In a span of a decade or so, the IITs have established themselves as a mecca for engineering students, not only in India, but around the globe. These eminent institutions have persistently proved that that they are invincible when it comes to the quality of education or the facilities that they offer students, as well as the placements that their students get. In other words IIT is the institution that everyone aspires to be a part of. Even the government holds these premier institutions in such high esteem that out of all the money that is assigned for educational institutions, most of it goes to the IITs.
The Current Situation
There exists immense competition among students to secure a seat in the IITs, which are one of the world’s top notch institutions. Only one out of four hundred students is able to get admission in a branch of their choice in an IIT institution. Yes, you read it correctly – 1 in 400! The entrance exam for the IITs is so perplexing, that it baffles even the best of the best.
One sector that has seen tremendous growth is the legion of the coaching classes – scores of which have mushroomed to come to the rescue of students. A lot of these coaching classes work to provide sophisticated, tried and tested solutions for students to be able to nail these very competitive exams. Most of the faculty at some of the top coaching institutes are IIT-ians. However, not all of the coaching institutes are concerned with student growth, and opt for a very lucrative profit-driven approach. The coaching industry in India was worth 40-45 thousand crores in 2011 .Industry insiders peg the current value of these classes to be in an excess of 50,000 crores! That’s a huge amount of money spent on thousands of aspirants, of which only a few are able to truly shine. The less fortunate, financially not so well-to-do students get left behind in the rat race. This situation defeats the very purpose for which these institutions were built. A lot of us tend to ignore (in a willing suspension of disbelief) the fact that IIT wants exceptionally talented students who can research, think out of the box, and come up with unique and different solutions, but generic coaching classes defeat this very purpose.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
The present government is making attempts to not just understand the problems faced by students and reduce the influence of these coaching centres on the selection procedure of the IITs, but trying to provide viable solutions to reduce the growing disparity. Since coming into power the government has taken various decisions in this matter. One such decision that the MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development) has taken, is that it will provide study material to all the students. Surprisingly, even the IITs have decided to cooperate with the government this time, and have decided to publish the solutions to all the JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) solved question papers of the last 50 years.
The MHRD is also looking to collaborate with the IITs, to help students with audio and video lectures. The ministry further added that all study material should be made available in 13 languages which will help students from remote and distant parts of the country to utilise them, and not be left behind.
The toughness of the papers was another issue which the MHRD needed to solve, so for the first time the MHRD is going to tie up with the IITs to ensure that that JEE paper is based as close to 12th grade syllabus as possible. The realisation that the present system was encouraging students to join coaching classes instead of experimenting, thinking outside the box and using their own intellect to solve the problem is an important one, that will definitely lead to more thoughtful reforms in this sector.
The coaching institutions will obviously not be happy with the recent suggestions and changes, but it will mean a world of a difference to parents and the student community.
You can also read about how to keep your preparation lean and which books to use. Given all these resources, the only thing essential for cracking the JEE now, is a proper strategy.
Cheers and good luck!