Sunday, May 25, 2008

Noble thoughts but wrong conclusions -IIT Syndrome

Quite often Chindu allows great pieces in its Sunday Open Page or the Sunday Magazine. While the context is often relevant and the train of thought is interesting, the conclusions drawn and evidence given in support don't really add up. Case in point, the recent article on the IIT syndrome by Mohammed Issam Siddique. The writer makes a simple argument that IIT's are elite institutions but the applicants outnumber the seats by a factor of 100. Given the inherent struggle and competition to enter into these institutions and the obvious career benefits the perspective of those involved often focuses only on the financial aspects. The author wants the IITs to
instead should focus on developing innovative ideas and products which can take the world forward.

Great ideals, but wrong insight on the issue. The author decides to blame a few people for the morass, the children and their parents for being petty and money minded and implicitly blaming imperialistic forces,
Secure because the lads coming out of such prestigious institutions are obviously going to be kidnapped by firms ready to drape them in bundles of dollars.

Mr. Siddique forgets that the students coming out have something called as freedom of choice. No one is putting a gun to their head to choose a company. Another statement with little logic is,
The IITs instead should focus on developing innovative ideas and products which can take the world forward. Rather than priding ourselves on high paid jobs, we should encourage income generating ideas. We need entrepreneurs who are daring enough to show the world the new way.

Some of the most innovative minds in the world today have been graduates of the IIT and have lead in the creation of the cutting edge technologies and innovations from the Pentium chip to the Windows operating system to the Java language to microfinancing, naval architecture, communication advancements and defense operations. The list is incredibly long and can clearly negate the article's specious argument.
There are poorly structured arguments like the below which indicate poor writing style,
And coaching centres are no way to get into such places. Only pure brilliance and unfettered dedication will let you survive inside the IITs.

The booming economy in most sectors has ensured that the pay scales of those coming out of other institutions are on the same scale of those coming out of the IITs. There are several options beyond the IIT's than it were say 15 years ago. While the students, parents and coaching centers can be accused of focusing on financial benefits, should the government not be blamed for not setting up more institutions or allowing private groups to setup institutions of similar standards?
The Chindu prided itself of writing quality editorials with structured arguments but upon reading this editorial one can see how far the apple has fallen from the tree.


Pramod Biligiri said...

This was from the Sunday Open Page right?

The selection of articles in this section is consistently dreadful. Makes one think only idiots read The Hindu ;)

Pilid said...

The writer Mr. Siddique needs to read Adam Smith's 'The Wealth of Nations'. Wikipedia has some of his memorable quotes.

Dirt Digger said...

I agree, the quality of the open page has dropped abysmally.
Thanks for ur thoughts.

Dirt Digger said...

I was going to refer a more recent guru aka Peter Lynch, but you've hit the nail on the head.

Anonymous said...

The BJP’s hour of triumph

Chief started writing a seemingly balanced editorial, but can not refrain from offering his usual sermon to BJP.

"The BJP, on its part, should be humble in victory. Although the party did play the Hindutva card....... The BJP, in power on its own strength for the first time in a southern State, will need to learn its lessons quickly."

Wonder if the Chief ever advised the CPM or the Congress to be "humble" or to learn their lessons quickly, or slowly.