This is the place, IIT, where life started in the true sense of the World. It is here that we all transformed from the “bacchas” passing out of schools to mature individuals that we are today.
The brand made our life so easy. In society, wherever we went we were treated in high regard. After all we were amongst the 2000 students who qualified JEE.
Recently, while having a discussion with one of my colleagues, I was made aware of the decision of our central government to open up more IITs. The question that we pondered over was whether such a decision would have a severe impact on the “Brand“?
As now, instead of being amongst the top 2,000 engineering students in the country, the IITians will be amongst the top 10,000 students or so. On one hand, where more students will get an opportunity to study in A Grade institutes like IIT (i.e. if all IITs maintain the same
standards), on the other it does dilute the reputation on a global scale.
The question is: Do we really need to open up more IITs to provide better educational facilities? or Can we leave alone the IITs as the best engineering college in India and create a class of engineering colleges next in line to IITs to enable more students to enter the discipline?
Smart students will have to work harder to ‘signal’ their ability … math olympiad, anyone?
That’s true that the competition will become tougher as more and more students would be eyeing the few seats available at IITs. Participation in Olympiads is certainly one way where one can showcase his/her talent and his/her ability to think out of the box.
From a linear perspective, opening of more IITs is definitely a brand dilution. However, these institutions are autonomous universities with differential capabilities, discrete cultures, distinct geodemographical roots and each of them have significant funds to develop their own brands.
IIT Bombay is recognized for instilling entrepreneurial spirits among students, IIT Delhi is reputed for imparting cultural and social exposure while IIT Kanpur has a prevalent research orientation. In a similar manner, over time and with right motive the new IITs will offer their own breed of IITians to society.
Certainly as Vishwas has pointed out, each IIT has its own pluses and minuses, and are producing their own kinds. Internationally as well, for instance in US, they separately recognize and differentiate people from, say IIT Kanpur from that of Delhi.
What opening of new IITs would do to the students for sure is, that those who were unable to make it through because of the lesser number of seats would now be able to do so and in turn would get better opportunities to progress in their career.