

  32. Amurta Nath

    This is exactly what I felt in my last year at IITK. ‘Victory has defeated me’.
    But cold January winter in Bombay? Really? Are you kidding me?

  33. Sudheesh

    I went through the same in IIT Madras. But I did evolve as a much better person with full of dreams and ambitions and so as many of my friends. I think IITs offer an environment where we can do what we want. And I think giving that freedom of thought and purpose is a luxury. Many of my friends who focused on academics walked out with colors and published multiple research papers; went to puruse PHDs from world’s top institutes under the best scientists and professors. One day they will lead the innovation of this world. And one day I will also contribute something to my country and this world. End of the day that is all matters. So no regrets for me

  34. Siddhant Bhartee

    Hi friends, I am a law student. I am fed up with the system, our education system is based on memory and when you do something for passion in India ,it usually doesnt pay well enough for you to be able to buy a flat or support yourself.
    I was thinking, we youngsters who are disillusioned with the system should try to form a community or a group of some sort and start something together maybe like an Auroville egalitarian society or an educational institution that revolutionises education. Do you guys have any ideas?

  35. muraleekar

    Seems there are more people like me.. though I would like to think IIT R failed me but at the end of the 4 years this is how I choose to be..it was my choice.. and I could never escape from being responsible for it..

  36. Somya Agrawal

    Hi !
    This is such a true and ubiquitous story you have written.
    I am also an IITian, Vth semester, Chemical engineering, IIT(BHU) Varanasi. I want to share my experience. When I was studying for IIT-JEE, I was also told the glamorous and exciting stories of IITs. I thought that being an IITian would mean a completely different life. But the fact is that all these glam stories are only partially true, and the rest of the stuff is just sugar-coated.
    I can totally relate to many of the things you have written. I, myself, wonder many a time, what have I learnt from 2012 (the day I cracked JEE). In my first year, I used to have a very negative outlook regarding studying in an IIT. But, I realised gradually that these brand institutes just give you a platform to perform. It is not enough that you have cleared JEE, and now professors in IIT will spoon feed you and will magically transform you into a super-human. The effort has to be done from the side of students only. If we do not wish to study, no one can force us. We people are smart enough to do well in exams by studying just in one night and still get good pointers. So, it is totally on us whether we actually want to learn something or not. I should totally suggest this to the juniors that do not assume IITs to be fairyland. You will have to work hard to become an engineer. This IIT tag is just not enough. One has to self introspect himself/herself to evolve as a valuable addition to a company, society or the country.
    – Somya Agrawal

    1. Ashish Karn

      Hello Somya, you have mentioned a very important point and in fact after getting into a prestigious institution most of us think that this is it and from now on we don’t have to work as hard as we did to get into that institution. And of all comments your comment has much more valuable message for us.
      Thank u for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  37. Rishabh

    Great, precise post. I’m sure a majority of engineers can relate with this. Check out my blog post on these lines.
    http://710block16.blogspot.in/2012/11/engineering-sab-moh-maya-hai.html

  38. DH

    Just bse one person writes an article does not mean the scores of those who enjoy the education system or benefit from it need not be questioned. Engineering/ IIT is just a medium for a young mind to be molded. After that you can either continue in that field or branch off to something completely new. But bse of the education, you have the confidence that you can take on something new. That is how it needs to be looked at…..

  39. Jishnu

    So do u say that IITs are not different from my college ? 😀

  40. Vidhi

    I am glad I failed my JEE entrance test. I am a literature student now and I am finally learning and exploring things that have always fascinated me. I guess happiness is the only thing that matters in the end, anyway. So, yay!

  41. Manabi

    You are really lucky Rahul that you realised it even before your placement. Thanks for revealing that even IITians sail in the same boat 🙂 . I completed my engineering from a small town college in the year 2004. Everything in my engineering college absolutely the same as your IIT mumbai. But there’s a major difference, you get noticed being an IITian… we don’t. After looking out for jobs in engineering for the initial 2 years, then working anywhere for earning for about 4 years and then living a dead life as a housewife and a mother for the past 4 years, finally I started following my passion that is writing. I wrote a similar article as yours wherein I described how being a female engineer in India is even worse but it was not accepted anywhere, forget about 4k shares 🙂 . So take that into consideration. .. your IIT tag is going to help you everywhere just like Kejriwal ;). All the more you are a boy so no one made you an engineer to get a good groom…so cheer up dude.

  42. Parag

    In India, kids first do engineering and then think what they want to do in their life.

  43. Vishnupriya Kumar Upadhyayula

    Well….my doubt may be ridiculous coz i am at chaos.When we have to study IIT either at inter study or degree study?

  44. rahul

    Looks like studies didnt teach u any hobbies…Dude… get a life …dont sob

  45. isika

    For students who are preparing for IITJEE, it must be a well known fact that how much their coaching and coaching institutes matters when it comes to being able to crack this difficult exam

  46. Sarthak Bindal

    a terrible review, brilliantly written. I find myself in the same shoes. I am a final year Mechanical Engineering graduate too, not from a very prestigious college like yours but from AKGEC, Ghaziabad. I think this is something most of the Indians face. We are baptised into running this rat race where we don’t even know what future holds for us. Rather, quoting your words, Bad Faith and Compulsion drives us. You wrote something i have been meaning to write these days. Amazing job buddy.

  47. mani

    ya,its just same for me,i can relate to you,

  48. Yash Vikram Singh

    All i can say is that i had a broad smile after reading your piece.:)
    well done!
    i agree with every single point of yours.

  49. just a human with no gender,no religion and no nationality

    Amazing article…M hoping 2 meet u some day.

    We all know about MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT stands in the 2nd position in world ranking( I m not sure about the 2nd position, but it is somewhere in the top 10). Written exam required for MIT are SAT n TOEFL for internationals. Now, SAT is easier than JEE. Then what is that makes the students in MIT better than the IITians? Why is MIT more prestigious than IIT?

    This is a case study.
    1) IIT- students when they join are very intelligent n know too much.
    MIT- students when they join are intelligent but not as much as the other ones.
    2) IIT- Students are smart but not as mush as the other ones after they come out.
    MIT-Students are way too smart when they come out.
    3)IIT- IIT-JEE is difficult than SAT.
    MIT- SAT is way way too easier than JEE
    4)IIT-The only admission criteria(for UG) is to crack JEE.
    MIT-The most important admission criteria is not the SAT exam. It is whether you are in MIT out of passion or just for the sake of doing something what everybody does.

    5)IIT-After getting into IIT u can enjoy n all academic points Rahul mentioned above
    MIT-After u get in, it is a place where u learn n learn – NOT FOR MARKS OR RANKS OR JOBS OR SALARY BUT FOR UR SELF N CUZ IT IS UR PASSION.

    There are many more, but the main thing is that the students who make it to mit r not those who r looking 4 marks n ranks but r the ones who r totally passionate about what they waana do. The 1st thing what they r asked is whether it is their passion to do what they r about to. n when students with such attitude come, no one can resist them what they want.

    When we have this kind of students and institutions n leaders in india, it will top no 1 not only in education but also in building up a whole nation.

    1. Anand Ujjwal

      Oh!! Good to know that some else knows that too. However, ur point 1 wrong.
      Students who get into MIT,standfort ,Harward, yale, know a lot more than IITians. Most of them are either IMO winners, Google science fair winners, or even inventors. I heard about a guy who got into Stanford. He had discovered a comet. I heard about a guy who got into MIT. He was an inventor. IITian can never do that, because they never learnt anything. They just prepared for an exam.

    2. just a human with no gender,no religion and no nationality

      Hey! Anand, thanks for the correction part. I said so cuz as far as the information i got, sat is way too easier than jee n most getting-into- iitians are able to crack sat with really high scores. But i guess it is not like that after all.

      Anyway thnks.

    3. Anand Ujjwal

      your are right the SAT is a lot easier than IIT-JEE. However, SAT doesn’t matter much if you want to go to Harvard or MIT. Score full on the SAT, still be prepared to get rejected at all most selective american universities, if you don’t have intellect. If you don’t belive me, go to Princeton’s or yale’s or Brown’s or etc’s website and check out freshmen profiles.

    4. just a human with no gender,no religion and no nationality

      I noe r8. writing a test n scoring full most of the times has no relation with being interested in tht subject.
      but In our indian system it is never follow ur passion or interest it is always go 4 the one that gives u 6 or more digit salary.
      n who is ur inspiration anand?I really wanna noe. very few ppl thnk like u n most of the times we r not given that chance 2 thnk like ourselves. v r taught 2 b like the “NEIGHBOUR’S CHILD”!!!

    5. Anand Ujjwal

      Well, nobody is my insipiration. My own struggle is my inspiration. Since early childhood, I have been very firm on my opinions. People talked shit, always called my ways wrong, but they themselves were not what i wanted to be.
      And about the salary part, why is everyone being a beggar? First u beg for marks, then for admission, then for a job, then for promotion, then u beg a girl to marry u, then for ur kid’s marks, for ur kid’s admission, and so on…. Is that the life u wanna live, go for it.
      And don’t say that people don’t have the chance to be themselves. They do, but most are too fearful, or doubtful.
      Ur are taught to be like ur neighbour kids, hun!! Then ignore all those who teach u that. At least, that’s what i did. In short, if u ended with a boring and miserable life because u listened to ur parents, teachers, etc, sorry to say, but u deserve it. On a broghter nite, u still have the chance to be urself.( i assume that ur less than 60 years old)Say “this is it”, and ur life has changed.

    6. just a human with no gender,no religion and no nationality

      m jst 14 LOL way too many years for being 60
      n m really enjoin my life…
      n the person who taught me to say”THIS IS IT” in the 1st place is my parents n thru them respctd apj abdul kalam sir…
      n yaa as u said believing “this is it” changed not ma life but my attitude 2 life n my life is only beginning….

  50. Harsh Doshi

    Check out ‘Lessons from Life’ on Harsh Doshi’s blog Fine Baked Bread. https://finebakedbread.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/lessons-from-life/

  51. Gayaz Ahmed

    Nice article Rahul.
    Being an 3rd year engineering student myself, i can understand your feelings.
    But i do believe that, ‘we all do things for a strange purpose’ and maybe we cant yet understand it…
    I don’t really think that the time you spent in IIT is a complete trivia.
    Time is one thing that will not be biased based on gender/class/religion.
    It treats everyone equally and teaches us best lessons during our hardest times.
    Hence i consider that you are fortunate enough to be placed in that IIT, as it taught you all the vital life lessons…
    Always look at the positive side of the past.
    All the best for your future ‘adventures’…
    Because even when you are studying Political Science, International Relations and Sociology, you are sure to learn many more lessons…
    ALL THE BEST…!

  52. Mohammad Shabir

    Nyc article..

  53. Haridev

    The worst thing is, people who do not want to get into engineering in the first place are being sent to coaching centres and what not. But people like me who actually dreamed of being a great engineer… I did not even know about the IITs or the JEE in my school days. I joined a lesser known pvt institution and all my dreams were shattered to pieces, because this institution could not give me what I needed. And here I am, contemplating that I could not go to an IIT. Wasted four years in a small college which could not give me anything more than what I already knew. Why do the IITs have to get everything?

  54. Ronit Roy

    Hi,
    I am just an ordinary school-guy who is passionate about science but became a failure in high school (I was a bright student before I hit the rat-race).
    I agree with your view that our education system is not right. I thought I was worthless since I could not make it to the IITs. And so I began to think I will never get quality education. But I find this article very motivating and now I know that I still can succeed in my passion for science because all you truly need is just passion. So, thanks for sharing your insights. It means a lot to so-called losers like us who are truly passionate about science.

    1. Ishan Vyas

      Hi Ronit, I am Ishan. I went through the same situation as you are going through right now(guessing based on what you wrote). I am a science student myself and I want to tell you(from my experience) that just because you won’t or couldn’t get the college of your choice doesn’t mean that you are not capable of doing what you love. All we need to do is think and question everything that doesn’t fit our common sense. And personally I love to think about what goes on in this world(in other words science).

  55. Sheel

    This doesn’t happen to just IITians, it happens to students in other engineering colleges as well. The most brilliant student go to theses institutions only to realize that only marks are going to get them jobs. But this is changing now, companies seek individuals with more broad knowledge and skills rather than solving a question paper and getting more marks. Also, it seems that popularity of engineering as a career is decreasing.

  56. Pankaj Thakur

    Best Video Lecture of Question Bank of Functions for IIT JEE helps you to crack IIT JEE Entrance Exam @ http://www.kaysonseducation.co.in/guidance/best-video-lecture-question-bank-functions-iit-jee/

  57. Abhay Ananad

    Do things which make u happy and insure a sustainable future… forget the past and ignore the people.Life is never a monotonic function….!

  58. Free Iitjee Coaching

    I additionally believe that the education system may be mounted with correct dialogue and deliberations etching a progressive, comprehensive and additional sensible style of education. whereas the standard of analysis by the professors is unquestionable, their teaching standards positively want improvement.

  59. Free Iit Jee Study Material

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  60. anon

    This guy believes the system has failed him. This is the kind of statement we expect from a guy who does nothing the whole time except smoking weed and drinking alcohol and who now all of a sudden starts contemplating upon the question of who failed whom.
    “I have enjoyed everything, literally everything, in IIT Bombay except academics, which is the main reason why I am here.” Do you do anything other than drugs and alcohol? This person always used to get drunk and create chaos in the hostel often dirtying the corridors of the wing with his filthy puke. And now he says he fails to understand why he came to IIT. You don’t deserve to even think of fixing the education system. Fix yourself first. Are you seriously thinking of going for further studies? Or is it one level up in drug and alcohol consumption?

    “I would not like to take up a job precisely for this reason and also would not repeat the same mistake and will consciously try to gain expertise in the field which I will chose out of choice and passion, but not out of compulsion and bad-faith.” No company will give you a job of sitting in your cabin and doing weed. So it’s better you don’t think of taking a job.
    And instead of ranting on forums like this, just go and look at yourself in the mirror and you’ll realize who has failed whom.

  61. Himanchal

    IIT is IIT..of you cannot afford to start up big business den best and most secure jon other den govt. sector is ensured by IIT.Money is not all…the designation of an “IITian” says a lot about you.

  62. Manish Kumar

    I disagree with not even a single word. Its like I was reading my own heart. Very good.

  63. Ashutosh Sharma

    Same experience here, our education system mainly concentrates on exams not on good quality technical education .

  64. Nikita Bishnoi

    I have a similar story! “This has taught me a lesson for life – to never run a rat race until someone aims the gun at point-blank” is my story too! Will definitely share your article! 🙂

  65. Haren Nagdewani

    Guys currently I am in 11th and preparing for JEE, after reading this, I want to know that whether is it actually worth it to study Vectors, Kinematics, Stoichiometry, Atomic, Carbon and what not?
    Can we say that IIT label is just over hyped?

  66. Apoorv Jain

    wow!! what a post . i have the same thoughts but i want to go into research and i feel that if u are pursuing engg then do a job in the same line. being a class 12th student i cant do the same thing or people will call me mad. the biggest power in the life f any indian

  67. Surajit Roy

    Quite a non-conformist point of view coming from one with an IIT stamp on his forehead! I guess most of your ‘export quality’ friends must have already flown for greener pastures abroad, working in banks, financial institutions and marketing jobs. But you were the black sheep who started questioning the entire system!
    Do you think it is really so easy to change the well-entrenched system? I don’t think so. Coaching institutes/cram shops will continue to flourish, IIT JEE toppers will continue being feted, IIT students will continue to leave India in droves for jobs in banks, finance and marketing…
    We Indians have very short-term thinking: if, tomorrow, sanitation engineers suddenly are in high demand abroad, we’ll see a rush for civil engineering!

  68. Ankit Hinsu

    I studied at Amity University, NOIDA. I have also faced the same situations and also concluded the same things. My Institute was the worst, no motivation, no field-trips, no outside exposure, no proper lab facilities. Except for few (that too can be counted on fingertips) all the faculties were mugging machines, none of them knew how to teach, how to impart knowledge and encourage students to study.

  69. Afreen Ali

    Ha ha ha no matter what people say, hw much they start blaming ..bt i agree with u .. The conditions the same , no matter u study frm an engineering college or some reputed medical institute . As i went on reading ur article it ws as if my wounds were afresh again, i m going to get my permanent doctor degree in a couple of months bt today whatever i hve learnt wsnt given much by my so called teachers.Everyone sees their own benefits innd end. If i start telling d tale it’s gonna b long.. So keep writing truth behind these big names.Good work.

  70. Bhaskar Nandi

    I spend almost 9 year in two different IIT till my PhD, also more than 8 year work experience in India & abroad. I also interacted with many global university for research and international internship student. One thing I learned from my experience that knowledge is not to be injected it have to develop with your own interest. Any academic institute is not responsible what you learned from it.
    There is problem in every institute, every firm and every industry that doen’t mean you blame on system, if you want butter from milk you need churn it.
    IIT’s is definitely is good platform for engineering and science student. It depend on you, how you utilize it.

    1. Darshit Mulani

      I totally agree with you that knowledge has to be developed on their own, and if to gain that knowledge is the only responsibility of a student then what is the role of academic institution into that? One can do that just by sitting at his home, I believe the role of an academic institution is to provide student a blueprint of what they should study and why they should study.

      But there is a loophole any one can pass the exam just by studying few sleepless nights before it, which makes it exam oriented and the only purpose becomes is to get good marks and if you even ask the topper after a year he or she will not be able to explain the concepts in which they scored so well an year back.

      The only reason left why IITs and other institutions are a good platform is because of the community of people who get there after screening. And that lefts me with a question that then why companies are biased towards good colleges if the knowledge and skills have to be empowered on their own? Here I am comparing situation of students having same set of skill sets and this is reality.

      And if collectively whole student community is facing such issues then I think there is something wrong with the system more than the students themselves.

  71. Aarzoo Mishra

    Wow … Wt a post !!
    I literally felt somebody els posted this on my behalf …
    I am a medical student and I was told same stuff when I was spending my days and nights in becoming one ..
    Nobody told that you will b horned to save a life some day and there u will not be having any scope of error or delete …

  72. Deepjyoti Nath

    The things mentioned in the post are universal to the student community. You may get your degree from IIT or any other govt. institute or any private institute, the end result is the same, its all about the placements. No one gives a damn about knowledge. But it’s not our fault, this has been injected into our mindset by the society.
    As soon as you pass 10th, you are asked whether you like Maths or Biology. Maths = Engineer, Biology = Doctor. As if other professions don’t exist. We are sent to these coaching institutions, attending classes whole day, just getting enough time to complete your daily needs like sleep. I don’t understand how can you expect someone to gain that much knowledge in so limited a time, with that kind of rigorous routine. Finally after everything is mugged up, we appear the test and vomit all that “knowledge” have been storing in our tired and overworked head. Then based on the results we get into institutes where professors themselves don’t encourage knowledge sharing but exam preparation. I have always felt exam questions should be more real world related and not bookish theory. The question paper should be set in such a manner as to measure the actual knowledge gained by the students and not the number of pages and books mugged up the last night.
    Lastly, if true knowledge is imparted to students, if at the end of 4 years a student is confident enough that he knows his engineering inside out, that’s the day he will stop worrying about placements, and can confidently apply his knowledge and skillset wherever he wants to.

  73. Darshit Mulani

    I read every word that you said like it was my inner voice, and I have plans to write this comment equivalent to a post but very relevant to it.

    I am right now in the first month of my last semester of engineering life, while my all other colleagues are settled with a job in hand, I am not able to digest the fact that what do I have in hand?
    I lack in knowledge though I have a good CGPA but that is just on the marksheet, and I am still not able to figure out what to do now, I don’t want to pursue a job with an academic void, I was a better creator before I became the part of this rat race.

    I thought pursuing a higher education from India’s prestigious colleges will fulfil my dreams but seems like they can’t. I don’t want to join an institution again just to get a good experience and a brand tag but in the end having the same academic void, knowledge is what I seek.

    And at this moment of my life, I am just exploring and trying to figure out a way of this loop, this society has already tagged me as a failure just because I did not studied for a exam, but when I see people from such places still lacking that fulfilment I ask myself what now? Yes, of course the experiences and the opportunities that one get is amazing but what is the main aim to join an academic institution after excelling in a highly competitive exam? that question I leave for the reader.

    I seriously want to communicate with the author of this post and want to ask him that how he found his way out from this loop and I do want to seek some help for myself too.

  74. Muskan Sharma

    It’s undeniable, most of the things you said are relevant to almost every student of our community. So now we know that almost all institutes are the same and many people can relate to you. The post is awesome and engaging .

  75. Vikram Saini

    Precisely Each n every word can b repeated for my story too…. system is faulty..

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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