Why Tata Steel (and others) won’t recruit IITians

BHAMY V. SHENOY writes: Recently during a Ruby Union organized at IIT Madras, B. Muthuraman, Managing Director of Tata Steel, threw an unintended bomb shell when he stated that his company was unlikely to recruit fresh graduates from the Indian Institutes of Technology.

Reason: a few months earlier Muthuraman had had interactions with some final year students from IIT Madras. When he asked them to name the authors of a few books they had read in their subjects, none of them could.

He subsequently found out that the students were able to pass the tests without reading any books. To his further shock, he found out that their teachers were even less knowledgeable about the subjects.

Since IIT graduates think too highly of themselves and cannot be trained as a result, he said he would prefer students from other colleges. At least they could train those students even if they had less knowledge and were “less bright” compared to IIT graduates.

The above incident obviously generated a lot of interest on the part of the alumni who had gathered from all around the world. Further discussion brought out the fact that it is not just Tata Steel, there are some other companies too which do not prefer to recruit from IITs.

This is a somber observation by the captains of Indian industry and IITs should take note.

One of the reasons for such a sorry state is the way students are admitted to the IITs. On the one hand, the IIT admission process has been praised all over India. It is completely free from any corruption and undue interference. No one, however well connected, can sneak in unless he/she manages to get a high rank in the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE).

Infosys former chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy once told TV interviewers in the US that it was only because his son Akshay Rohan could not get admission into the IITs, that he decided to consider the offer from Harvard, Wharton etc. This one statement has gone a long way to establish IITs as one of the premier institutes of the world.

Surveys conducted by some foreign universities have also ranked IITs quite high. But will the IITs be able to maintain this status for long if Indian industrialists do not prefer their graduates?

A recent IIT review committee report of 2004 has also questioned the calibre of students selected in the JEE. Such tough and unnecessary standards in turn have resulted in students depending upon the “coaching factories” to secure high ranks in JEE and completely ignore taking any serious interest in their schooling.

By one estimate 95% of students getting admission into IITs have attended one of the many coaching factories which have spawned all across the country. The amount of money spent by students to attend them is about Rs. 2,000 crore per year, which is four times more than the annual budgetary allocation of the government to IITs. About 160,000 take the JEE and 3,500 are admitted to the seven IITs.

The impact of coaching factories can be better appreciated when one takes a look at the percentage of students admitted from different states from South India.

During one of the recent years from South Zone, 979 students were admitted and of that 769 were from Andra Pradesh which is simply mind boggling. Only 94 were from Tamil Nadu, 84 from Karnataka, and 32 from Kerala. This was mostly because of the huge number of tutorial and coaching factories in Hyderabad.

In the Northern Zone, Rajasthan, where Kota is well known for offering pressure cooker-type of coaching, is sending high proportion of students to IITs.

In the beginning, IITs used to give admission to high ranking students from each state to promote national integration. Later when admission was based on competitive tests, even without attending coaching factories it was possible to get admission.

However during the last twenty years, pressure cooking type of coaching where students completely ignore their schools and concentrate only on the IIT entrance test has resulted in one dimensional students. By the time they start studies at IITs, they are completely burnt out.

At IITs, failure rate is small. Getting admission into IITs is tough, but not passing out of them.

These students are good only at the technique of answering questions without fully understanding the concepts. Many learned papers have been written by IIT professors criticizing the present competitive testing procedure. The IIT review committee has suggested a research committee to come up with an alternative system. But not enough momentum appears to have gathered to bring about the needed changes lest the testing becomes less objective.

Instead of giving ranks exclusively based on JEE performance, IITs can adapt multiple criteria to give a weighted score. Some of the criteria are JEE test scores, PUC or CBSE normalized test scores, some marks for showing leadership qualities, marks for demonstrating social concern by taking part in some NGO activities, talents in sports, music, arts etc.

It is true that some of these are not as objective as JEE test scores. But by adopting more representative admission standards, IITs may be able to maintain their excellence. Otherwise they are likely to lose their excellence and become mediocre institutes.


Dr Bhamy V. Shenoy is a B.Tech. from IIT Madras. A sanitised version of this article first appeared in Deccan Herald.

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80 Responses to “Why Tata Steel (and others) won’t recruit IITians”

  1. krishna Says:

    murthy’s son got admission into iit. his rank got him only chemical or some other engineering field , meaning that his rank was low. he wanted to study computer science so his father sent him to cornell for ug .

  2. ravi Says:

    his son Akshay

    Wrong number… his son is Rohan!

  3. chetan krishnaswamy Says:

    Insightful piece by Dr.Shenoy. The new workplace is evolving all the time. The environment has shifted from ”command and control to collaborate and connect” … Proactively, reaching out to your internal stakeholders becomes critical in this new non-hierarchical set up.
    IITs should recognize this, modify their framework and continue contributing.
    This is one great institution that shouldn’t be messed around with too much….The bigger tragedy is in the dramatic reduction in the number of Ph.D. students in the engineering discipline. If the IITs are not able to attract students for Ph.Ds, they will be unable to provide good quality teachers for other engineering colleges.

  4. H.R.Bapu Satyanarayana Says:

    I had read that only 15% of those who pass out of IIT are employed in prestigous firms and that reflects something of their quality. More over if Lalu could hold forth on his own in IIT Ahemedabad that he had turned the fortunes of the Railways and get away with it unscathe it tellls all.

  5. Doddi Buddi Says:


    Adhu ‘IIM’ Ahmedabad!

  6. Dheerendragopal Says:

    Let me share with everyone for reasons on the present situation .

    few years back when I was working at IISc .the quality of students coming for Mtech and Integrated Phd was so bad that finally they had to scrap the Int. PHD for lack of quality .

    As long as ‘GULLIBLE GULTS’ resort to short cut methods to achieve success and as long as RAMAIAH coaching classes exist in Hyderabad .
    there is no solution for the poor quality . Those people who couldnt make it to ‘AMERICA via AMEERPET’ choose the Sanathnagar/Vidyanagar coaching institutes and get into IIT’s/IIM’s . I have also heard of mal practices thats why students from Rajmundry,kakinada etc make to these Institutes ( I said I only heard ) .

    We if someone closely observe the GULT community .You can find them in every discipline which fetches higher monitary(thats true for everyone) but by far the ‘HIGHEST DOWRY ‘ . Let me list few business/disciplines.

    1. Get a engineering seat by management quota or join IIT’s/IIM’s ( this is easy)
    Go to US ..find a body shopper in ameerpet else again try for IIT/IIM’s

    2. Start a building business ( constrtuction ), Road laying , Poultry farm, Shrimp farm, Granite business .

    3. If all above fail jump a boat to singapore,malaysia or indonasia. If you are caught and deported .

    4. Try for US visa on vistor or join a cycling expedition and stay back .

    5. if all the above fail . Open fictious company start financing or say you won a EURO LOTTERY (Remember Naidu queing to Vijayawada to congratulate the lottery winner )

    6. Else direct a telugu film or become a hero ureself . thereby you can visit some FOREIGN land .

    6. Else. marry a Girl in US ( give reverse dowry ) …else GO Nuts and Commit Suicide thinking you are a LOSER .

    On a different note .
    You find bank Managers,teachers , Floor shop , Foreman, Constables ,
    Kirana shop owners quit jobs/business come to US .
    They sit along with 20 others in a room practising SAP on PC’s and faking resumes .
    You also find so called **programmers** working for paltry 20$ an hour in US . You have Gulti house wifes running a recruiting agency ( Body shoopers ) at home .

    I have lot of stories to share..maybe someother time .

  7. Alok Says:

    I can speak from a bit of personal experience. I attended one of the ‘coaching factories’ in my 11th Std. and I gave it up because I couldn’t cope up with the enormous pressure (and I also hated the school I was in)… Compared to Ramaiah and Co., it was more a ‘coaching workshop’

    While some fairly intelligent and smart people would attend these classes mainly because of peer pressure (even though they could have, theoretically gotten in without the ‘help’), some others who would attend scared me.

    ‘Scary’ because they resembled zombies and robots than normal, healthy teenagers. Parental, peer and teachers’ pressure reduced their focus in life to nothing beyond solving problems and worrying about the IITs. I think about 5-6 of them made it to the IITs, and I have lost track of them since them, but if a good number of students making to the IITs come from such ‘pedigree’, I fear for the future of the institutions.

    As for me, I am happy with law school, although even that these days, seems to depend on the ability to take coaching lessons.

    Perhaps an interview component, assessing the extra-curricular abilities of students and their other interests might perhaps change the situation.

  8. Doddi Buddi Says:


    Looks like there is a parallel universe in AP! Please more of these Golti scams!

    I am sure there are 1000s of them in Infy! :)

  9. Doddi Buddi Says:


    Please post more of these scams

    I have heard about marks card scams in the US worked by Golts…

  10. Dheerendragopal Says:

    whew ! …I can write a Book on the scams .
    Green Card scams , Tax evasion scams , health Insurance/Dental Scams ,
    Family GC sponsorship scams , Kelasdhavru scams….remember the Lakkireddy case in CA on maid servants exploitation .

  11. Doddi Buddi Says:


    Yella scams ondhondhu sample kodi yellargu swalpa gotthagali. Thumbha resourceful, Telugusoo. Yiwarey ee levelalli yiruvaga, namma ‘Wariginal’ Tamils yaava levelalli yirabahadu ee scams nalli?

    It is a point tp ponder…When Tamils are capable of altering the history itself to depict Tamil to be ‘pre-historic’ in the sense that even dinosaurs spoke in Tamil antha helikondu odadtha hoghta irtharey!

  12. Dheerendragopal Says:

    Kodtheeni ..swapla time thogondu . Central govenrment indha hidhdhu US govt varigu kodtheeni .
    B.T.W kongru bagge astu gothilla . since I interracted less in my life time .

  13. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    Finally someone is calling a spade a spade. I have worked with quite a few IIT and IIM graduates.

    Most people fresh from the IITs are as rightly pointed out uncoachable. They usually come with a superiority complex. Granted they got through the most difficult entrance exam in the world, but that is no excuse to be high and mighty. As a result, more often that not graduates from our “lowly” NIEs and JCEs progress better in their careers than the IIT grads.

    As for the IIMs the less said the better. They have built up such a brand that companies in the US hire IIM grads at higher positions than from reputed US universities. This is also supported by an old boy network – a manager who went to IIM-B will hire a bunch of IIM grads as assistant managers and a bunch of say Purdue grads as analysts.

    This would have been OK if these people are truly competent. However, that has rarely been the case in my experience. (Disclaimer: I am an MBA from an American university which figures a few dozen places higher than the highest IIM in world rankings, and yes all this is reflective of a personal grievance)

    They make excellent analysts and have very strong quantitative skills but rarely have good soft skills – teamwork, negotiation, leadership. I have had the misfortune of working under managers from the IIMs and have had horrid times. I have also worked under managers from other schools, both Indian and American, and the experience was far better. Again, the same sense of entitlement that one sees in IIT grads is present in the IIM grads.

    I have many good friends who are very competent, who are also IIM grads. These are more the exception than the norm.

    For the charges of “sour grapes” that will invariably greet this view, I would reply with “denial”. The older crop of IIM and IIT grads who are in top positions in corporate America have very few people following them up that ladder from their alma maters. At a stage when I myself am in a position of hiring people, I have made it a point not to consider IIT and IIM grads unless they come without their baggage which is fairly easy to assess in the first few minutes of conversation.

  14. Dheerendragopal Says:

    G3rdStage . Same here . I have some collegues here from IIM’s and IITs.
    No different in work nor the output . make same money but have to put up when they start talking about ‘When we were in IIT/IIM….’

    I have always hired people from Karnataka,Mysore or Bangalore university than a Osmania , Kakinada or a tirupathi .the first few minutes would unravel their hidden experience .
    As far as IIT/IIM . I dont ‘WOW’ at them . I also share that the NIEs,UVCE,JCEs are better any day .

  15. quizman Says:


    Brilliant insight and you put into words what I’ve been feeling for a long time. The old boy network of IIT and IIMs is very pervasive and blocks the progress of many intelligent, well-rounded high achievers from other institutes. This is especially true in the Bay Area where IITians have a de-facto claim of being legit at the expense of other institutes.

    The OP quoted Mr Muthuraman:

    No, they don’t. It is like comparing apples to oranges. The IIT admission process is merely a test of test-taking ability. Period. If a highly intelligent person is not good at taking tests (many are), then that person is automatically at a disadvantage. Admissions to US institutions are based on SAT + extracurricular activities + diversity + application forms that include essays etc.

    In the US, there is a huge debate on standardized tests.

    Finally, I disagree with DG. Negative discrimination is as bad as positive discrimination. I’d rather judge each candidate on his/her merit alone.

  16. quizman Says:

    oops. The quote did not appear. This was the quote from Muthuraman:

    “This one statement has gone a long way to establish IITs as one of the premier institutes of the world.”

  17. Doddi Buddi Says:

    DG, TS, and QM

    All great points! I went to a local college in Mysore, JCE. I never appeared for JEE–probably I would have failed! I did fail the CET test though, and I have been assured of enough sour grapes wine with IIMs.

    I have come across IITians and IIMers who are full of shit and extolling the virtues of their lives at these institutes. IMLO, at least the IITians are still tolerable but the IIMers really get my goat. I have had the misfortune of listening to an IIM turd who actually claimed that he reads Stephen Hawking’s history of universe for relaxation! And I would have believed him except he did not read any other books! So it was a well-worked out dodge to keep conversations on books to a minimum:) Another IIM turd claimed to have enjoyed his best days at a chummery provided by his company in Bombay or Delhi in the uplifting company of fellow turds. These people are not even real–there must be something wrong with these ‘passed CET and JEE’ types! Turds!

  18. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Yella OK, Jet Trainer Yaakey ee IITs hudugarigey madokke agalla?

    Even Czech Republic can make it!

    Swalpa heltheera IITs?

  19. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    To be fair, most engineering colleges in India have the same problem. I myself cannot name the authors of many of my textbooks. I have also occasionally resorted to the “Davanagere” notes or the incomparable “Girish Auto Xerox” notes as study material. Replace IIT with any engineering college, and JEE with CET and Mr.Shenoy’s entire passage still rings true. So it is high and mighty of myself to deride IITians on the same issues.

    However the point is, they are no different from us ordinary people. Sour grapes or not, I was fortunate to be exposed to a more well rounded graduate education than what I probably would have received – had I made it through the CAT – in the IIMs.

  20. Doddi Buddi Says:


    You escaped these JEEs and CETs and became a better human being!

    I can only say, Muthuraman probably thinks that IITians with their ‘team-spirit’ will end up screwing the whole company–he was just looking for a lame-ass excuse. That’s all.

  21. Ritwik Says:

    All this debate, and all based on two ‘observations’.

    1. IIT students do not know the names of the authors of the books of the subjects that they study, hence they are bad/incapable/simply test-taking students.

    Notwithstanding the huge jump made between the assertion and the conclusion in that argument, the assertion is simply not true. If you have the slightest exp of an engg college, u’d know that in IITs as well as elsewhere, a book is known ONLY by the name of its author. Kreyszig, Valkenberg, CLR, Hopcroft, etc. Also, in some streams , half of the books that are taught are written or co-written by faculty members who still teach. I have a ‘oh what bullshit, thats a lie’ meter within me. It goes off precisely when I read ‘news’ like this. And even assuming that Mr whoever did meet some such students, how correct is it to assume that they are representative of the average IITian and generalize from that? Its like saying that every IITian is a math god because some two students at IIT-Kanpur found a polynomial time algorithm for primality testing.

    2. “he found out that their teachers were even less knowledgeable about the subjects.”

    care to elaborate HOW he found that out? and why should we take his word for it when he doesn’t elaborate.

    ladies and gentlemen, shockingly I have found out that Dr Shenoy doesn’t know jackshit.

    Also, before anyone trains his guns, am not an IITian.

  22. Krishna Says:

    I think you are missing the basic point. IITian’s are the people who have shown that they are capable of working hard to achieve their goal. Hardly there will be 25% clever intelligent people. But all others are there to work hard.
    If someone couldnot make it for B-Tech, they can work hard and make it into the Master’s degree or the PhD level.
    75% of the gults who come to IIT’s are from the middle class families whose major goal is to get into an engineering/medical seat. So whynot target the best institutions.

    Also the number of students from Tamilnadu might be much higher than what is depicted in the article.

  23. blue Says:

    i have a problem with the broad generalizations going on here about the iit/iim folks and ‘gults’.

    no system is ever perfect and you’ll always find people willing to exploit loopholes. if the iit/iim administrators have not bothered to build an admission system that attracts well-rounded students, you can’t blame the students for being of a certain ‘type’.

    i’m sure most people on this board went through the iit/iim application grind — i did too. i’m from hyderabad and never set foot in one of the insane coaching centers. that’s a choice i made. others made different choices. why on earth does it bother people that the majority of students at iit’s are ‘gults’? they simply figured the system out. yes, there is a herd mentality at work in hyderabad for sure, but where don’t u see it? don’t a lot of ias officers come from bihar? don’t a lot of army guys come from punjab? aren’t a lot of motel owners from gujarat? it’s just that people tend to follow successful examples around them. and as long as they’re working hard to fulfil their dreams, however stupid they might seem to anyone else, it really is none of anyone else’s business.

    i never did make it to the iit/iim brigade and i envied the ones that did. i have a lot of friends and colleagues who went to these institutions and really, they don’t have as big a chip on their shoulders as some people on this board seem to have. people come in all shapes, sizes & personality types. for god’s sake, don’t lump them into good/bad categories based on the language they speak at home.

  24. Swetha Says:

    I had written about something similar here – http://mutiny.wordpress.com/2007/03/15/are-the-iit%e2%80%99s-iim%e2%80%99s-over-rated-over-hyped-over-exposed-underperforming/ . Do check it out.

  25. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Nice one, Swetha. Hope to read more of your stuff on this erudite blog!

    Yes, we are a nation of low-expectations!

    Where else but in India a failed turd like Tendulkar is venerated; a mediocre novelist like RK Narayan is adored; a pseudo-secular actor like Amir Khan is worshiped; add more to this list.

  26. KL Says:

    DB and others,

    i am not an IITan.I was in college 20 years back.At least then,there were IITians who were well rounded persons,at least some of whom were really brilliant in mathematics and physics.They had genuine interest and capability in mathematics.

    There is always bound to be an aura about such exams.Some of the toppers could have excelled anywhere.I found many of them to be normal persons,though they had a quite sense of pride/self-confidence.Some of them had no airs while others had a chip on their shoulders.This is perhaps inevitable in any elite institution.

    Ofcourse,there are bright people in other institutions as well.The brahminical hierarchy is deep rooted in our consciouness.It exists to a lesser degree in students from medical colleges/RECs/premier engineering colleges in each state.

    The gults are coming through a fair process.They are extremely hard working.Unlike tamils,they are not trying to get entrance by backdoor means.One finds tamils claiming bogus backwardness or trying to rig central exams.

    But tamils have so many universities ,some started in recent times ,which have colloborations with many central institutions.They are getting central funding for many projects and centres in cutting edge technologies.

    Karnataka which was the pioneer in private education is lagging.The emphasis should be on funding centres for high tech/advanced science and finding motivated kannadigas to do research.

  27. KL Says:

    V.S.Naipaul criticised RKN for not having a sense of history.

    I found his criticism ludicrous,because i felt it is not necessary for every one to have a political agenda.There are human values that are beyond the narrow confines of one’s caste,language and belief.Every indvidual has his promptings and a craving for an inner space that lie beyond the actual situation he finds himself in.

    That is why so many of us admire RKN.For his humour,sympathy and detachment.

    But your constant criticism makes me wonder whether naipaul had a point after all.RKN never put himself in the shoes of a kannadiga who was threatened by the ‘outsider’.He never portrayed the emotions of a ‘son of the soil.’ His characters were ordinary men tossed in the currents of life,or in his early novels,educated tamil iyers trying to make sense of themselves.We find shades of politics in “waiting for the mahatma” or “painter of signs” but there are no stirrings of kannada assertion.Were such feelings totally absent then in mysore?

    He came from a well educated mobile family.Why were his characters always ordinary men?

    But still it is so hard on us,when you call RKN “mediocre”?

  28. Doddi Buddi Says:


    I agree with you 100%; We should not be jealous of Gults who are making it–but some how so many large numbers of Gults in IIT means there could be a scam in the process–something is not right–fishy almost. I could be wrong, though! the deviousness of Tamils is world reknown–I propose we sanction 1000 crores for the study of Tamil Changham literature–we will discover many startling facts! That a bunch of Kenyans and Zanzibarians floated down the cost and landed in Madras! Some of them floated further and went to Australia. The Abbos in Oz bear a striking resemblance to ole Karunanidhi and his ilk…perhaps Silapaddikaram was written in ‘Ayers Rock’..:) If so, then Manishankar Ayer will claim his ancestors wrote it!

    Your experiences with IITians of the yore are very true–we as a nation have declined in all fields.

    IMLO it is to do with cricket—the nation is split right down the middle with more than 50% supporting non-performers like Tendulkars. Other half is looking at Sai Baba for ‘spiritual’ guidance. Looks like I have run out of halves:) The rest worried about dance shows by the likes of Rakhi Sawant and so on.

    With a Muslim PM like MM Singh, we have lost our way completely in this world. IMLO the process started with Vajapayee lifting his dhothi to accommodate Musharaff due to US pressure!

    Thank you.

  29. Doddi Buddi Says:

    According to Tamil Language Scholar DB, “Swahili and not Prakrit is the mother of Dravidian languages.” But Tamil used the Prakrit script. He arrived at this conclusion by looking at DNA samples of fishermen on the Kenyan coast with the fishermen of Kanyakumari.

    “Ninaitwa DB. Wewe unaitwaje?
    (My name is DB. What’s your name?)

  30. Doddi Buddi Says:


    You read my mind! VS Naipaul and even Shashi Tharoor have made this interesting point. If you really want a talented Iyer who made it in literature, then IMHO it is none other than T.P. Kailasm, who wrote many plays in Kannada and a few in English as well. TPK’s folk came from Tanjore-his father Paramashiva Iyer was a judge of the High Court in Mysore. Please get some books from TPK and read him! Because TPK was ahead of his time, he suffered but he was a Giant!

    TPK was a real artist. RKN was too shallow and beyond belief–a bad writer! IMHO RKN suffered because his wife died too early in his life and he spent the rest of his life in his meaningless fantasy land called Malgudi. Freud would have prescribed some treatment to RKN but that did not happen.

    Believe you me, I understand what you mean…

  31. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    The debate was triggered by two observations. It is sustained because of a lot more. And I know enough statistics to know what the probability could be of finding roughly 90% fresh IIT/IIM grads that I encounter (of a fairly large sample size) to be somehow the exception rather than the norm. It is next to nothing. While your experience with IIT grads might have been excellent, mine atleast hasn’t, and I truly wish my experience was closer to yours. These people are ambassadors of our country due to the higher profile these institutes have here in the US and frankly their attitude leaves a lot to be desired.

    I couldn’t care less where a person got his/her degree from. A person could be from IIT, MIT, IIM, Harvard or any other place. All that matters is a)do they get the job done b)what kind of an influence are they on the team. They usually succeed on the former, but not in any way better than anyone else – atleast not better consistently to come to the conclusion that they are a class apart. But many of them go around spouting their own virtues and that antagonizes almost everyone on the team.

    Agreed. They have proven that they have worked hard and gotten into the IIT/IIMs. But someone should tell them once they are in there that there is more to life, and that they haven’t “arrived” and more importantly, can’t proclaim that they have.

    Agree with most of what you say. I also envy you that your experience with IIT/IIM grads has been good.

  32. Ritwik Says:


    I agree with you that the ‘brand’ of the institution shouldn’t matter. And I will not argue that in your experiences with IIT/IIM grads they may have left a lot to be desired.

    But I will say two things, now that you have introduced probability into the picture. There are a few facts that any JEE aspirant who has a reasonable chance of making it in knows. One of them is that of the 4500 who make it, only about 500-1000 are genuinely gifted. the others are the ones who worked harder/ found better coaching classes. There are another 5000-10000 students all over India who are equal to these other guys in capability, and this fact is revealed in the workplace and at other places.

    Also, as hard as we may try, there are only two ways that we react to any sort of hype. Some people get sucked into it, and start believing that any IITian is necessarily better than anyone else. Some others, and that probably includes you, realise that this is not the case and use every single experience they’ve had to strengthen their belief of the opposite. Is it possible that when you have judged the IIT/IIM types (is their any single type, really? ) you have begun with a preconceived bias, or rather you have begun with expectations that were higher than they should have been?

    In any case, the fact that someone is an IITian , only implies, in terms of probability, that he/she is more likely to be up to the task than a non-IITian. This fact is borne out by my experiences. ut the term ‘more likely’ is the key. There are numerous non-IITians who are far superior to numerous IITians.

    Also, from what I make of your arguments, what you’re saying is not ‘They are not good enough’ (which was the original point of the post and hence which is what I contested). What you’re saying is ‘They are not as good as they think they are’, which is a question of humility and self-knowledge, and is dependent on the individual, not the institution.

    Also, my exp with IITians is quite irrelevant to the discussion. I personally consider myself to be one of those non IITians who is far superior to many IITians. I still disagree with the central point of the post and the ensuing discussion.

  33. Ritwik Says:

    Doddi Buddi,

    Not that this is a discussion on literature, and everyone is entitled to their own subjective opinion, but you should realise that ‘RKN is a mediocre writer’ is your own subjective opinion. To use it to generalize that we are a nation of no heroes is a supreme leap of faith and ignorance. RKN is a SIMPLE writer, and simple need not imply mediocre. In fact in the domain of language, simple often means more intelligent and better.

    On other thoughts, why I am even arguing with you. You are a typical ‘I will make statements for their shock value’ reactionary contrarian, not unlike Mr Shenoy himself – ‘a failed turd like Tendulkar’. Indeed.

  34. Doddi Buddi Says:


    You seem to be reasonable in everything you say. Then again, you have made me a ‘typical unreasonable’ turd:) That’s OK.

    We are a nation of Reasonable Turds.

  35. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Ritwik or Rickety Wit,

    Have you read any plays by TP Kailasm? Just curious. You seem to be the Logical Machine here. Please enlighten us. Thank you.

  36. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Rickey Witless

    Looks like you are a die-hard fan of the Kulla Turd? Am I right?

  37. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    “One of them is that of the 4500 who make it, only about 500-1000 are genuinely gifted. the others are the ones who worked harder/ found better coaching classes. There are another 5000-10000 students all over India who are equal to these other guys in capability, and this fact is revealed in the workplace and at other places.”

    I don’t know where you get your numbers from, but I’ll believe them for the sake of argument as they aren’t that important. So there aren’t any gifted people except those that get into the IITs? (Disclaimer: I am NOT one of them…IITian or gifted that is) All the others in India are only the “hard workers” who are equal to the rest of the non-gifted IITians? Am I missing something? Have you read “Fooled by Randomness”?

    “Also, from what I make of your arguments, what you’re saying is not ‘They are not good enough’ (which was the original point of the post and hence which is what I contested).”

    The original post made no such assertion. They are not good enough for Tata Steel, and I think even you would indulge Tata Steel their standards?

    “What you’re saying is ‘They are not as good as they think they are’, which is a question of humility and self-knowledge, and is dependent on the individual, not the institution.”

    I don’t recall anyone attacking the institutions.

    “Also, as hard as we may try, there are only two ways that we react to any sort of hype.”

    I think you ought to speak for yourself. “We” is a pretty big group, and “only” needs a lot more credibility than any of us can muster on a blog.

    “Some others, and that probably includes you, realise that this is not the case and use every single experience they’ve had to strengthen their belief of the opposite.”

    This isn’t true in my case, but thanks for throwing up the possibility.

    “Is it possible that when you have judged the IIT/IIM types (is their any single type, really? ) you have begun with a preconceived bias, or rather you have begun with expectations that were higher than they should have been?”

    I don’t think I judged their “type”. I judged the graduates of the IITs and IIMs that I have encountered. I agree with you. There are no “types”.

  38. Ritwik Says:


    Largely agree with everything you have to say. Though, am I the only one who feels that as counter-points are brought up, original arguments are re-stated in very watered down forms?

    Anyway, I haven’t read ‘Fooled by Randomness’, but if it has anything to do with probability and random processes, and how people get fooled by them, you will have to take me at face value – I am not one of those for whom the book is meant. I get my numbers from personal experience, friends, etc. but they may be on the higher side. Anyway, my point wasn’t that the rest of India is not gifted – it was simply that not every IITian is gifted, and hence people should not be surprised if they encounter numerous non IITians who are superior to non IITians, and that there are atleast 10000 non IItians every batch who are ATLEAST as good as the non-gifted IITians. I’m not excluding the possibility of them being gifted am I?

    And well, the original post did make the assertion that they are not good enough. It began by quoting someone from Tata Steel, and then went on to inform us how that statement was so revealing and explored why IIT and IITians are in a ‘sorry state’.

    When you say ‘they’, you attack the ‘products’ of the institution as a whole, and by extension, you attack the institution. Thats how I perceive things – I may be wrong.

    Nevermind though, this is one of those discussions that will neither end nor lead to something productive. I have said all I have to say about it and so have you and any further arguments from either side will essentially nitpick on a particular phrase or something and be tangential to the issue. Until later, then.

    Doddi Buddi,

    Touchy are we? Wordgames with my name – very impressive and mature. Why did you stretch the wit part though, you could have just called me Shitwik, given your fascination with turd. And no, I haven’t read T P Kailasam. So ? Since I am the Logical Machine (thank u, btw) here’s the logic – does not reading T P Kailasam imply that I am not qualified to make a statement about RKN, literature and the difference between simple and mediocre. Also, if I was to be a turd, I’d rather be a reasonable turd than an unreasonable turd, so thank you. I won’t reply to any of your comments anymore, as we have gone way off the central topic, and indulging in a slanging match on someone else’s blog is not my style. I hope you’ll respect that.

  39. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    “Though, am I the only one who feels that as counter-points are brought up, original arguments are re-stated in very watered down forms?”

    I don’t know about others, but between you and me, seems like you are the one observing this phenomenon. You wouldn’t feel that way if you re-read the original arguments, again atleast those from me.

    “any further arguments from either side will essentially nitpick on a particular phrase or something and be tangential to the issue”

    Amen to that. Heck I’m already doing it.

  40. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Ricky Wittini or Dr. Sophistry

    You might as well say, “I am the world’s goddamn expert on all things unconcerned, WTF are you going to do about it.”

    Talking of maturity, I am left wondering have your ‘logic’ balls dropped yet?:)

    ‘Use humor to cut through the dense shit of specious logic’ is my motto. Here is a little haiku you may want to post it on your blog if you like!

    Irreverence is my medium
    RK Narayan is tedium
    Tendulkar is a turd
    if you disagree
    go compute a surd

  41. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    DB, that thing is too big for a Haiku…but it is hilarious nonetheless! Sakkath maja kodteera guru!

  42. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Thank you, GK3S. I know I don’t strictly meet the ‘haiku’ definition. Enjoyed your S’word’ play with Tricky Ricky!

  43. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    Sword play adella illa swami. Point to counter point to counter counter point debate ashte. And that grows like Hanumanta’s tail. Who knows who is right and who is wrong? At the end of the day does it really matter if a bunch of people who could probably use some more work in the office slang it out on a blog?

  44. Doddi Buddi Says:


    Exactly! I was making a pun out Sword and S-Word play:)

  45. Blogger Bhaiyya Says:


    Thats probably the most incorrect analysis that I have ever read in my life. I can probably write a thesis on the mistakes u ve done.
    Lots of them have already been debated.

    I ll just point out and correct some of them at the moment (Will write a blog correcting your mistakes :) )

    Coaching Institutes DO NOT creat IITians.
    Coaching Institutes CAN NOT creat IITians.

    To get into IIT one needs to have high intelligence, Good grasp of the subjects, enough practice.

    Coaching Insit cannot possibly improve ones IQ and the other 2 can be easily developed @ home also.

    For ur info the figures that one sees in the newspapers are highly inflated. The inst would probably even start putting ur name in the list of their successful candidates if u, as much, go to them for an enquiry about their course. (I hope at ur intelligence u can understand that this was an exaggeration.)

    The other thing about insti making IITins u need to understand and appreciate the figures that u have quoted.
    1. Inst open up in places wgr students thrive to get into IIT (Demand ans Supply)

    2.In TN hardly anyone ever appears for the exam that is because ppl are more than satisfied with Anna Unvi (refer ur stats about south India)

    3. Hundreds of students from Bihar make it to IIT (without any coaching whatso ever) their names make it to the successful candidates at various inst because : the inst pays them a couple of grands or they appear in a test series conducted by the inst. (the test series is almost a must for all aspirants)

    4. Kota produces SOOO many IITians because ppl who go to Kota are genuinely those who want to make it too IIT (therefore they really work hard) though these students would make it to IIT even if they worked as hard at home.


    Will come up with a more comprehensive blog in a few days..

  46. Blogger Bhaiyya Says:

    and please…

    The generalization “IITians are tough to coach” blah. blah!!! make Chetan Bhagat look like a good writer.
    Btw Do read five point someone. It will give you some insight into IITians lifes etc… etc…

  47. Dheerendragopal Says:

    Bhaiyya muchkoLayya ninna baaya .

    Bhaiyya. IITians maybe hardworking but that is just to pass and get through the JEE .It is not because of any passion .Most of them try JEE because of peer pressure . Has anyone thought about the recent suicidal deaths in IITs unable to cope up with the pressure .
    Do you know how many students are kicked out of IISc every year because they could not complete their course ? ( I was working there and I know precisely and how the numbers are increasing )

    The main problem in our country today is Peer Pressure towards education. This peer pressure is starting right at a very young age .This is because of the competativeness and the demand to the professional course .
    How many of us are talking about the decline of students taking pure sciences ? Prof.C.N.R. Rao laments at the decline of quality of students taking Physics and pure science .Today everyone who graduates is intrested only in applied sciences and how long can this go on ?
    lets discuss this .

  48. Haldodderi Sudhindra Says:

    This post reminds of my MTech days at IIT-Madras (1989-91). I happened to be present for the convocation address of Russi Modi of Tata Steel for during 1990. He said “IITans are really bright and great. Having an IIT degress is like keeping an International Travellers’ Cheque, one can encash it whichever place he/she likes. While our university degrees are like local cheques, you may not be able encash it within your own country. However I never recruit any IITan for my company (before the advent of IT, those days TATA companies were still darlings of many bright students). The reason being all of them would be looking for an admission in US and would keep the appointment of ours as stopgap. With due respect to IITans I would prefer to recruit university grads to my company!!

  49. Doddi Buddi Says:

    There you go! It is Tata’s policy not to recruit IITians because of attrition rates!

  50. Munish Goyal Says:

    Many interesting and insightful readings… cool
    today i was looking for some counseling info for a cousin who secured a rank in JEE this time and i bumped into this interesting blog.

    I am amused at reading all your experiences…
    being myself an IITian, none of whom represented IIT on this board i should say something.

    Non-IITians are by no means loosers or good for nothing, thats a general statement i make.

    Yet, there are intelligence differences which are humungous.
    IITians are for sure an intelligent, smart, independent and confident lot.

    Give them any problem in the world, best ones will definitely be able to provide you a solution. They can compete with the best technological minds of world.
    But they lack in problem definition, i.e given a problem statement arriving at solution somehow is a cakewalk but somewhat reverse is what i will not vouch for.

    They do carry that ‘baggage’ and superiority complex, must confess.
    I myself am not able to give it up even after realizing that there are enough smart people around me or in my industry.

    Its the IIT culture which is to blame to inject in these high n mighty feelings. One way it should be but only till qualifying JEE.

    After that they start to chill out and do not carry forward the momentum.

    These points are the improvements which i feel are needed int he system.

    But after that 4 yr/5 yr rigorous process one undergoes, none , i mean none of the IITians you find will seem a dumb or unintelligent.

    The nerdiest of nerds become very smart by the time he graduates.

    Yea the thing they lack is humility (which i feel comes in slowly after working in industry) and carry that complex.

    Note that not all of the IITians aspiring for MBA from IIMs get through CAT.
    Some take even 2-3 attempts before they get into.

    For permanent failures, it becomes a SOUR GRAPES wine.

    This is because of wrong attitude of , nothing is invincible.

    I can list more..only after someone has further comments.

  51. Anonymous Guy Says:

    For those of you who are in the position to hire IIT Btechs and dont and then gloat about it – it dosent matter, an IIT btech will eventually get a job which is better than what you would have to offer.

    Everyone in the IIT Btech class has sound fundamentals (not just the toppers). Which cannot be said of majority of students from many other engineering colleges in India.

    And you have a problem managing confident people? That is your problem. Lets say you have to a select an engineer/whatever to work for you, would you select someone who is not the best just because you can manage him easily and he doesnt pose any threat to you? Soft skills can be learnt – it isnt that people from a particular college have great soft skills (unless you are hiring from St. Stephens etc. – which I dont think you guys want to since you mostly want to hire people you can ‘manage’).

    You are in a position to hire a few people now? Good for you. The IIT students have a strong network before they even get out of college. And graduate scholarships from the best schools. If you wont hire people who you think have ‘superiority complexes’, no problem – Google and MIT will take them.

    You can have the MTechs. And the sheep.

  52. palak Says:


  53. shantanu tiwari Says:

    hi evr1

    so dat dere is no confu lemme tell dat i m n iitian nd i m really worried aftr
    gng thru dis discssn …. IIT is xlnt in providin us all d facilities nd may b u think dat doin coachin frm kota makes u n artificial genius …. but dats a bllshit… i m not frm kota .. so no doubts…now .. in my class guys frm kota r xlin nd dey r very nice nd do hav a lot of nowledge …i m writing dis only 4 future IIT aspirants … its gr8 nd v hav gr8 profs … 1 thing dat makes u n iitian is
    jst dont b’lev somthin cos som1 xyz said it … nd morevr dere is no smok widout fire…so dere mst b somthin in IIT

  54. Bharath Says:

    I have read most of the posts in this blog and most impressing was Dheerendragopal’s posts..I understood one thing that he is from IISc and he thinks and thats the best….I dont think he has never ever met or encountered a true spirited IITian..and more over I also read a post on Gulti ppl.. I guess he is jealous on gulti ppl…that most of the gulti ppl get an admission… I think Dheerendragopal..who ever it may be be little matured before posting somethng…you r not a godgiri bandha to speak about an IITian …I dont say all the IITians are genious but they are not dumb to just hold boooks and read like the ppl of IISc which a kindergarten kid can do…. its really depressing how immaturely a person can post so many blogs against IIT …and coming to Tata steel if the company doesnt recruit IITians there may be so many reasons which actually doesnot come out…. and Tata steel is not a standard company to compare with companies like McKinsey , Morgan stanley, BCG,Microsoft,Google,Yahoo,GM,GE,… and soon companies come for recruitment everyyear…this shows the standard of the IIT’s…

    The debate of Hyderabad & kota coaching centres are waste to discuss… people who are losers or who could not get an admission into IIT talk about these stupid things…

  55. Night Walker Says:

    I have a few points to say.

    1.Being in IIT is an opportunity. After getting in most of the ppl use it others dont because according to them they have more serious issues to think and believe in rather than being a topper or to get a good job.

    2. Talking about interests, an IITian will definitely excel his or her field of interest (which can even be only playing a guitar) . If he or she is not performing at a job or an activity or engineering studies that implies that he is not at all interested in the same. if you think it is a wastage of an IIT seat ask others to work hard and grab such seats.

    3. TATA steel came for placements last year at IIT Madras. They were waiting for ppl to come and join them even without any written tests but no one even cared to join them at a good package.

    4. Dow chemicals came to hire ppl at a 10 lakh package but were sent back due to Bhopal gas tragedy indulgence. Can any local college afford to do that? Only those who have the power have the right to forgive.

    5. An IITian can have an attitude. Its better than to govel or licking someone’s ass. If you mind the attitude u should learn to live with it.

    6. There is a vast difference between IITians and others in terms of confidence, thinking, innovation and problem solving. This has been noticed by one and all thats why companies die to recruit and hire IITians

    It is correctly said above that only LOSERS who dont make it to IIT come up with these types of forums. ‘

    For IIT JEE aspirants I would say that a good combination of Intelligence and Hard work can only get you through JEE. If ur weak in the former work very hard on the latter. Once u get into IIT the world will bestow everything at your feet. Still some will be jealous.

  56. fbd_18 Says:

    The anti-IIT group isn’t reasonable in their thought.It is unresonable to expect ‘EVERY’ IITian to be a DEMI-GOD in his her enginnering discipline.We have been pumped in with the prejudice that ‘EVERY’ IITian is approximately a demi-god.That is not at all true,when one gets into IIT through JEE,it generally means that,he/she is really a hard-working talent,atleast more hard working and talented,than “MOST” non-IITians.
    BUT if the same passion and consistency is not kept up after getting into IIT;and one becomes complacent then the relative competency goes down.I agree with what Night Walker has to say.Also “PASSION IS THE KEY” and the percent(not the absolute number)of passionate pass-outs from IITs,is relatively better than other insti.That does not garuantee that a topper frm non-IIT can’t be better than an IITian.And by passion i mean passion in NEthing one does.I know people who have made it big without even formal education(forget IIT) solely with passion.And the fact,that MAJORITYof IIT pass-outs(i ain’t saying all IIT pass-outs) have this passion makes an IIT great.If any other insti. does that,it is equally great.

  57. Anand Vanjape Says:

    With due respect to the institutions and the alumni, I have a question to ask, why most of these people are not delivering in India, I believe majority of them move overseas for work upon graduation. Has the Govt. of India set up these institutions for people to go and work overseas?

    When they established these institutions here in India, the though behind would have been to have well trained and well educated people to serve the industry in India.

    There is quite a lot of money going in to these institutions from the government treasury. Shouldn’t there some kind of commitment to work in India if you graduate from the government institutions? I have read about a lot of IIT & IIM graduates doing really well in India, some of them have established great organizations. They are creating jobs, doing better jobs than others would. I feel graduates from these institutions leaving to work overseas should learn from their alumni here and morally take a call to work here for some years and then move on to other countries to make some good money.

    I just wonder, how good is that to take all the subsidized education to some place else. I feel, there also has to be some sort of exit load for those who are not willing to work here. The government is investing in these students to prepare them to be useful for India but these graduates are taking it some place else. I think the entrance tests for NDA and IMA are equally tough but upon graduation those people don’t work for US or British forces.

    IIT and IIM graduates should give it a thought. If they stay in India they will make rupee shining more than a dollar. I am aware of the lack of infrastructure and facilities and corruption here but that has never posed any hurdles for those who have made success stories in the past. My suggestion to those people is give India a thought and India will give one too.

    Bottom line is its not a fair deal to walk away with the education that was supposed to be useful for India. The government supports these institutions, tax payers support the government and I am one of them. I pay Income Tax, Sales Tax, Profession Tax, Service Tax, Excise, Education Cess and all in the higher slabs, for the betterment of this nation.

    I am sure they teach the best of the things in IITs and IIMs but if you don’t acknowledge the author of your own success story, which is Govt. of India then you haven not learnt enough.

    Yes, I am patriotic there are many more like me who care for the nation and fulfill their duties through the taxes, that’s the best we can. If the IITs and IIMs are not coming of any use to India, which they were intended to do, then I think government needs to shut down these institutions , that way the money can be utilized for poor people who don’t even have the opportunity to take up basic education or there must be some kind of exit load for those who want to go and work overseas. I don’t understand how justified is the answer “we are sending dollars home.”

    The government should make it compulsory for them to work for government of India for certain period of time like the government medical college graduates.

    I would prefer my taxes helping my not so smart fellows working in my nations interest than smart fellows working anywhere else.

    I am not being anti-IIT or anti-IIM here they are the top of the class institutions but only good if they are graduates are working in interest of India.

    I would like to mention here, I am not IIT or IIM certified smart and I definitely don’t know everything but yes, I graduated from university overseas and I have set up an enterprise in India by choice.

    I am with my nation are there are many more with me, with my senior citizen parents, with success, with money and with love peace and harmony. I know the ‘authors’ of my book and incidentally, my first job happened to be in a TATA group company. Mr. Bhamy V. Shenoy and Mr. B. Muthuraman, I want to thank you for helping me remember the authors of my book.

    I will appreciate if IIT & IIM graduate recognize its ‘Indian’ Institute of Technology and ‘Indian’ Institute of Management. India has made you a certified smart, then help building India into a certified superpower. Jai Hind!

  58. A Typical Jealous Indian Says:

    I am very jealous of this news. How can this happen? Why does this not happen for my college? and more importantly why does this not happen for the college of the DUDE who ic claiming to hire a few? Or for the dude who is playing with people’s names… I m disappointed. This is all media bullshit… read on

    A Reunion at the “MIT of India”

  59. IIT - Duddirorge Says:

    “979 students were admitted and of that 769 were from Andra Pradesh…. “,

    It is impossible for me to recall Hyderabadi or any Telugu in my entire life to have taken lead in studies in 12th. Nor in far distance also since I have kept track of CBSE and ICSE circles results every year.

    I still recall the competition I faced in my 12th CBSE scoring around 97 in physics entirely studying from C.N.R Rao’s textbook just to hear from my over impulsive, half-educated and miser father that coaching is not required for IIT – to just find the JEE paper impossible to understand ,forget solving it. Can challenge anyone even today at that.

    One of my friend from Bihar who got disillusioned at not getting selected for about a year had to make a tough comeback without falling into drugs but becoming a avid drunkard. He is still a wizard who can write a world class algorithm / code, but doesn’t dare to go into any research, but is earning above par. No company can dare losing him. He sees himself earning a quantum less than his IIT peers for the same work.

    For my own curiosity of lost phase in my life I tried to test others who prepare for IIT, IIM and found there is small esoteric and probably casteist group who think talent itself is a virtue of those who fall under those groups. Even at coaching centres conveniently placed across those population, and concentrating selectively at them does prove that a particular wavelengths can only be passed to a student who is trained to catch that in every sphere of his life. Obviously the money worshippers of Tirupati can afford a chunk on their lads as a investment and just get it around back.A few thousands from crores! And when question papers are set by coachers itself it is sure fire investment retreival .

    These people would like to regain through their investment and hence work for US. CNR Rao’s statement will obviously won’t be heard. and NRN being a statesman of great leadership will analyze all these with charts and put it in tabloids.

    It’s easy for people like NRN to say that he hires talent and also try to enhancing image of IIT and IIM while glorifying them as leaders and their mentality as leadership the non-brahmins, are degrading their own lives.

    Being an Indian this is just one of the suffering. As Gandhi said Non-violence is nothing but constant suffering. Indians are indeed civilized.

  60. IIT - Duddirorge Says:

    And the aftermath of these money retreivers. Well after IIT they will only be behind money and prostitution. Into legal prostitution now.
    else with so many talents out of IITs ( what? they are greater than warton and harvards ?? :)) )we could have had a industrial revolution by now.


    I think that apart from the top 100-200 of IIT’ans, who are gifted in terms of having very high analytical skills ( this is as far as I would extoll them, they are not DEMI-GODS in any way), the rest just worked harder and better than their non-IIT counterparts. The IIT tag is in no way an assurance of success in life which I believe is a combination of many factors. I also believe that brilliance is only 20 percent genetic and hardwired from one’s birth into one’s genes, the rest is just hardwork, passion and putting one’s efforts in the right direction. Even if one is not born brilliant he/she can train oneself into becoming one through organized effort and sheer perseverance. Through humility and sustained passion in one’s field of interest, one can achieve feats that are truly outstanding IIT tag notwithstanding.

  62. hbk Says:

    @ ppl who speak ill abt iitians-
    u guys r loosers who r simply jealous!

    - an iitian

  63. Gowda - IITM Says:

    Cracking JEE is not like eating Churmuri in the road sides of Gokulam 3rd stage or in the Agrahara circle.

    It needs hardwork. dedication towards the subjects.

    i know, many people who are commenting against IIT’s and IITian’s have failed to crack JEE

    Get a life Dudes. Dont be jelous.

  64. Athreya Says:

    Gowda – IITM
    “Cracking JEE is not like eating Churmuri in the road sides of Gokulam 3rd stage or in the Agrahara circle.”

    Well it’s not at all buying and selling lands of farmers even if churumuri eaters may crack it.
    Gowdas are not only influencing roads , nayidus and reddies but also murthies!!

    The modern day 12 new IITs and multiple choice kinds are nowhere eligible to comment in this post of olden days IIT issues , better leave it and go and sell some land.

  65. Athreya Says:

    “By one estimate 95% of students getting admission into IITs have attended one of the many coaching factories which have spawned all across the country” ….

    True, the rest 5% will be sons of professors who set question papers :)

    The same thing happens with defence also. Most will be (white)fucked up northies with 6+ feet and above, without any brains but with fathers already in defence; and we seem short in front of them even though with strong body. Wonder if they can put same yardstick for chinese heights even though got beaten by them in war.

    Whatever comes with “Indian” like IIT, IIM , IAS etc…. we should continue ignoring them and stop contributing any amount of expertise to progress of that nation.

    Let coaching be abolished and question papers set by people who don’t take any classes – retired known and impartial profs; and papers be set in all languages – that would be a fair ground. Isn’t it? Bloody then you will know who will be the losers.

    Congress anthe, Jawahar anthe, industrialization anthe, Talent anthe , Hardwork anthe….. My foot.

  66. another commentator Says:

    Hi all,
    well, this is one of those many blogs discussing on IITians, their attitude, ego and how good they are etc etc. Well, based on my experience of over 8 years in industry (semiconductor), here are my observations –

    Fact-1: some IITians think every IITian is superior to every nonIITian. These IITians are jack-ass type (but some may be technically good) people who are low on confidence. This statement is just not correct, it reeks of ignorance.

    Fact-2: a significant proportion of IITians are good natured, humble human beings. I have seen that humility is proportional to confidence and talent.

    Fact-3: A significant number of nonIITians outperform IITians in the long run. Here, outperforming does not mean outperforming in a problem solving exam, but outperforming in career growth, where a lot more skills than pure analytical skills are required.

    Fact-4: out of 100 IITians, about 10-15 will be super smart (anyone would love them to be on his team), rest 10-15 are very good, and rest 60-80 are good. none will disappoint you. out of 100 nonITians, around 5 will super smart, next 10-15 will be very good, next 50 will be good, and there will be a bottom rung who will be disappointing.

    Fact -5: the smartest person i have seen so far, and have worked with, is an IITian, who is from a village, had never heard of JEE until 2 months before writing it. he cracked a <100 rank.

    i guess this kind of sums up whatever i had to say..

  67. Athreya Says:

    @another commentator,
    2 months and JEE cracker !! Marvellous. My salutes. Which village, college, year ? Would be privileged to see his comments. Can you please show him this space?

    Now don’t tell that he was from 1960 batch with 1000 odd people writing it.

    You surely are a commentator than a commenter.

  68. another commentator Says:

    @ Athreya,
    i can sense disbelief in your comments — and i am fine with that. the person i am talking about got into IIT in mid nineties, and not in 1960. Regarding the “2 months” thing, well, may not be exact in terms of details, but you got the sense of it. He had never heard of JEE until he was well into his 12th standard. He was told that “JEE is a good thing, he should write it”. So he wrote it, and cracked it. He saw the Irodov book (that book on insanely difficult physics problems) for the first time after coming to IIT.

    please do not nit-pick on my English, or my screen name etc. i am not a liar.

  69. sam Says:

    Let me generalize(yeah, I am aware, I am doing a sin) it about the wanna-be IITians, who couldn’t make it to the IITs. They are of 2 types.

    1. First, who take life lightly, and are happy with other things that life offered them.

    2. Second, the serious ones, whose ego couldn’t take it that there were more deserving candidates than themselves. They are pained to their core when they see a JEE qualified IITian. In their pathetic state of agony, they give in to the instinct of “finding faults” and then “generalizing” it about IITans. That’s it. Their talk, I consider bullshit.

    Btw, I am one among the 1st kind.

  70. another commentator Says:

    thanks for summing it up nicely. I guess the worst part that i hate about such rants about IITians is the generalizing part — things like “i have worked with multiple IITians, and they are full of shit”.

    i have seen IITians whose achievements (career status after 10+ years of graduation) are not commensurate with their (supposed) talent. I have also seen IITians who you simply have to look at in awe. For example, 50+ patents in first decade of career, that kind of stuff.

    For every 5 such awe-inspiring IITians, i have also encountered 2-3 non-IITians (and indian) of similar caliber. Look at the composition of core research group of major corporates, and you may start agreeing to me. here, by corporates i mean HP, Intel, Microsoft, Google, and other semiconductor majors such as Texas Instruments, ST Micro, Qualcomm, Broadcom etc..

  71. Athreya Says:

    that was really funny . You say “Btw, I am one among the 1st kind.”
    and then you are generalizing on both serious and light ones! :)
    How lightly you take things in life? :)

    The question is not whether one failed to get into it or any one is egoistic, it’s about “level playing ground”.

  72. chandra Says:

    IITs are highly rated undergraduate colleges and never innovated any engineering product. Crores are spent on these iit’s to no avail. These iitan’s are so proud that they show red eyes even to foreigners and get beaten up or stabbed.

  73. Sapan Shrivastava Says:

    Dear Mr. B. Muthuraman I would like to share my own experience with you. I have worked with one of the largest PSU of India and there one day a GM of that company shared his experience of interviewing a kid at IIT. He told me that during the placement interview he asked a kid that “Name some bearing manufacturing companies” and the student was speechless. The same GM fellow once asked me that which book I followed for power electronics and I said that I dont remember. But the point here is that this GM fellow never asked me that wether you could explain me the working of thyristor or he never asked me wether you could calculate the fault current in some circuit. And the same guy never asked the question to that interviewee kid that can you explain the difference between roller bearing and ball bearing.
    It’s not the fault of that person, the point is as I look at it is in a manufacturing company in India one dont need to be a crow who finds an inovative solution of drinking water from pot, one needs to be a donkey following the defined set of rules or following what the rider says.
    So there is nothing wrong with IIT education. These are technological institutes and they are producing technocrats and they are definitely not required at a manufacturing industries rather they should be employed at research institutes. But because of lack of research facilities in the country most of them fly away to US.

  74. Ck Says:

    Most of the high school students take up engineering because of pressure from the family. For JEE, the pressure starts much earlier that it becomes an aspiration. We study for marks till high school, and we slog for earning a life later.

    Why dont we yearn (and not earn) for a better life?

  75. Telugu Says:

    @ Dheerendragopal

    Mind your language

  76. Shreekar Says:

    Here is a theory on why IITians are/were considered great and what has caused the deterioration in their standards.

    Students learn MORE from peer influence and interactions than from their professors, textbooks, or from the infrastructure of great institutions. Like for example, when you play tennis where your opponent is better than you, your level of play tends to improve because you try your hardest to bring your own play to match or exceed that of your opponent. Similarly, when your opponent’s standard is inferior to yours, your own play tends to drop down from your normal level/potential.

    Coaching factories focus only on training the candidates in getting good marks. In the process, they fail to inculcate in the candidates an interest in the subjects of study. Because such students who master the art of scoring high in JEE get admission into IITs the quality of peer influence also gets diluted. These very same students then go on to do post graduation, doctoral studies, etc. and come back to the IITs as faculty.

  77. iit Says:


  78. Amit Says:

    IITians whom I have seen very much lack what I would term as EQ and ‘life-skills’.Some of them even lack basic social/interpersonal skills like ‘appreciating efforts of others.’.

    For them profession/work is everything.We have a CEO in a Indo-Japanese venture in NCR region of India,who takes it as a metter of prestige that he was abroad serving his clients. at the time when his wife was in hospital giving birth to their baby.Profession over family.Thats what IITians are..

  79. AD Says:

    I did not understand the connection between knowing the names of authors and the students’ intellect because of which, I believe, the said students have been chosen to study in IIT.

  80. Samir Jain Says:

    The gist of the article appears to be that the Indian industry is not hobbled for options when it comes to recruiting engineers and managers. Anyone who cares for some history will know that the primary original focus of the IITs was on post-graduate and doctoral education, and not to produce mere workers. The IIMs were anyway an extension of our centuries-old casteist tradition of creating elites who would think in their ivory towers and leave the menial operations to the lower folk. By the way, I am an executive alumnus from the top IIM in quantitative techniques. By ‘top’, I refer to the profs, not to the students. They are as clueless of the real world as any other fresh graduate, but manage to hide their ignorance behind their elite tags and the alumni network

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