So you just went through all the turmoil of your entrance exams and your results are out. You figure you have a reasonable chance of getting into one of the newer IITs like IIT Hyderabad and also into the top NITs like Surathkal, Warangal and Trichy. Do you remain loyal to the tag of “IIT”? A tag that would get the right response from that condescending aunt of yours? Are all IITs worth it? Let’s solve this conundrum with respect to different aspects of what one might expect to gain out of four years in college.
Definitely, the older and more established NITs like those in Surathkal, Trichy, Warangal, and Calicut are a lot better than the newer IITs in this aspect. The number of companies they attract are huge. The scope here is as good as the older IITs. The only slight difference here is the salary offered; a company offering 9 lakh rupees per annum in the older IITs may offer you 8lpa (for the same profile) here.
Companies don’t mind the one letter difference between IIT and NIT. NITians are just as competent as their IITian counterparts. In terms of human resource and exposure and a lot of other factors, the top NITs fare much better than many IITs.
The state of some of these new IITs are pathetic; few of them don’t even have their own campus yet, or they’ve borrowed someone else’s! This results in a lot of things that could be missed out on if you stayed at a well-established campus like those in the older NITs. Talking from personal experience, some of my friends at IIT Hyderabad regretted going there instead of where I joined – NIT Surathkal.
The old NITs are just as old as the reputed IITs and have had that much time to refine themselves and provide a multi faceted environment for a holistic development. In many of the top NITs, you have opportunities to grow in multiple dimensions, thanks to massive cultural fests and the like. You also get to live in a campus with an experienced staff and people who know how to handle any possible eventualities and have the ability to ensure a smooth four years.
Today, recruiters in India perceive the newer IITs and older IITs very differently. Recruiters and employers understand that the faculty, resources and the overall educational experience is a lot better at a prestigious NIT, and that things are still unstable and yet to settle at a very young IIT. The IIT tag is not enough here unless you think you need to show it off to your relatives.
This is a very important decision – should I choose an IIT just because of its perceived ‘brand value’ or should I select the branch of my choice at an NIT?
The truth of the matter is that if you really love a certain branch of engineering, don’t hesitate to choose it. What you study is way more important. There have been countless cases of people picking any random course in an IIT and eventually regretting that decision for the rest of their lives. Study what your heart tells you to and it will earn you laurels. The institute can only do so much to help you. The rest of the work is in your hands.
Of course the older the institute, the bigger and more established the alumni community and outreach is. Institutes like NIT Surathkal and NIT Trichy have a far better reputation thanks to their successful alumni network, who work not just for themselves and their societies but also help in small and big ways to the development of the college. I’ve heard stories of alumni building complete hostels, gymnasiums etc at NITs, including ours at Surathkal.
Again, speaking out of experience, the campus culture of the older and southern NITs like those at Surathkal, Trichy, Calicut and Warangal provide huge impetus to developing one’s self holistically. Be it sports, the arts, quizzing, debating, anything; whatever talent it is you possess, college is the place to make it grow, and an NIT like those mentioned above certainly have a lot of teams representing their institute at inter-collegiate competitions in the country and across the world, compared to a young IIT.
You could argue that new IITs would have better teachers and opportunities and what not due to much better funsing. You would be wrong, but let’s say for the sake of argument that you are right. The one thing that IITs do fall back on is the fun. I am not saying IITians are boring and just study all the time. All I am saying is that NITians do end up having more fun and learning more outside the classroom, thanks to a better sex ratio and a lot of people coming in from abroad. This facilitates a greater cultural exchange and greatly enhances the growth of one’s personality.
After all is said and done, whichever university it is you end up at, it is up to you to use the resources available in your campus to the maximum extent possible to bring out the best in you during one of the most important, life-changing and beautiful four years of your life.
As already mentioned earlier, the top NITs are at par with the IITS! Read about the best NITs in this article.