How Are Iits Different From Other Educational Institutions?

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“It’s very easy to lose hope in this country. It’s very easy to set your aspirations low. But amidst all this, this competition among high quality students, this institution of IIT sets your aspirations much higher.”  – N.R Narayan Murthy

Indian Institute of Technology are the world renowned technical institutes which are most sought after not only in India but in the whole world. These autonomous institutes were setup through a special act of parliament, Institute of Technology Act, 1961, also according them the status of Institute of National Importance.   India’s current supremacy in science, technology and higher education finds its origins to the vibrant years after its independence. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of the country initiated many projects which helped India become self-sufficient in technology. IITs were one such venture which has consistently performed as a centre of excellence in an otherwise mediocre higher educational system.  The aim behind creating IITs was to make India a highly educated technological force through best in class technical education and training. This education would manifest itself in form of engineers who will go on to play a pro-active role in the construction of modern India by providing vital inputs for mega structures like dam, power plants and industries.  There is no doubt that IITs have outmatched themselves time and again creating a tremendous global reach through “Brand IIT”.  From Kharagpur in 1950 to Mandi and Indore in 2009, there are now 16 potentially world-class institutes as listed in Institute of Technology Act, 1961. Here we examine the things that make IIT the brand that they are today.

Outstanding performance of Undergrads

Indian Institutes of Technology produce a crop of students who instead of cramming up solutions to problems are inclined to create practical solutions to problems. The course, academic programme, research facilities and faculty work in conjunction with each other to bring out the best in students. They are put through grilling sessions of project work, assignments and brain storming sessions so that they emerge as true world class professionals. The international competitiveness of students is reflected in their performance at Graduate Record Examination, an exam held in the United States for graduates all over the world. The average scores of IITians is second best only to MITians (students of Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in quantitative and analytical ability. In doing so, these students even outclassed the pass outs of world’s top universities like Stanford and University of California among others. This kind of performance infuses a different level of self-esteem and self-reliance in the student’s mind. This stupendous feat gives us an idea of the discipline and quantum of efforts that IITians put into their work which is built into their routine as part and parcel of the daily life.

Excellent Faculty and Research Facilities

The celebration of Brand IIT cannot be possibly complete without the mention of the exemplary research facilities these institutes have. IIT Chennai has the country’s third fastest super computer while IIT Mumbai has the best research facilities in India in the fields of Nanotechnology and Photo Voltaic research. IIT Delhi in association with Central Electronics limited and Solid State Physics Laboratory developed a dual mode phase shifter. The CorDECT Wireless in Local Loop telecommunication system has been designed, developed and commercially deployed by the TeNet group of IIT Madras. IIT Bombay has contributed significantly in the development of technologies for India’s prestigious Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Tejas. Earthquake engineering, which is rare to found anywhere in the country is implemented by the team of IIT Roorkee students and faculties. Starting with the development of experimental tools for studying the dynamic behavior of various types of structures, IIT Roorkee has done a lot to rehabilitate the locals in aftermath of the earthquakes in Bhuj and Latur in Gujarat. IIT Kharagpur has been instrumental in improving the designs of modern rice mills in Andhra Pradesh making them more efficient and performance oriented.

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Super Strong Alumni Network

IITs have an exemplary Alumni culture, rarely found elsewhere. In fact it was IITs that pioneered a strong alumni culture in India. In the prevailing economic and technological scenario, the performance of IIT alumni network has had its own impact. There is a celebrated list of illustrative professionals who have achieved the niche across the industries and countries. IIT alumni have their stamp all over the start-up ecosystem and also at the top government establishments in the country. These alumni have translated their phenomenal success for the betterment of their alma mater. There is a perfect framework for the flow of funds and other kinds of support to institutes which made them this capable. Platforms such as PAN-American IIT Alumni Association have grown into colossal body which comes together to discuss and determine how best to advance and propel the IITs into a league of its own, ahead of the best universities of the world. The spread of this forum is as far as the Silicon Valley in the distant California, which recently celebrated the golden jubilee of IITs existence. This gesture of gratitude is yet another special asset of IITs.

Some of the renowned IIT alumni are:

  • Vinod Khosla, a IIT Delhi alumni is a serial entrepreneur, founder of Sun Microsystems and a very well known Venture Capitalist in Silicon Valley
  • N R Narayan Murthy, also sometimes known as Bill Gates of India, founder of Infosys and an alumni of IIT Kanpur
  • Amit Singhal, a top employee of Google is also an IIT alumni
  • Nikesh Arora, Chief Business Officer , Google
  • Om Malik, Founder and Investor, GigaOM, a top voice in the tech universe.
  • Sanjay K Jha, Chairman and CEO , Motorola Mobility
  • Shantanu Narayen, CEO, Adobe

These and many more IIT alumni are globally heading and influencing the technology decisions, creating new paths for the industry.

Some of the exclusive qualities that all IITians share are:

  • Huge self belief and self respect
  • Part of a solution and not the problem
  • Intelligence abundant
  • Works hard, thinks smart
  • Intensely competitive
  • Huge regards for one’s alma mater

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