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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Duality Principle

Landing into a new semester at IIT Delhi, it didn't take long to come face-to-face again with some plain stupidities in IIT system. Rejoining facebook has one sure advantage; it keeps you updated with the latest buzz around. And back here at IIT, the buzz word is not Ragging or Girnar (the newest hostel) but Course Registration. In last few hours, I saw my Facebook feed flooded with status updates with some words in common - "kicked out of so-n-so course (in the first class itself)". The kicking out is not due to mischievous students or disciplinary misconducts, but because of 'course overloading', 'departmental exclusivity' or simply an outrageously unreasonable Professor. IIT Delhi proudly boasts of an open and flexible academic system with students being free to choose their courses until they adhere to certain academic requirements. But the add-drop period in the beginning of every semester exposes the rigidity embedded in the system - all due to the convenience of Professors most of the times. e.g. a prof wants to teach a class size of 50 instead of the allowed strength of 75; another one would not like anyone else than mechanical engineers to take the course; another one ready for only post graduate students. I've always been OK with freedom given to profs to run the course as they find it the best for students and the course itself, but it is simply unacceptable on the part of profs (a kind of teachers) to abuse that authority just for the sake of their own convenience.

Another example of blatant misuse of power in IITs was uncovered recently about illegal quota system functional in IIT Kgp for the last four decades (whooping!) [1]. Obviously, Directors, Deans and other office bearers were involved; and now we know what kind of people frame rules for the 'brightest' young minds of India and practically ru(i)n their lives as they want. I remember another news about a JEE scandal reported a few weeks back which was equally shocking and shameful. [2] So, the questions are: "How do people of this conduct rise up to the levels of being Deans or Diros? Is the worth of IITs as a 'premier institute of national importance' due to its students or the setup?". These instances of dual standards adopted by faculty raise strong doubts on the process of recruitment for faculty positions itself.

By the way, if you're still wondering about the relevance of the title with the content above, it is because I'm officially a 'Dual Degree' student now, having switched to the 5-year B.Tech + M.Tech. program in CSE. So, this is how my academic log in page looks now:


For those who are still not aware of my tragic life story, I aspire to get into Civil Services after I am done with my graduation (no, that's not the tragic part!). To appear in 2011, one has to be born on/before 1st August 1990, and I missed that mark by a very close margin (being born on 5th August instead). So, I had one full year to spare, for which I preferred an extra year of stay at IITD itself for an extra degree in my hand at the end of it over a full time job or a 'drop' for full-time preparation. The associated irony is that because I didn't want to pursue Comp. Sc. as my career, I have to study it for another year. Funny!

12 comments:

  1. It means you have started using facebook again :P

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  2. Congrats Dulle... :P :) ...Party kb de rha hia?? :P

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  3. @Piyush: yes, I'm back on facebook. I was losing a lot of 'social' interaction without it. :)

    @Raghav: Thanks, har chiz ki party chahiye hoti hai tujhe. :P

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  4. Enjoyed a very nice read.. but some career expert must volunteer to write "101 ways to spend an intellectual year for tech grads" .. but i am not really convinced (though I dont need to be) with the idea of spending an algorithmically intellectual year for gaining eligibility for a totally non algorithmic profession ... A year in law or policy department (i suggest one at kharagpur) would have served better as a value addition ...

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  5. Thanks Pranjal for your opinion. I preferred an extra year of stay at IITD itself for the reason of continuity of my preparation. I agree that an year in public policy and related fields would be more useful for a Civil Servant.

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  6. Nice read bro !! U hv taken a very wise decision indeed by opting for the dual degree as I can assure u that once in the job its very very difficult to get to ur studies ! all the best for ur civil services entrance !

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  7. This is another example of a student wasting a precious seat at IIT Delhi's Computer Sc Department and who never wishes to pursue the subject, while those Civil/Chemical/Mechanical etc. engineers who have/had real interest in the esteemed subject but their JEE rank did not agree, have to complete Minor degrees to live their dream to study Computer Sc. The best part is, the blogger has found where his heart lies. Good luck to him. May he be a great, responsible and honest servant to the Government of India.

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  8. Ripul, Thanks for the wishes and I'll try to fulfill them too! :)
    Its very difficult for a person to decide where his/her interest truly lies before trying out various stuff. My plan to go for Civil Services wasn't in place when I entered IITD. Subsequent events in life inspired me to take that step.
    Best of luck for your research career. :)

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  9. 1. I too heard the IIT KGP story, but has it been suppressed? I haven't really heard it doing rounds in news and media. Or am I mistaken?

    2. All the best is all that I can mutter up :)

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  10. All the best, boy... there is no doubt in the potential you carry, and the ardor which is definitely capable of bringing a good change in the society...

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